A Few Constants

p1030363This trip has been thoroughly thought provoking on so many levels and in so many ways. We still have a few weeks to go and surely more enlightenment is just ahead.

To those of you in the community in any way, you may nod your head. For those of you newer to it, here are a few thoughts to consider as you continue your journey with beer.

  1. Beer people are passionate about beer. Period.
  2. Beer folks have favorites whether it’s the one in  front of them or a particular beer they worship and crave.
  3. Beer people are engaged in their communities. The economic support to communities breweries and beer oriented vendors and supplies provide is a solid family friendly investment in our society.p1030782
  4. They’ll do what they can to help another beer person out. Testimony to that are all the places we’ve stayed along the way with beer people opening their homes to others they have not even met yet (us).
  5. They speak up when a voice needs to be heard. The courage and fortitude displayed by beer people, quiet or obvious, is admirable.
  6. They’re fun to drink beer with.
  7. They’re eager to share and educate others about beer. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy that’s delicious.

p1020781The list goes on and on so for today, this’ll be the short version.

When you engage in the beer community, you discover a whole world of terrific people, opportunity, and great tasting liquid – they are all life enhancing and I fully intend to charge on.

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Mmmmm…Beer Smells Good

p1030837One thing that many people who drink beer have yet to get into the habit of is smelling their beer. It’s one important part of the events I conduct with beer – to teach people to smell their beer. To drink with their noses first.

Most people are in the habit of smelling food, smelling wine, smelling the roses (although some are still missing this).

So why are you not inhaling the heady scents of your beer?

The information we take in through our noses is really important, chock full of memory and therefore thoughts. Smells tell us myriad things about what it is we are sniffing.

SO – pause and smell before drinking that next beer. THEN take a sip, swirl it all around your mouth, making sure it reaches all those taste buds in your tongue, roof of your mouth, cheeks, throat…

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This Is Why I Respect Seth

called on the carpet

called on the carpet

Here’s a perfect example, yet again, of why people in any business (and those engaged in life – Dolores are you reading today??) can benefit from reading Seth Godin’s musings.

He’s right. He’s direct. He’s calling us all on the carpet because he’s there already. It inspires, motivates, provokes thought and hopefully action.

I’m not here to put him on a pedestal – just pass this good stuff forward as my good friend Amy did for me. Thanks!

p.s. here’s another good post

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Hmmm…not sure what to make of this.

p1020711On one hand, it’s most likely potentially helpful for the female market share who want help. And good for anyone who reaches out for help.

The other reaction is it’s tragic that it has to be a segment that is addressed differently.

I’m not being hypocritical. Women Enjoying Beer is about opportunity for a market share to be developed, incidentally gender as that market share. It could be any number of segments that have been underserved, ill served, or flat out not served, ignored, or neglected. It happens to be the 50.9% of the population that is female.

Think that last one is how I’m feeling about this site.

Jody DeVere, the CEO of the organization, tells us in her video clip that the role of women is changing. I would challenge that with the fact that women have always held a strong influential role – directly or indirectly – in making purchases, throughout the ages. (Just like in most of the non-westernized world, women are the brewers) So the recent ‘change’ is not necessarily so. What may be is that the female market share is being approached in a different way. Many businesses finally realizing that women can have an enormous impact on their bottom line. So they want a piece of that pie.

As many may know the car industry has long earned its way to the bottom of the list for dealing with female customers.

Let’s work together to make sure the beer community is at the top of the list.

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The Issue Is Not Gender

It’s opportunity. It’s beer equality.

If anyone thinks Women Enjoying Beer is sexist (like the comment from SirRon ala this post), I’d invite you to consider the following quote by Anna Quindlen.

“The perception was that the fight for equality was a war against men. But the battle was really against waste, the waste of talent, the waste to society, the waste of women who had certain gifts and goals and had to suppress both. The point was not to take over male terrain but to change it because it badly needed changing.”

Change is what we’re after here. Clear, sustainable, positive change.

Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe Arizona

Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe Arizona

After all, with 50.9% of the population being female, you’d be missing a the point of it being a huge opportunity.

Like an accomplished well respected brewer stated as well, if half the population is female and your organization does not reflect that, there’s an imbalance. Said another way, why would it be any other way but representative of the population?

Foster, encourage, educate, hire, entice, support, mentor, act.

Lots of women who talk to me tell me they are interested in getting into the beer business; they have no idea of how to go about it though. Why is that?

Women can certainly reach out more, ask more, inquire more.

And the beer community can do much more to find out why and change it to create a better gender balance. Another reason to consider actively pursuing this kind of goal is that the two genders have different and complementary skills. Round out a team by filling the ranks with adept and competent women and men.

In the bigger scheme of things, it helps society as a whole as well. And we all benefit from that, beer or no beer.

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Brewery Tools

What tools do you use in your beer business?

  • Are they all only actual items like wrenches, shovels, buckets, pipes and ingredients?
  • Do you include in those tools people, training, education, professional development, and evaluation?

p1030585If you do, you’re moving forward. If you don’t, you’re moving backwards, not just standing still.

No motion forward is like saying maybe…a maybe is a no. Staying ‘still’ is the same thing. You have to move to progress.

  1. Who is in charge of properly and professionally marketing your beers?
  2. Who’s in charge of the actual brew house?
  3. Who’s in charge of the number crunching?
  4. Who’s in charge of…well, I’ll assume you see the point.

Tools are not tools are not tools.

With proper implementation of tools, use and care of them, you’ll make forward motion – otherwise known as progress. If you don’t you’re only slipping backwards. Staying still will allow others to pass you by.

Let me know when I can help you move. Forward.

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Wise Man

Is this you?

Is this you?

David Edgar put a post on the BA Forum recently. It was pertaining to service and he referenced Women Enjoying Beer.

“The industry is 2/3 brewpubs and I know that if they can’t deliver on basic service, it doesn’t matter how amazing the beers are.  Good luck and keep up the good work.”

He gets it.

It’s about opportunity, dedication and really being in tune with what makes it all tick. It’s about starting right, not cutting any corners, paying attention.

Every business is in the customer business. With internal and external customers. I could name several breweries that really have it nailed. There are several that need to improve – everything from service to cleanliness to how they answer the phone to realizing that passion for beer simply is not a complete picture of running a sound operation.

And if you have the passion for the beer, then find others that have passion or at least enthusiasm and competency for numbers, for QAQC, for dealing with customers. For all the areas that are not the beer and are still essential to successful beer business.

Any less is an affront to your blessed beer.

Back to basics, folks.

And I will do my best to keep it up, David. Thanks.

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For Your Buck

For today’s post ‘Good’ = high quality, solid profile, well made and cared for from tank to table.

How much does a ‘good’ bottle of wine cost?

How about a ‘good’ bottle of liquor?

How much does a ‘good’ 6 pack of beer cost?

Lazy Magnolia 6 packs

Lazy Magnolia 6 packs

From an economic stand point, beer is one of the best values for your dollar. Let’s do some math.

  • When you look for a reasonable bottle of wine, you can plan to spend anywhere from 10, 12, 20 dollars or more.
  • When you buy a reasonable bottle of liquor, you start anywhere from the mid teens up into easily 30 or 40 dollars.
  • When you want to buy some good beer, you can start at 8 or 9 dollars for a six pack.

Seriously. You get 6 – 12 ounce bottles effectively exceeding any regular wine or liquor bottle quantity with that 8 – 10 bucks.

I’m not pitting one kind of beverage against another – I’m simply pointing out that beer is and will continue to be a great value. Women tell me over and over that value is really important. (And value goes beyond just the $$ factor.)

Value is always important. Now more than ever with people more aware of exactly where their dollars are headed and to what end, money is even more strictly watched.

So not only is a good beer good, it’s a great value. And the kicker? It’s always a great value. Regardless of economic environment. It’s why we call it an affordable luxury. Because it is.

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Lambic Education

Me & Jacklyn at the Flying Saucer

Me & Jacklyn at the Flying Saucer

Here’s a good article on lambics.

As is the key for many things, education is key with beer – female or male, no matter what age or knowledge level.

Bring it on (the education) then bring on the beer.

Here’s another link out – good education, poor choice of name for the blog (‘girls’ are under 12 folks).

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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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Is this right?

5% – seriously?? How can that really be appropriate?

It took me by surprise and I find it disturbing. And misleading. And inaccurate. And incorrect.

5% is still 5%. Without it, 95% is not 100%.

The public should demand 100% accuracy in this case.

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Quick Quote

“You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning.”

This doesn’t condone stupid drinking behavior, rather intelligent drinking said in fun.


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Ode to Ode

Anyone (else) read Ode?

I like the mission – Community for intelligent optimists.

Cheers for good news, stuff that can motivate us and keep us all going.

p1000881So a friend passed me the July 2009 copy recently – page 6 in the hard copy, link here. “Zen and the art of drinking beer.” Hmmmm….yea??

The correlation of meditative beer drinking, slowing down, enjoying the moment and therefore the flavor and all the deliciousness of beer.

Sung is correct “We can meditate on anything we choose”.

I’ve got the beer part down. Meditation is next.

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For those of you who tuned in yesterday, you read about a Maine Beer, Gritty’s – with 3 locations in that fine Northeast state.

It brings me to a comment made by Rob Tod (clever profile by the way), founder of Allagash, another fine Maine brewery.  The comment was made at a CBC panel discussion…and really the context is adaptable. Of course it was in reference to “Keeping It Real”, the panel topic of the session.

Regardless of the context, I liked the inferred meaning – and feel like you can plug it in, in many ways, many different situations.

“It’s not a big thing, it’s not a small thing, it’s just a thing.”

How many things do we make too big or too small when we should just deal with it as is?

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It’s my own personal holiday today – so this will be brief.

WOO HOO!!! I have always loved my birthday – already had pancakes made by my Fine Husband, with bacon…mmm!

Got some tasty beer to enjoy later as well – bon fire tonight (if this rain knocks off).

Cheers indeed!


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How many of the people you work with  are fully engaged in your business?

Perhaps we should back up – are you fully engaged? Most – being the vast majority – of the beer people I have met who work in the industry in some manner, are truly plugged into what they do and why they do it.

apple_harvestSo back to present day, who is not engaged? If they are not, why not?

Unengaged employees do not engage customers.

If they are salvageable, then get to it. If they are not, cut them free. A bad fit is a bad for everyone. (this person should clearly NOT be in a customer contact position – yikes!!!)

If one bad apple spoils the bushel, then make sure they’re all prize fruit. Customers can tell when something’s rotten.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by mcmrbt

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