Breweries, Breweries Everywhere…

Four Peaks, Tempe AZ

Four Peaks, Tempe AZ

…And lots of spots to drink (beer).

That seems to be an easy mantra on this trip. Here’s a shot of the fine staff working at Four Peaks Brewing in Tempe Arizona. A big thanks to Andy and Ted who gave us a full tour and tasty beers as well as delicious lunch while we were in town.

Typical.

Breweries = engaged = share information (+) = fun people to support and talk with.

Support your local brewery. The paybacks within your community will be well worth it, whether you drink beer or not.

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Beer & Fire(Stone Walker)

Friday found us winding our way towards Southern California. A couple goals for the days travel being to visit the Firestone Walker Brewery in Paso Robles and then get to San Diego for the weekend.

Mission more than accomplished thanks to gracious hosts.

Jamie with some wonderfully happy aging casks of beer

Jamie with some wonderfully happy aging casks of beer

First stop = Paso Robles. Jamie was on hand to give us a tour. Very friendly, plenty of interesting information about the brewery and business and then – of course – the tasting room. Mmmmm… Many thanks Jamie.

Next stop = David invited us to dinner at their place in Buellton. We didn’t know they had a location in Buellton so it was a genuine treat to enjoy the great environment of the brewpub with David. Engaging conversation about beer et al, a very tasty (and healthy) dinner and a few really yummy beers. Once again, many thanks!

One supposition that proved true for FW – their passion for making great beers translates into a great food experience as well. While you’d think that always goes to follow, it ain’t necessarily so (queue the music please).

Like David says, “If you’re going to build a chair, build a chair.”

In any event, one more effusive thanks to David, Jamie, and the Firestone Walker crew for a terrific day surrounded by quality beer.

Last stop = San Diego. Midnight. Zzzzzzzzzzz….

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Sunday Funday at Stone

Sunday brought us to Stone Brewing in Escondido California. Once again Julie, PubQuest, and I conducted a Geography of Beer event. Here’s the announcement.

Geography of Beer event at Stone

Geography of Beer event at Stone

Thanks to those who attended  – Fiona, Mike, Phyllis, Marty, Karen, Sandy, Bob, Howard, Barbara, Allan, and the lot. Thanks to Greg, Stephanie, Kathryn, Cale, Paddy, and the crew who helped us make it a great event at Stone.

Once again, an event like this clearly shows that education, interested people and good beer make a great productive combination.

How’d it work?

  • We highlighted 5 beers, from 5 states – starting with Stone’s own Oaked Arrogant Bastard
  • We talked about the beers themselves
  • We discussed the state of the beer and the beer of the state
  • Along with engaging audience questions and the tasting – well, an hour flew by pretty quickly

Call upon either of us – Julie or myself – to line up your own Geography of Beer. Whether you’re a brewery, brewpub, brewhouse or private party.

It’s all for the love of beer.

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SDBC (In This Case It Stands For…)

Tyson at SDBC

Tyson at SDBC

San Diego Brewing Company.

A big fat pint of thanks to Tyson and all the fine folks at San Diego Brewing Company for their hospitality this past Saturday. Julie, my fabulous new PubQuest comrade, and I had an event at SDBC to talk about The Geography Of Beer. Here’s the announcement.

We did some brainstorming (she in San Diego, me on the road) to develop a fun and educational format for the attendees, Julie did a terrific job at working with SDBC to set up the event, and voila!

5 Beers, 5 states, education, fun people = Winning Combination. Hope to get back to San Diego soon.

When you educate, you bust myths, you open minds and taste buds, and therefore can realize more people enjoying your beers.

Let us know when you’d like to host your own Geography Of Beer – it’s one service we do to help serve the beer community.

Oh – and if you live anywhere close to San Diego, be sure to take in San Diego Beer Week.

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Solar System

SNBC solar system

SNBC solar system

“We have our own solar system.”

Ha!! True enough – and said quite innocently and proudly (not arrogantly) by Terence from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

On the tour that Steve helped line up and Terence so generously gave us, we were highly impressed by the fact that the ‘solar system’ they have installed at their brewery provides the huge lions share of their energy needs.

How many other businesses can say the same?

They do it because it’s the right thing to do too. Not to get attention, not to show off. Quite the contrary.

It’s their culture that fits this kind of action and this action that fits their culture.

Beers up to you all SNBC!

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Bridging…

Bridgeport sampler

Bridgeport sampler

We’re at the Bridgeport Brewpub as I type in Portland, Oregon. My Fine Husband is familiar Karl Ockert the brewmaster – who’s been here for some some (if not the original brewer). After we enjoy a tasty lunch (hopefully) we’ll be getting a tour of the brewery by Chris, one of Bridgeport’s brewery staff.

We’ve ordered the sampler of beers, which includes a plethora of tastes and styles. Can’t wait.

As I look around I see Crystal, the baker for the Bakery part of the company (which smells friggin’ amazing as we parked the car). I just went up and introduced myself – she was just featured in the Beer Northwest magazine for their goods (more like goodies). Very friendly, great smile. I told her the recipe they included in the article for Beerimisu was making me salivate! Can’t wait to try it.

Crystal, Baker at Bridgeport

Crystal, Baker at Bridgeport

Anyway, the sampler is here so off I must be! I LOVE their mission – “Every Beer. Every Time.”

Hope you have a really good lunch too.

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You Audi Try Beer

Connection on the road:

Driving to April’s, stopped at a stoplight. Car in left lane to us looks over, I smile nicely, he rolls down his window (my husband’s sitting there too – no wierdo he).

Man: “What’s that (points to sign on outside of the traveling van) all about?”

Ginger: “It’s about developing and serving the female beer drinker.”

Man: “What’s the website address?”

Ginger: “WomenEnjoyingBeer.com. I’ll be here for a few days.”

Man: ” And what’s your name?”

Ginger: “Ginger – thanks!

Man: “Thanks!” (light turns green we both drive away)

One thing I find powerful about beer is that most people want to talk about it. That’s tremendous especially since there are a lot of myths to bust, minds to stretch and education to impart.

Thanks to the friendly man in Kirkland (in the fawn Audi station wagon) for speaking up.

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Tasty in Seattle

April is hosting a tasting with tapas tonight in Kirkland (okay, so it’s just outside of Seattle). She invited 8 other people to come enjoy, learn, savor, try, and otherwise have a fun and enlightening time with beer.

She’s a good friend along our route who enjoys beer, likes the social element it can foster and is also a fan of good food appropriately paired with beverage.

p1030004It’s easy and simple to throw your own tasting event.

  1. Think of friends who would enjoy trying different beers; size of groups depends on the amount of room you have to comfortably sit your guests.
  2. Invite said friends over on a chosen day, afternoon or night.
  3. Plan some simple and complementary foods to go with the beers – foods bring out flavors in both parts of the equation.
  4. Serve beers paired with foods in courses. I like small plates to stretch it out and really make it be special.
  5. Enjoy.

Voila!

You can either provide the beers & foods yourself as host or you can ask comers to bring a certain thing to help share costs.

Either way, it’s a win all around for women & men & beer.

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Home Brew in Washington

We’re staying with established friends and new friends along the route. Right now we’re in Wenatchee WA with one of my college roommates and her fine family. The first night we got in her husband plied us (willingly ) with his remarkable home brews. Mmmmmm….

p1020937Last night again….okay, if you must twist my arm.

The great thing about these beers is that they taste great (well made) and they’re served in the proper glass.

I think the crowning glory is that they are savored with friends, as they should be. The good food we’ve been eating is also an added complement.

Cheers!

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Stunning

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake

We are ever so fortunate in the USA to have an incredible parks system.

After we left a great stay in Jackson, Wyoming, we headed north into Montana via Grand Tetons National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Wow.

For a very reasonable $80 you can buy an annual National Parks pass. Seriously – that’s all.

Think about everything that buys and supports. Pretty cheap.

We’re excited now to use it to the hilt. Enjoy some pictures from our leisurely drive through the park.

Fire damage

Fire damage

Snow lingers in the shadows

Snow lingers in the shadows

Gorge-eous

Gorge-eous

Reflecting

Reflecting

Yellowstone Hotel

Yellowstone Hotel

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For Pete's Sake

Pete in the Pub

Pete in the Pub

Hats off to Pete and the Grand Teton Brewing Crew who provided us with a comprehensive and fun tour last week in Victor, Idaho. Having had their beers several times before, it was fun to see where the magic happens.

They earned a GABF medal (again this year) and were a very friendly beer focused crew. Nice variety of beers, including a certified organic ale and some cellar reserve choices. The dinner table bottles of the cellar reserve make for a really nice beers to give and also to share with friends.

It was a gorgeous crisp day and after Pete (Pub manager, whom Rob graciously set us up with), we headed out to hike. Pete also gave us a good recommendation of a good

Hiking & Good Beer

Hiking & Good Beer

hiking trail close – which we dug into.

A refreshing beer after a 3 hour hike in freshies 12 – 18″ deep to rehydrate, savor and quench is a perfect way to enjoy a day.

Cheers!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

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Snaking Through The Country

Snake River Brewing, Jackson WY

Snake River Brewing, Jackson WY

Tonight I get the distinct pleasure and honor of being Snake River Brewing’s guest for a Women & Beer event. If you can make it, still a few hours away, we’ll be upstairs from 530 – 7.

We’ll cover some women in beer history, female tastebuds, some termin-ale-logy and surely random other stuff as it comes up. The audience will be in charge. Plus SRB has kindly offered to give every attendee a few 5 ounce pours from their beer menu (I’ve selected 3 different ones to highlight).

Snake River is truly beer passionate with a tasty complementary food menu, a fun crew and a nice place to enjoy it all. Here are some pictures from the latest festival where I met Chris, who graciously invited me to Jackson. Can you tell they’re having fun?

Chris gave us a grand comprehensive tour yesterday too. I really enjoy tours and it was quite interesting in all kinds of good ways – including tasting some casks they have (sours! mmmm). I find brewers and breweries to be innovative (making things work for them), creative and  inventive. Sometimes you have to be so it serves them well.

Larry enjoying lunch at Snake River

Larry enjoying lunch at Snake River

Having fun and being passionate makes for a winning combination (alright, so they have some good business sense too). Said another way, when you’re having fun pursuing your passion, it’s alllll good.

Tomorrow morning we head for Grand Teton Brewing. Rob & Pete have graciously faciliated a tour. Can’t wait.

Cheers~

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Boulder, Avery and Great Women

C.V. and I at Avery tonight

C.V. and me at Avery tonight

Colorado looks great to me! Terrific beer, great people and mountains. Really I could die happy now (although I’d like to be around a bit longer).

We met up with C.V. at Avery per his shout out per the tour. He showed us all the amazing casks, happily maturing (my mouth is watering…). Brett’s are some of my absolute favorite beers…so lush, varied, flavorful and down right delicious.  Wine drinkers would definitely enjoy these kinds of beers. C.V. let us sample what we wanted and we tried 5 beers total. They’re in the throes of the GABF and all the ensuing robust enthusiastic traffic ala Beer.

A big thanks to him for his hospitality and the beers. See you again in Denver.

Also – what else – good women drinking beer.  Leah’s a home brewer with a beer entered in the Pro-Am competition at the GABF. We got to talk to her and Denise, both really engaged, happy beer drinkers. They live in Louisville and definitely enjoy thier beers

Denise, Leah & I at Avery

Denise, Leah & me at Avery

and all the flavors the vast range of beers have to offer.

In fact she’ll tap into a batch or two of beers that, once again, made my mouth water. Denise and Leah – be sure to get in touch when you’ll be tapping them. It’d surely be worth the trip to Kentucky.

Note: With the GABF fully on there was a really good mix of genders at the Avery Taproom enjoying beer. Keep in mind, beer is genderless; it’s about an opportunity more than anything.

After all, it’s all for the love of beer.

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Day 1, 2 , & 3

Well, on the road we are for the Home Free Tour 2009.  Here’s the breakdown for the start of the trip. This post will be a bit lengthy – my apologies for that today. Working on getting to know this new laptop and finding wifi spots, blah blah blah blah.

Day 1 (9/20)

Driving away from Ames, Iowa for the last time (as a resident) at 430 pm central standard time was a pretty good feeling. The people that have become friends and colleagues are terrific. Some things about the town are great – public library, Aunt Maude’s restaurant and a few other things…Overall though I was ready to go find good beer and great people.

Onward.

p1020755So day 1 was from Ames Iowa to Sioux Falls South Dakota, approximately 300 miles. Since we had out Home Free Odyssey minivan and the last (of 3) rental vans with our wordly goods, we didn’t break any speed limits.

As far as beer went that day – we had a Skinny Dip in the final throes of packing and that was it. Full day. Could have enjoyed another one or two session style beers.

Day 2 (9/21)

Waking up in Sioux Falls SD was a good feeling. It meant the trip was finally underway, the Odyssey had begun. Women Enjoying Beer – Across the Country. Game – or rather Beer on.

We had brought the very last of our bottled beer with us – a Boulevard Single Wide IPA…mmmm….The Boulevard people clearly understand how beer relates to everyone, women and men. When WEB was in KC in July, they showed Deidre (my associate in Beer) and I a great time and they were very accommodating. Hope to get back and do some collaboration. Supposedly a big posse of them will be at the GABF. I’ll be on the look out for them.

Beer Encounter – At a bank to take care of some business, we were served by a customer conscientious woman named Virginia. She not only explained some things to us, that other banks had failed do (sidebar – a little education goes a looooong way), she told me that she didn’t like beer.

Hmmmm….my human travel companion and Fine Husband smiled and told her “I bet Ginger can find a beer you like.” That’s a bet I’d take – she says she likes wines. Great! I’ll surprise her when in Sioux Falls next with a few beers to try. And then take her temp-beer-ture again.

AJ & Tucker

AJ & Tucker

Some good friends let us crash at their home – thanks to the Breck crew! Here’s AJ and Tucker.

Last night then for dinner we went with a friend to a newer eatery, a pizza joint. Why do so many restaurants spend so much time and effort (and money) on their menu/food items and the beer seems to be a hiccup or afterthought??

  • Good food demands good beer.

At a minimum have a variety so your patrons can try the beers just like they try the foods. Pay attention to requests, listen and pass along suggestions to the vendors and distributors. This place billed itself as a New York style pizzaria. Why not have NY beer? Or at least a better selection?

Day 3 (9/22)

On the road again, headed south to drop off the rental truck in Sioux City Iowa. My Fine Husband brewed there once upon a time at what was then Fourth Street Brewing right downtown. Before we got there though, the phone rang and it was a gentleman from New Jersey. He’d found me online and had a few questions so we talked for a short bit. Hope to connect again, that he acted on my suggestions and found them of value so will call back for more. Plus – of course – along the trip, we’ll be on the East Coast so I’d be in his neck of the woods to be available.

Shameless piece. As far as I have learned (tell me if I am wrong) I am the only one ‘out there’ working on women & beer, developing and serving the female beer consumer. The info I collect and have available is solely WEB’s. Call me when I can help.

Appropriate and attractive glassware

Appropriate and attractive glassware

After dropping the van off we headed to Omaha, first stop Upstream Brewing. The wireless or our newness to the wireless world kept us from successfully logging in. Jody, the tender, Merit (sp) host, and Ryan, their banquet person, were all very friendly and answered a few questions. Hope to connect with them in the new year.

The first stop was actually going to be the new Lucky Bucket, Zac T’s new brewery. He’s in Denver already and Jason, his partner, was otherwise occupied. Next time.

Onward to the Apple store where I sit right now blogging. We just had out first One to One session with Brandon, Apple dude. He’d checked out my blog (thanks Brandon!) and was very fun to have as our instructor. He was even hip on being part of the tech support for the Home Free Tour. We’ll see what we can do about that

Apple Jack, otherwise known as Brandon

Apple Jack, otherwise known as Brandon

which would be great since technology is not my first language.

So tonight? We’ll settle into a good dinner with beer with friends. Homemade chili. What kind of beer to you like with Chili? The Girls, labs Belle and Hops, will enjoy some leg stretching with their dog, Luci.

Have a great night, thanks for tuning in. More (less lengthy posts) daily.

Cheers ~

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Bear With Me…

The house is a jumble, although a somewhat empty one (it’s sold though!), plans are laid and we’ll be underway for our Home Free Tour starting Sunday.

Bear with me as my posts will be thin until next week.

Belle & Larry prepping the van for the tour

Belle & Larry prepping the van for the tour

I can tell you I’ll be at the Great American Beer Festival which kicks off next Thursday as well – will you be headed to Denver?? It’s a fantastic time, educational opportunity and terrific place to meet and catch up with a great genre of people.

Thanks for your patience. Hope to see you along the way –

Ginger

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