Off Flavor Tasting

What a funny term: “off flavor.”

It’s commonly used in the beer industry to identify flavors that should not be present in a particular beer.

Odd name not withstanding, I was able to join an Off Flavor Tasting conducted at one of my local brewpubs by the brewer during American Craft Beer Week (May 16 – 22, 2016).

Brewer Larry & friend Sandi at the Off Flavor Class.

Brewer Larry & friend Sandi at the Off Flavor Class.

While I’ve been to a number of tasting specific events, I choose to keep attending when it fits to keep expanding my knowledge. Each instructor has a different style, different tactics and vocabulary and you meet new people every time. Knowledge isn’t just power – it’s fun!

We were given a control beer and then a succession of spiked beers. The spikes are liquids added in small amounts to mimic what the off flavor could taste like. In this case the brewer spiked it to 3 times threshold: three times what it would normally take to perceive this flavor. Making them very *ahem* obvious. Oof.

All the unhappy facial expressions aside (which goes with off flavor territory), it was definitely worth taking.

It was a fun hours worth of time learning, sipping, listening, tasting and expanding my brain to increase my knowledge of beer. I’d highly recommend you find and take classes about beer to keep your enthusiasm up and support bolstered.

By the way, I polished off the control beer at the end to relieve my palate. I’m thankful for brewers who make quality consistent beer, Kike Larry.

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American Craft Beer Week

What is Craft to you?

Actually the best definition or parameters to me are to make something that is well crafted. With a nod to my friend and colleague Marty Jones, paying attention to the care and creation of something is far more important than an end label. I hate labels and much prefer and endorse a wider lens.



When you put though forth – before the process begins – when you craft something with care, then I can support that. To simply label something if it fits with someones definition (wherever they chose to come up with it) isn’t holding any water for me. What if the product fitting the definition definers is really poor quality, what if it’s sexist or ageist or racist? Does that still allow it to fit. With a blanket label, yes it does.

That’s a bad deal to me and negates some of the authority of the self designated governing body.

Craft can be whatever you want it to be to you. It’s like art. And good taste. And delicious. We can only define those for ourselves.

Cheers to well crafted goods, products and services. I can live with that – so happy American Craft Beer Week, and whatever it is to you.

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American Craft Brewers like to Collaborate

Here’s an example of collaboration: Guest tap of a neighboring brewery during American Craft Beer Week (just finished May 16 – 22).

Larry (l) and Scott (r) salute ACBW with collaboration

Larry Chase, Standing Stone, and Scott Saulsbury, Southern Oregon Brewing, enjoy a good beer together. And not just during ACBW.

They are comrades, as are many brewers. This is a snapshot from this past Saturday during ACBW. Larry invited a few guest brewers to join them at SSBC and share their beer for the benefit of the SSBC guests and beer enthusiasts. Corey of Klamath Basin was another brewer Larry engaged.

See, when collaboration happens, then it’s better for the whole community. Collaboration = communication = common goals = fun = success.

Support your local brewery collaborations. Look for them off-sale (in stores) and on-site (on draught). There’s no more creative group of thinkers than American craft brewers.

Here’s another example of collaborating in the beer community.

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CAMFA & American Craft Beer Week

CAMFA = an educational program developed by web which stands for Color, Aroma, Mouthfeel, Flavor and Alcohol.

American Craft Beer Week = celebration of the contributions of American craft brewers.

Declare your ACBW Beer Independence

Put the two together and VOILA!! It’s a winning combination. In honor of ACBW, as beer enthusiasts may call it, here’s a tongue in cheek new iteration of CAMFA, dedicated to ACBW.

  • C = Craft beer. While to some it may be a state of mind, there’s no doubt that well crafted beer of any sort is worthwhile tasting.
  • A = Assortment. With well over 1700 craft breweries in American and 600+ more on the way, the variety is incredible.
  • M = Moderation. Savoring the Flavor, as the BA promotes – as do we, is the key to truly enjoying your beer and the precious universal beverage breweries put into every batch.
  • F = Females. With under 30% of women currently partaking of beer AND with women making 80% of purchasing decisions across the buying board, now is absolutely the time to get them involved. They are the future of American Craft Beer.
  • A = Accessibility. With the majority of Americans within 10 miles of a brewery, there’s every reason to hop on your bike, scoot the skateboard and otherwise get your self to the local brewery with friends.

Supporting your local brewery goes well beyond you and them. It’s good for our country and the international community.

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Educating Consumers = More Business

Last night found Kate & I at a local establishment presenting Herstory: Women In Brewing. The event last night had a twist – it’s a German (Bavarian) themed restaurant and bar in a very well restored old school.

The proprietors have been great partners in the past and last night was another example of a service business offering events above and beyond their norm for guest experience and education.

We’re always glad to work with the Frau Kemmling crew: it’s a nicely appointed place, comfortable, the staff is accommodating, the food tasty, the beer fresh and well poured.

Consumer events = good

The Herstory presentation is one we have given before, and will surely present again. It’s an overview of how women have forever been involved in brewing. It’s suitable to just about all audiences as herstory/history seems to be of interest to a diverse population. Knowing of the heritage of the Frau, we customized it to include female German information too.

Offering education for all audiences is key to progress. When consumers are educated, they come back more often asking for more. When professionals are educated, they know how to better serve the consumers. And around turns the wheel of craft beer.

As the industry leader in marketing craft beer to women, we will keep reaching out to places to host events wherein the consumer is offered enlightenment. We’ll keep reaching out to businesses who totally or partially rely on beer sales to help them survive and thrive.

  • If you’re a consumer, ask for education – the more specific the better. Want to have women’s only events? Ask for them. Want to learn about beer styles? Ask for it.
  • If you’re a professional, offer it up to your consumers. Don’t wait for them to ask.

And as always, WEB is available to help guide all interested parties to success with events. Get in touch with us here to help. It’s one of our areas of expertise based services.

Cheers to American Craft Beer Week (Day 2)!

Photo by Kate K Parks

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Celebrate American Craft Beer Week by Cooking with Beer

One of my favorite things to do in life is cook. It’s made even better and more attractive by including beer in the recipes as ingredients.

There are numerous well done books that can provide guidance in cooking with beer. Some will walk you through everything, some include narration and stories, and some may simply provide inspiration.

Cook with your beer

Kate has lent me Great American Beer Cookbook by Candy Schermerhorn. It’s one I’ve flipped through, paused, scanned, and read bits and pieces of in the last several weeks. One of the best functional things about this beer cookbook is the spiral binding which allows for a flat working open book.

We have Lucy Saunders’ Best Of American Food & Beer around somewhere although it’s gone missing…hope to find it and use it again soon. I really like the color photographs which help bring the dishes and beer to life. View and order this one and several others here.

A new one that is gracing our shelves and has yet to be utilized is John Schlimm’s The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Cookbook. “Ultimate” for any endeavor is a tall claim and I’m hopeful it’ll be friendly to work with and share new ideas.

Experiment and play with beer as ingredient. Here’s a recipe I created for a local newspaper for a beerinade.

And we’re also teaching a class per cooking with beer at a local co-op food grocery store. Do the outreach and people will respond. Build more and stronger beer culture around cooking with beer.

  • Beer businesses: offer beer as ingredient classes and workshops. Cooking classes remain popular and fun, and a great way to keep getting more people into onto the myriad flavors beer can offer.
  • Consumers: ask for classes and workshops that involved beer as an ingredient. The only way you’ll get such beerific choices is to ask for them.

Cheers to (cooking with) American Craft Beer Week!

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Beer Wars Showing, May 19th

Per our Press Release: Ashland, OR—April 8, 2011

In conjunction with American Craft Beer Week the documentary film, Beer Wars, will be presented by Women Enjoying Beer on Thursday, May 19 at 7 pm. Callahan’s Mountain Lodge at exit 6 on I-5 just south of Ashland, Oregon is hosting the film event. The film is open to the women and men 21 years and older. Two beer samples are included in the ticket price. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased on-line.


In its sixth year, American Craft Beer Week has become the largest national effort focusing on American craft brewers. Sponsored by the Brewers Association, this national beer week, since 2006, has logged thousands of events and two U.S. Congress Resolutions have been passed supporting the goals and ideas of ACBW.
To help celebrate American Craft Beer Week in the Rogue Valley Ginger Johnson of Women Enjoying Beer, an Ashland based business, is bringing Beer Wars to southern Oregon to highlight craft brewers during this national celebration. “For a community that is already in tune to supporting independent films as well as small brewers, this event is a good fit for people in the Rogue Valley,” said Johnson.
From the Beer Wars website: “In America, size matters. The bigger you are, the more power you have, especially in the business world.
“Director Anat Baron takes you on a no holds barred exploration of the U.S. beer industry that ultimately reveals the truth behind the label of your favorite beer. Told from an insider’s perspective, the film goes behind the scenes of the daily battles and all out wars that dominate one of America’s favorite industries.
“Beer Wars begins as the corporate behemoths are being challenged by small, independent brewers who are shunning the status quo and creating innovative new beers. The story is told through 2 of these entrepreneurs – Sam and Rhonda – battling the might and tactics of Corporate America. We witness their struggle to achieve their American Dream in an industry dominated by powerful corporations unwilling to cede an inch.
“This contemporary David and Goliath story is ultimately about keeping your integrity (and your family’s home) in the face of temptation. Beer Wars is a revealing and entertaining journey that provides unexpected and surprising turns and promises to change the world’s opinion on those infamous 99 bottles of beer on the wall.”
Access this press release and other media information here.

Women Enjoying Beer (WEB) is in the business of developing and serving the female beer consumer. WEB partners with the beer industry to help it grow by authentically and accurately marketing to the female beer enthusiast. WEB also works with women directly to encourage their beer enthusiasm. WEB does this work through marketing, research, workshops, education, speaking, writing, and events.

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Pictures Today

Brewers Association World Beer Cup 2010 Champion Brewery and Brewmaster Mid-Size Brewing Company

Happy American Craft Beer Week!

In celebration, I want to share some photos from the recent 2010 CBC. Be sure to take plenty of pictures that make you happy and evoke good memories. Memories also build our future.


p.s. forgive me if these format in a goofy way…

Jim, Ginger & Larry at the World Beer Cup Dinner

Rob, Larry & Horace at the opening reception

Annette & Bernadette at Sprecher ala Briess Tour

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Southern Oregon Brewing Hospitality

Many Thanks to Scott, Justin, Kristen, and Tom for Thursday night’s success.

Southern Oregon Brewing was our host location for May’s monthly meet up – with resounding success.

Women Enjoying Beer and Cheese

We had 24+ women show up just for the event – most had reserved a spot and we had some more fabulous women come join us to the groups benefit. More truly is merrier! Thanks to everyone who came to enjoy the SOB beer and cheese pairing.

To the patrons who were in the taproom already enjoying beer, wondering what was happening when Anna and I began setting up – cheers! Thanks for being game to let us (unknowingly) interrupt your Thursday night.

Cheese is a classic to pair with beer. Why?

Because like cheese, beer has many complexities that, since it’s a living thing (yeast and all), has infinite possibilities of what flavors may develop. Yes, you can plan some, yet since yeasts and molds are rather independently spirited organisms, in the end it can be a surprise.

The SOB beers and cheeses we paired:

  • 1. Gold Ale with Monterrey Jack
  • 2. Pale Ale with medium Cheddar
  • 3. IPA with Camembert
  • 4. Porter with Caved Aged Swiss Gruyere
  • 5. Black IPA with Gorgonzola

How’s that sound?

Good beer and food references:

p.s. Happy American Craft Beer Week – May 17th – 23rd – we’ll be at SSBC celebrating tonight from 6 – 8

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National Tavern Month

May is National Tavern Month – woo hoo!

Craig’s right on in the this article – it’s a reason to get out and celebrate.

Responsibly, with friends, supporting the local economies. Need more reason?

Okay. May 17th – 23rd is American Craft Beer Week. Support your brewing community, America. They do much for the economy with solid jobs – and everything jobs in a community bring, progressive thinking, promoting responsible consumption and savoring the affordable luxury – beer.

How do you plan to celebrate?

p.s. a good book is a good way to extend the fun…

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Listen To Your Mother

Grand Teton Lost Continent. Mmmmmmmm!

Julia’s right, as usual.

The Mother Of All Beer Weeks is coming right up – in time for you to plan, educate and celebrate.

Be sure to sign your brewery up so everyone can see what’s going on, what they should anticipate from you for that week and then they can plan accordingly.

This is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY (almost as big as developing the female beer consumer). If you pass it up, you miss the boat. In a big way.

Get on board.

Thanks Mom.

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