Beer For People Who Don’t Like Beer

Gord and I met tromping through the Vancouver, British Columbia airport. We must have been headed through customs at the same time, him returning to Canada, me just arriving. Both of us on work trips.

What started as a casual comment happily developed into a very pleasant business lunch. We chatted about a variety of things and in short order the conversation veered towards beer. It could have been the business card I gave him…beer starts a lot of conversations.

Cheers to great folks like Gord ~

Cheers to great folks like Gord ~

Anyway, we decided to head to one of the airport eating establishments for a quick bite of traveling lunch. The service was fine, the food was fine, the beer was tasty and the company was grand.

What Gord asked me as we settled in was “How do I get someone who says they don’t like beer to try it?” While it wasn’t the first time I’d been asked, it did give me pause. Over the years in business with WEB, I’ve learned that the primary reason women say they don’t enjoy beer is they rely on a very distant or previous unpleasant memory to guide their current decisions making process around beer.

While emotions can be good in decision-making, in this case, it’s not good. In fact, it’s detrimental. It’s a hindrance for a number of reasons. One, the memory (gathered in research) is almost always due to the beer having gone bad, like pumped out of a keg with an oxygen pump or it was stale or old and oxidized. Secondly, the cause of the bad memory was self-induced. Beer doesn’t make you drunk or sick – you do that all on your own. Be responsible for your own actions and the beer will absolutely reward you. Lastly, and for a minority, is for truly valid reasons: issues like allergies, family abuse, and addiction and recovery concerns.

So how do you remove the barriers of an old and still poignant memory around beer and appropriate persuade someone to try beer anew? In this case Gord was asking in relation to his beloved wife….good question.

Since I’ve been asked this numerous times, here are some suggestions.

1. Find out what she kinds of flavors she likes – comprehensively. Explore all sorts of beverage and food tastes and write them down.

2. Talk about where those flavors can be found and made. Discuss ease and difficulty in procuring and recreating these pleasing flavors.

3. If there is already a trust in the relationship, you both need to take a leap of faith. It’s beer – don’t be offended. It’s beer – try it.

4. An open mind is the only tool you need. Your taste buds will do the rest WHEN your mind is open.

5. Seek and present opportunity often and appropriately. Never pressure, always encourage and nudge.

Beer: try some. It's all different these days.

Beer: try some. It’s all different these days.

6. A taste of something, literally a tiny bit of the universe, is a very small thing to undertake. If you find it pleasant, try it again. If you find it offensive, try it again. In professional circles, the key to accurately tasting something is two tastes – not just one. Let is sink it and let your palate acclimate and comprehend.

7. Pair beer with food, perhaps starting with the food first.

8. If she drinks wine or spirits or both, look for beers that carry similar flavors to those beverages she already likes.

9. Make beer cocktails. Even if you prefer straight beer, you’re not her and a cocktail or mixed drink make with beer can be a great entry into further exploration.

If her mind is open, you’ll be successful at a minimum by exposing current beer and flavors available therein. If she’s not open-minded, still invite her over for a beer – serve her what she wants and drink what you want too.

The whole point and pint of beer is camaraderie and building community. After all, where do people gather: brewpubs, kitchens, and campfires. Places of relaxed and delicious fun.

Pints up to Gord for the inspiration for this article ~ cheers and hope to see you again soon.

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Energy Source = Women + Beer

What’s your energy source? Where do you get the gumption to get up and move, shake and otherwise make the world a better place?

My money’s on women and beer. Two universal aspects of Life On Earth, these two everyday and everywhere ‘things’ are what drives me forward.

OBF: Women + Beer = success

OBF: Women + Beer = success

Women and beer were more than prevalent in some recent travels too. First at the 2014 Oregon Brewers Festival, Portland OR. This festival is a massive one, with tens of thousands of guests roaming the breezy Tom McCall Waterfront Park in the heart of The City Of Roses.  Not only do masses of guests descend, the workaday folks in downtown as well as locals show up to support, sip and enjoy.

Women make a healthy amount of the guests attending. And why wouldn’t they: Flavor is for everyone. Beer is not a gender drink, it’s global and meant to be enjoyed by all.

Next, Toronto’s Festival of Beers, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. What a joy to get to be at this festival, work it and work with the organizers and guests. The TFOB is a gathering place, for again, tens of thousands of revelers in a comfortable setting at the Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place in

Fun & Flavor Lovers at TFOB, Snowman Brewing booth

Fun & Flavor Lovers at TFOB, Snowman Brewing booth

Toronto.

Last year we lead a Cooking with Beer session in the Grillin‘ Tent; this year I was invited to lead 9 various tasting tours, Trails, we called them, for guests – walking tasting tours covering unique flavors, ciders, and gluten-free choices. Education makes the work go round and it was certainly moving at TFOB!

Finally (at the moment!) onward to Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in sparkling Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s obvious females make between 75 – 85% of all purchases, as there are always lots of women in Las Vegas taking advantage of all the opportunities to be had there. Sarah Johnson, an incredible quiet and constantly moving forward force at Mandalay Bay, gets it. Check this out.

Women and beer. You can bet your top, middle and bottom dollar it matters to include women in the conversations. She’s a flavor lover, an adventurer, and ready to jump in.

Cheers to women & beer, OBF, TFOB & Mandalay Bay –

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Continental Travel For Beer

The distinct pleasure of traveling across this amazing continent has created highlights of my year. We do a good deal of travel overall for business, my friends and colleagues remind me often, and it’s usually productive, fun and tasty.

Jeremy Parsons & Ginger at TFOB, 2013

Jeremy Parsons & Ginger at TFOB, 2013

This year so far I’ve been invited to present at the Toronto’s Festival of Beers (July), Toronto, Ontario, Canada where I have the honor of being the first American to take the Grilling Tent Stage. A Cooking With Beer session was great fun – terrific hosts, fun guests, and generous sponsors.

I’ve also had the honor of being invited to the Congreso Cerveza Mexico/Mexican Brewing Congress, Mexico City, Mexico (early September). Entrusted with judging beer and also given the opportunity to present an educational session to my Mexican colleagues on Women + Beer, I can tell you it’s an exciting time for all!

Beer is testimony that both women and beer are everywhere (we’ve verified that), passionate folks of all walks are interested in beer, and that these aforementioned people are all over the globe.

Jay (SSSteiner) & Jose (Propaganda Brewing) in Mexico City

Jay (SSSteiner) & Jose (Propaganda Brewing) in Mexico City

When we present, no matter the location, we work hard and smart to make sure the fit of the content and requested message delivered best fits the audience and goals. Knowing much less about Canada and Mexico to me is not a disadvantage. It’s the chance to ask people who I get to meet and work with lots of questions. An open mind and smile go a long way towards diplomacy and that’s what we’re after.

I’d encourage everyone who’s interested in beer to take a global look. Yes, support local. Do you know where all the ingredients come from in that beer (or other local product)? Sometimes everything’s sourced close by – though almost nothing is in a vacuum is using resources that are non-local. Yes, support global. It’s always been a global economy – the idea of “local” is not new. It’s recycled. If you like salt, nutmeg, or coffee you support a global economy. And that’s okay.

The new perspective I now have from these two visits has enormously broadened my knowledge and what I can share forward. As an educator, that’s really important to me. Education changes the world for the better and these fine folks (my hosts) found mutual value in working together as well.

Finding a balance is somewhat reliant on taking a wide view. Take it, often, and share it with others. There are remarkable people everywhere. And I can’t wait to meet more!

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