Lucky 13: Oregon Chocolate Festival Beer & Chocolate Menu

One of our fine team members getting the goods plated…

Mmmmmmmm

Ahhhhhhhhh

Ooooooooo!!

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

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

Great crew (slightly chocolate-goofy!) helping out

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

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

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

Love live the Festival!!

Here are the menus we enjoyed.

Saturday:

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

Sunday:

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

Recipes:

Chocolate Polenta

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

Chocolate Chevre

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

Ginger cookies in testing mode

Ginger Cookies (on which we spread the chevre)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Comments »

Michigan Brewers Guild Comment

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

Megan Scheerhorn, Marketing Coordinator

Saugatuck Brewing Company

Douglas, MI

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

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Michigan and Back

Happy New Year All ~

It’s always a good time to welcome in ‘new’ and shake things up.

I’ve been to Michigan and back – where (accordingly to my last post) the work of an event has transpired. The Fermenta crew hosted a superb event, the guests were fully engaged as was the host location, Arcadia Ales. My thanks to them all.

This is an example of being in a learning pattern, not a holding (stagnant) pattern. The invite to join them stretched them in new ways. Ways I wanted to support and accommodate. It’s the working together , in new ways – hence new pattern development – that stimulates and motivates.

A learning patterns means minds are open to escort the open eyes and ears of the learning.

As you sally forth into 2017 with beer, beer and food and all other culinary adventures, I’d encourage you to do the same. Consider life one continual learning curve. Out of the stale, into the possible.

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Happy New Beer!

Events are a lot of damn work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mexican Women & Beer

Salud!

To all the fantastic people in Mexico making beer anew. Changing the definition to reach more people, talk about it, provide experiences and opportunities.

Salud!

Love love love my Mexican Colleagues in beer!

Love love love my Mexican Colleagues in beer!

To these fantastic people, all who happen to be women, in doing all the above and waaaaaaay more. They’re having a ball, we can learn from them and I’m thrilled to say I know 2 of the 5. Eager now to meet the rest, preferably over Mexican beer and food, in Mexico.

The article I’m referencing is here – and is best read with a fresh beer in hand.

Humbled and honored to be mentioned by Guillermina. The inspiration is mutual. She and Rebeca both showed me gracious and generous hospitality when I was in Mexico City for Congreso Cerveza Mexico a few years back. Can’t wait to return!

Salud!

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Heavenly Tastes

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

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty's.

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty’s.

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

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

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

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

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

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

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Beer, Wine & Spirits – Oh My $$

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

Julia sharing in her dynamic style at the CIA.

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

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

Or two.

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

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

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Client Thumbs Up

“Hi Ginger

Yes, business is good …

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

Cheers and best wishes for a wonderful long weekend,

B”

 

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Beer And _________

What do you like to pair beer with?

Everything should be fair – or fare – game since beer is an excellent pairing partner.

Here are some ideas for you today.

1. Beer and breakfast. The secret of pairing and tasting at any time is quantity: keep it small. Breakfast is an ideal time of day to taste as our senses are well rested and ready to serve. Plan a breakfast or brunch of sweet fruit topped waffles with savory sausage. Pair the plate with a smooth and low alcohol Belgian or Wit beer. The yeast and wheaty contributions complement the meal very well.

2. Beer and cheese. It should be it’s own course, of course. With many a resource to echo this sentiment and many resources to explore, my go to is Janet Fletcher. Her life experiences and savvy are the best guide. She’s got plenty of excellent easy to utilize books as well – I’ve got the yogurt one on my shelf (gets used a lot!). She’s got the chops, is a straight shooter and tuns of fun. You’ll learn a lot, much to the happiness of your tastebuds.

Janet & Ginger

Janet & Ginger

3. Beer and dessert. This is still a new idea to many. Desserts with beer or desserts paired with beer or desserts made with beer – they all qualify. Use beer when baking chocolate cakes, put a few tablespoons in malted milkshakes, use it in the crust of a tart. Then be sure to pair beer with desserts. The beer world is overflowing with flavor choices: when you find one you like, note it. If you taste one you don’t, move on to the next.

4. Beer and fish & shellfish. These natural partners are truly meant to be together. With the unlimited rainbow of possibilities from the fermenters and from the water, try try try! In my work with Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, I’ve experimented a lot and found many pleasing combinations, opportunities and am spurred on to keep going…which I will!

The key to enjoying beer and food is to try. When you discover magic, note it and then keep trying other things. Figure out your stalwart Go-To’s (never a favorite) and keep looking, cooking, and tasting.

Beer and life go well together. Enjoy it in moderation, savor the flavors, and start sipping!

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Women In Beer

Over the last 7 to 12 years I’ve come to know many, many people within and related to the beer universe. The community of these people has been by and large invigorating and inspiring. They’ve helped me think, rethink, consider, laugh, let go, and learn. There are a few people whom I avoid, yet that number is low.

Hundreds of folks later, I want to simply thank some of them today. If you’re interested in knowing why, let’s talk about it over a beer.

In no particular order:

With the venerable & classy Kim Jordan, SAVOR 2015

With the venerable & classy Kim Jordan, SAVOR 2015

Julia Herz, Julie Johnson, Maureen Ogle, Kim Jordan, Sarah Watson, Krissy Zinski, Christine McKeever, Rhonda Kallman, Meagan Anderson, Tammy Tuck, Jill Redding, Kristi Switzer, Bernadette Wasdovich, Kellie Shevlin, Laura Lodge, Erika Reitz, Erin Rue, Nancy Johnson, Janet Fletcher, Erin O’Riley, Cyrena Nouzille, Sarah Johnson, Shannon McQuade-Ely, Julia Doll, Melinda Marks, Lisa Morrison, Lindsay Guerdrum, Rebecca Newman, Jenny van Wyk, Annie Pfriem, Rose Ann Finkel, Julie Wartell, Lisa Zimmer, Bernie Perryman, Emily Engdahl, Nicole Kasten, Chris Crabb, Alison Grayson, Stevie Caldarola, Olivia Cerio, Veronica Vega, Tonya Cornett, Lauren Salazar, Gayle Goschie, Leslie Henderson, Lucy Saunders, Meg Gill, Gina Schauland, Jennifer O’Connell, Megan Parisi, Sarah Barba, Tina Pachorek, Ashley Salvitti, Ashleigh Carter, Acacia Cooper, Jen Murphy, Ashley Guillaume, Kris McDowell, Geri Kustelski, Sandi Globus, Brandy Butts, Rebeca Dovali.

I know I have forgotten some at this writing – there are surely dozens more. It’d be one rockin’ party to get them all together for a celebration! I’ll work on that….

Thank you to them all. I appreciate and recognize that you’re helped inform my steps forward in me efforts to make a difference in the world.

Who do you look to and thank?

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The People Behind The Beer

Who are all these folks…the people behind the beer?

Who is planning, building, creating, teaching, pouring, selling, and putting their lives into beer?

Here’s your assignment today:

Ryan of New Belgium is an excellent beer person to meet!

Ryan of New Belgium is an excellent beer person to meet!

1. Seek out one (new to you) beer person today. They can be a brewer, someone who works within a beer focused company, and beer tender. A retailer, wholesaler and otherwise engaged pro. Introduce yourself and sit yourself down at their bar to enjoy a fresh pint.

2. Find out how they got into what they are doing. Too often we get the website story version without really knowing the person. Ask them questions off the normal media & press beat. They’ll thank you for it.

3. Ask them questions about the beverage, withhold any judgements and simply enjoy the beverage and their company.

4. Next time you have a gathering, invite them along. And don’t require they bring their work with them (they may just the same, yet make it their option).

5. Find out how you can support them in their work. Need volunteers occasionally? How can you help spread the word? What would be useful for them?

Beer is enjoyed universally. And it brings much to our communities, economies, world, and lives. Share in that joy by engaging with the people who are working hard every day to bring fresh beer to life.

Cheers ~

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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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BeerRadio: Holiday Listening and Learning Pleasure

I wait for it. And then it happens. The phone rings in the radio station studio and we’re off and talking into another episode of BeerRadio.

What is BeerRadio?

BeerRadio: Wednesdays 5 - 6 pm PST, streamable on KSKQ.org

BeerRadio: Wednesdays 5 – 6 pm PST, streamable on KSKQ.org

Over three years ago I started our BeerRadio program on a local station. It’s a weekly program talking with, listening to, and learning from various beer industry professionals. They’re from all sorts of angles in the community and offer insight into their specific area of expertise in the industry.

It’s very enjoyable, educational and conversationally designed to learn about facets of beer people haven’t considered.

Visit and download the BeerRadio Archives here.

With over 160 guests in the archive line up there are sure to be some shows you’ll want to down load and listen to. The programs are 50 to 55 minutes in length, so download and let them go while you’re puttering around your home and office, garage and yard.

Our record stands strong with no missed call ins – the gracious guests do in fact call into the station for the show. There’s usually a few moments of very subtle “I hope they remember” thoughts though they are quickly dashed once the phone rings.

We welcome guest suggestions and feedback. Sometimes we get in-studio guests, usually they call in from wherever they are – across the USA, Hawaii included, as well as a few international guests.

Thanks to all my previous guests, future guests and listeners hungry for tasty radio programming. Thanks also to Carson at KSKQ for his unflagging support and my producer (who manages the technical side of the show), Larry.

So until next week, Cheers ~

Ginger

A snapshot of recent guests….

BeerRadio Episode 161/November 19, 2014 – Tony Magee, Lagunitas Brewing
BeerRadio Episode 160/November 12, 2014 – Brandon Overstreet, Swing Tree Brewing
BeerRadio Episode 159/November 5, 2014 – Anne Glazer, Stoel Rives
BeerRadio Episode 158/October 29, 2014 – Duke Geren, Bison Brewing
BeerRadio Episode 157/October 22, 2014 – Gerri Kustelski, Summit Brewing
BeerRadio Episode 156/October 15, 2014 – Jared Long, Altitude Brewery & Chophouse
BeerRadio Episode 155/October 8, 2014 – Elese & Harvey Claussen, The Zythos Project
BeerRadio Episode 154/September 24, 2014 – Krissy Zinski & Rocky Rabjohns, Snake River Brewing
BeerRadio Episode 153/September 17, 2014 – Heather McClung, Schooner Exact Brewing

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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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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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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 I Learned at the GABF This Year

The Great American Beer Festival is truly remarkable. It’s not in any way run-of-the-mill…unless the “mill” is an extraordinary machine of success.

It was my 12th ( I think) year attending the GABF. Over the years I’ve helped pour beer for a brewery, taken it in as media, and vended. This year included vending and being a media cred holder. Kudos to our famazing crew who made the WEB booth rock and roll: Diane G/Captain, Darcee/Cashier & Sales, Wendy/Sales, and Sarah/Sales. They made it all possible – thanks!

WEB crew ready for the throng of GABF'ers

WEB crew ready for the throng of GABF’ers

I learned from them that perspective can be too close to our own noses. We need to get other people engaged in what we do and try to best communicate what we can. Then we need to listen as they tell us in return what they know and heard. It’s a practice I totally enjoy and learn from – listening to one of my Fine Crew talk about WEB with others. It’s helpful as I pick up various ways to talk about the business and techniques of sales, conversation, and communication.

Learning was everywhere you could turn your head if you so desired. The Farm to Table event was uber tasty this year – extra fun was had since I have frolleague Kellie with me, meeting, eating, laughing, and talking. The Beer & Food Pavilion is an area of (minor) respite to listen to accomplished folks educate, people like Beervangelist Fred and Sarah Amorese of Piece, Love & Chocolate. The Pro-Am booth had beers created by homebrewers and brewed on pro equipment available for tasting – and up for an award too.

That’s just the tip of the jockey box too. The GABF affords enough happenings to keep you busy from when you arrive til last call. Grooving to the Silent Disco, sponsored by Oskar Blues, is a personal fav!

I’ll be back with more information on GABF and American Beer. As a credentialed member of the media this year, the Brewers Association and Visit Denver took very good care of us – making sure we had full and easy access to a wealth of educational information.

Keep learning no matter where you go and what you attend. I encourage you to thank those who organize and plan, execute and clean up well run events. Being savvy to their efforts makes the learning all the more rich.

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