Have We Gone Overboard?

There was a time when we simply described things as they were: carrots, beer, cars, songs. Hot cold, spicy, bland, fizzy, flat, red, blue and green.

Now it feels very different to me. Words like craft, artisan, farmhouse, and custom are bandied about with a carefree nonchalance that the most hardened foodie may find appalling.

And to what end? Are all these words used in context to what we put into our mouth merited? Does it truly matter to you where they came from or is it trendy? Said another way, do you think you need to be aware and care or do we fundamentally and genuinely care? Do we use the words because they really matter or because we’re keeping up with the organic-farm-eating Jones’? Here’s a few food words to consider.

Case in point: Paired.

Paired is a “craft beer + food” event offered to attendees of the Great American Beer Festival, fall every September. What was once titled Farm to Table is now Paired. Why the switch of the name, is my first question. Are we in a day and age where single glib or seemingly gravitational words are how we want to sum up an entire experience? Do we want the feeling of something or do we want to enjoy the literal fruits of someone else’s labor? Farm to Table is straight forward and descriptive.

Paired menu 2016

Paired menu 2016

Don’t get me wrong: the Paired event is quite a show. The host organization, The Brewers Association, has deemed me worthy of a media pass several years, for which I’m grateful. Trappings of that badge include admittance to this event. Any time I get to eat with drink I’m happy. The planning and effort that goes into this one event, for example, looks to be a remarkable undertaking. Kudos.

So let’s look at the menu. Read one way, we can safely say it’s chock full of learning opportunity! An overflow of words that are new to me, so no doubt a collection of new vocab to others as well. Take for instance: rillette, mignonette, tataki, fromage fort, taleggio, membrillo, fish headcheese, chorizo seco, duck pipian, loukaniko...and on it goes. A crash course in Italian and French in many ways. Cool! I love to learn so there’s a build in homework option.

And if we’re looking at keeping it real and every day, this isn’t the event for you. I honestly think that someone looking for everyday food they cook (in a broad general sense) would not fully enjoy or appreciate. Words that are unfamiliar and to some unpronounceable don’t really engender new ideas; they engender fear of mispronunciation and sometimes, due to that, simple avoidance.

I’ve found the best way to navigate this event is to simply wander and ask lots of questions. The crews present are always very knowledgeable and it’s a good way to make new connections. Simply know that the next person in line will likely also ask some of the same questions of the crew. It’s gotta be a long repetitive day, and that’s what this is about: meeting, talking & educating on a redundant soundtrack to help people learn more about what they are eating, beverage paired with food.

To that end it’s a smash. Again, I enjoy it. I also find that by the time I’m ready to go all I want is a plate full of one food I know and recognize and to fill up on with a full glass of beer.

Have we taken the beer & food pairing too far?

Likely it’ll get pushed farther still. So be it. For me it’s about knowing what I’m getting into, embracing it for what it is – Italian lessons beforehand be damned – and then coming out the other side. Enlightened, fuller and perhaps more curious, “Woman overboard!” an infrequent call.

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The Book Week That Was

Thanks to everyone who came out the book events in Denver last week, during the Great American Beer Festival.

  • Kokopelli Beer Company got us off and running (and sipping) by hosting 2 events: the first for beer pros & media, talking about the book, what’s in it and how to use it. The second was a screening of my TED talk for everyone. Both groups were engaged, fun and participated actively.
  • A tour of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science by Dr. Nicole Garneau was a real treat. I’m a tour junkie and the behind the scenes is always the most interesting ‘exhibit’ around.
  • Ginger with TV Journalist, Heather Mills, FOX Denver

    Ginger with TV Journalist, Heather Mills, FOX Denver

    TV time with very fun & sharp Heather Mills, KDVR FOX Denver, provided a morning boost! Their whole team is very smooth, calm and professional. Here’s the clip.

  • Visit Denver then took credentialed media around on buses to 3 breweries in Denver. As is their style, they take good care of us as guests and the bonus of Ed Sealover as our guide sealed the deal.
  • Book signings at GABF itself were good – both Thursday and Friday nights. The opportunity to meet with and talk to people who know the book holds real (ROI style) value is always gratifying.
  • The big World Premier Book Launch party at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, with my venerable crew Diane, Dave & Marty, was a success. Our partner in this event was Ska Brewing – pints up to them for ‘getting’ there’s something to this. T’was fun to have a crew of Ska peep present & participating.
  • img_5015Wrap it up by attending a Brewers Association Press Conference – super useful insight – and then a special session of Paired – beer & food pairing at the GABF – and you’ve got quite the week!
  • The cherry on top was a radio interview with Gary Valliere, American Craft Beer Radio, Saturday, as we eased on down the road home.
  • People met, reconnections with friends and colleagues, many conversations & a few beers, books discussed signed & sold. It’s all part and parcel to my world in the beer community.

What was your week like?

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Book Announcement: How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer

 

Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women

Founder of Women Enjoying Beer Debuts Book During GABF Week

Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.

The book — How to Market Beer to Women: Don’t Sell Me a Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry. The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.

Johnson hopes the book will help fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.

“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely & respectfully market beer to women. They are ridiculously overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”

“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. When beer pros and businesses get it, they’ll tap into a huge opportunity.”

bonus_imageOn Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7 at 6 PM each night in the festival’s bookstore area, Johnson will sign copies of her new book at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Wednesday, October 5 at 6 PM, Johnson will discuss her book at Kokopelli Beer Company as part of the brewery’s Women’s Wednesday series. Kokopelli is at 8931 N. Harlan St. in Westminster, CO.

Johnson’s main event for her book release takes place on Friday, October 7 at 1 PM at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret on the 16th St., Mall in downtown Denver. Johnson will conduct a “Beer Marketing to Women 101” class at this event and read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings. Admission is free and limited to 100 people.

Ska Brewing Company, Durango Colorado, is a major sponsor for this event. “I’ve long believed in Ginger’s work and message, that’s why we’ve worked with her before. We’re very glad to support the reason for this event: betterment for the whole beer world,” states Kristen Muraro, Ska Brewing Events Coordinator.

In many ways, How To Market Beer To Women ($49) showcases what Johnson has learned since starting her trailblazing company eight years ago. “In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”

A growing number of craft brewers have benefited from Johnson’s expertise and research.

“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the Craft Beer Industry – the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment, but she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”

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What I Learned at the GABF This Year

The Great American Beer Festival is truly remarkable. It’s not in any way run-of-the-mill…unless the “mill” is an extraordinary machine of success.

It was my 12th ( I think) year attending the GABF. Over the years I’ve helped pour beer for a brewery, taken it in as media, and vended. This year included vending and being a media cred holder. Kudos to our famazing crew who made the WEB booth rock and roll: Diane G/Captain, Darcee/Cashier & Sales, Wendy/Sales, and Sarah/Sales. They made it all possible – thanks!

WEB crew ready for the throng of GABF'ers

WEB crew ready for the throng of GABF’ers

I learned from them that perspective can be too close to our own noses. We need to get other people engaged in what we do and try to best communicate what we can. Then we need to listen as they tell us in return what they know and heard. It’s a practice I totally enjoy and learn from – listening to one of my Fine Crew talk about WEB with others. It’s helpful as I pick up various ways to talk about the business and techniques of sales, conversation, and communication.

Learning was everywhere you could turn your head if you so desired. The Farm to Table event was uber tasty this year – extra fun was had since I have frolleague Kellie with me, meeting, eating, laughing, and talking. The Beer & Food Pavilion is an area of (minor) respite to listen to accomplished folks educate, people like Beervangelist Fred and Sarah Amorese of Piece, Love & Chocolate. The Pro-Am booth had beers created by homebrewers and brewed on pro equipment available for tasting – and up for an award too.

That’s just the tip of the jockey box too. The GABF affords enough happenings to keep you busy from when you arrive til last call. Grooving to the Silent Disco, sponsored by Oskar Blues, is a personal fav!

I’ll be back with more information on GABF and American Beer. As a credentialed member of the media this year, the Brewers Association and Visit Denver took very good care of us – making sure we had full and easy access to a wealth of educational information.

Keep learning no matter where you go and what you attend. I encourage you to thank those who organize and plan, execute and clean up well run events. Being savvy to their efforts makes the learning all the more rich.

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GABF 2014

Wow – it’s already around the corner: Great American Beer Festival 2014.

Welcome to GABF 2014!

Welcome to GABF 2014!

If you’ve never been and are headed there for the first time, welcome to the crazy, tasty fray! Bring a water bottle to refill and hydrate between delicious beer, eat a solid meal shortly BEFORE you arrive, and practice moderation. It’s for everyone’s enjoyment and drunkenness isn’t appropriate nor the gist of the fest. The fest is for everyone – not renegade’s overdrinking & ripping around and ruining it for others.

We invite you to come visit our Women Enjoying Beer booth – space P7 this year. It’s a bright orange, lit up booth where we’ll be glad to help you find high quality goods to wear and share. Women’s & men’s goods, caps & hats, signs and goodies.

With so many choices for your wallet, GABF proves to be a zinger. It’s a at-least-once-in-a-lifetime event to take advantage of. Friends familiar and to meet, colleagues, pros, homebrewers, vendors, and volunteers. World class events take a mammoth effort and it’s one we look forward to annually.

WEB will also be hosting our weekly BeerRadio program from Black Shirt Brewing Wednesday 10/1 6 – 7 MST. The taproom opens at 5 so feel free to come by for a fresh beer and watch the show in progress.

See you in Denver ~

Visit the GABF site here

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2014 Marketing Beer To Women Workshop: Invite

Immediately prior to GABF this fall, I’m giving another free workshop that specifically addresses marketing beer to the world’s largest and most influential population: Women.
Free Marketing Beer To Women Workshop, pre GABF

Free Marketing Beer To Women Workshop, pre GABF

Ready to step up your marketing to successfully address the primary buyers of all goods and services in America? Reserve your seat today. If you’ve been to my presentations before, you’ll know they are lively, full of immediately usable information, well worth your time and will help you increase your business. Ask those who attended the sold-out one pre-CBC this year if you wish….

With the continued growth of the industry and increased choices for the consumer, you need to know how to reach the most valuable buyer around: Women.
Women + Beer = Success. If the goal is 20% market share of small American Brewers by 2020, it’s time to look at the population that will support this growth: women. There’s still much to do to totally tap into the female beer buyer and consumer with full respect to their brains and taste buds. The 20/20 Vision would include seeing women in every phase and facet of your brand development.
The workshop is free and space is very limited. Serious people are invited to contact me directly (not Black Shirt Brewing) to save your seat. This event is for professionals in the industry: breweries, distributors, vendors, growers, suppliers, retailers, journalists…. everyone who has a vested interest in marketing to women correctly.
Details:
Wednesday October 1st, 2 – 4 pm.
Black Shirt Brewing, 3719 Walnut Street, Denver CO
FREE!
Beer: Thanks to The Neenan Company, all attendees will get a free fresh First Pint of Black Shirt beer.
Buy your own additional beer & food (to each, your own tab!) – there may be a delicious food truck available…
RSVP’s required, limited seating
Call Ginger to save your seat 515.450.7757 PST, week day daytime calls only, no emails
First reserve, first sat. We’ll create a wait list as necessary – and it’ll fill up fast.
Neenan JPG LogoThe workshop will include information from reports based on the 2012 Women + Beer Survey, immediately useful marketing beer to women insight, and there will be plenty of time to ask questions. Please be prompt.
Thank you. See you soon –

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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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ABC’s of Women, Beer and Food: Letter S

Baby, you’re got style! Let me clarify: Baby = my beer. Hence my beer has Style. Our letter du jour is S and today it stands for Style. Beer Styles in specific.

Did you know there are dozens of styles of beer? Formal guidelines from the Beer Judge Certification Program and the Great American Beer Festival allow for a great many identified styles. And new ones are constantly testing the boundaries, being added and perhaps sometimes subtracted from the ranks.

Style Umbrella

Style Umbrella

Here’s how WEB likes to edutain about Styles:

  • Beer as a universal beverage category is an open umbrella.
  • Under that open umbrella of Beer falls two more categories: Lagers and Ales
  • Underneath those two categories of Lagers and Ales fall all the styles.

Styles of food: I’ve not considered or thought about that particular way to describe food before. Who can school me here? Maybe it’s a genre of ingredients, culture influence and other considerations. Maybe we should simply let the ingredients stand alone, giving them equal access to our food making whims. Experimentation after all is the key to discovery.

So go ahead – enjoy beer and food with style, in all styles. I’ll join you.

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2012 GABF Media Luncheon Musings

With a nod to the new year and Julia, I want to reflect on the 2012 GABF Media Luncheon menu today. It’s a piece of paper that I keep and read periodically with fondness and a Pavlovian-like mouth-watering response upon reading it.

Table set up at the GABF Media Luncheon

As we start into a new year, we want to continue to encourage all eaters of drink and food to explore, expand and change your own boundaries of what beer and food together can do.

The Luncheon had 6 delicious courses, all featuring at least one beer with the foods. Ready for this?

Welcome: Paparazzi Pale, brewed by Julia Herz, Craft Beer Program, Brewers Association & Brainless on Peaches, Epic Brewing

Appetizer: Braised Pork Belly paired with Telegraph Brewing Company’s California Ale.

Intermezzo: Pumpkin Sorbet made with Breckenridge Autumn Ale paired with Vida y Muerte by 5 Rabbit Brewery

Entrée (carnivore): Colorado Lamb Shank braised with Odell Cuttthroat Porter paired with La Cumbre Elevated IPA and Catawba Valley Le Saison Noire

Dessert: Apple crepes paired with Flying Fish Exit 4 and Maui Brewing & Dogfish Collaboration Liquid Breadfruit beer

Cheese Course: Buratta paired with Founders Blushing Monk

Pure deliciousness!

Thanks the Saints of the Tastebuds!!! Everything was interesting to try, some courses resonated louder than others – all of it was very well done by the host and hotel kitchen staff.

I’m always appreciative of being able to attend the luncheon for a number of reasons. First being that I can and do pass this information forward – continuing the education of beer, beer and food, and experience that we can all benefit from. I also seriously look forward to seeing so many friends and colleagues at this luncheon. And as an avid cook myself, it’s a great stimulus for my own pursuits…which invariably make it into our presentations, this site and various other edutainment outlets.

So this year make a pledge to yourself to try, try and try again. The best case scenario is you learn a lot. The worst – you get to try again! Cheers ~

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GABF 2012…On Your Mark, Get Ready…GO!

Denver’s a great place to visit and I love being in Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival. It’s an extraordinary one for many reasons.

  1. It’s where you get to see many of beer friends, enthusiasts and colleagues
  2. The sheer numbers of beers you can try on the festival floor is mind boggling…more on numbers after the incredelicious Media Luncheon tomorrow.
  3. The hospitality of the City of Denver is open armed and exuberant
  4. The geography is gorgeous

Dona, Ginger & Tina at The Cheeky Monk for "Thank The Saints!" event 10/9

That’s the short list. And since WEB is moving into our Industry Sponsor space today, with the first session starting tonight, we’re ready to have the gates open and the people coming in!

We’ve already had a successful women and beer event at The Cheeky Monk – more great people passionate about beer, community and making their dreams come alive. Much to the delight of taste buds everywhere.

Thanks to the Brewers Association for making it easy to be part of the fest. A big THANKS to my crew this year too – Emily, Diane, & Sarah.

Here we go – see you soon!

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KSKQ Beer Radio: Chris Swersey, Brewers Association (6/20/12)

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 20 June 2012 – Chris Swersey, of the Brewers Association based in Boulder CO, is our special guest tonight. As a long time member of the beer community, Chris got his start in the beer world by home brewing and has never looked back.

From being a ‘keg monkey’ to beer judging, from rafting to being integral to some major beer competitions (GABFWBC), Chris is an exemplary example of the incredible folk in the beer community.

Pour yourself a tasty glass of beer and enjoy ~


Download Here: 43.6 MB

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

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The Importance of Beer and Food Together

How beers interface and partner with foods is a big component to educating women (and men) about beer. Since we all have to eat and we all need to hydrate, linking the two in an enjoyable fashion is always going to be an effective way to teach people about beer.

How do you do this?

1. Start with a flavor conversation. What kind of flavors does a person like – and make sure the expanse is wide open, not just focused on beer flavors. The power of suggestion here is huge. Get the discussion started with “do you like bananas?” or “do you like coffee?” – talk about flavors that are distinct, although they don’t need to be enormous flavors. Subtle flavors speak to many people as well so suggest a few of those too.

Beer...and citrus pairing? YES! Photo by Kate Parks

2. Move to what kinds of foods they like. The base of the flavor conversation will give you a great stepping off point and once you ask this food question, you’re bound to be able to suggest some beer pairings with the foods they already like. And when you start with foods they profess to already like, you’re going in the direction they already want to go: to enjoy those foods.

3. Once you know flavors and foods, suggest a small variety of beers to go with them. Keep in mind that while humans may have some common ground for popular flavors, never assume they will or won’t like something until they try it. Kind of like an adult cutting off the opportunity for a kid to try something  – “oh honey, you won’t like that.” Don’t color their possibilities with your preferences. Give them the chance to discover and decide.

4. Our taste buds change with time. From wanting super sugar sweet things when we’re young to wanting very spicy when we’re older. Be mindful of the general age range of the person you are trying to help.

The Brewers Association Media Luncheon during the Great American Beer Festival is one of my favorite events to go to. Beyond the blindingly incredible fare and pairings, what I really gain from it is new ideas and the opportunity to expand my thinking so I can share that forward. As educators it’s important for WEB to know more of the “why” specific beers and foods go together – or don’t – when we pair.

Women want flavor. They want to learn how to pair beer and food. And they want to be able to duplicate that experience and share it with others.

Exploration and then education is the key here. When you pair beer with food, you create stronger affinity and repeat business. Begin today.

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Great Aspirations Come True

“The Great American Beer Festival has come a long was since its humble beginnings in 1982 as an offshoot of the 4th annual National Homebrew and Microbrewery Conference. Nevertheless, if the name is any indication, its aspirations were great, and over 30 years, the events has grown from 800 attendees to 49,000 and from a 5,000 square foot festival hall to one closer to 300,000 square feet.”

Brewers Association media info, ala GABF

Two GABF goer's that'd agree its a 'great' festival!

Great aspirations can yield poor overblown unplanned failure. Great aspirations need to have some thought behind them. Because great aspirations can also create smashing success.

The GABF is a premium example of thoughtfulness – not that any of the progenitors of the event could have foreseen its success. With sound decision making as part of the process, aspirations can be come realities.

Cheers to the Brewers Association, the brewers, the beer community, sponsors, vendors, workers, volunteer army and attendees – they all make this truly remarkable festival tick tock every year.

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A Few Great Aspects of the 2011 GABF

1. It’s well attended by people all over the USA who are enthusiastic about beer.

2. The 2011 festival celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Great American Beer Festival.

3. The event is very well run by the Brewers Association.

4. There were over 2400 beers presented by 465 breweries (winners here).

5. The Colorado Convention Center, while very loud like most such places, is spacious for this event.

6. There were and always are plentiful staffers from the BA and the CCC, to help facilitate the festival.

7. The weather for revelers was ideal (think standing in line is non rainy weather).

8. Zero Hero helped green up the event – and it’s not the first year they’ve been a part of the big festival picture.

9. We get to plan and look forward to the 31st GABF in 2012.

As the days unfold we’ll share more information about the GABF that was for 2011. It’s worth noting that while we’ll share what has already happened, we’ll also provide insight as to how this all matters going forward.

Cheers to Great American Beer!

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The Fest of The Best

Are you planning on attending the Great American Beer Festival , aka ‘the GABF,’ this week?

Help Celebrate Great American Beer!

If you are, be very sure to come by our booth, 125, across from section J at the Denver Convention Center. We’ll be there with a booth full of smiles, enthusiastic women who enjoy beer (although they won’t be partaking while working) and ready to greet you.

The van is loaded with WEB shirts, hats, repurposed grain bags, and other goodies to sell and help spread the word that women do in fact very much enjoy beer. So we’re hitting the road.

Look for a big white cargo van with our signature round logo on the sides. Honk if you like – we’ll wave. Twitter that you saw us or leave a comment on our facebook page on where you saw us.

We’ll be in Salt Lake City tonight – so if you live there be on the watch!

Cheers to one of the most well attended, well run, and lively beer festivals in our fine nation. Looking forward to seeing you soon –

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Prohibition Trivia

Linda (SOPTV), Ginger & Kari (SOPTV) "Celebrating Prohibition"

Looking backward at Prohibition and the whole 14 years, plus the 100 leading up and the years following repeal, you can find an over abundance of interesting information.

We’re 3+ months away from celebrating repeal and the 21st Amendment (12/5/33). Do you know what prohibition was really about? (hint: not anti alcohol) Do you know what dynamics really gave it the juice it needed? Do you know why it was repealed?

WEB recently concluded a series of events related to Prohibition and the repeal in conjunction with our local public television station and the pending Ken Burns/Lynn Novik film, Prohibition. It was a perfect collaboration: WEB’s core = education. Public broadcasting = education. Film by Burns and Novick: stellar!

The events were fundraisers attended by community members and supporters of, well, legalized alcohol, the film, and public TV. They were all fun and interesting. WEB dug around (we’re used to research!) and presented period info to the guests. Below are some of the trivia questions we’d ask the audiences.

1. What’s the difference between ‘bootlegging’ and ‘rum running’?

2. What were the methods of smuggling and moving illegal alcohol?

3. What year did Oregon adopt Prohibition?

4. How did breweries survive during prohibition?

Take a shot (not of whiskey!) and these questions and we’ll share the answers tomorrow.

In the meantime, I’d also recommend reading Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer by Maureen Ogle. WEB threw a book launch party when it came out and I have been rereading it as a great read and resource.

The show will debut nationally October 2nd, in a series of 3 consecutive nights. Put it on your calendar. It’s a great way to follow up to the Great American Beer Festival, which also celebrates the modern craft beer landscape.

Cheers to repeal!

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Support Your Local Beer Festival

Here’s video Kate shot during the Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival.

Support your local beer festival

Do you support your local beer festival? Do you know how much economic stimulus they provide for communities?

We’re been to a few so far this summer and have more on deck. They’re good fun and a perfect educational opportunity for consumers, breweries and organizer. They bring in revenue and allow for exploration of ‘new’ beers.

WEB’s been part of the Oregon Cheese Festival, the Southern Oregon Craft Brew Festival, and the Mt. Shasta Brew Fest. On deck: Fremont Fest and the Great American Beer Festival (so far…).

You already know beer brings people together. Help that togetherness continue and grow by Supporting your Local Beer Festival.

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Fresh Craft Beer Stats

Alright – are you sitting down? Sitting down with a fresh craft brew is even better…

barrels of lovely American Craft Beer

Here are some fresh stats from the 2010 Great American Beer Festival program, courtesy of the Brewers Association.

  • In 2009 9,115,635 barrels of craft beer was produced in the US of A
  • Total of 1552 regional craft brewpubs (68), microbreweries (486) and brewpubs (998)
  • Americans purchased $101 billion worth of beer
  • Total growth of US Craft Beer by volume = 7%, by dollars = 10%
  • US Craft beer is measured by number of barrels produced annually – 1 barrel = 31 gallons, 31 gallons = 2 half barrel kegs (what most people think of as a keg of beer), 3.78 cases (24 – 12ounce bottles or cans) = 1 barrel

Check out their site for accurate and up to date information on the craft beer scene.

As well – the companion site – CraftBeer.com – is a great resource on all things craft beer. From beer & food to recipes to road trips to news. It’s gorgeous, well done and easily navigable.

Why? Because like Julia says, American craft beer is full of substance and soul.

Amen, sister.

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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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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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