Gluten Free Tasting

NOTE: This post was originally drafted during our HomeFreeTour, which started in September 2009. Enjoy the post & thanks for reading.

gcj

Our friend April in Kirkland WA was good enough to invite some friends over for a tasting while we’re on the road. It was huge fun and I believe all the good humored guests learned at least a few new things about beers and ciders.

Gluten free = lots of flavor!

Gluten free = lots of flavor!

This is my first mention of cider I think…and they fit nicely for diets that require glutenfree beverages. Plus here in the Northwest, where I currently am, apples abound!! Whew!

Here’s what the menu looked like (foods gotten at Trader Joe’s).

  1. Course 1 – Redbridge with soft tangy Chevre on soyrice crackers
  2. Course 2 – Newton’s Folly Draft Cider with Washington Honeycrisp apples, apple smoked garlic cheddar cheese, and corn/potato/rice tortilla chips
  3. Course 3 – Fox Barrel Black Currant Cider with fresh spinach &mixed greens salad with local melon, pears, and almonds and a touch of champagne gorgonzola dressing
  4. Course 4 – Green’s Discovery Amber Ale with freshly smoked salmon
  5. Course 5 – Bard’s Gold with Dagoba chocolates

Mmmmmmmm….All Gluten Free, all flavorful and fresh.

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Day 1, 2 , & 3

Well, on the road we are for the Home Free Tour 2009.  Here’s the breakdown for the start of the trip. This post will be a bit lengthy – my apologies for that today. Working on getting to know this new laptop and finding wifi spots, blah blah blah blah.

Day 1 (9/20)

Driving away from Ames, Iowa for the last time (as a resident) at 430 pm central standard time was a pretty good feeling. The people that have become friends and colleagues are terrific. Some things about the town are great – public library, Aunt Maude’s restaurant and a few other things…Overall though I was ready to go find good beer and great people.

Onward.

p1020755So day 1 was from Ames Iowa to Sioux Falls South Dakota, approximately 300 miles. Since we had out Home Free Odyssey minivan and the last (of 3) rental vans with our wordly goods, we didn’t break any speed limits.

As far as beer went that day – we had a Skinny Dip in the final throes of packing and that was it. Full day. Could have enjoyed another one or two session style beers.

Day 2 (9/21)

Waking up in Sioux Falls SD was a good feeling. It meant the trip was finally underway, the Odyssey had begun. Women Enjoying Beer – Across the Country. Game – or rather Beer on.

We had brought the very last of our bottled beer with us – a Boulevard Single Wide IPA…mmmm….The Boulevard people clearly understand how beer relates to everyone, women and men. When WEB was in KC in July, they showed Deidre (my associate in Beer) and I a great time and they were very accommodating. Hope to get back and do some collaboration. Supposedly a big posse of them will be at the GABF. I’ll be on the look out for them.

Beer Encounter – At a bank to take care of some business, we were served by a customer conscientious woman named Virginia. She not only explained some things to us, that other banks had failed do (sidebar – a little education goes a looooong way), she told me that she didn’t like beer.

Hmmmm….my human travel companion and Fine Husband smiled and told her “I bet Ginger can find a beer you like.” That’s a bet I’d take – she says she likes wines. Great! I’ll surprise her when in Sioux Falls next with a few beers to try. And then take her temp-beer-ture again.

AJ & Tucker

AJ & Tucker

Some good friends let us crash at their home – thanks to the Breck crew! Here’s AJ and Tucker.

Last night then for dinner we went with a friend to a newer eatery, a pizza joint. Why do so many restaurants spend so much time and effort (and money) on their menu/food items and the beer seems to be a hiccup or afterthought??

  • Good food demands good beer.

At a minimum have a variety so your patrons can try the beers just like they try the foods. Pay attention to requests, listen and pass along suggestions to the vendors and distributors. This place billed itself as a New York style pizzaria. Why not have NY beer? Or at least a better selection?

Day 3 (9/22)

On the road again, headed south to drop off the rental truck in Sioux City Iowa. My Fine Husband brewed there once upon a time at what was then Fourth Street Brewing right downtown. Before we got there though, the phone rang and it was a gentleman from New Jersey. He’d found me online and had a few questions so we talked for a short bit. Hope to connect again, that he acted on my suggestions and found them of value so will call back for more. Plus – of course – along the trip, we’ll be on the East Coast so I’d be in his neck of the woods to be available.

Shameless piece. As far as I have learned (tell me if I am wrong) I am the only one ‘out there’ working on women & beer, developing and serving the female beer consumer. The info I collect and have available is solely WEB’s. Call me when I can help.

Appropriate and attractive glassware

Appropriate and attractive glassware

After dropping the van off we headed to Omaha, first stop Upstream Brewing. The wireless or our newness to the wireless world kept us from successfully logging in. Jody, the tender, Merit (sp) host, and Ryan, their banquet person, were all very friendly and answered a few questions. Hope to connect with them in the new year.

The first stop was actually going to be the new Lucky Bucket, Zac T’s new brewery. He’s in Denver already and Jason, his partner, was otherwise occupied. Next time.

Onward to the Apple store where I sit right now blogging. We just had out first One to One session with Brandon, Apple dude. He’d checked out my blog (thanks Brandon!) and was very fun to have as our instructor. He was even hip on being part of the tech support for the Home Free Tour. We’ll see what we can do about that

Apple Jack, otherwise known as Brandon

Apple Jack, otherwise known as Brandon

which would be great since technology is not my first language.

So tonight? We’ll settle into a good dinner with beer with friends. Homemade chili. What kind of beer to you like with Chili? The Girls, labs Belle and Hops, will enjoy some leg stretching with their dog, Luci.

Have a great night, thanks for tuning in. More (less lengthy posts) daily.

Cheers ~

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Bear With Me…

The house is a jumble, although a somewhat empty one (it’s sold though!), plans are laid and we’ll be underway for our Home Free Tour starting Sunday.

Bear with me as my posts will be thin until next week.

Belle & Larry prepping the van for the tour

Belle & Larry prepping the van for the tour

I can tell you I’ll be at the Great American Beer Festival which kicks off next Thursday as well – will you be headed to Denver?? It’s a fantastic time, educational opportunity and terrific place to meet and catch up with a great genre of people.

Thanks for your patience. Hope to see you along the way –

Ginger

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