Holiday Gift Ideas

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!! It’s the giving season again….

And where ever and however quickly it came from (seriously, only 300+ days ago??), tis the season. While I give the gift of books in particular year round, I want to share a few favorites with you today for beer & flavor lovers everywhere.


yum yum yum...Beer Pairing, by Julia & Gwen

yum yum yum…Beer Pairing, by Julia & Gwen

Beer Pairing, The Essential Guide From The Pairing Pros, Julia Herz & Gwen Conley *just* released  (2015 Voyageur Press). I’ll have Julia sign my book when next I see this dynamo of the beer gospel. Both she and Gwen have cut a smart swath to helping people enjoy beer. It’s a comprehensive book on what, why, when, how and why not of beer and food pairing. A great read and flavorfully inspiring, once you buy one for yourself get a few for others.

Cheese & Beer, Janet Fletcher (2013 Andrews McMeel Publishing). Janet’s written a few dozen books on food – cheese being her forte and oh-so-deliciously so! Others include Cheese & Wine, The Cheese Course, Yogurt (a personal fav go-to), and Four Seasons Pasta. All dandy and mouthwateringly fun and functional. Her writing style and the information she gives us is timeless and well rounded by smarts and broad world view.

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer, Maureen Ogle. Maureen is an historian and was inspired to write about beer upon wondering what her next book was – and at that moment having a Budweiser truck cross her path while driving. Inspiration struck and she’s tells the story starting in the 1880’s to modern times. Great read like many with herstorian context: you learn way more about way more than you think.

The American Craft Beer Cookbook, John Holl (Storey Publishing 2013). John’s an accomplished journalist and definite flavor lover. I’ve had the pleasure of sharing many beers with him as well as having hosted a book signing party when the book came out. He’s collected recipes with beer in them and paired with beers from brewpubs across this fine country. With sidebar stories and additional beer suggestions included, this book is a winner winner beer for dinner.

Beyond books, I’d invite you to find a few Women Enjoying Beer & Men Enjoying Women Enjoying Beer goods on our shopping page. Since we’ve exited a very successful festival circuit run, we’ve got a few goodies remaining looking for great homes. Be ahead of the curve as they may be collectors items soon!

Your Local Brewery

SSBC Gift Six pack

SSBC Gift Six pack

Our local breweries need our business. They pump ridiculous amounts of effort & money into our local economies, all the way up to the federal level (ask them about excise taxes, for example). Visit them all, as you can and see fit. Ask them questions, listen, share, buy and support. One of my locals, Standing Stone Brewing Company, sells Brewer For The Day packages as well as the holiday Gift Six Pack. Order a keg in advance to help celebrate in tasty fashion, give the gift of lovely glassware.


Home brewing abounds in America! It’s a fabulous opportunity to learn to cook a whole new recipe: Beer. Locate your local shops and go to a demo, hang out with the local clubs, and start making your own. Like food cooks, many professional “beer cooks” start by homebrewing. The American Homebrewers Association is a super place to start.

Whatever you do, give the gift of flavor this season – and year round. Start with flavor first, experiment, try, share and repeat. Beer changes as does everything else in life so pour it on.

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Beer Workshops: Resources Cited

At the workshops last weekend, the questions asked prompted me to recommend some resources. That and the fact that I had brought a few along to support the beer workshops. Here they all are listed below.


Cheers to beer education ~

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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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Renee, Maureen and Jack

Maureen Ogle, Renee M DeLuca and Jack McAuliffe were all present at the CBC last week. It’s apparently rare for Jack to go to a big event and the crowd, I think, was appreciative.

The 3 of them made up a panel session following the lunch time break on Saturday. It was one I circled right away for a few reasons.

One – Maureen is a dear friend, historian and I really enjoyed and reference regularly her book, Ambitious Brew: The Story Of American Beer. In fact, she humored me when it came to market a few years and let me host one of her book launch parties. Success was had by all. Maureen has literally hundreds of stories that did not get into the book and she’s very enjoyable to listen to.

Two – Renee and I have tweeted a few things back and forth. Knowing that Maureen thinks she’s pretty special makes me want to meet her too. She’s Jack’s daughter as well and is passionate about beer as well. Hope to get to know her better.

Three – Jack is commonly revered as one of the key founders of the modern Craft Beer movement. He started New Albion Brewing when there were well under 100 (under 50?) breweries in the entire US of A in the 60’s/70’s. His efforts, while the brewery didn’t make it, certainly forged ground for other founders ala Ken Grossman.

Listening to these 3 highly intelligent, fun, and passionate folks was well worth it. The audience felt the same too.

They got a standing O.

Beer history stands to tell the future beer people much. If you’re one of them, pay attention, read up, go forth with your eyes open all the way.

p.s. More women need to get into the breweries. No reason why not.

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Favorite Beer Books

If I had a Santa like allowance, I’d get lots and lots of books to feed my brain….

Maureen Ogle, Historian and Writer of Ambitious Brew

Here are a few of my favorite beer oriented books, all coincidentally by people I know and like and respect. A great gift this season indeed!

The books the Brewers Association puts out are all good – chock full of helpful information and insight. Michael Jackson’s books are also useful and well done too.

Let us know what your favorite beer oriented book is. You can pick more than one too.And we’d love to hear from consumers and professionals alike – fun to share who reads what and we’ll post the responses we get.

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Back On The Beer Track


I’ll be getting home from the Craft Brewers Conference today – most likely all revved up from great time spent with engaged switched on people and good beers. And seafood and fresh maritime weather. And lots of walking and laughing. (Little sleep I imagine).

Like Maureen says, “Beer is really good.”

So bear with me as I get back on track in the next day or two. Thanks.

For now, keep in mind – know your market.

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Beer Wars Follow Up

revere-model-99-8mm-movie-cameraSo who saw it? Beer Wars, that is.

It was shown live in theatres nationwide (400 or something like that) last night at 7 pm. There was a live feed intro by Anat Baron (producer director) and Ben Stein.

The live element was cool & very unfamiliar to most of us around these days.

A raised pint of thanks to Noah at Draft News for posting my comments. Check all the comments out here.

Friend Maureen Ogle was sitting in the live panel afterward (and in the film itself too). Could have listened to the live panel for a while.

Motivates me further to keep the progress of accurately and authentically market craft beer to women moving forward.

Photo courtesy of Flickr by willceau

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