As talk of recession becomes a staple of broadcast and print news, we make it a point to adjust our media outreach strategies to align with the new reality. For example, we received a note from writer Charles Laughlin this week, seeking, "...recession-proof case studies illustrating strategies companies are applying to prepare for an economic downturn. I seek actual examples of marketing, sales, PR, and business management strategies that companies of all sizes and industries can apply themselves. The more eye-opening, cost-effective and unique, the better."
Similarly, another reporter, Malika Worrall, with Fortune Small Business sent this: "I'm looking for small-business owners with fresh, interesting, and practical solutions for hedging their position in the economic turmoil of recent months, or for preparing for a possible recession. For example, these could be small businesses that have seen opportunity in the economic situation, and are seizing the moment to grab market share from weak competitors of all sizes; they could be small businesses that saw the chill coming and prepared themselves, by building cash reserves, for example, or holding down costs, or even investing in real estate."
This is a major trend -- which means it is a major opportunity for those who can capitlize on it. This is how this week's feature of Saint Arnold Brewing Company on the Houston ABC affiliate, KTRK, came about.
We pitched beer as a recession-proof product to explain why the brewery is marking its fourth straight year of 20+ percent growth.
Click here to see the video and the story itself is below. 

The important lesson is to stay flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. Few were talking about the economy a year ago, but today it is the top story day after day. If your media strategy isn't acknowledging that reality, you are fighting against the current.

HOUSTON (KTRK) - Houston's first microbrewery -- Saint Arnold's brewery on the northwest side -- all started with an investment banker who got tired of the stress.

The legend says St. Arnold's relics allowed an unending flow of beer from glasses in Germany, and he has certainly blessed his namesake brewery in Houston.
It is a place full of smells -- of hops, barley, malt and yeast, slowly fermenting to produce a golden essence that dates back thousands of years. It is beer, and in Houston, that means St. Arnold's Brewery.

"There are more patron saints of brewing than any other occupation," said Brock Wagner, CEO, St Arnold's Brewery. "St. Arnold is the most widely accepted."
It was founded 14 years ago by Brock Wagner, the great-great-great-grandson of a San Francisco beer hall owner. Tired of investment banker, Wagner switched to making beer.
He said, " Every morning I wake up and think it was the best move I ever made. This morning, I just really enjoyed it!"
The brand is known for its taste, quality and freshness. The business is known for being a good place to work -- one with a sense of humor. Vats have names like Larry, Moe and Curly. Naming rights are sold to fermenting tanks. The art car license plate reads 'B HOPPY'.
"They all think that we sit around and drink beer all of the time," Wagner said. "It's actually a whole lot of work. I think that's one of the things that has really kept us going -- we've always had great people here and they've always worked really hard. Everybody here is passionate about making great beer."
From 640 barrels of beer made the first year, production is now at 18,000 barrels. It's all sold in Texas. That's enough growth that St. Arnold's current brewery is tapped out. A move to a larger facility is in the making. Good beer is one of those things that is recession-proof.
"When times are good, people drink beer. When times are bad, people drink beer," Wagner explained.

The brewery is also known for an excellent root beer. The facility is open for tours and tastings on certain days. Schedules and information can be found on their website.