Locals’ Blindness

Do you seek out local beer?

If so, why?

If no, why?

As of today, here’s what Dictionary.com informs:

local

[loh-kuh l]
adjective
1. pertaining to or characterized by place or position in space; spatial.
2. pertaining to, characteristic of, or restricted to a particular place or particular places:

a local custom.
3. pertaining to a city, town, or small district rather than an entire state or country:

local transportation.
4. stopping at most or all stations:

a local train.
5. pertaining to or affecting a particular part or particular parts, as of a physical system or organism:

a local disease.
6. Medicine/Medical. (of anesthesia or an anesthetic) affecting only a particular part or area of the body, without concomitant loss of consciousness, as distinguished from general anesthesia.
noun
7. a local train, bus, etc.
8. a newspaper item of local interest.
9. a local branch of a union, fraternity, etc.
10. a local anesthetic.
11. Often, locals.

  1. a local person or resident:
    primarily of interest to locals.
  2. a local athletic team:
    the locals versus the state champions.
12. stamp (def 22).
13. British Informal. a neighborhood pub.
verb (used without object)
14. Informal. to travel by or take a local train or the like.

 

Where does beer fit? And does a definition of local matter to you?

Local is, to me, more of a concept.

Snow: local
Wrangler: no local
Dog: local now

It’s about what’s close by, what’s been made or imported by a neighbor – do you support your ‘local’ coffee shop? Great – unless you live in a coffee growing area of the world, the beans sure as heck aren’t local. So why does that fit for you (if it does)? Local grocer? Local mechanic? Local bakery? Cheese maker? Tailor? HVAC tech? Same idea…they may live locally or be based in a locale close to you, yet the totality of their operations rarely stand on an island of local only.

As for beer, yes, you likely have a local brewery. The majority of the American population has one within 10 miles of their home.

Beer is made of 4 primary ingredients: water, grain, hops and yeast. So what kind of grain is in the beer you enjoy and where is it grown? How about the hops? The major hops growing regions of the country are few and far (literally) between; does that affect what beer you choose, if you aim for local? Yeast – well, some breweries harvest some of their yeast to re-pitch in subsequent batches. And when they need new yeast, where does it come from? Do you know where brewers get their yeast?

The term “locals’ blindness” is a new one to me and I thought it an intriguing concept. From what I gather, having locals’ blindness means you’re blind to what is outside your own definition of what is local (chime in if you can help me out here). When we think of beer, it would seem that some people shun their own locals’ blindness when a local brewery chooses to sell to another company.

Does that make it less local? I don’t think so. Does it change the business? Well of course it does; how could it not. Yet if it’s still in the same locale, it can still be local to many.

That’s why I think it’s a sticky, overused and oft-misused word.

I notice when local is used and, all the same, I don’t get too caught up in what is advertised as local; it’s always been a global economy. And as long as we use salt in our diet, drink coffee and tea, and want beer in our glass, we’ll participate in the agricultural and product-creating world at large.

Cheers to local, whatever it may be for you.

Here’s a good read as it relates to focusing your dietary intake on local.

Comments »

What Will The Vote Tell Us?

NOTE: This post is a personal reflection of my own ideas today. Back to the ‘usual’ next time.

Today is an herstoric day in America: we’re in the final hours of a truly powerful presidential election. Day 0. What will we learn at the end of the day, when the votes have been tallied, when the polls are closed and the pundits (for once) are as quiet as the rest of us – awaiting the final count and outcome.

Some of the keys to me include the facet of how people have shifted their focus from gender to credibility. Thankfully, we’re past the gender garbage of wondering what that means. It simply means another person will be in office. That’s it.

Another key is that ethics have entered the public conversation, accompanied with ugly rearings of racism, sexism, and gross categorization and demeaning of certain members of our populations. It’s a double whammy when we remember that ALL people in the USA are immigrants, every single one. Even the native populations had to migrate from elsewhere at one time. Populations don’t simple materialize, they move and relocate.

So why am I writing about the presidential election on a site focused on women and beer?

Because the relationships are unmistakable to me.

  1. Ms. Clinton could be our next president; thereby raising the profile of the overdue full respect of women in America, ne – everywhere. One by one, example by example, with more and more women speaking up & stepping up and holding their own as humans – not as women – we make progress across the globe. Whether you like her or not is irrelevant. She’s qualified and understands the gigantic job ahead of her. She’s dedicated her entire life to public service, for better and for worse. And she’s weathered some remarkable storms.
  2. The denigration by Mr. Trump of so many people is almost unbelievable. Dictatorships, Democratic Republics, Authoritarian, Oligarchy, Totalitarian and so on. These systems could show up in different ways should he be elected, based on style of running his life. The lack of ethics and big think of the people, by the people and for the people. I have no beef with him personally – rather it scares the living crap out of me that anyone, of any make and model, gender, background and age, could potentially be set into one of the most powerful offices in the world. We’d go inevitably and damningly backwards, immediately.

There are so many more reasons why this particular presidential election is at the surface for me today. I woke at 2 by my dog barking and found myself wondering, “are the candidates already up or can they actually sleep right now?”

While we’re voting in a new president, we’re also voting in (and reelecting) many thousands of other individuals to carry forth our governing of this great country.

The country is already great. Yes, we have all sorts of ills to cure and correct. And it’s still one of the greatest countries in the world. We can go to the polls safely and in no fear for our lives. That’s great indeed.

So today, I’d make a request of you: Vote.

That’s what we can all do. Vote and encourage – do what you have to do to get the people you know to vote as well. We take for granted that we can do so freely now – that many, many people put their lives on the line – with some losing their lives in the interest that we may be able to do so freely and in an unharassed manner.

Never take freedom for granted. The election today is a crystal clear example of democracy in working order. Listen, inquire, challenge, question, appreciate, speak up, activate, do. Vote. Whatever you do, exercise that hard-earned right.

If you feel like you’re choosing between “a lesser of two evils” then I’d ask you to consider who is at least experienced and successful in the profession and world of politics.

The dominoes have been lined up and finally been tipped. I sent in my ballot a week ago. My fingers are crossed. I’ll be anxious to see what tomorrow brings. Thank you for reading.

Comments »

Beer & Hospitality

Hospitality = your customers living life through your brand.

What is your brand all about? Why is the story so important?

It’s important because that’s how buyers and customers make their decisions – based on the story you tell and live. They want to know how it came to life, what you do each day and how you’re continuing to live & build your business authentically.

Hospitality is the practice of inviting and welcoming people into your fold.

Hospitality is Queen.

Hospitality is Queen.

Great brands are hospitable to their customers. They hold the doors open, eagerly anticipating the arrival of these esteemed people. It’s a virtuous circle.

Women, men and all genders everywhere gravitate toward stories told to include them – to be aspirational as well as inspirational. Hospitality is the great sauce to pour into your efforts to invite everyone in.

Beer companies will do well to serve women – to be hospitable and treat them all with equal respect and regard. They do, after all, control the majority of spending in the USA. Check out the library if info here from Marti Barletta.

Rest assured: everyone is nobody’s market. You have to know who you’re marketing to. That said, beer business should absolutely want women. Women already want beer. Let’s connect the dots.

*

You can buy the book now: How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer, by calling 515.450.7757.

Comments »

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.

Comments »

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 ~

Comments »