Brewventure: Central Ohio Breweries

If you haven’t made it to Columbus yet add it to your Beerventure list! I’m lucky enough to be a native of this bustling brew-city and as much as I love exploring a brewery while on vacation, there’s really is no place like home.

While Several brewery hot spots have been pouring pints for years, there are lots of new kids on the block, and even a few more with their brew kettles packed and ready to move in. Ohio has 76 craft breweries (ranked 12th in the US) and is the fourth largest barrel producing state in the country, producing over 1 million barrels of craft beer per year according to brewersassociation.org.

Ohio Craft Beer MapFourteen of these 76 breweries are within the Columbus city limits and 8 more are just a short drive away. That doesn’t even include the myriad of brewpubs and restaurants serving up Ohio’s best brews. Beer Advocate and Ohio Craft Beer both have phenomenal lists available for those combing the virtual seas for their next pint.

JHP and I have to decided to try and hit a central Ohio brewery every week which means for the next 22 weeks we’ll be drinking pretty well! Here’s where we’ll be heading and a little of what we already know as well as what we’re looking forward to!

  1. The Actual Brewing Co. – 655 N James Rd, Columbus
    • JHP is a microbiologist and food safety specialist (yes his skills are put to very good use while brewing) so you can imagine he is pumped about Actual’s focus on the science and biology of beer and their laboratory.
  2. Barley’s Brewing Company – 467 N. High St., Columbus
    • We go here a lot, but why not revisit an old favorite! They’re committed to cask-conditioned ale and always feature a Firkin on Fridays, which they do run out of so make this your first stop if you’re feeling a Firkin!
  3. Buck’s Brewing Company – 1044 Stewart St. E., Newark
    • Newark’s one and only brewery. This is a new name to me and we’re looking forward to the road trip. What else is there to do in Newark you ask? Plenty, here’s 17 ideas from TripAdvisor.com.
  4. Buckeye Lake Brewery  5176 A Walnut Rd., Buckeye Lake
    • Buckeye Lake we will save for warmer weather. I foresee a growler and a camp ground in our future. I have enjoyed their Pale Ale at Ohio Tap Room and I’m excited to drink it at the source.
  5. Columbus Brewing Company – 535 Short St, Columbus
    • Bodhi. Enough said. What may surprise you, is that the popular restaurant and the award-winning brewery are two separate companies of the same name. Although separate, they don’t skip a beat as the restaurant serves as the brewery’s tap room and offers all three year-round CBC beers as well as taps the seasonal favorites. It’s also exciting to note that at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival CBC took home Gold for their Creeper in the Imperial India Pale Ale category and Bronze for Bodhi in the American-Style India Pale Ale category – three cheers to brewmaster Eric Bean!
  6. Elevator Brewery & Draught Haus – 161 N High St, Columbus
    • Elevator is another great spot for a local brew and a great meal. I’m a big fan of their red and love the history behind the building too. Did you know it’s haunted? We stopped by for a drink on Halloween in hopes of catching a glimpse of a ghost. I settled for a cold beer and a scary story.
  7. Four String Brewing Company – 985 W 6th Ave, Columbus
    • Not just another tap room – this place really rocks and I’m excited to stop by for the (I’m embarrassed to admit) first time. I think a Thursday night movie event will be just the ticket. Just can’t get enough of their Big Star White IPA!
  8. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant – 401 N. Front Street, Columbus
    • Is GB a craft brewery you ask? Well it keeps popping up on everyone else’s list  so I’ve included it here; however with 34 restaurant & brewery locations around the country I’m aped to say a “hand-crafted beer” does not a localvore make. But since we’re heading to a Blue Jackets game next week it’s an easy concession.Never a Bad Time
  9. Granville Brewing -5371 Columbus Rd., Granville
    • Granville isn’t just known for Denison University, this brewery specializes in Belgian-style ales and is just a short drive from Columbus as well as neighboring Buck’s Brewing Co. and Homestead Brewing Co. the weekend practically plans itself!
  10. Homestead Brewing Company – 811 Irving Wick Drive West, Heath
    • I’m captivated by Homestead’s mission “At Homestead, we’re dedicated to restoring the roots of American beer. Call it craft, call it artisan, call it old – we call it good… In recent years the craft beer industry has been ruled by a spiraling arms race of more alcohol, more hops, more bitter beer. We think that’s a race to the bottom and we’re opting out. We miss the days when you could have a few beers with your friends and not find yourself under the table. When did we have to start choosing between flavor and alcohol?” It’s quite a bold statement which makes me thirsty to see what all the fuss is about.
  11. HoofHearted Brewing – 5560 Township Highway 211, Marengo
    • I’m kind of at a loss here. I’ve enjoyed several of Hoof Hearted’s (say it fast it’s so fun) crassly named beers at the Daily Growler including Sidepipin’ India Farmhouse Ale and Musk of the Minotaur IPA, but I cannot put together if they have a tap room. Hoof Hearted lovers please feel free to chime in or JHP and I will be driving aimlessly through Marengo…
  12. Land-Grant Brewing Company – 424 W Town St, Columbus
    • Brand-spanking-new and I’m so excited to visit. They crowd funded this brewery (not unlike other operations such as Seventh Son) and have an awesome story to share for aspiring home brewers. I’m pumped to swing by and share the experience!
  13. North High Brewing Company 1288 N High St, Columbus
    • Pumped about this one because Idont want to just drink their beer – I want to brew here. While it’s worth stopping by for one of North High’s own brews, they also allow average Joe’s to rent their brew kettles and create a 15 gallon batch of their own. In my opinion it’s a great business model and I’m psyched to take advantage of it and get the large scale “brewmaster” experience.
  14. Rockmill Brewery  5705 Lithopolis Rd. NW, Lancaster
    • Our first trip to Rockmill was on a snowy Thursday night last year. I get cabin fever so bad in January and insisted we go on an adventure. We speed off to Rockmill for a quick beer before they closed and it was worth the 1+ hour round trip. It’s quaint, the beer is delicious and they’ve even been written up as  one of “12 Bucket-List Breweries that every beer lover should visit.”
  15. Seventh Son Brewing Co. – 1101 N 4th St, Columbus
    • If you’re a Columbus-kid you’ve probably made it to Seventh Son. Ranked Best Brewery of 2013 and Best Local Brewery of 2014 by Columbus Underground, they truly brew a great beer as well as a great brewery-culture. However, JHP would still like to know when the foosball table in the back will be fixed?
  16. Sideswipe Brewing – 2419 Scioto Harper Dr, Columbus
    • As craft beer enthusiast and bourgeoning home brewers we are especially interested in the smaller breweries that serve up a great pint in a smaller set up. Sideswipe fascinates us as from what we can tell by their website, they’re brewing in a garage?! Either way we’re looking forward to riding by to visit the eclectic and simple space. Yes, I said riding as they’re right off the Scioto Trail – location. location. location.
  17. Smokehouse Brewing Co. – 1130 Dublin Rd., Columbus
    • Another House Firkin Friday option, Smokehouse has a lot of great beer on tap including a House Nitro which we always like to try. But Sunday is also a great day to go with 60 cent wings and $10 pitcher specials. It’s a great spot to meet up with friends and enjoy some local libations.
  18. Staas Brewing  31 W Winter St., Delaware
    • One of the newest kids around town, Stass opened in Delaware in 2013. They “are a small batch, all grain brewery that features 12 taps with emphasis on classic Belgian and English beer styles.” I see shuffleboard and an Evangelist Belgian Quadrupel Ale in my future!
  19. Weasel Boy Brewing Co.  126 Muskingum Ave., Suite E., Zanesville
    • Weasel Boy is new to me I must admit but after a quick read of their website I think it’ll be love at first sip. Head brewer, Jim Wince boasts three medals from National Homebrew Competitions and Weasel Boy’s Anastasia Russian Imperial Stout won a Bronze Medal in the Imperial Stout category at the Great American Beer Festival. With his assistant brewer and wife, Lori, this duo does not seem to disappoint.
  20. Wolf’s Ridge Brewing – 215 N 4th St, Columbus
    • Our most recent brewventure took place at Wolf’s Ridge, coincidentally on the opening night for their new tap room. They were packed, which I love to see! We enjoyed dinner and several of head brewer Chris Davison’s concoctions in the dinning room (I’m an Alpha addict!); however, I’d like to make it back to the tap room to sample more of the infused and unique beers offered exclusively in the new space.
  21. Zaftig Brewing Co. – 545 Schrock Rd, Columbus
    • New to the Columbus brewery scene after opening in December 2013, Zaftig promises big, bold, full-bodied beers inspired by the brewmasters’ favorites. Former home brewers as well I’m looking forward to learning more about this start up.
  22. Zauber Brewing Company – 909 W 5th Ave, Columbus
    • While I’ve had a few jovial evenings in the Zauber tap room, I’ve yet to try a Zauber craft brew since their own brewery operation has been up and running. I have a strong feeling JHP will be Nitro bound while my-fav will be Myopic Red.

A few brewventure tips from one experienced drinker on the go!

  1. Always plan ahead and cab it when necessary – drink responsibly and be a classy craft lover!
  2. Not all of these breweries are equipped to serve food and not all of them are serving session ales. Snacks are a must when I’m drinking more than one 9% IIPA, check out food truck schedules when available and/or policies on BYOS. Rockmill and a picnic basket make for a perfect Saturday for example.
  3. While I love being impulsive, microbreweries are not always open. A quick glance at the schedule will prevent you from being th-angry (ok, ok fine it’s not as obvious as hangry – but thirst-angry could be a thing).

Please let me know if I’ve missed anyone! If there’s a “just gotta have it” brew at any of the above. Or feel free to share all about your own favorite brewventure!

Cheers!

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6 (Long) Steps to Your Own Beer Recipe

I always explain our growth in brewing like learning to bake bread. An unexperienced (or busy) baker may first learn to bake a banana bread from a Betty Crocker box. Realizing it’s not so difficult to make a banana bread from a box you may mix in your own walnuts or chocolate chips. Eventually, one may have a few old bananas on your counter and you say heck with Betty, I got this!

It took us over an hour to buy the supplies required to brew our first original recipe brew. Our clone brew, Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas, thankfully had been a little more cut and dry, or rather scoop and mill. After studying several IIPA and Imperial IPA recipes I had crafted what I thought would be a delicious combination of malt and hop flavors giving our Imperial IIPA a piney aroma and rich flavor that would paint a smile on my face three sips in; however I had not accounted for what may be available at our favorite brew store or how much 16 oz of hops may set us back.

I contemplatively scoured the alternate malt extract choices: Do we use half of this and half of that? Which would be closest to a Munich LME? Should we really spend $11 on 3.3 oz of LME when we only need .3 oz? And why don’t they sell hops in larger bags? (Hint: they do, most of the time you just need to pre-order or order online.)

Our arms full of ingredients, a receipt for a shocking $89, and a knot in my stomach “would this end up being our brewer’s folly?” – we began to brew.

I’m pleased as spiked-punch to share that our $89 Imperial IIPA was ahhhmazing!

Sorry I haven’t written up the recipe yet, it’s coming! But here is what I looked at when crafting the recipe:

  1. A little obvious but start with what you’d like to make. Is it an IPA or IIPA with enough hops to make your non-beer drinking friends cringe? A banana-tastic dunkelweizen? The pale ale equivalent to an every day shoe (hey, I’m a girl)? Or a porter that’ll give you a kick in the pants?
  2. What do you like about your favorite beers of this type? Yes, there is a difference between toasty vs. biscuity. And what about the many hop profiles ranging from herbal, perfumy, spicy, leafy, grassy, floral, piney, to citrusy.
  3. Now pull a base recipe for the type of beer you’ve selected, this is your starting point.
  4. You’ll also want to read through several more complex and clone recipes picking a part the elements that stand out in step 2. If one person used 1.5 oz of cascade hops at 20 minutes and another recipe calls for 1 oz at 5 minutes consider the impact hops has on flavor earlier in the boil and how hops add to the aroma later in the boil. These recipes act as a tour guide but you get to decide what pictures to take to remember the day.
  5. If you’re ordering online then you may find what you need (and please feel free to share your favorite sites, we have yet to do this). If you are purchasing from a local brew store (in Columbus we love Gentile’s off King Avenue – http://www.gentiles.com) then you may need to plan ahead and pre-order. Or if you’re like us and show up the morning you want to brew, you’ll need to be flexible. Again, go back to your flavor and aroma notes from step 2. This is when biscuity vs. toasty really became my personal moral dilemma.
  6. When you set out to brew, WRITE IT DOWN. Just because you have your recipe doesn’t mean that you’re going to follow it to the T. Be sure to keep track of what you actually do and not what you thought you’d do or you’ll never get the same beer again.

It certainly took some time and a good dose of anal retentiveness but we’re so pleased with the way our recipe turned out and as a result it really does feel like our own creation.

Anyone else have any tips or suggestions for burgeoning brewers on the great recipe hunt?

Cheers!

Hello, again.

Oh dear blogging world, how do you do it?!

If my paycheck depended on this blog’s consistency I’d be drinking Natty Light – so let’s all be thankful that this is not the case. However, I resolve, yet again, to blog. And I thank you for your readership and patience in advance.

Here’s what this year has in store for the Hoppy Beer Girl and JHP!

  • Recipes – we’ve stepped out of the box (yes, that’s where I left you hanging with my last post) and we’re pushing our boundaries fast with one clone recipe out of the way and two great one-of-a-kind recipes we’ve created.
  • All Grain – yes, we’re like toddlers who skip walking and go straight to a dead sprint! We’re super excited to try out a full mash and are in the process of collecting all the necessary equipment.
  • Beer Fest – as an excellent girlfriend and beer enthusiast myself, I gifted JHP with tickets to the Columbus Winter Beer Fest. With 350+ breweries we’ll be wearing our stretchy pants and decked in pretzels!
  • Brewery Tours – my koozies have become the new wave t-shirt collection and I have adventures and favorites to share!

The posts are practically writing themselves – I know you’re excited!

I’ll also be researching and sharing my thoughts on topics such as these (among others that suit my fancy).

  • Lady Brewmasters – you go girl!
  • The impact of women on the craft beer industry
  • How Brewing + Marketing = Love
  • It’s all about the distribution (and the bass) and I am fascinated by it

And of course, we’ll be drinking!

Thank you for reading – bottoms up!

Stepping Out of Our Box

There comes a time in a young brewers life when she must step outside of her box. In my case this proverbial box is in fact a Brewer’s Best kit in a box… but nonetheless JHP and I are climbing out and going for it!

This will be our first attempt at brew recipes, shopping lists, crushing grains and whipping it all together without the help of our trusty and detailed Brewer’s Best instructions and pre-measured ingredient kit. You have to start somewhere though and so it was decided we would find a clone recipe to try with hopes of one day being wise enough to write our own.

I made a strong argument (i.e. I found a recipe and printed it off) for the 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale I’ve mentioned in an earlier post. I love Christmas Ales and feel a 6-pack would be a great addition to my annual neighbor cookies! The recipe is also pretty straight forward and much easier to follow than the Vanilla Bourbon Ale recipe I’m also coveting.

Our brew store, Gentile’s Wine Sellers, had everything we needed including a helpful sales person and experienced home brewer. I loved finding the grains we needed and running them through the mill, the toasted smells filling the small, yet well stocked, beer aisle. With malts, hops, yeast, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans and sweet orange peel in hand we walked out $50 lighter but full of excitement and anticipation.

 12 Dogs of Christmas Ale Malt  photo 2

Fast forward to the next day because that’s about how patient JHP is when it comes to brewing, and here we are sitting at the kitchen table listening to terrible youtube clips of “Taco from the League” and taking in the malty and hoppy aromas from our brew kettle. The 60 minute boil begins with 2 oz. of Cascade hops and some bad dance moves and lots of laughs.

12 Dogs of Christmas Ale Extras

The good news is that our kits prepared us well and so far this recipe has been a breeze! There is one small exception we’re learning about tonight, late extract addition brewing, which sent us scrambling for information and tips from our trusty brew resources. Essentially you’ll just run you 60 min boil and in the last 15-20 mins you steep a bag of grains. JHP is concerned this will release tannins into the beer as were steeping a a boiling temperature. According to the resources we found this is in fact the case and it will hopefully give the Christmas Ale a dry and bitter flavor that will blend well with the orange, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla. Either way it’s essential to bring your wort to a boil after steeping in order to kill any spores that may be in the mashed grain (did I mention yet that JHP is a food safety microbiologist-our beers are clean!). One option could be to cool the temperature down to a steeping temperature and then return to a boil, but let’s be honest it’s 9:45 and we’re just staring our boil, ain’t nobody got time for that! And the experienced brewers and our helpful friends at MidwestSupplies.com didn’t say this was essential.

12 Dogs of Christmas Ale Wort

The SparkNotes of our brew tonight:

Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas clone by BrewToad.com

  1. Steep the following in 2.5 gallons of water between 150-165F (not to exceed 170F) for 20 mins
    • Medium (40L) Crystal – .75 lbs
    • Briess Victory Malt – .37 lbs
  2. Bring to a gentle, rolling boil (approx. 212F)
  3. Add 6 lbs. Briess Golden Light LME (we’re diligent about scrapping it all into the brew kettle)
  4. Return to a gentle, rolling boil (approx. 212F)
  5. Add 2 oz. Cascade Hops and boil for 45 mins
  6. Steep 1 lb of Briess 2-Row Brewers Malt for remaining 15 mins of boil
  7. During last 5 mins of boil add the following
    • .25 oz Allspice
    • 1 oz Sweet Orange Peel
    • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  8. After a full 60 min boil remove steeping bag and cut heat to kettle
  9. We pour our brew kettle into our 6 gallon fermentation bucket, placing the lid on top and add an airlock to prevent infections
  10. We then cool the fermentation bucket in an ice water bath in a large utility sink
  11. When the wort reaches approx. 70F add enough clean water to reach 5 gallons (water should be between 64-72F)
  12. Check your Original Gravity – for this beer it should be 1.056
  13. Pitch London Ale III Wyeast 1318 or similar British Style yeast
  14. Wait for the beer to begin fermentation within the first few minutes, hours or days
  15. Rack to a secondary after the airlock has finished or slowed its bubbling, usually 3-7 days
  16. Add 1 Vanilla Bean for the last 3 days in the Secondary
  17. Take your final gravity (FG 1.016) and bottle or keg you beer!

I’ll keep you posted on our progress. Fingers crossed it’ll be a Very Merry Christmas!

Guinness & Banana Pepper Chili

What can I say – I’m a busy blogger and being new to all of this it’s an adjustment to remember to post. Arguably four posts does not a blogger make… so I have some wiggle room for failure and the opportunity to let this adventure take its own shape.

One part of this experiment that I do enjoy is the excuse to put beer in everything! Why use water? So I’m instituting BEERCIPE WEDNESDAYS! Think of it as a way to get through your work week – you’re welcome!

It’s probably a universal truth that moms make the best chili – in particular my mom. Chili was synonymous with fall growing up. The smell of chili powder and tomatoes stewing in the crock pot that promised a favorite family dinner, oyster crackers and shredded Cheddar.

The smell still evokes wonderful memories and chili remains one of my favorite parts of fall. However, these days it’s a little spicier and 21 and over!

I made this last night warning JHP that it could be amazing or result in take out, and the gamble was worth it! It’s my family recipe with a few tweaks and a Guinness in lieu of water. If your taste buds aren’t in the mood for a fiesta feel free to tone down the cayenne pepper or chili powder – it has a kick!

Guinness & Banana Pepper Chili

Guiness & Banana Pepper Chili

Guinness & Banana Pepper Chili 

1 lbs    Ground Chuck or Turkey
1 lb      Diced Tomatoes
3 oz     Tomato Paste
12 oz   Guinness
1 tsp    Salt
1 tsp     Cayenne
1 Tbsp  Chili Powder
1           Large Onion, chopped
1 cup    Banana Peppers, diced
1           Bay Leaf
Brown meat, drain. Add chopped onion and banana peppers, cook until soft. Put in crock pot with all ingredients and let simmer for 4 hours on high.

*Substitute envelope of McCormick’s Chili spices in place of salt, cayenne and chili powder.

All I want for Christmas…

All JHP and I want for Christmas is to brew two perfect holiday beers to share with our friends and family – what more could we ask for? It’s been a great first year of brewing and it seems like the perfect way to celebrate our graduation from kits to extract brewing from recipes. It’s a novel idea, however we also have chosen to recreate two of the hardest recipes to find!

JHP is not a spiced beer fan while I cannot get enough of the fall and winter’s flavored spirits. Bring on the pumpkin beer, Oktoberfest and Christmas ales. So all I want for Christmas is the Thirsty Dog’s 12 Dogs of Christmas recipe.

This is as close as I’ve gotten and a big thank you too BrewToad.com! I’ve read a lot that 12 Dogs was actually Great Lake’s original recipe, however the two recipes I’ve found online do not seem similar. This recipe which features cascade and sterling hops with a touch of allspice, sweet orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans sounds about right but it’s so hard to remember back to last winter and exactly why I loved the Thirsty Dog’s brew.  But I’m confident I did and I’m confident I want to brew it.

If you have brewed it; a left over beer you dont mind overnighting in a well packed box; or maybe you have the right spy gear and can somehow “acquire” it from Thirsty Dog, I would certainly appreciate it. The recipe I’ve found is online at – https://www.brewtoad.com/recipes/12-dogs-of-christmas

The only thing on JHP’s list is Bell’s Winter White. Which arguably is just a beer they release in the winter and is actually a Witbier we could drink any time of the year, just saying. But he loves it and that is going to be our second holiday brew. I actually love the combination as well because it guarantees our friends and family will enjoy their frosty treats no matter their Christmastime craft brew preferences.

We’ve been on a mission to find this recipe as well and without much luck. So I turned to Bell’s Brewery for answers.

Hi Bell’s! 
We’re more than excited to select our winter/Christmas ale recipe for Christmas 2014. We have been scouring the internet and wondered if you have a link to your Winter White Ale recipe. Never hurts to ask, right? 
Thank you and cheers! 
Sara & Jared

They were so kind to respond but alas we didn’t get too far.

Hello Sara & Jared. There’s nothing too fancy about our Winter White that you won’t find in many other Witbiers. We don’t use any spices – it’s all yeast character coming through. About half and half barley and wheat – light hops. That should put you in the ballpark. Hope that’s helpful. – D.C. 

Like I said, the response was most appreciated but we still have more research to do.

So if you’re feeling jolly and a bit like Santa please don’t hesitate to drop two recipes down the chimney!

Cheers & Happy Brewing!

The Great Crock Pot Beer Chicken Debate

When you have thawed chicken desperate for cooking and you write a beer blog (not to mention that you also have a fridge that looks like the makings of a frat party) it’s not surprising that you turn to google with “beer chicken crock pot.”

I’m not the type of girl who just wings it. I pride myself on my cooking and so both research and serious consideration over recipe reviews is required. While the “how to” is pretty straightforward – beer, crock pot, cook and enjoy. There are seasonings that are teasing my taste buds.

The first recipe from FunnyisFamily.com tosses in garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, salt, parsley, basil and pepper. While Laaloosh.com sticks to the bare minimum to compliment her Guinness and mixes in salt, garlic powder, dried oregano and black pepper. For arguments sake I took one more look at TheBeeroness.com who pulls out all the stops with Slow Cooker Beer & Brown Sugar Pulled Chicken Sliders and Slow Cooker Beer Chicken Tacos with Jalapeño Slaw. My tummy and I are torn.

My pantry swayed the vote and Slow Cooker Beer & Brown Sugar Pulled Chicken Sliders has won out! In all fairness to Jackie Dodd I’ve adapted her recipe slightly, half for fun and half because of what my pantry allowed. Fingers crossed I’ve done it justice and feel free to visit TheBeeroness.com for more beer infused recipes – I know I will!

Crock Pot Sweet Guiness Pulled Chicken

The makings of a delicious meal!

photo 2photo 3

After several hours in the crock pot these chicken breasts are juicy and ready for shredding.

photo 4

It’s dinner time!


Crock Pot Sweet Guinness Pulled Chicken Sliders

Ingredients

1 Bottle of Guinness
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp molasses
3 tbsp brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1-2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
Buns

Directions

Add first ten ingredients to your crock pot and whisk together. Trim and rinse chicken and add it to the crock pot. Cock on high for 4 hours or until chicken pulls apart easy with a fork. Shred chicken on cutting board using two forks and add it back to liquid. Let rest for 30 mins on warm before preparing sandwiches. 


Women and the Future of Craft Beer

I love hearing that women are the alpha and omega, the beginning and end, the most important, dare we say “critical” part of anything – yay us! And at the forefront of our “you go girl” escapades is craft beer!

Bottoms up babes, how fantastic is that!

Craftbeer.com recently published an article “Why Women Are a Critical Part of the Future of U.S. Craft Beer” with a call to action that craft brewers and women alike will love – and rightfully so!

“You may know that women influence 80 percent of purchases across all categories. What you may not know, is that only 25 – 29 percent of American women of legal age enjoy beer.  That’s way too low to really call it the “All American Beverage,” when clearly far less than half of the female population isn’t enjoying it,” wrote Ginger Johnson, for Craftbeer.com.

She is right, we have amazing buying power as women and amazing sway over our peers, in particular happy hour going girlfriends. The crux of this dilemma is the word “enjoy.” While I’d like to argue that of that 25-29 percent that do enjoy beer, there has to be a stronghold of at least 5-10 percent that LOVE beer! Unfortunately those of us are not drinking enough to make up the difference.

And while we’re discussing numbers let’s put all of this in perspective, according to a Gallup pole from 2013 (source), “60% of Americans [say] they drink alcohol at least occasionally, in line with the historical average of 63% since 1939.” It’s also important to note that according to this same report only 36 percent of American’s who do drink prefer beer over wine or liquor. Is there opportunity within the beer industry to target women, definitely! But I’m happy to see that we’re not too far off the mark.

So how can we, the beer loving women of the great USA, help bring our crafted brews to the hands and hearts of our female friends and make it the  “All American Beverage?” While I don’t believe anything (or anyone for that matter) should be your everything, I too enjoy a glass of Malbec from time to time, I do think we have the potential to grow that percentage within the world of craft beer. With the growing popularity of micro breweries, the love of all things local, and quite simply the accessibility of beers beyond Bud Light, women now have options – and what do we like more than options?!

What Craftbeer.com really did was call attention to the potential women have to support the efforts of fledgling and expanding craft breweries; the importance for the marketing professionals at those breweries to see, hear and appeal to this untapped market with so much buying power; and encourage those of us at the LOVE end of the beer spectrum to share with our girlfriends!

With this in mind, I leave you with 3 of my favorites to try:

  1. UFO White – Harpoon – Belgian style Wit beer which translates to – citrus flavor, mellow and crisp
  2. Bodhi – Columbus Brewing Company – can’t not recommend it because it’s one of my favorite IPAs. Perfectly hopped without being overwhelming, and very smooth
  3. Pumpkin Ale – Rivertown Brewing Co – because it’s fall it’s worth falling in love with! This pumpkin ale is well-balanced and sweet

What will you recommend for your next happy hour with the girls?

Interested in reading more: http://www.craftbeer.com/craft-beer-muses/why-women-are-a-critical-part-of-the-future-of-u-s-craft-beer

CraftBeer.com

A new home for a new blog.

The tales of Longneck Brewery are now in a new home! I’ve packed up http://longneckbrewery.blogspot.com and we’re now calling Hoppy Brew Girl home!

At Longneck you can still read about how we got started brewing; our Christmas brew set, our first brew batch and our freezing beer baby (oops!)

But now you can also follow along on my many beer adventures as the Hoppy Beer Girl!

Cheers!

Beer in the Bathtub