GABF Media Luncheon Beers

Wow. Hang on…let me get my napkin.

Beautiful table setting to match the great beers and food

One of my favorite parts of the GABF happened again for me this year: The Media Luncheon.

First off, I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be a media member for this spectacular event. With 49,000 attendees, 3400 volunteers, 54,000 hours worked by those 3400, 462 breweries at the festival, 2200 beers at the festival, 3594 beers judged, 82 categories plus a Pro Am category, 150 judges from all over the world, and…well, you can see how the word spectacular is really an understatement.

I digress. So let’s cover what we had at the illustrious and luscious media lunch. Know the beers featured with one exception were 2009 medal winners.

Appetizer course at media luncheon

Appetizer

Duck-Rabbit Brewing Company’s Schwarzbier and Dry Dock Brewing Company’s Bismarck Altbier with Wild forest mushroom strudel with frisee salad

Intermezzo

Twisted Pine Brewing Company’s Le Petit Saison with Lemon-Ginger-Lavender sorbet (oh…my…goodness!!!)

Entree

Alchemist Pub & Brewery’s Ouroboros Double IPA and Cigar City Brewing Company’s Humidor Series IPA with Miso salmon beside double bone in pork chop stuffed with pink peppercorn an dapple relish, served with Cabrales pumpkin mashed potatoes and roasted

dessert at 2010 GABF media luncheon

root vegetables

Dessert

Choc Beer Company’s Signature Dubbel and Oakshire Brewing Company’s O’Dark 30 with milk chocolate cheesecake with dark chocolate ganache and raspberry

Wow. wow. Still thinking – wow.

Thanks to all the brewers for generously sharing, the BA for hosting it, and the Marriott for preparing the fabulous accompanying food AND great service.

Beer with food makes the ordinary, which is already pretty darn tasty, extraordinary.

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Brain of Brewers Competition Winners

This post has some very special meaning to me – my Fine Husband, Larry Chase, is the brewer for Standing Stone, participated in the Brain of Brewers contest this year, and won Gold for his Hefeweizen AND Bronze for his Amber. He’s been a passionate professional brewer for over 13 years now and this was an extra special reward.

Larry Won Gold and Amber in the 2010 Brain Of Brewers Contest

He was very excited to enter this contest, has long used Lallemand yeast and was thrilled to win 2 medals. Of course being biased and also a big craft beer enthusiast, I was also ecstatic for him!

The gold came with a generous $5000 award as well as a lovely red ribboned actual medal and certificate to display. The $5K will all go towards equipment to keep making great beer even better.

Congratulations to all the winners – well done. And a big thank you to Lallemand for instigating this kind of contest for brewers. Larry tells me Lallemand put on a very tasty and generous spread for the event as well (Sorry I wasn’t able to go with him!).

The results of the Brain of Brewers beer contest for beers brewed exclusively with Lallemand dry yeast.

Congratulations to all! Cheers –

STOUT

Gold for Hefeweizen

PALE ALE/BROWN ALE

AMBER ALE

HEFEWEIZEN

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Tasty Trifecta Event Menu

Chelly prepping one of the delicious cheeses

Wow – where to even start… get set for several days worth of information from the 2010 GABF interspersed with other good beer stuff.

The first event last week was one of collaboration with Chelly Vitry, Denver Gourmet, and Oskar Blues Brewery – the fabulous Beth, Chad, Burc, Dale (loved the bike!), Melissa, Luke and entire crew. Lefthand Brewing also generously provided 3 of the beers we featured and our dedicated spot on volunteer Ingrid was a huge help – so a big thanks to everyone involved, including our very engaged and fun loving guests.

The Tasty Trifecta was planned and designed to tap into the female craft beer enthusiast during GABF. We had a terrific group of women who came to taste, enjoy, learn, savor, and be social. It’s a very good combination – all coming together over quality beer.

Dale and 6 Fantastic Beer Loving Women

OBB was a gracious and very helpful host – their taproom was a great setting for the evening’s activity. Chelly is – in a word – incredible and I’m extremely grateful to have gotten the opportunity to partner with her for this lip smacking gig.

Once most everybody was present, we introduced the beers, talked a bit about flavors and matching them, why we choose the beers and the specific cheeses and desserts to go with them, and then lead them through one sampling. After that, we turned them loose!

Noise level of a group usually goes up with enjoyment level – so I’d venture a guess to say that it was a smashing success! (Thanks to Beth for the microphone.)

Tables set and ready for the Tasty Trifecta

The menu:

  • 3 Beautiful Oskar Blues Beers – Dale’s Pale Ale, Old Chub Scottish Ale, and Ten Fidy Imperial Stout
  • 3 Beautiful Lefthand Beers – Sawtooth, 400 Pound Monkey, and Milk Stout
  • 6 Creamy Cheeses – 5 years vintage Gouda, 4 year Old Quebec White Cheddar, Triple Cream Brie, Bleu D’Auvernge, Horseradish and Dill Havarti, and Young Goat Gouda
  • 5 Sumptuous Desserts – Chocolate Chip cookies, Pecan Caramel Bars, Raspberry Linzer Bars, Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream frosting, and Sour Cream Cheesecake

Is your mouth watering yet??

Proving, once again, that the vast variety and high quality of craft beer everywhere pairs deliciously well with quality well made food.

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Tasty Trifecta Event last night at Oskar Blues

Beth and Luke of OBB - such huge help!

Thanks to the entire Oskar Blues Crew for a fantastic event venue and help last night. Chelly and were able to offer a unique women’s only Beer & Cheese & Dessert tasting event at their taproom. Beth, Luke, Burc, Melissa, Dale and everyone else who makes the place tick – pints up!

Thanks equally to the fantastic group of women beer enthusiasts that came out – judging by the conversation and laughter level, I’d say it was a success! They had the choice of 6 different beers from both Oskar Blues as well as tasty Left Hand Beers. One the food side, Chelly selected delicious cheeses from a favorite cheese monger and sweets from Living the Sweet Life – both in Denver.

Chelly (l) providing helpful information for the event

We lead them through  a simple how to taste exercises to warm them up and get them started – then off they went!

The evening closed with Beth, the taproom manager, leading a tour of the brewery – newly expanded and looking fabulous for our great guests.

Cheers of course goes to Left Hand brewing and their crew for pitching in three uber yummy beers for the event as well.

Hats off to Ingrid, our intrepid and dedicated volunteer assistant for the night – well done!

And my own personal thanks to the incredible Chelly for her partnership. She has excellent judgment.

Now – on to more GABF events….Cheers!

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GABF 2010

GABF 2009

The Great American Beer Festival starts tonight – for brewers, judges, and so forth. It opens to the public tomorrow night and hit a record in selling out 5 weeks out from the festival.

WOW! Impressive considering that there are lots fantastic beer festivals worldwide. This one, started by Charlie Papazian, has come to embody the grandmama of festivals for many.

For several years I worked the festival, with my Fine Husband and professional brewer, Larry Chase, Standing StoneBrewing Company , Ashland, OR. At the time he was with another brewery that was growing. It was really fun to be part of the activities going from a small handful of stores to over 20.

The observations and attitudes from people from all over the world, and in general this incredible group of beer enthusiasts and volunteers, make for a remarkable experience like no other.

When you have a chance, put it on your future late fall schedule. And if you decide to go and want to get together for a beer, give me a shout.

Look for a bunch of GABF centered info coming in these posts and on Twitter.

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Purpose of Women's Beer Events

Yesterday I covered 4 considerations for a successful women’s beer event. Today let’s cover the purpose of a women’s beer event.

Purpose, as defined by Dictionary.com, is “the reason for which something exists or is done”. So the first thing to ask yourself is “why should we plan women’s beer events.”

Anytime people ask me how are we going to do this, I ask them first – what’s your goal? Why do you want to do what you say you want to do? Why do you want it to exist? If you can answer, that keep going. If you can’t stop, think on that and get back to me when you’ve got it in mind.

Because ‘it’s a cool idea’ is not enough (so’s a cold shower) nor a sound foundation of purpose. You’re after solid results, not smoke and warm fuzzies. The warm fuzzies and sustainable business growth will come when you are successful.

Kate & Ginger - Women Enjoying Beer with a purpose (Kate Parks Photo Library)

Purpose and goals of women’s events can include being part of a dedicated campaign to attract and retain more female craft beer consumers, it can be to thank the ones you have and have the existing fans invite new female enthusiasts to join them – thus increasing the size of the pool. Purpose can and should include featuring your beer to all enthusiasts; guest beers and all beers if you’re a beer bar or multi-tap.

When you expressly invite women only, you create a powerful group of raving fans. Fans who will spread the word far and wide shamelessly – helping you in your business.

Isn’t that worth defining your purpose? After all if you’re out to make high quality beer you are passionate about, then put the reciprocal effort into treating the female market share well. They’ll rewards you in spades.

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Things to Keep In Mind for Successful Women's Beer Event

Fancy or Casual works (Photo by Kate Parks)

Throwing a successful women’s beer event involves several simple factors. Follow some basic guidelines and you’ll shine.

  1. Plenty of time to plan, plot, schedule, run through, and execute.
  2. Proper marketing
  3. The right kind of space
  4. Women who engage in beer

Let’s go through those in more depth.

Number 1 – Proper planning through to execution. Allow your facility and organization plenty of time from idea inception to completion, 2 months is best, less gets tight, more is even better. Planning and mapping out a successful event dictates that you need to devote some dedicated time to it. Throwing it together will feel thrown together – and women can tell when something has been hastily or shoddily assembled. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

Number 2 – Proper marketing. Never use “Ladies Night” – it makes almost all women think of creepy men trolling for women. Proper marketing also involves knowing how to reach out to women who want to get involved. Blanket media has never been a great answer. Sure, it ‘reaches’ everyone but you’re not after everyone. You’re after the female beer consumer. Market to her how she wants to be marketed too.

Matt, Chef at 4 Daughters, and Ginger plan for a successful event

Number 3 – The right kind of space means you’ve answered these queries: Is the space clean, inviting, can you hear your self talk at a normal inside vice level in conversation, is the temperature comfortable without being too hot or too chilly, are the bathrooms clean. Is the space dedicated to the dedicated effort? The wrong kind of space = unfriendly, dirty, hostile, closed minded, sexist, racist, difficult to find (this is true for anyone by the way).

Number 4 – Women who engage in beer. Women who want to engage in beer are necessary too for the growth of craft beer enthusiasm. How do you already reach out to these women and how can you call on the existing engaged female to garner more female traffic? Ask them – they’ll be glad to help spread the word if you’re running a good operation.

These ideas will help you get started.

Want more specifics? Get in touch. As a business that specializes in developing and serving the female craft beer consumer, all the research and effort that goes into Women Enjoying Beer is available for consultation.

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Update Today

Good Weekend All –

Thanks to those of you who came to the WEB event this past Thursday – by candle light, we enjoyed gluten free & vegetarian beverages and foods. 2 Beers, 2 Ciders, almond cheese and…well, check out the menu here.

Congrats to the fine women who enjoy beer who won the WEB logoed hats to proudly sport! You can get the hats (100% organic cotton) and more Beer Gear here. The first shirts are just in – more really soon! Including some for the guys “Men Enjoying Women Enjoying Beer”

An extra-good goodie today: I found this video to be encouraging. Speak up for your craft beer!

The Great American Beer Festival starts this Thursday. It’s an extra ordinary event! Plan to attend some time in the future – and get your tickets early as they sell out quickly.

And be sure to put the October WEB event on your – and your males friends’ – calendars. It’s the Come As A Woman event! If you’re a woman, you’re set. If you’re a man, dress as a woman and come enjoy the event too. No more whining – “what about us guys??!!” from the men – here’s their shot! Reservations can be made here until 10/12 – thanks.

See you soon!

Cheers –

Ginger

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Signature GABF & Denver Beer Week Event

Hats off to Chelly of Denver Gourmet for being my partner in crime for hosting these two signature events:

Tasty Trifecta Wednesday September 15th – co-hosted by our friends at Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont Colorado.

POSTPONED Gastravaganza! Saturday September 18th – Hosted at one of the featured breweries Breckenridge Brewery in Denver Colorado.

Be sure to spread the word and get your tickets today – Wednesday night at Oskar Blues is women only and Saturday night is POSTPONED for all.

See you soon in Denver!

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Prepare To Meet Your (Cocktail) Maker

What’s the difference between certified organic beverages and non?

Organic Nation Spirits

Well, besides the obvious, sometimes there is a special passion – of the organic pursuit variety.

I’ve recently had the uber pleasure of meeting and befriending Diane and David, Organic Nation Spirits. The gin and vodka they create is certified organic. Their passion is as clear as the delicious spirits they craft with great care and affection.

Good spirits, good beer, good wine. While we may all had our own affinities, it’s good to remain open minded to what makes other peoples’ clock tick tock.

Another common connection is the remarkable Joy and Bob of White Water Warehouse. In fact, this very day they are all on the Rogue River on a Martini Madness trip (no worries – imbibing happens at the end of the rafting day). If you’ve been reading you’ll know Joy and Bob invited me to be part of the inaugural Raft and Craft Trip in July (what a fantastic crew and trip!).

Meeting your maker can have a fun and not-6-feet-under meaning. And like Diane says, sip responsibly!

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Two Signature Events During the 2010 Great American Beer Festival

Wanted to share 2 really fun events coming up in Colorado in September. If you feel compelled to share them, that’s always appreciated.

The first event is Wednesday September 15th in Longmont Colorado at Oskar Blues Brewing. Myself and the incredible Chelly Vitry, of Denver Gourmet Tours, are putting together a superb Women’s event with Oskar Blues BreweryThe Tasty Trifecta! Beautiful Beer, Sumptuous Sweets and Creamy Cheese beer and food tasting event. They are graciously hosting the event and providing their tasty beers – we’ll be pairing them with cheeses and desserts. If you’ve never tried it, here’s your opportunity!

Full details and ticket availability can all be found here, on this link.

The second event is the Gastravaganza! Beautiful Beer & Street Food event – held at the gracious host Breckenridge Brewery (who’s beer will also be featured). The Gastravaganza (great word, eh?!) is a oh-so-tasty 6 course beer and food pairing.

We’ve got 6 high quality breweries involved: Wynkoop, Avery, Lefthand, Breckenridge, Odell, Ska and Del Norte happily participating. The food is an equal match of terrific high quality choices: Steuben’s, Cupcake Truck, Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, Pinche Taco, Deluxe Burger, and the Gastro Cart.

Women & men welcome and encouraged. If you love beer, this is a great chance to come out and savor a lovely evening with friends (grab several!). If you love food, it’s a fantastic chance to wrap your lips around some of Denver’s finest street food. If you love both, well, it’s nirvana! (plentiful parking for cars and bikes too)

Full details and tickets can be found here on the site.

We’d love to see you join us – and you can buy tickets now! Plan on one or both and get out and enjoy the remarkable opportunities Central Colorado has to offer.

Thanks for your time, attention and and spread.

Cheers!

Ginger & Chelly

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Birthday Celebration at SOB

Okay, so you know I already like SOB. Local (for me), great engaged beer passionate people with a high quality line up. Does it get better?

Come celebrate with us - tissue paper hats optional!

Only when you add a birthday to it – mine! It’s actually tomorrow yet as any of my friends know (now you, friend!) I LOVE LOVE LOVE my birthday. It’s your own personal holiday and reason to celebrate all the great things this incredible ride of life has to offer.

So – come join us at the SOB tap room today starting at 430 pm to celebrate. Bring a favorite toast to share and enjoy a few beers. We’ll be glad to see you.

As I celebrate, I’m reminded that I’m grateful for great friends and family, quality beer, tasty food, a safe place to reside and live, a free country in which to pursue happiness and opportunity, my Fine Husband and loving dogs.

Cheers!

4 comments

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Gastravaganza in Denver – Delicious Beer & Tasty Street Food Event

Wow! Who’s up for a Gastravaganza in Denver Colorado September 18th, 7- 9 pm?!

Gastravanganza!

Details and tickets available here – on Chelly’s site.

Chelly’s Denver Gourmet Tours and Women Enjoying Beer is collaborating and partnering with terrific breweries and street food vendors to offer a totally unique and tasty adventure.

Our terrific Featured Beers will come from Avery Brewing, Wynkoop Brewing, Breckenridge Brewery, Left Hand Brewing, Del Norte Brewing and Odell Brewing.

Fabulous tasty Street Food will be from Steuben’s, Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, Gastro Cart, Brava Pizza, and Cake Crumbs Cupcake Truck.

We’ve room for up to 300 – so sign up today. It’s happening the same week as Denver Beer Week and Great American Beer Festival (a don’t miss beer event).

Cheers – see you there!

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Beer & Salsa Event Last Night

Beer and food. Food and beer. Mmmmmmm...raise your hand if you think that’s a great combination??

Beer & Salsa Event

Last night we had a fantastically tasty 5 course Beer & Salsa Event.

YES! Great midsummer theme – met with success by the energetic and fun lovers who joined us. We extended the theme from the lovely room inside Lithia Springs Resort to one of their outside areas where we proceeded to beat the candy out of a custom Pinata.

The grounds also has hops growing on it so Robin and Kathy took extra special care of us by putting some cutting in the floral arrangements on the tables – very nice touch and great for people to see hops up close, cones on the vine.

Here’s the menu and recipe ingredients – Cheers!

Monteith’s Pilsner Style Beer and White Bean & Corn Salsa with Melba Rounds

White beans, corn, green onions, olive oil, salt & pepper

Monteith’s Black Ale and Olive Black Bean Tapenade with fresh French Bread

Black olives, black beans, capers, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper

Russian River Consecration and Fresh Melon Salsa with lemon and orange cookies

Honeydew, cantaloupe, canary melons, sweet yellow onion, mint

Southern Oregon Brewing Pin-up Porter and Heirloom Tomato Balsamic Vinegar Salsa with blue tortilla chips

Heirloom tomatoes, diced canned tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper

Ninkasi Total Domination IPA and Spicy Pineapple Pepper Salsa with baked tortilla corn chips

Fresh pineapple, jalapeno, poblano, Anaheim peppers, cilantro, salt and pepper

Hungry yet??

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Raft & Craft – Day 3

dining room at Marial Lodge

July 20th – Day 3 and the final day of our inaugural Raft & Craft trip.

Dawn came again gently after a full nights sleep at Marial Lodge. We were at breakfast by 8 for a day of about 16 miles, through a canyon and much sunshine. Good bacon at breakfast only enhanced the day!

Off we went to get on the river by 9 am. The day felt chilly to start as we went through some striking narrow canyons for the first while. Completely different and we heard some good stories as we all rode. There are pretty of serious rapids, Blossom and Coffee Pot among them, which has WWW making sure everyone is safely on board the pontoon rafts. No sense taking foolish chances with Mother Nature.

Rogue River

This re-solidified the excellent and wise experience of Bob & Guy for the benefit of their guests. We all felt safe the whole time – which of course only makes the trip that much more enjoyable (and recommendable).

By midday lunch stop, we’d seen lots of turtles, plenty of other traffic including the jet boats on tour, and several other rafting parties. A few areas of still(er) water had Bob and Guy using the oars more to move us along.

Lunch was generous again with BLT’s – mmmmm! – and more fresh fruit and veggies. On the river again after a bite to finish the float.

Landing safely around 145ish (no watch on), Bob & Guy easily navigated us to a ramp, where we all proceeded to unload and unpack. After all the fanfare of that, the rafts were loaded on the trailer,

pontoon rafts safely loaded up

some of the guests said goodbye and headed off, and we climbed into the truck to drive back over the pass to Galice, where cars were parked upon our launching.

The road over the pass is rather dramatic and closed in the winter for good reason – it rises from 90 feet above sea level to over 5000! And I couldn’t help but think – “what a great ride this’d be on a snowmobile!” Anyway, just shy of 2 hours later, we slid into Galice, gathered gear and bid adieu.

What a spectacular trip! Ultra hospitable, safe, fun, refreshing, tasty, energizing and now I can’t wait for next year.

Thanks to Ninkasi & Russian River for great beers

Thanks to Joy & Bob, Guy and guests for allowing me to share those 3 delightful days with them.

Life is good.

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Raft & Craft – Day 2

Life jackets for the river rafting

July 19th

Yaaaaaawn…smack smack….waking up with the natural light is a treat. That’s how day 2 came about on our Raft & Craft Trip. After a fantastic first day, we’re all all-ready for another one.

Everybody rousted out and up to breakfast at 8, with one slow riser who came happily and sleepily in a bit into the meal. No real big deal…we’re on relaxed mode. After a brief good morning and a warm breakfast, we returned to our cabins to pack and be at the river for day 2 by 9:30 to set out.

So we were. Loaded up, ready to go and off we went at about 945ish – another blue sky sunny day ahead of us on the Rogue.

View from the pontoon style raft

I kayaked again for a short bit then was happy to give it to a guest for the rest of the day. I tell you what – I honestly don’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed and alert at the same time! Riding on the raft, soaking up the sun like a sunflower, and feeling so well taken care of.

The morning was smooth again with a variety of rapids as well as an opportunity to jump into the river and float along with the rafts with a life jacket – very refreshing. One of the other kayakers joined the Dunkers Club too!

We stopped for lunch for more fresh tasty fare with a cliff high view of the river. After we were full we set out for the Rogue River Lodge, an historic stop along the river with a colorful history including past visits to some Hollywood celebs years back.

Historic Rogue River Lodge

We meandered around, taking in the museum, a few of us jumped into a crystal clear swimming hole (COLD – whew!), and then headed back to our rafts.

It was only a short bit downriver till our nightly lodging – Marial Lodge – which was entirely lovely and comfortable. The crew proceeded to group unpack again – many hands, you know – and took to assigned cabin rooms. As I offered up to meet in one hour later for the beer tasting upon our arrival, several of the goers said “We have to wait an hour?!”. Good response….and it told me the guests were thoroughly enjoying a great combination trip.

After everyone was once again showered up and had wandered back to the lodge, I had the table set

Tasting night 2

and ready for the 2nd night of beer tasting and pairing. Here’s the menu we enjoyed:

MMMMMMMMM! Again, met with happy enthusiasm and ‘mmm-ing’ all around.

Dinner in the adjacent dining room followed our tasting on the deck and we all savored a dinner and good company, including 2 other guests staying at the lodge. One of the very unique things about Marial Lodge is the turn tables at the tables – space saver, serving genius. Our host Lori told me her uncle, who had the lodge previous, hated wasted or unused space.

Marial Lodge on the Rogue

The rest of the troop bug doped up and went for a walk. I stayed in and lazily read a few of the books on the coffee tables in the lodge – history, stories, nature.

One can only take so much stress, so I headed to bed as the sun went down. Ready to get an abundance of sleep again before day 3.

‘Night!

Tomorrow – Day 3

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Raft & Craft Trip – Part 1

Prepping the sturdy and stable pontoon rafts

July 18th

Gorgeous day dawns in Southern Oregon. Okay, well, it was really beautiful – partially because we were all looking forward to it as well. Funny how it’s as ‘nice’ as you want it to be.

I got up and drove to meet Bob and Guy at the Rand boat launch for the inaugural White Water Warehouse and Women Enjoying Beer Raft & Craft Trip. When I arrived they were both occupied preparing the 2 pontoon rafts, setting up equipment, gear, coolers, and so on. Practiced hands to be sure – they’ve been at this since 1983.

The guests began arriving at 9 am and everyone exchanged introductions. After our own bags were dry bagged and packed on board, Bob gave us a safety talk and we were off!

Lunching it up - Day 1

Down the lovely and very scenic Rogue River. That first morning, 3 of us experienced the trip at water level in inflatable kayaks. All life jacketed up, we floated along and had an ideal first morning.

Oh – and I started the trip Dunkers Club, going over twice – kerplunk! The key to kayaking, I learned, is to head straight into waves; being 90 degrees to them is how you’ll make it through them. The water, I’m here to tell you, was lovely and felt great in combination with a strong sun.

The river was also deep enough in most places to safely be in the river, legs dangling below you, with no fear of scraping. The tough part is getting back into the kayaks with a bulky (and important) life jacket. Once again, Bob & Guy are smart veterans who help guide you the entire trip so you are totally at ease and able to fully enjoy the adventure.

Tumultuous Rainey Falls

We put in at Rainey Falls for lunch where Bob and Guy proceeded to efficiently unpack and set up. It was obvious right away no would go hungry unless they simply didn’t eat! Fresh foods and plenty of it – cucumbers, hummus, blueberries, cherries, sandwiches (meat, tomatoes, trimmings, PBJ), pasta salad and lots of other stuffs. Lemonade and water to quench our thirst and restock the water bottles, a nice view to enjoy during the midday meal and a cloudless sky to gaze at. Tough job….

After repacking up and heading into the current again, we traveled a while more, with a stop at a water fall with a spot deep enough to cannon ball into – which some of us did following Bob’s lead!

Back into the current we go towards Black Bar Lodge, our accommodations for the night. We landed peacefully, everyone happily intact, around 5pm. After a quick group unload, we headed to our charming cabins, showered up and met in the lodge for the first beer tasting and pairing – 1 of 2 for the trip.

Craft Beer - the "Craft" part of the trip

This being the first time WWW & WEB have collaborated, it went off with much success. The lodge is comfortable, we had three courses and the very happy guests and gracious hosts all had a good time.

Ninkasi was our featured beer partner. And I couldn’t resist also featuring a Russian River beer each night too.

The menu the first night looked like this:

Mmmmmmmm! Lots of great questions and comments came from the group, we all polished off a few (taster) glasses of the beers and savored the foods.

Inside my Black Bar Lodge cabin

Needless to say, they were then really excited about the next nights treats!

After dinner, Bob shared some entertaining stories about the river, lodge and area folk which was totally relaxing. As if we weren’t relaxed enough! A little more conversation flowed and with the sun going slowly down, we all bade good night to each other after given our time to regroup for tomorrow and headed out to our cabins.

It didn’t take long for camp to be silent save for the deer and birds settling in around us. Lights out at 10 as the generators got turned off for the night.

To bed. Ahhhhh….

Day 2 – tomorrow.

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A Call From Joy

And what a call it was!

Joy & Ginger - raring to go!

Joy Henkle, White Water Warehouse, called me on a random (to me) day in May. She had found my site and was looking for interesting topics and people to write about.

She got ‘interesting’ (!) and we connected almost instantly. Thankful I am for her reaching out. Because one thing quickly lead to another and we put our heads together to hatch the inaugural Raft & Craft tripfabulous white water rafting paired with delicious craft beer tastings at days end.

Brilliant Joy!

Joy and her Husband, Bob Meister, own and operate White Water Warehouse, a very competent class rafting company based out of Corvallis OR, one of the heart beats of the Hops industry in Oregon.

The trip went off smoothly July 18th – 20th with a great group of folks including very gracious guides and hosts – Bob and Guy.

The next three days will be the story of our trip from where I sat on the raft.

Enjoy the read – and know that there are more of these trips on tap for 2011. It’s a great time to plan now for a glorious adventure next year.

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WEB Can Help Grow Your Business

Everyone wants to be reminded of good stuff. And part of that is learning about the good stuff.

Good stuff begets growth – when people learn, they are the right kind of consumer and provide for growth, whatever your definition of growth is (not necessarily larger).

We’ve got lots of that – good stuff – that can help your brewery and beer business grow.

Want some ideas? Let’s start with just a few.

1. Focus groups, even thus far, from hundreds of women have yielded dozens of categories of information per marketing beer to women. Valuable and useful information.

WEB can help you grow your beer business

2. On premise expertise. Want to figure out how your taproom, pub, brewery, and restaurant crews can better and still responsibly sell more beer and brush up on their customer experience skills? WEB has that kind of knowledge for you.

3. Educational workshops and discussions. WEB has numerous ways to help open the conversation with your consumers, within your crew, as well as from consumers to staff and staff to consumers. They’re all related and all different. Know which one to do when.

4. Events execution. WEB works with you to customize events to best fit your goals, market share, vision, and budgets. Most importantly – WEB helps you get more women holding your beer in their hands, more often.

Need more reasons? Call me to talk about it. 515.450.7757.

This operator is standing by and the women are waiting.

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Raft & Craft Trip

WWW raft trip on the Rogue

Whew! How life goes round and round…

Friday was a fabulous Oregon Hops Growers Association BBQ hosted by S S Steiner in Brooks, Oregon. I was lucky enough to get to go and met several hops growers and other beer community enthusiasts and supports. Good people all (great food too!).

From Sunday through Tuesday I’ll be on the Rogue River with White Water Warehouse on a signature Raft & Craft Trip.

Joy, Bob and I will be plotting more beer and rafting adventures for 2011. In the meantime, visit their site and get in touch with questions. A raft trip would be a fantastic way to celebrate and reward your staff, treat your friends, and in general enjoy a few of the wonderful things our country affords us.

Now, where’d I put that paddle…

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