Tongue and Cheek

Consider the taste buds.

One reason to thoroughly coat your mouth when you taste your beer it because we have tastebuds all over our mouth – tongue, cheeks, back of the throat, and the roof of the mouth.

Larry and Don at Napa Smith

We recently had the pleasure of a tour and visit with Don Barkley, at Napa Smith, and I asked him about this. I asked him about how beer makers completely taste and swallow and wine makers taste and spit it out. (Napa Smith makes both quality beers and wines hence the question). More specifically I inquired about if and why beer should be swallowed when tasted vs. the traditional wine spitting out after a thorough mouth coat.

He shared that he believes that it’s important to swallow because the different flavors you get from beer will best include the swallowing of the beer for those flavor purposes. Said another way, you get different flavor experiences when you completely swallow your beer.

Never mind that attractive (to some) beer burp to re-experience it.

So be sure to really taste your beer. Let it coat your entire mouth and then enjoy the swallow. The whole experience involves from the tip of your lips to the drop down the gullet.

Comments »

Come join us at 4 Daughters

The next Women Enjoying Beer meet up is coming up next week – July 15th, Thursday. This month we’ll meet at 4 Daughters Irish Pub in Medford.
In honor of Oregon Craft Beer Month, we’re featuring the realllllly tasty and diverse beers from Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB) – Portland. Mmmmm!


  • Thursday July 15th, 7 – 830 pm.
  • Flight of 4 HUB beers and 4 matching foods (as usual feel free to supplement the evening with additional beer and food as you wish on your own, come early & stay late!).
  • Only $15 per person for all the beer, food and fun.
  • RSVP’s please by July 13th to me directly – this email or phone 515.450.7757.

Also – there is still room on the Oregon Craft Beer Rafting Trip put on by White Water Warehouse. What a fabulous opportunity to treat yourself and a friend to a great trip, fresh air, quality beer (Ninkasi) and meet new people – all in the splendor of the state of beautiful Oregon on the Rogue River. Details here.

fermenting wort

Speak up if you have requests of beers, locations, field trip destinations, and foods to try. Your input is valued and always encouraged.

We’re also very glad to be available to you for private events (beer, food, dinner parties, and the like). What a great way to celebrate friendships, business relationships, and employee appreciation by hosting a totally singular event for people who are important to you. Call me when it’s convenient for you to talk about the possibilities.

Get in touch today to save your seat – and one or three for friends joining you this month. Many thanks.



Comments »


All About Beer has a really informative, good to read article this month entitled  How Does Your Beer Taste? And How Do You Taste Your Beer?

Terroir in our beer

Part of what we taste involves terroir.

Terroir has been a term long used in the wine world. It’s starting to be applied in the beer world too – as it should be.

Terroir is defined by as, well, it’s not there. Heck, the spell check in WordPress doesn’t even offer it. Hmmm…so let’s go to Wikipedia (there’s a message right there).

Wikipedia states, according to its aggregate style information:

“Terroir (French pronunciation: [tɛʁwaʁ]) comes from the word terre “land”. It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that geography bestowed upon particular varieties. Agricultural sites in the same region share similar soil, weather conditions, and farming techniques, which all contribute to the unique qualities of the crop. It can be very loosely translated as “a sense of place,” which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities, the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the manufacture of the product.”

It goes on:

“The definition of terroir can be expanded to include elements that are controlled or influenced by human decisions.”

Finally I’ll clip this snippet “Terroir in other drinks”. Yet – alas!! No even a hint of a mention of beer.

Curious since terroir is all about the influence of where the ingredients were grown or raised. Beer has 4 primary ingredients. The water, grain, hops and yeast will all contribute so many flavor characters, and arguably all 4 could plainly exhibit their own terroir. Is that terroir to the 4th power?

Julia Herz has talked about Terroir per beer. We should all be listening to these ideas.

Tasting goes well beyond the obvious. That’s why you should savor your beer.

Even if it’s hot and you have a great session beer in front of you. It has its own terroir so take at least a few sips and give it the opportunity to expand your thinking and please your taste buds before it simply quenches your thirst.

Comments »

Accessory Benefits

Beer has “many accessory benefits.” – John Hickenlooper, 2009

Mr Hickenlooper has some beer roots – he helped found Wynkoop Brewing, wherein this effort started the rejuvenation and refurbishment of Lower Down Town Denver, Colorado. He tells us beer is in [Denver’s] DNA.

I’ll buy that. And the beer too.

So what are some of these accessory benefits?

1. Employment – the small brewers of the country (2m barrels produced per year or less) employ 100,000 people. Never mind the ancillary employment (liquor stores, retailers, suppliers, etc.)

The wages are the tip of the iceberg – what of supplies, crops, building materials, transportation; employment benefits like insurance, medical, and training all trickle too.

2. They help anchor the communities they are in. They give back – generously – and are genuinely invested and interested in their ocmmunities.

3. They’re passionate about their beer. However it manifests, I’d bet big money that the person who helped found the company (brewer, operator, investor) is passionate about beer. Passion moves things forward.

4. They’re fun loving, smart, engaged folks. They come from all kinds of background – technical (brewing or otherwise), law, education, public service, white collar, blue collar – you name it. Great diversity = great information melting pot for the good of the whole.

This is a shorter list that could be greatly lengthened. Hopefully you get the idea.

Supporting your local brewer goes way farther than your own back yard.

Avoid myopia. See and share the vision.

Comments »

3 C's

3 C’s of Craft Beer, ala – one of my favorites (sharp, in the know, professional, etc.) – Julia. I’ll extrapolate the 3 C’s with some of my own meanings.

Complement – what goes well together?

Contrast – what really strikes a chord being different?

Cut – what can help make a pathway through (perhaps a hoppy beer through greasy foods)?

Sure – we could wheel of more starts-with-a-C words. How about clarity, color, content, context, carbonation, commodity, craft cleanliness, community, commitment.

Any others you care to share?

Comments »

Giant Oak Market Share

  • Who’s your target market?
  • Who’s your primary buyer?
  • Are they one in the same?
  • Do you seek new market share?

WEB started we're up to 24+ at each monthly meeting

If you’re a brewery, brewer or brewpub and are searching for ways to get more beer in more glasses of educated consumers, look at the mighty oak idea.

Joel Salatin puts it this way in his book Holy Cows and Hog Heaven.

“Giant oak trees do not propagate themselves by dropping 20 ft. babies out of their tops. They propagate tiny acorns, because that is the smallest viable structure of the parent….Its size is its strength.”

To paraphrase for WEB purposes and beer, you have to start entering a market with tiny efforts. The efforts take water, light, food and attention to grow.

  • If you think marketing to women is a novelty or ‘small’ market share, think again. Think big.
  • If you think by starting small, where economy of efforts isn’t where you think you want it to be (read – it may be more of an investment than you think you want to afford), know that it will payoff. Period.

Women make up the majority of the entire human population. Hmmm. Isn’t that worth courting?

When you court a market share authentically and accurately, you WILL grow some mighty oaks. Mighty can be pockets of fans, groups far or near of enthusiasts that continue to sneeze and every kind and size of group in between.

Start small. Every idea starts that way no matter how lofty the goal may be.

Comments »

Three Cheers – In The Right Glass

Here’s an article that’s headed in the right direction.

Makes me cringe when I see ice cold glasses used for ANY beer, whether it’s supposed to be served chilly or not. Beer is not supposed to be served frozen.

When giving any kind of event or education piece, this is a critical light bulb turn on. Here’s my analogy.

Say you have a garden ripened tomato. Do you store it in the fridge? If you do, what happens to the taste and flavors? What happens to the tomato? What then is your experience going to be like?

Beer, like garden tomatoes, needs to be served (preferably when possible – and it’s not being snobby) at its best temperature. We’re not talking about getting candy thermometer out. We’re talking about good uncommon sense. What temperature should it be served at, approximately? Lager? Crisp out of the fridge. Stout – let it warm up just a bit to really be able to enjoy all the flavors.

Do you see pourers of Guinness grabbing a frozen glass? Cold glass, fine. Frozen – the beer doesn’t really appreciate it , me thinks.

Plus who wants a bunch of frozen crystallized froth in their beer glass?

So pick your glassware, pick the right temp of the glassware. Double whammy for double the pleasure and authentic experience.

This isn’t being a snob. It’s knowing what you like and asking for it.

Comments »

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??

Comments »

Brewing in 10 Steps


I recently took advantage of a training session on the brewing process.

In 10 simplified steps – here it is.

  1. Milling – the grain in the mill. Breaking the grain open, not crushing them, to access the endosperm  (starch).
  2. Mashing – adding hot water to the grist (grain). Begins sugar extraction and breaking down of starches.
  3. Lauter – separating the liquids (sugars) from the solids (grain) – and Sparge – hot water sprayed on top of the grain to wash away (into the wort) the last remaining sugars.
  4. a grant

    Boil – sterilizing the liquid (safety) and heating up the wort to access the hops (bitterness and essential oils).

  5. Whirlpool – liquid and solid separation
  6. Knockout – wort out of the (boiling) kettle to the fermenters, heat exchange happens here too.
  7. Fermentation (Fx) – yeast is added and away it goes to feast on the fermentable sugars.
  8. Conditioning (maturation) – chills and lets yeast drop out of solution.
  9. Filtering (or fining) – removes the yeast
  10. Serve and drink!

Comments »

Good Beer Reads

Here are a few books I’d suggest for the beer enthusiast.

1. Brewing Up A Business, Sam Calagione

2. Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, Maureen Ogle

3. B is for Beer, Tom Robbins


1. All About Beer

2. The New Brewer

3. Beer Connoisseur

There are a ton of publications, journals, and books (never mind Kindle and websites and blogs) to feed your intelligent beer side.

Now – go get a favorite beer – or a new one you’ve yet to try, settle in, and read. Feed your brain as you treat your body to the affordable luxury.

p.s. it’s still American Craft Beer Week!

Comments »

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

Comments »

I Believe…

I believe that you can’t say thank you enough.

that it’s important to live with fortitude and gratitude.

that myopia is deadly.

that taking care of ourselves is the first step in taking care of everything else.

that curiosity leads to intelligence.

that awareness is a big part of progress.

that volunteering should be required.

that I am grateful every day for innumerable reasons.

that common sense isn’t terribly common.

I believe in self discipline, self respect and authority.

in punctuality, reading and growth.

that administrators of knowledge have a responsibility to share that knowledge.

that throwing a passion tantrum occasionally is highly effective.

that being loud doesn’t mean you’re right.

that we are life long learners.

in preparing for life, teaching to objectives, monitoring progress, adjusting to the situation, and moving forward.

that success begets success.

that good humor is a critical ingredient in life for us and those around us.

that we must in flexible.

that we must have standards.

that we should enjoy our vocations and have fun as often as we can.

that everyone deserves a second chance.

that on occasion we have to suck it up.

that no is the hardest word to accept.

that informed education is the only path to ensuring the perpetuity of democracy.

that integrity and ethics should guide us.

that being an adult means wanting critical feedback, thanking the source, and then acting on it.

that growth is sometimes uncomfortable.

I believe that affirmation and confirmation are important.

that talk isn’t cheap, it’s invaluable.

that it is not important to always ‘ be right’, it’s more important to do right.

that not crowing about our own achievements is not always becoming; it’s better to let others notice and crow for us.

that words and voices are powerful tools.

that being thoughtful tacks actual thought.

that passion can be constructive and destructive – use your passion responsibly.

that engaged and intelligent people make things happen.

that being humble is important.

that arrogance is never attractive or appropriate.

that replacing your’ ‘but’ with an ‘and’ makes all the difference.

that follow up and follow through are critical.

that connections to each other and the world around us matter.

I believe we live in a  truly remarkable country with boundless opportunity.

that being controversial is better than being neutered.

that we can disagree agreeably.

that nobody is useless.

in being a geek and not a snob.

that good teachers have good curriculum and an open mind.

that better is still better.

that smarter and simpler are better.

I believe that this is a short list of what I believe. And I believe I can make a difference.

What do you believe?

– with a grateful nod to Charles , Laurie Bernstein, and my Jackson County Master Recyclers class.



Point Missed

Unless my interpretation’s wrong (and I hope it is) the initiative is still missing the point.

The point for marketing to ANY SEGMENT is to educate, ask them what they want, then engage them accordingly. Yes, I know we are in different countries – the premise is the same.

Authentically and accurately marketing to the market share you are pursuing.

I find the statement by this writer (if it is accurate to the Bittersweet Project’s interview here) still off target.

“…with the aim of making beer more appealing to women”

It’s not about making it more appealing; it’s about finding out what the heck they want, what they don’t want and taking it forward from there.

If they don’t find it appealing in general, this is a futile exercise. You need to ask the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ first – before you take action so you can know what action to take.

Kristy, tell me you do focus groups expressly with women to find out what they like, what they don’t like about beer – any one’s beer, not only  Molson Coors UK. Or fly me over and we can work together to make sure the point is on target – for the women, about the women, of the women.

Comments »


  • 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.

Comments »

Fair Teri

Here’s a nice article to read involving some great descriptions of the beers in the piece.

Regardless of who brewed them, in this case all women, it’s a bundle of useful information on describing styles. I’d encourage you to pass it forward to those you know who want to learn more about beer styles and descriptions of those styles.

Well done to Noah and our friends at Draft for a solid educational (and tantalizing) piece.

Cheers –

Comments »

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.

Comments »

Earth Day Every Day

Really?? Refuse, reduce first.

Yes, it’s the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. Like another big day, it should live in infamy. More importantly it should live actively through all of us – globally.

Here’s a post from another sitetake heart, take action.

Cheers to environmentally responsible beer. Now, go about and do something about it.

We can only enjoy it if we have lent a hand to be smart about it.

One comment

One comment »

Mixed Company

Ginger and Julie last fall at Stone Brewing

This Saturday will mark the first mixed company WEB event – a Geography of Beer collaboration with Julie Wartell of PubQuest. Here are the details.

Julie and I collaborated last October on our Home Free Tour with two Southern California breweries with much success.


Yes, we had a nice crowds at each place, Stone and San Diego Brewing, who had come to find out about the geography of 5 different beers from 5 different United States. Julie maps out beer on the site – in fact, you can get a custom map made for your travels. Check out the site here.

Looking forward to talking about the geography of our beer again this weekend.

Comments »