Great Combination

This past weekend I had the pleasure and privilege of hosting a beer & food tasting. The groups are always engaging, enjoyable and fun.


Well, because the audience I am targeting – female consumers – are so interested in being heard ala beer, that they are engaging, enjoyable and fun. They wanna know.

One combination I like to feature is an IPA with sharp cheddar cheese – and when in season – grapefruit as well.

cascade-hopsThe citrusy flavors and aromas of a good solid IPA pair beautifully with these food goodies. American beers that utilize Cascade hops will for sure find this to be true.

It’s eye opening, an ‘Ah-ha!’ moment for all who try it.

Message today – pair common foods with your beers. The educational opportunity is huge. Its take home value is also huge.

Fancy is fine later. Start basic (not condescendingly though).

Don’t you want their business?

Photo courtesy of Flickr by

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Did you get to enjoy Savor this past weekend? Unfortunately I was not there (this beer-foodyear) – hoping to go next year.

Beer awareness and de-demonizing beer is a good battle I plan to continue to help fight.

Beer – just like one bad snowmobiler, one bad teacher or one bad apple – is not the devil. It’s the one ‘baddie’, not the whole group. Over the years people have come to blame beer as a scape goat. Untrue. (Look instead to the corrupt sheepherder.)

Indeed, we all need to take FULL responsibility for our own actions, and the consequences of those actions.

Savor, I believe, is all about raising awareness that beer is a premium, affordable luxury. That, incidentally and happily, helped America grow and thrive.

Hats off, I say! Savor your beer (don’t guzzle or slam it) and you’ll be making progress. Beer is tasty, luscious, refreshing, satiating beverage. Enjoy it as such.

Savor it.

Photo coutesy of Flickr by lendandec14

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This I Know To Be True

Education leads to Awareness.

Awareness leads to Change.

So – how important is education to you? To your business model? To your future success and survival?

Are you aware? When’s the last time you brought someone in to rally the troops, really provide some good information, refresh, reinforce? Someone to raise awareness, educate, incite change?

Now’s the time.

the p.s. here is ‘what are you waiting for??’

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Bad Stereotypes

Granted, I don’t know of any good stereotypes…Generalizations are different. Stereotypes set up backwards, thwart progressive thought and hinder forward movement.

Plus small minds have always ticked me off. They tend to be narrow, selectively ignorant and mean spirited.

In any event, Allegra McEvedy is right on per this Times Online. Sent to me be the very fortitudinous and  sharp Rhonda Kallman (co founder of Boston Beer).

“McEvedy, a keen drinker of Guinness, feels very comfortable holding a pint. ‘The stereotypes around beer annoy me and get my back up. It is a fantastically crafted drink, but the most important aspect of it is taste and environment. I like to drink Sagres lager, London Pride, Guinness in winter, or Doom Bar beer in Rock in Cornwall. All of these have wonderful flavours — just like a glass of wine.’ ”

She’s English and the women there drink a much smaller proportion of beer in the UK (13% vs. American Women at 25%+).

Message du jour: get past stereotypes, in fact – throw them out, out, out!!! You only do yourself a disservice, never mind the victim of the stereotype.

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One Of The Best

There are umpteen beer festivals every year. And each of them is deserving in their own place, context, reason & season. Many are fundraisers – like the one I just

Enthusiasts at the 2008 GABF

Enthusiasts at the 2008 GABF

attended in Stillwater MN (Ala Rotary). All are great opportunities.

The Great American Beer Festival is one of my personal favorites. Why?

Well, I first went with my boyfriend to the 2003 festival. It was a HUGE eye opener. I had started dating him several months before, he’s a professional brewer so it was a very fun, slightly overwhelming indoctrination of beer. Wow.

Since then, I have attended just about every year, with my Husband (aforementioned boyfriend) and friends. Every time it’s fun, educational, and a terrific place to people watch. The souvenir tasting glasses you receive when you attend are a great reminder when you’re back home, thinking about good beers.

I’d encourage you to attend a variety of festivals this year. The people who put them on are in earnest, the brewers who attend (usually donate their beers) are eager to tell you more about them, and you’ll meet some great folks. Who you’ll most likely see at another festival again.

So if you go, look me up – we’ll enjoy a good beer together. (I’ll also be at the PBS meeting.)


p.s. LOVE the Madison WI festival too…then there’s…

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Quality by Dr. Michael Lewis

I have a high amount of regard for Dr. Michael Lewis. He’s a class act, educated, affable, well spoken, extremely well versed in all things beer. A gentleman.

So I was really pleased to be able to take in his presentation at the latest Craft Brewers Conference in Boston, this past April.

One indication of the aforementioned qualities is this quote, which he offered during his talk:

“Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean it’s bad or poor quality.”

It was in response to people referencing big brewers in the discussion. Indeed – to brew consistently, whether you like the taste of the beers made by industrial brewers or not, is quite remarkable.

Quality always outshines mediocrity or poor product.

How’s your quality of the beer, the customer experience and the authenticity of your brand (who you are)?

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It has occurred to me, from a few recent conversations, that I need to clarify something here.

Women. Men. It’s not a “vs.” situation.

we-are-awareDifferent genders are inherently different in how they approach the marketplace – and therefore how to market beer to them.

Please shift your thinking and consider that we cannot compare apples & oranges here. They are different, not on the same plane. And you cannot legitimately compare things that are not on the same plane.

We’re not talking about unequal either – don’t even go there. That’s not it at all.

It’d be like comparing dogs & cats, chickens & eggs, cars & airplanes.

So it’s not Women Vs. Men. It’s Women. It’s Men.

Photo courtes of Flickr by nurul H

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What Not To Do

Here’s a perfect example of an uneducated, uninformed direction.

Quite unbelievable when you think about it. How could a company that seems to be so progressive, on the edge, screw this up so badly??

Did they talk to their target market AT ALL?? Did they ask them what they wanted (not through the Dell lens or the expert lens of the mens lens) – obviously not.

Don’t be this example. Or this one – even worse!!! YIKES!!!

It’s not just an “oops!” – it’s potentially fatal and very damaging at the least.

It’s absolutely mind boggling to me that a company would put forth so much effort, and money, and be so terribly ill-informed and ignorant on purpose. It should be mind boggling to you too.

Still shaking my head…

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Direct Quote

Jeri & Ginger last summer

Jeri & Ginger last summer

Jeri, a good friend and mutually enthusiastic beer drinker told me this after our WEB  ACBW event with Dave Coy.

Thanks for the Mai Bock Beer tasting the other night… it was just great. Additionally, I can tell you that it really has changed my perspective on pale colored beers.  I actually even voluntarily drank some (name irrelevant) lager this weekend, without scowling and whining.  ~ Jeri”

If that doesn’t hit it on the head, then you should be.

Courting real women with real beer works. I can help.

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One characteristic that women find appealing in advertising when it’s done properly – to attract them to your brand – is humor.

Subtle, funny, appropriate, intelligent.

Here’s a great example.

St. Louis Brewery is consistent in their message, quality, and who they are. Well done, Dan, Otto & Crew!

Enjoy a good laugh and a good beer today.

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How Clean Are You?

You know the adage “Cleanliness is next to godliness…”

All idolatry aside,  cleanliness is important.

mop-bucketAnd you know what? Most women feel the same way.

When you have a clean establishment, they want to be there because they know you care. If the floor or corners are dirty, missed by the broom and mop – it’s noticed. When the bathrooms are unkempt and dirty (not just messy) – yesh! MAJOR negative. When the glassware and dishes are not paid attention to – that’s a no-no.

Said another way – if you don’t care then they certainly aren’t going to – enough to not patronize your business. This translates outward too. If they’ve been to your place (brewery/pub/taproom) and it’s dirty, they’re way less likely to purchase your products, beers, & goods from other sources as well.

So here’s a goodie for you: Keep Your Act Clean.

Cleanliness will have positive payoffs when marketing to women consumers – craft beer, lumber, clothing, whatever.

No one – women & men – likes to shop in a dirty messy place – and remember dirty is different than messy or sloppy. Dirty is much worse. Dirty says you don’t care, that you are unsanitary, careless and therefore your standards are low. (Stay tidy though, too.)

Tsk tsk. Such an easy thing to pay attention to and do well.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by sarahkiff

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highland-kashmir-ipaMy Uncle Lynn sent this to me recently…interesting.

He lives close to Asheville – so it seems to be a(nother) good reason to take him up on his invite to go visit.

Have you been to Asheville yet? Tell me which breweries I should visit. And if you live there too, let me know and we’ll enjoy a good glass together.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by shyzaboy

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Day 4

p10202561Thanks to Erik for posting on the days events April 24th – appreciate it.

Check out our comment banter on his blog for a little more…I always appreciate those who engage in dialogue vs. monologue.

I’d agree with you again Erik in that I wish there had been WAY more time to go in depth. This is the proverbial and literal tip of the tip of the iceberg.

Let me know when we can connect, Erik – the beers will be on me.


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If you enjoy beer. If you want to enjoy beer more. If you’re interested in learning to enjoy beer. If you’re looking for some beer education. If you’re looking for social opportunities to enjoy beer with others. The list goes on.

There are a healthy number of great choices/organizations/groups to investigate, support, buy memberships to and the like.

A few include:

There are guilds, professional groups, recreational groups, collectors groups; blogs, twitterers, publications; events, conferences, seminars. Way more than I could ever think of compiling and listing here.

Google it up – find a way to extend the support beyond that wonderful glass full of what you have.

To help perpetuate, to help the industry grow and thrive, we all need to be looking into the servant mentality part of the deal: Finding ways to support great beer.

Step up. Join in.

Find a group you’re interested in standing with today – and join.

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California Small Brewers Association

If you’re a ‘small brewer’ and are located in California perhaps we’ll have the pleasure of meeting up at the CSBA meeting this next Tuesday, May 19th.

The honor of presenting at one of their semi annual meeting has been given to me by the group and their Executive Director, Tom McCormick. A big thank you for the opportunity to be of service to the industry that I am passionate about.

Looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting new ones who will hopefully become familiar.

Call upon me when I may be of service to your guild, organization, business and group to address accurate and authentic marketing of craft/beer to female consumers. It’s an enormously undertapped market segment (gender is the incidental identifier) and a huge business opportunity.

How is your beer and brand relevent to women?

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Hats Off!

A big fat Thanks! to the BA and to Draft for the great photos per the recent Craft

Kate from Harpoon

Kate from Harpoon

Brewers Conference photos. if you’re a BA member they were sent to you. (Now’s a good time to join the BA if you’re not already a member – in the business, supporters, etc.)

It shows that a good time – and hopefully useful time – was had by all. What an incredibly engaged, fun loving, smart, progressive, group of people.

I see several familiar faces – including mine (!) as well as Rebecca, Alex, Dave, Tom, Mary, Steve,  the Cargill Crew to name a few.  Thanks to Harpoon for their gracious Hosting as well as Boston Beer (bummer to have missed the fresh lobster!).

See you in Chicago next year – although hopefully before. Cheers!

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YOUR Beer Drinkers

What are you doing to make beer drinkers YOUR beer drinkers?

Are you trying to find a ‘new’ market out there waiting for you? (Hint: it’s the 50.9% of the population that has traditionally not been marketed properly to).

There are many things you can do to make them YOUR beer drinkers.

What are a few ideas, you may be asking?

Alright, here are a few freebies today.

  1. Find out what they drink now. Put one of your beers that has some similar or complementary flavors side by side & ask them to try YOUR beer.
  2. Find out how you can encourage them to drink your beers – ask lots of questions.
  3. Act on that input. (action is the key to creativity working).
  4. Samples, sample, samples.

Go for it.

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