Bridging…

Bridgeport sampler

Bridgeport sampler

We’re at the Bridgeport Brewpub as I type in Portland, Oregon. My Fine Husband is familiar Karl Ockert the brewmaster – who’s been here for some some (if not the original brewer). After we enjoy a tasty lunch (hopefully) we’ll be getting a tour of the brewery by Chris, one of Bridgeport’s brewery staff.

We’ve ordered the sampler of beers, which includes a plethora of tastes and styles. Can’t wait.

As I look around I see Crystal, the baker for the Bakery part of the company (which smells friggin’ amazing as we parked the car). I just went up and introduced myself – she was just featured in the Beer Northwest magazine for their goods (more like goodies). Very friendly, great smile. I told her the recipe they included in the article for Beerimisu was making me salivate! Can’t wait to try it.

Crystal, Baker at Bridgeport

Crystal, Baker at Bridgeport

Anyway, the sampler is here so off I must be! I LOVE their mission – “Every Beer. Every Time.”

Hope you have a really good lunch too.

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Gluten Free Tasting

p1030012Last night our good friend April held a tasting event for several fun lovers in Kirkland WA. Common denominator was gluten free. Got it. Easy to accommodate.

Why?

Because there are more and more choices for gluten free beers as well as numerous choices for hard Ciders.

Here’s what we had.

  • Course 1 Redbridge with soft tangy Chevre on a crisp soy rice cracker
  • Course 2Newton’s Folly Draft Cider with fresh Washington Honeycrisp apples, apple smoked garlic cheddar cheese on corn/potato/rice tortilla chips
  • Course 3 –  Fox Barrel Red Currant Cider with fresh spinach and mixed greens salad with local melon, pears and slivered almonds drizzled with Champagne pear Gorgonzola dressing.
  • Course 4Green’s Amber Ale with freshly smoked salmon
  • Course 5 Bard’s Gold with Dagoba dark chocolate

Mmmmmmm…. all tasty, all gluten free, all good.

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You Audi Try Beer

Connection on the road:

Driving to April’s, stopped at a stoplight. Car in left lane to us looks over, I smile nicely, he rolls down his window (my husband’s sitting there too – no wierdo he).

Man: “What’s that (points to sign on outside of the traveling van) all about?”

Ginger: “It’s about developing and serving the female beer drinker.”

Man: “What’s the website address?”

Ginger: “WomenEnjoyingBeer.com. I’ll be here for a few days.”

Man: ” And what’s your name?”

Ginger: “Ginger – thanks!

Man: “Thanks!” (light turns green we both drive away)

One thing I find powerful about beer is that most people want to talk about it. That’s tremendous especially since there are a lot of myths to bust, minds to stretch and education to impart.

Thanks to the friendly man in Kirkland (in the fawn Audi station wagon) for speaking up.

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Tasty in Seattle

April is hosting a tasting with tapas tonight in Kirkland (okay, so it’s just outside of Seattle). She invited 8 other people to come enjoy, learn, savor, try, and otherwise have a fun and enlightening time with beer.

She’s a good friend along our route who enjoys beer, likes the social element it can foster and is also a fan of good food appropriately paired with beverage.

p1030004It’s easy and simple to throw your own tasting event.

  1. Think of friends who would enjoy trying different beers; size of groups depends on the amount of room you have to comfortably sit your guests.
  2. Invite said friends over on a chosen day, afternoon or night.
  3. Plan some simple and complementary foods to go with the beers – foods bring out flavors in both parts of the equation.
  4. Serve beers paired with foods in courses. I like small plates to stretch it out and really make it be special.
  5. Enjoy.

Voila!

You can either provide the beers & foods yourself as host or you can ask comers to bring a certain thing to help share costs.

Either way, it’s a win all around for women & men & beer.

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Home Brew in Washington

We’re staying with established friends and new friends along the route. Right now we’re in Wenatchee WA with one of my college roommates and her fine family. The first night we got in her husband plied us (willingly ) with his remarkable home brews. Mmmmmm….

p1020937Last night again….okay, if you must twist my arm.

The great thing about these beers is that they taste great (well made) and they’re served in the proper glass.

I think the crowning glory is that they are savored with friends, as they should be. The good food we’ve been eating is also an added complement.

Cheers!

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Stunning

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

We are ever so fortunate in the USA to have an incredible parks system.

After we left a great stay in Jackson, Wyoming, we headed north into Montana via Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Wow.

For a very reasonable $80 you can buy an annual National Parks pass. Seriously – that’s all.

Think about everything that buys and supports. Pretty cheap.

We’re excited now to use it to the hilt. Enjoy some pictures from our leisurely drive through the park.

Fire damage

Fire damage

Snow lingers in the shadows

Snow lingers in the shadows

Gorge-eous

Gorge-eous

Reflecting

Reflecting

Yellowstone Hotel

Yellowstone Hotel

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For Pete's Sake

Pete in the Pub

Pete in the Pub

Hats off to Pete and the Grand Teton Brewing Crew who provided us with a comprehensive and fun tour last week in Victor, Idaho. Having had their beers several times before, it was fun to see where the magic happens.

They earned a GABF medal (again this year) and were a very friendly beer focused crew. Nice variety of beers, including a certified organic ale and some cellar reserve choices. The dinner table bottles of the cellar reserve make for a really nice beers to give and also to share with friends.

It was a gorgeous crisp day and after Pete (Pub manager, whom Rob graciously set us up with), we headed out to hike. Pete also gave us a good recommendation of a good

Hiking & Good Beer

Hiking & Good Beer

hiking trail close – which we dug into.

A refreshing beer after a 3 hour hike in freshies 12 – 18″ deep to rehydrate, savor and quench is a perfect way to enjoy a day.

Cheers!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

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Sssssuccess

Last night 19 women came together at Snake River for a Women & Beer event. They crammed the room full because they were interested in hearing about beer, talking about it and enoying others’ company.

p1020853We discussed history of women in beer, taste palates, how the micro movement has been a very good thing for craft brewing, how I got where I am (poster child story) and a ton more. Oh – and the tasting was big education for many.

The cozy room SRB provided, the 3 – 5 ounce pours of beer, the interest and then the questions….Questions generally start coming about half to two-thirds of the way into an event. The questions are really engaging, indicate the intelliegence of the female beer drinker and are great fodder for discussion. Plus it helps me continue to learn more so I can better serve.

Last nights group definitely gave me some more good things to think about and educate myself in. Just how I like it.

So cheers to Lenore, Ali, Tori, Jill, Jackie, Ashley and all the others. You made the evening great. As I have always said, the guests make the party.

I’d wager that the patrons who were present last night (everyone) will be trying more different beer from now on.

Thank you for the opportunity to spend upwards of two and a half hours together (originally slated for one and half!).

Thanks to Snake River – Chris for inviting me in and Ali, Sarah and the entire crew for being game and having fun with it. It was indeed my pleasure. Be very glad to come back to Jackson anytime. Preferably when there’s snow on the ground…or when it’s warm…or….

To you readers (brewers and consumer alike) – this is an excellent example of how Women Enjoying Beer educates, informs, provides a forum for discussion, empowers, and in general has a great time authentically and accurately serving the female beer consumer. Call upon me when I may be of service.

All for the love of beer.

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Snaking Through The Country

Snake River Brewing, Jackson WY

Snake River Brewing, Jackson WY

Tonight I get the distinct pleasure and honor of being Snake River Brewing’s guest for a Women & Beer event. If you can make it, still a few hours away, we’ll be upstairs from 530 – 7.

We’ll cover some women in beer history, female tastebuds, some termin-ale-logy and surely random other stuff as it comes up. The audience will be in charge. Plus SRB has kindly offered to give every attendee a few 5 ounce pours from their beer menu (I’ve selected 3 different ones to highlight).

Snake River is truly beer passionate with a tasty complementary food menu, a fun crew and a nice place to enjoy it all. Here are some pictures from the latest festival where I met Chris, who graciously invited me to Jackson. Can you tell they’re having fun?

Chris gave us a grand comprehensive tour yesterday too. I really enjoy tours and it was quite interesting in all kinds of good ways – including tasting some casks they have (sours! mmmm). I find brewers and breweries to be innovative (making things work for them), creative and  inventive. Sometimes you have to be so it serves them well.

Larry enjoying lunch at Snake River

Larry enjoying lunch at Snake River

Having fun and being passionate makes for a winning combination (alright, so they have some good business sense too). Said another way, when you’re having fun pursuing your passion, it’s alllll good.

Tomorrow morning we head for Grand Teton Brewing. Rob & Pete have graciously faciliated a tour. Can’t wait.

Cheers~

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Quick Quote

“You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.”

This doesn’t condone stupid drinking behavior, rather intelligent drinking said in fun.

Cheers~

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GABF: Worth Examining

p1020795Had the distinct pleasure of being filmed at the GABF this past week. A HUGE shout out of thanks to Jake, Nikki, Justin and the entire crew. It was a ball and a great place to spread the gospel of beer to women.

Take a look and listen here.

Good reading as well – per the winners list. I would venture a strong opinion that most every brewery who was there won. As did the festival goers.

Cheers!

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GABF Day 3

p1020824So far, it’s been a jammed packed festival. As always, it’s extremely dynamic, busy and fun. My conundrum is this.

There is SO MUCH information to share that I’ll need to  pass it along, parcel it out gradually. Julia, Jill, Bradley, Chris, Gary, Nancy, Andy, Paul, Charlie, Mark, Erin and all the rest…what an incredibly engaged and amazing group of people.

Media Luncheon, Farm To Table, tasting, meeting, connect, Pints for Prostates, PBS, Siebel, etc. Whew!

So today’s tidbit is this.

The festival increased its floor space by 46% this year. When cruising the first night, Thursday, it felt bigger and we noticed right away.

  • The aisles are wider and more accommodating
  • The congestion in front of the can’t-miss-this-beer booths easier to navigate due to increased space
  • And in general an excellent change

More beers, more space, more revelers, more people enjoying beer.

Having been on the other side of the booth in the past, I’d venture a guess the breweries really appreciated the extra space too.

More soon.

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Boulder, Avery and Great Women

C.V. and I at Avery tonight

C.V. and me at Avery tonight

Colorado looks great to me! Terrific beer, great people and mountains. Really I could die happy now (although I’d like to be around a bit longer).

We met up with C.V. at Avery per his shout out per the tour. He showed us all the amazing casks, happily maturing (my mouth is watering…). Brett’s are some of my absolute favorite beers…so lush, varied, flavorful and down right delicious.  Wine drinkers would definitely enjoy these kinds of beers. C.V. let us sample what we wanted and we tried 5 beers total. They’re in the throes of the GABF and all the ensuing robust enthusiastic traffic ala Beer.

A big thanks to him for his hospitality and the beers. See you again in Denver.

Also – what else – good women drinking beer.  Leah’s a home brewer with a beer entered in the Pro-Am competition at the GABF. We got to talk to her and Denise, both really engaged, happy beer drinkers. They live in Louisville and definitely enjoy thier beers

Denise, Leah & I at Avery

Denise, Leah & me at Avery

and all the flavors the vast range of beers have to offer.

In fact she’ll tap into a batch or two of beers that, once again, made my mouth water. Denise and Leah – be sure to get in touch when you’ll be tapping them. It’d surely be worth the trip to Kentucky.

Note: With the GABF fully on there was a really good mix of genders at the Avery Taproom enjoying beer. Keep in mind, beer is genderless; it’s about an opportunity more than anything.

After all, it’s all for the love of beer.

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Day 1, 2 , & 3

Well, on the road we are for the Home Free Tour 2009.  Here’s the breakdown for the start of the trip. This post will be a bit lengthy – my apologies for that today. Working on getting to know this new laptop and finding wifi spots, blah blah blah blah.

Day 1 (9/20)

Driving away from Ames, Iowa for the last time (as a resident) at 430 pm central standard time was a pretty good feeling. The people that have become friends and colleagues are terrific. Some things about the town are great – public library, Aunt Maude’s restaurant and a few other things…Overall though I was ready to go find good beer and great people.

Onward.

p1020755So day 1 was from Ames Iowa to Sioux Falls South Dakota, approximately 300 miles. Since we had out Home Free Odyssey minivan and the last (of 3) rental vans with our wordly goods, we didn’t break any speed limits.

As far as beer went that day – we had a Skinny Dip in the final throes of packing and that was it. Full day. Could have enjoyed another one or two session style beers.

Day 2 (9/21)

Waking up in Sioux Falls SD was a good feeling. It meant the trip was finally underway, the Odyssey had begun. Women Enjoying Beer – Across the Country. Game – or rather Beer on.

We had brought the very last of our bottled beer with us – a Boulevard Single Wide IPA…mmmm….The Boulevard people clearly understand how beer relates to everyone, women and men. When WEB was in KC in July, they showed Deidre (my associate in Beer) and I a great time and they were very accommodating. Hope to get back and do some collaboration. Supposedly a big posse of them will be at the GABF. I’ll be on the look out for them.

Beer Encounter – At a bank to take care of some business, we were served by a customer conscientious woman named Virginia. She not only explained some things to us, that other banks had failed do (sidebar – a little education goes a looooong way), she told me that she didn’t like beer.

Hmmmm….my human travel companion and Fine Husband smiled and told her “I bet Ginger can find a beer you like.” That’s a bet I’d take – she says she likes wines. Great! I’ll surprise her when in Sioux Falls next with a few beers to try. And then take her temp-beer-ture again.

AJ & Tucker

AJ & Tucker

Some good friends let us crash at their home – thanks to the Breck crew! Here’s AJ and Tucker.

Last night then for dinner we went with a friend to a newer eatery, a pizza joint. Why do so many restaurants spend so much time and effort (and money) on their menu/food items and the beer seems to be a hiccup or afterthought??

  • Good food demands good beer.

At a minimum have a variety so your patrons can try the beers just like they try the foods. Pay attention to requests, listen and pass along suggestions to the vendors and distributors. This place billed itself as a New York style pizzaria. Why not have NY beer? Or at least a better selection?

Day 3 (9/22)

On the road again, headed south to drop off the rental truck in Sioux City Iowa. My Fine Husband brewed there once upon a time at what was then Fourth Street Brewing right downtown. Before we got there though, the phone rang and it was a gentleman from New Jersey. He’d found me online and had a few questions so we talked for a short bit. Hope to connect again, that he acted on my suggestions and found them of value so will call back for more. Plus – of course – along the trip, we’ll be on the East Coast so I’d be in his neck of the woods to be available.

Shameless piece. As far as I have learned (tell me if I am wrong) I am the only one ‘out there’ working on women & beer, developing and serving the female beer consumer. The info I collect and have available is solely WEB’s. Call me when I can help.

Appropriate and attractive glassware

Appropriate and attractive glassware

After dropping the van off we headed to Omaha, first stop Upstream Brewing. The wireless or our newness to the wireless world kept us from successfully logging in. Jody, the tender, Merit (sp) host, and Ryan, their banquet person, were all very friendly and answered a few questions. Hope to connect with them in the new year.

The first stop was actually going to be the new Lucky Bucket, Zac T’s new brewery. He’s in Denver already and Jason, his partner, was otherwise occupied. Next time.

Onward to the Apple store where I sit right now blogging. We just had out first One to One session with Brandon, Apple dude. He’d checked out my blog (thanks Brandon!) and was very fun to have as our instructor. He was even hip on being part of the tech support for the Home Free Tour. We’ll see what we can do about that

Apple Jack, otherwise known as Brandon

Apple Jack, otherwise known as Brandon

which would be great since technology is not my first language.

So tonight? We’ll settle into a good dinner with beer with friends. Homemade chili. What kind of beer to you like with Chili? The Girls, labs Belle and Hops, will enjoy some leg stretching with their dog, Luci.

Have a great night, thanks for tuning in. More (less lengthy posts) daily.

Cheers ~

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Bear With Me…

The house is a jumble, although a somewhat empty one (it’s sold though!), plans are laid and we’ll be underway for our Home Free Tour starting Sunday.

Bear with me as my posts will be thin until next week.

Belle & Larry prepping the van for the tour

Belle & Larry prepping the van for the tour

I can tell you I’ll be at the Great American Beer Festival which kicks off next Thursday as well – will you be headed to Denver?? It’s a fantastic time, educational opportunity and terrific place to meet and catch up with a great genre of people.

Thanks for your patience. Hope to see you along the way –

Ginger

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Miss/Information and Ass/Umptions

This kind of quote scares me. It’s a perfect example of someone being totally off base.

I’m not saying opinions are invalid – yet uninformed or ill informed or prejudgment type statements are dicey at best.

How did the Faust’s  come to that conclusion (last line of the article)?

  • Did they actually ask a cross section of women?
  • Did they make this erroneous assumption themselves based on what they think women want?

It’s always disappointing to read or hear ignorantly stereotypical, uninformed statements.

One interpretation is that this Mr. Faust (and Ms. Faust?) sees most women at his winery drinking wine. Well…kind of goes to follow that that would be a case, yes? I would venture a guess most men visiting his winery would also drink the wine. Just like most people visiting breweries drink the beer.

I can help correct this incorrect mindset (and therefore increase your business) with a focus group execution of their specific market share, locals and supports who would (I guarantee) change his mind.

As an aside, Kim of Nebraska Brewing was at my session at the CBC this past spring so I know she knows that women do in fact enjoy beer.

Open your mind to the other 50.9% of the population (and business) and you’ll be richly rewarded.

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Ode to Ode

Anyone (else) read Ode?

I like the mission – Community for intelligent optimists.

Cheers for good news, stuff that can motivate us and keep us all going.

p1000881So a friend passed me the July 2009 copy recently – page 6 in the hard copy, link here. “Zen and the art of drinking beer.” Hmmmm….yea??

The correlation of meditative beer drinking, slowing down, enjoying the moment and therefore the flavor and all the deliciousness of beer.

Sung is correct “We can meditate on anything we choose”.

I’ve got the beer part down. Meditation is next.

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Maine2

For those of you who tuned in yesterday, you read about a Maine Beer, Gritty’s – with 3 locations in that fine Northeast state.

It brings me to a comment made by Rob Tod (clever profile by the way), founder of Allagash, another fine Maine brewery.  The comment was made at a CBC panel discussion…and really the context is adaptable. Of course it was in reference to “Keeping It Real”, the panel topic of the session.

Regardless of the context, I liked the inferred meaning – and feel like you can plug it in, in many ways, many different situations.

“It’s not a big thing, it’s not a small thing, it’s just a thing.”

How many things do we make too big or too small when we should just deal with it as is?

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Beer Generosity

Some of you may know my associate, Deidre. She’s a great fit for the beer business we are working on – determined, smart, diplomatic, assertive, willing to make the ask, loves beer.

Gritty's Halloween Ale

Gritty's Halloween Ale

She recently got in touch with Gritty’s per their beers. Well, fun story short, Ann Ewing and Thomas Wilson were able facilitate us trying their Halloween Ale.

THANKS! To Diedre for reaching out, to Ann for reaching back, and to Thomas for sharing.

My thoughts? Tasty fuller bodied beer which will surely go well with lush flavored fall foods; squashes, roasted vegetables, grilled red meats.

And Ann – I’ll hope to see you in November during my cross country trip. I’ll take you up on some good beers & food when we come through Maine.

Cheers & Happy Labor Day All ~

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