seasonal beers

Bring the essences of the season’s activities straight to the pint glass. And no, it doesn’t have to taste like a pumpkin spice latte. Crisp nights call for darker, maltier and more complex beers to warm us up from the winter chill in the air. And as a bonus, these tasty seasonal beers will pair perfectly with your favorite flannel and beanie. (more…)

craft beersI love to travel, and it goes without saying that I love beer. A lot. And when you pair the two together? Y-E-S. It’s the biggest thrill to travel to new places and check out their local beer scene. Brew-filled adventures really can’t be beat.

Iceland is blowing up on the travel scene right now and for good reason—it boasts stunning natural beauty, extreme activities, cheap flights and craft beers! That’s right, this small country has shot to the top of everyone’s bucket list for some seriously amazing beauty and brews. (more…)

craft beer

We’re so excited to announce that Greenwood Brewing is hosting an exclusive Reveal Party on Saturday, December 9th, 2017 from 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM.

Come join us at Brat Haus in Scottsdale, Arizona as we reveal our new brand, our newest ale, and several mystery flavors of beer that have never been released (or tasted) yet!

RSVP today to save your spot and receive free entrance, 2 free drink tickets, and the chance to taste a brand new craft beer that is not yet available to the public.

We can’t wait to see you there!

RSVP Today

beer ingredientsYou’re out at your favorite bar, sitting there holding a beer looking down at that bubbly goodness and you wonder, “What is in this beer anyway?” (other than deliciousness.) Has this ever happened to you? You love the stuff, or just recently have started to, and you wonder what are the basic beer ingredients in that frosty mug. Beer isn’t complicated, like most of the best things in life. It’s been around for thousands of years – I know, it’s wild! There was beer life before Budweiser. (more…)

craft brew

In this installment of Craft Brew News, we’re putting the spotlight on Rwandan entrepreneur – or our version, entreprebrewer – Josephine Uwineza. She’s set her sights on disrupting the pub culture in the Central African nation by opening the country’s first micobrewery. How cool is she?! Not only are there no craft breweries in Rwanda right now, but the first will be owned and operated by a woman. Inspiring? A resounding YAS!

craft brew 2

There have been microbreweries popping up all over South Africa, Kenya and Botswana, but they haven’t made their way to Rwanda. Until now.

Not only is Josephine “Fina” a game-changer being a female opening the first brewery, the brewery will also provide training and employment to local women from nearby villages.

“There’s no craft brewery owned by a woman in Rwanda—not only never owned by a woman, but there’s no craft breweries in Rwanda right now,” Uwineza told TakePart.

Fina’s craft brew pub will be 100% women-owned and operated. Talk about market disruption!

As far as what kind of beer they’ll be brewing, their goal is to use ingredients already being grown in Rwanda. These ingredients include bananas, sorghum, cassava and millet. Banana beer in particular is a popular drink in East African nations.   

Rwanda stands out as a country making great strides for the empowerment of women and gender equality. During the 100 day genocide of 1994, nearly one million people were killed and Rwanda is still recovering. Following the tragedy, Rwandan women made up 70 percent of the population  and played a major role in building a new government. Today, Rwanda boasts the highest percentage of women in government globally, with women holding 64% of government positions. And Rwanda has ranked in the top 10 countries for gender equality in the World Economic Forum’s annual report.

Josephine Uwineza is an extraordinary example of what can happen when women are empowered to reach their full potential. According to Girl Talk HQ, Josephine was able to make her dream a reality through  investments from other female entrepreneurs.

“Rwanda really encourages women to try in any business. My main concern is the women in the village who are going to grow the raw material. Those are the people I’m going to empower, because this is a demand that’s going to be constantly needed,” she told TakePart.com.

Women have been among the pioneers in the craft beer revival starting in the 80’s and have attracted more and more women to the ever-growing craft brewing industry. In fact, women have taken a commanding role in the craft brew industry.  

There are many women, like Josephine, who are committed to changing the way people think about craft brew industry and who are making an incredible impact. Here at Greenwood Brewing, it’s important that we do the same – we want to keep the conversation going and continue to help empower women all over the world. Thank you, Josephine, for inspiring us!

To learn more about Rwanda Craft Brewery Project’s Kickstarter, click here. | Photo Source

Ready to dive into different brews and the stories behind the people who drink them? Subscribe to Greenwood Brewing now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References: https://truththeory.com/2016/10/02/rwanda-craft-beer-opens-door-female-empowerment/, http://sheinspiresher.com/josephine-uwineza-rwandas-unexpected-brewer/, http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/09/25/rwanda-brewery/, https://www.alternet.org/food/rwanda-craft-beer-opens-door-female-empowerment, https://www.forbes.com/sites/lesliewu/2016/10/27/brewing-change-in-rwanda-with-a-woman-owned-craft-beer-facility/#73838eff6d45, http://girltalkhq.com/rwandan-female-entrepreneur-set-open-countrys-first-craft-beer-brewery/, https://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine/2016/09/20/beaus-bringing-craft-beer-to-rwanda.html, https://beaus.ca/beaus-natural-launches-rwanda-craft-brewery-project/, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2014/apr/07/rwanda-women-empowered-impoverished

 

brewingGreenwood Brewing boasts beer made for women by a woman.  It highlights the experience of drinking beer and the sense of adventure and creativity it provides. Megan Greenwood, the founder, is working hard to create representative beers to encourage women (and men!) from all walks of life to get together, discuss exciting topics, laugh, learn a little  about beer and drink a delicious beverage along the way. (more…)

calories in alcohol

Let’s be real: alcohol isn’t exactly health elixir. The ugly truth is that alcohol can’t exist without calories. I know, sad… but true.  

Just because calories are inevitable in your favorite brews and cocktails  doesn’t mean you have to give them up for good. Because the truth is (at least in our opinion), there’s nothing better at the end of a long day than rewarding yourself with a cold, frosty glass full to the brim of your favorite beer. (more…)

beer stylesYou sit at the bar and are faced with a drink book instead of a menu, and 30 taps to choose from—what’s a casual beer-drinker to do?

Don’t panic! We can help you through this. (more…)

Today* is the day my roommate has officially moved out of Phoenix and our apartment, and back to The Shire – aka Iowa. Meghan Hackbarth, the woman you go to for style tips and shoe consulting, relationship questions and resume builders. She’s been the friendly face in my apartment who has a smile when you’ve had a tough day, and a glass of wine ready for you when you’ve had a really tough day. Ok fine, two glasses of wine. Most of our nights were filled with laughter, and this night was no different.

It was a perfectly warm evening in Phoenix, AZ, the day before our interviewee turned the big (but little) 3-0. We had just flown-in from Chicago where we spent the weekend celebrating (and surprising!) Meghan with friends and family, and of course, plenty of beer! We decided we weren’t quite ready to go back to reality; so instead, we Passed Go and cabbed directly from the airport to our favorite spot, OHSO Brewery. Carry-on bags and all.

OHSO is a Sunday treat, where we escape the evening drag of remembering that tomorrow is a workday and we’ll have to be real people. The back patio is one of the best in town, great people watching, always cute dogs, and obviously no judgment because everyone else is just as rosy-cheeked as you.

I should mention, Meghan is also from Iowa. She’s lived in several places… but I’ll let her tell you.
“So Meghan, where else have you lived?” I question her.
“Well, first I started in the womb. Joan Hackbarth.”

She makes a great point

“Then I lived in D-port city, that’s Davenport, IA. I’ve lived in Iowa City, Peoria, IL, Phoenix, Cedar Rapids…”
Cedar Rapids is the city that Meghan is moving back to, and it’s unusually close to Sutliff Cider, Meghan’s favorite beer.** Maybe Sutliff is the reason for Meghan moving back to Iowa? I’ve questioned it myself.

To put the rest of this conversation in perspective, my objective is to understand the beer drinker. And still, most of our interview went like this (we’re recording):

“So Meghan, what’s your favorite beer?”
“Wait, are you going to play this on your website?” Whispers Meghan.
“They can hear you.” I laugh-whisper back. Trying to explain that we’re recording.
“I thought this was for your notes only.” She says. Of course, still whispering.

(Break for Laughter)

“I don’t know, maybe!” I respond. I mean who knows? Anything is a podcast these days.
“Oh I hope not,” she replies. “Wait, what did you ask me??”

(Break for more Laughter)

We’re already teary eyed from our off-to-a-great-start interview.
“I asked you Meghan [the most simple question of this conversation], what kind of beer do you like!”
“Oh! We’re talking about beer?!”

(All the laughter.)

The conversation continues like this, constant giggle interruptions.

We managed though to drink several beers, no worries there. We started with OHSO’s Orange Pedal and American Pale Ale. What’s great about OHSO, and most craft breweries, is that the staff takes notice to your palate and recommends their next tasty option on the stacked menu.

Middle of the interview, we needed beer number 2 so we solicit another. Meghan asks, “What is your lightest beer?” Speaking for myself but you may have been there, if you’re in for a night of craft beers, it’s tough – or should I say tight – on your waistband. So lighter craft beers tend to keep us at least feeling like we’re drinking one of our old American buddies, Busch Bud or Miller (light). They’ll always have a soft spot in our hearts… and the low-calorie is a nice perk. But don’t be fooled, the lighter or fruitier the craft beer, doesn’t mean lower calorie. Hopefully one day we can get there. As Meghan expresses when I asked her whether she likes her beers light in flavor or light in calories, “Both. Light means light.” Great point. Noted.

But anyone who knows Meghan knows the reason why she moved back to Iowa is to be closer to family and friends. Even when Meghan recalls her warmest memories drinking beer, she says,

“I would associate beer with good family and friends, having conversations in a new environment.”

One of those recent environments was a wedding of some of Meghan’s friends from Camp Wapsie (Go Coggonites!). She loved how they had craft beer on tap at their wedding. Particularly – you guessed it – Sutliff Cider!

“It was so fun to experience a big celebration like that and be able to enjoy what you were drinking… it was fun to have different flavors.”

It may have been so much fun, that it brought out some of Meghan’s favorite “great fond memories” of drinking beer. I didn’t yet mention, but Meghan is a Def Leppard fan. L-O-V-E-S Def Leppard. Pour Some Sugar On Me is her theme song, and sometimes she takes it a bit literally.
If you didn’t know, that buzz that we get from drinking alcohol? That’s the by-product of yeast eating sugar. Well, there is plenty of sugar in beer (as we know because of that cringe we give when we read the back of some beer labels). And sometimes, when the PSSOM theme song comes on, some people just can’t resist pouring that sugar.

Wait, “pouring the actual liquid on themselves, do you do that?” I had to know.
“I wouldn’t recommend whiskey or wine. Especially if you have on, like, clothes.”

Bravo my dear. Bravo.

Although it is bittersweet, we have to end this day for Meg to retreat to Iowa, and the interview. My last question is asking what makes Meghan come alive. “I would say my friends and family, laughter and enjoying conversation with people that I love.” And Meghan and I shared some knee-slapping, shoulder-crying and write-it-in-the-books conversations.

“Any last words Meg?” I asked.
“I would say If you ever are looking to drink a beer with a good person, I would recommend Megan Greenwood, she gives great advice on beer. Whenever I go out I always ask her what I should order, what I should be doing and what I should be wearing.” Meghan’s plug for me.
“Mostly she’s lying about the wearing part, just the drinking part.” I respond.
“Yeah just the drinking part,” she replies.

(Laughter)

“Well I appreciate you saying that Meghan. I really enjoy beer.”
“What can I say you know your beer. You know what you know. And that’s what you know. You know?” Famous last words by Meghan. Couldn’t have left it better.

So today my incredible friend heads back to The Shire. But I am so happy for her to be following her dreams.

“We’re going to let this interview ferment. Thank you Meghan Hackbarth. Cheers!”
“I thought you were gonna write this sh*t down!!”

Ba-dum-chhhh

 

*Written May 2017. New jobs and travel delays mean this posted June 27, 2017
**Upon further investigation, cider is not a beer. Although some say it’s a middle ground between beer and wine and even champagne! But cider is made of fruit. So not beer. I know, sad.

Kirsten and I began our interview at the Ungs’ family Christmas on December 18th, 2016, with the warmth of family chattering in the background. We were only interrupted a few times by family members departing the festivities, cousins wanting to play toy-cars, and uncles remembering Coors light sitting outside in the sub-zero Iowa weather. Kirsten and I enjoyed a few beers during our time together, but we began with a Potosi Cave Ale, a Wisconsin-brewed beer. Kirsten’s love for beer flows through her veins,

“There are so many different levels of drinking beer that I love… I think a big turning point for me was seeing beer as sacred in one way, but then again just a good buddy when you need to feel relaxed in this moment.”

Her passion speaks from the edges of her eyelashes to the tips of her toes. We spoke about beers and the Ungs Manhattan (1 1/2 oz brandy, 1/4 oz dry vermouth, stir and serve on ice with 2 olives) and how much we both enjoy our Bud heavy – the light and refreshing classic, “if it’s cold even better. And if it says America on it, double the better!” But Kirsten’s unforgotten moment that beer “kicked it for her” was drinking beer in Denmark with her Danish Father and Uncle, in an underground and secretive wine cellar. Kirsten was the only American in a table full of suspecting Danes during a country-of-the month beer tasting. To her luck, this month they were featuring America. As many of us can sympathize, Kirsten was the first to pour her drink, and not realizing the strength of the beer (12% ABV), she pours her 16oz glass almost full. Her brows raise as she passed beer to the next person, and the next person, each only taking about 2 tablespoons. Giggling as she tells me, she was thinking, “oh shit, clearly they don’t have a lifetime supply of this beer”. Four hours and 20-or-so tastes of beer later, the weird and foreign Americans together with the Danes, submerged out of a dark basement as friends.

“Beer can change people’s perspective of each other and it can really open people up. Maybe in a way that nothing else can. And it’s not about rosy cheeks and it’s not about getting a little bit tipsy, but it’s about gathering people and sitting down for one purpose, and that’s beer. But in turn it can bring about much more than that.”

We continue the conversation talking about non-beer topics. I like to know two things about a person, why do you come alive? and what makes your heart break? Kirsten tells me how she comes alive when she rides her bike, Cherry Rose (Cherry for short). If she could, she would even make Cherry her lifelong means of income, delivering goods or tours on bikes – possibly even in Madison, WI where she currently resides. What breaks Kirsten’s heart is something I think everyone can relate to, and that is people in a power position taking advantage of the vulnerable, specifically when it comes to mental illness. We talked a lot about how this can mean a variety of things, but we ended deciding that if we start in small ways, discussion, and being present, we can create change. She is 26, an artist, a beautiful soul, and – stealing her own beer words from our interview – is inspiring as hell!

“Just sit and listen to each other talk, and hear what the other people have to say, and cheers to something cold or room temperature. It can do beautiful things.”

— Kirsten Sogaard