Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Archive for June, 2014

Pinch me! Ales and Tales of Dublin and Edinburgh and Toronto Await…

One more day… and then I am off to a three-week adventure involving beer passion, friends and family (in that order!)

I feel truly blessed to be able to attend the European Beer Bloggers Conference in Dublin, Ireland this coming weekend with an agenda that rivals none, followed by a few nights outside Edinburgh, Scotland (for the 700th anniversary of the Bannockburn battle!), followed by a stopover with a good friend (and more craft beer) in Toronto, followed by a few more nights in Las Vegas with friends, followed by a week up in Alberta with family (and a few craft brewery visits.)

bbc europe I get asked weekly why beer is my passion and how I’m earning from the pursuit of fine craft ales, and the short answer is that I love the taste of craft beer and I love the community of entrepreneurs and inventors behind it, and to-date, it’s a pursuit for the sole interest and joy of the craft.

I am fortunate to have a solid career in software consulting (enabling me to work anywhere -home or away), that allows me to pursue my hobby worldwide.

BrewStat

BUT, I would love to parlay what I’ve done for years in the software industry (speaking at international conferences) into a career in the craft beer industry on behalf of a Brewers Guild or the American Craft Brewers Association or a similar group in Europe, Asia and North America.

Where we’re at in the U.S. with Craft Beer…

Our domestic craft brew industry is, as you already know, exploding with flavor, innovation, and creativity, and it’s a beautiful thing.

At home in Florida, challenges emerge with legislation, funding, and big beer domination, but the tide is turning.  We have passionate brewers, consumers and a cast of workers bringing it all together.  As a nation, craft beers fuels a proud and emerging community that contributed over $10.2Billion to the U.S. economy in 2012/13.  And we are leading the world in a way unseen since the wine revolution propelled Napa Valley to stardom.

I can’t Wait for the Weekend…

The U.K. and Europe face different issues that we do in North American, CAMRA has emerged as a 170,000 member force in U.K. legislation, and brewers are taxed based on the ABV %.  But, the quest for good taste, creative recipes, community and innovation pervades the issues – and this weekend’s lineup of events and lectures is inspiring.

Watch this space for updates, photos, comments, and links… I’ll take you along on my journey and pursuit of fine brews across 4 countries in as many weeks (and have a happy, safe, 4th of July!)

Cheers,
Carol

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A shout out to Florida VolunBeers…

I have a confession to make… I love the emerging craft beer industry in Florida, I love craft beer, and I love our volunteers.

Florida VolunBeers”…

are a team of volunteers (thanks to Josh Smith for coining the name!) who, IMHO, are everyday heroes.  They are craft beer aficionados who willingly give up their nights, weekends, and free time to create an enjoyable craft beer experience for craft beer lovers in Florida.

Florida VolunBeers are the lifeblood of our emerging industry and I am grateful, (and no, I don’t get paid for this!)

Certainly, there are lots of different types of volunteers —

There’s the boards of Tampa Bay Beer Week (TBBW), Florida United for Craft Brews (FUCB), and other not-for-profits…  and there are lots of volunteers at private festivals…

There’s also the many up-at-the-crack-of-dawn Craft Brewers and their families, AND the reps and distributors whose job is to bring craft beer to the masses, AND the home-brewers who craft recipes and boil and mash in their garages — all of whom are integral to Florida craft beer!

…BUT

I am thankful for those who volunteer with and for me – it’s you who are the wind beneath the success of so many events. I hope that the benefits (new friends, events, fun times, free admission) are a good enough enticement for you to continue!

Something new… VolunBeer meet-and-greets

Last evening we had our first (of many) ad hoc volunteer meetings at The Amsterdam in St Petersburg.  Owner John Cullen and bartender Bruce Jones led us on an international journey through craft beer styles and tastes – it was an enjoyable way for us to learn together.  I plan on having a monthly meet-and-greet across the bay area.

Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer?

It’s a fun way to meet new people, try new beers, and lend a hand at local events.  You join in as your schedule permits and the demand arises.  We’ve helped out at Localtopia, Brewers Ball, Foeder for Thought, Florida Brewers Guild (FBG), Halfway There, and others… with many more to come.

If you’re interested, please send me an email with your name, email address and cell phone number And I’ll add you to my VolunBeer database.  When the next craft beer event comes up, I’ll send out a call for volunteers – and include you.

All I ask is that

you be at least 21 years old, fun-loving (no Debbie Downers please!) and flexible to pitch in as the need arises… we do whatever is needed — from pouring specialty draughts to checking ids to delivering ice to brewers — it all depends on the event.

Will you join us?

Cheers,
Carol

THE Beer Project – June 12-14, 2014 – featuring Arts, Authors, and Craft Beer!

St Petersburg was “hopping” this weekend (and many others) — for craft beer and the arts!

the beer projectIf you missed it, you should have joined us for THE BEER PROJECT – a joint venture of the Museum of Fine Arts (St Petersburg) and local craft breweries (9 of them are involved!) and beer related authors…here’s the scoop:

THE BEER PROJECT kicked off Thurs night with a demo/tasting/mix-and-mingle.  Over 100 people came by the museum for a happy hour tasting and crafting demonstration (who knew you could make a bird house for Father’s Day out of a beer can!) featuring Oregon author (Portland’s crafting marvel) Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman.  It was a great time!

 

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Shawn was also on-hand at the Public Tasting on Saturday (noon-3) and demonstrated how to make a fishing lure out of beer can aluminum!

AND, we had a FULL LINEUP of other events (and pictures!)

 

  • Friday, June 13, 2014, 7 – midnight Green Bench Brewing Release Party – FREE!

    Photo by Tony EscobalesWe met up at Green Bench Brewing Co. and tried new brews (small batch, limited release!) inspired by the Museum of Fine Arts’ 2014 special exhibitions and permanent collection.
    Influenced by the Museum’s Asian collection, the brewers at Green Bench Brewing Co. have crafted Double Rice IPA. Brewed with a base of rice and a Japanese hop called Sorachi Ace.
    As the Museum bids farewell to its New Mexico and the Arts of Enchantment exhibition, Green Bench Brewing Co. says goodbye with its Agave Green Chili Blonde Ale which is brewed with Lime Peel called Rubia Caliente.

    No cover charge for the Release Party. Open to the Public.

    Plus! Gerard Walen, author of Florida Breweries, was on hand for a book-signing from 7 – 9p.m.

  • Saturday, June 14, 2014, Noon – 3p.m. Public Tasting, Demonstrations & Awards @ The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg – Tickets were $35 (includes museum entrance)

    Shawn Bowman Fishing LuresThis was a great afternoon of taste home-brewed (unavailable publicly) recipes where participants could vote for their favorite. This unique experience includes home-brewing demonstration by Avid Brewing and a crafting demonstration by Portland’s Shawn Bowman. Just in time for Father’s Day, Shawn showed us how to take dad’s favorite beer can and turn it into usable fishing lures.
    Gerard Walen, author of Florida Breweries, was also present for a book-signing from 2 – 3p.m. at the MFA.

  • TICKET includes tasting, souvenir glass, home-brew demonstration, craft demonstration (make a fishing lure for Father’s Day!) and galleries.

 

  • Saturday, June 14, 2014, 4 – 9p.m. Arts & Crafts Trail / 2nd Saturday Art Walk – FREE!

Download a map of the Arts Districts and participating galleries.
Note: The June Artwalk Trolley will begin at 4p.m. (one hour earlier than usual) with one (1) additional 4p.m. boarding location at the MFA.

A pairing like no other. Art and craft beer converged in a tour through the arts districts. You could stop off at the following locations:     ARTicles Art Gallery & Custom Framing, Craftsmen House Gallery, Duncan McClellan Gallery, Florida Craftsmen, Morean Arts Center, Train Station Center for Clay and Zen Glass Studio.

…and enjoy complimentary tastings from local brewing companies:  3 Daughters Brewing, Barley Mow Brewing, Big Storm Brewing, Cycle Brewing, Green Bench Brewing, Seventh Sun Brewing and St. Pete Brewing.

At each gallery, you could pick up a complimentary scavenger “ticket” to enter a drawing for prizes at 3 Daughters Brewing. Tastings were first-come, first-served while supplies lasted.

Awards for the People’s Choice Home Brew and the winners of the Arts & Crafts Scavenger Trail at 7:30p.m. “Scavenger Tickets” dropped off to 3 Daughters Brewing by 7:15p.m. were eligible for beer related prizes.

What a great weekend for Art, Craft Beer, and Authors!

Watch for more events pairing beer, museums, art and authors.  Drink local, live local, love St Petersburg!

-Carol

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