Oh, Hello Again!

As some of you have mentioned (somewhat passive aggressively) to me over the past few months, I have been neglecting the ol’ beerspectacles and for this I have no excuses, only apologies. As of late I’ve been enjoying the summer and the beer events it has to offer while trying to build my online presence and experience through beer blogging and journalistic-related endeavors. So in a way this blog post is actually pretty weak, I’m just here to tell you about the different sites and things I’ve been working on/with to try to get you to support them too, and to let you know I still care (I even have a new layout, don’t you like it?).

MNBeer.com

Many of you are already familiar with MNBeer.com or should be; it is Minnesota’s premier beer blog filled with events, goings on, interviews, spotlights, and basically anything and everything you need to know to be as on top of the beer scene as I have. About a month ago, Ryan, the main MNBeer.com dude sent out a call to all followers asking for more hands at blogging, naturally I was very interested. After meeting him at the St. Paul Beer Fest (which was awesome by the way, the best I’ve been to yet), he decided it would be a good fit and I was given a log-in and an assignment and so began my journey with MNBeer, which is only just beginning. They are going to do a full rebrand and website redesign, so stay tuned for more about the blossoming Minnesota beer scene; the most exciting thing I’m looking forward to: Ryan is making a beer blog aggregate! I will also be receiving tickets/passes/other shit related to Minnesota beer, so if you’re ever interested in going to something let me know, my answer is almost always ‘yes.’

The Growler Magazine

One of my friend’s friends passed me along to Jason Zabel (you may recognize him from the now-defunct AV Club Twin Cities) who is the editor of the Twin Cities newest beer magazine: The Growler. I sent him my credentials and some story ideas and was assigned a story about biking in the Twin Cities and how various breweries/styles of beer pair with the different kinds of bikes people ride. This article is scheduled to come out in the August/September issue, which is both online and print. The Growler is a subsidy of The Beer Dabbler, Minnesota’s most successful beer festival organizer (despite my gripes from this year’s winter one), and is paid for by advertising, which makes it free to the public, available at your favorite taproom, liquor store, or homebrewing supply store. Go grab yourself a copy and be expecting to see a lot more of me in there! Your thoughts and ideas are always welcome.

Fusion Chill

As many of you know, I also have a day job that I am technically not allowed to blog about here, so I will not. However, I can’t NOT talk about the beer-brewing I spear-headed for our summer client event. If you follow me on Twitter (@beerspectacles) than you’ve been witnessing the beer as it fermented, but the final update: the beers turned out better than I would’ve ever expected and the turnout at the party was great. More importantly, people LOVED the beer and there was a lot of talk about leaving my job. But as many of us avid homebrewers know, there’s plenty of homebrewers out there who want to brew professionally, but very few actually go through with it – it’s just a dream the helps spur the craft rather than change the path. But maybe one day, a girl can dream. One of our graphic designers did a killer job on the labels as well as coordinated decorations. The three beers: A lightly smoked apple and pear hard cider (everyone’s favorite despite naysaying at the outset), a coffee porter (less people are into these in the summer, but I drank my fair share), and a classic American IPA (for men, since as you may know, I work for an all-female company and we have male clients). Brewing three batches at once isn’t the easiest thing in the world, because it ends up being about a day’s worth of work whatever way you look at it, but it’s fun to get paid to brew beer with your coworkers.

That’s it for now, folks. I have other posts in the works (have been for a while) and I promise – pink swear – that I will be better about my avid beerspectacles fans. I love you all. Cheers!

Yesterday: Black IPA. Today: Multimedia Beer Experiences!

Yesterday I decided after another long day of work that it was time to brew that black IPA I was all big talk about. My friend, a local reporter, filmed me as I did it, and here’s what he came up with. Watch it to the end, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for all your love and support. When the beer’s ready, you can have one on me! Cheers!

Here’s to Those Who Wish Us Well…

Hello and welcome to the Beer Spectacles! For some of you, this may be the first beer blog you follow; for others, this may be the millionth. Whatever your fancy, this beer blog aims to have a nice mouth-feel and a smooth finish (beer terminology… you’ll get into it, I promise).  But first, a little about me and my goals. Then you can decide if you want to tap the keg… of knowledge.

Me: A 20-something Midwestern female with a unquenchable thirst for beer and beer knowledge. If you didn’t already know, I grew up overseas, experiencing some sort of bizarro “American” lifestyle. I mean bizarro in the nicest way possible, of course, as this inside-outsider perspective encouraged me upon my repatriation to explore all things American with the avid desire to just fit in and have something cool to talk about that everyone can relate to/learn from (especially, of course, on a weekend night). Sophomore year of college, beer became this exact thing. Sure I was under 21, sure I had no idea that my college’s local liquor store had a very mediocre craft beer selection, but boy did I get into it. That year, I was enrolled in the anthropology department’s methods course on ethnographic interviewing and sad that my lead at the local funeral home didn’t work out, I skulked into the homebrewing supply store across the street, where I met my very attractive, very first ‘informant’ (anthro term for person who talks to you for hours, having great patience, explaining every little thing about their culture or microculture).  It was all downhill from there, becoming obsessed with understanding every nuance of different beer styles and the homebrewing process, wanting so bad to be part of it all. A semester later, Keith (the pseudonym for my informant, another anthropology precaution) gave me a great discount on my first homebrewing set and having moved off campus, I was ready to brew… And brew hard. A billion beers later (ones I brewed, ones my friends brewed—brew crew!, and ones I salivated over at the bar), I’m here. Writing this. Just for you. It was always just for you.

My goals: Are pretty straightforward. I want to share my love, life, and experience with beer with you all. Minnesota’s beer scene is literally exploding right now, and I want to be part of it and I can’t help but be part of it and I want you to be part of it, too. There will be posts about how to start homebrewing, what I’m brewing, where to find good information on brewing/beer/breweries, cool bars to go to (and reviews of cool bars I like to go to, or cool bars that have terrible beer lists), reviews of brewery tours and beers (new and old), discussions about what it means to be a craft beer lover and supporter, what’s in, what’s out, and how to pour well (not a Mike pour). That’s why it’s called the Beer Spectacles. Refine your beer goggles.

So let’s embark on this together. Like the toast my heterosexual lifemate Hannah gives, “Here’s to those who wish us well, and all the rest can go to Hell!” Cheers!