The Fable of Good, Better, Best

“Good, better, best, never let it rest. Until your good is better, your better’s best.” – Dr. Fagerberg, prof, CCMM

Once upon a time, there were three friends: Good, Better and Best.

They had met early in their lives and did a lot of things together. Hung out at the park, where there was really old original play equipment, newer gear and some sparkling new features. They’d go to the library where they’d see really old books, 20th century works, and then very current publications. They especially liked eavesdropping on conversations because they learned so much about what people thought.

Regardless of what they all thought individually, they all got along well and lived peaceably together in the same neighborhood. They knew that while they didn’t always share the same opinions, they wanted to get along and respect each other and keep their minds open to new ideas. Their elders and other close friends had taught them the value of diplomacy and respect.

One day the three friends were indeed listening in on a conversation. It was a table of 3 People in a brewpub and they were talking about beer (of all things!)

  • Person 1: “I love this beer! It’s so delicious.”
  • Person 2: “Are you kidding?! It’s rank and smells like barnyard and wet hay. Ick! I don’t know how you can stand it.”
  • Person 3: “Really?! I think it’s fine, and perhaps it’s supposed to taste that way. Did either of you check into it or ask our server about it first?”
Good, Better, Best

Good, Better, Best

And so it went, the conversation of the 3 People – around and around, back and forth, never agreeing on the beer in their glasses.

The three friends (Good, Better, Best) found this confusing and confounding. They wondered why the supposed three friends at the table were arguing so, not understanding that they can all simply taste, enjoy a and talk about it AND still value and respect each other fully.

They stayed a little while and eventually the 3 People paid their bill and left the pub, still squabbling over very minor things.

The 3 friends were quiet for a little while after the People left. “I wonder why they just didn’t let each other fully enjoy what they wanted to, instead of bickering and making the others feel bad or wrong…makes no sense to me,” said Better.

“Me either,” stated Good. Best agreed with them both.

They left that day feeling a little more sadly enlightened that some people want to always be Right, to be the Loudest Voice In The Room (making them Right) and wouldn’t graciously accept and encourage their friends to simply enjoy what they wanted without putting it down.

They decided that they’d always stay open to what the others wanted to try and enjoy. After all, everyone has their own taste buds, experiences and opinions. Good friendships are built on variety of and respect, they told each other. They knew they’d learn more and have more fun too if they all treated each other well and were kind.

Then they went along their merry way.

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SOU Leadership Series Talk

It’s an honor to be invited to speak at the SOU Leadership Series, on campus in Ashland, OR.

For all interested parties, here’s the scoop:

Tuesday 22 April, Ginger will be speaking at Southern Oregon University as part of their ongoing Leadership Series. Potential guests are vetted by the various department staff and then invited to present on campus.

From 1230 to 120 pm, at the Hannon Library, Meese Room, I’ll be talking and answering questions. The gist is to bring in community business people who are unique and have a singular angle to how they got into doing what they do.

If you are interested in attending, simple show up and tell them I invited you (I’m allowed!). I welcome all guests, friends, colleagues and curious folks. After all, Women Enjoying Beer is a pioneering business and I’m very glad to chat and answer questions as it’s helpful to guests.

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2014 Craft Brewers Conference Wrap-Up

Wow! What a week. The 2014 Craft Brewers Conference was an event to behold and participate in hosted by the fine City of Denver, Colorado.

Over 8000 people attended the 2014 CBC

Over 8000 people attended the 2014 CBC

It was a record setter…and here’s what the Brewers Association tells us:

“Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) wrapped up Friday, and it will be remembered as the largest gathering to date. How big? 9,000 industry professionals participated in the conference—that’s a 40 percent increase over the 2013 event. About 1,100 American breweries were represented in this pool of attendees.

BrewExpo America also continued its growth and remains the largest trade show of its kind, with 490 exhibitors in 2014.

In addition to the main events, the Craft Beer Wholesalers symposium saw 370 attendees, and the Craft Beer Bar Owners Conference brought together 100 participants.

To wrap up the week, 2,700 brewery representatives and select members of the trade gathered at the Hyatt Regency to celebrate the 10th World Beer Cup®. They enjoyed an array of craft beer and food pairings at the Award Ceremony and Reception, where 281

10th Annual World Beer Cup, Denver CO

10th Annual World Beer Cup, Denver CO

World Beer Cup awards were presented in one of the largest commercial beer competitions on record.

Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America will travel to Portland, Ore. in 2015, April 14-17.”

If you’ve yet to attend one of the CBC’s and are in the industry in some way, I highly recommend you plan on participating. Regardless of where you are in the greater pro beer community, there are connections and friendships to be made, educational seminars to take advantage of, and an overall camaraderie that is like no other on the planet.

See you next year in Portland!

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All Conferences Are Not Created Equal

Today you may see me in a few airports then in the fine City of Denver, Colorado for the week. Tomorrow starts the 31st edition of the Craft Brewers Conference, put on by the Brewers Association hosted this year in the Mile High City.

Sky High view of Denver

Sky High view of Denver

I attend this conference every year, without fail, for business development, camaraderie, and education. It’s one of the biggies and has grown from 2400 attendees at my first one in 2009 to an anticipated crowd of 8900+ this year. Wow!

What does this conference hold for attendees, beyond the three attributes mentioned above?

  • World class people. Speakers, educators, and vendors. Connections are there for the making and it’s up to attendees to navigate and take full advantage of this unique super concentrated event to start and build relationships.
  • World class people and events. Every single moment of the week, no kidding, is overfull of happenings and the chance to connect and reconnect with friends and colleagues.
  • BrewExpo America Trade Show is chock full of literally hundreds of vendors, suppliers, growers, and service companies at the ready to talk, field questions and take orders.
  • Great City. Denver itself is a terrifically fun and engaging city to visit, stay and play. As a mecca for not only beer, the pedestrian friendly 16th Street Mall area with complementary bus, light rail and public bike share, myriad food and drink establishments, and world-class Museum are all attractive reasons.

I’ve spoken at a number of the conferences. In fact WEB launched publicly at the 2009 CBC in Boston, MA, to a standing room only audience. It’s a constant challenge to try to see, take in and talk to everyone you want.

Making time to view and plan the agenda, your plans and the lay of the land in advance is the best way to tackle this event, whether seasoned or as a first time guest.

Challenges notwithstanding, it’s a must attend for me. The coming together to so many incredibly plugged in people, helping each other, sharing information for the good of the whole, having a great time and sipping mighty fine beverages are more than enough reasons to go.

Education is the opportunity to improve your life. The CBC is one of those opportunities.

Hope to see you there with 8000+ of my friends – Cheers!

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What Keeps Me Up At Night

What keeps a person up at night is assuredly varied. Events in our lives, things we’re thinking about, and experience we may anticipate.

It's thoughtless things like this sign that hold everyone back. (p.s. on a road in Ashland OR)

It’s thoughtless things like this sign that hold everyone back. (p.s. ..on a road in Ashland OR)

All of those factor into my thinking. And they do in fact keep me up at night, as well as wake me up in the morning.

Here are a few things that disrupt my slumber:

1. With almost 3000 breweries operating in America today, why are so few of the owners and founders of these companies are seriously addressing women as viable and valuable market participants? They pass them by with exclusion in developing poor label name and design selection, sexist images, and base humor that insults everyone.

2. The relatively small pool of apparently enlightened businesses (beer and beyond) who want to truly address women and females as equitable planet occupants.

3. That fact that way too many women perpetuate sexist labels amongst themselves, giving the okay to use titles and words that denigrate the greater good. It’s absolutely not okay – it’s backwards; it’s not clever or fun – it’s damning.

4. In a good way: when we work with clients who really give a damn. Who are business focused AND have their eye on equity. Thank you.

Feminism, as a reminder is: the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunity. We should all believe that.

Here’s a thoughtful read and good book for examining modern women by Debora Spar.

What keeps me up at night, what wakes me in the morning, and what gets my blood rolling is the fact that women are still behind gender wise. Some women and men are great at creating positive change. Some of them stink at it.

There are no acceptable reasons for gender inequity in this day and age. None. Everyone needs to speak up, change directions, and make progress happen.

What keeps you up at night?

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Opportunity Is Only Opportunity If You Want It

What opportunity do you see and pursue?

What opportunity do you see and pursue?

Opportunity is only present if you want it and take advantage of it.

As the CEO of my own company, I often hear myself say (in my head or aloud) “Opportunity is everywhere.” If you’re seeking it, if you’re willing to work to make it happen, if all the elements of success line up.

Opportunity is, then as well, passing up that project, job, volunteer position, or other activity that requires time and attention that does not fit with your goals and aspirations.

To say you miss an opportunity is a misnomer. Opportunity is not chance. It’s intentional. Being able to take part of an opportunity equates to paying attention to the right shiny objects, developing relationships intentionally, and making a dedicated commitment o to a goal. Opportunity is participation, not passivity. Make it happen, don’t wait for it to come knocking.

Opportunity in the beer world is for beer businesses to recognize women as full participants. They’re looking for opportunity that fits for them to participate in the global beer scene. Companies that see this and pursue it will reap rewards.

So I will always believe opportunity is everywhere. No doubt about it. The right opportunity is what to work on, not the wrong one.

Here are a few interesting reads related to Opportunity:

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When’s the Right Time To Hire WEB for Your Business

This is an excerpt from a recent email conversation. The context is this person wanted to attend our Marketing Beer To Women workshop

“In regards to a one-on-one [marketing consultation], I’ll kindly decline. We haven’t brewed our first beer yet and don’t think its the correct time to hire you.

I was interested on your talk because it is innovative and something to think off further down the road.”
The right time to develop your marketing plan, for all businesses and organizations that want o be successful, is early. To wait is to fail in best bringing your products, goods, services, and ideas to market.
I’d ask: What precisely are you waiting for? It’s never too early, and often it’s too late.
Once the doors open, it’s too late. Did you wait to call the plumber until you actually got the equipment in? Did you wait to contact the press until your doors were/are actually open? Did you wait to hire an architect until you had building materials delivered? Do you wait to order grain until the day you actually want to brew?
Plan ahead. Have success.

Plan ahead. Have success.

No to all of the above. Waiting in business is suicide.

I pity the foolish business person who waits to develop a proper marketing plan. Even more so, I pity the fool who waits to plan to market to women according to what the business is planning to sell.
I don’t pity the fool who’s too myopic or foolish to not consider women as a huge global force to reckon with. I agree with Seth.

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Grizzly Peak Winery & Beer

Sunday inaugurated a brand new idea to a local winery: Beer & Wine tasting, together. The open-minded and community oriented owners, Virginia and Al of Grizzly Peak Winery, were gracious hosts of this first time effort. They’re taking their time to build the winery slowly and

delicious Grizzly Peak Wines waiting to be tasted...

delicious Grizzly Peak Wines waiting to be tasted…

steadily with great results.

It’s a lovely location that exhibits a lot of love, hard work and investment. What a perfect place to hold a tasting event. It’s a place many consider for other events, as they’ve hosted plays, weddings and all kinds of other happenings.

With much success, the room filled with over 20 guests, 2 hosts and a few other special people to enjoy a sunshine filled afternoon learning about beer and wine together. The cheese and chocolate that accompanied the tasting was a flavorful and impactful addition as well.

Why beer and wine? Because you don’t have to only like one. You don’t have to choose one over the other. They are both eagerly awaiting the opportunity to give your senses a terrific experience.

The first time I gave a beer and wine event it was also at another winery. It’s yet another reason we need to shatter the idea that one beverage is the elite, the only, the one that strangely earns the self-imposed and very unsavory title of snob. And really it doesn’t surprise me since the wine folk I know embrace beer. After all it takes wonderful beer to make tasty wine!

Ginger & Virginia - happy tasters!

Ginger & Virginia – happy tasters!

Flavor is where you find it. The exploration of various liquids and solids can be enjoyable for all if the mind is open before the lips even part.

Menu: Beer & Wine, Together Forever

Cheeses featured were from Cypress Grove Chevre: Midnight Moon and Bermuda Triangle

Chocolates featured were from Dagoba: Hazelnut, Lemon Ginger, Beaucoup Berries, New Moon

I invite you to taste the two categories side by side – chocolate and cheese in the mix only teaches us more varieties of what’s possible for our palate.

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CBC DEN 2014

Got it?

Craft Brewers Conference. Denver, Colorado, USA. 2014.

The world abounds with acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms (seriously, check it out). How we speak with each other is often rife with at least some of these on a daily basis.

Some are fun – ASAP. PBR. CBC.

Which brings me back on topic. As soon as possible, April 8 – 11 to be specific, a large portion of the professional beer community will descend on Denver, Colorado for the Craft Brewers Conference, aka CBC. (see, there we go again….).

It’s a humdinger of a conference for many reasons.

  1. Attendees come from all over the globe. This year will be the biennial World Beer Cup awards as well, which definitely skyrockets the global representation.
  2. The many tracks and seminars, workshops and events that happen as part of the conference proper as well as unofficial yet anticipated pack the days full of learning, networking, relationship building, and visiting.
  3. The variety of talent speaking and presenting is impressive – from the seminars to the trade show floor. If you want to get questions answered, here’s a great place to do so.
  4. It can be overwhelming for some, since there’s so much going on. You really have to know how to strategically plan your trip. Get lots of sleep in advance, bring a refillable water bottle, and plot your schedule.
Corkie Odell, Odell Brewing, at a previous CBC

Corkie Odell, Odell Brewing, at a previous CBC

It’s super easy to get distracted and if you want to go that route, go for it. Planning will usually yield better, more productive and meaningful results.

I’ll be there again hosting a meet-up for professionals, holding a Marketing Beer To Women workshop and presenting as part of a panel during the CBC. Go through the site to find out what’s going on.

Education and ongoing professional development are critical to progress and idea sharing. It’s also sometimes the last thing we put on the list to invest in, when it should be a list topper. Support, insight, camaraderie and relaxation make us all better in the short and long run.

See you there and then.

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Inaugural Craft Beverage Expo

A new expo is in town. The first ever Craft Beverage Expo is launching on May 6 – 8 in San Jose, California. I’d been getting mailings from the CBE and have recently become more acquainted with the conference.

Here are a few aspects that may make this conference appealing to attend.

1. The site states the conference is designed to help “artisan wine, craft beer, craft cider and craft spirit producers do business and increase sales in a regulated space.” It’s a cross industry effort that looks to create broader conversations with interested communities. No need to delineate when we can share best practices, helpful ideas and talk for the betterment of the whole.

2. It’s essentially two full days of seminars, speakers, and trade show. Breakfasts are provided with registration two of the days as well as a mix and mingle happy hour one afternoon.  When you plan your conference strategy well, you can take in the seminars that best suit you, search out vendor information, and take advantage of the relationship building and networking built into the event.

3.  The list of 58 scheduled speakers should give you plenty to listen to. While the mix of gender in speakers is better than a lot of alcohol conferences, the women in beer need better representation. It’s important to have realistic population representation – half the population is female.

4. Well over 100 exhibitors are making the investment and will be readily available to the attendees.

5. Here’s some of the press information to read.

LogoOverall, everyone has to prioritize and decide which opportunities to pursue, for what reasons, and for a particular investment. Heading to a conference is way more than simply paying registration. It’s travel time and expense, time away from the business, and lost productivity and sales in some cases (a trade out so to speak).

What do you stand to gain? Education is always a wise investment. The way to approach whatever you choose to attend should include “What 1 – 5 specific things/concepts/ideas/solutions/connections can I walk away with if I attend the XYZ conference?” Plan to plan. Set goals, do your research of what’s available, what’s close to you, what you can afford (on various levels), who should go, and then do it.

I’ve always been glad to have attended conferences, whether for a single afternoon or multiple days. It’s easy to shoo it away, thinking we don’t have time. Put the effort into the things you want to see benefits from. Do your diligence. Make the time for the right events.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

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Marketing Beer To Women Workshop Invite

Immediately prior to Craft Brewers Conference in Denver this year, I’m giving a free workshop that specifically addresses marketing beer to the world’s largest and most influential population: Women.

Ready to step up your marketing to successfully address the primary buyers of all goods and services in America? Reserve your seat today. If you’ve been to my presentations before, you’ll know they are lively, full of immediately usable information, well worth your time and will help you increase your business.

Save your seat today by calling WEB

Save your seat today by calling WEB

With the continued growth of the industry and increased choices for the consumer, you need to know how to reach the most valuable buyer around: Women.

Is there a problem selling beer to women? There will be if the continued trajectory of brewery openings maintains. The men that already drink beer will get stretched further and further – it’s time to look at new populations to support this growth. There’s still much to do to totally tap into the female beer buyer and consumer.

The workshop is free and space is very limited. Serious people are invited to contact me directly (not Cheeky Monk) to save your seat. This event is for professionals in the industry: breweries, distributors, vendors, growers, suppliers, retailers….everyone who has a vested interest in marketing to women correctly.

A few seats are being reserved for interested qualified media & press as well.


  • Tuesday April 8th, 2 – 4 pm.
  • The Cheeky Monk, 534 Colfax, Denver CO
  • FREE, buy your own beer & food (to each, your own tab!)
  • RSVP’s required, limited seating
  • Call Ginger to save your seat 515.450.7757 PST, daytime calls only, no emails
  • First reserve, first sat; we’ll create a wait list as necessary – and it’s filling up fast.

The workshop will include information from the newly available report/s based on the 2012 Women + Beer Survey, basic Do’s and Don’ts in marketing to women, and there will be plenty of time to ask questions. Please be prompt.

Thank you. See you soon –

One comment

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Great Flavor Partners, Beer & Chocolate

People file in…anticipating flavor and fun…they’re happily satisfied.

So went our annual Beer & Chocolate Tasting sessions at the recently concluded 10th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival. The whip sharp and inspiring Karolina of Ashland Springs Hotel (Neuman Hotel Group) started the festival 10 years ago to create a shoulder season event for residents and visitors alike. Suffice it to say: it’s been a big success.

Ashland is home to 23K+ permanent residents, a few thousand University students and innumerable visitors every year. A festival of this caliber is a pleasure to be a part of – Karolina and her fantastic assistant Paula along with the entire crew (Gina, Charlie, Gigi, and dozens more staff) are a joy to collaborate with.

Find a local beer class - and take it!

Find a local beer class – and take it!

When I approached Karolina 3+ years ago to inquire about adding their first ever beer and chocolate session, she was ready to embrace it – new, interesting, and attractive to the hundreds of guests that visit the fest. Some of them year after year after year, from far and near.

I love teaching. The lightbulb moments, the opportunity to open minds and pleasing palates, the myriad people you meet and the comfortable and accommodating setting are all reasons the love continues. Teaching in an ideal setting helps make it the best it can be for the guests too, never mind the presenters (!).

Get out and support your local festivals. Attend as a paying guest, volunteer to help, and spread the word.

Here are the menus for the 2 sessions we gave this year. Hope to see you in class next year!

Great Flavor Partners: Beer & Chocolate


  1. Milk and Honey Ale with Roseberry
  2. Twin Plunge IPA with Lavender Blueberry
  3. Humboldt Fog
  4. Hop Night Cascadian Dark with Mint


  1. Steel Cut Stout with classic Dark
  2. Noble Stout with New Moon
  3. Truffle Tremor
  4. Milk and Honey with Eclipse
  5. BONUS: award-winning Amber (with whatever was remaining!)

A great time was had by all – thanks to all the guests, new and returning. Cheers til next time –

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Oregon Chocolate Festival 2014 Ticket Giveaway

If you’d like two complementary tickets to the uber luscious and fun 10th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival happening March 8 & 9, Ashland OR, then speak up!!

Here’s the mash:

  1. Get to our Contact page, scroll down to General Inquiries (past the Media Inquiries)
  2. Fill it out specifying you “YES! I want to Win 2 Tickets to the OCF” in the How Can We Help You space.
  3. Include full first and last name, email address and one good fun reason we should give them to you.
  4. Entries taken until Sunday March 2nd.

We’ll draw a winner randomly from all entries – women & men are encouraged to enter. The only thing that would trump the random selection process is if someone gets super creative with an entry. Extra weight to creativity!

Festival Link here.

p.s. We’ll be offering our usual tasty Beer & Chocolate classes Saturday & Sunday too – register here.

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Bring On The Questions!

Last night’s monthly episode of Swig & Stitch was particularly gratifying. It’s always fun, enlightening and invigorating – for me and the guests.

And last night was all the more engaging for a few reasons.

1. We had a really nice guest list of both returning and new folks. We’re glad for and appreciate both.

2. The beer and food pairings were really in a groove. Our host 4 Daughters Irish Pub and the GM, Brandy, are super easy to work with and we’ll stay as long as it’s still groovy.

3. When talking with a few guests (2 brand new, 2 having been to only one S&S before), I asked them what they wanted to learn about. The questions that came from them helped drive the nights beer education forward.

Swig & Stitch: Beer & Food tastings partnered with Sewing technique lessons = success!

Swig & Stitch: Beer & Food tastings partnered with Sewing technique lessons = success!

As an educator, I’m keen on knowing what the audience wants to know. It’d be pretty conceited if I only talked about what I wanted to talk about. All audiences are different and many presenters seem to neglect that. They get caught up in themselves and the material and forget who the heck they’re there for!

One of the questions that was a terrific one to discuss was this: How do I learn to like beer? WOW! Talk about open-minded, willingness and a desire to learn. In reply to this question, I asked her why she wanted to like beer…and we chatted for a bit until I needed to move to the next table.

It’s a great question and precisely the reason why we do the qualitative research WEB conducts. These are powerful “why” questions – they drive our decision-making process and are important in all facets of progress.

Thanks to Tammy and all the attendees last night. Here’s the menu we enjoyed.

p.s. I got a few more questions from the guests to explore at future episodes…all welcome, RSVP’s in advance needed. Contact Fabric of Vision to reserve your seats.

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The Power Of Words

Micro. Local. Regional. Organic. Nano. Macro. Small. Big.

What is the power of words when applied to the topic at hand? They have a huge impact in many ways. Words are labels – and if you follow the site, you know I talk about labels with some regularity.

When we fall in love with something it’s usually due to an emotional response. Reasonably so since we’re sensory beings and we tend to lean with our emotions. Because we are also thinking creatures, we should then engage the brain and think things through in conjunction with our emotions.

To be able to totally remove emotion from decisions seems cold and calculating to some, liberating for others. I find a combination is wise and the balance of which one holds more sway depends somewhat on the decision at hand.

Am I interested in going out for pizza? Well, my emotions will most likely take the lead since my senses are the biggest audience to this decision. Did I like where I went last time? Would I rather make it at home? What new place has a friend recommended?

Once these questions are considered, I may ask: what’s the monetary investment? How far or near is the place? Do I want to see lots of people or go to a relatively quiet place? These are more brain focused decisions for me.

Pour your words carefully. Photo by Judy Pavlik.

Pour your words carefully. Photo by Judy Pavlik.

In the greater universe, there are loads of people enjoying beer. All over the world, all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, genders, and backgrounds. Great, I say!

I’d turn then and state unequivocably that there are too many people in the beer world who are judgmental to a fault. They choose to judge a beer on various emotional aspects before they dig into the quality and brain type decisions.

Liking a beer or not liking it is an entirely subjective discussion. Liking, loving, bashing, and hating are all emotional choices. And they’re based on a wide variety of experience, sensory and brain input. I give a toast to those who remove their own personal biases and decide what they like about the beer instead of summarily embracing or dismissing it. Who’s to say something is good or bad unless it’s your own choice. A lemming mentality is dangerous and foolish.

Think for yourself and use your words carefully. Before pronouncing something divine or despicable, be diplomatic, thoughtful and calculating. Then be sure to use words that indicate your intelligence: we can all use more civility and diplomacy. Start with yourself first.

The power of words is truly that – powerful. If you want to go to battle, go elsewhere. Beer is meant to be congregational and should therefore be approached with open-minded consideration and an open palate. Take a nod from the well-regarded food pro Ruth Reichl or seasoned beer pro Lisa Morrison or the astute writer Jay Brooks. Their work and reviews embody thoughtful discourse, honesty, and respect.

Once you do some homework on self improvement, engage, embrace, talk and enjoy.

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Gluten Free Tasting

NOTE: This post was originally drafted during our HomeFreeTour, which started in September 2009. Enjoy the post & thanks for reading.


Our friend April in Kirkland WA was good enough to invite some friends over for a tasting while we’re on the road. It was huge fun and I believe all the good humored guests learned at least a few new things about beers and ciders.

Gluten free = lots of flavor!

Gluten free = lots of flavor!

This is my first mention of cider I think…and they fit nicely for diets that require glutenfree beverages. Plus here in the Northwest, where I currently am, apples abound!! Whew!

Here’s what the menu looked like (foods gotten at Trader Joe’s).

  1. Course 1 – Redbridge with soft tangy Chevre on soyrice crackers
  2. Course 2 – Newton’s Folly Draft Cider with Washington Honeycrisp apples, apple smoked garlic cheddar cheese, and corn/potato/rice tortilla chips
  3. Course 3 – Fox Barrel Black Currant Cider with fresh spinach &mixed greens salad with local melon, pears, and almonds and a touch of champagne gorgonzola dressing
  4. Course 4 – Green’s Discovery Amber Ale with freshly smoked salmon
  5. Course 5 – Bard’s Gold with Dagoba chocolates

Mmmmmmmm….All Gluten Free, all flavorful and fresh.

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Beer & First Taste Oregon

There’s little I enjoy more than giving a tasting seminar. And yesterday I got to literally feed the beast.

As a guest presenter at First Taste Oregon, we got on stage 3 times to give the following sessions:

Mmmmm! Cooking with Beer & Cheese

Fire Mountain Brew House, Gilgamesh Brewing, and Willamette Valley Cheese Company graciously provided beer for this tasty and sample oriented session. I offered ideas on using beer in cooking, along with cheese – though sometimes both were included, others not. One primary idea shared was to use beer in the cooking of Mac & Cheese. Decide on a complementary beer as well as amount of beer used in the boiling and in the cheese sauce (starting with a bechamel base will up your success). Cooking any remarkably bitter beer will only amplify, in a relatively unpleasant way, the tannins in the hops. Not what you want nor pleasing to most palates. A Porter, Stout, Red, Amber or Brown would be a better choice. The super flavorful Smoky Gouda from Willamette Valley was a spot on match to pair with the Fire Mountain Steam Fired Stout and the Gilgamesh Hopscotch.

Mmm, Ahhh – Smelling & Tasting Your Beer (and other beverages!)

Again, thanks to Fire Mountain for providing beer for the session & Willamette Valley Cheese Company. We’ve featured WVCC before, a few years ago at the first ever beer & cheese tasting the Oregon Cheese Festival had ever had. Suffice it to say the crammed room, Standing Room Only at that session was indicative of the enthusiasm for people to embrace beer and cheese together!

This seminar featured less common WVCC Chive Black Pepper Gouda – wow!! What a perfect example of a food to smell and taste.

Beer & Wine: Together Forever, a Tasting

In addition to the beer, in this session we build the flavor bridge between beer AND wine. There’s every reason to enjoy and explore them both. Get rid of the ‘vs.’, go for the ‘and.’ Try some side by side and explore the similarities and differences. We served the remainder of the WVCC Smoked Gouda (smoked with apple & pear wood I think) and also rolled out the uber delicious Cypress Grove Chevre Humboldt Fog & apparent seminar crowd top pick Midnight Moon. All of them were gone in a flash.

Pyrenees Vineyard & Cellars graciously provided the session with a delicious bottle of their Grenache. Yum!! A big thanks to them letting us include them in the session. I know the guests loved it too!

My thanks to the fantastic hosts – Ingalls Agency, Peter – the super helpful and adept sound pro, and the engaged guests. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did – see you next year to enjoy more flavors together.

p.s. the music at the fest was great – by Brady Goss & salsa band Son Melao

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Beer & Sewing

If you follow us then you know we collaborate with a local business for a monthly meet-up. It’s called Swig & Stitch and is the brilliant and useful brainchild of Sandi, partner in S&S and owner of Fabric of Vision.

Swig & Stitch

Swig & Stitch

Really, the name of her business speaks for her. She’s got vision, a real grounded sense of life, purpose and humor. Oh – and she really enjoys beer. It’s a pleasure to work with her to educate people on sewing technique demos and beer & food tastings.

The menu we enjoyed last night, at our fine host 4 Daughters Irish Pub:

  • Spinach salad paired with SOB Porter
  • Corned beef and cabbage with the 4 Daughters house Brown
  • Vanilla ice cream float with Guinness Dry Irish Stout

Classic, basic, yummy.

Thanks to the great guests who join us. As I always say, the guests make the party!

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Big Beer Recipes

Last weekend found WEB in Vail, Colorado for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival. It’s an annual event hosted at Cascade Resort, put together by the incredible Lodge’s. A big thanks to them for this longstanding well run event featuring “big beers” – aka robust, higher alcohol, full flavored beers.

Big Beers, big flavors

Big Beers, big flavors

I had the opportunity to present Cooking With Beer. With a room full of 35 folks interested in quaffing and noshing, we walked through 3 different foods prepared with various beers. Here’s what we covered.

Course 1

Collage, by Deschutes and Hair Of The Dog, was used in making slow cooked Roasted Pork & Beans. The beer was used to rehydrate beans (small red chili, pinto, great northern) and added a deeper flavor overall. Along with the other ingredients added including cooking in some dark Dagoba chocolate, the dish was a good match for the Collage, a rich and enormously flavorful beer. A bonus flavor kicker of Cypress Grove Bermuda was a hit as well.

Course 2

Sixth Glass, by Boulevard Brewing, was utilized in a humus mix. A local food coop has a lovely dried humus mix, ready to welcome liquid to come to life. Sixth Glass was added in the mix, along with red bell pepper and chopped cilantro and a few other goodies and served with the beer including a small chunk of CGC Midnight Moon. A new spin on a simple dip gave it new life.

Course 3

This course proved to be a great wrap up. Ladyfinger cookies were soaked in Fluxus by Allagash Brewing. We scooped a fresh dip of Blue Bunny Natural Vanilla ice cream, topped it with the soaked cookies that had been tossed with Dagoba Lemon Ginger chocolate shavings and fresh lemon zest, and voila! A new explosion of flavor.

Many hearty thanks to all our guests, to the super troop of fest volunteers who took directions well in a very condensed time frame, to Lilly & Diane, and to Laura for believing the topic has merit for this sophisticated crowd.

And of course, our glass is up to the Brewers who supplied these special beers. They’re already limited releases – to give us some of them for this express purpose is humbly appreciated:

Naomi of Allagash, Todd of Boulevard, and Cam of Deschutes are to be commended for making the beer possible.

Cooking with beer is a specialty for us and when you’re ready to bring in new flavors, new ideas, and an entertaining presenter, be in touch. Have ideas, will travel.

Cheers to next Big Beers, Vail!



Shifting Culture With Women And Beer

As you look around your daily life, what do you see?

Do you see good things? Bad things? Things you want to pursue? Things you want to support? Things you want to change?

At Women Enjoying Beer, we’re very thankful that hundreds – ne  thousands – of women have helped us in shifting culture by speaking up about their relationship with beer.

“Relationship with beer?”, you ask? Yes, it’s a relationship. And it goes waaaaay back for some, for others it’s pretty recent. Age has little to do with some facets, and sometimes everything to do with experiences.

We love the research part of our work, which is what in fact drives the whole effort forward. Asking “why” questions like a terrible two year-old (or enlightened genius in the making!) is exactly where examination and progress is made.

So why do we do it? How did I choose this path and what do we actually do? Theses are two very common questions we get.

1. How did I choose this path: I looked around 5 years ago and wondered why more women didn’t enjoy beer. Notice I didn’t say drink. There’s a huge difference in enjoyment and drinking. Enjoyment of beer does not require the drinking of it – it’s about community and opening your mind. Searching for those responses then are the driver ever forward. Why, why, why.

2. What do we do: Lots. It starts with the qualitative research with women. We then utilize that highly valuable insight to shift culture by working with entities of all sorts that know the impact of knowing how to successfully address the worlds largest population: females.

A cross-section of just some of the clients we’ve worked with looks a bit like this (full page and listing coming soon): Universities like CWU; Brands like Lakefront, New Belgium, and Ninkasi; Events like Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Congreso Cerveza Mexico, TFOB; Institutions like OMSI, SOPTV; Associations like ABL, PEO; Businesses like McQuade, Doll, Maletis; Media like KTVL,, NW Travel Magazine.

Why do we do it? Because it’s meaningful work, overdue and fascinating.

Education changes the world for the better. Once we gather the research information, we educate forward. Love and money may come and go, education stays with someone forever.

Women and beer are the two universally existing facets of life in earth. What better way to shift culture than to start with two universally recognizable things.

Gender equitable cultures and societies are more productive, more balanced and better over all for this small planet of ours. We want to be part of that work.

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