Craft beer adventures and experiences… one pint at a time

Posts tagged ‘Food’

Creating FOMO events = food + drink + fun + surprises + charity

Let’s get real for a minute… we live in an age of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when it comes to events, and, at the same time, our entertainment budget is limited by time and $$$.

(Even if you’re Richard Branson with unlimited finances, there’s only 7 days in a week and 24 hours in a day…)

For most of us, we choose events that we hope will be magical and unique (fun) and leave a lasting (positive) impression.

Some of our best memories are typically celebrations having fun with upbeat people (like-minded friends and strangers,) enjoying good food and libations. For me, when I look back on whatever-was the event, I still get a warm, happy feeling.  It’s those feelings we want to create with our new company: Curated Craft Experiences.  It is our goal to exceed our customers’ expectations with lively, unique and fun events that come with a few surprises.

Invitations > Time

For extroverts, social media brings way more invitations to events than most of us have time or money for, and that creates a challenge:  where to go to get the biggest ROI (return on investment)?  For introverts, simply perusing a listing of upcoming social opportunities can be daunting: which ones will be friendly, not too in-your-face, and fun?

We all want events that make us feel part of a community and special (not too many people.) It’s a given that there will be a solid beverage and specialty food lineup with good entertainment.  We anticipate leaving feeling satisfied and it’s a bonus if we feel like we’ve made a difference (because there’s a charity involved.)

So what’s the Magic Formula to Create (and Satisfy) those of us with Expectations and FOMO?

As event planners, two things are always considered for our public events (this is just the beginning – we consider a lot more):

  1. Today’s consumers:  Attendees want to feel good about themselves and the world. This means events featuring locally sourced and delicious food (from local vendors), craft beverages (featuring local breweries, cideries and distilleries), a community-based charity, and an upbeat, whimsical atmosphere; and
  2. Millennials (those born 1982 to 2004): Many events are the same year after year without considering the changing societal  demographics. Millennials are the next major consumer superpower (even larger than the boomer generation) – and they value quality over quantity, leisure time over money, social responsibility over indulgence, and seek unique, exclusive experiences.

So, the formula I’ve seen work best that satisfies (and delights) the majority of event attendees (not limited by age) is:

The best ROI = Locally sourced food + Local craft beverages (beer/cider or distilled spirits or a combination) + Fun (an element of whimsy) + Surprises (think Pop-up events) + Charity (giving back).

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  (Please comment)

Upcoming Curated Craft Experiences events:

July 8, 2019 – Training for Intervention ProcedureS (TIPS) training for bars/bartenders/brewery/restaurant servers by Carol Dekkers at Overflow Brewing, St Petersburg, FL, 5-10pm.

Register here

 

Sept 7, 2019 – 0.1 Mile (528 feet) of Fun Run, Dunedin House of Beer, 3-6 pm.

Register here

 

 

 

Oct 26, 2019 – 0.1 Mile (528 feet) of Scary Fun Run, If I Brewed the World, St Petersburg, FL, 3-6 pm. Register here

 

 

 

Join us for one or more events and overcome your FOMO!  It’s going to be epic fun!

#BBC2016 – #JAXALETRAIL – #BAYCRAFTED – #LIVEAMPLIFIED – Recapping the 2016 Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference (Tampa) in Pics

It’s been exactly one month since the Beer Bloggers and Writers Conference (#BBC16) was here in Tampa, and, as a result, our entire bay area has benefitted from the hundreds of blog posts, publicity, beer pics, brewery visits, friendships made, beers consumed and follow-on business that any social media focused conference can amass.

It’s a privilege and a pleasure to be a part of such an illustrious group of passionate, optimistic and fun-loving people. For me, it’s also what I’d call “a happiness achievement” to consider so many beer bloggers and writers throughout the world my friends.  Thank you to Zephyr Adventures and everyone involved throughout the past 7 years who have made this such an inclusive and growing community!

I’m a visual, right brained thinker so I tend to remember things through pictures (looking at my camera roll is better than a calendar!) As such, I’ve combined my pics into a google pictures “movie” as a recap of the entire Thurs-Sunday July 7-10, 2016 weekend.  Enjoy!  (And thank you to Kelli Matheny @ladycrafter for the idea to use google pics movie app!)

PRE-Conference (Thurs July 7) Excursion – Jacksonville FL breweries:

Visits included Bold City Brewing, Engine 15 brewing, #Kickbacks Gastropub, Aardwolf Brewing, Wicked Barley Brewing…  Thank you to #onlyinJAX and #JAXALETRAIL for arrangements!

Day 1 Conference (Fri  July 8) – Tampa FL,

Conference sessions, Green Flash reception, Beer Paired Dinner Marriott Waterside, Trade Show, Night of Many Bottles

Day 2 Conference (Sat  July 9) – Tampa FL:

Conference sessions, WOB Westchase (Miller Coors) luncheon, Live Beer Blogging (J.J.Taylor), Progressive Dinner (Coppertail, Cigar City, Ulele Springs)

Day 3 — 1/2 day Conference and Post-conference excursion (Sun Fri  July 8) – Tampa FL:

Conference sessions, Post Conference excursion to St Pete Clearwater breweries: 3 Daughters, Green Bench, Cycle, Rapp Brewing

 

Thank you !!!

to so many organizers, breweries, wait staff, Zephyr Adventures, the Marriott Waterside, Jacksonville Ale Trail, Visit St Pete Clearwater, Tampa Bay Beer Crafted, trade show participants, speakers, moderators, distributors, and fellow attendees. It was so great to have the conference here in the Tampa/St Petersburg area and showcase the talent, innovation and truly hospitable FL venues in paradise!

Slainte!

Half-way There (to Tampa Bay Beer Week) – Sept 7, 2013 – a Rare Beer FESTIVAL!

halfway there

We just couldn’t wait for Tampa Bay Beer Week to get here so we decided to throw a “Halfway There” Rare Beer Festival on September 7th at the Cuban Club (Ybor City) to quench our thirst! Click on the image above for more information!

All of the beers on tap will be specialty kegs, one-offs or event exclusive beers from your favorite breweries.

Tickets available ONLINE at https://tampabaybeerweek.eventbrite.com/

2010 N Avenida Republica De Cuba, Tampa, Florida 33605-3653
 
Join us!!!
 
Carol

 

Cajun Cafe (St Petersburg, FL) does Beerfests up Right!

 

It’s American Craft Beer Week May 14-20, 2012 (inclusive!)

Don’t miss out on the happenings all over the country for the American Craft Beer Week!

Visit craftbeer.com for more details and be safe!

Is beer still beer when fruit is involved?

http://cltampa.com/dailyloaf/archives/2012/05/04/fruit-infused-beer-tasting-notes#.T6TCJMXkqHE

What do you think?  Can fruit beer be a good option at any time?

To safe imbibing,

An unOfficial beer goddess.

Southern Tier Brewing – this could be Love…

I will be the first to admit that I have not stepped far outside my comfort zone as far as beer trials, but

O – M – G !  I have literally fallen in love…with Southern Tier Brewing‘s
latest offerings available at St. Petersburg area brewhouses…
this could actually become an obsession!

In the past week, I have had the pleasure of sampling (and drinking!) several of Southern Tier’s latest brews including:

Unearthly

a highly hopped Imperial IPA topping out at a robust 9.5 ABV.  Available at the 4th Street site of World of Beer, St Petersburg  Here is what Southern Tier has to say about it.  A bit of a “weird” (to me at least) aftertaste that lingered longer than I like…

UNEARTHLY
  At the Southern Tier Brewing Company, vigorously hopped beer is our standard and inspiration. We continue a commitment to innovation with our most aggressive offering yet. Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewer’s craft; skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid. Delicately pour a taste into a fluted glass. Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops waft forward as your first sip divulges this beer’s fervent soul. To underestimate Unearthly is to trifle with the mysteries of the universe, so please consume wisely.
9.5% abv • 18.0ºL • Imperial India Pale Ale

Gemini

again a highly hopped Imperial IPA slightly less fruity and more down to earth, but still delivering an ABV of 9.0. Also available at the World of Beer pub.  I preferred the floral bouquet (what a “wine-y” term!) of Gemini, and I have to say with my small frame – it packed a punch!  Here’s what Southern Tier says:

GEMINI
High in the winter sky, two parallel stick figures are visible & known as “the twins,” or the constellation Gemini. The astronauts of the 1960s flew as teams of two in a program named after the celestial pairing. At Southern Tier, we have our own fraternal twins, Hoppe & Unearthly. Blended together & placed in this vessel, the mission of our Gemini is to travel high & take passengers on a journey far into the heavens.
9.0% abv • 13.0ºL

Iniquity American Black Ale

Wow – oh – wow!  My hands-down O M G favorite!  Available at Barley Mow on West Bay Drive in Largo, FL.  Here’s the Southern Tier explanation:

Iniquity Imperial Black Ale
The hexagram talisman has been used around the world for centuries to invoke magic and good luck. The six–point star is also the customary symbol of the brewer, representing the essential aspects of purity: water, hops, grain, malt, yeast, and of course, the brewer. Wishes of good fortune often collaborate with the brewer’s creativity to yield dramatic results. We carefully chose the name for this Imperial India Black Ale, Iniquity – a word opposing goodness. Why? This beer is contrary to what one may expect from an IPA; this is an ale as black as night. It is the antithesis of Unearthly. Some may consider it an immoral act to blacken an ale. We suggest they don’t rely on conventional standards. Allow the darkness to consume you. Cheers!
9.0% abv • 56.2ºL

I can be a Loyal Gal… Perhaps

I don’t know what this means yet for my long term loves of Lagunitas, Cigar City, Stone Brewing and Alaskan brewery offerings, but I’m definitely smitten with Southern Tier…  (And to think this love affair started innocently over a pint of their Pumking brew 18 months ago in Tampa.  You just never know where you will meet your ideal-mate!)

If you have the luxury and good fortune of finding one of these seasonal Southern Tier offerings on tap in your area, let me know if you agree with my choice of my new love.

p.s., The Downtown location of World of Beer (St Petersburg) told me tonight that Southern Tier Brewing is having a special evening at their site in March 2012… can’t wait to find out the date !

Sincerely yours,

an unOfficial Beer Goddess…

7venth Sun Brewing – Dunedin FL – latest addition to Tampa’s Burgeoning Craft Brewing

Last Saturday – January 7, 2012 – 7venth Sun Brewing opened its doors for a grand opening benefit (see previous post announcing the event).  Ample pours and interesting brews were on hand along with entertainment and most of the Who’s-Who in Tampa Bay, FL area’s craft brewing industry.

Here’s a few photos from the event (I loved the Overland IPA!) – and if you happen to be in the Tampa Bay area, drop me a line for directions – or google 7venth Sun Brewing-Dunedin for more information.  At the time of this post – their website was not yet up and functional!

It is going to be interesting (and tasty) to watch and sample 7venth Sun Brewing’s offerings over the coming months. Stay tuned…

The Unofficial Beer Goddess.

Sushi and Craft Beer – A Great Combination!

There is so much potential to match and mingle craft beer with food to please and surprise the palate, and the other evening having done just that, I wanted to share the results with you!

One wouldn’t normally think of beer with Sushi, but move over Saki

I started off with a couple of notable craft beers:

together with a couple of Sushi rolls from my local Sushi specialty take-out counter:

  • Crunchy roll – with chili sauce enveloping rice, shrimp, eel, carrots, cucumber and spices, cooked to a crunchy finish
  • Dragon roll – with fresh tuna, avocado, rice and pesto-like sauce

Celebration Ale perfect with Spicy Shrimp…

At first thought, it seemed like an unlikely pairing, but the more robust winter taste of the Celebration Ale aptly complimented the spiciness of the Crunchy roll with the chili sauce.  The mahogany woody essence of the Celebration Ale added a hearty richness to the shrimp and zesty chili flavors.

Celebration Ale fared far better than trying to combine the hoppiness of the Hoptical Illusion with chili flavor, but read on…

Hoptical Illusion enriches the Ahi Tuna

The more muted and less flavorful (but still delicious!) tuna and avocado flavors lent themselves well to the hoppy Hoptical Illusion, which was a nice surprise.  (The Celebration Ale overpowered the Dragon Roll to the extent that the sushi ended up tasting bland…)  Whatever was the sauce on the top of the Dragon Roll mixed and swirled well over the tongue with the Hoptical Illusion providing a light and flavorful burst for the unexpecting palate. A good combination indeed!
What is YOUR experience? 

Please let me know what Sushi and Craft Beer pairings you’ve tried and want to try again and again?  I’ll feature them in this blog and credit you!

Happy and safe imbibing my friends!

Sincerely,

The Unofficial Beer Goddess…

7venth Sun Brewery – new for Tampa Bay!

If you are in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL area on January 7, 2012 – why not support the launch of our area’s newest microbrewery  AND support a charitable cause as well? 7venth Sun Brewery (website not yet up at http://www.seventhsunbrewing.com as of this posting) is now open in Dunedin FL and hosting a charitable fundraiser / beer tasting event – so why not join the cause?

All the details are in the supporting flyer below – or send me a comment if you need more information and I’ll find out answers to your questions. Hope to see you there!

The Unofficial Beer Goddess (Carol)

 

Remember yourself, your family and the families of others – don’t drink and drive!

Seasonal (Christmas) beers…

I was amazed today at the proliferation of seasonal and Christmas brews I found today in my local beer and wine outlet, Total Wine.  Florida used to be the domain of Anheuser Busch for many years and it is nice to finally have the “doors wide open” so to speak on craft beers from coast to coast.  My personal favorite is Anchor Steam’s holiday ale (reviewed previously).

In talking to the beer specialist at my local store, sales of higher end (750 ml specialty brews) were up sharply from 2009’s winter season.  Belgium imports such as Delirium and others are selling briskly – in fact the demand was depleting the extra cases they ordered for this year’s entire season.

There’s a lot of Christmas sampling I’m going to be doing in the coming weeks and I’ll include a few reviews as I test the draught varieties I find (sorry, I prefer that variety to the bottled ones.)

Meanwhile, in reverence to my Canadian heritage, I present this link to the Bob and Doug McKenzie 12 days of Christmas (the first day of Christmas presents a “Beer”)

Enjoy & happy holidays!

Until the next pint,
An unOfficial beer goddess.

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Cigar City Brewery in Tampa passes first hurdle…

Dec 2, 2010:  Update on Cigar City Brewing…

Thank you to those of you who supported Cigar City Brewing’s petition to keep the Tasting RoomCigar City Brewing open.  Today (Dec 2, 2010) the Tampa City Council tentatively approved a wet-zone which could allow the Brewery /Pub to stay open.

Read more by clicking on this link.

For a little brewery in Tampa FL to have garnered support from both competitors in the area, and having won 3 top honors from Draft magazine in a little over 18 months is remarkable.

If you happen to be in the Tampa Bay area anytime soon, the brewery and tasting room is only about a 5-10 minute drive from the Tampa airport.  Here’s the website (it’s worth a visit to both the website and the real life site):  www.tinyurl/23kzsta/

Until the next pint!

An unOfficial beer goddess.

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Danish Craft Beer sampling – Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens Christmas Lights, Copenhagen

There’s nothing better that comes to mind on a frosty snowfall-infused evening than relaxing with a robust Christmas beer – and there’s no better place than Denmark to do it.  Or so I thought!  In my short 3 evenings here in Copenhagen, I finally managed to find one worthwhile Christmas beer, but more about that after I share with you my wanderings to a couple of Bryghus (brewhouses) in the area.

While the US boasts over 1600 craft breweries from coast-to-coast, Denmark has literally exploded with over 600 craft breweries within its tiny geographic area!  Can you imagine the recreation and research that would be found if one were to explore and document the findings at this many breweries over the course of several summers?  Possible vacation venues indeed!

Apollo brewhouseMy first stop after Tivoli Gardens (it felt cold to this Florida girl!) was the Apollo brewhouse restaurant where the beer specialties included two seasonal brews (a Chimney Black Pilsner and an authentic German style Alt-bier), a Christmas beer, plus the house pilsner.  I sampled the two seasonals and their Julebryg (Christmas beer):

Apollo house specialty brews

In order from left to right:

1. Christmas beer (Julebryg) – while this local specialty was better than the Tuborg Julebryg I sampled the night before, it too was a disappointment – flat, undistinctive, and an unremarkable texture and flavor.  I was happy that I had another two samples from which to choose.

2. Chimney/Smokehouse Black Pilsner called Skorstenfejer (ABV 5.0%) – I’m not a big fan of dark beers, but this one was so distinctive from the first sniff that I knew it was something special:  rich, smoky charcoal like aroma with a surprisingly smooth taste and finish.  It’s hard to describe the taste as I’ve not tasted any beer like this before.  I anticipated that the smoke might be overpowering but it enhanced the flavor creating memories of other smokey adventures involving grilling in the outdoors.  This Black gold was a perfect pairing for the specialty Roast Duck dinner I ordered (duck accompanied by a light gravy, slivered beets, and baby potatoes), and I was happy to have ordered them both.

Black pilsner and roast duck - yum!

3. German Style Altbier (ABV 5.1%) – there’s no mistaking an authentic altbier made in the German style if you inhale the aroma before you taste it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that this brew was true to form – and had a rich taste to match.

After dinner, I headed across the street to find the Vesterbro Bryghus which also features local brew specialties.  I haven’t ever seen a brewhouse with wild boar heads on the wall, so I knew that this was not your typical brewpub.

Vesterbro BryghusWhen I asked for a small taste of 3 of their local varieties (Blond, Amber and Julebryg), the server informed me that I would have to have their entire sampler tray which also came with Tuborg’s Christmas and the regular factory beer Carlsberg.  It took a bit of convincing but she finally agreed to give me a finger height sample of each in a small glass, and to my delight, I finally found their Christmas beer reasonable.

Anchor Steam Holiday Ale (36th Year)p.s., Since returning home, I had the good fortune to try the new Anchor Steam Holiday Ale (ABV 5.5%) on draught – the 36th year of the top-secret recipe holiday brew.  And, it was the closest taste to the Norwegian Christmas taste that I’ve been looking to find.  Dark, smooth, Christmas-like aroma (cloves, nutmeg, nutty), and a lingering finish that reminds one of cold nights in front of a hot fire – up north of course!

Until the next pint – enjoy your holiday season!

An unOfficial beer goddess…


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The Reverend – Belgian Style Quadrupel Ale

“Created by God, feared by Satan, loved by all”

As quoted on The Reverend by Avery Brewing Company, Boulder, CO label (ABV 10%)

Avery Reverend Belgian Style Quad Ale

“This could become one of my favorite beers – if only it was available in Florida” said my anonymous guest-taster who was over for a Sunday afternoon tasting.  I’d agree!  I had the good karma to taste three different Avery blends at the Beer Bloggers Conference in Boulder a couple of weeks ago, but this brew is by far the best I’ve sampled.  The Reverend comes in a 22 oz bottle and not yet available this far east (to my knowledge)… but I’ll be on the lookout for Avery in Florida (apparently J.J. Taylor distributors in Tampa carries it – just haven’t found it yet!)

Here’s my unOfficial observations:

  • Nose: Amazingly, the aroma with this brew is unobtrusive and faint, almost like a faint sweet floral perfume – and does not give credence to the amazing burst of flavor that comes with the first taste.
  • Weight and color: A translucent coppery-red that reflects rather than allows light through.  When you first taste The Reverend – respect is immediately given – there is a sweetness that hides the alcohol content – who would have believed that in the mug was a 10% brew!  Who knew Belgians could be so tasty!
  • Enjoyment factor: Clearly an award-winning brew in the making!  I guess I should have sensed royalty in the Red Metallic foil around the cap!  The Reverend inspires confidence and is malty and amber-like with a caramel flavoring but not hoppy.  Reminiscent of my Canadian upbringing as it reminded me of MacIntosh toffee chunks but much more lingering flavor.
  • Recommendation: If you like beer at all – especially if you like craft beers with a body and soul – you’ll love The Reverend.  A thumbs-up 8 out of 10 from a generalist point of view, but my guest would give it a full 10 out of 10 (with the hopes that either Avery will ship some brews out to this outpost in Florida or that a local source is discovered!)

Until the next pint,

an unOfficial Beer Goddess.

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Cigar City Brewing needs your help

Cigar City BrewingOne of Tampa‘s newest craft breweries, Cigar City Brewing, is under siege to keep its Tasting Room open.  Less than 2 years old, the brewery has won awards from Draft magazine and continues to garner fans across the country who carry bottles countrywide since the brewery now ships only to a few eastern states.

Vote by clicking here to keep the Tasting Room open!

Tasting Menu Nov 2010The Tasting Room has an interesting current (November 2010) tasting menu – at the top is their award-winning Jai Alai IPA (7.5% ABV) and their cedar aged version of the same beer their Humidor IPA (also 7.5% ABV).

One of my favorites on their current menu is the Tocobaga Red (7.2% ABV) – it is as smooth as my other favorite amber beer on tap – Alaskan Amber.

An interesting limited edition brew set (2 different brews) is the “Either” and “Or” brews (11.2% ABV). According to the Tasting Room’s Travis, Either and Or is the result of a collaborative project of 3 breweries:  the same recipe was used for both brews.  Cigar City Brewing made the one batch, while a partnership of a Vermont brewery and a Copenhagen brewery made the second. The water and recipe are identical (both were brewed onsite in Tampa) but the hops are different.  While both Either and Or are 11.2% ABV, my taste buds gave a totally different experience from each:

  • “Either” tasted to me like a deep Chocolatey Stout style ale (is that the proper way to describe it?),  and
  • “Or” reminded me of Norwegian Christmas beers (which would be great with gingerbread).

Raw ingredientsI was amazed (but not surprised) at the difference that the hops brought to the same recipe beers. Either and Or are available in limited release for the next couple of weeks for $7.50 for a 12 oz bottle from the Tasting Room.

The next collaborative project will result in a New Year brew set called “Neither” and “Nor”.  Watch for it in early 2011!

Please vote to keep the Cigar City Tasting Room open – even if you don’t live in Tampa!

Until the next pint,

UnOfficial beer goddess.


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