Experimenting With Beer In Your Kitchen

Beer is an ingredient. So is Chocolate.

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

Willing Dagoba chocolate volunteers, ready for duty!

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

Come join us for the festival.

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

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What’s Hot In Craft Beverage

June had me returning to the Texas Restaurant Association’s annual TRA Marketplace show. It’s the 2nd biggest restaurant association show in the country – and well worth going for restaurant pros in Texas and in other areas.

Education is always worth while. You’ve got to invest in yourself within your industry and chosen communities to best serve yourself and your clients.

This year I presented three different sessions, 2 of which were What’s Hot in Craft Beverage.

Some of my fine colleagues in the Craft Beverage Garden, TRA 2016

Some of my fine colleagues in the Craft Beverage Garden, TRA 2016

For the What’s Hot sessions I ran through some insight on the various beverage categories, with an emphasis on alcoholic ‘craft.’ While I usually don’t use the word craft in beverage, it can hold some meaning for industry pros.

Here’s some of the insight I shared.

2016 Trends in beverage include: House made (everything), beverage and food pairings, in-house made ice cubes, smoked & grilled, bubbly, tea, creative garnishes and ingredients, tasting menus, fermented drinks (i.e. kombucha).

  • For Beer: count on seeing more of sours, ‘session’ (lower alcohol), canned choices including Crowlers, nitro pushed, and growler stations.
  • In Wine: aging in spirits barrels, alternative packaging choices, red blends, the growth of specific varietals.
  • Spirits will give us: more than 900 (projected) distillers, whiskey, gin, vodka and rum running forward + herbal liqueurs and house made cocktails with fancy ice cubes and lower alcohol choices.
  • Cider: it’s still holding with big growth in the UK that the US, though still moving upwards in the US.
  • Mead: keep enjoying the honey explosion! Small batch honey will feed this tasty beast.
  • Sake: The nightlife scene is seeing more popularity here and the popularity of Japanese foods in North America will fuel this progress.
  • In Alcohol-Free: watch for fancy and artisan ‘craft’ sodas with root beer, ginger beer and orange leading the way, mixers including tonics are growing, and various ‘waters’ are pushing upwards.

So what’s a beverage drinker to do? Enjoy whatever you wish, responsibly. There are choices for us a’plenty, and business a’plenty of the beverage businesses.

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Hey Beer: I’ve Got The Solution To Your Problem (Yes, You Have A Big One)

To all the beer pros out there: I’ve got the solution to your problem.

Before I get to it, I’ll identify your problem.

  • Problem: You’re only actively addressing less than 50% of the global population when you put together your marketing plans to sell your beer.
  • Problem: You’re not seeing what other retailers and businesses see right outside their own immediate world.
  • Problem: Active -ism’s are being intentionally practiced which repel enormously valuable market share & customers.

Here’s the Problem: You don’t know how to market beer to women.

Beer companies of all sizes have big problems: They don't know how to market to women.

Beer companies of all sizes have big problems: They don’t know how to market to women.

Yep, its true. And everyone’s got the fever.

And there are solutions everywhere!! I’m writing my first book to this end – a guide-book on How To Marketing Beer To Women, since so many, frankly, stink to high heaven at it.

Being in business means knowing what you’re getting into to a certain degree, its knowing you have a boatload to learn – all the time – about being successful & seeking the help you need. It’s knowing who the heck your market is BEFORE you sign the lease, hire staff, and open the doors.

Women are the worlds largest human population. Women make the vast majority of spending and financial decisions in the household (regardless of make up of members). And women like favor.

So – when you’re ready to solve the problem, starting with your business (yes, everyone has it – don’t think you’re immune), call me. I can help.

Women everywhere are waiting.


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Paving The Global Beer Path

The partnership helps “pave the road through the world.”

– Ron Lindenbusch, CMO Lagunitas Brewing Company

When the fervent myopic voices rise against one business selling any part or all of their beer company to a larger entity, I say sit down and listen for a minute first.

Like Ron stated in his opening keynote address at the CIA recently, the channels that open up in a strategic and mutually beneficial partnership are incredible.

Regional, national, global. For businesses ready to jump into that stream, I say good for them! Success is everyone’s’ own definition and choice. And no one can or should be the judge of someone else’s decision to do so – or not.

I was applauding his address because of this and also his challenge of one association to limit the word “craft brewery.” Who’s to say what is and what isn’t?

To each their own beer.

To each their own beer.

Yes, size of beer business has a lot to do with entry to market and barriers inherent, as well as access to materials, position in line to get different goods and services, and marketing geography. The first part of the equation must be quality. With a quality product, everything is possible. Partnerships with global companies enable access to a world of more possibilities.

Plus – and I think this is a funny twist – most people jump down the throats of the Big’s, saying they bought them out. We forget: the Big’s only buy what’s available for sale from the sellers. So we must make sure we also state the smalls sold. Not sold out – that’s a short-sighted insulting concept to say the least. If you like a brand and support it, to me the continued support regardless of ownership does not transplant what the original brand is doing (until proven otherwise).

Support your local brewery. Support the breweries you like and drink. Welcome everyone to the table. Diplomacy is Queen.

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Beer, Wine & Spirits – Oh My $$

  • Beer: $101 billion
  • Wine: $36 billion
  • Spirits: $65 billion
Julia Herz, CIA 2015

Julia sharing in her dynamic style at the CIA.

The tornado & spokesperson Julia Herz, Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director, shared these stats at the CIA recently.

Whoa. Think about those numbers for a moment…..

Or two.

Then to let it further resonate, realize that constitutes 1.5% of the American Gross National Product. Beer Serves America echoes these numbers and also provides more info here.

When you’re supporting beer in our communities know it goes way beyond the glass.

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KSKQ Beer Radio: Win Bassett of North Carolina Brewers Guild (7/18/12)

Learn about beer with conversations of people from all over the beer community on KSKQ 89.5 each Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 pm.

BeerRadio for 18 July 2012– Listen in to our guest Win Bassett, of Executive Director of the North Carolina Brewers Guild and Social Media Education at All About Beer Magazine, recorded live from North Carolina.

Find out how Win got into beer, what’s going on in the state of NC in relation to beer and his tips for getting the most out of a festival. A a former member of the law community, Win puts his smarts, skills and passion to great use for the entire beer community. Catch him on Twitter @winbassett and @ncbeer .

Pour yourself a perfect pint and enjoy ~

Download Here: 43.0 MB

This program originally broadcast on KSKQ 89.5 FM in Ashland, Oregon – streamed at KSKQ.org

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KSKQ Beer Radio: Chris Shepard of Craft Beer News (7/11/12)

Learn about beer with conversations of people from all over the beer community on KSKQ 89.5 each Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 pm.

BeerRadio for 11 July 2012 – Chris Shepard, of Craft Brew News (of Beer Marketing Insights) joins us for this delicious episode. Listen and learn how this very open minded writer of the beer business world got his start in beer – and what he’s sipping while we talk! Chris calls in from Brooklyn, NY and shares some interesting thoughts on his version and vision of the craft/beer community.

Yet another great membeer of the community – Cheers!

Download Here: 42.5 MB

This program originally broadcast on KSKQ 89.5 FM in Ashland, Oregon – streamed at KSKQ.org.

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KSKQ Beer Radio: Ronnie Crocker, Houston Chronicle (5/9/12)

Learn about beer with conversations of people from all over the beer community on KSKQ 89.5 each Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 pm.

BeerRadio for episode 55, 9 April 2012 – Ronnie Crocker, accomplished and interesting Journalist at the Houston Chronicle, Houston Texas is our special guest.

Ronnie shares what the Texas beer scene has come to be, reflects on stories he mined writing his newly released book (Houston Beer) and in general shares an enthusiasm for the greater beer community.

Find out what Ronnie shares about some major historical American Characters in this episode. You can tweet along with him too at @rcrocker

Pour yourself a fresh beer and enjoy ~

Download Here: 40.3 MB

This program originally broadcast on KSKQ 89.5 FM in Ashland, Oregon – streamed at KSKQ.org.

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KSKQ Beer Radio: Fred Bueltmann, New Holland Brewing (4/18/12)

Learn about beer with conversations of people from all over the beer community on KSKQ 89.5 each Wednesday, 5:00-6:00 pm.

BeerRadio for 18 April 2012 – Fred Bueltmann, Beervangelist and partner of New Holland Brewing, in Holland MI.

Fred’s been a long time member for the contributing beer community starting with home brewing when you had to know the right person to buy supplies and working for what was still Kalamazoo Brewing.

Find out where beer starts with Fred (hint: it’s not the technical side!), listen to some great stories and learn what else New Holland creates to please the taste buds.

Pour yourself a fresh beer and enjoy ~

Download Here: 39.8 MB

This program originally broadcast on KSKQ 89.5 FM in Ashland, Oregon – streamed at KSKQ.org.

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Inaugural Beer Dinner Menu

Wow! Everyone at last nights inaugural Women Enjoying Beer & Kaleidoscope beer dinner event had a ball. Forty one people came to enjoy, learn, nosh, and savor beer and food together. And that they did!

Wes and the kitchen staff did a stellar number on the 5 courses, Amber and Elle were excellent servers, and our hosts were perfectly lovely. And of course – the guests make the party. Linens on the table, fresh (low profile) flowers accented the elevation of beer to the dinner table, and positive comments aplenty during the evening.

Here’s the menu we reveled in. When we get some pictures ready we’ll post them as well – because you know – a picture is worth a thousand tastes!

Course 1

Southern Oregon Brewing Pinup Porter paired with smoked salmon and caper spread on toasted baguette rounds with lemon juice, cream cheese, Tabasco, fresh cracked pepper and chives

Course 2

Widmer Brothers Hefeweizen paired with Tricolor salad made of mixed greens, walnuts, apples, Gorgonzola cheese, honey vinaigrette and cracked pepper, garnished with a solitary orange section

Course 3

Walkabout Brewing Jabberwocky Strong Ale paired with Cellentani pasta combined with Italian sausage, mushrooms, sauteed onions and garlic topped with Parmesan and basil

Course 4

Ninsaki Quantum Pale Ale partnered with Kaleidoscope’s signature offering – PIZZA! – an elegant pie with hand tossed delicious crust layered with said lightly fried eggplant, mozzarella, marinara topped with Parmesan and fresh basil

Course 5

Wyders Pear Cider – a total surprise for people – paired with an amazing pear simmered in honey, cloves, wine, star anise, and bay leaves, cooled and dipped in melted chocolate and rolled in almonds drizzled with pear syrup.

Incredibly scrumptious!! Many thanks to all who partook and enjoyed. When shall we do this again?

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Ode to Ode

Anyone (else) read Ode?

I like the mission – Community for intelligent optimists.

Cheers for good news, stuff that can motivate us and keep us all going.

p1000881So a friend passed me the July 2009 copy recently – page 6 in the hard copy, link here. “Zen and the art of drinking beer.” Hmmmm….yea??

The correlation of meditative beer drinking, slowing down, enjoying the moment and therefore the flavor and all the deliciousness of beer.

Sung is correct “We can meditate on anything we choose”.

I’ve got the beer part down. Meditation is next.

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