The main way to make an April Fools' joke a success, at least for the few seconds it takes someone to work out it is but a joke, is to make the set-up just plausible enough. So plausible that the person pauses to consider "hey, that could be true, maybe?"
Look to a new video from Angel City Brewery, which popped up online just hours ahead of the first day of April. The Arts District craft brewhouse's newest creation, Ramen Lager, is given a loving introduction in the video, a video that comes with no winking or elbow nudges to pull back the curtain on its ultimate reveal.
And the viewer thinks, for a moment, "yeah, that sounds super tasty. Ramen has now showed up in hamburger buns and sugar cookies. And I like to drink beer with ramen. Why shouldn't the noodles actually go in the beer, making it an all-in-one combo meal-drink experience?"
But a glance at the calendar reminds you that April 1 is fast on the horizon, with its prankery and offbeat suggestions, and the conclusion of the video promotes the brewery's "What Would You Brew?" contest, a get-creative event that invites beer fans to get a little whimsical with what they might put in an IPA or ale.
Past years have seen winners like Mexican Cola and a beer inspired by the spirit of the desert, two inspired concoctions that make Ramen Lager look well within the realm of flavorful possibility.
Have you got a fine and even fictional idea for some fancy foam? Would you make it spicy, sweet, or add some ramen to it? You'll get to brew your idea alongside Angel City's master beer-makers, and get some spending cash to boot (along with the glory of having the winning idea).
The contest is now open.
As for Ramen Lager? The whimsical, chew-on-your-beer beer may have to live on in our hearts and imaginations for now. Mmm, ramen. And beer.
Happy April Fools' Day, Angel City.