2011 CBC Sensory Panel Presentation

This topic will come up again: Sensory. Yesterday I found this particular seminar to be a very useful and interesting one. Especially considering it was geared towards brewers and brewery operations and WEB is focused on developing and serving the female craft beer consumer.

Being in the education arena, the session given by 4 very knowledgeable sensory professionals was loaded with info on how to, when to, what to, and the like on setting up and utilizing sensory panels for beer in the breweries. Plenty of swirling info too – like if you are really small, then perhaps this is the best way; if you’re big, then try this. One resounding concept came across loud and clear: have a budget for the panel (as you should for everything – like marketing to women…).

Lauren (w/WEB sticker on her computer), Gwen, Whitney & Cathy

The 4 panelists were:

They swiftly presented and shared a ton of info on sensory panels and why each part is important as well as variations to keep it interesting for the panelists. We’re looking forward to re-reading the available notes post conference.

As fate would have it I saw them all shortly before they presented and finally met Lauren and Cathy and Gwen (although Gwen and I have emailed to and fro). Coolest part – Lauren has a WEB sticker on her computer! That’s what caught my eye and got me over to their table.

The Sensory experience is a huge part – if not the biggest part – of what makes beer delicious to us. Monitoring and knowing how to gauge the beer before it goes into any other glass is critical to the health of your beer and therefore your business.

This group is proof positive – with a full room of listeners – that women are into beer and that sensory is a very important part of the quality of ‘good’ beer. Thanks to them all.

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SF Women, Beer Wiki & HomeBrew

Kim putting final touches on the food to go with the beers last night

Cheers to Kim, Sarah and Kacie at Beer Wiki and our fine hosts at SF Brewcraft for a terrific women’s beer event last night.

We had a cozy full house at SFBC for a demo of the brewing process by Andre and Mike. Some good questions from the group for sure.

Then we lead a beer and food tasting, which was met with many nodding heads and smacking of lips. Here’s the menu:

Mmmmmmmm! Minds were opened, new vocab introduced, and a great time was had by all. Can’t wait to partner up again with the Beer Wiki crew –

Oh – and the guests? Well, they make the party! Thanks to Amber, Courtney, Dena, Paloma, Kristina, Maren, Emily, Maureen, and Ali. Keep learning, trying and digging into beer.

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Brew It Up!

Larry, Ginger, Sue & John at Brew It Up!

Last night found me and My Fine Husband at Brew It Up! in Sacramento with our super hosts, John & Sue. We were treated like royalty and had a ball.

Brew It Up is a brewpub that started as a brew-your-own-beer concept. It has developed into a full on brew pub with an expansive beer and food menu.

Cheers to John, Sue, Mike, Thomas, Shelly and Kristi who all took very good care of us. Go visit when you’re in the area. The beers were all clean and nice, food well prepared and service good.

On we go now – over to San Francisco for the Craft Brewers Conference, which starts Wednesday night. Looking very forward to a full week of fantastic people, tasty beers, helpful education, spreading the WEB gospel, and camaraderie. WEB is co-hosting a women’s beer event with Beer Wiki Tuesday night as well (only 4 seats still available). More soon!

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Deconstruction and Reconstruction Of Beer At Dinner

It was with great relish that I enjoyed a beer dinner at 38 Central in Southern Oregon this past week. One of the fine proprietors, David, graciously invited me to be their guest. How could I refuse? Why would I refuse!?

Immediately the name of the evening caught my attention: Deconstructing Beer and Reconstructing Dinner. Interesting. Let me tell you what that means to David and the crew.

1. The dinner was come as you wish, order off the special beer dinner menu or the regular menu. I like the idea of making the meal available all evening to all patrons when they can get there.  What a great idea and spin on the “dinner starts at X” – very consumer friendly.

2. They served the beer in various glasses. This is absolutely the right thing to do for a few reasons. One, it gets people to rethink the drink simply by offering it up in a non traditional vessel. Secondly, it’s the right thing to do for the beer. The shaker pint is the worst possible commonly used beer glass. Breweries and bars/restaurants need to ‘shake’ this habit. I’m still miffed at why breweries allow these glasses (economic driven) when they KNOW the beer is not nearly at its best in them…they buy quality ingredients for the beer….hmmmm…

3. The main entree part (it was multi course) offered 2 choices. Nice! I let the server and chef select for me as I am completely happy with surprises, an omnivore and also am curious about what others pick for me and why.

4. The head brewer of the featured brewery, Mad River, was there as was the area rep – nice touch! People are intrigued with meeting people who make beer or an involved in the company in any way. It’s like babies staring at each other. Fascination. It’s feet on the beer street that help sell the story and build following and market share. Dylan and Will were super cordial, beer passionate, fun and took time to talk with me during the evening. Heck – if I wasn’t so tired from previous events during the week already, I would have totally taken them up on sitting at their table and shooting the beer breeze. Raincheck, guys?

5. The chef, Joy, is really into food and really likes beer too AND she’s very approachable. Some chefs are really stuck in themselves and the food. Having all the staff excited and eager to share with guests is key to the customer experience, especially with women.

As far as the actual setting went, here are couple other to-dos that 38 Central got right:

  • Music – it was the proper able to hold a normal conversation level volume with no words.
  • Lighting – just right to see fully and dimmed enough to lend a lovely cozy ambiance.
  • Staff – ALL were genuinely friendly and accommodating. They clearly wanted to be there and were happy to serve.

Of course the tendency to over drink and over eat at a dinner such as this is huge. That said, the portions were close to just right for me (little less maybe since it was 4 courses). The beer servings could have been halved – and at the same time I appreciated the generosity of the pours.

The John Barleycorn Barleywine was the stand out beer to me maybe because there are still relatively few available and this one was really luscious and layered and presented very well.

The dessert was especially remarkable – a chocolate bread pudding made with brioche and Mad River Extra Stout ice cream. O. M. G. It was all uber delicious and fun. I ask you, why would you pair chocolate with anything but beer?!

Thanks for a great night! I will for sure be back, spread the good word and applaud them for a dinner well reconstructed.

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Student Interviewer Profiles: Part 2 – Sarah Hart

Hats off to Sarah Hart today, the 2nd of two featured students who contact WEB per projects they are working on for classes.  We laud the way these featured students contacted us and were respectful of time concerns. Frankly, I’d have loved to sit down over a beer with them – and hope to in the future.

We’re honored and humbled and welcome inquiries from students, consumers, press and media and others who are curious about WEB and how we’re making a difference in the female craft/beer consumer landscape.

Cheers Sarah!

Hi Ginger!

I am a magazine journalism student at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Communications.  I am originally from Alexandria, Virginia (about 10 min outside DC), [and] have now lived in Athens, GA for four years.

I am collaborating with some other journalism students on a magazine geared towards young, educated, professional women.  Unfortunately there is a lack of smart publications available for today’s young professional woman, and she is left with magazines such as …., which lack the intelligence of seemingly similar men’s magazines such as ….  I personally enjoy craft beer more than wine and I know it’s something that has, over the years, finally started to earn the appreciation and respect it deserves.  Many women drink craft beer, but information about it still isn’t exactly mainstream, so I wanted to write an article to inform readers about the ingredients, process and purposes of craft beer.
This article will be published in a print and online version in the spring edition of The Book, and I will send you an electronic copy as soon as the article is written.
Thank you again for sharing your time and knowledge.
copyright 2011 Women Enjoying Beer

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Student Interviewer Profiles: Part 1 – Kim Bowker

Okay – today we happily turn the interview tables.

Women Enjoying Beer receives a steady number of inquiries, from consumers, to press and media, to interviewers, to students. Today we start highlighting a couple of students who were fabulous about how they approached us.

So we want to say good luck with your projects and paper involving women and beer, and feature them here. Kim leads the charge today. Many thanks Kim!

I started enjoying beer more than seven years ago when, on a third date with my ex-boyfriend, we drank Henry Weinhard’s and ate bologna sandwiches while fishing on a boat. The boat ran out of gas and we had to walk miles through the forest, in the dark, with a brace on my foot from a broken toe. The adventure resulted in a first kiss, and my enjoyment of beer has increased since then.

I am a graduate student at the University of Oregon in literary nonfiction. Previously I wrote for The Bulletin newspaper in Bend, Ore., and covered many stories about the local microbreweries. I wrote a story about Tonya Cornett, head brewmaster at Bend Brewing Co., winning the 2008 World Beer Cup small brewpub and brewmaster of the year.

Currently, I am working on a piece for school about women and their enjoyment of beer in a traditionally male-oriented industry. I contacted Ginger at WEB and learned that so much of women enjoying beer is about the entire experience associated with beer culture. For me, that culture started on a fishing trip.

My preferred beer has undergone as many changes as I have. Stouts were my gateway brew, then the golden color of ambers consumed my thoughts, and now my favorite beer is a strong IPA. But no matter what kind of [beer] is in my glass, each and every beer I have enjoyed is accompanied with a memory.

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Portland Beer Sharing

Sharing beer is a good thing

Cheers to the folks who came to hear Herstory:Women in Brewing in Portland a week ago at The Beer Mongers. Education + Entertainment = Edutainment = more better for everyone, beer included.

Here’s a picture of Ginger and another generous beer enthusiast “to be identified as a Portland area Beer Advocate member, ‘goodbyeohio.’ ” Hello Ohio and good beer!

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Sean, The Beer Monger

Ginger & Sean happy at The Beer Mongers

Thanks to Sean, Sam and the crowd at The Beer Mongers last weekend. We held a women’s focus group to continue the research of women and their relationship with beer at this fine establishment and then shared an informative Herstory: Women In Brewing talk afterward.

The Beer Mongers feels neighborhoody, welcoming, and has a terrific beer selection that is – get this: Arranged by style. BRILLIANT!!! Why don’t more places follow this lead? Scrap having all the brands’ labels together. Organize them by style, just as wine and liquor does and just as a produce manager would group apples.


Fabulous women enjoying beer at The Beer Mongers

Because whether people are knowledgeable about what styles they like or not, you can accelerate the learning (and selling) curve by displaying all the same styles together. You don’t see all the Nabisco products grouped on the grocery store shelf. And you shouldn’t see all the same brand grouped together.

Especially to the uninitiated, stylistically grouping beers makes perfect and consumer friendly sense. And you must keep the consumers vantage point in mind, not yours.

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Happy Australia Day 2011

John, Larry, Ginger & Belle - hanging out

Cheers to Australia today as they celebrate Australia Day 2011!

Here are a few I’d like to shout out to in thanks for camaraderie and good beer vibe:

Kirrily Waldhorn, The Beer Diva

John Lucas, King of Hanging Out

Owen Johnston, Moorilla

Ian Innes, Passionate beer enthusiast

Evan Evans, University of Tasmania

G’day to you all – hope to share a beer or two together soon.

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A Woman Enjoying Beer In Sweden

What a day maker to get this from our friend Kellee, an American in Sweden!

Hey Ginger!

We had a pizza party at a friends house this weekend in Stockholm. The theme was pizza and beer! We made the pizzas fresh at his house and we all brought different types of beers to drink. In Sweden there are not any public breweries because alcohol is regulated by the government. So the only place you can buy alcohol (other than in restaurants or bars) is through the government store called “System Bolaget.” Most people shorten it and say, “Systemet.” In any case, they actually have a pretty diverse and large selection and if you can’t find something you have a good chance of being able to order it.

Long story short, in honor of the theme I wore my “Women Enjoying Beer” shirt! Pic attached!

Also, one of the girls at the party blogged about the pizza and beer. Though it is in Swedish you can check out the pics!

Wishing you a great day!


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Larry Found a Higher Calling

Meet Larry Chase. Professional brewer and brewer for Standing Stone Brewing Company in Ashland, Oregon.

He was willing to answer some questions for Women Enjoying Beer. I find it interesting to learn about different personalities in the brewing community and hope you enjoy it too.

WEB: How did your passion for beer develop?

LC: Being introduced to beers with flavor turned me onto enjoying beer.  Some of the first beers that started me toward the passion were Pete’s Wicked Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and some of the Leinenkugel brands.  Finding out how beer could have so many different flavors was the next step.  By reading “All About Beer” magazine and purchasing “The Complete Joy of Homebrewing” by Charlie Papazian I began to learn how only 4 ingredients could create a diversity of flavor.  Traveling also led to development of my beer passion.  Searching out beers while exploring Europe and then visiting brewpubs throughout the U.S. over a 4 month time span was another way I set down roots to my growing passion.

WEB: Do you have a favorite thing about making beer?

LC: The aromas–the sweet grainy aromas of a new mash, the aromatics of hops when they are first added to kettle, the bready aroma of fresh yeast, the unmistakable smell of a fermentation.  The aromas of brewing beer are fabulous.

WEB: What kind of people do you find populate the industry?

LC: People passionate about beer who come from very diverse backgrounds:  engineers, chemists, biologists, people who majored in English, French Literature, Philosophy, chefs.  Most people in brewing truly enjoy what they do and are always willing to share advice.

WEB: What are some of your favorite beer and food pairings?

LC: Rich chocolate brownies and a kriek or framboise lambic.  Grapefruit and sharp cheddar cheese paired with an IPA that uses citrusy flavored hops.

WEB: Is there a beer (or two) on your list you’ve yet to try that you’re jonesing for?

LC: Usually it’s the local beer in places where I’m visiting.  I’d like to find more lower alcohol and flavorful session beers.

WEB: How does one become a “Brew Master”? What was your path?

LC: My path into brewing started in the school of hard knocks–learning on the job.  I landed in the right place at the right time with a small brewpub that was looking to hire an assistant brewer.  I was simply collecting information on what the job was like–informational interviews–and the head brewer asked if I would be interested in applying.  That’s probably the fastest I’ve ever fired off a resume.  After working for a while I learned that my previous bartending experience played a part beccause then they could offer a full-time job between assistant brewing and bartending.  While doing the work, I read voraciously all of the magazines and books that were in the brewery.  Within 8 months I started the first correspondence course offered by the American Brewers Guild. After 6 months I completed their Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering class.  The learning continues every year with conferences, technical meetings, and reading.  Not sure that this route makes me a Brewmaster.  I probably am in my immediate brewery environment, although in the bigger world of brewing there are certainly a lot of people who know a lot more than I do.  The great thing is that a lot of them are willing to share their knowledge.

Thanks Larry and cheers to many more years of great (award winning ) brewing to you!

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Mt. Emily Ale House Visit

Today’s post is courtesy of Kate, my right hand at WEB. She and some of her family had the opportunity to visit Mt. Emily Ale House over the holidays. Read on!
Hi All,

We had our very own brewery tour at Mt Emily Ale House today, with Jerry as our guide. It was such a fun experience, and since Dustin [one of the tourees] is a very serious home brewer, he was especially on cloud 9. I took plenty of photos of tap handles, tanks, whiskey barrels, Jerry with green and yellow hand blown glass of beer. What a very passionate, genuine individual Jerry is!

One of the things we talked about in our conversation was a bit more lighting behind the bar (women like to be able to see everything, especially in a really cool setting like their place)

We even got to see his vault. The brewery building use to be a bank back in the day – early 1900’s I believe – which he has stocked with whiskey barrels waiting for sours to finish fermenting as well as a barley wine.

Just wanted to thank the crew at Mt. Emily Ale house for this hospitable holiday opportunity to get our own educational brew tour as well as a free sample of quality brew.


Kate Parks
Women Enjoying Beer

Photo courtesy Kate Parks

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Inaugural Beer Dinner Menu

Wow! Everyone at last nights inaugural Women Enjoying Beer & Kaleidoscope beer dinner event had a ball. Forty one people came to enjoy, learn, nosh, and savor beer and food together. And that they did!

Wes and the kitchen staff did a stellar number on the 5 courses, Amber and Elle were excellent servers, and our hosts were perfectly lovely. And of course – the guests make the party. Linens on the table, fresh (low profile) flowers accented the elevation of beer to the dinner table, and positive comments aplenty during the evening.

Here’s the menu we reveled in. When we get some pictures ready we’ll post them as well – because you know – a picture is worth a thousand tastes!

Course 1

Southern Oregon Brewing Pinup Porter paired with smoked salmon and caper spread on toasted baguette rounds with lemon juice, cream cheese, Tabasco, fresh cracked pepper and chives

Course 2

Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen paired with Tricolor salad made of mixed greens, walnuts, apples, Gorgonzola cheese, honey vinaigrette and cracked pepper, garnished with a solitary orange section

Course 3

Walkabout Brewing Jabberwocky Strong Ale paired with Cellentani pasta combined with Italian sausage, mushrooms, sauteed onions and garlic topped with Parmesan and basil

Course 4

Ninsaki Quantum Pale Ale partnered with Kaleidoscope’s signature offering – PIZZA! – an elegant pie with hand tossed delicious crust layered with said lightly fried eggplant, mozzarella, marinara topped with Parmesan and fresh basil

Course 5

Wyders Pear Cider – a total surprise for people – paired with an amazing pear simmered in honey, cloves, wine, star anise, and bay leaves, cooled and dipped in melted chocolate and rolled in almonds drizzled with pear syrup.

Incredibly scrumptious!! Many thanks to all who partook and enjoyed. When shall we do this again?

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Beer and Cycling = Good Combination

Good health has long been a part of the craft beer communities mindset. Knowing that moderation is a key to being able to fully enjoy beer helps us all know when to say when and when to partake.

Larry and Julie enjoying a beer

Julie Wartell, founder of PubQuest and friend, is a good example of beer and cycling. She’s an avid beer fan, curious, engaged and fun. PubQuest helps people in search of pubs in North America find them. Combining cycling, fresh air, and activity with quality beer and the great people surrounding the two makes for a very winning combination.

See a post of her per beer & biking here.

We met on our Home Free Tour where she gracious hosted us and our two dogs for a few nights. During that time we also were able to get in front of beer enthusiasts at Stone and San Diego Brewing to talk about the Geography of Beer.

So – ride on. Ride to, ride fro, just be sure to couple great beer with exercise and keep the cycle going.

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A Press(ing) Thank You

Good press is a good thing.

Thank you to all the press and media people who gave Women Enjoying Beer some good and accurate coverage this past year. Many grateful thanks to these fabulous and supportive folks who like to write, talk and spread the word about beer.

If I neglected to thank someone, my apologies (tell me who I missed!). Here’s to another great newsy year for beer.

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Oregon Hops Growers Christmas Breakfast

Many thanks to the Oregon Hops Growers for the entirely lovely, tasty, and warm Christmas Breakfast held this past Saturday in Silverton Oregon. Here’s what was great about it.

1. The People. Hops farmers, supporters, brewers, and the entire surrounding community. What warmth, generosity, and genuine down to earth goodness. It just feels nice to be in their company.

2. The Venue. This being our first one, it was terrific. Seven Brides Brewing was the gracious hosts with full attention to the guests. Ken, Jeff and Josiah were all happily on deck to take care of people and the kitchen prepared a hot meal to enjoy. Am looking forward to enjoying more of the tasty 7B beers and seeing their future success.

3. The Possibilities. As far as WEB is concerned, the hops growers are people to emulate. And the possibilities therein for spreading beer education ala hops involvement is huge. We’re already looking forward to our first field trips (to hops growers) this spring and fall.

4. The Community. Silverton seems to be a tight knit we’re-all-in-this-together town. The beautiful poinsettias and Christmas cacti that were given as gifts and the wares given by others involved for door prizes put the icing on the hoppy cake.

5. The Sponsors. What goes around does indeed come around. I had no idea, until we went to our first Oregon hops growers event this past summer that this incredible group of people were ‘out there’. Now, I’m always looking forward to opportunities to interact and see what I can do for them.

So thanks to everyone present for a lovely holiday morning. Peace.

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Here's a Lot Of What Matters Now

Hats off to Seth (again). Marti (Barletta), as usual, it’s a productive inspiration to read your thoughts. Thanks. Here’s Marti’s piece on Strengths.

“Forget about working on your weaknesses —> Focus on supporting your strengths.

I worked on my weaknesses for 40 years to little avail. Still “needs improvement,” as they say. Why? Easy. We hate doing things we’re not good at, so we avoid them. No practice makes perfect hard to attain.

But my strengths – ah, I love my strengths. I’ll work on them till the purple cows come home. When we love what we do, we do more and more, and pretty soon we’re pretty good at it.

The beautiful thing about being on a team is that, believe it or not, lots of people love doing the things you hate. And hate doing the things you love. So quit diligently developing your weaknesses. Instead, partner with someone very UNlike you, share the work and share the wealth and everyone’s happy.

Relatedly, women are rather UNlike men and often approach problems and opportunities with a different outlook. Yet books and coaches often encourage us to adopt male strengths and, lacking understanding, to relinquish our own. Thee irony is, studies show that more women in leadership translates unequivocally into better business results.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for both men and women to appreciate each other’s strengths so we all work on what comes naturally?

Marti Barletta, speaker, consultant and author of Marketing to Women and PrimeTime Women; is currently working on her next book, Attracting Women: Marketing Your Company to the 21st Century’s Best Candidates”

I highly recommend you download What Matters Now – it’s chock FULL of good stuff, things to act on and ponder. Then use to go out and change the world.

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Hoppy Holidays Event with WEB

Sample glasses for tasting beer

Here’s the menu we enjoyed at last night’s monthly meet up at the Lovely Lithia Springs Resort & Gardens, featuring Taylor’s Sausage and beers from Summit Beverage.

  • Course 1Ninkasi Sleigh’r with Taylor’s BBQ links cooked with home made ketchup
  • Course 2 Dick’s Brewing Best Bitter with Taylor’s Swedish Potato Sausage cooked with olive oil and a bit of sugar
  • Course 3 Anderson Valley Boont Amber with Taylor’s Hot Italian Sausage cooked with fresh garlic, salt & pepper
  • Course 4 Great Divide St. Bridget’s Porter with Taylor’s Smoked Chicken & Apple Sausage simmered in apple ginger jam, cinnamon and cloves

    Engaged revelers and learners at WEB

We sang a beer carol after each course, everyone got to pick a wrapped present and we learned more about the beers, foods, and each other. (Beer carols to be available soon!)

It was so much fun that one of the regulars brought a ditty to share entitled “Beer or Water”. She read it aloud to much uproarious laughter and then on to more beer.

And that, my friends – is what the hokey pokey is all about. Happy, tasty holidays!

Photos by Mike Sansone

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Beery Thanks

As the American holiday of Thanksgiving has passed and we’re onto the end of the year 100 yard dash, I want to make this opportunity opportune in a thankful vein.

Here’s a short list in no particular order of people, breweries, companies and supporters that I want to raise my glass to.

And of course, my family, friends and colleagues far and wide. There are a ton more names and people that I send the thank you vibe out to as well.

Indeed – you’re all what makes WEB fun and worth doing. Cheers!

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