Lucky 13: Oregon Chocolate Festival Beer & Chocolate Menu

One of our fine team members getting the goods plated…

Mmmmmmmm

Ahhhhhhhhh

Ooooooooo!!

Robust crowd sounds abounded last weekend at the 13th annual Oregon Chocolate Festival, held at the Ashland Hills Hotel & Resort in Ashland Oregon. It was my 6th year presenting and they’ve come a loooooong way since they started. They’ve continued to see increased attendance, invite a variety of tasty and engaging vendors, host a line-up of educational presentations and have even added a run.

Six years ago when I started giving the classes, I literally didn’t know any chocolate makers. So – about twenty minutes before my talk, I ran around the festival floor, introducing myself and asking, “would you like me to feature your chocolates?” to a handful of vendors.

Great crew (slightly chocolate-goofy!) helping out

Dagoba was one of those vendors and they’ve become a long-term partner for me – and I’m so grateful and glad! World class organic chocolate, variety of flavors and styles (drinking chocolate powder, bars and so forth) and very easy to work with. Props to Jill and the Dagoba crew for their continued support. If you were there and liked the chocolates, be sure to let them know (they graciously give [read: donate] the goods each year).

This year was so much fun, as usual – because of the guests who come to partake of all the fest offers. And I’d like to give a special shout out to all the fine flavor lovers who attended one of my two Beer & Chocolate Classes! Thanks for everyone who came back and thanks to every one who experienced it for the first time.

My thanks as well to the fine volunteers from The Hospitality Club at Southern Oregon University, Asante, and the world class staff with the Neuman Hotel Group who makes sure everything is smooth and fabulous for me and our guests every year. To my captains, Katrina & Larry – you rocked it! Till next year ~

Love live the Festival!!

Here are the menus we enjoyed.

Saturday:

  • Standing Stone Brewing (all beers deliciously made by their brewer Larry Chase) Milk Chocolate Ale + Polenta with Dagoba Superberry + fresh blueberries & strawberries
  • Twin Plunge Double IPA + Dagoba Orange &  Lemonberry bars
  • Chocolate Porter + Ginger cookies with Dagoba Chai drinking chocolate & Xolcolatl chocolate chevre

Sunday:

  • Chocolate Porter + Dagoba Milk Chocolate bar
  • Twin Plunge + Lemonberry polenta & lemon zest
  • Milk Chocolate Ale + Ginger cookies with Dagoba Chai drinking chocolate & Authentic chocolate chevre

Recipes:

Chocolate Polenta

I made a large batch of polenta (to feed 100!) for each day. Essentially 12 cups of water + 4 cups of polenta; adding 2 bars of chocolate to each batch + 1 cup cream (not milk – it’ll separate). You can add more as desired – and I didn’t add any sugar at all, so the results were lovely and mild. Enhance and play with them as you wish.

Chocolate Chevre

Since I love love love goat cheeses, it was an easy pick to enhance chevre with the drinking chocolate powers. Allow the cheese to reach room temp and soften a bit more. When they’re room temp, sprinkle in the chocolate as desired. I highly recommend you add, mix & taste – following this pattern until you reach the flavor target desired.

Ginger cookies in testing mode

Ginger Cookies (on which we spread the chevre)

Yield = approximately 108 with a size 60 scoop dollops cut in half

Beat together until creamy: 1 + 1/8 c bacon fat* and 1.5 c sugar (mixing white and brown is a delight!)

Add: .25 c malt syrup or molasses + 2 large eggs

Sift together: 3 c flour, 1 t salt, 3 t baking soda, 1 heaping t powdered ginger, pinch cayenne, 1 heaping t cinnamon and .5 c Dagoba Drinking Chocolate powder of choice

Add dry ingredients to the wet, combine completely and don’t overbeat the batter.

Scoop or spoon out as desired. Note – with the bacon fat, they’ll spread so be conservative unless you want wide and flat cookies! Chilling the dough after mixed and before baking may help retard spread somewhat.

Bake at 350 for only 9 minutes; they can dry out and be really crumbly (if you like that style of cookie, go for it). Remove from the over after 9 minutes, cool for 1 minute, and remove to cooling racks. They cool and harden quickly too; store in airtight container. I surmise they’d freeze okay – and are always best fresh!

*I use Beeler’s 2# packages of bacon cuttings; it’s really low in salt and simple high quality bacon and a great value.

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Experimenting With Beer In Your Kitchen

Beer is an ingredient. So is Chocolate.

That’s how I sometimes view it – as a component, rather than limiting it to a glass for drinking. To limit is to cut off future opportunities and my taste buds don’t appreciate that!

Willing Dagoba chocolate volunteers, ready for duty!

So into the kitchen I’ll go this weekend to develop a menu and likely new recipes for the coming Oregon Chocolate Festival. While the sessions I lead would be successful with straight forward beer & chocolate, I’m more ambitious than that….preferring to come up with new ways to use tasty foods.

Come join us for the festival.

And if you run a food oriented event and are looking for a lively and crowd pleasing presenter, call me anytime. T’is always a pleasure to enlighten taste buds + brains with fun people.

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Free Marketing Workshops in DC April 10th

Need a boost for your marketing?

Join me for complementary marketing seminars Monday April 10th, immediately prior to the Craft Brewers Conference, Washington DC.

Details:

  1. Beer Marketing Seminar – graciously hosted at Gordon Biersch
  2. Two sessions to choose from: noon – 1 pm, 2 – 3 pm
  3. Material will include: 5 top reasons women drink and buy beer & Do’s and Don’ts in successfully marketing beer
  4. All questions answered as time allows
  5. Free to attend, $100 hold-your-seat/s deposit check required to hold your seat/s – you get it back upon arrival. To each their own tab at Gordon Biersch.
  6. Come for an hour packed full of insight into marketing beer, with the emphasis on earning and keeping more of the future market share of beer: women (they make 85% of all purchasing decisions, hold the largest opportunity for growth).
  7. My book will be available as well, to interested parties.
  8. All categories and ages of beer-focused companies welcome.

Do you want and need a beer marketing boost?

These sessions fill up fast (with waiting lists) so call me today to register (only international registrations will be taken via email). 515.450.7757 PST Call me to register and I’ll send along final details. Do not call Gordon Biersch to register.

Plus:

  1. I’m also co-presenting with Larry Chase at the CBC (Brewpub track, training), so you can come find me there as well.
  2. You can find me at the BA Bookstore doing a Book Signing Wednesday the 12th of April, 12 – 1 pm.

Cheers & thanks –

Ginger Johnson

Founder, Women Enjoying Beer

Marketer, Speaker (TED+), Author, Innovator

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Beer & Chocolate

It’s that time of year again – the Oregon Chocolate Festival is coming right up. And yours truly is again presenting lively & delicious chocolate and beer tasting sessions.

For the past 5 years (this year = 6th) it’s been a pleasure to be part of this event at the invite of my fine colleague, Karolina of the Neuman Hotel Group. As I look back at the previous years, I like what I see.

OCF 2012

2012: First year invited to the festival by Karolina. My Fine Husband is a brewer in the same town and he was invited to make a beer for and talk at the Friday night Chocolate Makers dinner. Yum! I was lucky enough to go along and enjoy the hospitality and get a glimpse of what was ahead. We also were given a booth in exchange for my presentation, wherein we sold WEB goodies.

It’s always fun to see returning guests like Michelle.

2013: On the grow – the festival keeps attracting return guests and new guests into the flavor fold. I’m invited back thanks to our success last year and it’s a great time again, this time with an even fuller room (2 sessions, one Sat & Sun) that last year. Returning guests provide a humbling bonus.

Felicia enjoys the festival, with a fresh beer in hand.

2014: Getting bigger! And our last year in the actual room inside the hotel. We’re bursting at the seams and I give away a few tickets to the event – even better to help the Hotel generate more enthusiasm for a consistently well run and well done event. Felicia is the Winner and I’m so glad to have her the other 40 – 50 guests for each session. The Hotel Group has a terrific team, year over year, too so that makes the life of a presenter so much easier and more fun.

2015: Last year at the Ashland Springs Hotel, Downtown Ashland. In the tent we had a ball with as many guests would fit on Saturday, as well as a robust audience on Sunday too. Still with chairs only, we can snugly fit 60ish guests seated, with a few standing in the back. Thankfully I had enough of everything to serve the groups. Even better, my filmmaker Sean and PR pro Erika are in the house to capture all this tasty fun (clip above).

Join us at the Hills for the Festival

2016: We made a big leap forward to the new location, Ashland Hills Hotel, where the room can seat significantly more. We set up for 80 (seats & tables) and had big overflow of likely 100 = 120! While it’s a thrill to get that many people in the room who want to take part, it’s a disappointment to not be able to fully serve everyone who wanted to be there.  Big thanks to my team, Stacy & Russ, for working with the NHG crew to make it sing for me and our fine guests. I also gave away some private beer & chocolate tasting sessions (only 1 of 3 was redeemed…).

Soon: March 3 – 5, 2017. We’ll seat 100 people only, making sure that those who get there in good time have a literal seat and chair to enjoy the fun. Saturday & Sunday will allow for two different sessions, separate menus and as likely a few surprises. I’m deep into the throes of menu planning and development – creating a fun and delicious & enlightening menu for the 100 guests we’ll have Saturday and the other 100 we’ll have Sunday. Plus Karolina has given me the opportunity to be the moderator of a panel of beverage & food specialists – can’t wait!

Paula, Cassie, Ginger & Karolina are ready for you to join the fun!

Why am I walking down this chocolate memory lane today? Because in a world of sometimes feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything some days, these events are incredibly tangible and real. They’re like my fairway: a successful event like this helps me keep moving forward, knowing what I do matters.

  • Thanks to all the guests – one timers, repeats and stalwarts.
  • Thank you to Karolina and my crews – you make it all the better and successful for everyone.
  • Thank you for my flavor partners, including Dagoba Organic Chocolate and Larry/Brewer and others.

I’m relishing the upcoming festival and hope to see you there. Here’s the agenda. Please, come join us.

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Love to Read? 3 Great Books Every Beer Pro Should Read

Think Like An Entrepreneur: 3 Books Beer Pros Need to Read in 2017

In our world where the sea of written work is growing exponentially by the day and our time grows ever more precious, how do you determine what’s worth your time?

For us it’s pretty simple: Do we enjoy it? Is there a useful lesson or applicable message in the pages? Are we recommending it forward?

Here are three books we recommend beer pros – and anyone in business – read now to improve their business.

  1. Creating Customer Evangelists, How Loyal Customers Become a Volunteer Sales Force by Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell. Huba and McConnell write that successful early phase businesses are paying attention to the early adopters of your products and services, which leads to buzz and sales. Their conversational style and case studies of who’s doing it right make this a fast read.
  1. Uncommon Service, How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss. If it were really common, then there wouldn’t be a need for this book. Service is fundamental to success from the very beginnings of business. Practicing the ideas from Uncommon Service starting Day 1 helps create great brands.
  1.            Read & apply.

    Drive, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink. Motivation is a fascinating realm that Pink has dived into head first, gone to the bottom and then comes up to share his eye-opening findings of what moves people. The brief history of motivation and correlating eras is interesting and, more importantly, useful.

So What?

Plain old knowledge isn’t power: applied knowledge is. It’s up to you to do something with the knowledge you gain. And it’s as easy at 1-2-3.

  1. Use these books in personal and staff development: give, review together, apply the principles – readers are leaders.
  2. Give these books as rewards in your training and education programs.
  3. Develop an in-house, in-business library of hard copy books for check-out and development.

That’s what.

 

Valentine’s Day Bonus

Order the book, How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer, today till midnight & receive a delicious bar of Dagoba Chocolate as a bonus with every book (yep, everyone you order). It’s our sweet little thank you.

 

The Fifty Percent is a project Using Data To Improve Our World by co-founders Meagen Anderson and Ginger Johnson. Syndicated data, consumer insight, consulting, speaking, writing.

Ginger: 515.450.7757 PST  g@thefiftypercent.com

Meagen: 972.821.6983 EST m@thefiftypercent.com

The Fifty Percent, On The House, V1 #1 Feb17

2 comments

2 comments »

Michigan Brewers Guild Comment

Thank you for giving a great session*. I really enjoyed your entire lesson. The thing that stood out the most to me was your suggestion on how to get a better understanding of what flavors people like to transform them into a beer drinker. I never really thought about asking a wine drinker what flavors they like in their wine and use that as a gateway to beer. I have always tried to start with a blonde, amber, etc and work my way up, typically finding that wine drinkers usually tend to go with something more flavorful anyways. I’m excited to have the opportunity to try my new technique.

Megan Scheerhorn, Marketing Coordinator

Saugatuck Brewing Company

Douglas, MI

*Beer & Sex: Marketing Beer To Women, Michigan Brewers Guild Winter Conference, Kalamazoo MI January 2017

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Happy New Beer!

Events are a lot of damn work.

So I’m always grateful for client partners who understand a few things:

  1. They want to work together to further beer education, for the beer and for the education.
  2. They understand we both have skin in the game and anticipate – ne expect – to pay me for my services.
  3. They are on top of the details. Logistics are involved and time-consuming – no wonder people specialize in events management!
  4. They forge ahead and make it work.

So my new year goblet of beer is raised today to the hard-working, smart and clever people with Fermenta today. I’ve the pure tasty pleasure to being their guest for a special January event coming right up on the 11th. Here’s the link – save your seats today (space is very limited and it’ll be a tasty blast into the new year).

I’ll even be bringing some bootlegged Women Enjoying Beer koozies as gifts for all guests. The company Kolder stole my logo this summer and called it a mistake’… (more on that another time).

This event is open to all flavor enthusiasts, all makes and models. We’ll have a grand time in Michigan Winter tasting, talking and learning together.

Like I say in the opening of my book, this is one of those occasions: “Lotta damn work, made easier with help.” Thanks.

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Fermenta Flavor Trip

With a nod to the Ancient Mariner, one of the very best aspects of beer is flavor – hands (and pints) down. And one of the reasons is that we all enjoy flavor.

Do we all enjoy the same flavors? Oh goddess, no! That’s not important. What is important to is to enjoy beer and the beer community for all it offers, all beer flavors and characters included.

In my travels and adventures of beverage and food, I frequently lead beer and food pairings – often beer and chocolate. This eye-opening and often unexpected partnership of two everyday goodies is met with skepticism and enthusiasm. “Really, we’re going to have chocolate with beer?” Yes, really. Here’s why.

fermentablackBeer’s grain bill – the actual grains in the beer recipe – has so many affiliations with flavors in various chocolates. In fact, since they both have a prominent base ingredient (beer = grain, chocolate = cocoa), they are naturally set up to deliciously co-exist. While I may sound bias, I can tell you that the light bulbs I see go on in a room experiencing beer and chocolate make the effort so incredibly worthwhile.

Teaching to flavor, opening minds by starting with our palate is gratifying and satisfying. Gratifying because there are always people in the room who have epiphanies. Voila! “Whoa – who knew??!!” reactions that in turn make me grin. Satisfying because I get to refresh my taste buds with beer and chocolate at the same time, thereby renewing the joy of flavor exploration.

Join us January 11th as the fine Fermenta folks and I host a lively educational event at gracious host Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo. I’ll be giving the talk, HerStory: The Story of Women & Beer, with the bonus goodies of fresh beer, Dagoba chocolate and Rogue Creamery cheese. Bring your open mind and open palate, good humor and a friend. Space is limited so register today.

See you soon in the Great State of Michigan for a flavor filled night. Cheers till then!

g

this article was originally written for Fermenta, 2017.

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Ditch The Appetizers, Sell Them Beer

To everyone who helps operate a beer with food establishment:

Ditch the Appetizers, Sell them Beer.

Why do so many places feel compelled to cut into the already thin margins of food as attractant for business for ‘happy hour’ or other reduced price events?

This practice makes no sense – in fact it can only damage the business. And never mind reducing prices on beer. That’s sacrilege in real life. Good grief.

Here’s what we need to all focus on: VALUE.

Value is the worth we place on some thing, experience and all other whatevers in our lives.

Are they worth our time? Our money? Our attention? Our repeat business? Our talking about them? Our sharing them? Our buying them to give as gifts?

Value is what matters most.

Value is what matters most.

Value is the true proposition we can all embrace and really sit back and ponder. It’s how we perceive worth. It’s also a smart business practice: to price on value.

For instance, I don’t offer my services by the hour – that’s simply encouraging the practitioner to keep you in the loop for longer to make more money. Is that really an ethical idea? No. Is taking care of your customers within one project rate better? Absolutely. Will you sometimes spend more time and others spend less in accomplishing what you agree to do? Yes, and it all evens out in time.

Appetizers are teasers. They warm up our palate and theoretically get our (literal) juices flowing to entice us to order more food. Is offering a reduced price appetizer the best way to get people to come to your business? It may get them in but it won’t keep them. There’s no value in discounting.

Don’t ask for a reduced price and don’t offer one. Offer value, in all ways, all the time.

Beer deserves to be a full value for everyone, all the time. Get the appetizers, order a beer and simply let it all be.

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Have We Gone Overboard?

There was a time when we simply described things as they were: carrots, beer, cars, songs. Hot cold, spicy, bland, fizzy, flat, red, blue and green.

Now it feels very different to me. Words like craft, artisan, farmhouse, and custom are bandied about with a carefree nonchalance that the most hardened foodie may find appalling.

And to what end? Are all these words used in context to what we put into our mouth merited? Does it truly matter to you where they came from or is it trendy? Said another way, do you think you need to be aware and care or do we fundamentally and genuinely care? Do we use the words because they really matter or because we’re keeping up with the organic-farm-eating Jones’? Here’s a few food words to consider.

Case in point: Paired.

Paired is a “craft beer + food” event offered to attendees of the Great American Beer Festival, fall every September. What was once titled Farm to Table is now Paired. Why the switch of the name, is my first question. Are we in a day and age where single glib or seemingly gravitational words are how we want to sum up an entire experience? Do we want the feeling of something or do we want to enjoy the literal fruits of someone else’s labor? Farm to Table is straight forward and descriptive.

Paired menu 2016

Paired menu 2016

Don’t get me wrong: the Paired event is quite a show. The host organization, The Brewers Association, has deemed me worthy of a media pass several years, for which I’m grateful. Trappings of that badge include admittance to this event. Any time I get to eat with drink I’m happy. The planning and effort that goes into this one event, for example, looks to be a remarkable undertaking. Kudos.

So let’s look at the menu. Read one way, we can safely say it’s chock full of learning opportunity! An overflow of words that are new to me, so no doubt a collection of new vocab to others as well. Take for instance: rillette, mignonette, tataki, fromage fort, taleggio, membrillo, fish headcheese, chorizo seco, duck pipian, loukaniko...and on it goes. A crash course in Italian and French in many ways. Cool! I love to learn so there’s a build in homework option.

And if we’re looking at keeping it real and every day, this isn’t the event for you. I honestly think that someone looking for everyday food they cook (in a broad general sense) would not fully enjoy or appreciate. Words that are unfamiliar and to some unpronounceable don’t really engender new ideas; they engender fear of mispronunciation and sometimes, due to that, simple avoidance.

I’ve found the best way to navigate this event is to simply wander and ask lots of questions. The crews present are always very knowledgeable and it’s a good way to make new connections. Simply know that the next person in line will likely also ask some of the same questions of the crew. It’s gotta be a long repetitive day, and that’s what this is about: meeting, talking & educating on a redundant soundtrack to help people learn more about what they are eating, beverage paired with food.

To that end it’s a smash. Again, I enjoy it. I also find that by the time I’m ready to go all I want is a plate full of one food I know and recognize and to fill up on with a full glass of beer.

Have we taken the beer & food pairing too far?

Likely it’ll get pushed farther still. So be it. For me it’s about knowing what I’m getting into, embracing it for what it is – Italian lessons beforehand be damned – and then coming out the other side. Enlightened, fuller and perhaps more curious, “Woman overboard!” an infrequent call.

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Portland Book Event 10.26.16, Belmont Station

Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women

Women Enjoying Beer founder to host book-release event at Portland’s famed

Belmont Station

 Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.

The book — How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry.

The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.

Johnson wrote the book to fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.

“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely and respectfully market beer to women. They are incredibly overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”

“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. If they don’t, they’re missing a huge opportunity.”

 

On Wednesday, October 26 from 5-7 PM, Johnson will host a book release event at Portland, Oregon’s Belmont Station (4500 SE Stark St.). Johnson will read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings, and answers questions on how brewers and beer-focused businesses can boost their efforts in marketing to female beer consumers.

Admission to the event is free, seating is limited and books will be available for singing and purchase ($49) at the event. Reservations are required and can be secured by sending an email to ginger@womenenjoyingbeer.com or calling 515.450.7757.

“In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”

Numerous beer-industry companies have benefited from Johnson’s expertise.

“I see women filling our stores every day, buying all kinds of beer,” says Rob Hill, New Business Development Director for Total Wine & More. “This is a reality to be understood and not ignored. Ginger’s passion and expertise for this historically misjudged consumer segment pour out of the pages of her new book.”

“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the craft beer industry – and the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment – she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”

How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer can also be purchased here.

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252 Thanks

This morning I sent an email to all 252 Women & Beer Survey responders. The input they provided helped form the foundation of the book, How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer.

Do you know a woman – or are you one – who replied to the survey? Then, thanks.

psst! the book is ready...

psst! the book is ready…

The original survey was 50 questions in length. That’s a good amount of time sitting in front of the computer, entering your thoughts and opinions. See, this survey is qualitative – it’s ‘messy’ data. It’s all opinions, thoughts, ideas, factors in our decision-making. I love every moment of reading and interpreting it as well.

Qualitative date tells us the Why behind the action. It’s a critical, oft neglected part of research. I’ve heard some people who work in various data collecting companies say that gather this kind of data is hard and unwieldy. So? It’s the most important stuff. Only knowing statistics – what has been measured and leaves out the Why – is to leave out a huge part of the picture.

The book was a 7 month intensive investment for me. It forced me to set aside other work & revenue generating activity. I had to think seriously about doing so, since I’m my own business. Everything I do affects the top & bottom lines. I discussed it with my family to ensure I had their support (I did).

It’s with pride that I am now crowing about and carrying around the book to show and sell. Many people have already expressed an interest, several have purchased it. You can buy it here online now and yes, we absolutely ship internationally. Women & beer are everywhere. That’s an easy request to fulfill.

Be in touch when I may be at your service: education, consulting, speaking on women, women & beer, beer & food. Workshops, pro education, media & press requests, and consulting. Book events, both public and private, are happily executed as well. Thanks.

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How To Market Beer To Women

Fresh Books Here!!

Fresh Books Here!!

Hear Ye Hear Ye! Read All About it!

  1. Women Enjoy Beer
  2. Women Drink All Kinds Of Beer
  3. Women Enjoy Beer For All Kinds Of Reasons
  4. The Book Is Finally Available!
  5. Order A Fresh Copy Today By Calling 515.450.7757 (available online post 2016 GABF)
  6. World Premier Launch Party Seats Limited. Details Here (Lannie’s)

Get your copies today.

Comments »

Book Announcement: How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer

 

Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women

Founder of Women Enjoying Beer Debuts Book During GABF Week

Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.

The book — How to Market Beer to Women: Don’t Sell Me a Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry. The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.

Johnson hopes the book will help fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.

“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely & respectfully market beer to women. They are ridiculously overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”

“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. When beer pros and businesses get it, they’ll tap into a huge opportunity.”

bonus_imageOn Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 at 6 PM each night in the festival’s bookstore area, Johnson will sign copies of her new book at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Wednesday, October 5 at 6 PM, Johnson will discuss her book at Kokopelli Beer Company as part of the brewery’s Women’s Wednesday series. Kokopelli is at 8931 N. Harlan St. in Westminster, CO.

Johnson’s main event for her book release takes place on Friday, October 7 at 1 PM at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret on the 16th St., Mall in downtown Denver. Johnson will conduct a “Beer Marketing to Women 101” class at this event and read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings. Admission is free and limited to 100 people.

Ska Brewing Company, Durango Colorado, is a major sponsor for this event. “I’ve long believed in Ginger’s work and message, that’s why we’ve worked with her before. We’re very glad to support the reason for this event: betterment for the whole beer world,” states Kristen Muraro, Ska Brewing Events Coordinator.

In many ways, How To Market Beer To Women ($49) showcases what Johnson has learned since starting her trailblazing company eight years ago. “In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”

A growing number of craft brewers have benefited from Johnson’s expertise and research.

“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the Craft Beer Industry – the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment, but she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”

4 comments

4 comments »

Heavenly Tastes

It was big fun to be the featured speaker at a recent Des Moines Iowa Barley’s Angels event. On a Monday night we had 35 hungry guests join us at Lefty’s Live Music venue.

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty's.

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty’s.

Being in Iowa to enjoy beer is not new to me. I founded Women Enjoying Beer when I was living in Ames years back. In fact, the very first interest group I hosted to see who might be willing to talk about women and beer happened there. When 28 people showed up to find out more, I knew I was onto something.

Fast forward to today: the first book on How To Market Beer To Women is coming out directly, I’ve been invited to work with dozens of clients across North America to teach, consult and advise on various elements of women and beer. This event was a sterling example of what I love to do: present, teach, entertain and taste. Turning on the brain for full engagement of flavor makes me very happy – and I truly believe it’s worthwhile.

When we talk about women and beer, we open up all sorts of other conversations.

The crowd was a mixed one, women and men alike, for which I laud groups for doing. The menu was a robust one, focused on Iowa Beers, cheese from The Cheese Shop and Dagoba Organic Chocolate. Is your mouth watering yet?

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

Big thanks to Ariane and the whole chapter as well as Anne and Rita from Lefty’s for making it all happen smoothly. Here’s the menu we enjoyed.

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In Style, Out of Style

What precisely is style?

According to Dictionary.com, one definition is “a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character.”

When you think about beer, what is it about style that really matters?

I’ve long extolled that style is way less important than flavor in first learning about beer. Flavor should be taught first, long before the style conversation gets off the ground. Listen to your own sensory system, not someone else’s.

What's your style?

What’s your style?

Learning to name and identify flavors and aromas will get the beer enjoyer much farther along than having to learn style first. Yes, there’s most certainly a place for style. And people like to categorize things anyway, yet it should come much later.

When we learn to name flavors, we can really lean into our sipping, trying, sharing and asking. Learning what flavors appeal to us, which we would rather not partake of and still learn to appreciate, we become a smarter beer drinker. A savvier beer enthusiast. This is good for everyone in the beer equation.

Next week I’ll have the pleasure of being in Central Iowa to deliver a lively & educational talk, Beer Sense, courtesy of the Des Moines chapter of Barley’s Angels. I’ll be covering learning to smell and taste your beer, since it’s the very beginning in learning to enjoy beer for me. You can get details and register here – women & men are all welcome.

Beer is a lot like art: it’s personally subjective. Like what you like. Look at everything, taste everything – you can only say you don’t like something after you’ve tried it. If you’ve not had a particular beer in at least two months and you think you don’t like it, try it again. Beers within the same style can taste remarkably different too to taste around. Give all beer a fair shake to please you.

While some trends are short-lived, certain trends never go out of style. Beer styles proper aside, find your own style. I hope it’s an Open Minded style, welcoming to all ideas of what beer can be and is the world over.

See you next week!

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There’s Nothing Better Than Knowing

The Texas Restaurant Association hosts the 2nd largest restaurant show in America. Having been invited to present on various educational stages the last two years, I can testify it’s a biggie.

All Texas jokes aside, they hit many nails on the head as far as beer in concerned. For instance:

  1. The size of the craft beverage pavilion doubled from 2015 to 2016.
  2. They dedicated funds to bring an expert in (me) to deliver talks related to beer in the restaurant business.
  3. They actively invited media based on what’s going on in the beverage categories, beer and other choices.
Knowing makes a difference.

Knowing makes a difference.

Beer is pretty darn remarkable. As I tell audiences, it’s amazing incredible beer. And it’s just beer.

Beer comes to life when we foster, nurture and support all beer. Part of all of these is education. And with a nod to the opening post title above, knowing matters. Knowing includes all the classic journalistic questions that accompany a healthy relationship with beer.

  • Who – makes it, drinks it, supports it, wants to bring it down
  • What – beer & all its myriad possible ingredients
  • Why – because (originally) it sanitized water rendering it safe to drink, now – flavor, status, refreshment
  • When – in moderation, daily, weekly, frequency is a factor
  • Where – where legal, in social gatherings, at home
  • How – carefully, thoughtfully, responsibly

The TRA and beer providing the platform for its members and visitors at the show to know. I’m glad to be a part of what can help them equal success.

There’s nothing better than knowing what’s going on in our world around us – and it’s up to us to stay in tune. Get out there, get educated and you’ll support beer overall. Thanks.

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Ginger Beer, Micheladas & Ginger Beer

Pints up to the fantastic & very good sports who joined me for a bit of performance art at the TRA Marketplace show last week in Houston, Texas.

Sasha & Ginger at TRA.  It'd call it 'delish-elada!

Sasha & Ginger at TRA. It’d call it ‘delish-elada!

I was lined up to give two What’s Hot In Craft Beverage sessions in their recently expanded Craft Beverage Pavilion this year (gave 2 last year too). In plotting the sessions, I thought: “Let’s invite some of the terrific exhibiting businesses.” So I reached out to 4, 3 reached right back, almost immediately, and I invited them to join me on stage.

Props to the following guests who sat with me (check out the TRA’s Facebook page [TX Rest Assoc] for the recorded sessions). Here’s a bit about them. Follow the links to learn more.

  • Sasha & Juan Sotelo, Triple S Michelada – yum yum yum! Check out their story and enjoy their super flavorful beverage as a stand alone drink as well as a mix choice.
  • Zack Silverman, Kelvin Slush Company co-founder. When’s the last time you had a slushie??? How about one with delicious enhancements? They had 4 refreshing choices – I sampled them all.
  • Paul Imbesi, NAB representing Barritt’s Ginger Beer. Of course I noticed this right off the bat. And Paul was a fun and gracious guest, sharing the unique story of how he helps bring Barritt’s to the USA.
Zack, GJ & Dave/TRA enjoying a great vibe at TRA.

Zack, GJ & Dave/TRA enjoying a great vibe at TRA.

I’m always grateful for people who are willing to interact – sometimes even when they’re unsure of what’s going to unfold. As a presenter, I have to be ready for anything, and prepare for everything. Having guests bolster a simple talk skyrockets the value for the audiences and begins very fun and fruitful relationships.

The gist: Invite others to work together. It’ll add so much enjoyment and purpose to your work. All my guests we’re easy to work with and guide and I appreciate the hard work they all do, day in and day out. Props to their colleagues too, for tending the booths while we were in session (Helena, Nick & Rodger – this means you!!).

One post-show thought for me to all of this: I’d gladly invite them again, and I’d welcome working with all of them. They are sharp, interested in making a true difference in the beverage and restaurants communities and in their own lives. Doing what you love drives a lot of success.

Drive on.

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