Book Announcement: How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer

 

Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women

Founder of Women Enjoying Beer Debuts Book During GABF Week

Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.

The book — How to Market Beer to Women: Don’t Sell Me a Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry. The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.

Johnson hopes the book will help fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.

“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely & respectfully market beer to women. They are ridiculously overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”

“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. When beer pros and businesses get it, they’ll tap into a huge opportunity.”

bonus_imageOn Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 at 6 PM each night in the festival’s bookstore area, Johnson will sign copies of her new book at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Wednesday, October 5 at 6 PM, Johnson will discuss her book at Kokopelli Beer Company as part of the brewery’s Women’s Wednesday series. Kokopelli is at 8931 N. Harlan St. in Westminster, CO.

Johnson’s main event for her book release takes place on Friday, October 7 at 1 PM at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret on the 16th St., Mall in downtown Denver. Johnson will conduct a “Beer Marketing to Women 101” class at this event and read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings. Admission is free and limited to 100 people.

Ska Brewing Company, Durango Colorado, is a major sponsor for this event. “I’ve long believed in Ginger’s work and message, that’s why we’ve worked with her before. We’re very glad to support the reason for this event: betterment for the whole beer world,” states Kristen Muraro, Ska Brewing Events Coordinator.

In many ways, How To Market Beer To Women ($49) showcases what Johnson has learned since starting her trailblazing company eight years ago. “In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”

A growing number of craft brewers have benefited from Johnson’s expertise and research.

“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the Craft Beer Industry – the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment, but she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”

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Mexican Women & Beer

Salud!

To all the fantastic people in Mexico making beer anew. Changing the definition to reach more people, talk about it, provide experiences and opportunities.

Salud!

Love love love my Mexican Colleagues in beer!

Love love love my Mexican Colleagues in beer!

To these fantastic people, all who happen to be women, in doing all the above and waaaaaaay more. They’re having a ball, we can learn from them and I’m thrilled to say I know 2 of the 5. Eager now to meet the rest, preferably over Mexican beer and food, in Mexico.

The article I’m referencing is here – and is best read with a fresh beer in hand.

Humbled and honored to be mentioned by Guillermina. The inspiration is mutual. She and Rebeca both showed me gracious and generous hospitality when I was in Mexico City for Congreso Cerveza Mexico a few years back. Can’t wait to return!

Salud!

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Heavenly Tastes

It was big fun to be the featured speaker at a recent Des Moines Iowa Barley’s Angels event. On a Monday night we had 35 hungry guests join us at Lefty’s Live Music venue.

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty's.

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty’s.

Being in Iowa to enjoy beer is not new to me. I founded Women Enjoying Beer when I was living in Ames years back. In fact, the very first interest group I hosted to see who might be willing to talk about women and beer happened there. When 28 people showed up to find out more, I knew I was onto something.

Fast forward to today: the first book on How To Market Beer To Women is coming out directly, I’ve been invited to work with dozens of clients across North America to teach, consult and advise on various elements of women and beer. This event was a sterling example of what I love to do: present, teach, entertain and taste. Turning on the brain for full engagement of flavor makes me very happy – and I truly believe it’s worthwhile.

When we talk about women and beer, we open up all sorts of other conversations.

The crowd was a mixed one, women and men alike, for which I laud groups for doing. The menu was a robust one, focused on Iowa Beers, cheese from The Cheese Shop and Dagoba Organic Chocolate. Is your mouth watering yet?

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

Big thanks to Ariane and the whole chapter as well as Anne and Rita from Lefty’s for making it all happen smoothly. Here’s the menu we enjoyed.

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The Fusion of Flavor

“Flavor is a fusion.”Julia Herz, CIA Beer & Food Summit 2015

Our taste buds stand at the ready to give us the sensory experience of our lives. If we can let our brain be led by our taste buds, we stand to gain a great deal.

Ginger & Julia in Vail, Big Beers fest 2016

Ginger & Julia in Vail, Big Beers fest 2016

Flavor is fusion. It’s combination of actual and figurative – we factor in our previous experiences with flavors in present day eatings. Keeping an open mind will help us all enjoy more, learn more, and share more.

I like the idea of flavor as fusion. We are combining what we just put in our mouths with what else we’ve had today, be it coffee, toothpaste or pancakes. It’s the mental gymnastics we allow to frequent out thinkings while consuming too. Can you remove that bad (insert your own no-thank-you food here) from trying it today? Many of us have a tough time doing that yet that’s precisely what we need to do to move forward and get past the bad.

Be “beer-minded” – think about what is going on, talk, discuss, ask questions. Flavor components and agents aren’t necessarily off-flavors – they are what they are by themselves. preference is different from quality; quality is more the realm of off-flavors and consistency & infection issues.

With a nod and a bow to Julia, be flavor minded. Enjoy the journey of beer and all its flavors available. Happy fusion awaits.

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Craft & What You Like

Craftsperson = attention and dedication to consistent excellence.

To each, their own.

To each, their own.

What is right = what you like, what your customers like

Clever + smart is only good if it’s appropriate and respectful to all.

Clever + smart is not good if it’s offensive to any.

Attention to quality is success.

Keep an open mind, like what you like, never judge.

Craft is a very individualized definition for each of us.

Women enjoy beer.

Diplomacy is queen.

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Celebrating Diversity

“Celebrate the diversity that’s available.” – Charlie Bamforth

Last fall I had the pleasure to speaking on a panel at the Culinary Institute of America’s first Beer & Food Summit. What a ball! The people present were all very engaged. It was a very mixed group from all sorts of backgrounds and professions.

Charlie Bamforth is a character in the profession of beer who has done much good work for the bigger idea

Friendly folks at the CIA, St Helena CA

Friendly folks at the CIA, St Helena CA

of beer. I’ve heard him speak a few times and he’s lively, funny, and gets to the point. To hear him promote the idea of celebrating diversity in what beer is today is encouraging.

The word Diversity seems to be everywhere today. No surprise there since our world is expanding, exploding and integrating faster than ever before (again, no surprise). Celebrating diversity in our mindbogglinglyfast changing world is a great approach.

Like a good friend of mine tells me, change is coming whether you want it to or not. May as well open your arms and welcome it.

Beer is good for celebrating. Celebrate what you like, what your friends drink and the abundance and variety diversity affords our tastebuds. Cheers to that ~

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Beer Businesses Changing Hands

If you’ve ever seen a sign outside a business stating “Under New Management” then you know things change.

Starting and operating a successful business is a unique proposition. For those of you who have done it, you know what I mean. For those of you who have not – either congrats or please withhold your opinions when someone does in fact sell their business to another.

There’s a lot of movement right now in beer – one beer business (read: brewery) selling to another person or entity. It’s really no one’s business except the parties involved.

Say you start Beer Business A. Your plan – aka dream – had long been to open your own brewery, employee people, bring the neighborhood together and build your dream. It’s a noble and common actuality.

Say you don’t have any inkling when you first develop your business plan on the exit strategy. Fine. Say you’re 5 years in and it’s a lot of work and you either keep your head down and keep plowing ahead trying to figure it out  or you start thinking ‘what’s my bigger plan?’ Say from there you decide to build it to the point where you can in fact sell it. All your hard work, thousands of hours of sweat equity and money can come back to you in the form of a sale. That sound rather good to some people. And some have planned for that eventuality to begin with, having had this particular exit strategy in mind all along.

Would you begrudge a hardworking friend the benefit of the fruits of their labors?

It’s what some would say is part of the America Dream: create a business from nothing, build it to the point of viable attractiveness to another person and then sell it. Kudos to you if that’s your plan: it’s a solid ordinary occurrence.

Celebrate the good things - including beer business sales.

Celebrate the good things – including beer business sales.

With all the kerfuffle lately over beer businesses deciding to sell to other parties, I’d take this tact: those maneuvers are theirs and theirs alone to determine. Anyone outside of the founders and owners are really not in a position to make any sort of armchair judgement or comments on who sold or, more inaccurately and cattily – ‘sold out’ – to others. Leave it alone.

The comments by a new owner or previous owner may ring hollow with the “nothing will change” line. of course things will change – there’s a new owner, how could things not change! Swing with the punches you’ve set yourself for. When you sell something, you no longer have control.

The beer community is better when we all support and sip as we so choose. When we judge, comment, and make unkind remarks about people who have built their own American dream we bring it all down.

Like the beer you like, accept who makes it or choose something else politely and kindly. With the virtually endless choices these days, we can play nice and still build diplomacy and community by welcoming everyone who wants to partake to do so in their own way.

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In Style, Out of Style

What precisely is style?

According to Dictionary.com, one definition is “a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character.”

When you think about beer, what is it about style that really matters?

I’ve long extolled that style is way less important than flavor in first learning about beer. Flavor should be taught first, long before the style conversation gets off the ground. Listen to your own sensory system, not someone else’s.

What's your style?

What’s your style?

Learning to name and identify flavors and aromas will get the beer enjoyer much farther along than having to learn style first. Yes, there’s most certainly a place for style. And people like to categorize things anyway, yet it should come much later.

When we learn to name flavors, we can really lean into our sipping, trying, sharing and asking. Learning what flavors appeal to us, which we would rather not partake of and still learn to appreciate, we become a smarter beer drinker. A savvier beer enthusiast. This is good for everyone in the beer equation.

Next week I’ll have the pleasure of being in Central Iowa to deliver a lively & educational talk, Beer Sense, courtesy of the Des Moines chapter of Barley’s Angels. I’ll be covering learning to smell and taste your beer, since it’s the very beginning in learning to enjoy beer for me. You can get details and register here – women & men are all welcome.

Beer is a lot like art: it’s personally subjective. Like what you like. Look at everything, taste everything – you can only say you don’t like something after you’ve tried it. If you’ve not had a particular beer in at least two months and you think you don’t like it, try it again. Beers within the same style can taste remarkably different too to taste around. Give all beer a fair shake to please you.

While some trends are short-lived, certain trends never go out of style. Beer styles proper aside, find your own style. I hope it’s an Open Minded style, welcoming to all ideas of what beer can be and is the world over.

See you next week!

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There’s Nothing Better Than Knowing

The Texas Restaurant Association hosts the 2nd largest restaurant show in America. Having been invited to present on various educational stages the last two years, I can testify it’s a biggie.

All Texas jokes aside, they hit many nails on the head as far as beer in concerned. For instance:

  1. The size of the craft beverage pavilion doubled from 2015 to 2016.
  2. They dedicated funds to bring an expert in (me) to deliver talks related to beer in the restaurant business.
  3. They actively invited media based on what’s going on in the beverage categories, beer and other choices.
Knowing makes a difference.

Knowing makes a difference.

Beer is pretty darn remarkable. As I tell audiences, it’s amazing incredible beer. And it’s just beer.

Beer comes to life when we foster, nurture and support all beer. Part of all of these is education. And with a nod to the opening post title above, knowing matters. Knowing includes all the classic journalistic questions that accompany a healthy relationship with beer.

  • Who – makes it, drinks it, supports it, wants to bring it down
  • What – beer & all its myriad possible ingredients
  • Why – because (originally) it sanitized water rendering it safe to drink, now – flavor, status, refreshment
  • When – in moderation, daily, weekly, frequency is a factor
  • Where – where legal, in social gatherings, at home
  • How – carefully, thoughtfully, responsibly

The TRA and beer providing the platform for its members and visitors at the show to know. I’m glad to be a part of what can help them equal success.

There’s nothing better than knowing what’s going on in our world around us – and it’s up to us to stay in tune. Get out there, get educated and you’ll support beer overall. Thanks.

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Are You A Personal Check?

What’s it feel like to be excluded?

Unable = choice. Everything is possible.

Unable = choice. Everything is possible.

This clipping shouts NO WAY loud and clear. So imagine if you’re a check. Or a woman. Or whatever… Communication that states you’re distinctly unwelcome is discouraging at best.

As I get close to completing my first book on marketing beer to women, this little slip of paper I have kept for a few years seems to have jumped out at me today. “Use me!” it screamed….and aptly so.

Some establishments that serve beer welcome women. In fact some don’t look at “who” at all. Kudos to them.

Others judge us when we walk in; female, male, whatever. And that sets an unhelpful, disrespectful tone which holds us all back – and very much on purpose. If you’re plainly advertising that some element of society is not just unwelcome – that you’re excluded on purpose, then hell. It’s time to immediately turn around and find an environment with open arms.

Last week I was delivering a very lively and interactive presentation on the customer experience. At one point I told the audience, “Look – change is coming at you every day, no matter what you do. You may as well open up your arms and welcome it.” With a big nod to Mike who shared this brilliantly right insight years ago, it’s so damn true.

The choice to adapt – aka Change – is yours. The choice for beer makers, sellers, and purveyors to welcome women is theirs. Yes, we can scream bloody murder, we can rant, rave & protest.

Change will happen when the powers that be realize that change is marching forward whether they want it to or not – and then open their arms.

The place where I got this snippet of paper is closed today. While it might perhaps be a stretch to say their demise was based on not welcoming personal checks, I do believe that any time you choose to put up barriers to customer engagement, you’ve intentionally shot a hole in your own balloon.

Besides, checks are still very easily navigable at your banks. Sign your name, cash it – and then deposit the cash. (props to Mike Wagner for that tip). No risk, all deal, easy. Plus they’re not “unable” – they’re choosing not to. Big difference here.

Welcome your customers and how they transact. After all, what’s next after no checks?

Checkmate.

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Hiring A Female Brewer Isn’t The Point

Hiring the right brewer is. No matter the gender, hire the right brewer.

I get plenty of calls and emails from people who think they want to hire a female brewer; to, you know, get more women into brewing.

Excuse you…what???

I’m always encouraged and simultaneously nauseous at this thought; that someone wants a female brewer as a token of gender parity. Here’s the crux of the issue.

  1. Women have always been involved in beer; the idea of a female brewer is not a new one.
  2. Women as brewers does not automatically exonerate an entire industry flagrantly negligent at proactively bringing more women up and into the industry.
  3. It’s got to start at a childhood level. Female children need to actively see and experience that the beer world can offer a worthwhile career, and not just to be a brewer.
  4. There’s a whole world of purpose in beer, for livelihood and recreation. We must include females and women of all ages in every single beer conversation to make gender equity progress.

Don’t be offended if I send you this link when you tell me you want to hire a female brewer, and can I make some recommendations. To this request, I’ll tell you:

  1. It’s about the qualified person, not the gender of the people who are qualified.
  2. Inclusion must be pushed and actively managed through every age and stage of human development. Think I’m overstating it? I don’t.
  3. Ask yourself: why do you think you want a female as a brewer? Do you also want a female as a ____? Or a male as a ____? Would you pick the wrong person in any role if you could help it? Do you look at other beer roles with the gender lens? If so, stop it. That does more damage than good. This isn’t about affirmative action – it’s about equity starting from birth.
  4. We must ask you a question....

    We must ask you a question….

    Would you call an Asian person to ask for a recommendation for an Asian brewer? How about an Africa? Or a transgender? No, I’m not being flippant or disrespectful. I’m being real. To qualify only on gender is  a mistake.

  5. There’s a very fat fine line to this entire idea: Yes, more women in beer would make it a MUCH better industry, hands down. And we must start at the beginning, not look for panaceas or bandages to slap over the sexism and problems the industry robustly has with gender inequity (if even supposedly inadvertently, though I don’t buy it).
  6. We can change the entire industry in a very short time span. We can fulfill a much more gender equitable bill of lading, have a more realistic population representation within 5 – 10 years with everyone speaking up, and bringing up qualified people of all makes and models. This includes cleaning house of poor current employees, no matter their orientation.
  7. Who said anything about gender having to do with talents, skills and potential?

So – if you ask me if I can recommend a few qualified females, would I help you find a female brewer – the answer is no. I’ll turn it around to ask you why a woman? Why in that position? And what have you done for the last – oh, say 20 years to promote gender parity overall?

Once you can reply to all of those, we can talk. Otherwise it’ll be empty, hollow and misguided (however ignorantly considered).

Everything is possible. More women in beer has gotta start with each and every one of us. And it doesn’t start with finding a female brewer.

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Beer Drinkers Code Of Conduct

Here’s my Beer Code of Conduct Rules for enjoyers, drinkers and buyers of beer.

  1.  Drink what you like, always following your own taste buds, brain and ideas of what beer can be.
  2. Accept whatever type and flavor of beer someone wants to drink. Always support them in their own beer pursuits.
  3. Welcome all comers to beer, whether they drink beer or not, whether they drink beer or prefer another beverage. The more we all gather, talk, and discuss over a beverage of any sort, the more progress humankind can make.
  4. Buy someone a beer the next opportunity you have. Pay it forward, balance out their tab and talk to your servers and beertenders about how you can surprise someone with the gift of a bought beer. It feels great and builds community.
  5. What path do you follow to promote beer?

    What path do you follow to promote beer?

    Support whatever breweries you wish, with total happy abandon. Listen only to your guiding lights and braincells, dismissing naysayers who aren’t you. You know what you like – support that.

  6. Advocate & practice Beer Diplomacy always and in all ways. The whole rising tide saying needs all boats; the tide is egalitarian and blind to what kind of boats and what kind of occupants. Diplomacy makes real things happen in our world.
  7. Share your beer. If you’ve got two people and one beer, split it. Give others a taste, a try, a sample, a bottle, a can, whatever container you are getting in beer – share it. Beer is always better shared.
  8. Give the gift of beer. Stock up on a few beers you love to share and give them as host gifts the next times you’re invited to a party, gathering, dinner, brunch, birthday. What. Ever. Beer is a celebration of flavor and camaraderie.

Any you’d add?

Cheers & keep enjoying.

g

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Stories about Women & Beer

Where are they: stories about women and beer?

I know from doing previous herstorical research that women have always been involved in beer and brewing. It started as a home chore, making liquid safe to drink when water was consistently onerous. Once the church decided to remove it from home-made to commercially made during the industrial and scientific revolutions, women were shoved aside, no longer the venerated makers of the elixir they once were.

Everyone needs to know about women and beer. Phil & Larry will be the first in line.

Everyone needs to know about women and beer. Phil & Larry will be the first in line.

So where did the record keeping ball get dropped?

It’s a grossly unfortunate fact that much of women’s’ contributions throughout time have not been recorded; women not being seen with fully and equal value, hence the negligence of recording women’s beer herstory.

There’ll be no pity parties or Poor Me crap. No one wants to hear it, least of all me, and it won’t move the progress cart forward. So, here are your marching orders: help me record women & beer through herstory.

So it’s time to reinvigorate and renew our efforts to record how women have always been involved; bring the import of women & beer to the front row. Sing the praises of women far and wide for their participation in this originally home-cooking based beverage.

Tell me: who do you know involved in beer in any & every way?

  • Maker, home or pro.
  • Pro, in any possible capacity supporting the business and global industry of beer.
  • Enthusiast, all makes and models, ages and descriptions.
  • Educators, any level, every where, teaching some facet of life that touches beer.
  • Writers, reporters, journalists – every woman and female who exercises communication of beer.
  • Every other facet that we can possibly dream of.

I’d be grateful for your help, directions, and ideas to this end of creating a modern recollection of how women and beer go so well together. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Local: For Better Or Worse

As I am entering the final few weeks of (at least one stage) of writing my first book on women & beer, I am running across some super fascinating and distracting insight. Women have graciously provided insight, opinions, and ideas for almost 8 years on their relationship with beer.

So today the word and concept Local is on my mind.

  • What does local mean to you?
  • What does it include and what does it discount? Why, for both, for you?
What's your definition of Local?

What’s your definition of Local?

For the book, I’ve worked on expounding on 10 fundamental questions from the original 2012 Women & Beer survey. The one that inspired this post is question 10: What does a beer company, restaurant, bar or distributor have to do to get you to buy from them more than once?

The connection and reply to this question is that a handful of women indicated that they’d return if the establishment carried, made or sold local beer.

So what does this mean – what exactly is local beer? And why do women want it?

This is where you come in. I’d appreciate your own opinion and reasoning to this query.

It used to be local meant down the street, in the same town and otherwise grown or made by someone nearabouts. Then it graduated to 100 miles; then 300. Now…well, to each their own definition (much like ‘craft’).

Is local better? Is it worse? Does it matter? If so, how so? If not, why not?

Thanks in advance for chiming in. I’m always interested in your thoughts. Cheers.

g

p.s. the book is due mid September 2016, a guidebook to marketing beer to women…stay tuned!

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Ginger Beer, Micheladas & Ginger Beer

Pints up to the fantastic & very good sports who joined me for a bit of performance art at the TRA Marketplace show last week in Houston, Texas.

Sasha & Ginger at TRA.  It'd call it 'delish-elada!

Sasha & Ginger at TRA. It’d call it ‘delish-elada!

I was lined up to give two What’s Hot In Craft Beverage sessions in their recently expanded Craft Beverage Pavilion this year (gave 2 last year too). In plotting the sessions, I thought: “Let’s invite some of the terrific exhibiting businesses.” So I reached out to 4, 3 reached right back, almost immediately, and I invited them to join me on stage.

Props to the following guests who sat with me (check out the TRA’s Facebook page [TX Rest Assoc] for the recorded sessions). Here’s a bit about them. Follow the links to learn more.

  • Sasha & Juan Sotelo, Triple S Michelada – yum yum yum! Check out their story and enjoy their super flavorful beverage as a stand alone drink as well as a mix choice.
  • Zack Silverman, Kelvin Slush Company co-founder. When’s the last time you had a slushie??? How about one with delicious enhancements? They had 4 refreshing choices – I sampled them all.
  • Paul Imbesi, NAB representing Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Of course I noticed this right off the bat. And Paul was a fun and gracious guest, sharing the unique story of how he helps bring Barritt’s to the USA.
Zack, GJ & Dave/TRA enjoying a great vibe at TRA.

Zack, GJ & Dave/TRA enjoying a great vibe at TRA.

I’m always grateful for people who are willing to interact – sometimes even when they’re unsure of what’s going to unfold. As a presenter, I have to be ready for anything, and prepare for everything. Having guests bolster a simple talk skyrockets the value for the audiences and begins very fun and fruitful relationships.

The gist: Invite others to work together. It’ll add so much enjoyment and purpose to your work. All my guests we’re easy to work with and guide and I appreciate the hard work they all do, day in and day out. Props to their colleagues too, for tending the booths while we were in session (Helena, Nick & Rodger – this means you!!).

One post-show thought for me to all of this: I’d gladly invite them again, and I’d welcome working with all of them. They are sharp, interested in making a true difference in the beverage and restaurants communities and in their own lives. Doing what you love drives a lot of success.

Drive on.

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What’s Hot In Craft Beverage

June had me returning to the Texas Restaurant Association’s annual TRA Marketplace show. It’s the 2nd biggest restaurant association show in the country – and well worth going for restaurant pros in Texas and in other areas.

Education is always worth while. You’ve got to invest in yourself within your industry and chosen communities to best serve yourself and your clients.

This year I presented three different sessions, 2 of which were What’s Hot in Craft Beverage.

Some of my fine colleagues in the Craft Beverage Garden, TRA 2016

Some of my fine colleagues in the Craft Beverage Garden, TRA 2016

For the What’s Hot sessions I ran through some insight on the various beverage categories, with an emphasis on alcoholic ‘craft.’ While I usually don’t use the word craft in beverage, it can hold some meaning for industry pros.

Here’s some of the insight I shared.

2016 Trends in beverage include: House made (everything), beverage and food pairings, in-house made ice cubes, smoked & grilled, bubbly, tea, creative garnishes and ingredients, tasting menus, fermented drinks (i.e. kombucha).

  • For Beer: count on seeing more of sours, ‘session’ (lower alcohol), canned choices including Crowlers, nitro pushed, and growler stations.
  • In Wine: aging in spirits barrels, alternative packaging choices, red blends, the growth of specific varietals.
  • Spirits will give us: more than 900 (projected) distillers, whiskey, gin, vodka and rum running forward + herbal liqueurs and house made cocktails with fancy ice cubes and lower alcohol choices.
  • Cider: it’s still holding with big growth in the UK that the US, though still moving upwards in the US.
  • Mead: keep enjoying the honey explosion! Small batch honey will feed this tasty beast.
  • Sake: The nightlife scene is seeing more popularity here and the popularity of Japanese foods in North America will fuel this progress.
  • In Alcohol-Free: watch for fancy and artisan ‘craft’ sodas with root beer, ginger beer and orange leading the way, mixers including tonics are growing, and various ‘waters’ are pushing upwards.

So what’s a beverage drinker to do? Enjoy whatever you wish, responsibly. There are choices for us a’plenty, and business a’plenty of the beverage businesses.

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Marketplace Power

  • Who’s got it? Women.
  • Who knows it? Women. Some men, a few beer brands.
  • Who needs to know? All the others.

Here’s the deal: I got a notice for an art show recently that had only 1 woman with 4 other men. Why, I ask?

This is totally avoidable. So what did I do? I have written a letter, to go out in the post this week to voice my concern.

Marketing power is developed and held by those in the marketplace who have some form of leverage. In the case of women and beer, women absolutely make the majority of purchasing decisions and they need to speak up more to eliminate sexism in beer.

Write letters – paper and pen type communications – that aren’t easily ignored or deleted. Make phone calls (vs. emails) and insist on speaking with the people who set the course for the company and those who make the marketing decisions. Ask them direct professional questions on anything you find objectionable and sexist. Listen. Keep challenging when you find they seem to not listen.

Yep, it's all of us speaking up that make the change happen.

Yep, it’s all of us speaking up that make the change happen.

Sometimes it’s easy to be eaten up by the negative vibe that sexism is. That said, we all can and must turn it around to make it work against the very problem it is.

Like I stated in my TED talk: Stand Up, Step Up, and Speak Up. In this case I wrote up – you can to. I encourage you to do so: start this week with one letter. Be sure it’s civil, succinct and not a rant. That’ll just push everything back.

We’re all responsible for developing and defining our own power. To women & men everywhere: speak up when beer is sexist. It’ll make a world of change. We all deserve better – so does the beer. Thanks.

 

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The Bully Beer Pulpit

“It’s different to talk about beer with a beer savvy audience than it is to talk to a non-beer audience.” – Julie Johnson

Julie is right. And that lesson is on my mind a lot these days since I’ve got a variety of non-beer (focused, yet included) work coming up soon.

The Texas Restaurant Association is one such audience. It’s a thrill to be returning to the nation’s second largest restaurant industry show to talk about marketing, beer, and business.

Julie’s quote above will help guide me to success as I keep a few things in mind.

  1. All of us in business need marketing guidance; no matter where our beer education is.
  2. Beer has much to teach us in the business world, like how important it is to savor the experience.
  3. Marketing is critical to success of all kinds, no matter tax-status or locale or size of business entity.
Terrific panel at the 2015 TRA Marketplace

Terrific panel at the 2015 TRA Marketplace

When I head to Houston in a few weeks, I’ll be delivering a few talks: Beyond the Deep Fryer Better Beer & Food Pairing for Better Business Success as well as What’s New Right Now? in craft beverage.

Clearly the titles have been set…and to paraphrase my friend Marti, I’m ready to direct the talk where ever the best direction seems to be, outline or not. The audience always knows more of what they want to know, than I can surmise. So it’s really important to me – as an educational speaker – to take care of the questions they brought with them. I can always send a follow-up outline to attendees afterwards.

The show hosts thousands and thousands of people, hundreds upon hundreds of vendors, and dozens of speakers & events. It’s important to me – as it is the attendees – to invest our time wisely and give & get what will provide value and meaning.

Beer invariably infiltrates talks I give, including my TED talk. I bring it into the conversation because it’s part of who I am. And I’m aware that the TRA crowd will be interested insofar as whatever beer insight I give them will help them improve and build their businesses.

I could talk about marketing all day long – I love it. The TRA Marketplace is be an ideal opportunity to integrate, overlap and connect the dots. Sound hospitality business includes smart marketing; if you hold a license to serve, then knowing about beer and how it affects your success is also important. I combine both, for varied audiences, with success.

Speaking is an activity and work I truly love. Making sure the audience can relate and find useful takeaways is my goal. Call me when I may be at your service in this capacity. ‘Tis always a pleasure.

 

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Waving At Cops

I’ve long had a book title in my mind: Waving At Cops. It’d be a book about smaller towns and how it’s important to wave at everybody to build your world.

I feel the same way about beer. I want to wave at all possibilities, give them all a chance, invite them all in. And why not? There’s flavor aplenty to discover. And I want to share it all with those around me.

Class of 2007, Sheriff's Academy, Story County IA

Class of 2007, Sheriff’s Academy, Story County IA

Perhaps this thought is front and center right now because I’m writing my book on women & beer. It’s on my mind because I think there’s so much more progress and value and life in the welcoming – the waving – to all beers.

It’s like waving at cops. Or the old lady who pushes her wheely cart on the sidewalk. Or the first grader with an oversized backpack. All of these people hold value and stories. They are all part of our neighborhood.

If everyone embraced welcoming & waving all beers and all people, I think the global neighborhood would indeed be a better place. I’m doing my part, waving at my local cops. And I’d encourage you to do yours. It’s fun, it’s good and it matters.

Go on, wave…..they’ll likely wave back.

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Summer School: CAMFA

A few years ago I introduced CAMFA, a beer learning concept I based on 5 elements of enjoying beer: Color, Aroma, Mouthfeel, Flavor, and Alcohol.

As we head full on into summer, I’d encourage you to use this fun, easy & memorable concept to fully enjoy your beer.

Enjoy using CAMFA with your summer beer adventures

Enjoy using CAMFA with your summer beer adventures

Here are a few things to keep in mind when using CAMFA:

  1. Color. Color is only color. Said another way, it’s not flavor so lets your taste buds speak to flavor, leave the color for your eyes only (, James).
  2. Aromaaaaahhhhhh! It’s one of the most delightful and oft overlooked elements of beer – aroma. Really breathe it in. It’s lovely to smell your beer.
  3. Mouthfeel, aka Texture. Mouthfeel is that surreptitious friend who enables us to really get our oral sensory receptors fully engaged. Put them to work.
  4. Flavor, aka Taste. Flavor is the number one reason women engage in beer (WEB research 2008 – present). Learn to try every beer you have opportunity to do so.
  5. Alcohol. Moderation is Alcohol best friend and is ours too. Beers full glory can be best appreciated when it’s consumed and therefore enjoyed in a modest fashion.

Enjoy your summer schooling in beer with CAMFA. I’d love to get your “What I Did This Summer” essay come fall – send ’em my way! And tell me all about your beer, CAMFA adventures.

Cheers ~

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