Raft & Craft – Day 2

Life jackets for the river rafting

July 19th

Yaaaaaawn…smack smack….waking up with the natural light is a treat. That’s how day 2 came about on our Raft & Craft Trip. After a fantastic first day, we’re all all-ready for another one.

Everybody rousted out and up to breakfast at 8, with one slow riser who came happily and sleepily in a bit into the meal. No real big deal…we’re on relaxed mode. After a brief good morning and a warm breakfast, we returned to our cabins to pack and be at the river for day 2 by 9:30 to set out.

So we were. Loaded up, ready to go and off we went at about 945ish – another blue sky sunny day ahead of us on the Rogue.

View from the pontoon style raft

I kayaked again for a short bit then was happy to give it to a guest for the rest of the day. I tell you what – I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed and alert at the same time! Riding on the raft, soaking up the sun like a sunflower, and feeling so well taken care of.

The morning was smooth again with a variety of rapids as well as an opportunity to jump into the river and float along with the rafts with a life jacket – very refreshing. One of the other kayakers joined the Dunkers Club too!

We stopped for lunch for more fresh tasty fare with a cliff high view of the river. After we were full we set out for the Rogue River Lodge, an historic stop along the river with a colorful history including past visits to some Hollywood celebs years back.

Historic Rogue River Lodge

We meandered around, taking in the museum, a few of us jumped into a crystal clear swimming hole (COLD – whew!), and then headed back to our rafts.

It was only a short bit downriver till our nightly lodging – Marial Lodge – which was entirely lovely and comfortable. The crew proceeded to group unpack again – many hands, you know – and took to assigned cabin rooms. As I offered up to meet in one hour later for the beer tasting upon our arrival, several of the goers said “We have to wait an hour?!”. Good response….and it told me the guests were thoroughly enjoying a great combination trip.

After everyone was once again showered up and had wandered back to the lodge, I had the table set

Tasting night 2

and ready for the 2nd night of beer tasting and pairing. Here’s the menu we enjoyed:

MMMMMMMMM! Again, met with happy enthusiasm and ‘mmm-ing’ all around.

Dinner in the adjacent dining room followed our tasting on the deck and we all savored a dinner and good company, including 2 other guests staying at the lodge. One of the very unique things about Marial Lodge is the turn tables at the tables – space saver, serving genius. Our host Lori told me her uncle, who had the lodge previous, hated wasted or unused space.

Marial Lodge on the Rogue

The rest of the troop bug doped up and went for a walk. I stayed in and lazily read a few of the books on the coffee tables in the lodge – history, stories, nature.

One can only take so much stress, so I headed to bed as the sun went down. Ready to get an abundance of sleep again before day 3.

‘Night!

Tomorrow – Day 3

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A Call From Joy

And what a call it was!

Joy & Ginger - raring to go!

Joy Henkle, White Water Warehouse, called me on a random (to me) day in May. She had found my site and was looking for interesting topics and people to write about.

She got ‘interesting’ (!) and we connected almost instantly. Thankful I am for her reaching out. Because one thing quickly lead to another and we put our heads together to hatch the inaugural Raft & Craft tripfabulous white water rafting paired with delicious craft beer tastings at days end.

Brilliant Joy!

Joy and her Husband, Bob Meister, own and operate White Water Warehouse, a very competent class rafting company based out of Corvallis OR, one of the heart beats of the Hops industry in Oregon.

The trip went off smoothly July 18th – 20th with a great group of folks including very gracious guides and hosts – Bob and Guy.

The next three days will be the story of our trip from where I sat on the raft.

Enjoy the read – and know that there are more of these trips on tap for 2011. It’s a great time to plan now for a glorious adventure next year.

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Unfamous Beer Enthusiasts

A few unfamous beer enthusiasts hard at it

Let me tell you about a few unfamous beer enthusiasts.

1. Sue. She’s come to the Women Enjoying Beer meet ups from the beginning of the year, is a home brewer and truly loves beer. She loves engaging in it and with it, she loves meet up with other female beer enthusiasts, and has a great sense of humor. She’s very careful with her money AND she makes it a point to make all the events she can (so far she’s batting a thousand). I’m humbled and pleased. Thanks Sue.

2. Michele. She’s a beer lover and has a ready laugh. She’s sharp and spreads the word about good beer with lots of folks – don’t ask me to count how many people she brought to events last year. She also helped line up a very informative group abroad for me to talk with about beer. Suffice it to say she’s up for the Oscar for her participation. Thanks Michele.

3. Kim. She’s game to try different things, loves to experience new pairing of beer with foods, and generously hosts focus groups for the cause. She was one of the very first people I met when I moved via another fabulous friend and her arms were open in welcome. Suffice it to say a beer with Kim is always in order! Thanks Kim.

I could write columns on the incredible women who have gladly joined the fun, helped with the research, and in general opened their arms to beer. Especially since the exbeerience this time is focused around them. Not in a patronizing or ‘oh-isn’t-that’cute-she-likes-beer’ way. In the ‘hell-yea!-I-want-to-be-part-of-it’ way.

Invite them in. There are millions of women waiting to be included.

Look for more unfamous women beer enthusiasts in the future.

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Dinner With Rhonda

What a delightful way to share a warm summer evening.

Rhonda, Matt, Larry, Ginger

My Fine Husband and I had the pleasure of dining with friend and colleague Rhonda Kallman, co-founder of Sam Adams (retired) and founder of New Century Brewing Company, and her husband Matt recently. Since we were in Massachusetts a few weeks ago, it worked out to connect.

I admire Rhonda for her persistence, unflagging belief, and direct style (with a smile). So glad we could get together in her home turf.

Sitting outside, enjoying her beer Edison with fresh seafood, laughing and talking with a very good server taking care of us made for a great night.

Get together with friends often. Savor these experiences.

It’s a big part of what makes the world go round.

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Raft & Craft + New Meet Up Beer Group

Two events on the near horizon to talk about today:

1. Raft and Craft – Joy and Bob have an Oregon Craft Beer Trip. Sweet! Raft on the gorgeous Rogue River, enjoy company of other fun folks, savor quality Ninkasi craft beer and stay in cozy lodges. Seems pretty complete.

We leave the 18th of July, return the 20th and Joy has all the details – contact her here.

2. 4 Daughters Irish Pub is starting their own beer group – the inaugural event is this Wednesday, June 23rd – open to all genders. We’ll be a hosting a tasty Beer & Cheese Fondue pairing. Mmmmmmmm! A classic combination – call them here for your tickets.

Get out and support the brewers of your neighborhood, region, and the world.

Beer makes the world go round in some very lovely ways.

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Fathers, Fathers Everywhere…

Cheers to all Dads, Fathers, Pops, Pas, Daddies, Daddy-os, and father figures. Uncles, Grandpas, Granddads, Grampys, and so on.

Be sure to tell them, like you tell the Mom’s of the planet, what they mean to you at opportune times.

Happy Father’s Day!

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Party Planning

The NBWA sent a Guide to Responsible Party Planning as part of their membership materials. Nice.

Reinforcement and refreshers are always a good idea. Here are a few of the tips they offer that we can all benefit from remembering.

1. Make a list of cab services for those who choose to drink so they won’t need to drive. Designate a chauffeur for the night, turn in keys as they come to the party.

2. Always serve food. Yes! Food not only complements the beer and other alcoholic drinks you serve, it helps absorb the alcohol (does not replace time needed to metabolize). Food and drink go hand in hand.

3. Stop serving about an hour before people are going to leave. Great idea! Help everyone be more responsibly vicariously by letting their bodies take care of alcohol consumed with some precious time.

4. Never hesitate to take keys away. Worst case scenario, someone gets mad – but they don’t end up dead or hurting someone else. Isn’t it better to have someone angry than dead?

There’s more. They have a lot of good info – check them out online.

And have safe summer fun.

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Support Your Local Festival

The last beer festival you went to was….When and where?

This would be a great day to find one nearby – either where you are or for a short travel trip for the weekend.

Supporting local (or not so local) beer festivals does a few things.

  • It supports the brewers and breweries that are present. Many of them flat our donate beer, some are recouped some cost.
  • It exposes you to new breweries to try.
  • You get to try new beers and maybe enjoy familiar ones as well.
  • You get to meet all kinds of colorful people (look in the mirror – there’s one!) and get some moderate exercise walking around.

There are lots of ways to find out where and when – here’s one site, here’s another, and you can find more events here too.

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Beer and White Water

What do you enjoy your beer with?

How about some invigorating white water?

Women Enjoying Beer has been graciously and enthusiastically invited by Joy Henkle, White Water Warehouse to be along on a very special, first ever for them (and WEB) Oregon Craft Beer Trip.

WOO HOO! Get that life preserver on because here comes a literal boatload of fun!!!

This trip is scheduled for July 18 – 20th, includes comfy lodge overnight accommodations, tasty food, plenty of (free) fresh air and craft beer, and surely dynamite company.

Rogue river raft trip with White Water Warehouse

And the guests always make the party.

That’s you – women and men welcome. Register. Today.

We’ll be featuring the high quality beers from Ninkasi – YEA!  – as well for our two nights of pre-dinner beer and food pairing tasting.

Ninkasi was a generous partner earlier this year for a WEB meet up, much to the delight of the attendees. Thanks to Nicole, James, Jamie, and the entire crew in Eugene (Congrats on the expansion progress by the way).

There are a finite number of spots so reserve today by getting in touch with Joy here.

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Up & Coming Fabulous Events

1. Monthly Women Enjoying Beer meet up – June 10th, Thursday (usually the 2nd Thursday of the month), 7 – 830 pm. Join us at Standing Stone for 4 different beers from a variety of breweries. Full details here.

2. How about a White Water Rafting Trip with Beer?!? Joy Henkle of White Water Warehouse has graciously invited me to join one of their fantastic trips. You can join us for a tremendous experience July 18 – 20. Contact Joy here to get details and make your reservations.

This is a first effort on a beautiful collaboration of a first class outdoor experience complemented by world class beer. We’ll do beer tastings intentionally & carefully paired with tasty foods the two nights we are out.

Rafting and beer – what an incredible combination! For those of you who have asked for trips, here’s your first opportunity.

3. July 8th – Full on Mexican Beer & Food dinner for our monthly meet up. We’ll have a delicious summery Mexican beers paired with courses of freshly prepared Mexican Food, by a Mexican chef.

Mmmmmmm! Is your mouth watering yet??

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Pictures Today

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2010 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster Mid-Size Brewing Company

Happy American Craft Beer Week!

In celebration, I want to share some photos from the recent 2010 CBC. Be sure to take plenty of pictures that make you happy and evoke good memories. Memories also build our future.

Cheers!

p.s. forgive me if these format in a goofy way…

Jim, Ginger & Larry at the World Beer Cup Dinner


Rob, Larry & Horace at the opening reception

Annette & Bernadette at Sprecher ala Briess Tour

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Russian River

Vinnie & Larry

Hats off to Vinnie and Natalie for their very high quality and tremendously tasty beers. Here’s a great article to tell you more of why I love (yes, this is not just plain old like) Russian River.

Maybe there’s a name in there, Vinnie – like Adoration?

Heads up to all you who follow WEB:

Russian River graciously afforded WEB a case of the barrel aged beers to have at a future event. I’m all aflutter in figuring out how to feature these incredible beers…surely an idea or two will pop into my head.

Requests? Speak up.

With beer like this, it’s worth not Russ’ian.

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Southern Oregon Brewing Hospitality

Many Thanks to Scott, Justin, Kristen, and Tom for Thursday night’s success.

Southern Oregon Brewing was our host location for May’s monthly meet up – with resounding success.

Women Enjoying Beer and Cheese

We had 24+ women show up just for the event – most had reserved a spot and we had some more fabulous women come join us to the groups benefit. More truly is merrier! Thanks to everyone who came to enjoy the SOB beer and cheese pairing.

To the patrons who were in the taproom already enjoying beer, wondering what was happening when Anna and I began setting up – cheers! Thanks for being game to let us (unknowingly) interrupt your Thursday night.

Cheese is a classic to pair with beer. Why?

Because like cheese, beer has many complexities that, since it’s a living thing (yeast and all), has infinite possibilities of what flavors may develop. Yes, you can plan some, yet since yeasts and molds are rather independently spirited organisms, in the end it can be a surprise.

The SOB beers and cheeses we paired:

  • 1. Gold Ale with Monterrey Jack
  • 2. Pale Ale with medium Cheddar
  • 3. IPA with Camembert
  • 4. Porter with Caved Aged Swiss Gruyere
  • 5. Black IPA with Gorgonzola

How’s that sound?

Good beer and food references:

p.s. Happy American Craft Beer Week – May 17th – 23rd – we’ll be at SSBC celebrating tonight from 6 – 8

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Happy Mother's Day!

my mom and me

Cheers to mom’s throughout the ages today for all they have contributed to our world at large.

Did you know…that women has and continue to play a very large role in brewing? There’s tons of history out there about it. Investigate – with a good beer of course.

Here’s one article to get you started.

Enjoy a beer with a female friend today – mom or no – to celebrate.

p.s. The Mother of all Beer Week’s cometh…

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Tail Waggin' Goodness

Double fits the title well.

Grand Teton Brewing Company will be releasing their Tail Waggin’ Double White Ale this spring. Chuck and the crew were gracious enough to send me a bottle in advance.

Mmmm. True to their description, the Tail Waggin’ Double White Ale is subtle, has a nice spiciness, a very nice carbonation that does indeed lead to a crisp finish. It’s versatile and a well brewed beer.

It’ll be released in a limited quantity and available in kegs and 750mL bottles – otherwise known as dinner table bottles.

So thanks to Chuck, Reid, Emily, Rob and Pete – already looking forward to being in Victor again.

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National Tavern Month

May is National Tavern Month – woo hoo!

Craig’s right on in the this article – it’s a reason to get out and celebrate.

Responsibly, with friends, supporting the local economies. Need more reason?

Okay. May 17th – 23rd is American Craft Beer Week. Support your brewing community, America. They do much for the economy with solid jobs – and everything jobs in a community bring, progressive thinking, promoting responsible consumption and savoring the affordable luxury – beer.

How do you plan to celebrate?

p.s. a good book is a good way to extend the fun…

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Maltsters

  • Do you know where malted barley comes from?
  • Did you know it makes up the 2nd largest part by volume of the beer you drink?

Annette & Bernadette

Briess put together a incredibly educational and interesting tour immediately prior to the CBC this year. WOW!

Talk about information. They treated us like royalty from the time we got on the bus to the time we got off it – with classroom time and a malt plant tour as well as dinner and a presentation at Sprecher – in between.

All the malt plants I’ve toured thus far (2 others – Cargill plants) were stellar as usual.

Eat off the floor clean. That speaks volume for their passion and commitment to the beer, consumers, the breweries they work with and the pride that drives them forward.

Pints up to the maltsters!

They help make high quality beer possible.

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Home Brewers Celebrate

fermentation

Here’s a good look at the American Homebrewers Association. Today we can all celebrate all things home brewing, with the modern movement pushed forward by Charlie.

Many professional brewers got into the fray by starting first as home brewers. Alex is one and there are tons of others out there.

As a business, be sure to include the home brewing community in the conversation about beer.

They feed, support, push, drink and want to be involved.

So cheers to all you home brewers (we have a regular in our monthly meet ups as well – keep it up Sue!).

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Listen To Your Mother

Grand Teton Lost Continent. Mmmmmmmm!

Julia’s right, as usual.

The Mother Of All Beer Weeks is coming right up – in time for you to plan, educate and celebrate.

Be sure to sign your brewery up so everyone can see what’s going on, what they should anticipate from you for that week and then they can plan accordingly.

This is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY (almost as big as developing the female beer consumer). If you pass it up, you miss the boat. In a big way.

Get on board.

Thanks Mom.

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