Friday, May 9, 2014

Cori Paige: A Lady Who Loves Beer

Cori has balls, and she can juggle them. With three emerging projects currently underway, including a new online magazine (focused on craft beer, wine, spirits and more), a nonprofit aimed at getting veterans employed (in the Craft Drinks industry of course), and an education and advocacy group for Craft manufacturers and consumers, she's one of the hardest working women I know (it only took me a year to get her to agree to this interview--who says persistence doesn't pay off?). 

Though she doesn't know why (I'd wager it's that alluring radio voice she has at her disposal), people just don't seem to say "No" to Cori. So when she asked me to join her team as one of the photographers for the upcoming issue of CRAFT by Under My Host set to debut (online) in about six weeks, I of course said "Yes." I'm only a eentsy, teensy but excited about that. 

Cori has pretty much said goodbye to wish lists because she's too busy making them come true. Meet Cori Paige, a badass lady who loves beer.


Tell us about you. Where are you from? How did you end up in Atlanta? Do you think this is your forever home? When you're not drinking beer, you're...
I have an older brother and a younger brother, which makes me the middle child, and the only girl. I think this speaks volumes about who I am, how I relate to people and what I find amusing. I was born in Seattle, raised in Miami, and moved to Atlanta in 2000. 
It took awhile (4 years) for the city to grow on me and for it to feel like home. I don't know if Atlanta will be the last place I live, but I have a small, incredibly tight group of people around me here, so for now I am extremely content. When I am not drinking beer, I am drinking brown spirits, cocktails, wine or cider (lots of water, tea and coffee too, but no one wants to read that :) ).
Tell us about CRAFT by Under My Host. How did it get started? What makes it unique? Are there any unique challenges/perks to being a woman in the bar/beer scene?
There really isn't anything like CRAFT, at the moment. Our focus is craft food and beverage (alcoholic, nonalcoholic, non-potables), but we will be including anything else that falls in line--music, art, etc. I am all about supporting local (whenever possible), supporting small business (whenever possible), and supporting artisans. 
There is a lot of conversation, within and outside of the industry, about what craft means. My goal is to show readers what craft is, how special it is, and how different the products and the people are in small production. 
Honestly, I haven't really struggled with the beer/bar scene, as a woman. I'm working on the manufacturing side, mostly. My mission is to help manufacturers, and they make it easy for me to do.
Favorite Under My Host shows this year? What did you love about them? Anyone on your interview wish list that you haven't got in your lineup already?
What I love most about Under My Host are the friendships that have come from it--both my friendships and the friendships that have developed between others. Under My Host has been the impetus for some really important projects and relationships outside of UMH. Without UMH, projects like CRAFT by Under My Host, Veterans in Craft and Ferme Lab, might not have happened. 
I don't have a wish list anymore. I've been really fortunate in that I have not been turned down by anyone I really wanted on. I have no idea why. I'd say I write a mean email, but anyone who has received and tried to decipher my emails would beg to differ. I would like to get James Watt and Martin Dickie of BrewDog on. I have a little secret in the bag about BrewDog.

Favorite spot(s) in Atlanta to grab a brew?
The Porter Beer Bar and Brick Store Pub.
New brew loves? Old favorites?
Belgian Ales, specifically Trappist, will always have a special place in my heart; they were my gateway drug to craft. New Favorites? This is a tough one. I always end up saying my favorite is something that I've tried recently. Wicked Weed, 18th Street Brewing Company, Gigantic, 14th Star Brewing Company, Pipeworks, Against the Grain... there are so many breweries that are putting out entire lineups of fantastic and totally unique beers.
Future goals/plans/dreams, either beer-related or not...
Once CRAFT's first issue is in the can, I will dig into Veterans in Craft (ViC) - a nonprofit organization I am starting with Steve Gagner of 14th Star Brewing Company (Steve is currently serving as a Captain in the Army). Our mission is to get vets trained and employed in craft manufacturing. Right now we are building the foundation - contacting manufacturers we know and establishing relationships with ones we don't. Steve is responsible for lining us up with the areas of the military that will help us find vets in need.  
With as much as I have going on, Steve has more, so I'll be responsible for pretty much everything else. It's a huge undertaking, but it means a lot to us and to so many other people in and out of craft beverage. Dave Pickerell either gets credit or faulted for Veterans in Craft. If it weren't for Dave thinking ViC was such a great idea, I might not have had it in me to take on one more project. Not as this time, anyway. 
Once the dust settles, I will be working to turn Ferme Lab into a national advocacy group for craft manufacturers and a source of education for consumers. I can't even talk about that right now, without giving myself a headache! Dreams? I need a vacation! Is that a dream? It feels like one at this point.

Join us for a new feature on Atlanta women each month throughout 2014. Not in Atlanta, but still have something of interest to offer our readers? Requests for promotion and individual features are offered on a first come, first serve basis provided there is an opening in our limited schedule and your brand/expertise meets the needs and interests of our readership. Inquiries, interest, and requests for more information should be sent to heybrewtiful{at}gmail{dot}com.

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