Archives for posts with tag: memphis

MGPO-MSNSTuesday night was the second meeting for Memphis Girls’ Pint Out and it was even more successful than the first! There was a larger turnout – many familiar faces – but it was the first time for more than half of the ladies in attendance!

At our kickoff event, we discussed getting together with other organizations and helping with various causes, and I’m happy to announce that our organization in the spotlight is our very own Mid-South Spay & Neuter Servics (MSNS). MSNS is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing pet overpopulation and high euthanasia rates in Memphis and surrounding areas. They offer affordable spay and neuter surgeries, as well as vaccinations and micro-chipping.

Over the last few weeks, I met with Stephanie Bennett, Executive Director of MSNS, to discuss potential MemGPO-MSNS events and we’ve got a great one in the works for the fall. MSNS will be teaming up with the Memphis Hash House Harriers for a “minithon” benefiting MSNS, and MemGPO and Bluff City Brewers are teaming up to help sponsor. The “minithon” will consist of a 2.62 mile run which will be celebrated with mini medals and beer at the finish line. It’s going to be a fun, family and pet-friendly environment (21+ to drink, of course) and I’m looking forward to getting a MemGPO team together for our first “fun run.”

MemGPO will also be working with MSNS to put on some “pup patio parties” where people can bring their dogs and pay-what-they-can to hang out and enjoy some tasty beer and food. Also, with three new breweries opening in Memphis, we’re hoping to work with one or all to bring exposure to the brewery and both organizations.

There are plenty of events in the works for the coming months, so stay tuned — cheers!

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It’s been a hot minute since my last post, but life finally slowed down a bit for me to get back at it! Now where to start…

The first inaugural Memphis Beer Week kicked off on April 21 and Nick and I headed to the Flying Saucer for the Sour Hour event. Memphis doesn’t have a great variety of sour beers, so this was one event we definitely weren’t going to miss. And boy am I glad we didn’t. Not only were given samples for five delicious sours – all varying in age and style – but each beer was paired with a tasty dessert. All the beers were delicious, but my favorite of the night was the 2009 Rodenbach — it was the perfect blend of sour sweet and it paired perfectly with a nice chocolate brownie. My second favorite pairing was the Rufus with the NY cheesecake. Rufus is the collaboration beer from Yazoo and New Belgium and it was brewed exclusively for Memphis Beer Week.

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Sour Hour @ Flying Saucer
April 21, 2013
(bottom left) 2009 Rodenbach; (top left) New Belgium La Folie; (center) Yazoo-NB Rufus; (bottom right) Yazoo Rye Saison; (top right) Wayan Flemish Sour

On April 23, we made our way to Bosco’s for the annual Brewmasters Dinner and once again, it did not disappoint. Aside from the good beer, it’s always nice because the menu offered includes dishes that are not normally served at the restaurant. We also lucked out this night because the cask for the night was Olde Fool, an English Strong Ale and as you can tell from the picture below (it’s in the top left of each), it was definitely a slow drinker for me as it is strong, strong, strong.

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Brewmasters Dinner @ Bosco’s
April 23, 2013

Although we had planned on going to glass night at the Saucer on the 24th, we decided to sit Wednesday night out and instead, go to Young Avenue Deli on the 25th for New Belgium Firkin Night. The firkin this night was their Rampant Imperial IPA and as an IPA gal, this is one at the top of my list of favorite IPAs — those Centennial hops are oh so tasty.

YAD rampant

New Belgium Firkin Night @ Young Avenue Deli
April 25, 2013

And lastly, the 4th annual Memphis Brewfest at AutoZone Park rounded out Memphis Beer Week on Saturday, April 27. Normally, Nick and I would be part of the general festival-goers; however, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Nick brewed an IPA for this fest so we got to be on the other side this year. And I must say, I rather enjoyed being on the “staff” side. Even though we had to get to the park four hours early, that also meant we got to start sampling beers early ;) Our club had twelve different beers on tap and there was never a slow moment at our table! Festival-goers wanted to know where the beer was available to buy and they were bummed when we told them it’s only available at each brewer’s respective home. But once they learned it was homebrew, they wanted to know more about the process, etc. and the guys are always up for sharing the joy of homebrewing with inquiring minds! Also, I’m happy to announce that Nick’s ‘Extracurricular Hoptivity‘ was the first of our club’s kegs to float! It was a nice feeling knowing so many people enjoyed his beer.

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Memphis Brewfest @ AutoZone Park
April 27, 2013
(left to right): sampler mug; pre-fest; our local homebrew club; Nick serving his ‘Extracurricular Hoptivity’ IPA

Once Memphis Beer Week was over, it was time to move into our house! Nick and I took off work the first few days of May and got all of our furniture and belongings moved in with the help of his parents. We had only been in our place for two nights before it was time to head to Nashville for two nights of Widespread Panic! Despite the cold, rain, and mud, those were two of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

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Widespread Panic @ The Woods Amphitheater at Fontanel
Nashville, Tennessee
May 3-4, 2013

And in other beer news:

  • Nick received the judging sheets on the beer he submitted to the AHA National Homebrew Competition and although none of his beers advanced to the second round, he was thrilled to find out that his saison received the highest score of the five he submitted. This was his first time submitting his beers in any competition and there will be plenty of more opportunities to come!
  • Homebrewing is now legal in all 50 states! With the help of organizations like Right to Brew, Free the Hops, and the Alabama Homebrewers Guild, Alabama’s homebrewing bill successfully made its way through the legislature and was signed by Governor Bentley last Thursday. So cheers to that, for sure!

Next up on our plate: our first brew day at the new house, Memphis in May BBQ Fest, and planning MemphisGPO events!

MemphisGPO Avatar_BWI cannot express how happy I am with last night’s turnout! About 20 wonderful ladies made their way to Young Avenue Deli to kick off our chapter, and we enjoyed some delicious beer and discussed the goals for our chapter for the coming year. I had been promoting MemphisGPO a lot via Twitter and it was very nice to finally meet some of my Twitter friends! Even though these social media sites have been around since I was in college, I still find it amazing the connections that can be made through them. There are so many fantastic Memphis women who enjoy quality beer and want to expand their knowledge and palate and I’m just so so excited that they’re all as excited as I am about this endeavor!

It’s looking to be a busy year for MemphisGPO, as we discussed lots of great event ideas and I’m hoping to bring them all to fruition. Some of the events we discussed: beer pairing dinner at Bosco’s, tour of Ghost River Brewing, participating in 5ks as a team (gotta get our fitness on to counteract the beer drinkin’!), chapter yard sale, clothing swap, a road trip to Nashville to meet up with NashvilleGPO, and the list goes on! We also discussed tapping into our philanthropic side by helping with causes like Pints for Prostates and Beer for Boobs, and local NPOs, among other things. And with homebrewing being such a big part of my life now, I’m going to try to incorporate some educational homebrewing events into the mix — especially after meeting a fellow Bluff City Brewer girlfriend!

Ideally, I’d like to have at least one MemphisGPO-specific event each month, and depending on the beer happenings going on around town, we can always plan a chapter outing to some of those, too. And since we’re all working women, i also want to have various happy hour meetups throughout the month to just catch up with one another and forget the working woes of the day/week ;)

And in other beer news:

fix the beer taxTennessee’s Beer Tax Reform Act of 2013 passed the House Subcommittee last week! This is great news for craft beer communities across the state, and this week, it will make its way to the House and Senate Committees. We’re one step closer to getting rid of our old school policy!

Also last week, it was announced that “The Beacon” – a collaborative ale by Yazoo Brewing Company and Calfkiller Brewing Company – would be released in bottles to bring further attention to the tax that “ales Tennessee.” I was curious to know if this beer would be coming to Memphis since we still tend to get the shorter end of the beer stick, and after tweeting @yazoobrew, I was told it would hit the Bluff City some time this week! Cheers!

It’s a been a beer-related week and there’s more to come this weekend!

irish

Flying Saucer St. Patrick’s Day Glass 2013
Cordova, Tennessee

Nick and I went to the Flying Saucer on Wednesday for the St. Patrick’s Day-themed glass night, and if you’re a fan of spicy and/or chocolatey beers, you need to try the Green Flash Serrano Double Stout. If you’ve ever had New Belgium’s Cocoa Molé, this is the next best thing. When you first try the Serrano Double Stout, it tastes like a traditional double stout — a very roasted, full bodied beer. You don’t taste any peppery flavor upon initial tasting, but as you continue to drink it, the spiciness of the Serrano peppers kicks in while still maintaining the sweet and bitter flavors. By the end of the glass, my tastebuds were in a frenzy and my mouth was left with a heated, tingling feeling (nothing too overpowering though). I definitely recommend it for stout-lovers and those wanting to branch out on the craft beer tree.

Thursday night we went to the Brew Movement Against Multiple Sclerosis with a few of our friends and a good time was had by all. What’s better than drinking good beer with your fellow beer lovers, all while supporting a great cause? Both Memphis homebrew clubs had tables set up, as well the guys over at FuzzyBrew, and I think I spent most of my time at these three tables. What can I say, I like supporting the homebrewers :) Nick and I also made our way to the Bosco’s table a number of times for their American Stout and Red Ale — two of our favorites!

Today, Nick will be bottling his beers for the National Homebrew Competition and for his beer trade with his good friend, Kenneth. I got Nick the Blichmann Beer Gun for Christmas and this will be his first time using it since he had to get the appropriate connections for his set up. This trade has been planned for a while and it’s finally coming to fruition! Nick is sending: an oatmeal stout, a mint chocolate stout, a breakfast stout, two 90 minute IPAs, and two saisons. And Kenneth is sending: two coffee ambers, two habanero honey IPAs, a 120 minute IPA, a wild ale, and a “baby” oatmeal stout. These two started brewing years ago while down at Mississippi State, and I’m excited to try more of Kenneth’s delicious brews!

And later tonight, we’ll be going to a St. Patrick’s Day party at a fellow homebrewer’s house and tomorrow, we’ll head to Bosco’s for some Irish Stout! Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Be safe out there — cheers!

Exhibit A:ribs

Exhibit B:steak

Note: I have nothing against vegetarians. I like veggies. But I also like meat. 

We took a hiatus from brewing this past weekend and instead, enjoyed our second favorite weekend activity: cooking out. After waking up early on Saturday and attempting to make a mushroom and bell pepper omelet (which ended up being scrambled eggs), we went to Costco to get some meat. We lucked out and got the last package of spare ribs [Exhibit A], then headed over to Shannon and Allyson’s house. Since Nick bought his smoker last year and Shannon got his as a wedding gift, the boys have become quite the BBQ pitmasters in their own right. Eventually Adam and Sarah came over, and while we waited for the ribs to cook, the six of us sat down for a nice game of Cards Against Humanity. If you’re unfamiliar with this game, all you need to know is that it’s like Apples to Apples, just a lot more “politically incorrect.” I really can’t describe the fun that is CAH… you’ll just have to play for yourself and find out!

On Sunday, we decided to use my Folk’s Folly gift certificate (thanks to the Memphis Flyer Tuesday Trivia question!) and rather than dining at the restaurant, we went to the Prime Cut Shoppe and got two 16 oz New York strip steaks to grill at home. I had been craving some bacon wrapped asparagus, so I consulted Pinterest and found this quick and easy Martha Stewart recipe. Nick also made some garlic and parsley compound butter for the steaks and we had ourselves a five-star dinner [Exhibit B] — so delicious!

But, we’ll be back in the brewing groove this weekend because Nick’s got 10 gallons of IPA to brew for the upcoming Memphis Brewfest — his first beer in a local beerfest! Cheers!

raise your pintsIt was a big day for homebrewers in Mississippi today! For several years now, legislators, homebrewers, and the npo, Raise Your Pints, have been working tirelessly to legalize homebrewing in the state of Mississippi. After numerous bills crashed and burned in committee, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel! Senate Bill #2183 was approved by the House earlier today and now all it needs is Governor Bryant’s signature! This is a huge win for Mississippi and the homebrewing community, in general. According to the American Homebrewers Association, it can be estimated that about 1 million Americans brew beer (or wine) at home once a year. Now, with Mississippi legalizing it, Alabama is the only state where homebrewing is still considered illegal. and although a new Alabama bill legalizing homebrewing has passed the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee, Alabama still has a long way to go in getting some of their representatives to understand that “homebrewing is not about promoting intoxication.”

fix the beer taxIn Tennessee beer news, the bills for the “Fix the Beer Tax” campaign will be put up to a vote next week in committee! If  you’ve ever wondered why the craft beer selection in Tennessee seems a bit lacking, here are the facts surrounding this push for beer tax reform. This change would not only bring more breweries to the state, but more breweries means more jobs… which is always a good thing. Nick and I attended the Memphis rally in February and there’s a lot of support for this, so hopefully that support will continue in the House and Senate. The rest of the country has already embraced the craft beer movement and it’s time Tennessee did, too!

MemphisGPO LogoAnd finally, in Girls’ Pint Out news, I’m happy to announce that I’ve finalized our very first event! The Kickoff/Meet & Greet Event will take place on Wednesday, March 24 at 7pm at Young Avenue Deli. I’m super excited to get things going with this and i’m hoping for lots of great events for our inaugural year! I’m also happy to announce that one of our members has already graciously offered to be our event photographer! And if you know me at all, you know that I love documenting anything and everything with pictures, so this is exciting news — cheers!

I’ve noticed that when I make new year’s resolutions, I rarely keep them. Therefore, this year, I made new year’s non-resolutions (my theory is that there’s some stigma attached to the word “resolution” that makes them harder to keep). Anyways, one of my non-resolutions is to start blogging again and actually continue to blog regularly… so here we are. And what better way to make it routine than to write about things (aside from work) that are ‘routine’ in my life — namely, Nick, homebrewing, and our love of craft beer.

A second non-resolution of mine is to start the Memphis chapter of Girls’ Pint Out. For those of you wondering, Girls’ Pint Out is a national organization geared towards women to educate them about craft beer and to get them more active in the, predominantly male, craft beer community. After seeing a Twitter friend post about her local GPO chapter, and noticing the male:female ratio at beer festivals and our local homebrew club meetings, I decided to contact the founder of GPO to see about starting a new chapter. She emailed me last week detailing chapter responsibility etc., and MemphisGPO is on it’s way to having a kickoff event in March! And with the craft beer scene getting better and better each week in Memphis, it’s an exciting time for our inaugural year.

Lastly, on the homebrewing news front, we finally became members of our local homebrew club, Bluff City Brewers and Connoisseurs, and Nick joined the American Homebrewers Association. We did a lot of brewing last year, but that was mainly for our personal consumption. So, with these two new memberships, we’re planning on being more active within the homebrewing community and Nick’s already got the ball rolling on that. Last week, he did an IPA judging session for the Bluff City Brewer’s Annual Extravaganza, and this week, he registered and entered five beers in the AHA National Homebrew Competition! Exciting times ahead, for sure — stay tuned!

Cheers!