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.

Comments »

CAMFA As Part Of A Successful Beer Event

If you’ve already seen this video about WEB’s signature CAMFA program, here’s how you can apply it to a beer dinner. WEB has a sold out beer dinner this month that we’ll apply it to.

The beauty of CAMFA is it covers basics bases for all levels of beer enthusiasm. From the just learning novice to the well versed. Everyone benefits, including those giving instruction because you keep learning more from the audience.

  • Scene: 5 course inaugural beer dinner at a well established and reputed multi tap restaurant.
  • Agenda: Treat guests to 5 well planned out courses of matching beers and foods.
  • Purpose: Expand knowledge of beer and how it partners with food. To endorse and reinforce that beer needs to reclaim its rightful place at the dinner table.
  • Outcome: More knowledgeable, beer and food savvy folks who will repeat the experience and spread the information. Hardworking breweries develop more educated and engaged followers. Further increased development of satisfied beer market share.

C = Color. For the beer talk about the colors of the beers, where the color comes from, how it’s not intrinsically entwined with stereotypical flavors, share how it’s tied to ingredients. For the food you can talk about colors of foods, nutritional implications of certain colors, how color of foods can be an enticement and complement to their beer.

A = Aroma. For the beer talk about what the beer smells like, how to actually smell your beer (bloodhound, drive by), why smell is important to the beer experience and help ID the beer’s ‘health’. For the food, smell is usually one of the most important factors and indicators both of safe food and potential flavors. Talk about smell memory and naming flavors you taste to help with that flavor memory.

M = Mouthfeel. For the beer, talk about what the beer feel likes in your mouth, also known as body. Discuss texture, offer suggestions on words to describe mouthfeel (toothy, lush, chewy, slick), and encourage words that frame beer in a positive way. For the food, same idea. Talk about how and why different foods may have unique textures to them and how that affects the other aspects of the eating experience.

F = Flavor. For the beer talk about flavor identifiers, how to actually label the flavors we taste, what they may mean and where they can come from. Discuss major off flavors of beer (cardboard, butter, etc.). For the food, talk about how particular flavors may evoke memories, why they like some flavors and why others turn them off. Also discuss how different foods taste on their own AND when in your mouth simultaneously with different beers.

A = Alcohol. For the beer, teach Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and what that exactly means to them, as consumers. You can also discuss Alcohol by Weight and how that is different, as well as moderation in really learning how to savor your beer, as it was intended. For food, you can talk about cooking with alcohol – beer hopefully! How alcohol can dissipate in some cooking processes, what kinds of flavor characteristics alcohol in food can provide, and suggestions of successful recipes with beer.

Comments »