Beer And Cocoa

Hot chocolate. Cocoa. hot cocoa….whatever the iteration, this lovely luxurious warm drink is a go to for me. Where is this topic going today since you hit the women + beer site? Glad you asked.

As a meeting last night, one of my comrades-in-meet said, I’d love to see you write about cocoa! This was after I was enthusing that I did really enjoy a lovely cup of ‘co.

What I love about it:

  1. Warm when it’s cool out, which can be year round by the way. “Cool” is relative to your climate, mood, and headspace.
  2. It’s as different as can be. Like spaghetti sauce, every recipe I try is its own variety.
  3. It seems to fill my soul as well as please my palate.
  4. if I have remaining cocoa, I can refrigerate it and make – what else – chocolate milk later. Bonus!!!
And the foam mustache is kind of fun too!

And the foam mustache is kind of fun too!

There are a few preferred dealmakers for my hot cocoa endeavors: I prefer skim milk. Not for the fat – fat’s yummy. It’s the viscosity I’m after (and yes, bring on the whipped cream!). I also much prefer cocoa powder to a pre-mixed sugared up mix. I can enhance with sweeteners as I wish, without the unpronounceable words in many mixes. And I can invent my own to recreate over and over and give as gifts. Finally, I like it to be made hot, cool enough so my taste buds can also enjoy it without being blown away, and of a size where I can happily finish it without feeling totally gluttonous. After all, I can always get another cup if I want more.

Beer and cocoa have a few connections. As an avid cook and recipe inventor, adding a complementary beer in a small quantity to a suitable hot cocoa recipe is really fun. The delicious opportunities abound. Whenever I use beer as ingredient, I am mindful of starting with small quantities and then adding as I want more intensity and flavor of chosen beer. Less is usually more.

So, Kassia, there you have it! My hot cocoa post. Thanks for giving me the idea. Next time we meet, hot cocoas all around. Think Emily’ll go for it too?

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Another Big Success at Big Beers Fest

Many thanks to all of you who supported the recently completed Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines Festival in Vail, Colorado USA. As anticipated, it was a smash and a ball, thanks to the vision, hard work, logistical magic and mojo of many.

Guests doing a pledge with me at Big Beers 2016

Guests doing a pledge with me at Big Beers 2016

It was with great relish I was invited to return and present again – so that I did. Here’s the link from my session, Wandering Around The Kitchen with Ginger. Great crowd (you know who you are!) and super helpful and fun volunteers to boot, guided by my Fine Husband as well. Preparing and sharing food and drink is at the top of my happiness list in life.

As I promised the room full of folks, here’s the menu I served.

My original menu was entirely different, with fully prepared dishes. Alas – one of the powers that be sent down orders from on high at a very late hour, so – being nimble, I switched to fit a whole different set of parameters. Can do.

In the bigger scheme of things, I pride myself on being nimble and being able to change with the flow. Everything is possible and I was there to take care of my host, the Festival and founders first.

prepping the mushrooms with Dragon's Milk

Prepping the mushrooms with Dragon’s Milk

Wandering around the kitchen is descriptive of how I approach and navigate my food & cooking world. It’s overflowing with opportunity, ideas and shiny things to try. I do wander…through my fridge, larder, recipe books & files, brain, and the stores I visit. It’s one great big tasty adventure and I fully embrace it.

A number of attendees who sought me out afterwards told me they would have never thought to use beer for rehydration or that they don’t usually eat mushrooms but they tried them and various other comments. Success is measured by participation. When you dig in, literally, then you achieve. When you let it pass, you negate discovery out of hand. Pity, really. Fun and exploration are so much more rewarding.

So thanks to the following for their help & assistance. See you again soon ~

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All Hail Vail!!!

Yes, it’s that time of year again folks: The Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Festival is kicking off this week in snowy gorgeous Vail, Colorado, USA.

Yours truly will be returning (queue the music please) to give a lively & info chocked beer & cooking session: How To Cook With Beer, Wandering Around The Kitchen with Ginger. It’ll be loads of fun, there will be tastes and tricks, tips & ideas for you to take home with you.

Vail Cascade Resort awaits BBBB....

Vail Cascade Resort awaits BBBB….

Laura & Bill Lodge, Sister & Brother Wonder Team, put together this world class event and I’m thrilled to be heading there again.

In 2014 I was invited to present for the first time – here’s the menu I made & served to the happily SRO room. Wow! Yes, please – sign me up for more. They do such a great job there’s a wait to be asked to return to present if you fit their needs.

I’m also hosting a Marketing Beer To Women Workshop, Pour it on! You can register here.

Laura knows I’m available at a moments notice for this one and anything she’s involved in. Great people usually = great events.

Hats off, pints up and skis on – see you in Vail!

Now, back to my kitchen…I’m fine tuning the goodies to be served with my 3 fan-taste-tical beers: New Holland Dragon’s Milk, Allagash’s Nancy & The Bruery’s Oude Tart with Boysenberries (is your mouth watering yet??)

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Headed To The Mountains…For Flavor

Next week will find the deliciously fantastic Big Beers Belgians & Barleywines festival happening in Vail, CO. Organized & run by Sister & Brother team, Laura & Bill Lodge, this is a must attend for beer lovers.

Fun lovers at the 2014 BBBB.

Fun lovers at the 2014 BBBB.

Let me count the ways.

  1. Laura & Bill are pros. The festival is an extended experience with dynamic offerings for all sorts of activities: classes, seminars, and tastings among them.
  2. World class talent. Full disclosure: I was invited back this year! And am thrilled with the other company I’ll get to keep – here’s the line up.
  3. The attendees have an elevated sense of what they want – and it’s delivered on a snowy silver platter at this event: new ideas, high value education, and robust personalities.
  4. It’s in snowy stunning Vail, Colorado. ‘Nuf said.

Well, there are plenty more reasons  – like how the Vail Cascade Lodge is super friendly and accommodating…how you can walk out your room and go skiing…and the town is easy to navigate among them.

Me, I’m excited to head back and work with the team again. Anything they put together, I’m interested in attending. Beyond my Cooking With Beer session I’m giving, My Fine Husband and I will partake of whatever hits our fancy.

Get you to Vail, Beatrice! Much ado, indeed, about it all. See you there.

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Beer Battle Cry: What’s Yours?

Battle Cry: a cry or shout of troops in battle.

When considering beer headed into your future, ask and consider the following:

  1. What’s your beer style? Are you open-minded? Are you narrow in your choices?
  2. Do you let others suggest, recommend and offer you new flavors?
  3. What's your beer battle cry?

    What’s your beer battle cry?

    When you think of beer, do you also think of food with it?

  4. You only succeed in your beer adventures when you let yourself. How do you help your self pursue true no-barriers adventures? Do you holler your beer battle cry before beginning?
  5. Do you encourage others to pursue their own beer adventures?
  6. Questions are the answer. Be a curious person. Ask yourself questions, ask others questions, ask anyone you like about beer. Then shut up and listen.
  7. An open mind is the best tool to enjoy beer. Is yours open?
  8. Do you give yourself the opportunity to be the explorer in your adventures? Do you give opportunities to others?
  9. What’s your beer battle cry?

Now, go practice.

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Belgian Beer & Bananas

Wow. It hit me right between the taste buds last week – Belgian Beer & Bananas can come together terrifically!

Here’s where the flavor epiphany came from:

Traveling to work with a fantastic client, Global Beer Network, brought me to Massachusetts. As is the case for travel, you inevitably get to find places to eat. Two genres I seek out are Mexican and Ethiopian food. Yum.

Say Yes! to pairing.

Say Yes! to pairing.

As good fortune had it, there was a Mexican place within walking distance for me so I headed there one night for dinner. The menu was refreshingly enticing and so, as I do from time to time, I ordered a few small plates (‘sides’) to make up my meal instead of one entrée. Fried plantains with agave nectar were one of those items. So glad I did!

They were nicely fried, hot hot hot when they arrived, and it’s right then it hit me: Bananas so obviously go with many Belgian beers. The yeast contributions can often match a variety of bananas in intensity and complement each other wildly flavor wise. As a flavor hound, it hit the bulls-eye.

Had I thought of this pairing before? Highly likely. And circumstances as they were simply brought it home, full on. Will I remember it more readily now? Absolutely.

Cooking with beer, pairing talks, and various beverage and drink events are always on my agenda. I have now officially written down the idea to use in the not so distant future. Boom.

It’s good to build a Flavor Library – tastes, pairings, and ideas to tap into when you’re racking your brain to develop a menu. So glad to have a newly invigorated couple to call upon soon.

Enjoy your beer, bananas and combining all sorts of flavors this season.

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Beery Details for 2016 Vail Big Beers Cooking With Beer Seminar

Whew!

One thing I am grateful for is friends. Industry friends in particular are on my mind today, as I am developing my seminar at the 2016 Vail, CO Big Beers Belgians and Barleywines Festival.

It’s a huge treat to be invited to return and give another flavorful session to a packed room. Thanks to Laura, Bill and everyone who gets this tasty beast off the ground, year after year.

Ginger & John Holl at 2014 BBBB (yes!!)

Ginger & John Holl at 2014 BBBB (yes!!)

I love this festival for many reasons: well run, well done, well attended, super engaged guests, a slightly elevated (though not snobby) brand of attendee. My former WEB Captain Diane and I rocked the session out in 2014. Perhaps it was the aroma from the slow cooker of the Grown Up Pork & Beans I made in our hotel room…in any event, Vail – here I come again.

As alcohol regulations stipulate, interstate trade of beer has its own miasma to negotiate, including labeling. To that end, two of my three choices for breweries were ruled out this week. Damn! So I set about to scramble and replace.

It’s not fun to be asked – “Hey – I need a replacement for someone else, it’s short notice…can you help me?This is where relationships come full circle. I was able to call on two other industry frolleagues who were very quick to reply and say YES! Both of whom I’ve worked with before in beer, food & cooking events. They understand the rules of beer law and see the value in working together.

Today I’ve got it all dialed in, thanks to the help of all three generous breweries & folks. Here they are:

The Bruery, Placentia CA. Patrick’s beers and operation have long-held my taste buds at attention – the styles they brew really agree with me, are very refreshing, low alcohol many, and I’m very eager to develop my recipe and serve it with a fresh Bruery beer at the event.

New Holland Brewing, Holland MI. My friend Fred, aka The Beervangelist, stepped right up to the plate. He and I have done the Fred & Ginger show (literally!) at GABF and other events (SAVOR) as well as sharing a passion of the bigger picture of food, cooking and community. I’ll gladly be cooking with and serving one of their beers in Vail.

Are you coming?

Are you coming?

Allagash, Portland ME. Having featured Fluxus in 2014 at Vail, I was very happy they replied so quickly to my request to again be one of my partner beers. And deliciously so! Allagash is an absolute go-to brand for me – my husband even packed 3 (4) packs home with him earlier this year when he was in Portland. Good man. Great beer. Thrilled to have them return to the line up for my event.

A BIG shout of thanks to the two who won’t be served (this time):  Jared Long, Brewer & my brother in beer, Altitude Chophouse & Brewery, Laramie, WY & Larry Chase, Brewer & My Fine Husband, Standing Stone Brewing Company, Ashland OR.

So – support your local brewer? Heck Yea I do!! Local casts as wide a net as you wish your neighborhood to be. The globe is my neighborhood and I’m sending cheers to these neighbors today.

See you in Vail ~

p.s. the skiing is snowtastic too!

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Women & Beer: Survey 2015 – Call For Input

‘Tis the season to pour a delicious beverage and tell people what you think!

If you’re a woman and have an opinion about beer, please contribute.

Here’s the link – and it’s easy to remember as well: womenenjoyingbeer.com/survey2015

Thanks for your input! Men - forward to the great women in your lives please.

Thanks for your input!
Men – forward to the great women in your lives please.

Why are we doing this? In 2012 we put forth a 50 question survey – the first of its kind anywhere – for women to share their insights, opinions and thoughts on their relationship with beer.

Response was explosive! And I’ve started writing the (first) book with the insight. To make sure we’re still correct on much of the data shared, I’m offering this brief period for more to reply, whether new opinions or previous ones with an updated lens. Surveys will be accepted until December 31st, 2015.

It’s a quick 10 questions, fun to answer and all replies are very much appreciated.

Cheers & happy holidays ~

Ginger, Founder & Chief Everything Is Possible Officer

Ginger Johnson Marketing

Women Enjoying Beer

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Holiday Gift Ideas

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!! It’s the giving season again….

And where ever and however quickly it came from (seriously, only 300+ days ago??), tis the season. While I give the gift of books in particular year round, I want to share a few favorites with you today for beer & flavor lovers everywhere.

Books:

yum yum yum...Beer Pairing, by Julia & Gwen

yum yum yum…Beer Pairing, by Julia & Gwen

Beer Pairing, The Essential Guide From The Pairing Pros, Julia Herz & Gwen Conley *just* released  (2015 Voyageur Press). I’ll have Julia sign my book when next I see this dynamo of the beer gospel. Both she and Gwen have cut a smart swath to helping people enjoy beer. It’s a comprehensive book on what, why, when, how and why not of beer and food pairing. A great read and flavorfully inspiring, once you buy one for yourself get a few for others.

Cheese & Beer, Janet Fletcher (2013 Andrews McMeel Publishing). Janet’s written a few dozen books on food – cheese being her forte and oh-so-deliciously so! Others include Cheese & Wine, The Cheese Course, Yogurt (a personal fav go-to), and Four Seasons Pasta. All dandy and mouthwateringly fun and functional. Her writing style and the information she gives us is timeless and well rounded by smarts and broad world view.

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, Maureen Ogle. Maureen is an historian and was inspired to write about beer upon wondering what her next book was – and at that moment having a Budweiser truck cross her path while driving. Inspiration struck and she’s tells the story starting in the 1880’s to modern times. Great read like many with herstorian context: you learn way more about way more than you think.

The American Craft Beer Cookbook, John Holl (Storey Publishing 2013). John’s an accomplished journalist and definite flavor lover. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing many beers with him as well as having hosted a book signing party when the book came out. He’s collected recipes with beer in them and paired with beers from brewpubs across this fine country. With sidebar stories and additional beer suggestions included, this book is a winner winner beer for dinner.

Beyond books, I’d invite you to find a few Women Enjoying Beer & Men Enjoying Women Enjoying Beer goods on our shopping page. Since we’ve exited a very successful festival circuit run, we’ve got a few goodies remaining looking for great homes. Be ahead of the curve as they may be collectors items soon!

Your Local Brewery

SSBC Gift Six pack

SSBC Gift Six pack

Our local breweries need our business. They pump ridiculous amounts of effort & money into our local economies, all the way up to the federal level (ask them about excise taxes, for example). Visit them all, as you can and see fit. Ask them questions, listen, share, buy and support. One of my locals, Standing Stone Brewing Company, sells Brewer For The Day packages as well as the holiday Gift Six Pack. Order a keg in advance to help celebrate in tasty fashion, give the gift of lovely glassware.

Homebrewing

Home brewing abounds in America! It’s a fabulous opportunity to learn to cook a whole new recipe: Beer. Locate your local shops and go to a demo, hang out with the local clubs, and start making your own. Like food cooks, many professional “beer cooks” start by homebrewing. The American Homebrewers Association is a super place to start.

Whatever you do, give the gift of flavor this season – and year round. Start with flavor first, experiment, try, share and repeat. Beer changes as does everything else in life so pour it on.

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Marketing Workshop: Pour It On! The Key To Your Future = Women + Beer

Women make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions, including beer.

Are you ready for the best business you can get?

Then come to this highly interactive and educational workshop with the industry expert and leader of women + beer, Ginger Johnson, and take away insight you can apply immediately for increased and improved business success.

Tom Horst/Crystal Springs Brewing & Ginger at BBBB 2014

Tom Horst/Crystal Springs Brewing & Ginger at BBBB 2014

With enormous possible market share development, smart marketing in the beer world requires examination of women as buyers and consumers. This entertaining and enjoyable session is well worthwhile to those who want to learn more about the Why Behind The Buy for women.

Content will include:

  1. 10+ Do’s and Don’t in Marketing Beer To Women
  2. 3 Universal truths of Women & Beer and why these matter to your future
  3. Highlights from 2014 report Why Do Women Drink Beer?+ other insight from the master survey of female consumers and their relationship with beer
  4. Fresh ideas on how to successfully market beer to women
  5. Answers to all the questions you want to ask!

Register today, limited seating available. Testimonials here.

Details:

Registration

  • Before December 15, 2015
  • Single: only $99 person
  • Multiple simultaneous 2+: $89/each
  • December 16th – January 5th
  • Single: $125/each
  • Multiple simultaneous 2+: $115/each

At the door/day of (if there’s room): $140/each/cash & check

Call Ginger today to reserve your spots with credit card 515.450.7757 PST

Women Enjoying Beer is the only business on the planet dedicated to talking with women about their relationship with beer. Her first TED talk covered beer and women, April 2015. As a qualitative researcher, she finds out the why behind the buy and all the decisions making influencers of women + beer. Founded in late 2008, Ginger has been invited to present/be part of multiple international events including CBC, NBWA, Toronto’s Festival of Beer, SAVOR, Congresso Cervesa Mexico as well as many other industries’ conventions and events including the National Restaurant Association, CIA/St Helena, Whistler/BC Bike, and Texas Restaurant Association. Her BeerRadio program ran strong for 4 years, she’s featured in the award-winning documentary For The Love Of Beer, dozens of TV spots, and has written about and been included in many articles in publications including The New Brewer, All About Beer, IBD, and various beer and other industry publications.

Find out more at WomenEnjoyingBeer.com and GingerJohnson.com

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What AB InBev & MillerCoors Are Still Missing

“Objectification of women is going away,” said Jorn Socquet, AB InBev’s vice president of marketing for the U.S.

“We think the time is right,” said Britt Dougherty, senior marketing insights director for MillerCoors. “We’re going through a feminization of culture.”

These two gems were in this article published 12/12 by BloombergBusiness. I daresay, all of the people interviewed are still astoundingly ignorant in the world about women and beer.

I would also say that these hilarious and still damaging ideas are so off base it makes me wonder what some people in the beer world – from the very large to the extremely small capacity – are doing all day.

  • Do they think women are a different species?
  • Do they think women don’t have their own taste buds, brains and ideas?
  • Do they think women are monolithic and one-dimensional?
  • If you think all these things (per the above article) then do you assume all men drink beer?
  • And who the heck do they think is doing all the buying??

The converse is just as much a part of the damage and regression as is the ill we’re discussing here. And I must assume the above is apparently correct since the article clearly covers the ostrich style “aha” moment they seem to be having.

Reading articles like this – once I pick myself up off the floor from laughing at how off the deep end blind they are – is overwhelmingly the reason why this business of Women Enjoying Beer is around and keeps going. We have so much to do!

Women + Beer: Still so far to go.

Women + Beer: Still so far to go.

So listen up MillerCoors and AB and all beer makers across the globe: here’s the truth from the worlds only & leading women + beer psychographic researcher.

  1. Women want flavor, just like men do. Taste buds and brains is what you need to target, not sex, foreplay, sophomoric images names & antics and outmoded ideas of women.
  2. Women want and deserve full respect in all aspects of life, beer included. Wise up and you’ll see your share increase and grow.
  3. It’s the 21st century. Though concerning stuff that comes out like this, it may as well be the 1400’s.
  4. There are 3 Universal Truths of Women and Beer. Cruise this site for that info – it’s free and available to all.
  5. The research we started conducting and gathering years ago is apparently the only authentic voice of the Every Woman and her relationship with beer. It’s not pink, it’s not f**k you attitude, and it’s really very straight forward. Hint: Start by asking everyday women first. They’ll tell you what you need to know, not what you think you want to hear.

So – to Ms. Dougherty and Mr. Socquet and all the other people in beer who still do not understand marketing women and beer, here’s your call to action. Call me, I can help you. Not only regain that precious 10% you’ve so rightfully lost by not properly marketing to women, I can help you make progress in the global market by successfully addressing women which will lead to so many positives; for you – selling more beer to the worlds most powerful market is one of those outcomes. And in doing so – in your reaching out, you will change the world for the better.

Here’s part of the deal: it’s always so terribly ironic to me that someone in an identified population, in this case female, can be so stupefyingly blind to the population they are related to (Ms D). And that those unrelated, in this case men, are so thoughtless to the members of the identified population they know (think – moms, sisters, aunts, grandma’s and the like) (Mr. S).

The last thing the world needs now is these incredibly outmoded, non substantiated ideas of women. As they relate to beer there are so many things we can all do to shatter bad and incorrect stereotypes and ideas. In my TED talk, I cover some of this material.

To everyone out there who wants more information they can use – I invite you to call me. That’s precisely what we are available for: to educate and move forward the greater good with the Women+Beer vehicle.

By the way, Mr. Souquet can “hope” all he wants: “Socquet said he hopes to capture more business from women with sweet drinks and colorful designer packaging.” How incredibly insulting and wrong you are. He’s going to fail miserably without getting outside whatever walls he’s put himself behind. This indicates a sheer stupidity and again ignorance of women’s intelligence and buying power. You might want to start job shopping, Mr. S….

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Specific Is Terrific!

In response to my monthly enewsletter sent from my GingerJohnson.com url, a curious recipient inquired:

“Here’s my question! “Women Enjoying Beer”. Is this a niche you want to create for yourself in the marketing world?  Have you found this limiting in bringing in new potential clients because you are so specific? Since distilleries are coming more and more into play this area could be ripe for new marketing business from distilleries. What are your thoughts?”

My reply included the fact that I’ve had Women Enjoying Beer for 7 years now and it remains part of my businesses and pursuits.

  • The word ‘Niche’ has always gotten a bit under my skin, though I know what the reader is asking and rightly so. Niche seems to minimize, to somehow make it feel frivolous and inconsequential. Quite the contrary.
  • Women & Beer = universal.
  • Women + Beer = change the world.
  • Women + Beer = fascinating conversation.
  • Women + Beer = progress for gender equity when done right.
Women & beer holiday tasting event

Women & beer holiday tasting event

You must have a focus for any entity, any tax status, any reason before you open doors to be In Business. My focus has been on women and their relationship with beer. As the industry pioneer in this endeavor, to talk with, listen to and gather the insight from women directly, I’ve found the entirety of input mind blowingly thought-provoking.

Limiting? No way. Hell, it’s been an explosion!! A population previously unasked (women) about a global fact of life in earth as a race (beer) has continued to gather attention, spur students, media & press to contact me & want to talk for a paper they’re writing, and still invites smiles from the unfamiliar when they see my logo.

I’d limit myself and opportunity for women everywhere if I didn’t ask the questions I do of women as it relates to beer.

Why do I do it? Because I want to know, who more women don’t enjoy beer. Because I know now it’s not about women or beer, it’s a much bigger scope and purpose. Because no one else has deigned to see the import of talking with the worlds largest global population about an everyday topic. When this happens – when there conversations happen – we open doors into all sorts of other concerns, issues and topics. It’s like tipping dominoes that can never return to a stultified position (thankfully).

Distilleries are certainly open to contacting me as well – as are wineries, cideries, book manufactures & authors, car makers, plumbers, insurance agencies, and every single other good & service. Marketing services based on our singular and proprietary qualitative psychographic research benefits everyone, beer enjoyer or not.

I can help all businesses who are serious about properly and successfully marketing to women.

It’s the big pictures made up of small pixels that change the world for the better. Women + beer = big picture = conversations that improve our planet.

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Paving The Global Beer Path

The partnership helps “pave the road through the world.”

– Ron Lindenbusch, CMO Lagunitas Brewing Company

When the fervent myopic voices rise against one business selling any part or all of their beer company to a larger entity, I say sit down and listen for a minute first.

Like Ron stated in his opening keynote address at the CIA recently, the channels that open up in a strategic and mutually beneficial partnership are incredible.

Regional, national, global. For businesses ready to jump into that stream, I say good for them! Success is everyone’s’ own definition and choice. And no one can or should be the judge of someone else’s decision to do so – or not.

I was applauding his address because of this and also his challenge of one association to limit the word “craft brewery.” Who’s to say what is and what isn’t?

To each their own beer.

To each their own beer.

Yes, size of beer business has a lot to do with entry to market and barriers inherent, as well as access to materials, position in line to get different goods and services, and marketing geography. The first part of the equation must be quality. With a quality product, everything is possible. Partnerships with global companies enable access to a world of more possibilities.

Plus – and I think this is a funny twist – most people jump down the throats of the Big’s, saying they bought them out. We forget: the Big’s only buy what’s available for sale from the sellers. So we must make sure we also state the smalls sold. Not sold out – that’s a short-sighted insulting concept to say the least. If you like a brand and support it, to me the continued support regardless of ownership does not transplant what the original brand is doing (until proven otherwise).

Support your local brewery. Support the breweries you like and drink. Welcome everyone to the table. Diplomacy is Queen.

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Beer, Wine & Spirits – Oh My $$

  • Beer: $101 billion
  • Wine: $36 billion
  • Spirits: $65 billion
Julia Herz, CIA 2015

Julia sharing in her dynamic style at the CIA.

The tornado & spokesperson Julia Herz, Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director, shared these stats at the CIA recently.

Whoa. Think about those numbers for a moment…..

Or two.

Then to let it further resonate, realize that constitutes 1.5% of the American Gross National Product. Beer Serves America echoes these numbers and also provides more info here.

When you’re supporting beer in our communities know it goes way beyond the glass.

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Neurogastronomy: What Is It?

The Yale School of Medicine is helping define neurogastronomy.

Anne G/CIA Marketing & Ginger at the Crafting Beer and Food Summit, CIA

Anne G/CIA Marketing & Ginger at the Crafting Beer and Food Summit, CIA

I first heard the term recently at the CIA, St Helena campus, at the inaugural Crafting Beer & Food Summit. As a panelist and participant at the event, the flavor theme came up over and over and over…and it’s one I, daresay, preach about. Flavor first, then style or whatever else. To me it’s the entrance to our sensory gustatory experiences.

While the word hard some immediate familiarity, knowing the richer meaning and further information is fascinating. The book of the same title by Gordon Shepard expounds on the concept. More fascination.

So what’s this connection of brain and flavor? Scent and mental? Perhaps even scentimental…. Queue more fascination, please.

It’s true progress to see an icon recognize and promote beer – just as they have long promoted and championed wine.

Read up, sip, nosh and learn. It’s where everything should start: brains first.

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Quality Is Queen

What’s on the collective mind of the professional beer community? Quality.

On the heels of the brewery explosion – which is still mushroom clouding – smart brewers and business people in the beer world realize and know quality is queen.

Deschutes is a great example of quality driven beer.

Deschutes is a great example of quality driven beer.

Here are a few indicators:

  1. Having been invited to be a panelist at the inaugural CIA Crafting Beer & Food Summit, Napa CA, we were asked to talk about the Business of Beer. Nicole Erny was right on in her comments and I’d echo the same: quality + business = success.
  2. Consistency is also queen. Inconsistency of brands which are supposed to be consistent is not the way to build a business nor a clever marketing ploy to promote a brewery’s beer. Inconsistency is different from variety and variation of beers that get the green light to vary.
  3. When an entry-level consumer tries a beer which is not to style or brand, then we’ve all f’d it up. That sort of experience is a tough one to overcome. Plus if the consumer likes the non-quality beer, then we’ve just warp speed damaged what the experience is supposed to be.
  4. The Brewers Association recently released the Quality Management Book, written by Mary Pellettieri – and gave a complementary copy to every BA member. PLUS they already had the Draught Quality Manual out for establishments pouring beer on draught.

Quality is queen. It should be, as a quality product should be the goal and daily driver of all businesses. There’s a lot of poor quality beer out there, created by brewers who are too blindly passionate to realize that poor quality beer brings everyone down and hurts the industry community.

Ground zero is you and me. As the buyer and consumer of beer, we must demand quality, get to know beer, and speak up for quality.

Rally time is here. Join me in the call for quality.

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Bad vs. Different, Good vs. Quality

When it comes to flavor and quality, there are definite ways to approach these concepts. First of all, good and bad are objective. Refrain from saying a beer is ‘good’ or bad’ per your own perspective. Someone less likely finds it suitable.

Good & Bad are absolutes. They put a line in the sand and yet they’re simultaneously squishy. Like what you like, find the good in all of it (even if you think it’s best for the compost pile), and move along.

An open mind is the best palate.

An open mind is the best palate.

Calling something bad is objective again. Could there be something truly wrong, amiss, awry, or off? Yes, and you can leave that to a qualified judge. I’d encourage you to continue to try everything. Seek out what suits you best, at the time.

Different is separate from good and bad. It’s like saying someone has a nice personality; it’s often a backhanded supposed complement to an ugly person (in the sayers definition anyway). Be nice, refrain, move on.

Quality is what things – beer and otherwise – should really be measured by. How do you gauge quality? In the beer world a big part is true to brand consistency, from sourcing to in the glass attention to best practices of creation and care. Go for quality. Quality isn’t always ‘expensive’ and it can include all sorts of $$ levels. A ‘cheep’ beer in a misnomer.

While you’re at it, get rid of light and dark when you talk about beer. Those terms are color terms – not flavor terms, where they are often misapplied. And they’re also relative to everybody’s own particular frame of reference.

Like what you like, taste everything, leave the judging on the back porch. Beer is meant to bring community together, to celebrate and get together. Unite over a beer. Leave the division for the mathematicians.

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The Value of Women + Beer Expertise

If you’re still stymied as to why a full-fledged business is around to help women enjoy beer, here’s a testimonial to sums it up.

“I took your seminar when you were in town for the Denver CBC. As a female and teacher by trade, I could see exactly what you meant about bringing more women into the beer fold (and also, specific to my brewery neighborhood, minorities as well). I started watching very carefully how I was treated at breweries and asked my other female friends about their experiences too. Especially my female friends of color. Luckily after a 3 long years we were finally able to open the doors to our own brewery in late February and I was able to start my women’s classes in June. Not only do I hand out some of your info to each of our employees, but I started these classes in an effort to be more inclusive to a wider demographic.
Cheers and thank you for opening my eyes to a subject that I am now very passionate about.”

So glad this business owner is using information we provided about women + beer.

When you’re ready to step up your game – call me. Supporting the sources of the hard work and years of insight and experience that makes her education richer is absolutely worth paying for.

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Crafting A Beer & Food Summit

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
Abigail Adams

Education is queen.

So it was enthusiasm I signed up for a class My Fine Husband told me about. Crafting Beer & Food is a summit being put forth by the CIA Greystone, CA. It’s one of three Culinary Institute of America campuses, the other two being in New York and Texas.

I’d happily go to any of the campuses, so when I registered and offered myself up as a panelist, speaker and otherwise of service, they embraced the opportunity. Sweet! Ergo, I’ll be in distinguished company for the panel The Business of Beer & Food, Tuesday of the summit.  A big thanks to Anne Girvin of the CIA for the invite.

Education improves your palate.

Education improves your palate.

Beer & food go hand in hand, like a chicken goes in a pot. Many will jokingly say “beer is food” – and there’s some truth to that sentiment.

I’m excited to further my education, always glad for the fortuity to present, and see and meet engaged people. The sessions I signed up for are ones I’ve never seen offered elsewhere, specifically cooking with beer information. Since I cook with beer professionally as well as personally, these are of very high interest to me.

Full details are here and there are still some seats available. The summit is sure to be well worthwhile. I’ll circle back to share afterwards – though encourage you to register if it’s of interest to you.

With a nod to Ms. Adams, I’ll be attending with ardor and diligence. See you there.

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Client Thumbs Up

“Hi Ginger

Yes, business is good …

We are closing on a location for our first taproom. It is exciting and very scary at the same time!  Believe me, I have all my notes from your seminar about marketing to women and they are very important to me.  For example, the restrooms are going to bright, squeaky clean, warm, and every detail will about it such as the artwork on the walls will be reviewed by the panel of women advisors I have put together, as you suggested.  As a second example, I can’t wait to start the women-only Introduction to Craft Beer Seminars after we open.

Cheers and best wishes for a wonderful long weekend,

B”

 

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