People file in…anticipating flavor and fun…they’re happily satisfied.
So went our annual Beer & Chocolate Tasting sessions at the recently concluded 10th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival. The whip sharp and inspiring Karolina of Ashland Springs Hotel (Neuman Hotel Group) started the festival 10 years ago to create a shoulder season event for residents and visitors alike. Suffice it to say: it’s been a big success.
Ashland is home to 23K+ permanent residents, a few thousand University students and innumerable visitors every year. A festival of this caliber is a pleasure to be a part of – Karolina and her fantastic assistant Paula along with the entire crew (Gina, Charlie, Gigi, and dozens more staff) are a joy to collaborate with.
When I approached Karolina 3+ years ago to inquire about adding their first ever beer and chocolate session, she was ready to embrace it – new, interesting, and attractive to the hundreds of guests that visit the fest. Some of them year after year after year, from far and near.
I love teaching. The lightbulb moments, the opportunity to open minds and pleasing palates, the myriad people you meet and the comfortable and accommodating setting are all reasons the love continues. Teaching in an ideal setting helps make it the best it can be for the guests too, never mind the presenters (!).
Get out and support your local festivals. Attend as a paying guest, volunteer to help, and spread the word.
Here are the menus for the 2 sessions we gave this year. Hope to see you in class next year!
Great Flavor Partners: Beer & Chocolate
- All beers: Standing Stone Brewing Company
- All chocolate: Dagoba Organic Chocolate
- All cheese: Cypress Grove Chevre
- Milk and Honey Ale with Roseberry
- Twin Plunge IPA with Lavender Blueberry
- Humboldt Fog
- Hop Night Cascadian Dark with Mint
- Steel Cut Stout with classic Dark
- Noble Stout with New Moon
- Truffle Tremor
- Milk and Honey with Eclipse
- BONUS: award-winning Amber (with whatever was remaining!)
A great time was had by all – thanks to all the guests, new and returning. Cheers til next time –