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Archive for April, 2009

I am constantly plagued by others questioning the direction and goals of my blog (and of my life). Most people want to know why I write it and what I want to do with it.

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I originally started The Beer Wench blog as a way for me to learn more about beer. Past experiences have shown me that I learn best when teaching and coaching others.  By taking on the role of “beer educator,” I was hoping to become more knowledgeable about beer.

At first, my focus was on sharing relevant and interesting beer knowledge, suggestions, and experiences with the rest of the online beer loving community. After awhile, events became an important component to the blog. And now, all of my experience and research has given me enough confidence to start posting reviews and tasting notes.

beer

The Beer Wench blog (and brand) has only been existent for a little over one year. And in that year, the blog and The Wench have both experienced tremendous growth and maturity.

As with my wine studies (I am very close to becoming a Certified Wine Specialist), my beer studies are mostly self-guided. And thus far, it seems to be working fairly well. BUT there is one thing that reading books and articles on the Internet cannot give me. And this is hands on experience in a brewery.

beer-books-blur

Sure … I have taken several tours of breweries. I’ve read books and articles written by brewers. I have a pretty good understanding of what it takes to make beer.

Unfortunately, homebrewing is not feasible for me at this time. I would if I could, but current circumstances prevent me from being able to do it.

This brings me to the “wenchternship” idea.

I am looking for an opportunity to “intern” with a brewery. I want to learn everything about operating a brewery and making beer – from a hands on perspective. I want to learn about the process – from start to finish (from farm to table). I want to learn about the different methods and techniques for brewing. I want to learn about the machinery. I want to learn about the tasting process., the distrution process, the sales and marketing process, etc. I want to travel to beer festivals and ompetitions. I want to touch every aspect of the business.

brewery

AND on top of that all, I want to document my “beer adventure” on my blog.

Lucky for me, I am still young (a ripe 25 – almost 26 years old). I have virtually no “responsibilities” in life (i.e. no children, no mortgage, no pets …) My personal expenses are relatively low (I have very few bills). I am at a perfect point in my life to travel and experience as much as I can – and that is my plan.

globebeer

And so let my search for an internship begin.

Spread the word! The Beer Wench wants to get her hands dirty! (Interested parties, please contact me at anytime via email: routson@gmail.com). 

 CHEERS!

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Question: What happens when you get a phenomenal chef, a wine geek and a beer wench in the same house?

Answer:An endless waterfall of yummy booze and ridiculously delicious food.

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Question: What happens when the aforementioned trio are as equally obsessed with Social Media and Twitter as they are food, wine and beer?

Answer:A crazy virtual beer vs. wine dinner … broad-casted live on the Internet … in a house full of Internet geeks, techies and Twitter-a-holics.

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This past weekend I traveled to Tampa, FL to tri-host a very interesting an unique event with 3 of my good friends from Twitter. The event was a Beer Vs. Wine “smack-down” Dinner – the first of its kind on Twitter Taste Live.

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The tasting menu was designed and orchestrated by the lovely Dolce Debbie, Executive Chef and Culinary Director for Savory Adventures as well as a Personal Chef and Personal Trainer. Dolce Debbie(@docledebbie on Twitter) currently resides in Tampa, FL – with her crazy, yet adorable, husband Barry (@barryfrangipane on Twitter). Debbie & Barry have toured Italy extensively and together they own Savory Adventures, a company that offers a unique and exciting way to explore Italy, its land, its people, its wine and its foods.

savory-adventures

Matt Scott(aka @mmWine on Twitter) provided the wines for the pairing. Based in West Palm Beach, Matt is the author of the wine blog “A Good Time With Wine.” He is also the co-founder of ZsaZsa and Company, an Internet based wine store that offers an elegant yet fun way to give gifts of wine (you can follow them on Twitter – @zsazsaandco).

zsazsa

Naturally, The Beer Wench brought the beers.

If you missed the live streaming of our event, you can check out a video clip of it below (Disclaimer: I say “um” and “like” entirely way too much. But ummm you will like have to ummm just deal with it.)

First Twitter Beer vs. Wine Dinner VIDEO CLIP

Here is the menu, both the beer and wine pairings for each dish … and the winners:

Appetizers – Fried Rice Ball w Shrimp, Bruschetta, Fried Zucchini Straws
Beer Pairing Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner
Wine Pairing Bisson Prosseco 2007

WINNER = BEER

First Plate – Parmesan Risotto
Wine Pairing Bonci Verdicchio Carpaneto 2007
Beer Pairing Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale

WINNER = WINE

Second Plate – Pistachio encrusted Sea Bass
Wine Pairing Deforville Chardonnay 2007
Beer Pairing Jolly Pumpkin Brewery Calabaza Blanca

WINNER = TIE

Main dish – Grilled rack of lamb encrusted in Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and rosemary.
Wine Pairing Pievano Sagratino Montefalco 2003
Beer Pairing Dogfish Head Raison E’Etre

WINNER = TIE

Dessert – Lemon Cake with strawberries marinated in Limoncello.

heisman

In the end, the real winner was the food.  Debbie worked her ass off in the kitchen all night, while Matt and I ate, drank and chatted with both the guests at the party as well as our viewers and twitter followers online.  She is the true star of the party as well as the gracious hostess who made it all happen!

Also want to send out a big THANK YOU to Barry Frangipane. He played the role of host, waiter, busboy and dish slave very very well. 

Of course, a final thank you to all participants – both in person, in the chat room and on Twitter. With out all of your support and interaction, this event would not have been so successful! Big kisses! XOXO!

CHEERS!!!

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Tonight I will be co-hosting my very first beer dinner.

beer-dinner

Now I’ve hosted tastings, pairings & beer parties. I’ve also ran beer tastings at bars and restaurants. I’ve also done staff training (for both beer & wine).

But this event is completely different. Two of my other “Twitter” buds and I are tri-hosting a beer vs. wine event. While the idea itself is not entirely unique, the execution of the event is the first in its kind.

Unfortunately, tonight’s event does not have an official “name.” The closest any of us have gotten to naming the event is calling it “@docledebbie @mmWine @TheBeerWench Twitter Taste Live event.” And that doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue very well, now does it?

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If you follow me on Twitter, you are probably more than aware of this event. If you are unfamiliar with Twitter, you probably have no idea what I am talking about. Either way, let us clarify the specifics!

As a result of Twitter, I have been connected to some pretty amazing people. Some of my closest friends are people that I’ve met via Twitter. Before you start thinking that I’m lame for meeting friends on Twitter … I ask you to reconsider. Twitter has connected me with many people that are as passionate (if not more) and obsessed with the world of food & beverage as I am.

steak-wine

One such person is Dolce Debbie (aka Chef Debbie Frangipane), Executive Chef and Culinary Director for Savory Adventures as well as a Personal Chef and Personal Trainer. Dolce Debbie (@docledebbie on Twitter) currently resides in Tampa, FL – with her crazy, yet adorable, husband Barry (@barryfrangipane on Twitter). Debbie & Barry have toured Italy extensively and together they own Savory Adventures, a company that offers a unique and exciting way to explore Italy, its land, its people, its wine and its foods.

savory-adventures

I first met Dolce Debbie through a mutual Twitter friend, Matt Scott (aka @mmWine on Twitter). Based in West Palm Beach, Matt is the author of the wine blog “A Good Time With Wine.” He is also the co-founder of ZsaZsa and Company, an Internet based wine store that offers an elegant yet fun way to give gifts of wine (you can follow them on Twitter – @zsazsaandco).

zsazsa

Matt and Debbie co-hosted a Twiter Taste Live event back in February. The theme was Piedmont, Italy. Dolce Debbie prepared a fantastic and delicious spread of Italian foods traditional to the region of Piedmont. Matt paired some equally excellent wines with each course. Several people from Twitter, including myself, attended the event. I spent the night alternating between stuffing my face full and twittering non-stop. Matt did a live U-stream video of the event. You can find the original footage on his blog.

matt-debbie

The day after the tasting, the three of us (well and Barry) sat down and started planning out the next event. I suggested doing a wine versus beer dinner … and the clocks started turning.

Tonight will be the first Twitter Beer vs. Wine Dinner event … in the entire history of Twitter. Dolce Debbie has created a 5 course menu. Matt and The Beer Wench are going head to head on the first four courses. Obviously, I will be pairing beer and Matt with be pairing wine. (Bring it on Matty!!!)

The menu is set. Dolce Debbie has already turned into a madwoman in the kitchen. I am actually sitting at a table next to her kitchen (I am the official taste tester) – so I can say from first hand experience that she is just tearing it up in the kitchen! This morning she made us all enormous Belgian waffles SMOTHERED in whip cream, fresh berries & sliced bananas.

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Matt and I are both here – and both of us have arrived safely with our beverages of choice. So without any further ado, allow me to present the tasting menu … complete with the wine and beer pairings. The beers have been bought, so there is no going back now. HOWEVER, I would love comments and feedback about my choices. Thanks!

Appetizers-Fried Rice Ball w Shrimp, Bruschetta, Fried Zucchini Straws
Beer Pairing Lagunitas Czech Style Pilsner
Wine Pairing Bisson Prosseco 2007

First Plate – Parmesan Risotto
Wine Pairing Bonci Verdicchio Carpaneto 2007
Beer Pairing Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale

Second Plate – Pistachio encrusted Sea Bass
Wine Pairing Deforville Chardonnay 2007
Beer Pairing Jolly Pumpkin Brewery Calabaza Blanca

Main dish – Grilled rack of lamb encrusted in Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and rosemary.
Wine Pairing Pievano Sagratino Montefalco 2003
Beer Pairing Dogfish Head Raison E’Etre

Dessert – Lemon Cake with strawberries marinated in Limoncello.

cameraman

Interested in watching the event?

Live video streaming starts at 6:30, with the event itself starting at 7pm. Video stream will be on the Twiter Taste Live home page as well as HERE with a ustream chat room for viewers to interact during the event (you don’t have to be on Twitter to view the ustream video and interact in the chat room).

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