Lucky 7: Chocolate Festival Goodies

Every year, for the last seven, I’ve had the distinct pleasure to presenting beverage and chocolate pairing sessions at the venerable Oregon Chocolate Festival. With my hat off to the founder and brilliant colleague, Karolina, it was this year – the 7th anniversary for me – that just transpired, deliciously.

A few of the delicious DAGOBA chocolate we featured at the fest sessions.

As promised to my sold out Saturday session and my fabulous Sunday guests, here’s the menu we savored.

Openers, both sessions:

ScharffenBerger Unsweetened and Bittersweet chocolate squares

I hadn’t thought to offer this as a warm up to the pairing menu before; so this year, I did. Wow. What a way to welcome chocolate to the chops! These two in specific are quite astringent and eye-opening. They aren’t designed to be snackers – and they aren’t. It was enlightening to taste them with my guests, to reset and refresh what exactly bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates taste like, to keep their profile in mind when using them in cooking.

Main Menu Saturday:

Main Menu Sunday:

  • Harney & Sons Soho Flavored Black Tea paired with DAGBOA Lavender Blue chocolate (59% cocoa) and coconut slivers
  • Momokawa Organic Junmai Ginjo Sake paired with DAGOBA White Chocolate Raspberry Mint (0% cocoa) & DAGOBA Ginger Lime chocolate (37% cocoa)
  • Standing Stone Brewing Company Milk Chocolate Ale paired with DAGOBA Milk chocolate (37% cocoa)

It was the first year there was an alcohol free beverage in the mix. When I went to the DAGOBA showroom in Ashland to secure the chocolates, Jill (showroom manager + most excellent colleague) reminded me they carry plenty of chocolate AND other complementary goodies. As a tea drinker, I bought a tin of this tea, took it home, tried it and decided that it would be in the menu.

Is this a great (crazy) crew, or what!!??

What a fun surprise the final menu is for me, every year. I want to provide guests with unique flavor mixes and ideas. To that end, I believe I was successful.

The guests make the party – thanks to everyone who joined me. Apologies to the folks we turned away on Saturday (100 seats were full before we started!). Please come again next year – earlier, as well you can join us on Sundays. There are sometimes available seats then.

I’ll wrap with BIG THANKS to my venerable and unflagging chocolate partner, DAGOBA. From the first year where, 20 minutes before  my session I was combing the floor, asking people I’d never met before if they’d like me to feature their chocolate, they’ve generously given.

Enjoy tastings and pairings, mixing and matching as you and your taste buds find fun. Props to my crew who helped me taste in advance, helping the winners this year rise to the menu, letting the not-so-hot test pairings quietly disappear.

See you next year ~

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Poignancy In The Everyday

This weekend will find me in gorge-ous Hood River, Oregon. We head there annually for My Fine Husband to attend an industry event.

Belle (r) & Hops, nose to nose

We stay on the shores of the Columbia River, in a canine friendly hotel and soak it all in. He gets education and connects with others in his industry (he’s a pro brewer) and I get to see people I know and wander the shoreline with the Kids or work or whatever I feel moves me.

This year is particularly poignant because last year, on this exact trip, our 15+ year old beloved dog died. It was dramatic and fitting all at the same time. Her breed, Labrador Retriever, can’t get enough of water.  We had arrived and were stretching legs having made the 6-hour car trip. She slipped over the bank quicker than we realized and paddled weakly in the Columbia. My husband shouted to me in that EMERGENCY tone – I ran to him, saw her in the water and immediately jumped in. I fished her out of the river, having gotten to her after her head began nodding under the surface, no longer paddling….I can understand how humans lift cars off their loved ones in a panic. Her 65 pounds of limp wet weight was nothing to me in that moment.

Your heart stops at the same time instinct kicks in. I didn’t hesitate for a moment in jumping in this massive river to save her. Thankfully I could touch bottom and we brought her up the bank, settled her head downhill to try to get rid of some of the water she had taken in.

I quickly and strangely enough realized that it was her time to go.

Hops, wondering where Belle has gone.

Even typing this now my emotions well up and I miss her something fierce, caught in the memory of what happened. And how unexpected yet perfectly fitting of an end she had to a wonderfully full and giving life. The vet who answered the late night call was compassionate and professional, which obviously helped ease the pain everyone – Belle included – was feeling.

Why the hell am I sharing this with you?

Because Belle is on my mind and heart. Because there is meaningful poignancy in everyday living. Sometimes we see it, live it viscerally, sometimes we don’t realize what’s happening until we’re in the middle of it and sometimes we don’t see it at all.

How does this relate to Beer?

In my world, everything is related to everything else. Belle, my beloved canine, saw me through the entire launch of my businesses – all of them, beginning in 2002. I knew her longer than I knew My Fine Husband. And she knew me better than anyone else. My Fine Husband fell in love with and got to know dogs because of her. He feels the pain acutely as well, his first death of our beloved immediate family member.

Life without dogs ain’t worth it to me. Life without beer goes on.

Züc, our newest family member, soaking up the sunspot.

When life goes wonky, we need to keep it all in perspective. A family member dying is difficult at best; when it’s a member we truly and deeply love it’s brutal. The celebration of her life this weekend will help us keep moving through it, though the feelings never completely dissipate. Memories of our beloveds, like my friend Walt says, they live in our hearts forever – and isn’t that a great place to be.

Yes. If we can’t be together in life, then we’ll always be connected in our hearts. But damn, I miss her.

Take it all in stride, don’t stress out about things that ultimately don’t matter – like being a beer snob or not being able to get the beer you want at any one time. Life moves. It’s up to us to act with grace and take it all with gratitude, not for granted.

There is poignancy in the everyday. Enjoy it all.

We’ll celebrate her with a memorial picnic, with Hops – the other four legged family member who lived it with us – and our newest family member, Züc. Our humblest effort to cheers a fortunate life well-lived and appreciated.

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Lucky 13: Oregon Chocolate Festival Beer & Chocolate Menu

One of our fine team members getting the goods plated…

Mmmmmmmm

Ahhhhhhhhh

Ooooooooo!!

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

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

Great crew (slightly chocolate-goofy!) helping out

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

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

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

Love live the Festival!!

Here are the menus we enjoyed.

Saturday:

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

Sunday:

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

Recipes:

Chocolate Polenta

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

Chocolate Chevre

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

Ginger cookies in testing mode

Ginger Cookies (on which we spread the chevre)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Experimenting With Beer In Your Kitchen

Beer is an ingredient. So is Chocolate.

That’s how I sometimes view it – as a component, rather than limiting it to a glass for drinking. To limit is to cut off future opportunities and my taste buds don’t appreciate that!

Willing Dagoba chocolate volunteers, ready for duty!

So into the kitchen I’ll go this weekend to develop a menu and likely new recipes for the coming Oregon Chocolate Festival. While the sessions I lead would be successful with straight forward beer & chocolate, I’m more ambitious than that….preferring to come up with new ways to use tasty foods.

Come join us for the festival.

And if you run a food oriented event and are looking for a lively and crowd pleasing presenter, call me anytime. T’is always a pleasure to enlighten taste buds + brains with fun people.

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Free Marketing Workshops in DC April 10th

Need a boost for your marketing?

Join me for complementary marketing seminars Monday April 10th, immediately prior to the Craft Brewers Conference, Washington DC.

Details:

  1. Beer Marketing Seminar – graciously hosted at Gordon Biersch
  2. Two sessions to choose from: noon – 1 pm, 2 – 3 pm
  3. Material will include: 5 top reasons women drink and buy beer & Do’s and Don’ts in successfully marketing beer
  4. All questions answered as time allows
  5. Free to attend, $100 hold-your-seat/s deposit check required to hold your seat/s – you get it back upon arrival. To each their own tab at Gordon Biersch.
  6. Come for an hour packed full of insight into marketing beer, with the emphasis on earning and keeping more of the future market share of beer: women (they make 85% of all purchasing decisions, hold the largest opportunity for growth).
  7. My book will be available as well, to interested parties.
  8. All categories and ages of beer-focused companies welcome.

Do you want and need a beer marketing boost?

These sessions fill up fast (with waiting lists) so call me today to register (only international registrations will be taken via email). 515.450.7757 PST Call me to register and I’ll send along final details. Do not call Gordon Biersch to register.

Plus:

  1. I’m also co-presenting with Larry Chase at the CBC (Brewpub track, training), so you can come find me there as well.
  2. You can find me at the BA Bookstore doing a Book Signing Wednesday the 12th of April, 12 – 1 pm.

Cheers & thanks –

Ginger Johnson

Founder, Women Enjoying Beer

Marketer, Speaker (TED+), Author, Innovator

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Beer & Chocolate

It’s that time of year again – the Oregon Chocolate Festival is coming right up. And yours truly is again presenting lively & delicious chocolate and beer tasting sessions.

For the past 5 years (this year = 6th) it’s been a pleasure to be part of this event at the invite of my fine colleague, Karolina of the Neuman Hotel Group. As I look back at the previous years, I like what I see.

OCF 2012

2012: First year invited to the festival by Karolina. My Fine Husband is a brewer in the same town and he was invited to make a beer for and talk at the Friday night Chocolate Makers dinner. Yum! I was lucky enough to go along and enjoy the hospitality and get a glimpse of what was ahead. We also were given a booth in exchange for my presentation, wherein we sold WEB goodies.

It’s always fun to see returning guests like Michelle.

2013: On the grow – the festival keeps attracting return guests and new guests into the flavor fold. I’m invited back thanks to our success last year and it’s a great time again, this time with an even fuller room (2 sessions, one Sat & Sun) that last year. Returning guests provide a humbling bonus.

Felicia enjoys the festival, with a fresh beer in hand.

2014: Getting bigger! And our last year in the actual room inside the hotel. We’re bursting at the seams and I give away a few tickets to the event – even better to help the Hotel generate more enthusiasm for a consistently well run and well done event. Felicia is the Winner and I’m so glad to have her the other 40 – 50 guests for each session. The Hotel Group has a terrific team, year over year, too so that makes the life of a presenter so much easier and more fun.

2015: Last year at the Ashland Springs Hotel, Downtown Ashland. In the tent we had a ball with as many guests would fit on Saturday, as well as a robust audience on Sunday too. Still with chairs only, we can snugly fit 60ish guests seated, with a few standing in the back. Thankfully I had enough of everything to serve the groups. Even better, my filmmaker Sean and PR pro Erika are in the house to capture all this tasty fun (clip above).

Join us at the Hills for the Festival

2016: We made a big leap forward to the new location, Ashland Hills Hotel, where the room can seat significantly more. We set up for 80 (seats & tables) and had big overflow of likely 100 = 120! While it’s a thrill to get that many people in the room who want to take part, it’s a disappointment to not be able to fully serve everyone who wanted to be there.  Big thanks to my team, Stacy & Russ, for working with the NHG crew to make it sing for me and our fine guests. I also gave away some private beer & chocolate tasting sessions (only 1 of 3 was redeemed…).

Soon: March 3 – 5, 2017. We’ll seat 100 people only, making sure that those who get there in good time have a literal seat and chair to enjoy the fun. Saturday & Sunday will allow for two different sessions, separate menus and as likely a few surprises. I’m deep into the throes of menu planning and development – creating a fun and delicious & enlightening menu for the 100 guests we’ll have Saturday and the other 100 we’ll have Sunday. Plus Karolina has given me the opportunity to be the moderator of a panel of beverage & food specialists – can’t wait!

Paula, Cassie, Ginger & Karolina are ready for you to join the fun!

Why am I walking down this chocolate memory lane today? Because in a world of sometimes feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything some days, these events are incredibly tangible and real. They’re like my fairway: a successful event like this helps me keep moving forward, knowing what I do matters.

  • Thanks to all the guests – one timers, repeats and stalwarts.
  • Thank you to Karolina and my crews – you make it all the better and successful for everyone.
  • Thank you for my flavor partners, including Dagoba Organic Chocolate and Larry/Brewer and others.

I’m relishing the upcoming festival and hope to see you there. Here’s the agenda. Please, come join us.

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Michigan Brewers Guild Comment

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

Megan Scheerhorn, Marketing Coordinator

Saugatuck Brewing Company

Douglas, MI

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

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Michigan and Back

Happy New Year All ~

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy New Beer!

Events are a lot of damn work.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How To Put Together A Women’s Beer Group

Over the yeas I’ve been asked a number of times: So, how do I put together a women’s beer group?

Today’s the day I want to shed some light on successful components to planning and executing a women’s beer group.

  1. Education has to be the primary purpose. Educating a new segment in a population to an idea must drive the endeavor forward.
  2. Single gender education has some unique benefits so do it right. Full respect, no pandering or pinking and by all means make sure it’s worthy of the time you put into it.
  3. Title: this is the easiest and toughest for some people. What do I name it? Easy: use the words “Women” or “Females” for starters. Simple and descriptive rule the day here. Check to make sure the name you think you want to use isn’t being used by others as well (trust me, says the logo-infringed upon business owner). If it is, think again for another choice.
  4. A well planned women + beer group is a smart investment for businesses who want to properly attract more women to beer.

    Conversely, never use denigrating or less-than-full-respect terms for women & beer: babes, broads, girls, chicks, and all other ilk of slang terminology holds everyone – and beer – back.

  5. A regular schedule is in order to get any sort of momentum. Whether you design a 3 part series or year round program, hold it consistently – day wise, time wise, location wise. Consistency builds brands.
  6. Charge guests for it. Part of the value proposition includes monetizing the education. Create a budget expressly for this effort and follow it. More guests will show up and take it seriously when you have a fee attached. $$ = investment of time and effort for everyone.
  7. Provide goodies. Free doesn’t make the world go round, but goodies can. I often get small glasses in tip-top shape at the thrift stores, put my vinyl stickers on them and give them away at tastings. Meaningful mementos of use are a great incentive and fun for all.
  8. Invite select media and press to attend, one at a time. Make M&P seats as valuable as the others. Budget 1 seat per event for proven press pros to enjoy, record and report. Show them a good time – just as you do all your guests – and do not expect glowing press in return. The job of the press is to report, as they see fit professionally to do so. Give them a good story and news they can use.

This gets us started today.

Want more tactics and strategy on how to put together a women’s or men’s or general beer enthusiasm group? Call me. I can help.

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Fermenta Flavor Trip

With a nod to the Ancient Mariner, one of the very best aspects of beer is flavor – hands (and pints) down. And one of the reasons is that we all enjoy flavor.

Do we all enjoy the same flavors? Oh goddess, no! That’s not important. What is important to is to enjoy beer and the beer community for all it offers, all beer flavors and characters included.

In my travels and adventures of beverage and food, I frequently lead beer and food pairings – often beer and chocolate. This eye-opening and often unexpected partnership of two everyday goodies is met with skepticism and enthusiasm. “Really, we’re going to have chocolate with beer?” Yes, really. Here’s why.

fermentablackBeer’s grain bill – the actual grains in the beer recipe – has so many affiliations with flavors in various chocolates. In fact, since they both have a prominent base ingredient (beer = grain, chocolate = cocoa), they are naturally set up to deliciously co-exist. While I may sound bias, I can tell you that the light bulbs I see go on in a room experiencing beer and chocolate make the effort so incredibly worthwhile.

Teaching to flavor, opening minds by starting with our palate is gratifying and satisfying. Gratifying because there are always people in the room who have epiphanies. Voila! “Whoa – who knew??!!” reactions that in turn make me grin. Satisfying because I get to refresh my taste buds with beer and chocolate at the same time, thereby renewing the joy of flavor exploration.

Join us January 11th as the fine Fermenta folks and I host a lively educational event at gracious host Arcadia Ales in Kalamazoo. I’ll be giving the talk, HerStory: The Story of Women & Beer, with the bonus goodies of fresh beer, Dagoba chocolate and Rogue Creamery cheese. Bring your open mind and open palate, good humor and a friend. Space is limited so register today.

See you soon in the Great State of Michigan for a flavor filled night. Cheers till then!

g

this article was originally written for Fermenta, 2017.

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Have We Gone Overboard?

There was a time when we simply described things as they were: carrots, beer, cars, songs. Hot cold, spicy, bland, fizzy, flat, red, blue and green.

Now it feels very different to me. Words like craft, artisan, farmhouse, and custom are bandied about with a carefree nonchalance that the most hardened foodie may find appalling.

And to what end? Are all these words used in context to what we put into our mouth merited? Does it truly matter to you where they came from or is it trendy? Said another way, do you think you need to be aware and care or do we fundamentally and genuinely care? Do we use the words because they really matter or because we’re keeping up with the organic-farm-eating Jones’? Here’s a few food words to consider.

Case in point: Paired.

Paired is a “craft beer + food” event offered to attendees of the Great American Beer Festival, fall every September. What was once titled Farm to Table is now Paired. Why the switch of the name, is my first question. Are we in a day and age where single glib or seemingly gravitational words are how we want to sum up an entire experience? Do we want the feeling of something or do we want to enjoy the literal fruits of someone else’s labor? Farm to Table is straight forward and descriptive.

Paired menu 2016

Paired menu 2016

Don’t get me wrong: the Paired event is quite a show. The host organization, The Brewers Association, has deemed me worthy of a media pass several years, for which I’m grateful. Trappings of that badge include admittance to this event. Any time I get to eat with drink I’m happy. The planning and effort that goes into this one event, for example, looks to be a remarkable undertaking. Kudos.

So let’s look at the menu. Read one way, we can safely say it’s chock full of learning opportunity! An overflow of words that are new to me, so no doubt a collection of new vocab to others as well. Take for instance: rillette, mignonette, tataki, fromage fort, taleggio, membrillo, fish headcheese, chorizo seco, duck pipian, loukaniko...and on it goes. A crash course in Italian and French in many ways. Cool! I love to learn so there’s a build in homework option.

And if we’re looking at keeping it real and every day, this isn’t the event for you. I honestly think that someone looking for everyday food they cook (in a broad general sense) would not fully enjoy or appreciate. Words that are unfamiliar and to some unpronounceable don’t really engender new ideas; they engender fear of mispronunciation and sometimes, due to that, simple avoidance.

I’ve found the best way to navigate this event is to simply wander and ask lots of questions. The crews present are always very knowledgeable and it’s a good way to make new connections. Simply know that the next person in line will likely also ask some of the same questions of the crew. It’s gotta be a long repetitive day, and that’s what this is about: meeting, talking & educating on a redundant soundtrack to help people learn more about what they are eating, beverage paired with food.

To that end it’s a smash. Again, I enjoy it. I also find that by the time I’m ready to go all I want is a plate full of one food I know and recognize and to fill up on with a full glass of beer.

Have we taken the beer & food pairing too far?

Likely it’ll get pushed farther still. So be it. For me it’s about knowing what I’m getting into, embracing it for what it is – Italian lessons beforehand be damned – and then coming out the other side. Enlightened, fuller and perhaps more curious, “Woman overboard!” an infrequent call.

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Portland Book Event 10.26.16, Belmont Station

Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women

Women Enjoying Beer founder to host book-release event at Portland’s famed

Belmont Station

 Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.

The book — How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry.

The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.

Johnson wrote the book to fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.

“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely and respectfully market beer to women. They are incredibly overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”

“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. If they don’t, they’re missing a huge opportunity.”

 

On Wednesday, October 26 from 5-7 PM, Johnson will host a book release event at Portland, Oregon’s Belmont Station (4500 SE Stark St.). Johnson will read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings, and answers questions on how brewers and beer-focused businesses can boost their efforts in marketing to female beer consumers.

Admission to the event is free, seating is limited and books will be available for singing and purchase ($49) at the event. Reservations are required and can be secured by sending an email to ginger@womenenjoyingbeer.com or calling 515.450.7757.

“In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”

Numerous beer-industry companies have benefited from Johnson’s expertise.

“I see women filling our stores every day, buying all kinds of beer,” says Rob Hill, New Business Development Director for Total Wine & More. “This is a reality to be understood and not ignored. Ginger’s passion and expertise for this historically misjudged consumer segment pour out of the pages of her new book.”

“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the craft beer industry – and the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment – she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”

How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer can also be purchased here.

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Beverage Pro VIP Seminar: Register by 11/9, Limited Seats

  • Are you a professional and in some way selling or marketing beverages to women?
  • Do you want more high-value customers?
  • Do you understand the value of both building more long-term customers AND professional development for you and your team?

Then call Ginger today at 515.450.7757 to register for your seats at this exclusive event.

VIP Professional Marketing To Women Seminar

Date: Thursday November 10th, 6 – 8 pm

Please join us for cocktail & beer hour + hors d’oeuvres between 5 and 6 pm. The program will start promptly at 6 pm. We recommend you arrive by 5:45 to settle in.

Location: our friends at Immortal Spirits, Medford OR

Agenda of The Evening: Based on the newly published book, How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer, this singular groundbreaking-book seminar is designed for beverage pros who want to develop and hone their customer service and selling skills. The program will go through specifics in the book, you take note and makes notes in your copy of the book, and walk out of the event with Real Useful New Insight to apply to best sell beer to women.

This seminar is designed for beverage and beer brands, brand representatives, beverage marketers and operators, distributors and importers, retailers and restaurants and bars that sell 21+ beverages.

You get a custom menu 3-course delicious dinner prepared exclusively for you, for this event. Our fine friends at Immortal Spirits are planning a menu to include beverage and food for each course. It’s one of my Third Places and they make stellar spirits and pour delicious beers.

Why Should You Attend: Because women buy 75-85% of all goods & services in America. Because you want to sell more beverages. Everyone who sells adult beverages needs women. Women want these drinks. This exclusive seminar connects the dots, giving your company a competitive advantage over those who do not attend.

Registration required by end of day 11/9/16

SEATS ARE VERY LIMITED. Call today to reserve your seats (payment in full saves your seats; registrations are non-refundable once purchased.) And frankly: you should be there if you’re in the business.

Investment: You’ll more than recoup your entry fee of only $99 per person. The ROI will happen quickly when you apply what you learn at this seminar and from the book in totality.

If you love your beverage, if you want to sell more, if you respect women as the world’s most powerful market then plan on joining me for this incredibly high value event.

THIS WILL SELL OUT. Call today 515.450.7757

The videos we’ve been posting get you started…reserving your seats assures your increased success. Talk soon.

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Book Announcement: How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer

 

Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women

Founder of Women Enjoying Beer Debuts Book During GABF Week

Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.

The book — How to Market Beer to Women: Don’t Sell Me a Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry. The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.

Johnson hopes the book will help fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.

“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely & respectfully market beer to women. They are ridiculously overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”

“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. When beer pros and businesses get it, they’ll tap into a huge opportunity.”

bonus_imageOn Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 at 6 PM each night in the festival’s bookstore area, Johnson will sign copies of her new book at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Wednesday, October 5 at 6 PM, Johnson will discuss her book at Kokopelli Beer Company as part of the brewery’s Women’s Wednesday series. Kokopelli is at 8931 N. Harlan St. in Westminster, CO.

Johnson’s main event for her book release takes place on Friday, October 7 at 1 PM at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret on the 16th St., Mall in downtown Denver. Johnson will conduct a “Beer Marketing to Women 101” class at this event and read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings. Admission is free and limited to 100 people.

Ska Brewing Company, Durango Colorado, is a major sponsor for this event. “I’ve long believed in Ginger’s work and message, that’s why we’ve worked with her before. We’re very glad to support the reason for this event: betterment for the whole beer world,” states Kristen Muraro, Ska Brewing Events Coordinator.

In many ways, How To Market Beer To Women ($49) showcases what Johnson has learned since starting her trailblazing company eight years ago. “In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”

A growing number of craft brewers have benefited from Johnson’s expertise and research.

“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the Craft Beer Industry – the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment, but she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”

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Heavenly Tastes

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

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty's.

Ariane warming up the crowd at Lefty’s.

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

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

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

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

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

Ariane & Ginger at the event. Tasty success!

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

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In Style, Out of Style

What precisely is style?

According to Dictionary.com, one definition is “a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character.”

When you think about beer, what is it about style that really matters?

I’ve long extolled that style is way less important than flavor in first learning about beer. Flavor should be taught first, long before the style conversation gets off the ground. Listen to your own sensory system, not someone else’s.

What's your style?

What’s your style?

Learning to name and identify flavors and aromas will get the beer enjoyer much farther along than having to learn style first. Yes, there’s most certainly a place for style. And people like to categorize things anyway, yet it should come much later.

When we learn to name flavors, we can really lean into our sipping, trying, sharing and asking. Learning what flavors appeal to us, which we would rather not partake of and still learn to appreciate, we become a smarter beer drinker. A savvier beer enthusiast. This is good for everyone in the beer equation.

Next week I’ll have the pleasure of being in Central Iowa to deliver a lively & educational talk, Beer Sense, courtesy of the Des Moines chapter of Barley’s Angels. I’ll be covering learning to smell and taste your beer, since it’s the very beginning in learning to enjoy beer for me. You can get details and register here – women & men are all welcome.

Beer is a lot like art: it’s personally subjective. Like what you like. Look at everything, taste everything – you can only say you don’t like something after you’ve tried it. If you’ve not had a particular beer in at least two months and you think you don’t like it, try it again. Beers within the same style can taste remarkably different too to taste around. Give all beer a fair shake to please you.

While some trends are short-lived, certain trends never go out of style. Beer styles proper aside, find your own style. I hope it’s an Open Minded style, welcoming to all ideas of what beer can be and is the world over.

See you next week!

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There’s Nothing Better Than Knowing

The Texas Restaurant Association hosts the 2nd largest restaurant show in America. Having been invited to present on various educational stages the last two years, I can testify it’s a biggie.

All Texas jokes aside, they hit many nails on the head as far as beer in concerned. For instance:

  1. The size of the craft beverage pavilion doubled from 2015 to 2016.
  2. They dedicated funds to bring an expert in (me) to deliver talks related to beer in the restaurant business.
  3. They actively invited media based on what’s going on in the beverage categories, beer and other choices.
Knowing makes a difference.

Knowing makes a difference.

Beer is pretty darn remarkable. As I tell audiences, it’s amazing incredible beer. And it’s just beer.

Beer comes to life when we foster, nurture and support all beer. Part of all of these is education. And with a nod to the opening post title above, knowing matters. Knowing includes all the classic journalistic questions that accompany a healthy relationship with beer.

  • Who – makes it, drinks it, supports it, wants to bring it down
  • What – beer & all its myriad possible ingredients
  • Why – because (originally) it sanitized water rendering it safe to drink, now – flavor, status, refreshment
  • When – in moderation, daily, weekly, frequency is a factor
  • Where – where legal, in social gatherings, at home
  • How – carefully, thoughtfully, responsibly

The TRA and beer providing the platform for its members and visitors at the show to know. I’m glad to be a part of what can help them equal success.

There’s nothing better than knowing what’s going on in our world around us – and it’s up to us to stay in tune. Get out there, get educated and you’ll support beer overall. Thanks.

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