Hello. new friends. Allow me to formally introduce myself.
My name is The Beer Wench and I’m obsessed with craft beer.
So how exactly did I become The Beer Wench? Well kids, sit back and allow Wenchie to tell you a little story.
As with many craft beer enthusiasts, my appreciation for beer started pretty early in life. Both of my parents had particular tastes when it came to beer. I almost NEVER saw one of the “Big 3″ brands in our refrigerator. And if I did, it was because someone else brought it over.
My father was (and still is) preoccupied with all things German — especially German beer. His absolute favorite beer in the world is Spaten. He rarely drinks anything else, unless Spaten is unavailable. My father was so particular about his beer that he used to bring it everywhere with him, because he didn’t have faith in anyone else’s beer selection at parties & events. He even brought it in to my cousin’s wedding. Talk about a hardcore beer advocate.
My mother went to college in Boston. My parents ended up meeting there as well and, ultimately, were married there. My mother’s nostalgic love for Boston drove her to develop an attachment to Samuel Adams beer — which is her poison of choice when it comes to beer. My favorite beer memory of my mother was when she told my friends who brought over one of the “Big 3″ light beers that she would rather serve them water then let them drink that in her house.
Although better than most, my early exposure to beer was mostly limited to the Lager style. And I’m going to be honest, the Lager family is not my favorite spectrum of styles. Needless to say, I did not really enjoy beer growing up.
My real interest in beer did not happen until post-college graduation. Part of the reason for this was my involvement in Big Ten NCAA Division 1 athletics. Although I did kick back my fair share of booze from time to time, I drank SIGNIFICANTLY less than the average college kid. It is hard to go on all night drinking binges when you have to be alert and ready to train at 5 am.
Post college, I went through a period of depression and loss. You see, I’ve always been a geek. I love devoting my time and energy to increasing my knowledge on topics of my personal interest. I love to know as much as I can about as much as I can. And once school was over, I no longer had education to provide me a “formalized” platform for learning.
That was until I discovered wine.
And, I must confess.
My obsession and passion for beer spawned my love and admiration of wine.
I’ve been studying for my sommelier certification on and off for almost 5 years. Lack of monetary resources and stability has prevented me from taking the actual test and getting the certification. I have faith that one day, I will be able to attain some sort of wine credentials. But then, who knows. My passion for beer has now surpassed my passion for wine and I may never be able to look back.
My love for all things wine & food resulted in my landing one of the “managing partner” positions at a restaurant in Columbus, OH. One of my main management responsibilities was overseeing all things beverage — coffee, tea, juices, wine … and yes, beer. The owners of the restaurant were extremely environmental and dedicated to sustainable practices and supporting local purveyors. They refused to bring anything unethical and controversial into the restaurant.
We only carried craft beer.
So like any good student, in order to be a rockstar at my job, I started learning as much as I could about craft beer. My knowledge of wine and ability to smell and taste was a great asset when I first started getting into beers and learning about the different nuances about each of the ingredients.
My first craft beer epiphany was probably Bell’s Two-Hearted. The very floral, grassy & citrusy hops of Bell’s Two-Hearted were intoxicating and the crisp, bitter flavor completely smacked me in the face. At that moment, I almost immediately became a hophead. I could not get enough. And I’ll never forget the first time I chewed on dry hops. It was like giving a crack addict his first taste of cocaine.
Ultimately, I left the restaurant in pursuit of a career in the Marketing & Advertising world. I wanted experience in business and the opportunity to put my college degrees to work. It was only a matter of time before I started going through restaurant industry with drawl. So in order to maintain some sort of connection to the food & beverage world, I decided to start writing a blog. And I chose the topic of beer. Knowing how important it was to properly brand oneself, I spent several days brainstorming the title of my blog and then, on one fateful evening in snowy, cold February … The Columbus Beer Wench was born.
Being an active member in the Columbus community, the main focus of my blog was originally on local beer events and beer bars. I started hosting beer tasting & rating events all around town –both in bars and in homes — which I aptly named: Drink With The Wench.
One of the biggest landmark experiences in my beer wenching career came during a visit to Chicago. There I met two men from the importer, Merchant Du Vin. One of the men made it his mission to school me in beer. But not just any old beer — old world beers.
You see, I consider myself to be from the “Dogfish Head” generation of craft beer drinkers. When I first started drinking craft beer, I went head first into the pool of extreme American craft beers. The bigger, the bolder, the better. Sadly, I had no interest in Belgian beers or classic styles in the beginning.
This all changed one night in Chicago.
And my whole life got completely turned upside down by ONE beer.
To this day, I consider my first experience with the gueze style of beer to be my greatest “beer epiphany” moment. My heart stopped. Everything I thought I knew about beer flew out the window in that very moment. I was never the same.
Increased interest in my blog from all over the country made me open up my blog to the world. I no longer wanted to be merely The Columbus Beer Wench, I wanted to be THE Beer Wench — of the world. Eventually, my passion for beer and my itch to travel the world drove me to take “the show on the road“.
As a result of my nomadic nature and inability to stay in one place for prolonged period of time, I have developed the reputation of a “beer gypsy“. Many people often find themselves asking, “Where in the world is the Wench today?“
I’m looking forward to sharing my adventures in beer with you.
We’ve only just begun.
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