Friday, August 29, 2014

{Brewtiful} Sponsors: August


My sponsors for the month of August generously donated in support of HEYBREWTIFUL. Sponsor benefits include monthly mention on the blog and social media, and monthly ad space reserved in the sidebar (this month's sponsors also got some free HB swag for helping to fund my recent trip to San Diego for the Beer Blogger's Conference). 

Sponsorship makes possible the ongoing travel, writing, web-hosting, and photography you see here, which is otherwise wholly a labour of love. You can extend your support by becoming a sponsor, visiting the affiliates listed in the sidebar, or commissioning written or photographic work from our founder. For more information on becoming a sponsor for 2014, please contact me



{Brewtiful Sponsors: August}
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Sunday, August 24, 2014

What a {brewtiful} San Diego Beer Bloggers Conference

Sharing the platform: some notes on collaborative blogging


When I first started HEYBREWTIFUL, I did it because I really wanted to talk about beer. And not just to myself. 

I wanted to know if there were other women like me out there, passionate about the craft, science, and stories behind this glorious beverage. Turns out, I'm definitely not alone. As an outsider to the craft beer community, I still had misconceptions about beer being a "guys thing," but I quickly discovered that adding the word "craft" to the beer scene meant a whole lot of women were also eager to partake. 

I started a series called "Ladies Who Love Beer", highlighting passionate female consumers of craft beer. To date, it is the most successful content for engaging new readers and is now published monthly, with a 6-12 month advance schedule.  

The goal of the series was and continues to be to highlight that women are present, not as anomalies, but as fellow leaders, enthusiasts, and eager participants with the same range of tastes, levels of education and interest in this elegant and diverse experience that craft beer has to offer. 

Fortunately, there's always going to be someone who knows more than I do, which is possibly the best scenario for a writer. It means there will always be more things to learn. More adventures to have. More stories to tell. And that's really awesome.

For me, collaborating with others on content creation is a way I stay accountable. It's the way I stay inspired, and connected to that first wide-eyed feeling of being uninitiated to the world of craft beer. However small an act of activism, being present and visible as a woman in a historically male-dominated realm, invites and encourages others (men and women) to participate as equitable contributors to the craft beer conversation.

Writing can be kind of a lonely enterprise. And although the ease of online publishing means just about anyone can potentially find an audience, grabbing the attention of readers in a climate where anyone and everyone is saying something online, can sometimes be a challenge. By sharing the podium, I have the opportunity to not only uplift others, but connect with those who have experience and expertise that excites and uplifts me and inspires me to keep writing.

Increased visibility, as likely anyone who has an investment in engaging an online audience can tell you, is a currency. And in many ways, you're only as credible as the people you surround yourselves with. Fortunately for me, there seem to be super smart, super creative, super plugged in women around every corner.

One of them is my friend Karie, a talented pastry chef who has a real love for craft beer. I've been wanting to do food and beer pairings for a while, and although I'm really into food (I eat. A lot. Unashamedly.) I'd also already worked with Karie on setting up her website (which included getting her some usable images of her work, some headshots, and a logo design), and we enjoyed working together, so naturally I thought of her when I made the decision to start a new series on food and beer.

I wanted the pairings to be credible, creative, and have a value that extends beyond my personal desire to consume excellent beer and food in one sitting. So naturally I thought of asking Karie if she'd be interested in working together on a series, which I've dubbed "A Brewtiful Pair".

Karie contributes her talents in baking and pairing knowledge, writes a "Chef's Notes" section and drafts the recipe for sharing, and I contribute pictures of the finished pairing, polish up the post with an introduction, links, and then initiate the link sharing and promotion of the content (including posting or submitting the link on sites such as Foodgawker, Reddit, and Craftbeer.com).

It's a win-win. Karie gains exposure for her new business, I get to hang out and eat her desserts. And we both have a reason to spend time enjoying beer in each other's company. Which in a world that is increasingly connected in virtual ways, is refreshing. It's sort of fun to think that with all the brewery collaborations going on out there, that Karie and I are brewing up a beer-related collab of our own. 

What kinds of collaborative projects are you doing with your blog? Are you interested in working with me on a collaborative project too? I'd love to hear from you! 

Friday, August 22, 2014

5 signs your hotel room might be fancier than you are


I'm in San Diego right now at the Beer Bloggers Conference, and I'm staying at the very fancy and beautiful Marriott Mission Valley. I'm caffeinated, hydrated, and as rested as I can be with my internal clock on East Coast time (I've been up since 5:30AM which I'm sure isn't going to affect my beer drinking at all later). Can't wait to officially join the conference activities this afternoon.

In the meantime, I've created this little sneak peak of the fancy things I'm noticing in my hotel room. Because... hello fancy. In all seriousness though, this is a very comfortable and beautiful hotel. I only wish I'd brought my swim suit to lounge in the hammocks surrounding that gorgeous pool (travel fail).

I'll be back to regularly scheduled programming in a couple of days, but until then, enjoy these "five signs your hotel room might be fancier than you" pics!


1. Your toilet paper is more fastidious than you.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

San Diego, Here I Come! #BBC14



Tomorrow, I'm getting on a plane and heading to San Diego for four days. That's right Dudes and Dudettes. I'm California bound.

While we're on the subject, please take a minute to give some love to my sponsors (on the sidebar at the right) who made investing in this year's Beer Bloggers Conference a reality. Their support, and the support of family and friends, have helped offset the considerable costs of attending and I am so very lucky and grateful.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beerside Chatter {Episode 1}

Hi people! I started a new project I'm calling @BeersideChatter because I want to do some more collaborative writing (this blogging can be some lonely stuff y'all). Will you join me?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Wild Heaven {On Earth}



Off Covington Highway at the bottom of a dead-end dirt road, opposite the old-timey car mechanic on your left, Wild Heaven's newly opened tasting room and brew space is waiting.

It's a typical Georgia summer, hot and humid and punctuated with sudden downpours. It rained yesterday. And the day before. Eric Johnson, Wild Heaven's brewmaster, is prepping their Fall seasonal, a Marzen brewed with mission figs.

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