Friday, May 17, 2013

Tara Tolliver Shortt: A Lady Who Loves Beer

A lady whose love of beer is matched by her unapologetic love of bourbon and baseball (Braves and Phillies, thank you very much), this daytime Dental Assistant has found a second home among her rounds of the Atlanta breweries, both inside and outside the perimeter.

This is Tara, and she loves beer.

Aside from beer, what are your passions/interests? 
Baseball. I love the Braves, I love the Phillies. That may be confusing to some people, but I make no excuses lol. I can tell you a player on any MLB team that I love to watch play the game. I love going to concerts. Depeche Mode is coming to Atlanta in September! Let the countdown begin!
Before Tara was a beer drinker, she mostly drank...
Vodka used to be my drink of choice, until I moved to Germany with my Army hubby. I slowly discovered the German Wheats, Bocks, Marzens, Hefes, Kolsch, etc. I actually didn’t start drinking craft beer until a few years ago, and boy do I have some catching up to do! Living in Atlanta has exposed me to the craft beer scene here, and I am loving every minute of it! I love discovering new brewpubs, beer bars, and breweries.
Her favorite person to drink with is...
My cousin’s husband, Willy. He is from the Dominican, so he lets me order his beer. That way I am guaranteed to drink with someone that is drinking good beer! I also love going to a bar, and convincing a fellow patron to drink what I am drinking.
When she’s not drinking beer, she enjoys... 
Being from Kentucky, I enjoy the occasional shot of Bourbon. Basil Hayden, Four Roses, Makers Mark. You will find me at The Ted a lot. I love my three Siamese cats, sleeping in, and changing my hairstyle.
Her favorite place to drink is... 
If I am sticking close to home, Trackside in downtown Kennesaw, or Taco Mac on Chastain. Oh, and let’s not forget my FAVORITE, BHB. On weekends, I love going to The Porter Beer Bar, Brick Store Pub and Leon’s Full ServiceLittle 5 and downtown Decatur have a great beer scene. Awesome little beer bars, women are always welcome, and you will find a beer everyday that you have never had or heard of. 
What do you most like/loathe about the culture of beer? 
Just in the short time I have been involved in the beer culture, I can see the rapid growth in Atlanta. I see a sense of community. The beer scene in Atlanta is really small, believe it or not. I sometimes get a feeling of competition, which I do not like. Yes, I understand it is a business, and if you are opting to drink so and so's beer, then you are not supporting that other brewery. But I love supporting local breweries. BHB, Sweetwater, Red Brick, Wild Heaven, Jailhouse, Terrapin. I am looking forward to the new breweries joining the scene!

We all know that beer has traditionally been a guys drink of choice. While I can see slow changes, I would like to see it socially “acceptable” for women to be proud of drinking beer. Why is it OK to bring a house warming gift of a bottle of wine, and frowned upon if I brought a six-pack of my favorite brew? I wish beer was looked upon as being more sophisticated and not necessarily as cheap and low income. I wear a beer stein charm around my neck. I usually get a 50/50 reaction. 50% WOW that’s cool, what kind of beer do you drink? And 50% eye roll.
How do you see women represented locally, nationally, globally? 
It seems to me that every local brewery here has at least one woman representative. I love that. I think as women, we know we can go to a beer fest, open house or tasting, and know that we will be represented!
Are there any beer-related events you’re looking forward to? 
BHB open house is tomorrow, I always get excited about that. Plus they are adding their Wednesday night tastings. The Summer Beer Fest in June should be a blast.
What’s a question you wished someone would ask you, and what’s the answer? 
What beer are you drinking? Pull up a bar stool and lets talk.
Are you a lady who loves beer? Do you know someone who is? To get in on the already evolving lineup, email me at heybrewtiful{at}gmail{dot}com with your story. Meet me here each Friday for a weekly focus on women and beer, or meet the ladies who've already contributed to the growing collection of interviews.

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