Oakshire & KLCC Festival Collaboration Beer

It’s usually a fun thing to try a collaboration beer. At least two, sometimes more, breweries all digging into the sandbox together – making something delicious for us to sip.

Matt of Oakshire Brewing

Matt of Oakshire Brewing

And this weekend will pose a fresh flavor opportunity to try another. Read on as Matt Van Wyk, head of Brewing for Oakshire, Eugene, shares all about it:

“Ours is called Understutz KLCC Hefeweizen,” states Van Wyk, referencing this annual fest beer that is highlighted at the KLCC fest, a fundraiser for the local public radio station. “I suspect others have ‘names’ for their beer style.”

Each year, Eugene area brewers work together to create a Collaboration Brew specifically for this Festival.  Following last year’s Tour of the British Isles, brewers chose to continue showcasing European style beers with A Tour of Germany.  Participating breweries each chose a sub style of German beer to brew, deciding the recipe on their own.  The common thread is that every beer is of German origin and follows the German Purity law of 1516, or Reinheitsgebot [though there is a braggot in the bunch this year]. Taste them all and enjoy this tour of Germany, created especially for the 2014 KLCC Microbrew Festival by our highly skilled local brewing community.

Agrarian Ales – Roggenbier
Claim 52 – Oktoberfest
Falling Sky – Rauchbier
Hop Valley – Nacht Schmerzen Swartz Bier
Hopworks Urban – Eisbock
McMenamins High Street – Wunder Bär Munich Dunkel
Ninkasi – Helles Bock
Oakshire – Hefeweizen
Plank Town – Bock
Sam Bond’s – Dana’s Alt Düsseldorf Altbier
Steelhead-McKenzie – Dortmunder Export

Track Town – Dunkelweizen
Viking Braggot – Altbier

Cheers to everyone who’s brewing and playing along. See you to sip then!

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Beer & First Taste Oregon

There’s little I enjoy more than giving a tasting seminar. And yesterday I got to literally feed the beast.

As a guest presenter at First Taste Oregon, we got on stage 3 times to give the following sessions:

Mmmmm! Cooking with Beer & Cheese

Fire Mountain Brew House, Gilgamesh Brewing, and Willamette Valley Cheese Company graciously provided beer for this tasty and sample oriented session. I offered ideas on using beer in cooking, along with cheese – though sometimes both were included, others not. One primary idea shared was to use beer in the cooking of Mac & Cheese. Decide on a complementary beer as well as amount of beer used in the boiling and in the cheese sauce (starting with a bechamel base will up your success). Cooking any remarkably bitter beer will only amplify, in a relatively unpleasant way, the tannins in the hops. Not what you want nor pleasing to most palates. A Porter, Stout, Red, Amber or Brown would be a better choice. The super flavorful Smoky Gouda from Willamette Valley was a spot on match to pair with the Fire Mountain Steam Fired Stout and the Gilgamesh Hopscotch.

Mmm, Ahhh – Smelling & Tasting Your Beer (and other beverages!)

Again, thanks to Fire Mountain for providing beer for the session & Willamette Valley Cheese Company. We’ve featured WVCC before, a few years ago at the first ever beer & cheese tasting the Oregon Cheese Festival had ever had. Suffice it to say the crammed room, Standing Room Only at that session was indicative of the enthusiasm for people to embrace beer and cheese together!

This seminar featured less common WVCC Chive Black Pepper Gouda – wow!! What a perfect example of a food to smell and taste.

Beer & Wine: Together Forever, a Tasting

In addition to the beer, in this session we build the flavor bridge between beer AND wine. There’s every reason to enjoy and explore them both. Get rid of the ‘vs.’, go for the ‘and.’ Try some side by side and explore the similarities and differences. We served the remainder of the WVCC Smoked Gouda (smoked with apple & pear wood I think) and also rolled out the uber delicious Cypress Grove Chevre Humboldt Fog & apparent seminar crowd top pick Midnight Moon. All of them were gone in a flash.

Pyrenees Vineyard & Cellars graciously provided the session with a delicious bottle of their Grenache. Yum!! A big thanks to them letting us include them in the session. I know the guests loved it too!

My thanks to the fantastic hosts – Ingalls Agency, Peter – the super helpful and adept sound pro, and the engaged guests. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did – see you next year to enjoy more flavors together.

p.s. the music at the fest was great – by Brady Goss & salsa band Son Melao

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Beer & Sewing

If you follow us then you know we collaborate with a local business for a monthly meet-up. It’s called Swig & Stitch and is the brilliant and useful brainchild of Sandi, partner in S&S and owner of Fabric of Vision.

Swig & Stitch

Swig & Stitch

Really, the name of her business speaks for her. She’s got vision, a real grounded sense of life, purpose and humor. Oh – and she really enjoys beer. It’s a pleasure to work with her to educate people on sewing technique demos and beer & food tastings.

The menu we enjoyed last night, at our fine host 4 Daughters Irish Pub:

  • Spinach salad paired with SOB Porter
  • Corned beef and cabbage with the 4 Daughters house Brown
  • Vanilla ice cream float with Guinness Dry Irish Stout

Classic, basic, yummy.

Thanks to the great guests who join us. As I always say, the guests make the party!

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Big Beer Recipes

Last weekend found WEB in Vail, Colorado for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines festival. It’s an annual event hosted at Cascade Resort, put together by the incredible Lodge’s. A big thanks to them for this longstanding well run event featuring “big beers” – aka robust, higher alcohol, full flavored beers.

Big Beers, big flavors

Big Beers, big flavors

I had the opportunity to present Cooking With Beer. With a room full of 35 folks interested in quaffing and noshing, we walked through 3 different foods prepared with various beers. Here’s what we covered.

Course 1

Collage, by Deschutes and Hair Of The Dog, was used in making slow cooked Roasted Pork & Beans. The beer was used to rehydrate beans (small red chili, pinto, great northern) and added a deeper flavor overall. Along with the other ingredients added including cooking in some dark Dagoba chocolate, the dish was a good match for the Collage, a rich and enormously flavorful beer. A bonus flavor kicker of Cypress Grove Bermuda was a hit as well.

Course 2

Sixth Glass, by Boulevard Brewing, was utilized in a humus mix. A local food coop has a lovely dried humus mix, ready to welcome liquid to come to life. Sixth Glass was added in the mix, along with red bell pepper and chopped cilantro and a few other goodies and served with the beer including a small chunk of CGC Midnight Moon. A new spin on a simple dip gave it new life.

Course 3

This course proved to be a great wrap up. Ladyfinger cookies were soaked in Fluxus by Allagash Brewing. We scooped a fresh dip of Blue Bunny Natural Vanilla ice cream, topped it with the soaked cookies that had been tossed with Dagoba Lemon Ginger chocolate shavings and fresh lemon zest, and voila! A new explosion of flavor.

Many hearty thanks to all our guests, to the super troop of fest volunteers who took directions well in a very condensed time frame, to Lilly & Diane, and to Laura for believing the topic has merit for this sophisticated crowd.

And of course, our glass is up to the Brewers who supplied these special beers. They’re already limited releases – to give us some of them for this express purpose is humbly appreciated:

Naomi of Allagash, Todd of Boulevard, and Cam of Deschutes are to be commended for making the beer possible.

Cooking with beer is a specialty for us and when you’re ready to bring in new flavors, new ideas, and an entertaining presenter, be in touch. Have ideas, will travel.

Cheers to next Big Beers, Vail!

4 comments

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In The Kitchen Series WEB & KTVL

What a ball! To work with a reporter interested in offering useful and enjoyable information about beer and food. Thanks to Molly Trotter, Reporter at KTVL Channel 10 for the engagement.

Molly & I In The Kitchen

Molly & I In The Kitchen

Here are our spots from earlier this week, In The Kitchen With Ginger, all made with beer:

The recipes are on the news channel website with the links. I hope you enjoy whipping one or more of them up for yourself.

I’d be remiss if I neglected to mention and thank Caitlin Conrad, another very able-bodied Reporter at KTVL for our first few segments together, as well as one segment with Jenica Villamor, Reporter. Kingsley Kelley, station General Manager, is due recongnition for his support and unfailing fun professionalism he brings to everyone who gets to meet him.

Enjoy the clips  – we’ll share more in the future, as they happen.

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WEB & 2013 Festival Of Trees

2013 WEB Tree

Look at the gorgeous glowing glass ornaments by Gathering Glass

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest commemorative stein & tickets for 2014

Mt. Angel Oktoberfest commemorative Stein & tickets for 2014

Another successful year of being a tree designer at the Medford, OR Festival Of Trees, put on by Providence Hospital is complete.

It’s a very well attended and fruitful event that brings in money to serve the community through the hospitals’ services. We’re very glad to have been a contributor to this fun event for 3 years in a row now.

I want to make sure we thank a number of folks and companies who helped make this possible, from the WEB tree angle.

3 year Donors:

Recology: 2013 FOT Tree Sponsor

Recology: 2013 FOT Tree Sponsor

Tasty beer & food cookbook under the FOT

Tasty beer & food cookbook under the FOT

2013 Tree Sponsor:

2013 Donors:

Great gifts, like these from Ninkasi Brewing, graced the project this year

Great gifts, like these from Ninkasi Brewing, graced the project this year

Lovely Dogfish Head brewing glasses + coasters

Lovely Dogfish Head brewing glasses + coasters

Thank you to the Cutler Investment Counsel for the Large Tree Sponsorship, American West Bank for the Large Tree Design sponsorship, and for whomever purchased the tree at the live auction event. We hope you find a great place to plant it and it grows strong and healthy for years.

WEB is consistently the only live potted plantable Large Tree designer (there are table top trees as well as wreaths and a few other excellent options).

Thanks as well to the hundreds of folks who came out to view the trees and support the event, the myriad Providence folks and army of volunteers who make it happen each year. A special thanks to my frolleauges with the Jackson County Master Recyclers as well

Delicious Weisinger's Wine

Delicious Weisinger’s Wine

Hop Bines from Alpha Beta Hop farm add grace

Hop Bines from Alpha Beta Hop farm add grace

for streaming and reducing and educating to make a greener holiday season.

This is the biggest single volunteer donation event we do each year – and happily so!

Again, thanks to everyone for their support. Cheers to a safe, happy, tasty and wonder filled holiday season –

 

A few stats from the Festival:

  •  Over 20K visitors usually tour the event, during invite sessions as well as public viewing
  •  The Festival has raised over 6.7 million dollars over 20 years. These dollars are applied toward a variety of community health services and programs for the Providence Medford Medical Center.
Growling goodies from BricktownE Brewing

Growling goodies from BricktownE Brewing

OMSI donated some fun tickets

OMSI donated some fun tickets

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Cheers to 5 Years of WEB

Last week found a group of revelers and flavor lovers celebrating our 5th Anniversary. I choose one of our local brewpubs for the host location, a cozy room was full of fine folks, and a good time was had by all.

To review:

Women Enjoying Beer is the only company on the planet that specializes in studying women and their relationship with beer. We conduct qualitative research with women, educate both consumers and professionals based on that research and offer business and marketing services for professionals who want to authentically and successful attract the female consumer and buyer.

The brewer leading our beer flight at WEB's 5th Anniversary party

The brewer leading our beer flight at WEB’s 5th Anniversary party

While beer is our specialty category, the information we gather crosses category lines. Once someone shares how they make decisions (qualitative data) and all that surrounds those decisions, then you can affect change. To know the stats (quantitative) is not enough nor is it fully telling of the story.

I think of quantitative information as the bones of a skeleton. The qualitative information is the tissue and muscles, which move the body forward. It makes everything possible. A skeleton without tissue is not very useful.

Thank you to everyone who joined the celebration. We gathered for a pre-program beer, chatted and met new folks, then moved into the evenings agenda. The brewer of the brewpub was on hand to share and educate about the flight that was included. Once he was finished, I shared a talk about beer’s 10K years of herstory til now, in a very abbreviated fashion.

In the spirit of the season and reason for gathering, everyone received a goodie bag as well as kept their initial beer glass. New friendships were made, delicious flavors were had by all and the group wandered home happy.

Thanks to them and all of you as we head into year 6. Cheers to a very tasty, peaceful and fun New Year ~

Beer Menu:

Wild Trail Ale, I Love Oregon Ale, Victory Lager, Amber Ale, Twin Plunge IPA, Steel Cut Oatmeal Stout, Noble (coffee) Stout, Malbec barrel aged Barleywine.

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Tasty Holidays, Swig & Stitch Style

Swig & Stitch: learn about beer and sewing techniques. Both useful and fun.

Swig & Stitch: learn about beer and sewing techniques. Both useful and fun.

Cheers to those folks who have and continue to attend our monthly Swig & Stitch events. Last night we held our December beer version with much success again.

4 Daughters Irish Pub is our host, with the very talented and professional (and fun) GM Brandy at the helm. Tim (server), Alec (beertender) and crew always treats us well and we’re glad to meet there. Everyone is welcome to register for these events and can do so with Sandi of Fabric of Vision – here’s the contact info. 

It’s a great opportunity to learn about a life skill: sewingpartnered with beer education. I lead the beer tasting and food pairing, based on the fresh beers 4 Daughters has on draft and the foods on their menu.

Cheers to a tasty holiday season! Here’s what we enjoyed.

  • Widmer Hefeweizen with 4 Cheese Fondue (havarti, white cheddar, fontina, gouda)
  • Alameda Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA with spicy honey glazed chicken bites, carrot + celery
  • Lindeman’s Framboise with Black and Tan brownie (fudge + peanut butter)

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Temporary Relationships

As I look back at 2013 so far, it’s a marvel to me for a number of reasons.

At least 25 Festivals & Events* were accomplished with WEB (27+ in 2012). If you’ve never worked a festival as a vendor, then perhaps you should try it sometime. It’s a lot of labor and time, sweat (usually) and good vibes. It’s also an incredible temporary reality.

Temporary and strangely lasting, like a carnival coming to town.

Great colleagues make the fests great

Great colleagues make the fests great

You survey the venue, make a strategy and dig in. It’s noticing everything from the lighting and electricity, to lack of electricity and lighting. It’s figuring out who the voices are, people wise, from your phone calls and emails leading up to the event. It’s realizing you forgot something and working with the other folks to help you out and vice versa. It’s getting excited for the guests who will arrive always faster than they seemingly should.

Time flies when you’re working, when you’re having fun and especially when your work is fun.

There are very few people I know who work at festivals and begrudge them. In fact, as I write, I can think of no one. Why?

Because we know what we’re getting into. We’re getting into working alongside valued peers, colleagues and friends. We’re working with event folks who are working equally hard in different ways with us. We’re working to make a great life experience for the guests who choose to invest their time, energy and dollars with us.

Temporary? Sometimes. And interestingly enough the temporary times build a permanent relationship.

I tip my hat to these remarkable people today, with a particular nod to Troy, who sparked this idea; Chris, behind the scenes brilliance; Emily, formerly of WEB; Diane, WEB of CO. See you again soon, at our next event.

2013 Fests & Events for WEB

*The 25 number does not include our regular Swig & Stitch and other meet-up type events, nor Focus Groups.

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Beer & Wine: Together Forever Workshop

I’ve been loving putting the ‘and’ where it belongs between beer and wine with tastings that feature both of these wonderful libations this year.

Beer & Wine: Together Forever workshop 11.10.13 - awaiting guests!

Beer & Wine: Together Forever workshop 11.10.13 – awaiting guests!

Last Sunday found us at it with a room full of guests ready to sip-in. The Ashland Culinary Festival takes place the first weekend of November in Ashland OR. In 2012 I lead two flavor oriented beer education sessions – this year we included wine.

Why?

Because flavor is where you find it. Beer, wine, spirits, mead, cider, perry, sour cream, tofu, whatever. It’s not the “what” that’s ever as important as the “why” behind what we try. To be diplomatic and share your affinity for whatever it is forward with tact and enthusiasm is tantamount to developing more ‘and’ connection, less ‘vs.’, ‘or’, and ‘but’.

And who ever said you have to pick either beer or wine?!? No one. It’s just unhelpful conjecture and our own roadblocks that we put up.

Knowing more about anything includes investigating the ‘why’ – the Why is what drives our decision-making processes and it’s loaded with helpful insight into ourselves and those around us.

Our friends at Weisinger’s Winery was our host location and contributed the wines. Local brewery Standing Stone Brewing Company provided the fresh tasty beer. David Schultz of Sysco generously sponsored the entire event and provided lovely accompanying food nibbles.

When I started the session, there were at least two great guests who said they “weren’t beer drinkers.” By the time they walked out, smiling broadly, they both happily claimed they were. Still in the learning stage to be sure and supported by the entire room, it’s important to note that an open mind is key. 

Cheers to beer and Cheers to wine! Here’s the menu we savored.

  • Beer: Wild Trail Ale brewed with Yarrow and St. John’s Wort with the Beers Made By Walking collaboration.
  • Wine: 2010 Petite Blanc, blend of Viognier, Chardonney, and Gewurtztraminer
  • Beer: Vienna-style Victory Lager
  • Wine: Lot 20 Mescolare, proprietary blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc
  • Beer: Steel-Cut Stout
  • Wine: 2010 Estate Tempranillo
  • Foods: Sysco lightly seasoned wafer crackers, Monterey Jack & Cheddar Cheeses, 3 varieties of fresh pears, dark chocolate disks.

Go ahead. Have a beer AND wine tasting party. It’s easy, simple, and fun.

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What Makes Your Festival Special?

With myriad beer festivals these days – and more coming into being all the time – what makes the festivals you’re either part of or you enjoy special?

GABF Media luncheon 2013 set up

GABF Media luncheon 2013 set up

You can look at any fest and see what is working, what’s not and what can be and needs to be altered. Or at least we can, since we participate in dozens each year.

The Great American Beer Festival offers a few special touches that serve the entire beer community:

1. The Brewpub Pavilion. They added this feature a few years ago and it’s grown to 35 breweries inside a partitioned section of the fest floor. It’s a smart way for more breweries to participate in this sell-out-quick fest AND highlights the import of brewpubs in our culture.

2. The Pro-Am booth. This year featuring “102 top collaborations” between homebrewers and pro brewers. A healthy portion of today’s pro brewers started as homebrewers.

3. The Media Luncheon. Let me pause for a moment…..This alone is value of the Media Passes we’re fortunate enough to have been accepted for. WOW! It’s a red carpet treatment featuring previous medal winning beers with incredibly delicious foods. This year there was a record 400+ media & press present for this highlight. Treating the media and press to insight, not just free entry, is a step above and well beyond. AND they know it serves a great purpose: to keep the conversation going (this post is a great example of that). The luncheon provides us with information to utilize and return to year round.

4. Badges. something as simple as Press Credentialed ID’s are helpful for all. You can see who your colleagues are, admittance is easier for organizers, and who doesn’t like to be a badge wearer!?

So examine your fests, from consumer to pro. While not all fests are set up to offer the above, there are infinite ways to adapt and fit smart strategies for all sizes of festivals for increased success.

Look at what makes them special, what needs to be discussed, and then go talk about it with the appropriate parties.

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Home Beer Dinner

A quiet settles over the small group gathered…to be interrupted only by occasional murmuring and delicate clatter of flatware and dishes and glasses moving from table position to mouth and back again.

Note: This article was written for Your Home with Karie Engels, published 11.7.13. Ginger is a weekly contributing Beer Writer at your Home – it’s a great site chock full of ideas & flavor!

This is a very typical part of a beer dinner – the quiet once the supping has begun. Last night I had the pleasure of conducting another one of these remarkably wonderfully delicious events.

Bandarillos await their turn at the table

Bandarillos await their turn at the table

In this case it was a dinner that was included with the tree I design and decorate for the Festival Of Trees each holiday. The generous donors to my tree are wide ranging and last night the fresh beer came from a local beer store and the food from a local tapas restaurant.

I’m very grateful for the gracious participation of those who choose to give. I only ask once primarily because I don’t like to be hounded when I’m on the receiving end of a request. There are donors that give year to year like Alpha Beta Hops, Ninkasi Brewing, Gathering Glass studio, and Bricktowne Brewing. This year we’ve new givers in Dogfish Head Brewery, Weisinger’s Winery, SkiDuck, Total Wine & More, OMSI, Mt. Angel Oktoberfest, Author John Holl, and Recology.

The dinner was a collaboration of three of us then and was enthusiastically embraced by the hosts, making it an extra pleasure for all involved.

We’re designing and decorating a tree again this year, with the live potted plantable tree sponsored by Recology. We believe that those who give believe in the power of giving back, community engagement and education. Indeed, it’s what drives WEB forward.

Colleague & friend, Chef Braden plating the braised pork belly

Colleague & friend, Chef Braden plating the braised pork belly

Here’s the menu we enjoyed last night.

New Belgium Abbey Ale paired with Bandarillas skewers (dried figs, chorizo, Manzanilla olives, Manchego Cheese)

      Sierra Nevada Pale Ale with Ceviche (Hamachi, Scallops, lime juice and zest, lemon juice, cilantro, shallots, sea salt)

      Lagunitas IPA with Andalucian Salad (arugula, Serrano ham, smoked blue cheese, black mission fig vinaigrette, chopped Marcona almonds)

      Crabbies Ginger Beer with Cider braised pork belly (Strong Bow Cider braised White Marble Farms pork belly, with mashed butternut squash, roasted garlic, crème fraiche, drizzled with braised Pink Lady apples and micro arugula)

      Southern Tier Crème Brulee and Flan (sweet custard, topped with candied walnuts)

Delicious? Why, yes. Cheers to the next glass ~

g

Go Here: It’s the time of year for fresh apple ciders and perrys. Visit the orchards and cider & perry makers. Buy some deliciously crisp and flavorful fruit, bring some home to eat and decorate with, and give some to your local food bank (call first to find out the guidelines).

Try This: Host a fall beer dinner. It’s easy, fun and if you prefer, you can hire Ginger to do it all to let you fully enjoy the experience with your guests. Contact info here.

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Great American Beer Fun

If you were in Denver or the greater central Colorado area later last week, you’d have likely encountered people – lots of them – out to celebrate beer.

Two things were happening:

The Great State of Colorado loves beer!

The Great State of Colorado loves beer!

The 32nd annual Great American Beer Festival, hosted by the Brewers Association in the Colorado Convention Center. And Denver Beer Week hosted by Visit Denver. While I questioned the wisdom of adding an entire city celebration by Visit Denver a while back to add Beer Week in tandem with the GABF, it seems to be going smoothly.

Here are a few “wow!” factors to the GABF:

  • From 1982 with 800 attendees to 49,ooo in 2013
  • From 40 beers from 22 breweries to 4875 beers judged by 210 industry pros
  • 1100 of today’s breweries are brewpub from the approximate 2500+ breweries nationwide
  • Tickets for the recently concluded 2013 event sold out in 20 minutes

How do we know this info? Well, as credentialed media at the event, we’re given the royal educational treatment. It’s good for everyone to share the mash with those who help bring it forward. And while media is only one facet of WEB, it’s a big part of helping us stay up to date on the industry.

With 49,000 guests + loads of volunteers and workers at the Convention Center AND the myriad colleagues it’s a week loaded with great times, vast flavors, and engaging opportunities to celebrate American beer.

Great American Beer Festival indeed. See you there, again, next year!

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Here It Comes! GABF 2013

Here we go again – or rather: Here it comes!! The Grandmammy of American Beer Fests, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), held annually in Denver Colorado is set for 10/10 – 12 this year.

While parts of the state are still recovering from dramatic rain and flooding, the beer goes on. It’s a fest that testifies to the universal support and language of beer. People from literally all over the world attend this fest, some once – some many times.

Media Bus Tour GABF 2012

Media Bus Tour GABF 2012

More and more the world looks at and to American brewers for innovation and ideas when it comes to beer. With several good reasons.

1. The GABF is 31 years strong

2. It’s one of the largest judged competitions in the world, double blind, with dozens upon dozens of judges from all over the globe. AND the Pro-Am competition helps support up and coming brewers.

3. Thousands of beers are available during the fest for tasting, making it a destination for finding new flavors from American brewers across the country.

4. The Educational opportunities to learn more about beer inside the CCC are numerous, tasty and very fun.

5. The Silent Disco rocks!

6. The Bookstore hosts tuns of author signings of many well written and engaging books.

When you get there, look for the bright orange WEB canopied tent. We’re proud to be an Industry Sponsor once again and totally enjoy meeting new enthusiasts, sharing our love and knowledge of beer, and the whole flavor uproar the fest supports.

Support your local brewer. Support your local festival. Come see us at the 2013 GABF and say Prost!

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Be A Good Guest

It happens every once in a while.

We get a festival guest who approaches the booth, they’re interested in talking about what they have going on and we’re glad to listen. For the most part the questions and comments and conversations are around what WEB does, questions around what they think it might be, and comments about their own experiences. All very productive and mutually beneficial conversation.

The once in a while interaction is strangely consistent. It tends to go something like this.

1. A guest approaches the booth, usually a female. We get lots of men who visit us as well, yet this SCS (strangely consistent scenario) is almost universally with women.

2. She starts to enthusiastically tell us about a project she’s involved in,  is planning, or otherwise is closely associated with.

3. We lean in and listen. Since I do most of the fests, I get most of the guests and for sure this kind of conversation. My crew is well versed at directing topics like this to me when I’m there. Sometimes I’m not smiling because I’m concentrating on the offered information.

4. The guest is very focused and not great at listening to questions I may ask about the venture; sometimes they get defensive and want to argue with the research we bring up, diplomatically and directly, which we offer freely – usually after asking the guest if they want input. Many don’t – they’re too focused and deep into their own ideas.

5. The guest’s attitude turns sour and they walk away. Bear in mind they approach us, ask us (often) what we think about their idea, we tell them based on our 5 years of research, and they get short and leave.  They don’t want to hear what the only professional independent women + beer research company has to share with them.

At a recent fest, which was lovely all around sans this interaction, it happened again. The guest approached, dug in, looked at me as I was listening midway through the conversation, sharply stated “I can tell you’re not interested”, immediately turned on her heals and left.

Here are a couple of thoughts.

1. If you want to share an idea with someone in a booth, on the other side of the table, at an event, be sure to respect that they are also a thinking person and they deserve your respect and good manners. It was very rude to simply accuse me of something she didn’t have any basis to judge me on and to abruptly say such a brisk remark and flee.

Be a good guest - like this fine woman!

Be a good guest – like this fine woman!

The smart alek in me wants to say “Really?? You can tell I’m not interested and you’ve only just met me and talked at me for 5 minutes solid?? How can you tell? What are you basing that on?” That inclination is quickly buried though because it’s counterproductive and not appropriate.

2. It’s always irksome to have someone feel they can treat another person this way. It’s unmerited and certainly unprofessional…no matter who the ‘guest’ is. She could have said “Hmmm – I think you’re not into this, thanks for your time…” and moved on – or better yet ASKED me before making the knee jerk judgement.

3. She wanted to be right and she wasn’t into listening to others even when she approached us. I shudder to think that one of the concepts she was telling me about was going to be a consumer facing venture. If that’s how she treats others, I’d caution you to watch out! It’s not about being right. It’s about conversing respectfully, listening, and making progress together.

After she stormed off to her compatriot waiting for her return (I could see the companion on a bench), I was tempted to go after her. That quickly dissipated since she had been so rude that to try to figure out what was going on would truly be a waste of time. If someone is closed-minded, no sense approaching. They’re closed and don’t want to be open.

Here’s the crux of the matter:

1. Approach people at fests, in booths, at tables where they can’t leave and do so with diplomacy, good manners and with a mindful eye on what they are there to accomplish. Most of us are trying to make a living and this is one facet of the work that’s usually very fun. Be nice and you’ll get nice.

2. People at fests, in booths and at tables WANT you to approach with good manners, a fun attitude and to converse in a respectful way. It’s cowardly and bad form to approach, unload and then flee.

3. Always put yourself in the workers’ shoes. Tables or no, respect needs to be present. If you want to argue, check before you engage so neither of the parties feels uncomfortable. Some of the very fun guest interactions we’ve had are lively and spirited ones in which you know they’re having fun, and the challenge is mutually respectful. Those are encouraged and appropriate.

4. Finally, never tell someone on the other side of a table (the worker) they’re wrong. It’s an insult to the work they’ve done to get to that point – and to have an unknowledgeable person, however well intended, tell you how you should do this or that, or that it’s really this way or that is irritating and insulting. “Really?! Did you do the work we’ve done as well – and what does your research show?” If you want to talk with them, do so when they’re not a captive audience.

Get out and about and support local festivals of all kinds. Approach booths and engage in fun, enlightening and respectful conversation. We’ll all make more progress that way.

Cheers to the thousands of “great” guests we get the pleasure of meeting each year. Our sincere thanks! Nuts to the crabby, ignorant, and rude one.

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Beer Writer John Holl To Visit Southern Oregon

I’m thrilled to announce that John Holl, accomplished beer writer, author, colleague and friend is coming to Southern Oregon to do some book events around his latest release – The American Craft Beer Cookbook.

Join us for a Cookbook signing with John Holl

Join us for a Cookbook signing with John Holl

John’s great fun to be with, is an educated professional beer community member and travels about sharing, teaching, judging and overall encouraging the enjoyment of beer, delicious beer.

Here’s the mash for Monday 16 September 2013:

  • 2 Public events in Ashland – one at Standing Stone Brewing Company and one at a local bookstore.
  • Private event: We’re hosting John at our home for a fun, tasty and casual house book party!!! If you are or plan to be in the area and would like to join us, call me directly. It’ll be in the evening and he’ll be available to chat, buy and sign books and have a great time. I’ll make a few of the recipes in the book for guests to nosh on, My Fine Husband will serve fresh beer.

Anytime we can help support colleagues and friends doing things that are good for the entire community, we’re ready to do so.

Cheers to John, cheers to good books, cooking, beer, and a tasty time for all.

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2013 Great American Beer Festival Ticket Giveaway!

Yes, it’s true – your eyes are telling you the truth!!

Women Enjoying Beer is giving away 2 sets of 2 tickets for the 2013 Great American Beer Festival in beer centric & flavorful Denver Colorado.

Wanna try for them? Here’s the mash:

Entries are of two categories:

1. Current news-getters. You’re already in our safe secure once a month email news stream – thank you! If you’re in it, then check your email, as it went out this morning. Read it through, following the directions, enter to win. Consumers, Professionals & Media all welcome to enter, women & men alike of course!

2. New news-getters. You’re not yet in our safe secure email news stream – welcome! Sign up on our home page in the stream you wish – Consumer, Professional, media – and send me an email with the subject line stating “YES! I’m new to WEB and want to win GABF tickets!” including you first and last name.

A great group of enthusiastic Media on the GABF Bus Tour last year, sponsored by Visit Denver

A great group of enthusiastic Media on the GABF Bus Tour last year, sponsored by Visit Denver

Entries will be taken through 9/15/13.

  • Those already in the stream as of today, well actually late last night to make sure, will be entered to win two tickets for the 10/10 Thursday night session 5:30 – 10 pm.
  • Those who will be new to the info stream as of today will be entered to wine two tickets for the 10/12 Saturday afternoon session Noon – 4 pm.

It’s this simple!

As a GABF Industry Sponsor we get a supply of tickets and we’re happy to share them forward. Since we get them as a Sponsor these tickets are NOT TO BE RESOLD or scalped – that’d be really bad form, so please don’t entertain that thought. Take them freely and even if you win them and can’t go, then give them to a beer learner and enjoyer who can. Tickets will be left at the Colorado Convention Center GABF Will Call counter.

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Audacity of Hops Author on BeerRadio 8/21/13

BeerRadio

BeerRadio

If you enjoy reading and if you enjoy listening to engaging radio programs, then tune in today to BeerRadio. The show airs live on kskq.org (streamable) at 5 pm PST/8 EST.

Our guest today is Tom Acitelli, author of The Audacity Of Hops, a recent well written book on the modern craft beer movement.

Whether you’ve read the book or not, we appreciate your listening. The shows are all recorded and archived for later listening pleasure as well. All shows from the inception to today (2.5+ years) are archived here – take a peek.

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Why Do You Go?

Why do you attend festivals? Why do you attend conferences of any sort? Have you ever stopped to consider why you want to attend events of different sorts?

I’ve definitely spent time considering this and here are some of my thoughts.

1. Fests and recreational events: One of the biggest reasons I attend fests, generally beer fests, is to work. WEB is able to talk with dozens if not hundreds of people at fests which is excellent for progress. Since we don’t make and sell beer, we’re also able to vend our quality wares and more often than not, we’re able to offer Beer EduTainment. I love the interactions with guests, friends and colleagues that come by, and enjoy the whole scene. Yes, it can get tiring, though overall it’s a happy tired since they are upbeat events.

Cheers to fests & guests. Ali/Ninkasi & Ginger

Cheers to fests & guests. Ali/Ninkasi & Ginger

2. Conferences: Education and connecting. As an independent company with a few great people working with us who are spread across the country, it’s important to connect and reconnect with those in the community and industry. As varied as our states, as diverse as a Baskin Robbins cooler, the folks we talk with and relate to are invigorating and helpful. Developing relationships make work all the better and in this industry usually transfer to real long-lasting friendships.

3. Passive Events: those that require only watching or listening. These can be refreshing in the way that they are undemanding of energy we put forth. Sitting back and taking in what someone else has to offer is re-invigorating, relaxing, and usually enlightening. Making notes, noticing tips and pointers that we can integrate and use, as well as people watching are all very worthwhile and enjoyable. These events are the mouses share (get it?) for us.

I often wonder if I weren’t in the beer profession, would I attend beer fests? The answer that I quickly come to is yes. Yes to those that are well run and organized. Yes to those that are organized, fun , tasty and truly offer a fulfilling life experience.

Thanks to those people who plan, run, and make all the cogs turn at events of all sorts: organizers, volunteers, security, vendors, sponsors, and guest.

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Hail Toronto! And The TFOB

Otherwise known as Toronto’s Festival Of Beers, hosted by Beerlicious.

What an honor to be the first American to take the stage at the Labatt sponsored Grilling Tent in Toronto last weekend. The tent is a lively and fun (and tasty) place to sit and enjoy a whole different facet of this long-established and flavorful event.

Roger, Thirst For Knowledge & Matt, Rock Lobster Food Company

Roger, Thirst For Knowledge & Matt, Rock Lobster Food Company

The organizers are thoughtful, super helpful and accommodating and made the experience ultra enjoyable for me all around. A few reasons why:

1. Communication by all those who were helping me was very good. They were all very available and forthcoming in their contacts and accessibility. From the very first emails with Courtney to Grilling Tent instructions from Jeremy to talking with Roger Mittag – Emcee for the tent to BeerRadio with Les Murray.

2. The assistance in the tent for my actual session (cooking with beer, I made 2 versatile sauces on the grill) of the Briquettes, Francesco, and sous chef Nicole. Literally, these fine people made it effortless and were extremely welcoming and helpful.

The fabulous Courtney of Beerlicious (western hat)

The fabulous Courtney of Beerlicious (western hat)

3. The Brewmasters Series tent and other educational opportunities were smart and well received features of the fest. I finally got to meet Roger of Thirst For Knowledge at this tent before his highly informative and fun Beer 101 class.

4. Meeting the other Grilling Tent personalities like Christian Pritchard, Matt & Hugo of Rock Lobster Food Company, Jeremy Parsons, Afrim of the Cheese Boutique, as well as Ted Reader. What a great bunch of fun loving, flavor loving, passionate beer and food folks.

5. The fest guests were all robustly having a grand time! Thanks to those who sat in on my session, the last one on the last day and shot me questions from the floor. I always say the guests make the party and I mean it. Shout out to Lisa & Steve whom I met in the Series session.

Bouyant and very fun Christian Pritchard

Bouyant and very fun Christian Pritchard

6. The host hotel, The Gladstone, was a funky and fun place to stay, assisted by Kalvin and crew. It was easy walking distance to the fest to some exercise to and fro was ideal to see more of the neighborhoods of Toronto.

What a thrill! I sincerely hope to return next year. Toronto has much to offer, beer wise, food wise, and people wise. Thanks Beerlicious and everyone who made the visit for WEB all the more eye opening and delicious.

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