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Archive for August, 2009

You must forgive me, for I have been terribly rude.

mr rude

You see, for two weeks now I have been planning an intense 11 day road trip across the southern most states of the United States. And I have not even made one mention of it on my blog — for which I apologize.

The original purpose of the road trip was merely to move to a TBD location in Northern California.

Now, the trip has become so much more.

A good friend of mine, Shana Ray, developed a rather intruging idea for a market research project for the wine industry consisting of traveling across the country interviewing members of Generation Y about their wine consumption. The project was still in development phase when I ran into her at the 2009 Wine Bloggers Conference in Napa & Sonoma.

WBC

Attending the Wine Bloggers Conference was the final push I needed to move to California. It was the 4th time, in the course of 11 months, that I had visited the “Bay Area”. Each and every time I visited, I swore to myself (and many of my friends) that I would move there. And now I am finally holding true to my word.

This Monday, August 17th, I will be disembarking on a cross country voyage that will take me through the cities of Tampa, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, TBD New Mexico, Phoenix, Los Angeles and TBD NorCal.

xc-map

After a bit of persuasion and a few glasses of wine, Shana Ray made the commitment to join me on the adventure. We decided that there is no time like the present to launch the preliminary phase of her market research project on the drinking habits of Generation Y.

shana

Miss Shana Ray

ANNOUNCING PROJECT Y-INEthe first social media exposé on Generation Y and their drinking habits from the minds of Shana Ray and Ashley V Routson.

Project Y-ine will go past the generic survey questions and talk to people in their own backyards, bars or wherever else they hang out and drink with friends. The research and findings will be documented in an interactive, social media based journal of the experience, utilizing several social media platforms to capture their experience –including blogging, video-blogging, tweeting, facebooking, twitpic’ing, etc.

projectY1

The move could not have come at a more opportune moment in my life as The Beer Wench. I’m about to launch my blog into the next phase. At this very moment, the fine people from Venataur Web Design are working on developing a new interface for my blog. In addition to a new “look and feel,” I am in the process of reorganizing the content of my blog.

BUT. La creme de la creme of the entire “makeover” will be the addition of video blogs. The use of video on my blog will begin with my cross country trip. I have beer events set up in 3 of the cities along the trip:

1. New Orleans with Jeremy Labadie of “The Beer Buddha

2. Austin with Chris Troutman of “Beer Town Austin

3. Los Angeles with Chris Spradley of “Brewerires Bars and Beer Food

I will do my best to announce the dates, times and places we will be meeting for each of the events. If you are in the area, you are more than welcome to join us and I am open to additional collaborations along the way (email me at drinkwiththewench@gmail.com)

Last but not least, I am also excited to announce that I will be attending both the Great Lakes Brew Fest as well as the Great American Beer Festival in September. Details of both of those trips are to come.

Keep your eyes peeled in the very near future for a new Drink With The Wench interface as well as the addition of video to the blog!

Cheers!

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As you may recall, I recently had the honor of being flown to Charleston, SC to attend an all-expense-paid, super special beer dinner co-hosted by the Culinary Institute of Charleston and Samuel Adams.

beer menu

Prior to the actual event, I was sent the invitation above — which listed the various courses and pairings for the beer dinner. Other than knowing the tentative list of food & beers, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from the evening.

And any expectations that I might have had, were completely blown out of the water.

There were several highlights of the night –one of which included meeting and conversing with the phenomenal team of chefs from the Culinary Institute of Charleston.

Two such chefs were Chef David Vagasky and Chef Ben Black — the brilliant talent behind the fantastic appetizer spread.

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The Wench & Chef David Vagasky

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The Wench & Chef Ben Black

At the end of the evening, I got the opportunity to interview the main chef behind the entire orchestration of the Samuel Adams beer dinner, Chef Michael Carmel. Chef Carmel is the Department Chair of Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of Charleston-Trident technical College. He is a Culinary Institute of America graduate, 1978 as well as holds a bachelor’s degree from Long Island University, master’s degree at National-Louis University and he is currently pursuing a doctorate degree.

culinary-of-charleston

The music in the background of the video is fairly loud, which makes the interview difficult to hear. This is only my second use of video on my blog, so I will note this for future posts. Oh and disclaimer number two, this interview was unplanned and completely off-the-cusp. So if I stutter, sorry :) Either way, I hope that at least some of it is entertaining and informative.

THE BEER WENCH INTERVIEWS CHEF MICHAEL CARMEL

CHEERS!

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This, my dear friends (and loyal subjects), is an extremely important landmark in the history of The Beer Wench blog.

I am extremely honored and excited to present my first ever official Beer Wench video interview.

And if that was not cool enough, the interview is with the head brewer from Sam Adams –the one, the only– Mr. Bob Cannon.

BostonLagerPintGlass

As you may recall, I recently attended a Sam Adams beer dinner at The Culinary Institute of Charleston. While I was there, Bob Cannon was kind enough to let me interview him.

Since I was unaware of the fact that I would be given this opportunity, the actual interview is completely of the cusp. Nothing that was discussed was planned in advance — and actually, the “interview” flows more like a conversation.

As you will notice, the interview is in two parts. This is because both Bob and The Wench love to talk — especially about beer.

So without any further ado, allow me to present The Wench’s very first video interview with Bob Cannon from Samuel Adams.

SAM ADAMS INTERVIEW PART ONE

SAM ADAMS INTERVIEW PART TWO

Feedback is greatly encouraged!

Cheers!

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It is hard to believe we are already in the month of August and that September is almost around the corner.

As depressing as it may be for some, I tend to welcome the end of summer.In fact, I anticipate it.

Autumn happens to be my favorite season — and for many reasons. Autumn equals college football season, fall foliage, apple picking, Halloween (my favorite holiday), pumpkin beers (pumpkin everything), wine harvest, Oktoberfest … and lots of other beer festivals.

GLBF_version_4

One such beer festival is the Great Lakes Brew Fest in Racine, WI. This year the GLBF is being held on September 19th from 3-7pm at the Racine Festival Park.

brewfest

The Great Lakes Brew Fest is in its sixth year and will feature unlimited sampling of more than 250 craft beers and sodas from nearly 100 brewers on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan. All paid attendees will receive a souvenir tasting glass.

greatbeergoodcheer (2)

Food served by local restaurants will be available for purchase. The festival also features live music including performances by the world renowned Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps.

Attendance is limited at 4000 people. Tickets went on sale June 1st and the VIP tickets have already been sold out. Basic Fest passes are still available at $39 a pop. They are being sold at a rapid rate, so make sure to secure your spot at the festival ASAP.new for 2009

And why do I think YOU should be attending this event? For starters, I’ll be there. And if that is not enough, then you should go anyways because the lineup is KICK-ASS.

But don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself — HERE.

Although I intend on visiting every pavilion and as many breweries as physically possible, I can GUARANTEE that you will find me in the Michigan Beer Pavilion (Bell’s, Founders & Jolly Pumpkin — oh my!)

Here is The Wench’s list of  GLBF breweries that I absolutely MUST VISIT:

  • Dogfish Head (ummm no brainer)
  • Bell’s
  • Jolly Pumpkin
  • Founders
  • North Coast
  • New Beligum
  • Stone
  • Ommegang
  • Victory

Of course, I intend on hitting up as many breweries as possible. But the ones listed above are my top priorities.

If you are planning on attending the Great Lakes Brew Fest and want to meet up, please leave a comment on the blog or shoot me an email at drinkwiththewench@gmail.com.

Cheers!

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