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

Next up from Brooklyn Brewery’s Brewmaster Reserve Series…

27 Apr

Gold Standard Export Kellerbier

Last Tuesday, Rebecca and I once again headed out to Hipster-central [aka, Williamsburg], for one of Brooklyn Brewery’s Brewmaster Reserve release parties! As usual, it was a blast (and no, not just the beer… though that was on tap as well, and I was a good little Hops Honey & capped myself at 2!)… and while I don’t write about every one of these events that I go to, I felt like too much time had passed since I’d waxed poetic about how glorious these events are! So… settle in & prepare to seethe with envy 🙂 Continue reading

Beer Tastings + Museum visit = awesome!!

25 Apr Source: http://www.nyhistory.org/node/589/gallery/73264

Imagine my delight, when into my inbox dropped a news release from the New-York Historical Society about their upcoming exhibition, which I brought y’all up to speed on last month?! But wait, it gets better… this news release wasn’t just reminding us about the exhibition… oh no… it was heralding the upcoming series of beer tastings they’re hosting in conjunction with the exhibition! And, of course, they’re featuring New York State breweries! Genius! Continue reading

1 parade, 3 brew-pubs, 5 hours… What up, Detroit?!

29 Mar

Yet again, I’ve been away from blogging for a while… but the reason this time is very much in my favor – I was searching for a  new job and, I’m super stoked to say that, I got one! After six years working for the non-profit ACWIS, I’ve moved back into the for-profit world and secured a position as an Administrative Assistant at consulting firm AlixPartners! It’s a really good move for me in a number of ways… one of which was that I got the opportunity to travel to Michigan for new-hire orientation!

So, what’s the first thing a craft beer-lover does when learning of a trip to a new city?!?! Why ask about the craft beer scene, of course! 🙂 Continue reading

New Beer Exhibit at the New York Historical Society!

27 Mar
Source: http://www.nyhistory.org/exhibitions/beer-here

Bar tray, 1900–1930. The New-York Historical Society, Gift of Bella C. Landauer, 2002.1.3205

My friend Rebecca just brought to my attention a new exhibit that will be debuting at the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library in May, called Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History! I’ve been to the NYHS once before and absolutely loved it, but THIS is a fantastic reason to go back for another visit! Continue reading

A *positive* example of marketing craft beer to women! Huzzah!

31 Jan

As I mentioned in my last post, there’s been a lot of chatter online about how some in the beer industry are attempting to market beer specifically to women… but, alas, their efforts are not well-received for the most part.

The arguments against targeted marketing go something like this…

“Men don’t need beer marketed directly toward them, so why do we?”

“Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate – or demand – full-flavored beer!”

“I don’t need ‘girly’ packaging to convince me to purchase something.”

Generally speaking, I agree with the consensus from the ladies on the interwebs.

There’s another side to the equation though.

While it has been pointed out to me that the numbers suggest that women who DO drink beer generally choose GOOD beer, there’s still a large number of women who have yet to convert to the craft-beer fold. Those are my targets 🙂

SO… when I see that a brewery/bar/business has found a way to simply reach out to a large female audience to make their presence known – no manipulated marketing involved – I get really psyched! Which brings me to today’s example of just this kind of genius!

My friend Amanda subscribes to Daily Candy e-mails, and often sends me snippets from them that she thinks I might like. Now, if you’re not familiar with Daily Candy [gents], here’s a snapshot description from their website:

Pretty great, right? So they have their national e-mails that go out, but they also have targeted e-mails for a handful of cities around the country (plus London, of course! lol)…

New York Los Angeles Chicago

San Francisco Boston Dallas

London Washington, D.C. Atlanta

Philadelphia Miami Seattle

So, anywho… Amanda forwarded the snippet below from last Thursday’s NYC edition of Daily Candy!

IMBIBE
The Growler Station
What:
Fill your 64-ounce classic or 32-ounce recyclable glass to-go bottle with one of more than 24 craft brew options (Ramstein Double Platinum Blonde, Kelso Bourbon Barrel Industrial IPA).
Why: Super Bowl Sunday is one week away. We suggest a wild card round to determine your beverage champ of choice.
When: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., noon-7 p.m.
Where: 26 W. 8th St., b/t MacDougal St. & Fifth Ave. (212-777-2337)

This Greenwich Village location in NYC is the first Growler Station to be opened in the U.S., but there are plans to open other locations in South Carolina, Georgia, Washington DC, Upstate New York and Michigan.

Now, on a personal note, I’m *extremely* happy about this new opening, since it happens to be just 2.5 blocks from my apartment! 🙂

However… lets think about some other ladies that might be excited to have learned about the opening of the Growler Station… for instance…

3 million of them?

And here’s where we come to the part about a rockstar way to ‘market’ craft beer to women… here’s a look at what Daily Candy’s website has to say about their audience:

Ok, so their entire readership is 3 million, and this only went out to the NYC audience… but still, that has to be a pretty huge number of subscribers, and if you look at the statistics above about their readership, it’s a pretty impressive group of ladies!

If you look at the text from the Growler Station’s ‘advertisement’ above, there isn’t one single word that could even possibly indicate that this message was crafted to be aimed at a woman. Heck, you could easily put the exact same message, word for word, in an e-mail from Men’s Journal to their subscribers!

THAT is the part that I love best!

The Growler Station and Daily Candy simply knew that there are women out there who would want to know that a great new shop had opened up – especially, just before the Super Bowl – and they simply wanted to get the message out there.

Brava.

In the midst of all the negative examples of targeted marketing to women by various arms of the beer industry, has anyone else seen any positive examples of marketing to women?!?!

Here’s hoping that more businesses get on board in terms of simply letting women know – via the vehicles they’re already tuned in to, like Daily Candy – that there’s great beer out there just waiting to be had! 🙂

~HH~

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~