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From Homebrewing… to… Brewery Launch!

9 Aug

On August 31, 2009 I published my first post on The Hops Honey, and this little beer-writing adventure began! One of the things I was hoping for initially—in addition to encouraging more gals to embrace craft beer—was simply to connect with other beer lovers out there, as I was starting my own fall down the rabbit hole of craft beer-worship 🙂

While I’ve met a gazillion amazing people through this adventure, THIS might be one of the coolest & most unexpected things to have come of it  🙂 Continue reading

False Advertising: Your article told me *nothing* about what my ‘favorite beer says about me to a date’

3 Aug

Look out… I’m standing on a soap box and I’m holding a megaphone.

A fellow lover of craft beer happened to post a link to an article today on Facebook… and I made the mistake of reading it. She found the article humorous & wanted to share, and while I get the humor side of it from the perspective of a chick who’s already into “good beer,” the better part of me got really pissed off… Continue reading

300 Square Feet – Could you live in it? Bloomberg (and I!) think you can!

10 Jul

UPDATE: After writing this blog post, I got a bit of attention! I received e-mails from CNN, ABC, and WNYC, asking if they could interview me about my apartment. In response to NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s micro-apartment proposal, many news outlets wanted to show examples of people who were already living in small spaces. Realizing how baffled people are about the feasability of living in a very small space—and embracing how much I *love* finding creative ways to make small spaces work—I decided that I might be able to lend my hand to some small-space-newbies! Hence, The Small Space Savant was born – go check it out after you read on about my response to Bloomberg’s 300 sq ft apartment proposal 🙂

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I realize that this has nothing to do with beer… but this is my forum, so I’m going to use it today to talk about something else that is near & dear to me… living ‘large’ in a small space 🙂 So…

 
… Mayor Bloomberg has thrown down the gauntlet to design firms, and is “seeking proposals to design, construct and operate” a city-owned micro-unit rental building. Waking up this morning, this story was all over the news and in virtually every paper. People, as well, are definitely talking about the idea… and the sides are being drawn – could you, or could you not, live in 300 square feet? (New York 1’s snap poll this morning showed that roughly 75% of New Yorkers could not, while 25% could)
 
So clearly, these apartments are not being imagined for families or roommates, but rather for residents who are single and, most likely, young. Moving to the city out of college, you’re going to be pulling in a less-than-stellar paycheck, and looking for a decent, yet cheap, apartment. How high could your expectations really be at this point? Continue reading

The Hops Honey Heads South!

21 Jun

One of the biggest concerns I had with moving to a new job a few months ago, after 5+ cushy years at a non-profit with a healthy vacation package, was the idea that my traveling would be curtailed. I mean, going from 20 vacation days + 10 sick days + roughly 15 “freebie” vacation days owed to Jewish holidays, to roughly 1 week of vacation, was a terrifying “sacrifice!” Oddly… I’ve done a heckuva lot of traveling since I started this job! Since my first day on March 20th, I’ve traveled to Detroit, MI, Chicago, IL, Louisville, KY and, as I write, I’m on a flight to Atlanta, GA! And wouldn’t ya know, the one thing that all of those trips has had in common… is craft beer 🙂 Continue reading

Dating via Craft Beer

24 Jan

I’ve recently subscribed to an online dating website in order to help jump-start my flailing dating life… and in setting up those first meet-ups with fellas, I decided to establish a go-to bar for these dates, so that I was on comfortable territory. My criteria were as follows:

  • The bar had to be in my neighborhood – a first date/meeting guarantees nothing, so I don’t want to travel out of my ‘hood’
  • There had to be good craft beer available at the bar
  • It couldn’t be one of my ‘regular’ haunts, so that:
    • I wouldn’t be distracted by people I know, and…
    • If it didn’t work out or he ended up being a crazy, if he went back there, he wouldn’t find me 🙂

So… one of the interesting things I’ve discovered, is that I’m totally judgy about what my ‘dates’ have ordered, in terms of the beer! The first time I had a date with a guy there, I ordered Ithaca Flower Power… and he ordered Hoegaarden.  The second time I met a guy there I ordered Flower Power again… and he ordered a Stella, and the third guy I met up with there ordered a Newcastle, while I ordered a 21st Ammendment Back in Black IPA.

Now, I clarify to people ALL the time that I consider myself to be a “beer geek,” not a “beer snob”… but I think that I’ve been snobbing-out a bit on these dates! I mean, I’ve intentionally selected a bar that does have a decent selection, both on tap and in bottle, of craft beer options… and I guess that in addition to the obvious reason of wanting to make sure that I’d be able to drink what would make me happy… I think that maybe I also picked it partly so that I could judge these guys on what they ordered!

Shame on me???

I’m torn…

See, I know that in a LOT of ways, I’m still definitely a beer novice. AND, part of my “mission” is to help introduce girls to craft beer who either aren’t familiar with it or staunchly insist that they do not like beer. SO… *I* was willing to learn about craft beer, and started from a point of zero knowledge… and I’m willing to help guide other gals through the exploration of craft beer… but it would seem that I have a bit of a double-standard when it comes to what beer guys choose to drink!

There’s a lot of talk in the social media craft beer sphere about how us ladies don’t want to be singled out in terms of breweries or bars marketing specifically to women… maintaining that we’re just as interested in quality, and beers with robust flavors, as men are.

And yet… we are in the minority still—those of us ladies who are big-time lovers and advocates of craft beer—and so, I will honestly admit that I love the look of surprise and admiration that we women can often experience when we are able to hold our own in a conversation about beer, or when we belly up to the bar and DON’T need help ordering a beer (heck, and often times end up offering advice to a guy!)… because, let’s face it… guys still don’t expect us to be truly into and knowledgeable about beer. Right?

And yes, there’s definitely a huge contingency of men who are active in the social media sphere who are aware of our presence and recognize and appreciate our love of craft beer (many of whom are on the producer side of the equation!)… but for the randoms you run into at a ‘regular’ bar, *we* still come as somewhat of a [pleasant] surprise. And I like that.

Apparently, what I don’t like, is a guy who isn’t up to speed.

I know, I know… I shouldn’t judge… and I *know* that there’s always the opportunity for me to shepherd a guy through the wonderful world of craft beer, just as so many guys have shepherded us ladies through the wonderful world of craft beer over the years… but… ugh, can I help it if I find myself frustrated that a guy is ordering a Hoegaarden, Stella or Newcastle??

Or… should I take the high road and acknowledge that everyone has different tastes, and if that’s what they like, then they should go with it?! 😦 Such a hard line to tread…

And… in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit—’cause I know some of my friends will call me out on this—that I do drink macro beer… but hey, sometimes I just want some fun water, and am too full to have a good craft beer! I never hide this fact, and am comfortable with ‘slumming it’ on occasion… but what I’m talking about here is first impressions… 🙂

Oh, and I should, in all fairness, add on that the guy who ordered a Newcastle is interested in good, craft beer… and even (in subsequent dates) procured for me some of his friends’ homebrew… but Newcastle was his first love, so he’s happy to order it when he sees it on the menu. Even though my initial reaction to his order was one of judgment, he did prove himself to be beer-worthy in the end 🙂

Soooooo… ladies, who else among you judges guys on their beer selection? Am I on my own here?

And fellas… if you’re into craft beer, do you think we should stick to our beer-loving guns… or cut the guys a break?!

~HH~

Between Beers & Football, On Sunday, it’s East vs. West!

19 Jan

It’s a classic pairing: beer & football! Tailgating just isn’t tailgating without a cold beer in hand… and if you can’t be at the game, where else would you want to watch the game, but at a bar with other fans, raucously cheering your team on to a win… again, with a cold beer in hand! 🙂

This weekend the New York Giants will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game… and the mayors of the respective home cities of each team are engaging in another classic sports pairing: a friendly wager! Continue reading

Craftbeer & Photography

13 Jan

Back in October I took a road trip from Florida to NYC with my road trip partner-in-crime Jayd, who some of you may remember from another beer road trip post I did almost 2 years ago, when we were in California for my friend Megan’s wedding. As if Jayd hadn’t worked hard enough spending all day Saturday photographing Megan & Drew’s wedding, she was gracious enough to shoot some truly amazing photos for me as we visited Stone Brewing Co and The Bruery on Sunday, before our red-eye flight home to NYC. If you haven’t already checked out those photos, you can check out posts one, two, and three that I did on our amazing Sunday driving around the Southern coast of California… but I’ve included a few of my favorites here! Continue reading