On its journey to keeping the longest troll in Philly history alive, Four Seasons Total Landscaping got thirsty.
So the Northeast Philly business that played host to one of the most preposterous political press conferences in modern history is now teaming up with Funk Brewing and Philly Drinkers to release a beer next month in honor of Rudy Giuliani’s hold-my-beer moment.
“They messed with us and now we’re going to mess with them for the rest of their lives,” said Sean Middleton, Four Seasons director of sales. “We hold grudges in Philly.”
“Lawn Jawn,” from Emmaus-based Funk Brewing, is a juicy IPA with a tropical feel that will turn any garage door into a day at the Caribbean.
The beer can’s label, which pays homage to the now-notorious press conference last November, is a seek-and-find treasure trove of Philly trivia, tales, and trolling featuring Gritty, floating cheesesteaks, and a balding man in a blue suit entering the adult book store next door to Four Seasons.
“Our biggest goal for the can is that people won’t drink it right away,” said Alex Einhorn, owner of Philly Drinkers. “They’ll look at the can like it’s ‘Where’s Waldo.’”
The boozy collaboration was the brainchild of Einhorn, whose Philly Drinkers apparel company has been doing the merchandising for Four Seasons since April. A previous relationship Einhorn had with the folks at Funk Brewing helped him bring the beer makers and landscapers together.
While the Philly area is known for creating brews in ode to silly things — including a furry orange chaos mascot, a Super Bowl Parade speech, and a convenience store — this is believed to be the first to commemorate a news conference at a landscaping business.
“We’ve done a lot of fun collaborations, but this is our first with a landscaping business and may be the first of all time,” said Jon Norman, co-owner of Funk Brewing. “But at the core of it, yard work and beer go together like peas and carrots.”
The men batted around the idea of Lawn Jawn for a while, but when it was announced this month that a rock concert will be held at Four Seasons on Aug. 21 (which sold out in 17 minutes), they decided it would be the perfect time to release the beer.
“If we’re going to hold a troll concert event for this, we might as well have a troll beer,” Middleton said.
Given the quick turnaround, the initial release of Lawn Jawn will be very small — about 30 cases. The beer will only be sold at the Four Seasons concert and at nearby Pennypack Beer Distributors in Northeast Philly, which will receive six cases of 16-ounce “pounder cans” on Aug. 17.
The Lawn Jawn crew hopes to do a wider release in the future and Einhorn said retailers interested in distributing the beer may contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We knew the beer was going to be good, we knew the concert will be fun, and we knew the label would be interesting,” Norman said. “All those things worked better than expected. It’s conservative to start off with, but who knows where it will all go from there.”
Michael Siravo, director of operations for Four Seasons, said he wants to see Lawn Jawn in distributors and bars across the city someday.
“This is all unchartered land for us,” he said. “A year ago we were cutting lawns and doing snow removal, so if you told us we would be releasing a beer this year I would have told you you’re nuts.”
Einhorn said Philly Drinkers will create shirts, pint glasses, and other merchandise with the Lawn Jawn label on it, which will be available on the company’s website.
She’s a designer specializing in seek-and-find illustrations and surreal characters who does work for Fiverr, a website for freelance business services that featured Four Seasons in its Super Bowl ad this year. As a result of the ad, Four Seasons received services from Fiverr, including Luz’s illustration, which it now owns the copyright to.
When asked this week via email what it felt like to learn her illustration would be featured on a Four Seasons beer, Luz said, “It makes me feel tipsy.”
She said she’s never been to Philly and has only been to the U.S. once, so she did extensive research about the city’s landmarks, statues, and characters when creating the drawing.
Along with Four Seasons, the nearby crematorium, Gritty, the LOVE sculpture, the Phanatic, a soft pretzel cart, cheesesteaks, the Art Museum, Rocky, Independence Hall, and the Liberty Bell, Luz’s drawing features a man who looks like Giuliani entering the store next to Four Seasons — Fantasy Island Adult Books and Novelties — as Swoop, the Eagles mascot, looks on in silent judgment.
“Is it really him? Or is it a look-alike?” Luz said of the Guiliani-esque figure. “We’ll never know.”
But why does the drawing also feature several aliens, a Cousin It, Cinderella, and a man with a pumpkin head?
“As I mentioned, I’ve never been there, but I thought Philly was THAT diverse,” Luz said.
Middleton said he’s particularly fond of the alien climbing One Liberty Place, which he feels “sums up the whole thing.”
“We were in an alternate universe,” he said.
As for his hopes for Lawn Jawn, Middleton wants people to sit down, drink a great beer, look at the can, and get a good laugh.
“It will be a reminder that it’s Philly over everybody,” he said.