A lot of law firm intake processes are a bit painful to look at, if we’re honest, but they don’t have to be! Jared and guest McKay Ferrell share how a little tracking and better workflows can make your intake as smooth as butter.
In lieu of a Rump Roast grilling, Jared delves into McKay’s passion for craft brewing, learning about hybrid IPAs and what led him into the seemingly saturated world of brewery businesses.
And, Jared’s latest streaming pick might freak you out, but he thinks watching Netflix’s Dahmer series has left him with some solid tips for not getting murdered, so, tune in for those!
McKay Ferrell is the vice president of product management at Assembly Software.
Since we talked with a brewery owner, here are some of our favorite songs about boozin’. (Lots of country songs here, obvi.)
Our opening track is Two Cigarettes by Major Label Interest.
The music for the Legal Trends Report Minute is I See You by Sounds Like Sander.
Our closing track is Big Bags by Ghost Beatz.
Special thanks to our
sponsors , , and .
Male: It’s The Legal Toolkit with Jared Correia, with guest McKay Ferrell. We talk craft brewing and then Jared Lords over us the fact that he’s so much better than us just because he refuses to eat food out of the trash.
Jared D. Correia: It’s time for the Legal Toolkit podcast. Wake up Jeremy. And yeah, it’s still called Legal Toolkit podcast even though I don’t have access to a whetstone. I’m your host, Jared Correia. You’re stuck with me because Dennis Eckersley was unavailable. He’s retired from the broadcast booth and he’s waxing his mustache right now. I’m the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, a business management consulting service for attorneys and bar associations. Find us online at redcavelegal.com. I’m the COO Gideon Software. We go build chat bots so law firms can convert more leads and conversational document assembly tools so law firms can build documents faster and more accurately. You can find out more about Gideon at gideonlegal.com.
Now, we get to our interview today with McKay Ferrell of Assembly Legal, I’m going to tell you about my latest streaming obsession. Honestly, watch a shit ton of streaming content, it’s embarrassing. But I just can’t seem to help myself. And so, for the last week, I’ve been working through the new Netflix Jeffrey Dahmer series. Apparently, because I never want to sleep again. So, spoiler alert, obviously. Although these true crime things like the spoilers are party out there for like 30 years, but I digress. So, you may be asking yourself why I watch this. Because when I asked my wife if she wanted to watch it with me, she was like, no and gave me a weird look, but I continued undeterred. So, why? Well, because I’m kind of fascinated by true crime. But you may already know that, you know I had a couple of true crime podcast so it’s in the podcast. Alison Brett from the prosecutor’s podcasts, they are really good. You should listen to their show. But they’re just a small part of the ongoing true crime boom happening all across media right now. Having been ongoing for like several years since the serial podcast came out. That dude just got released from prison after like a bunch of years.
So, I probably like true crime for the same reason that like everybody else does, well, most everybody. But for me there’s really three reasons. First, humans are the cruelest species, well aside from dolphins, dolphins are real motherfuckers. But after dolphins definitely humans are the most cruel and the depths of depravity that they think too is kind of amazing to me and sort of interesting. Just when you think you’ve heard it all some asshole do something really crazy. Yeah, it’s lurid. I understand. But this has been a fascination of human beings forever, so I don’t feel too bad about it.
Second, I kind of like to learn about the ways and means of serial killers so I don’t ever fall prey to one. Like seriously, if I was ever matched up with one of these dudes, I want to know what signs to look for and how to react. So, here’s a short form had book I’ve developed. Don’t do what anybody asks you to do, if you don’t know them. Don’t get in the car, don’t go to the apartment. Even if somebody’s got a gun don’t listen to what they have to say. Even if you risk getting shot or killed, don’t comply, you’re welcome. Now, you don’t have to listen to any true crime stuff. I just gave you the guide. And see, as I tell everybody, sometimes it just pays to be a dick.
Third, I’m kind of also fascinated by the intersection of technology including forensics obviously and crime-solving like if the Golden State killer had started his crime spree like 10 or 15 years earlier that dude never would have been caught because the familial DNA matching they used to bring him in will probably never have located him before he died.
But on the other hand, you got things like the Delphi murders, where this guy is captured on video before he kills these two little girls and they still can’t catch this bastard. It’s crazy. Because I guess it’s just like having an analytical mind, having some interest in seeing how these things work out. Just super interesting to me.
All right, back to Dahmer. The cannibal thing is really weird, like unless you’re stuck in the middle of the ocean during the 1800s with no hope of being rescued, why would you eat anyone. When I’ve inadvertently licked myself, I said inadvertently. I’m not super tasty, kind a salty. I mean, Grubhub is available with the click of the mouse, my dude. But I guess not in 1994. Though the lack of Grubhub doesn’t seem to have been the issue with Jeffrey Dahmer. He was just fucking psychopath who had a terrible childhood which seems to be the story of like every serial killer. But I watched this version of the Dahmer story largely because it was a Ryan Murphy production, and Ryan Murphy stuff, in my opinion, is generally great. I say for the last two seasons of American Horror Story, which were largely dog shit. But the first several seasons are actual good. American crime stories really good and a lot of the Netflix project he set separately are good also.
In addition to that, my guy, Evan Peters was playing Jeffrey Dahmer, and he’s a super underrated actor. He’s phenomenal in American Horror Story Seasons 1 and 2. He was also one of my favorite pandemic horror shows. One division in which he was in on a complete troll job of the Marvel fandom. I’m here for that. I watch almost anything with Evan Peters in it. Oh, and Molly Ringwald from The Breakfast Club, remember her. She’s Jeffrey Dahmer’s stepmother and she’s married to the dad from Step Brothers. The Catalina fucking wine mixer, indeed. I don’t think Jeffrey Dahmer made to a lot of wine mixers.
So, a lot of people are upset about yet another treatment of a serial killer story because they felt like it would glorify or sensationalize the killer’s actions and re-traumatized the victims all over again. And even so, maybe because of Dahmer was number 1 on Netflix for like forever and broke all kinds of viewership records and forever in the modern context is I think a week. And honestly, I recommend watching it for at least a few reasons first. It’s not all that gory, there’s not much focused on the crimes being committed. It’s kind of more of a character study on the criminal and his family and the people whose lives he affected. So, if that’s not your jam, which I think it’s not most people’s jams like you’re good as far as that’s concerned.
Second, I was honestly surprised to see how much time the series has spent on Dahmer’s victims, which was really cool to see. Like you see a lot of these programs come out and it’s all focused on like the killer and all the whacking crazy stuff they did. But it’s really like a profile of several different people including Jeffrey Dahmer. Now, you can’t ignore the outcome, obviously. Like the end result of the reason why characters are being played in the show like this is because they eventually got killed. But I feel like some of the episodes were really a celebration of the victims’ lives. Especially one episode about this deaf guy that Dahmer killed. I thought that one was really good.
And, you know, I was honestly surprised to learn that most of Dahmer’s victims were gay Black men. I was pretty young when the Dahmer story broke, but I feel like that was super under reported at the time. Like nobody covered that. I don’t even remember that being a think. And I think it’s good that this show is shedding light on that now and highlighting the fact that law enforcement is not always keen to listen to crime reporting from minority communities. That’s in the show as well. That’s a consistent theme. In fact, may be the most consistent theme.
Plus, it’s always really depressing to see how easy it would have been to catch a guy like Dahmer about a billion times because he’s so fucking stupid. They just let him off the hook like a thousand times. I mean, you can get away with a law when you’re a white guy in America, I guess.
Third, some of those great Ryan Murphy touches which I love. There’s one episode where they randomly have an intro sequence featuring John Wayne Gacy like out of nowhere, which they somehow wrap back up in the last episode of the series. It kind of reminds me of the series of scenes and like American Horror Story cult where they just randomly tie the Zodiac Killer into the story. I love that shit. The crazier the better.
Overall, I thought it was really great and also important to watch and that it recast the Dahmer murders and the new light and you should check it out. And I guess like part of these changes were influenced by Evan Peters. So, again, played Dahmer because he wouldn’t take the roll unless the spotlight was going to be on the victims. See, what a good dude. Not Jeffrey Dahmer, Evan Peters, just want to make that clear.
Speaking of good dudes, before we turn to our discussion on law firm intake management with McKay Ferrell of Assembly Legal, let’s all turn and look at Joshua Lennon, who I’m 99% sure is not a cannibalizing serial killer. He’s got you for this week’s Clio Legal Trends Report.
Joshua Lenon: Did you know law firms with growing revenue are twice as likely to use financial reporting tools to track their performance? I’m Joshua Lenon, lawyer-in-residence at Clio and this is just one finding from our recent Legal Trends Report. Understanding your firm’s financial performance helps you make better choices. But unfortunately, 60% of legal professionals are not confident about their knowledge of their firm’s revenue. If you can relate, consider adopting reporting tools to track utilization, realization and collection rates, the three leading metrics to track your firm’s revenue. Don’t worry, if math isn’t your thing, just knowing your firm’s numbers is half the battle. For more information on what firms with growing revenue are doing differently, download Clio’s Legal Trends Report for free at clio.com/trends. That’s Clio, spelled C-L-I-O.com/trends.
Jared D. Correia: All right, let’s discontinue all this tomfoolery and interview our guest. My guest today is McKay Ferrell, who’s the Vice President of Product Management at Assembly Legal. McKay, how are you doing, my friend?
McKay Ferrell: I’m great, Jared. It’s good to talk again.
Jared D. Correia: In terms of our legal topic today. And I want to tease that we’re going to get into a really interesting non-legal topic in the second segment, so stay tuned for that. I want to talk to you about the intake process. So, yes, lawyers are not particularly great at intake. I think it’s safe to say that. So can you give me your sense of what law firm intake looks like now and how that might be improved, and I may ask some pointed questions along the way.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, no, it’s a great question. So, a lot of what we do at Assembly is look at overall business processes. What we found is there’s actually a lot of very successful firms, large firms, that are not really looking at intake from a pipeline, a true, like, sales pipeline perspective.
Jared D. Correia: Which is weird, right, because that’s how you’re supposed to look at it. So, can you talk for a second about how standard businesses, like non-law firm businesses look at this as a pipeline? Because I have the same problem. I talked to law firms about like this is a pipeline, people move through, it’s a great way to think of it but they just don’t conceive it that way.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, no, I’d love to. You spend a lot for acquisition. That’s a big component of customer acquisition costs and we’re talking about the legal space, and you get a heavy PI. You’re talking about billboards, you’re talking about digital spend, all these different means. And it’s all about capturing that just initial person coming in the door. And what we’ve seen, well, typical business, right? You’re going to put a metric to monthly qualified leads, customer acquisition costs, how much it costs to actually get them in the door. And then once you have them in the door, there’s a whole set of components and measurements that we really haven’t seen a lot of people looking at. And that’s where it gets interesting.
Jared D. Correia: Okay, so I think this is great that you’re bringing this up. Cost of acquisition for clients, CAC. That is a standard KPI for many businesses. Law firms, it’s like they never heard of it. So, let’s talk about this a little bit. I like the fact that pipelines allow law firms to capture better data and make better decisions based on that data. So, what KPIs do you encourage law firms to use? Do you see law firms using those in the context of intake right now or no? What does that look like for you?
McKay Ferrell: So, it depends on the firm. But firms really struggled with tying back their marketing source, their actual spend to actual conversion, the overall case value, and applying that in a way that actually makes sense. So, we’ve actually seen that as a big struggle for a lot of firms. What we like to look at is customer acquisition costs, marketing spend by source, by date. Sometimes that gets a little challenging on how you apply a marketing spend because if somebody sees you on a billboard on I 95 and just seems to remember it eight months later, it’s a bit more challenging from an accounting perspective, but at the same time, that’s a critical thing.
So, we look at that, we look at conversion rate of lead opportunities, how many of those clients have come in that we’ve had to turn away versus they’re actually qualified real leads that have value. There’s ways to put scores around that. So, we can say, all right, here’s the projected outcome of a case. All of those things that really matter. We actually look at this at stages too.
So, first you got the initial acquisition cost, then you need to look at it and say, “Where are they at in your pipeline?” Am I under the qualification stage? How long does it take me to move a client through that before we have a go no go decision?
Overall proposal phase. You want to look at that and obviously put metrics around that and evaluate because this becomes really an efficiency thing as you get further into it. I mean, it’s just going to save your money and help you make decisions faster and then naturally closed won, close lost and the conditions that make up those and the final KPI, obviously, is how profitable something is.
Jared D. Correia: I wonder how many people thought you were going to say close one and close two. That’s one W-O-N. All right, let’s unpack this a little bit because I think this is fascinating and like this is something that I am starting to see more law firms do it, but it’s not a regular thing yet in the legal space. So, that lead attribution component, that’s a really key thing here because you got to get the data in place before you analyze it. The billboard on 95, right? Maybe somebody doesn’t remember that, but at least you ask, right? And then you can start to use tools like Call Rail to be able to track stuff by the phone, which a lot of law firms don’t do. So, how do you advise law firms that have maybe never tracked lead source before? How do you explain the value of it to them? How do you get them to do it? It’s a hard thing to do because they never look at it, usually.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, ultimately, and that’s a great question, that’s one of the hurdles we’ve definitely seen, because, again, they’ll take a shotgun approach and whatever comes in the door is working and that’s fine. But ultimately, you need firms and we encourage firms to start tracking, by tracking, I mean applying tracking code or applying specific numbers to campaigns so you actually have a dollar value. And what we do with our newest platform is we can actually take incoming lead sources, apply the source so we know exactly where it came from based on phone number, based on tracking code, so for your digital spend. We’re looking at the organic side. So, a client goes to a website and they might have had a dog bite that’s very specifically tailored to that. You can track that back to a dog bite and actually code that. So, on the platform, you can see where the source came from, what the lead was, and how much expense it took to bring to that page. And that’s not just overall digital spend, but that’s also organic SEO.
Jared D. Correia: So, I tell people all the time, like, it’s possible to capture everything.
McKay Ferrell: It is.
Jared D. Correia: For the most part, but do you have a willingness to go about figuring out how to do it? All right, so what part of this is also related to moving leads to that pipeline as quickly as possible, so you don’t lose them and how do you effectuate that as a law firm?
McKay Ferrell: Think of it as a lead comes in. You’re going to go to an intake specialist, or maybe it’s just one or two-person firm. You’re going to collect data along the way to make an evaluation. It might be really easy. You say, okay, yeah, here, I’m going to send you a retainer agreement right now. Let’s go. There’s going to be cases where that is not necessarily the case. There’s different conditions, different things that you have to evaluate. Identifying the right amount of data, the proper amount to make that decision, and consolidating that workflow is going to save you a ton of time and effort on the back end. So, when we talk about lead manufacturing, it’s all about streamlining and pulling in the things that you need to make a decision, in this case to make a decision to move forward and the more data that you can collect and the more things that you can evaluate with continuous process improvement, you’re going to continue to see gains as a result of that. So, if we go from all the way from lead to evaluation to retain our agreement all the way through closed loss, there’s a ton of efficiency opportunities along the way. And this is what we’ve seen with a lot of larger firms. They will constantly evaluate what kind of questions they ask, how they can build dynamic forms so they can answer questions faster. It’s all about getting the data in as quickly as possible. And so that’s a huge component of it.
Jared D. Correia: Let’s tie that together with somewhat you were talking about before. So got a lot of data, got a lot of pipeline values, got metrics. What kind of reporting should lawyers be looking at in terms of marketing software? What are the key components that they need to be figuring out?
McKay Ferrell: So first and foremost, I would look at the data in each stage. I would look at the overall potential value of the case as it moves through the pipeline. Obviously, there’s going to be more information that comes along the way that might increase or decrease the value of the case. But let’s say we are looking at kind of the qualification stage and any sort of due diligence that needs to happen before we actually sent out a retainer agreement. If we can hone in on each of those and then provide reporting that tells you how much time you spend in the case, the overall value of the case and the stage that it’s in, there’s a really good look at how you can improve because you’re going to find a lot of areas that you probably didn’t realize you were spending a lot of time or your intake specialists were spending time, that could be drastically improved.
Jared D. Correia: One more question I have for you is we got the software, we’ve got the reporting, but then there’s a lot of different constituencies involved here as well too. You’ve got the lawyers, you’ve got the staff at the law firms. You talk about intake specialists. Not every law firm has intake specialists, but some do. That’s another layer. You got SEO companies, you’ve got marketing companies that maybe do content.
Like how these stitches altogether as a law firm? It’s a lot to manage and it’s a lot to get on the same page. So, how closely is your lead generation unified to the software? How do you get all this information to the right people? Like do you have advice on that for law firms?
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, get the right software. So, this wasn’t just a big plug for Assembly Software at Neos, but what we did was different than having a separate add-on solution for intake. What we did is actually make it so you can quickly drop that lead in from any source and you can collect all the intake information, collect any documents that you need. Take all of your notes and it’s really driven off of the fields that you would want out of that specific case type.
So, if it’s MVA, we have specific questions were going to ask but what’s really cool and this is how we’re a little bit different is when it comes time to automatically generate a retainer form and send it to client for signing, you’ll be at DocuSign, they sign it back with a click of the button, all that information is transitioned into a case, so you can measure the time that it is taken from the very beginning, the intake lead coming in who’s worked on it all the way up to where it becomes a case. We can measure all that because it’s all one system. The cool part about that is you’re not going to lose data. A lot of these other options are alternatives for the software. What they’ll do is be a bolt-on and not all of that data comes over one to one. It’s not necessarily seamless. It’s hard to get all the reporting metrics but that’s what’s cool about what we did is we made this end-to-end, all-in-one system so all the data that is in your intake automatically transfers over and it becomes a case. We just track those stages at points in time and that gives you a full view. So, it’s super simple. We actually have a tracking tool to say what the stage of any intake is at any given time, how long it’s been in that stage, who’s applied to it, and again that all gets tracked through an activity feed so you can see the entire timeline from the minute it came in from a lead all the way through case closed.
Jared D. Correia: McKay, this is great. Are you going to hang around for one final segment with us?
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, this is what I’m here for.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, good, good. Excellent. A lot of people say that. All right, so we’re going to take one final sponsor break so you can hear more about what our sponsors can do for your law practice. Then stay tuned for the Rump Roast. It’s even more supple than the Roast Beast.
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Jared D. Correia: Welcome to the rear end of the legal tool kit. That’s right, it’s the Rump Roast. It’s a grab bag of short-form topics, all of my choosing. Why do I get to pick, because I’m the host. McKay, today, since you’re very special dude, we’re going to depart from our standard operating procedure which is to play some version of a trivia game and I wanted to talk to you about a side gig that you have which I think is pretty interesting. In addition to working in legal tech, you are the owner and operator of a craft brewery called the Gulf Stream Brewing Company which is in lovely Fort Lauderdale. That’s all correct, right? Did I have everything right?
McKay Ferrell: That’s all correct. Yeah, and I am, yeah.
Jared D. Correia: So, how and why? Like what made you decide to get into that business because I think a lot of people think legal tech and the legal industry is competitive. Craft brewing super competitive too, right?
McKay Ferrell: Oh absolutely, yet anybody who gets into a craft brewery is not doing it because they want to get rich. It’s a labor of love and it’s something that — yeah, you do it over time. Sometimes, it’s stupid. I look back at a lot of the things but no, I absolutely love it. I mean that’s why you get into it because you’re super passionate about it and I was fortunate enough. This is dating myself, but going back really around 1997.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, he gives a date, all right, 97. I remember 90s are great man, 97 was a good year.
McKay Ferrell: It was.
Jared D. Correia: So, were you like in a garage trying to brew beers or was it like more complex in that starting out.
McKay Ferrell: It’s both actually. So, what was really interesting for me is getting an opportunity to work at a small craft brewery that was just starting up.
And so, I was able to help them kind of put it all together and I started brewing pretty early. I was under the tutelage of somebody else and I absolutely fell in love with it. I just took a deep dive in all the science behind it. It was all about like the raw ingredients and all the cool stuff that really ends up making beer. Originally, I was from Portland, Oregon area which is great craft brewery town.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, there’s lot of craft breweries, yeah.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, I loved it and so, you know, I shouldn’t say this but you know even in high school I was drinking great craft beer because what you did there.
Jared D. Correia: You’re in a safe place. That makes sense.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, perfect, nobody heard that.
Jared D. Correia: No one heard that. Now, it’s just the thousands and thousands of listeners. So, yeah, I think that’s really interesting getting into that so early, and you’ve been in the industry for a while now then, like you’ve been at this for quite some time.
McKay Ferrell: So, this goes back to the home brewing thing. I did that for a couple years and then got in the tech. I mean that was the thing but I never fell out of love with brewing and one thing led to another, me getting a home brew system that wasn’t really a home brew system. It was a pilot system, so it was like —
Jared D. Correia: Now, what does that mean? Did you like build it yourself or did you — like what are we talking — are you constructing steels in your home? I won’t report you to the revenue service. I promise.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah. Well, it was kind of like that but I actually went out and really bought a big pilot system that a lot of bigger breweries will use to do test batches. So, I was doing that out of my garage, getting the weird looks from my neighbors.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, pilot is kind of like a beta, right? You’re testing it out.
McKay Ferrell: Yes.
Jared D. Correia: Okay, got you.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah.
Jared D. Correia: Got you.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah.
Jared D. Correia: So, you got this honking brewery equipment in your house and your neighbors like is this dude a serial killer. What’s going on over there?
McKay Ferrell: Yeah. Basically. Are you cooking meths? What’s going on? So I get a lot of looks but then they got used to it. But yeah, it was really fun. I just kept growing that and then over a period of time, I was like man I really miss this industry. It’s competitive but it’s very collaborative and people work together to do this. I mean there’s not really a lot of secrets in beer. It’s been made for thousands of years. So, it’s about what you can do to get better. So, I absolutely loved it and ended up making my way to South Florida and at the end of the day, I opened a brewery around 2018 is when we finally got our doors open but yeah.
Jared D. Correia: Wow. So, like partners in that I’m assuming and like —
McKay Ferrell: Got a business partner.
Jared D. Correia: What is the decision point for you to go from, okay, I’m a home brewer versus now I’m going to make this a business with partners. This is a real thing.
McKay Ferrell: It was ultimately going all the way back labor of love. We’re going to do this together. He is actually, my business partner is Dennis, but was also a home brewer, so very much came from there.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, that’s wild.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, we both had this like love of science. I actually had gone back to school to get my degree in business. During that time, I was taking a bunch of science classes because I was looking to go to UC Davis brewing school and ended up not doing it. But at the end of the day, I was in these classes with a lot of medical students, hygiene, nursing students and they’re like — in small class, very competitive to get into, and they’re like you’re a business student. What are you doing in here? I was like, you know, I’m doing this for beer and all of a sudden, you know, they’re like oh okay, great, you know, that’s awesome. We started analyzing yeast and a bunch of other things that typically they didn’t do in those classes. So, it was pretty fun but I think when I got — and there’s a whole thing like my wife said if I went back to school and got my degree in business, she’d let me open the brewery. You know, I don’t think she realizes why I was so committed or she didn’t think I would be that committed and that, you know, finally when all that happened, we started putting the pieces together and eventually made my way out to Florida where my business partner lives. He was originally from the Northwest as well. So, we met up there in home brewery.
Jared D. Correia: Ah, got you. Okay. All right, so now I got some specific beer questions for you. What’s the favorite beer you brew and why?
McKay Ferrell: There’s a beer called graphic IPA and it’s a little different. It’s a hybrid IPA and this is why I like it. I’m not sure anybody else had coined hybrid before we did. It’s kind of becoming a star.
Jared D. Correia: I’ve never heard it before. Yeah.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah. So what we did was we took — it’s hot in South Florida and we want drinkable beers. We want things that you can go and take to the beach. You’re not going to feel super heavy.
Jared D. Correia: I’ve heard that. It’s pretty hot at South Florida.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah, especially in the summer time. It’s sweaty. It’s sweaty.
Jared D. Correia: Right, right.
McKay Ferrell: So, what we saw is there’s really kind of two favorites that we have. There’s the New England style kind of hazy IPA that a lot of people really dig but I’m not as big of a fan of the hazy IPAs, but we really also like kind of like the West Coast style that’s more fruit forward.
Jared D. Correia: Oh yeah, yeah.
McKay Ferrell: So, we kind of married the two, kind of we did marry the two and we just kind of found this beer. We were doing a bunch of different IPAs early on.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, that’s super interesting.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah. Going all the way back to metrics, we started looking and seeing, you know, which beers which beers were performing better against the other ones and it just kind of stuck. So, I don’t know how we came up with the name Graphic. It just was what it was and we never wanted to move away from it because some we were just doing in the taproom and now it’s out in distribution and we’ve been doing really well with it. But yeah, it’s still my favorite beer that we brewed. We probably brewed over 300 different beers.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, wow.
McKay Ferrell: Like different named beers. Some of them we keep on all the time, but we do a lot of brewing.
Jared D. Correia: This is perfect because I get two follow up questions based on that. But I want to ask you something else first. As a craft brewery, you get like a bar restaurant and then you’re also shipping beer separately, right?
McKay Ferrell: Correct.
Jared D. Correia: So, I fucking hate IPA. I’m going to be honest with you. I think it’s God awful. I like really dark beers and the IPA craze I just don’t get it. So, like “why do people love IPA so much, like what is the deal?” It’s like so all over my head.
McKay Ferrell: I don’t know if it’s because people naturally gravitate to them. For me, it was because I really loved smelling the hops and brewing with them early on. It was all of that. It’s an ingredient that goes in the beer that can be very pronounced based on what you want it to taste like. So, for me and I think for a lot of the people that are considered hop heads, they recognize that that’s one of the traits and really want more of that but what’s interesting too is that I went through cycles. I went through cycles like where I would just do dark beers, Belgian beers and then I went to IPAs then I went to lighter styles, pale —
Jared D. Correia: Oh, interesting. Yeah.
McKay Ferrell: And then I went back to the other one. So, it’s all about kind of a snap shot in time. The other thing I’ll say is I’d like to call it situational drinking too just because I love IPAs doesn’t mean that I’m not going to go to a Modelo every now and then.
Jared D. Correia: I like that. That was much more diplomatic than what I said.
McKay Ferrell: No, it’s perfect.
Jared D. Correia: Who’s the person who names the beers? I feel like this would be a good job for me. Because like every beer name I’ve ever heard like craft brewery is like this crazy pun. Is that like just a thing with brewers? Is anybody just like, “It’s beer number one.” We don’t have to come up with crazy ass name for this beer.
McKay Ferrell: Oh, my god. This is the best question you could have possibly asked. So, naming is the bane of our existence. It’s more of a group effort and I am the gatekeeper to say yes or no on all the beer names because some of them are so outland-ish or just inappropriate or any of that shit. And so, we started calling it “naming day.” And for releasing a beer a week, it’s kind of a pain in the ass. But we also look up to see if anybody else has done it and everybody has done everything. Because there’s so many brewers and I think that’s why you get so many puns. It’s just — I love it and I hate it at the same time. It’s great to be creative. We’ve tried ones, twos, and threes like you’re saying beer one. People don’t gravitate. They don’t buy in —
Jared D. Correia: They like the names, yeah.
McKay Ferrell: Yeah. And they’re such a huge influence in what people buy if the name is good. If the name sucks, we’ve seen it over and over like to the point where we changed a beer — I probably shouldn’t say this. But we changed the beers —
Jared D. Correia: Please go ahead.
McKay Ferrell: So, we did the A-B test and we had a beer on for a specific amount of time, it wasn’t selling that well. Thought the name sucked, changed the name and sale spiked.
Jared D. Correia: Game busters. Oh, that’s crazy. I mean there’s no industry that creates these pun related names like hair salons are maybe second but I think they’re distant second. That’s fascinating. And so, I also heard you have really great pizza at your brewhouse.
McKay Ferrell: Pizza is phenomenal.
Jared D. Correia: What’s your specialty pizza? Like what’s your best pizza?
McKay Ferrell: So, we essentially partnered with a third-party, Pizzeria Magaddino. Been friends for a long time, brought in. It’s not all ours. None of its ours, it’s his. But we did it because managing food sucks.
Jared D. Correia: Yeah.
McKay Ferrell: And it’s phenomenal pizza. I mean that’s why we brought him in. I would say his specialty is Humble Bumble which is pepperoni, chili-infused honey on it.
Jared D. Correia: Oh, that sounds delicious.
McKay Ferrell: It’s phenomenal. So, he actually does everything with OO flour that he imports from Italy, ferments for 48 hours like cold ferments. Just crazy process and really cool, makes everything by hand. It’s phenomenal pizza.
Jared D. Correia: That’s the real deal. I got a suggestion for your guy. Portuguese sausage on pizza. You don’t see that around very often. I’m Portuguese.
McKay Ferrell: No. I will —
Jared D. Correia: Yeah, Portuguese sausage is amazing and it’s spicy without having to infuse anything in it.
McKay Ferrell: I’m going to go see him later today so I’ll throw that out there. I’m sure he would do it.
Jared D. Correia: I’m going to send you some links my friend. Hey, thanks for doing this. If anybody’s in Fort Lauderdale, check out Gulf Stream Brewing Company. And hey thanks for doing the first part of the show, second part of the show. I had a lot of fun.
McKay Ferrell: Oh, this is awesome. Thank you, Jared. Anytime, man.
Jared D. Correia: If you want to find out more about McKay Ferrell and Assembly Legal, visit assemblysoftware.com. That’s assemblysoftware, all one word, dot com. Now, for those of you sitting in your living room in couch, Florida, I’ve got quite the Spotify playlist for you all, “Drinkin’ Songs!” And it’s true, I don’t eat food that I find in the trash because Richard Mulligan on Empty Nest once found botulism in a child that did just that. And that shit scarred me for life. Well, maybe we’ll save further discussion on that topic for another episode because we’re out of time on this edition of The Legal Tool Kit Podcast.
This is Jared Correia reminding you that it’s okay if you remove those tags on your mattresses. Just tell the FBI, I said it was cool.