Even if Tony Magee was at work right now in Petaluma, instead of vacationing in France, you'd envy his job.
He makes beer, after all, and seems to have a heck of a lot of fun in the process.
What other business owner would reply to a competitor's threat of a trademark lawsuit with a cavalier Twitter posting: "Good news is, I'll let ya have the 420 thing. Is that a win?"
Most executives would have called in their lawyers had their company received a demand letter claiming trademark infringement. Magee, of Lagunitas Brewing Co., essentially shrugged and said, No biggie; it's yours.
We shouldn't be surprised. The 52-year-old owner of one of the country's most successful craft breweries may take beer seriously, but not much else. The Lagunitas motto is, after all: Beer speaks. People mumble.
But Magee mumbles in a way that demands attention — even as he deflects it. He practices a brand of back-yard philosophy that sounds mushy at first blush, but has actually turned into an effective marketing tool.
Take this quote, for example, from a profile of Magee written by the PD's Sean Scully a few months ago:
"I don't think we're in the beer business ... we're in the tribe-building business," he told Scully.
In other words, you're not just a customer if you drink Lagunitas IPA or Hairy Eyeball or Little Sumpin' Sumpin'. You're a member of the tribe. You're not just quaffing beer. You're participating in a social ritual.
For a piece on NBCNews.com that highlighted Magee's plans to expand Lagunitas from its Petaluma roots with a new brewery in Chicago, Magee gently undermined any suggestion that he is a beer baron growing his empire: