Be In It For Good

  • Remain connected to the experience and flavors
  • Be generous hosts – make everything feel easy
  • Who are you, what do you want, what do you want to say

The above thoughts all came from a friend and colleague whom I much admire, like and respect; Fred Bueltmann, New Holland Brewing & widely known as the Beervangelist.

Fred’s words often resonate with me as I believe the philosophy of what he is communicating is not prevalent enough in the industry. I’ll expound.

1. Remaining connected to the experience is where the consumer starts. The consumer wants to connect with your beer and brand. The industry professionals already involved need to constantly and emotionally remember this every day. The customer is who you are making the beer for. Yes, you have to love it yourself to really do it justice. That said, you can’t drink it all yourselves so keep one eye on the customer, always.

Be in it for good.

Be in it for good.

2. Remain connected to the flavors. I am a huge proponent of flavor, not style. Consumers 1. Don’t necessarily know about style 2. Consumers don’t necessarily care about style if they do, 3. Flavor is where the conversation needs to start with everyone, no matter their experience. Flavor is a common ground topic. Every one tastes and explores flavors. Start with this common denominator to make steady constant progress.

3. Be a generous host. Do all of your guests feel welcome to the brand? Do they buy your products on sale or off sale or both? What does the environment in which they purchase your beer look like? What do the labels look like? Who do they speak to? Who do they repel? Being generous implies a cognizance and awareness of Who The Customer Is. Many times the “who” is she.

4. Make everything feels easy for the customer, including buying your product and consistent taste of beer. Attention to quality is key here. Successful businesses, otherwise known as brands, build their worlds on consistency. Something the consumer can count on, to return to over and over again, for the experience they are looking for. How specifically consistent? That’s up to the company and what they want to be consistent. I can guarantee if you have a flagship beer (or more) they must be the same, every time to the consumer.

5. Who are you? Who you are is part of the story. The story is what the consumer, especially the female buyer and consumer, want to know and embrace. The story makes a brand.

6. What do you want? Knowing what your goals are, aka what do you want, is critical in every endeavor from playing musical chairs (I want to be around til the last chair) to businesses (I want to deliver a delicious high quality product every time).

7. What do you want to say? Communication is addressing your story and message forward, it’s called marketing – bringing your product to market. It’s a good word and a principle concept in building and sustaining a solid beer company.

Your female customers deserve no less. You deserve no less. Be in it for good.

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Beer In Bismarck: McQuade’s & Women Get Together

There are great people everywhere. I truly believe that.

And when I get to work with and around them, it makes it all for motivating.

63 terrific enthusiasts ready to taste beer + food at McQaude's

63 terrific enthusiasts ready to taste beer + food at McQaude’s

Last weekend found me participating in a women + beer event in the lovely state of North Dakota, at the McQuade Distributing Company HQ with 3rd generation company president and very inspiring person, Shannon McQuade-Ely.

Shannon and I have worked together before and it was with particular relish and enthusiasm I was asked to help put together (possibly a first for ND) a women and beer + food fundraiser. What a success it was!!

Picture this:

  • Roomy room, 63 women present to support a cause, try new things, and meet new people.
  • 4 beers, 1 cider, food tastes to match them all.
  • Sunday afternoon, 4 – 6 pm.

Suffice it to say, they were lined up outside well before we started (RSVP’s were required), the seats were full of engaged women of all ages and knowledge levels, and they eagerly embraced the event. Knowing in my gut it was going to be a home run, I was thrilled when it actually happened.

You can tell the success level of an event, to a certain extent, with the noise level – particularly if you have to regularly ask people to quiet down. It’s a good sign because that means everyone’s chatting and have a great time. Great time = success. I had to shush often (and always allow open times for guests to chat unhindered…it’s good to get people talking).

Cheers to Shannon (r) - a smart & savvy leader, beer lover and frolleague

Cheers to Shannon (r) – a smart & savvy leader, beer lover and frolleague

A special thanks to Shannon and the whole McQuade’s team and all the people who bought tickets. We’ll surely do it again with increased success. The fuse has been ignited, there’s no keeping smart and flavor seeking women back!

Here’s the menu we enjoyed:

Anyone hungry??!!

One comment

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Inspiration: Going For A Ryd

  • “I’m really not into being the victim.”
  • “I’m into people management – making the world a better place.”
  • “Helping business owners find meaning.”
  • “What’s in the way?”

Can you answer these questions and statements easily and clearly?

Thanks to colleague and friend Mary Rydman for inspiring today’s post.

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Craft Beverage Expo, Inaugural Event

“…all we had was a vision and a floor plan…

Hats off and glasses up to Kellie Shevlin and the crew who made the first Craft Beverage Expo a success. It was an honor and pleasure to be there last week in San Jose, California.

Ginger, Kellie and Tom McCormick/CCBA

Ginger, Kellie and Tom McCormick/CCBA

The entire premise is ground breaking AND so sensible, it makes one scratch your head and say “why didn’t anyone do this before?” Well, Kellie did just that. She researched and broke new ground that needed to be tilled.

The basis of the Expo is to bring together beer, wine, spirits, cider and mead people to talk about common ground: Bringing Artisan Beer, Wine & Spirits to Market. Regulatory concerns, marketing, sales, and marketing solutions is what was billed. And guess what? You got that and then some. The brilliance of the concept grew on me and I fully appreciate what we can all do when we help and assist. Not that the conventions I’ve been to have been unhelpful. They’ve simply been solely focused on one very specific niche.

The point being is that when we intentionally cross categories, then we cross pollinate we share ideas. This is one of thee most powerful tools in creating sustainable remarkable change.

To to over 1000 attendees, dozens of trade show exhibitors, speakers, and sponsors the event was one that I took to saying you couldn’t tell it was a first year effort. As a colleague of mine put it, it was well produced. In this he meant that it was all very professional both in appearance and operation.

CBE opening session panel

CBE opening session panel

Are there ways the 2015 CBE can improve? Of course – every convention, expo and conference better be looking at continually improvement. Kellie knows this as does her crew and they encourage and welcome constructive feedback. A wise organizer will want specific input to consider moving forward.

Well, Kellie – your vision has paid off nicely. Bringing various alcohol beverage people together to talk, listen, share, connect and start and build relationships makes us all stronger. The people I met were well worth the trip alone, the friends and colleagues I saw were also worth the endeavor. It was a big bonus to be invited to present as well (3 Universal Truths: Attracting and Keeping Female Patrons). I am eager to get back and explore more of the area too, another benefit to traveling to work events.

Your time and dollars are valuable. You want to be sure as possible that your efforts are well founded, rewarding, offer some sort of payback and it’s all enjoyable. We all want to get helpful and useful information, to meet worthwhile contacts and fun ‘new’ people. Perhaps even to get some press and media coverage.

Lovely San Jose, California

Lovely San Jose, California

The City of San Jose was one place 1. that I had not yet been to 2. that I certainly want to explore more of and 3. has much to offer visitors. The Ethiopian restaurant as well as the Mexican establishment as well as the lovely public spaces….the art museum and technology museum are on my short list. You get the idea.

In my work I travel a good deal. One thing I want from my adventures is to feel like attending was indeed a smart investment of time. Like a friend of mine once said, if you don’t like something, “there’s 3 days of my life that I’ll never get back.” The size of the CBE was very manageable too – meaning you could in fact meet those you wanted, have time to talk and not feel too crowded.

Rest assured when you attend the CBE 2015 you’ll be glad you did. It’s in Santa Clara next year, a relative hop skip & jump from this years host city San Jose. I’m already looking forward to returning. See you there.

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Why Do You Do What You Do?

If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing…

Why are you doing it?

Those words of insight should be blindingly obvious. They were delivered by the venerable Dr. Michael Lewis at the CBC earlier this month in conjunction with proper professional education.

2014 CBC Opening Session

2014 CBC Opening Session

I took his meaning to be: If you don’t know why you’re doing what you do, if you can’t answer that question first, then it’s time to rethink what you’re doing. There are too many brewers in America that are not focused on quality and too many that are putting out poor quality beer. And there are plenty of brewers, like many other kinds of businesses, that are too myopic about the big picture.

Yes, it’s important to be passionate about your ventures. Yes, it’s important that you like it.

AND it’s critical that you focus your energy on proper education and therefore quality of progress as a cornerstone and driver of that business. That’s bad for everyone.

Education provides a singular opportunity and atmosphere for the best results, skills development and therefore an elevated end product, whether it’s beer, information, or any other product or service. Education is not replaceable by experience. They should go hand in hand and work together. Though without one, the equation is lopsided and will inevitably be imbalanced.

Like Mitch Steele, Stone Brewing and the 2014 recipient of the Russell Schehrer award, “If you hire someone, makes sure they know what they’re doing.”

With beer schools and programs popping up all over, it’s best to investigate and vet the choices.

Start with: Which programs am I interested in and why? Then do your diligence to carefully examine those you look into. Doing the research on the front end will more than make up the time you put into it very quickly.

If you know why you do what you do, good. If you don’t, it’s time to stop and answer that question. Education is powerful and always a good idea.

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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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Winner of 2014 Oregon Chocolate Festival Ticket Giveaway

In a highly scientific and competitive contest, we are happy to announce that the flavor lover Felicia Reninger has won the giveaway of 2 tickets to the 2014 Oregon Chocolate Festival, March 8 & 9, 2014. Congratulations Felicia!

In asking for help to choose, Twittersphere community member @cingoodwoman chose #2 without knowing anything else other than to pick a number – see I told you: highly scientific. And I was glad for help as I wanted to give all three finalists free tickets!

Cassie, Ginger & Karolina at the 2013 Chocolate Festival - having a ball!

Cassie, Ginger & Karolina at the 2013 Chocolate Festival – having a ball!

The complementary tickets from the venerable Karolina, originator of the festival and amazing Marketing Director of the Ashland Springs Hotel. Our many thanks.

In the spirit of fun and sharing, I wanted to share the top three contenders and their creative entries (which is what we asked for).

1. Sasha Tokareff

I need 2 free tickets to the OCF! Oregon Chocolate Fest! I need them because my boyfriend lives in Boston and chocolate is the only thing keeping me sane!”

2. Felicia Reninger

“Yes! I would like the two tickets to the chocolate festival! I attended last years event, all by myself, but the sorrow of going alone was soon forgotten. I was drunk on chocolate and forgot my loneliness! This year my sister said she would go with me, and it would be awesome to surprise her with a ticket.”

(Also, Ginger’s beer and chocolate tasting class inspired my homebrew. Been pairing and tasting ever since!)”

3. Mary Sharbatz

“YES! I want to Win 2 Tickets to the OCF 🙂 I have not been to one of Ginger’s Beer & Chocolate classes yet, and I’d love to go to this festival! Sounds divine 🙂 Ashland is calling my name. I have never won anything before, and to be chosen would feel so great, like I hit the jackpot!”

Thank you to everyone who entered. I sure hope to do it again next year. All the finalists are encouraged to come find me and take a photo at the fest – I’ll have some goodies for all three.

In the meantime, know that this tasty festival happens this weekend, starting with a fancy dinner Friday night, Saturday & Sunday are the festival and I’ll be there Saturday (12-1) & Sunday (1145-1245) giving Beer & Chocolate classes (3rd year running). You can register for them here – and they’re free. Heck of a value to be sure.

Cheers & chocolate to you ~

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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.

gcj

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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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!

4 comments

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WEB & 2013 Festival Of Trees

2013 WEB Tree

Look at the gorgeous glowing glass ornaments by Gathering Glass

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest commemorative stein & tickets for 2014

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest commemorative Stein & tickets for 2014

Another successful year of being a tree designer at the Medford, OR Festival Of Trees, put on by Providence Hospital is complete.

It’s a very well attended and fruitful event that brings in money to serve the community through the hospitals’ services. We’re very glad to have been a contributor to this fun event for 3 years in a row now.

I want to make sure we thank a number of folks and companies who helped make this possible, from the WEB tree angle.

3 year Donors:

Recology: 2013 FOT Tree Sponsor

Recology: 2013 FOT Tree Sponsor

Tasty beer & food cookbook under the FOT

Tasty beer & food cookbook under the FOT

2013 Tree Sponsor:

2013 Donors:

Great gifts, like these from Ninkasi Brewing, graced the project this year

Great gifts, like these from Ninkasi Brewing, graced the project this year

Lovely Dogfish Head brewing glasses + coasters

Lovely Dogfish Head brewing glasses + coasters

Thank you to the Cutler Investment Counsel for the Large Tree Sponsorship, American West Bank for the Large Tree Design sponsorship, and for whomever purchased the tree at the live auction event. We hope you find a great place to plant it and it grows strong and healthy for years.

WEB is consistently the only live potted plantable Large Tree designer (there are table top trees as well as wreaths and a few other excellent options).

Thanks as well to the hundreds of folks who came out to view the trees and support the event, the myriad Providence folks and army of volunteers who make it happen each year. A special thanks to my frolleauges with the Jackson County Master Recyclers as well

Delicious Weisinger's Wine

Delicious Weisinger’s Wine

Hop Bines from Alpha Beta Hop farm add grace

Hop Bines from Alpha Beta Hop farm add grace

for streaming and reducing and educating to make a greener holiday season.

This is the biggest single volunteer donation event we do each year – and happily so!

Again, thanks to everyone for their support. Cheers to a safe, happy, tasty and wonder filled holiday season –

 

A few stats from the Festival:

  •  Over 20K visitors usually tour the event, during invite sessions as well as public viewing
  •  The Festival has raised over 6.7 million dollars over 20 years. These dollars are applied toward a variety of community health services and programs for the Providence Medford Medical Center.
Growling goodies from BricktownE Brewing

Growling goodies from BricktownE Brewing

OMSI donated some fun tickets

OMSI donated some fun tickets

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Temporary Relationships

As I look back at 2013 so far, it’s a marvel to me for a number of reasons.

At least 25 Festivals & Events* were accomplished with WEB (27+ in 2012). If you’ve never worked a festival as a vendor, then perhaps you should try it sometime. It’s a lot of labor and time, sweat (usually) and good vibes. It’s also an incredible temporary reality.

Temporary and strangely lasting, like a carnival coming to town.

Great colleagues make the fests great

Great colleagues make the fests great

You survey the venue, make a strategy and dig in. It’s noticing everything from the lighting and electricity, to lack of electricity and lighting. It’s figuring out who the voices are, people wise, from your phone calls and emails leading up to the event. It’s realizing you forgot something and working with the other folks to help you out and vice versa. It’s getting excited for the guests who will arrive always faster than they seemingly should.

Time flies when you’re working, when you’re having fun and especially when your work is fun.

There are very few people I know who work at festivals and begrudge them. In fact, as I write, I can think of no one. Why?

Because we know what we’re getting into. We’re getting into working alongside valued peers, colleagues and friends. We’re working with event folks who are working equally hard in different ways with us. We’re working to make a great life experience for the guests who choose to invest their time, energy and dollars with us.

Temporary? Sometimes. And interestingly enough the temporary times build a permanent relationship.

I tip my hat to these remarkable people today, with a particular nod to Troy, who sparked this idea; Chris, behind the scenes brilliance; Emily, formerly of WEB; Diane, WEB of CO. See you again soon, at our next event.

2013 Fests & Events for WEB

*The 25 number does not include our regular Swig & Stitch and other meet-up type events, nor Focus Groups.

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Home Beer Dinner

A quiet settles over the small group gathered…to be interrupted only by occasional murmuring and delicate clatter of flatware and dishes and glasses moving from table position to mouth and back again.

Note: This article was written for Your Home with Karie Engels, published 11.7.13. Ginger is a weekly contributing Beer Writer at your Home – it’s a great site chock full of ideas & flavor!

This is a very typical part of a beer dinner – the quiet once the supping has begun. Last night I had the pleasure of conducting another one of these remarkably wonderfully delicious events.

Bandarillos await their turn at the table

Bandarillos await their turn at the table

In this case it was a dinner that was included with the tree I design and decorate for the Festival Of Trees each holiday. The generous donors to my tree are wide ranging and last night the fresh beer came from a local beer store and the food from a local tapas restaurant.

I’m very grateful for the gracious participation of those who choose to give. I only ask once primarily because I don’t like to be hounded when I’m on the receiving end of a request. There are donors that give year to year like Alpha Beta Hops, Ninkasi Brewing, Gathering Glass studio, and Bricktowne Brewing. This year we’ve new givers in Dogfish Head Brewery, Weisinger’s Winery, SkiDuck, Total Wine & More, OMSI, Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Author John Holl, and Recology.

The dinner was a collaboration of three of us then and was enthusiastically embraced by the hosts, making it an extra pleasure for all involved.

We’re designing and decorating a tree again this year, with the live potted plantable tree sponsored by Recology. We believe that those who give believe in the power of giving back, community engagement and education. Indeed, it’s what drives WEB forward.

Colleague & friend, Chef Braden plating the braised pork belly

Colleague & friend, Chef Braden plating the braised pork belly

Here’s the menu we enjoyed last night.

New Belgium Abbey Ale paired with Bandarillas skewers (dried figs, chorizo, Manzanilla olives, Manchego Cheese)

      Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with Ceviche (Hamachi, Scallops, lime juice and zest, lemon juice, cilantro, shallots, sea salt)

      Lagunitas IPA with Andalucian Salad (arugula, Serrano ham, smoked blue cheese, black mission fig vinaigrette, chopped Marcona almonds)

      Crabbies Ginger Beer with Cider braised pork belly (Strong Bow Cider braised White Marble Farms pork belly, with mashed butternut squash, roasted garlic, crème fraiche, drizzled with braised Pink Lady apples and micro arugula)

      Southern Tier Crème Brulee and Flan (sweet custard, topped with candied walnuts)

Delicious? Why, yes. Cheers to the next glass ~

g

Go Here: It’s the time of year for fresh apple ciders and perrys. Visit the orchards and cider & perry makers. Buy some deliciously crisp and flavorful fruit, bring some home to eat and decorate with, and give some to your local food bank (call first to find out the guidelines).

Try This: Host a fall beer dinner. It’s easy, fun and if you prefer, you can hire Ginger to do it all to let you fully enjoy the experience with your guests. Contact info here.

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Evaluation Vs. Judging

One of the most important lessons I learned in Mexico City this year came from my stint judging beer.

My gracious and beer passionate hosts, Jose and Rodolfo, invited me to participate in the Homebrewing Judging happening during Congreso Cerveza Mexico. Knowing full well I’m a very novice judge, they still invited me to participate. So I did with caution and eyes wide open!

judging beer in Mexico City

judging beer in Mexico City

The others in the judging corral were incredibly helpful and supportive – we all have to start somewhere. And now I count the experience as a large and influential one. Learning to judge beer based on its technical and sensory merits is very difficult.

Rex Halfpenny has fostered the exercise for years with Jose and summed it up this way:

Think of it as evaluation vs. judging.

Swirl, sniff, write.

Don’t be afraid to compromise.

How do you calibrate something before evaluating something? You need to be knowledgeable, open-minded, discuss with colleague and peers, and then go to it.

We’re human and humans like to judge. If we first evaluate then the process will be more enlightening, more effective, more fruitful and for sure more successful and fun.

I’ll put my hand in the air, with caution, to judge again. To feel confident in doing so, I’ll ask a lot more sensory questions, hang with those who’ve successfully and diplomatically judged, read up and suspend judgement – and simply evaluate.

Pints up to friend and valued colleague Lisa Morrison as well for giving me a pre-trip tutorial. And to Jimmy of Seaside Brewing for my very first go round as a judge.

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Great American Beer Festival WEB Ticket Giveaway Winners

Winner Melissa (r) with Ginger

Winner Melissa (r) with Ginger

Pam (c) winner flanked by her beau (l) and Ginger (r)

Pam (c) winner flanked by her beau (l) and Ginger (r)

 

Cheers to the following fine beer loving folks for joining us at Great American Beer Festival per winning the luck of the draw for tickets this year!

We had well over 225 enthusiastic entries – rest, assured, we’ll do it again as opportunity and sponsorship allows.

Take a look at these fine folks. This is what beer lovers look like. Salud ~

Rich (winner), Diane (c) and Jess (l)

Rich (winner), Diane (c) and Jess (l)

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Continental Travel For Beer

The distinct pleasure of traveling across this amazing continent has created highlights of my year. We do a good deal of travel overall for business, my friends and colleagues remind me often, and it’s usually productive, fun and tasty.

Jeremy Parsons & Ginger at TFOB, 2013

Jeremy Parsons & Ginger at TFOB, 2013

This year so far I’ve been invited to present at the Toronto’s Festival of Beers (July), Toronto, Ontario, Canada where I have the honor of being the first American to take the Grilling Tent Stage. A Cooking With Beer session was great fun – terrific hosts, fun guests, and generous sponsors.

I’ve also had the honor of being invited to the Congreso Cerveza Mexico/Mexican Brewing Congress, Mexico City, Mexico (early September). Entrusted with judging beer and also given the opportunity to present an educational session to my Mexican colleagues on Women + Beer, I can tell you it’s an exciting time for all!

Beer is testimony that both women and beer are everywhere (we’ve verified that), passionate folks of all walks are interested in beer, and that these aforementioned people are all over the globe.

Jay (SSSteiner) & Jose (Propaganda Brewing) in Mexico City

Jay (SSSteiner) & Jose (Propaganda Brewing) in Mexico City

When we present, no matter the location, we work hard and smart to make sure the fit of the content and requested message delivered best fits the audience and goals. Knowing much less about Canada and Mexico to me is not a disadvantage. It’s the chance to ask people who I get to meet and work with lots of questions. An open mind and smile go a long way towards diplomacy and that’s what we’re after.

I’d encourage everyone who’s interested in beer to take a global look. Yes, support local. Do you know where all the ingredients come from in that beer (or other local product)? Sometimes everything’s sourced close by – though almost nothing is in a vacuum is using resources that are non-local. Yes, support global. It’s always been a global economy – the idea of “local” is not new. It’s recycled. If you like salt, nutmeg, or coffee you support a global economy. And that’s okay.

The new perspective I now have from these two visits has enormously broadened my knowledge and what I can share forward. As an educator, that’s really important to me. Education changes the world for the better and these fine folks (my hosts) found mutual value in working together as well.

Finding a balance is somewhat reliant on taking a wide view. Take it, often, and share it with others. There are remarkable people everywhere. And I can’t wait to meet more!

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Beer Writer John Holl To Visit Southern Oregon

I’m thrilled to announce that John Holl, accomplished beer writer, author, colleague and friend is coming to Southern Oregon to do some book events around his latest release – The American Craft Beer Cookbook.

Join us for a Cookbook signing with John Holl

Join us for a Cookbook signing with John Holl

John’s great fun to be with, is an educated professional beer community member and travels about sharing, teaching, judging and overall encouraging the enjoyment of beer, delicious beer.

Here’s the mash for Monday 16 September 2013:

  • 2 Public events in Ashland – one at Standing Stone Brewing Company and one at a local bookstore.
  • Private event: We’re hosting John at our home for a fun, tasty and casual house book party!!! If you are or plan to be in the area and would like to join us, call me directly. It’ll be in the evening and he’ll be available to chat, buy and sign books and have a great time. I’ll make a few of the recipes in the book for guests to nosh on, My Fine Husband will serve fresh beer.

Anytime we can help support colleagues and friends doing things that are good for the entire community, we’re ready to do so.

Cheers to John, cheers to good books, cooking, beer, and a tasty time for all.

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Why Do You Go?

Why do you attend festivals? Why do you attend conferences of any sort? Have you ever stopped to consider why you want to attend events of different sorts?

I’ve definitely spent time considering this and here are some of my thoughts.

1. Fests and recreational events: One of the biggest reasons I attend fests, generally beer fests, is to work. WEB is able to talk with dozens if not hundreds of people at fests which is excellent for progress. Since we don’t make and sell beer, we’re also able to vend our quality wares and more often than not, we’re able to offer Beer EduTainment. I love the interactions with guests, friends and colleagues that come by, and enjoy the whole scene. Yes, it can get tiring, though overall it’s a happy tired since they are upbeat events.

Cheers to fests & guests. Ali/Ninkasi & Ginger

Cheers to fests & guests. Ali/Ninkasi & Ginger

2. Conferences: Education and connecting. As an independent company with a few great people working with us who are spread across the country, it’s important to connect and reconnect with those in the community and industry. As varied as our states, as diverse as a Baskin Robbins cooler, the folks we talk with and relate to are invigorating and helpful. Developing relationships make work all the better and in this industry usually transfer to real long-lasting friendships.

3. Passive Events: those that require only watching or listening. These can be refreshing in the way that they are undemanding of energy we put forth. Sitting back and taking in what someone else has to offer is re-invigorating, relaxing, and usually enlightening. Making notes, noticing tips and pointers that we can integrate and use, as well as people watching are all very worthwhile and enjoyable. These events are the mouses share (get it?) for us.

I often wonder if I weren’t in the beer profession, would I attend beer fests? The answer that I quickly come to is yes. Yes to those that are well run and organized. Yes to those that are organized, fun , tasty and truly offer a fulfilling life experience.

Thanks to those people who plan, run, and make all the cogs turn at events of all sorts: organizers, volunteers, security, vendors, sponsors, and guest.

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Hail Toronto! And The TFOB

Otherwise known as Toronto’s Festival Of Beers, hosted by Beerlicious.

What an honor to be the first American to take the stage at the Labatt sponsored Grilling Tent in Toronto last weekend. The tent is a lively and fun (and tasty) place to sit and enjoy a whole different facet of this long-established and flavorful event.

Roger, Thirst For Knowledge & Matt, Rock Lobster Food Company

Roger, Thirst For Knowledge & Matt, Rock Lobster Food Company

The organizers are thoughtful, super helpful and accommodating and made the experience ultra enjoyable for me all around. A few reasons why:

1. Communication by all those who were helping me was very good. They were all very available and forthcoming in their contacts and accessibility. From the very first emails with Courtney to Grilling Tent instructions from Jeremy to talking with Roger Mittag – Emcee for the tent to BeerRadio with Les Murray.

2. The assistance in the tent for my actual session (cooking with beer, I made 2 versatile sauces on the grill) of the Briquettes, Francesco, and sous chef Nicole. Literally, these fine people made it effortless and were extremely welcoming and helpful.

The fabulous Courtney of Beerlicious (western hat)

The fabulous Courtney of Beerlicious (western hat)

3. The Brewmasters Series tent and other educational opportunities were smart and well received features of the fest. I finally got to meet Roger of Thirst For Knowledge at this tent before his highly informative and fun Beer 101 class.

4. Meeting the other Grilling Tent personalities like Christian Pritchard, Matt & Hugo of Rock Lobster Food Company, Jeremy Parsons, Afrim of the Cheese Boutique, as well as Ted Reader. What a great bunch of fun loving, flavor loving, passionate beer and food folks.

5. The fest guests were all robustly having a grand time! Thanks to those who sat in on my session, the last one on the last day and shot me questions from the floor. I always say the guests make the party and I mean it. Shout out to Lisa & Steve whom I met in the Series session.

Bouyant and very fun Christian Pritchard

Bouyant and very fun Christian Pritchard

6. The host hotel, The Gladstone, was a funky and fun place to stay, assisted by Kalvin and crew. It was easy walking distance to the fest to some exercise to and fro was ideal to see more of the neighborhoods of Toronto.

What a thrill! I sincerely hope to return next year. Toronto has much to offer, beer wise, food wise, and people wise. Thanks Beerlicious and everyone who made the visit for WEB all the more eye opening and delicious.

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Great Folks In Toronto

Cheers to the terrific & beerific team at Beerlicious!! They’ve graciously invited me to be a presenter and edutainer in the Grilling Tent this coming Sunday at the Toronto Festival of Beers (7/28).

Join us at the 2013 Toronto Festival of Beers!

Join us at the 2013 Toronto Festival of Beers!

If you’re in the neighborhood or are looking for a reason to get to gorgeous Toronto, Ontario, Canada, come out to this tasty and energetic festival.

The entire team – Courtney, Les, Erin, Jeremy & Roger (that I’m familiar with so far) has been unfailingly helpful, enthusiastic and I super stoked for WEB to get there. Plus I’ve never spent any time in the largest city in Canada – though I can sing the national anthem, Oh Canada (previous life experience singing anthems at hockey games).

I’m ready for some fresh and tasty Canadian Beer, great camaraderie, and the food’s a’waiting! I also have the honor of being their first American to appear – it’s an opportunity to further the idea of beer education and get to know more beer lovers. What an honor!!!

I’m very grateful and excited for it. Here’s the bio of one of these fine folk, Roger Mittag, super accomplished beer comrade and educator:

 Roger Mittag, Professor of Beer, Thirst for Knowledge Inc. (love that name!)

Roger Mittag, currently a Professor at Humber College’s renowned School of Hospitality, is also the founder of Canada’s leading beer education company, Thirst For Knowledge.  He has been bringing his beer appreciation tips to Canadians since 1997 through a series of tasting seminars, beer dinners and educational events. He’s a consultant to several Canadian breweries bringing his extensive beer industry knowledge and enthusiastic approach to their sales and marketing teams. He has recently created Prud’homme Beer Certification, a sommelier style program for beer and the first such program in Canada. Roger also owns and operates, The Beer School, which offers beer courses to consumers.

Grilling Tent appearance: Sunday 7/28, 530 – 615 pm

I’ll be demonstrating 2 sauces – one cheese and one chocolate for my time in the Grilling Tent. Showing how easy and simple basic sauces are – that you can make on the grill. And how flexible and adaptable they are with tweaks and common ingredients to change and develop ne flavors to enjoy.

Cheers to Canada, fun beer people, and the great city of Toronto – see you soon!

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Celebrating Your Home

I’m so happy to have the pleasure and honor of being the Beer Contributor for Your Home with Karie Engels. Karie focuses on enjoying Your Home, whatever, wherever, and however you create the environment in which you live.

http://www.judithpavlik.com/

Cheers to Your Home!

The very idea that it’s your home is an inviting one. The site is loaded with engaging, tasty and fun ideas and thoughts adaptable to how you live.

Here are a few of the posts we’ve contributed recently. I hope you enjoy them. Cheers ~

While you’re there, be sure to peruse Vine Buzz with Jack Chase as well – he’s got tuns of tasty information to share about wine as well.

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