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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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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How Women Enjoying Beer Got Started

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. – Goethe

When I started Women Enjoying Beer almost 7 years ago, I had no real idea what I was plunging into. Here’s how I share the story.

About 7 years ago I looked around and wondered, “why don’t more women enjoy beer?” What was that all about?

I had been getting to know the beer community, specifically professionals ala some various relationships and friends. They seemed like really engaged, fun, smart, and progressive people. People I wanted to be around.

Having already reinvented myself a few times, digging into something totally new wasn’t foreign nor scary to me. Why not!? The road less traveled may be paved with whatever you perceive gold to be…let’s give it a go.

So go I did. I started Women Enjoying Beer by submitting 2 proposals to the Brewers Association to speak at their annual Craft Brewers Conference. Lo and behold they chose one: What About The Other 50%?! addressing and Serving the Female Beer Consumer.

That acceptance had me hightail it into research mode to talk with and listen to women across the greater Midwest to get this party started. With the help of connections, family and friends, I lined up close to a dozen female only focus groups. After the first one, on a random Tuesday night in February in Central Iowa, I moved expressly into qualitative psychographic info; no stats or quantitative.

For a few reasons, this was absolutely the wise choice.

1. People are more comfortable talking about sex than money and earnings and so forth. Not asking what we’re perceived as very private questions (income, ethnicity, etc.) made it much easier to get responses from women everywhere. They wanted to talk about their emotions, feelings, experiences – all the psychographic input that forms our decision-making processes, conscious or unconscious.

2. I like this data way better since it’s really meaningful. Quantitative data have been measured; it’s static and cannot change. You can change the world with qualitative psychographic input. It tells us how people thing and therefore we can act on that in a forward fashion.

Boston: locale of my first ever Women Enjoying Beer talk, CBC 2010

Boston: locale of my first ever Women Enjoying Beer talk, CBC 2010

After those first dozen groups had been completed, I went into compilation  mode. Whoa. Let me tell you: research is a lot more work that I had anticipated. I have a much greater respect for getting it right, being accurate, creating questions which get to the core of the issue (and not your own agenda), and putting it all together in a cogent manner.

I learned a lot about women too, quickly.

Once the conference rolled around, I was very excited to share my findings. Packed room, inquiring minds, and an extremely fast 60 minutes whirled by as I spoke at that fateful conference.

Since that time, almost 6.5 years ago, I’ve still found Women Enjoying Beer to be the only independent business studying the relationship women have with beer. It’s been invigorating, frustrating, and incredibly interesting to say the least.

Onward we go at this point, 7 years in.

Here’s what we offer for services, as the only expert in this field:

1. Speaking. Keynote addresses, banquet entertainers, conference and workshop seminars.

2. Internal and external education and training.

3. Marketing, brand and image advisement.

4. Label and menu review and insight.

5. Consumer insight on women + beer that no one else anywhere, ever has had.

6. Entertainment.

7. BeerRadio. My live weekly radio program for 4 years.

I started the business because I saw an opportunity. No one had thought to study women and their relationship with beer before. We offer insight you literally cannot find anywhere else on the planet. What a ride it’s been.

Call me when you want to get it right with women from the start. What we do is smart marketing. It’s asking, really listening, and then formulating success as part of your foundational business plan.

Making beer is a passion – and it’s got to be a business. If it’s “only” a passion, homebrew. If you want to take it to the world, make it a business. Call us when you make that choice. The investment of the worlds foremost authority is well worth it for you, all the females walking the earth, and your commitment to making beer.

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A Flavor Lovers CIA

Culinary Institute of America. CIA. Depending on your world view, The CIA or The Other CIA.

In all events, I’ve registered for the course Crafting Beer & Food as part of ongoing professional development.

Kirstin O/Connor/KDRV & Ginger - In The Kitchen

Kirstin O/Connor/KDRV & Ginger – In The Kitchen

While it’s all about the flavor to me (with a nod to Ms Trainor), I’m looking forward to the classes which will boost my culinary education. I registered for the following sessions:

  • How Cooking Techniques Influence the Taste of Beer
  • Spent Grains in Baking & Pastry
  • Global Toppings for Fan Favorite Foods

Anytime I can learn about food, cooking, prep, pairing, and the greater wide world of our sense, I’m interested. My goal is to learn AND to be an instructor as well. In The Kitchen episodes with Kirstin give you a taste of the fun to be had – here’s one on strawberry gazpacho.

Having given dozens of talks, sessions, classes, and demos – call on me when you’re in the market for a lively, fun, new-idea oriented pro to entertain and delight.

 

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Parade Marketing Insights

Do you ever participate in parades? If you do, you’ll want to get in touch for the outline of Parade Marketing Insights from me.

Yesterday I delivered a workshop at the invite of my local Chamber expressly addressing smart, effective & green parade ideas. In years past, the conventional and stupid (yes, I’ll say that) practice of handing out flyers and candy has been the standard.

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

image courtesy of Graham Lewis

Why? ‘Cause “people like it.” Not so if you’re looking to be smart business wise and conscientious to Mother Earth. The practice needs to be nipped all the way to the roots.

The participants who invested their time walked away with immediately useful tactics to employ – well beyond the parade focus. In fact, one of my local colleagues didn’t realize it was bent towards parade participation. They simply saw it as an opportunity to learn more about marketing. Brilliant!!

Marketing is communication. Communication creates memories and experiences which drive success and sales.

Anytime you can find education that helps you grow from a credible source for pay and for free or sponsored, GO. We all must keep learning to stay viable in our societies. The best and most credible teachers are always going to school in some way.

Thanks & cheers to a great 4th!

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The Victory of Cross Pollinating Education

Fresh from the breathtaking beauty of Whistler British Columbia, I’m reminded of the great importance of cross-pollination.

Cross pollination in nature creates hybrids, cross breeds, and new varieties. We’d be wise in all aspects of our lives to include the idea of cross-pollination, especially in business. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Since the majority of my business world of the last 6+ years has been beer oriented, it’s so incredibly refreshing to be part of a totally different world (Mountain Biking) at a conference (keynote speaking).

2. The ideas that flow and move around the rooms are valid in so many ways and applications; no one industry owns information. It’s better shared and reformulated to suit new situations.

3. A simple change of faces is enough to invigorate and restart the juices. “New” people are waiting to meet other new people – you and I – so it’s a set up waiting to be taken advantage of.

4. The connections of education and people, location and experience gives our brains new ways to deal, think, and move forward.

by the way...I rode downhill for the first time here too!

by the way…I rode downhill for the first time here too!

A year + ago I decided aloud that I wanted to expand way beyond beer. It’s actually a thought I’ve had for some time – and several clients have been not of beer all along. This invite to present and be part of the Whistler Bike inaugural conference was a perfect springboard to return to that pool of thought.

People at the conference found my relationship to beer fun and certainly the good vibe went around, appropriate jokes were made and that made the whole thing all the better.

Find an educationally focused event to attend that has a relationship to what you do in some way. For me here, they want to get more women into the mountain biking world via digital media marketing (hence my topic). It was with eager and open eyes and brain that I embraced the invite and I’m so entirely happy I did.

The outdoor sports of the world say it best: Get Out There.

p.s. Sheng Li means Victory in Chinese

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Making Beer Education Happen

What would have to happen and what would have to be true to make education happen?

In the case of women + beer: simple opportunity.

Ginger & Roger, founder of Prud'homme, in Toronto

Ginger & Roger, founder of Prud’homme, in Toronto

Opportunity and education combine to form a powerful purpose and progress. When you combine them they will generate positive synergy and get more women into beer. Here’s how.

  1. Women and men all enjoy flavor. Educate about flavor first, not style or brand or anything else. Flavor is where it starts.
  2. Create and provide opportunities for women to learn about beer. Single gender events, when done correctly , are incredibly successful. For females this means no pink, girl/gal/babe/ladies/chicks. For men this means no macho crap, sports themes or tools.
  3. People want and seek out educational opportunities. Make them happen. Whether you give tours for 30 minutes or 4 hour classes, education feeds the hungry mind.

Beer education has been heightened by various programs. With a nod to Cicerone and Prud’homme, these visionaries behind the value and progress education generates have bred a whole new batch of businesses bringing high quality opportunity to the masses. This is a good thing, as Martha would say.

Education. Opportunity. Two things that will move us forward. Like I say, love and money comes and goes – education lasts forever.

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Smart Partnering

Today’s post is inspired by Loren Fogelman.

I’ve gotten to know Loren over the last 4+ years and am so glad for the relationship. She’s sharp, well spoken and focused. She’s taught me a lot – both incidentally and on purpose – and I was flattered and pleased to be invited by her to collaborate on a professional education series.

Loren sharing her magic at a recent workshop on Vision.

Loren sharing her magic at a recent workshop on Vision.

With 2 down, 1 to go and more in planning, here’s what I can tell you about well matched partnerships.

  1. There’s no ego involved. We both want the others’ success and know ours will come with it.
  2. They are focused on the guests, end goals, and bigger picture and possibilities.
  3. They’re big positive thinkers.
  4. They help you learn, challenge you helpfully, and are complementary to you.
  5. You bring all the same to them.

I’d encourage you to visit her site, read her book (I’ve got my autographed copy, highlighter and pencil handy while reading), and consider her services.

FYI – we’re happy to take the show on the road. Contact me to hire us to give your company and groups the high value education like this Lunch and Learn.

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Beer & Chocolate Tasting at the 2015 Oregon Chocolate Festival

Mmmmmm…Chocolate and Beer – what a lovely coupling!

Enthusiastic OR Chocolate Fest Beer + Chocolate class attendees

Enthusiastic OR Chocolate Fest Beer + Chocolate class attendees

So went two successful highly tasty and entertaining classes to that end last weekend at the 11th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival. Karolina Lavagnino, Sales & Marketing Director of the Neuman Hotel Group, started the fest 11 years ago to create excitement and business in the shoulder season between winter and spring.

I started giving the tasting classes 4 years ago with immediate success. The rooms fill quickly with enthusiastic people, open to trying new combinations and thinking in new ways about what we eat and drink.

This year we were moved into an outdoor tent to seat up to 65+, up from the 40 seats in previous years. And WOW!! The rush to get in felt like a concert was going down. Both days our fantastic security pro Stephanie helped us with the flow, and Ben, Dana and Christa (crew from the Springs) were spot on with their assistance.

Here’s the menu we enjoyed:

Ginger & Stephanie ready for the crowds!

Ginger & Stephanie ready for the crowds!

Saturday: Oakshire Brewing Beers with Dagoba Chocolates

  • Amber + Milk
  • Watershed IPA + Lavender Blueberry
  • Espresso Stout + Dark

Sunday: Standing Stone Brewing Beers with Dagoba Chocolates

Pairing beer and chocolate is so easy, fun, and simple that it’s amazing more people are new to it. Experiment at home: get chocolates and beer – a variety of both – and invite some friends over to sip, nibble, and explore.

The best palate starts with an open mind.

See you at the fest next year!!

  • Thanks to all the energetic and very fun guests. Come see us next year – and know we’re available to hire for your private and business events as well.
  • Thanks to the Hotel Crew. Everyone from security and service, organizers to staff is super helpful, upbeat, and competent.
  • Thanks to Sean Marc Nipper, Reel House Films Filmmaker, and Erika Bishop, Producer, for their efforts Sunday in capturing the fun on film.
  • Thanks to My Fine Husband for his assistance and unflagging support.

 

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Travel, Travel Everywhere….Upcoming Happenings Including TEDxNapaValley

Join us for the following upcoming workshops and events.

  1. Oregon Chocolate Festival 3/6 – 8/15

For the fourth year running Ginger has been invited back to conduct beer and chocolate tastings at this flavor filled festival.

Saturday: 1 – 2 pm featuring Oakshire Brewing beer + Dagoba Chocolate Sunday 2 – 3 pm featuring Standing Stone Brewing beer = Dagoba Chocolate

Pouring BeerIt’s a pleasure to fill the rooms, provide lively education about beer and chocolate as edible partners, and be at the lovely historic Ashland Springs Hotel. Fest founder and organizer Karolina and her crew put forth a worthwhile, relaxing and delicious event.

Full details can be found here.

  1. Ashland Chamber of Commerce Business Workshop 3/11/15

Dana and the team at the Ashland Chamber are putting on an afternoon of 3 business-focused sessions – full details can be found by clicking here.

Ginger will present Say What?! 10 Do’s and Don’ts To Amplify Your Marketing. Members and non-members are encouraged to attend.

  1. Business Builders workshop #2: How Goal Setting Is Killing Your Success.
IMG_2804

CiderCon Chicago 2015

Fest Ginger at Taste small Gail Oberst Powerhouse Loren Fogelman and Ginger have partnered for this big value series, with Loren leading this session. Words of Wealth started the series and #3 will be Pow!! Right in the Wallet, the Power of the Customer Experience lead by Ginger 4/9/15.

Info and registration information is available here.

  1. WESO Showcase 3/12/15

WESO is all about supporting women business entrepreneurs. For the 13th year in a row, their signature Showcase event is happening in Medford, OR and welcomes women and men who want to keep growing their business endeavors. Set up for successful education, networking, fun and support of a local charity, this free 3-hour event will be chockfull of value.

Agenda and details are here.

  1. TEDxNapaValley 4/12/15

Ginger is thrilled and honored to be among those selected to present at TEDxNapaValley 2015. The theme of the event is Redefining Success and she’s speaking about how Gender Equity supports the theme. Hosted at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at Lincoln Center, 14 speakers will be presenting.

Tickets and full details are available here.

  1. Marketing Beer To Women 4/14/15

Delivering signature and singular research data on the female consumer, Ginger is conducting a action packed info filled education session immediately prior to CBC this year in Portland, OR. All people and businesses that realize the enormous impact the female buyer and consumer has on the beer industry should register and attend this event. Limited seating.

Sign up today with this link.

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Training and Education: Are They The Same Thing?

I’ve heard people say ‘training is for dogs, education is for people.‘ While I think my dogs would be fine with this statement, I’m not.

What is the definition of training? What’s the definition of education? Are they interchangeable like many people exercise them to seemingly be? Or are they in fact different?

Mirriam (Webster) tells us this:

Education

: the action or process of teaching someone especially in a school, college, or university

: the knowledge, skill, and understanding that you get from attending a school, college, or university

: a field of study that deals with the methods and problems of teaching

Training

: a process by which someone is taught the skills that are needed for an art, profession, or job

: the process by which an athlete prepares for competition by exercising, practicing, etc.

Are these people being educated or in training?

Are these people being educated or in training?

I agree with Mirriam. Me thinks they are different…and yet we do use them interchangeably. Why is that? Perhaps because no one has put any sort of grounding appendage down firmly to state “this is only what education can be, this is absolutely what training is.”

In a way it doesn’t matter. In another way it does. The Power Of Words does make it matter.

As a professional educator and trainer, I want to know the difference. It alters and guides my perspective, goals, and tactics to accomplishment. Having just given another workshop on the Power Of Words, I know in fact that they do differ and the difference is important and distinct however seemingly innocuous or subtle. The difference is still there. Otherwise they’d share the same exact definition. 

Cheers to education and training. Employ them both as tools and partners for success.

p.s. Here’s a thoughtful video about the power of words

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Where’s the Service? What’s the Experience?

Remember the “Where’s the Beef??” campaign? Today I’d say, “Where’s the Service??”

Service is a funny thing. So many people Want It. Too few people know What It Is. Lots of people practice What It Isn’t.

Service = what you give.

The key here is that we often mistake service for experience.

Experience = what we get.

Are you ready with the Servant Mentality?

Are you ready with the Servant Mentality?

They are vastly different and still very much related. Round and round they go. For example: if someone is shopping at a store, say for a pair of trousers, a sales person approaches (hopefully) to inquire as to how they can help. True service and servant mentality isn’t “are you finding what you want?” Servant mentality is service focused – how can one serve another. What can I help you find, what it is you are looking for today, and ‘these whatevers would be very sharp with the pair of slacks you picked out.’ It’s help at its core: service.

Experience is the result of being served. A woman walks into a bar….

She is seated or seats herself (being greeted and seated is the best service) and awaits a beertender to assist. An in-tune and well-educated tender will introduce themselves (starting a relationship), inquire as to what they may be in the mood for (making suggestions so the guest doesn’t have to do all the work herself), and also makes recommendations to complement her choices (beverage, food, both). Providing an experience is what creates a meaningful memories. Memories drive people to want to repeat their experiences, the business sees the customer again – perhaps with friends they brought along – and round it all goes.

Service Tips Today:

1. When serving the female customer, ask open-ended questions. Service inherently starts with genuine conversation (not hollow, the real stuff).

2. If she gives you a closed return comment, then give her space, let her know you’re available, check back and ensure she’s finding what she wants and needs.

3. Offer appropriate recommendations and suggestions per the conversations you are able to have with her. If she’s rather tight-lipped, simply pointing our features and specials can engage her in a professional and polite way – you’re sharing what’s new, improved, in season and available.

4. Give her space.

5. Thank her for her business and visit – whether she buys now or not. Her experience of your service will greatly affect her support of your business.

Smart service leads to a positive experience. Get it right and thrive. Get it right and she’ll help you.

Resource: Paul Paz, Waiters World is an excellent Servant Leader.

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Success Formulas

Challenge. Solution. Invitation.

Lisa conducting a useful marketing workshop at SBDC, Medford OR.

Lisa conducting a useful marketing workshop at SBDC, Medford OR.

This is the success formula for nationally recognized Lisa Manyon, “The Business Marketing Architect.”

Lisa got tired of the negative model of problem, agitate, and solve. I agree. We spend way too much time being negative instead of channeling that energy into what we CAN do.

Ditch the can’t – go with the can.

Read more about Lisa, her message and brilliant services here.

Marketing is communication. Knowing this and how to do it effectively as it suits your goals is key to success.

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Ladies At Ladyface Love Beer, Cheese & Chocolate

Mmmmmm.

(silence)

Ahhhhhhhh.

(silence)

Ladyface Alehouse is where you'll want to go.

Ladyface Alehouse is where you’ll want to go.

Okay, well it wasn’t *quite* silent between bites on Monday at Ladyface Alehouse…what we had was over a dozen enthusiastic guests participating in a tasting at the brewpub.

Cyrena Nouzille, founder and operator of Ladyface Alehouse & Brasserie, Agoura Hills CA, started this women’s education meet-up about a year ago to offer a deeper sip into beer. It’s designed for women who enjoy flavor, learning about beer, food, and the camaraderie that accompanies the worlds second oldest beverage.

It was my pleasure to have been the specially invited guest to present on the select Ladyface beers made by the very capable head brewer, Dave Griffiths, complemented by Dagoba Chocolate and Cypress Grove Chevre. Seriously. Every palate in the house was happy.

Here’s the deal: when I conduct tasting events – beer, beer & food, cooking with beer and the like – I’m interested in opening minds. An open mind is the best palate. Experimentation and tasting is the name of the game and mix and match we did.

Yes, a great time was had by all!

Yes, a great time was had by all!

Our faithful server brought out 2 beers (in small glasses) to start, as well as two cheeses to which I added a plate of chocolate. After everything was handed out and around, we got to talking about a few things:

  1. Smelling your beer. I teach techniques like Blood hound and Drive by.
  2. Tasting your beer and food together. There’s a marriage just waiting to be tried.
  3. Some HerStory & other tidbits were thrown in. Questions were raised and conversation ensued.

I know it’s a successful night when I lose by voice – and that I did! The pub is a popular place and rightly so. Comfortable, gorgeous art and design of space, and a delicious beer and food menu entice all comers.

mmmmm....

mmmmm….

If you’re in search of flavor, taste and taste some more. Visit and enjoy a local brewpub – the majority of Americans live within 10 miles of a brewery. Ask the management of pubs, breweries, restaurants and bars who carry beer to provide educational opportunities. An educated person has a more open palate, which is good for the whole merry-go-round.

Thanks to Cyrena, Johanna, Adrian (chef), crew and guests who were part of the fun Monday night at Ladyface. Already looking forward to the next time. Call on me when you’d like to have your own special tasting events.

Menu

  • Beers: Grisette, Trappistine, Ladyface IPA and Russian Lullaby
  • Cheese: Cypress GroveLambchop, Midnight Moon & Humboldt Fog + Fourme D’Ambert Bleu and Cow Milk Brie.
  • Chocolate: Dagoba Lavender Blueberry, Chai & Xocolatl

Many thanks to Cypress Grove Chevre & Dagoba for their participation.

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Staying At The Top Of Your Field

Staying at the top of your field of work means continual education. Education comes in many shapes and forms, some very easy to identify and some more ethereal.

Lisa leading her talk at SBDC, October 2014.

Lisa leading her talk at SBDC, October 2014.

Case in point: I went to a marketing workshop a few weeks back hosted by the Small Business Development Center, Medford OR. They’d brought in a national presenter who gave us an hour’s worth of Great Stuff.

Lisa Manyon, Write On Creative, shared her insights on Marketing Messages with Integrity and Messages That Matter. A few things I really appreciated about her talk were a positive can-do message and audience participatory style.

Much of long-lasting learning is hands on – at a minimum: brains on. In person, butts in seats, get up and move, talk, and in general participate. Your learning is your responsibility.

I’d invite you to look for specialists like Lisa. She’s competent, real, and helpful. Pros are always worth the attention and investment – note: Always interview your potential pros. A short (15 minute) exploratory meeting is the best first step after you’ve researched a bit and narrowed your choices.

 

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WESO = Good People

“Hooray Ginger,

Thank you so much for the spectacular presentation at the WESO meeting. [10.9.14]

We were all inspired and entertained by your content and personal awareness to becoming more present and powerful women. We left the evening with many ways and examples to improve our presentation and use of language.

Thank you again, Pia & WESO Board of Directors.

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Defining “Free”

Free: not costing any money; not held as a slave or prisoner… (full definition here from our friends at Mirriam-Webster)

Free isn’t free – it’s an exchange. You’ve heard of the What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) – well, free is in that camp. There has to be a value exchange of some sort. Money, time, rewards.

'Nuf said.

‘Nuf said.

Some may argue that bartering or swapping is free. It’s not. It still requires an exchange – of time, expertise, money, supplies. Whatever is of value is included in the transaction.

So when people ask for free advice, beware. Adrienne sums it up – spot on. Read about her “No, You Can’t Pick my Brain” here. She’s got a gratis preview copy you can download. If it speaks to you, if you find yourself shouting YES!! to the space around you, reference it, use it, and share it forward. That’s the exchange that makes it worth your while and hers to exercise the activity.

If it doesn’t speak to you, you need to buck up and understand value. Value is part of the exchange. “Free Advice” isn’t free to give if your product is the expertise and advice requested of you and the invaluable knowledge you offer. Said another way, would you NOT pay an architect for the conversation? Would you NOT pay the medical specialist for the consult? Of course not – you need to put forth equal investment, as they have spent years acquiring the knowledge you seek and rely on.

Free means being able to say yes, no and negotiate – on your terms. Free is not something for nothing. Authentic respect demands a value proposition that works to mutual benefit and reward.

Yes, you can pick my brain for a price. Just as I pay the grocer for my food, the landscaper for design work, and the insurance agent for my policy. My brain is your resource. Therein lies the value.

By the way: Adrienne is launching a Pick My Brain Tour. Details here. Hope to see you there.

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Beer For People Who Don’t Like Beer

Gord and I met tromping through the Vancouver, British Columbia airport. We must have been headed through customs at the same time, him returning to Canada, me just arriving. Both of us on work trips.

What started as a casual comment happily developed into a very pleasant business lunch. We chatted about a variety of things and in short order the conversation veered towards beer. It could have been the business card I gave him…beer starts a lot of conversations.

Cheers to great folks like Gord ~

Cheers to great folks like Gord ~

Anyway, we decided to head to one of the airport eating establishments for a quick bite of traveling lunch. The service was fine, the food was fine, the beer was tasty and the company was grand.

What Gord asked me as we settled in was “How do I get someone who says they don’t like beer to try it?” While it wasn’t the first time I’d been asked, it did give me pause. Over the years in business with WEB, I’ve learned that the primary reason women say they don’t enjoy beer is they rely on a very distant or previous unpleasant memory to guide their current decisions making process around beer.

While emotions can be good in decision-making, in this case, it’s not good. In fact, it’s detrimental. It’s a hindrance for a number of reasons. One, the memory (gathered in research) is almost always due to the beer having gone bad, like pumped out of a keg with an oxygen pump or it was stale or old and oxidized. Secondly, the cause of the bad memory was self-induced. Beer doesn’t make you drunk or sick – you do that all on your own. Be responsible for your own actions and the beer will absolutely reward you. Lastly, and for a minority, is for truly valid reasons: issues like allergies, family abuse, and addiction and recovery concerns.

So how do you remove the barriers of an old and still poignant memory around beer and appropriate persuade someone to try beer anew? In this case Gord was asking in relation to his beloved wife….good question.

Since I’ve been asked this numerous times, here are some suggestions.

1. Find out what she kinds of flavors she likes – comprehensively. Explore all sorts of beverage and food tastes and write them down.

2. Talk about where those flavors can be found and made. Discuss ease and difficulty in procuring and recreating these pleasing flavors.

3. If there is already a trust in the relationship, you both need to take a leap of faith. It’s beer – don’t be offended. It’s beer – try it.

4. An open mind is the only tool you need. Your taste buds will do the rest WHEN your mind is open.

5. Seek and present opportunity often and appropriately. Never pressure, always encourage and nudge.

Beer: try some. It's all different these days.

Beer: try some. It’s all different these days.

6. A taste of something, literally a tiny bit of the universe, is a very small thing to undertake. If you find it pleasant, try it again. If you find it offensive, try it again. In professional circles, the key to accurately tasting something is two tastes – not just one. Let is sink it and let your palate acclimate and comprehend.

7. Pair beer with food, perhaps starting with the food first.

8. If she drinks wine or spirits or both, look for beers that carry similar flavors to those beverages she already likes.

9. Make beer cocktails. Even if you prefer straight beer, you’re not her and a cocktail or mixed drink make with beer can be a great entry into further exploration.

If her mind is open, you’ll be successful at a minimum by exposing current beer and flavors available therein. If she’s not open-minded, still invite her over for a beer – serve her what she wants and drink what you want too.

The whole point and pint of beer is camaraderie and building community. After all, where do people gather: brewpubs, kitchens, and campfires. Places of relaxed and delicious fun.

Pints up to Gord for the inspiration for this article ~ cheers and hope to see you again soon.

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What Needs To Change With Women’s Beer Group Names

This article is still very true.

And it makes me wonder when women and going to stop perpetuating and creating “clever” monikers for females beer affinity groups. Bad names do way more damage than they do good. Here’s some I’d strike from the list:

  • Pink Boots Society
  • Girls Pints Out
  • Pussy Cat Beer Guild
  • BABES

All of these are – perhaps well intended – and have intentionally chosen names for the groups that will only continue to hold women back. Education can’t be packed in a sexist wrapper and called good.

It’s absolutely mind-blowing when you consider they were created by women. What the heck do the men then think – “If she calls herself a girl/chick/babe/broad, then why can’t I?” And they’d be right. Double standards in public are a poor and stupid choice.

Cheers to smart women who are helping create progress - Ginger (c) with Krissy (l) and Rocky (r) of Snake River Brewing, Jackson WY - where they recently hosted a women + beer event

Cheers to smart women who are helping create progress – Ginger (c) with Krissy (l) and Rocky (r) of Snake River Brewing, Jackson WY – where they recently hosted a women + beer event

Correction of ills, overcoming everything from the female/male wage gap to prostitution, are all part of gender equity it’s a big picture issue. It’s global, local and everywhere we can and can’t possibly think of. It’s up to women mostly to stand up and say. Men, you need to speak up as well.

There is no room in my mind for any of these names to be related to beer. So let’s bring beer into the picture.

If beer’s been modernly perceived as a male drink of choice, and women want to get into it – great! They must do it with full respect to themselves. Cheekiness or being coy or clever with words isn’t helpful – again, it’s damaging and negates and reverses progress. Women are smarter than that. The days of going to university or college for women to find husbands should be dead. This behavior and thinking will never deliver full equity. Don’t be lazy and let this mindset persuade you into thinking it’s okay. It’s not okay.

A cheesecake type calendar is circulating in the beer world of females who work at breweries in seductive poses. Women, this isn’t helpful or cute or even good. It’s simply perpetuating that you are the sum of your boobs and legs, smiles and eyes. Be the sum of your brain cells and backbone, your fortitude and intelligence.

The kicker for me is that the women voluntarily featured in the calendar I know to be otherwise smart women. What broke down? Where was the idea that “this is cool!” when all it does is further objectify them instead. Missteps and selective ignorance and blinders to what’s right, especially intentional ones, need to become extinct where women and beer are concerned.

If we can change the way people think about two universal planetary things (Women + Beer) we can indeed change the world for the better. I’ve seen it. It’s possible and I’m going to stay at it.

Here’s the good news: It’s easy to encourage and make change happen. Stand up, speak up, be vigilant. Women and men everywhere are responsible for making equity and equality happen.

Here are some groups who do it right:

  • Ales 4 FemAles
  • Crafty Ladies
  • Fermenta
  • Women Enjoying Beer

They’re highlighting education to a population that has not been focused on or considered to enjoy beer. They’ve chosen names and titles which build up respect for women learning about beer, not breaking it down. It’s about education first to a powerful population they recognize are curious, deserve full respect, do a majority of buying in the USA and are fun to have around.

Are you part of the solution or problem?

FYI – If you read this and want to take issue, you better be prepared to tell me how these groups and titles truly encourage equality and equity. No ranting from a lopsided perspective allowed (no, I’m not being hypocritical).

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