Beer Blogging at its Finest

The cocktail community has Tales of the Cocktail. The wine-o’s have the North American Wine Bloggers Conference (and the EWBC Constance just wrote about coming up!). But the beer bloggers had yet to establish a community gathering to highlight the fantastic work being written, photographed, and published across the blogosphere.

So when you get enough passionate people to team together – voila! – come November 5th, I will be in Boulder, Colorado with other like-minded, passionate beer bloggers for the first International Beer Bloggers Conference. The agenda is jam packed with content sessions about bloggers’ influence on the greater beer and craft beer industries, delicious tastings, and , of course, plenty of time to mingle and get to know all the faces and names we come to recognize in our online community.

Along with other great content, the conference organizers have been maintaining a blog on the site as well. They had a great post earlier this month with some stats that are real intriguing to me as someone on the marketing side. Give it a read for an even greater demographic breakdown.

Their lists tally up over 500 beer blogs out there. That’s 500 people who are zealous about booze – enough so to write about it online! That doesn’t account for even more worthwhile reads out there of blogs affiliated with a brewery or other beer-related component within the industry.
Most importantly for all these individuals, their worth continues to increase as more and more influencers are learning and educating themselves about beer through these outlets of information (See Steve’s favorite pyramid graph here).

The beer blogging industry is making great strides and the Beer Bloggers Conference is one giant leap! I can’t wait to get to Boulder and share a pint (or two!) with many of you who will be there.

Cheers and have a beer tonight! It is, after all, National Drink A Beer Day!


EWBC Taking Over Vienna, Austria - Oct. 22-24

Have you heard of the European Wine Blogger's Conference?

You've probably heard of our travels to the US Wine Blogger's Conference, Tales of the Cocktail, The Manhattan Cocktail Classic and (soon) a trip to the Beer Blogger's Conference in Denver this year... but did you know these great events travel overseas?

Thanks for Ryan and Gabriella Opaz of Catavino.net and Robert McIntosh of the www.wineconversation.com, the organizers of this spectacular event, bloggers from all over the world are invited, annually, to attend the EWBC and explore a different wine region of the world for a minimal price.

This year, the EWBC is taking over Austria for a few days - October 22-24th - with optional wine region excursions the 25-26th. Unfortunately, it's too late to get tickets, this spectacular event sold out months ago, but that doesn't mean you can't get your Gruener on and follow along. The conference is set to be streamed live - incorporating video, a live blog and live tasting notes from participants.

Something I particularly liked about visiting Austria for Vie Vinum was the change to drink wine in multiple palaces all day - and the EWBC is no exception. This event will be held in the Schoenbrunn Palace located on the Vienna's city limits.

Keynote speakers, Elin McCoy and Evan Schnittman will speak to bloggers about their journey of publishing, wine king, Willi Klinger, will lead attendees through a technical tasting of Austrian wine, wine-blogging knowledge will be shared by fellow bloggers, wine regions will be visited and, perhaps most importantly, wine will be drunk! Bring on the Gruener, St. Laurent and Zweigelt!

The wine regional trips will be through Burgenland, down the Danube and to the Weinvertal - these are not to be missed! As Stephanie wrote just last week, Austria is a fabulous place to visit!

Steve gets to attend this tasting so I'll following along from home. SO! mark your calendars, grab a bottle of Gruener and follow along with me- can't wait to hear what you tasted!

Prost! - CC


Austria IS a tourist destination!

What are some of the world’s most appealing wine destinations? This was the exact question Helen Cross pitted at her blog Simon Seeks when she sought us out for help.

Lucky for her, I had the perfect solution – Austria! It may come as a surprise that we have all developed some pretty close ties to the Eastern European country, but I shall explain.

Constance works with the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, whereas I have sung the praises of Absinthe Mata Hari, produced locally in Vienna. And Steve will be traveling back to Vienna in just over a month! Together, we helped to sling Austria to the top of Helen’s post on tourism. Give it a read here.

Constance had the opportunity recently to travel to Vienna and experience firsthand the majestic palaces and roaring hills I thought only existed in movies (The Sound of Music, anyone?). But, from her pictures and her glowing stories, Austria – and particularly Vienna – is a not to be missed destination for wine and spirits.

But what are some other wine and/or spirits destinations that are not to be missed on your lists of global traveling?
Feel free to leave us comments. We are, of course, always happy to talk on all things Austria :)



(Photo Courtesy of VieVinum 2010)


The Wines of Canelli Sign with Global Compact - Go Canei!

Tuesday was quite an unexpected affair for my coworker, Jean, and I. We had been invited by our client, Canei (Jean is the US representative for Canei, I handle the SMM) to participate in a Wines of Canelli, Italy event that morning - but truth be told, neither of us knew exactly what the event was...a walk around tasting? a seminar? Time would only tell. Canei wine is from Canelli, so we were eager to see what other brands would be represented.

We arrived at the New York City building a few minutes early and headed up the stairs to what we discovered was one of the many buildings of the UN. There we found ourselves sitting in a small conference room among some key players within the Wines of Canelli program and within Global Compact. In their own words, the Global Compact is:

The Wines of Canelli have been working for the past several years to join the Global Compact and Tuesday morning all of the formal documents were signed. It was a joyous occassion and a Moscato toast was in order after the signing.

Later that night, we gathered for dinner at SD 26 by Columbus Circle for a celebratory meal with the Wines of Canelli, key wine writers, other Italian entities and team members from Global Compact.

So what does this mean for Canei and other wines from Canelli, Italy? This means that they are members of globally recognized program and are further dedicating themselves to keeping the Wines of Canelli clean and sustainable.

Congratulations to the Wines of Canelli and Canei- they're simply sparkling!

Salute! - CC

Join Canei on Facebook & follow all our updates on Drinks4theHouse Twitter account.


What's Your Beer Tonight?

It’s a Tuesday night. I’m at the grocery store after a looong day of work. Thoughts glide through my head of the booze waiting for me at home. You’ve been there too, I’m sure of it.

But wait? What booze do I have at home? And then, there it was, staring me right in the face.

The Trader Joe’s Mystery Six-Pack. In what else but a brown paper bag! I snatch up the bag, along with my other groceries, and anxiously head home.

The boyfriend and I are giddy with excitement as we await our beers chilling in the fridge. Finally, the time comes to tear open the paper bag and here’s what we had inside:

Harpoon IPA
Kennebunkport IPA
Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Pilsner Urquell
Sam Adams Boston Lager

Wolavers IPA

The Beer Gods were clearly smiling down on me that Tuesday night. I am a huuuuuge fan of IPAs. My boyfriend is not so much. But he was still excited at the results nonetheless – new beers that we get to sample and educate ourselv
es with. He opted for the Peroni, which he, surprisingly, never had before. I decided to begin my IPA side-by-side comparison and grabbed the Kennebunkport.

Maybe it was the fact that we were too anxious for our beers and didn’t let them chill long enough, but both of us were slightly disappointed in our first picks from the mystery pack. Even as the number one beer coming out of Italy, Dustin wasn’t wowed by the Peroni. I think when it comes to light European lagers, he (read: we) compare everything to Stella Artois. And Peroni just won’t ever be as flavorsome as Stella Artois.

As for my IPA….well, that little critique will have to wait another day. Stay tuned folks as I plan to do a comparison of all three of the IPAs I was fortunate enough to have planted in my mystery beer six-pack.



Gruvy Cocktails

Because of our association with the blog, AustrianWinesUSA.com , we’ve developed a gruvy relationship with Austrian wines and viniculture. In particular, I’ve grown an affinity for Gruener Veltliner (For those of you who don’t me very well yet, turning me into a Gruener fan was quite the feat – I typically steer clear of white wines….).

But an Austrian-themed cocktail particularly caught my eye this past week when Anne Brockhoff (blogger at Food Drink Life) wrote an article in a Kansas City paper disclosing the awesome mixology prowess of KC’s growing cocktail scene and Bartenders Alliance.

Mark Church, bartender at GrĂ¼nauer in Kansas City was declared the bar champion of the 2010 Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition with his Refined Austrian Cocktail. The recipe calls for a lot of ingredients not stocked behind the average cocktailian’s bar, but I’m anxious to start collecting and concocting. I do already have the Kirschwasser liqueuer; Hiram Walker makes a fantastic all natural kirsch liqueur.

The Refined Austrian Cocktail:
Austrian gin, Austrian brandy, house-infused aromatized wine, Kirsch liqueur and homemade aromatic bitters, garnished with a grilled orange wheel

Also, if someone could please explain to me what exactly “house-infused aromatized wine” is, I would be greatly indebted to your help! :)

So pay a visit to Anne’s article and read up on some of the other great bartenders and their highly-praised cocktails judged by BAR partner and KC’s own Doug Frost. TJ Vytalcil’s Silver and Sand cocktail particularly whetted my booze-y appetite as well.

So, as my dear friend Ron Burgandy would say: “Stay classy, Kansas City.” I can’t wait to come and give your cocktails a try!