Becoming: “For me, becoming is not about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self. The journey doesn’t end.”- Michelle Obama
This year I judged my first beer competition “Beer Wars” , and going into it, I was really nervous. I had “Kölsch” as the style to judge and prior to having a few on a hot Summer day, I wasn’t that familiar with the history behind the style. However, that changed quickly once me and a Certified BJCP judge sat for over a hour trying different Kölsch from commercial breweries. In the end, it was a great experience, and I think what was most rewarding for me was being the only black woman in the room and still feeling like I BELONGED. I am so excited to try this beer @boldmissybrewery is releasing next week. It’s more than just beer to me. I love beer and I think Kölsch is very refreshing this time of year, but I think the timing of this release and the woman that inspired it, couldn’t be more perfect. I am BECOMING! ....Becoming the woman I want to be, but MOST IMPORTANTLY a woman I can be PROUD OF! Thank you for this Bold Missy. Thank you for this full circle divine intervention in my life that confirms I BELONG.
There is so much more in store for me. So not only am I BECOMING, I’m COMING for everything I’m working hard for! Kudos to all of you BAD ASS WOMEN showing UP and showing OUT in the craft beer community. I look up to ALL of YOU! - BlackBeerChick
I was dreading taking the Cicerone Beer Server test since I failed the first two times without studying and I failed a 3rd time with studying (not enough).
Well on May 8th, I said fuck this! (Excuse the language—lol) I had a pep talk with myself and got out of my head and was able to pass the test.
It’s small on my list of bigger goals like becoming a Certified Cicerone. But it’s a stepping stone. Level 1 is complete.
Charlotte Breweries: “The biggest competition is myself. I am not looking to follow others or pull them down. I’m planning to test my own boundaries.”-Rain
Today, I decided to update my list of Charlotte breweries to see which breweries I haven’t visited. At this point, I’m sure I’ve had beer from all of the ones that are here, I just haven’t been to everyone’s actually taproom. I think I’m doing pretty good so far. A few with the ** haven’t even officially opened yet. How far have you made it down the list?
After I complete this list, I’ll be working on the breweries in the surrounding cities. And yep, I already have a list. lol
Certified Beer Server: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford
So today I decided to just go for it. I’m working on @cicerone Level 1: Certified Beer Server. I’ve had so much anxiety regarding what type of questions would be on the exam so I just took it on a whim to get a understanding of what to expect. (I didn’t study at all) Plus you get two chances to pass and I figured I would fail this one attempt so the next one I’ll pass. .
The cool thing is:
1. They let me know what questions I missed so I can study.
2. Beer styles are important which makes understanding the BJCP and styles even more important. (I’m judging my 1st competition soon)
3. Practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to fail and try again. I’m excited to finally embark on this journey.
Preparation and Study: “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” - Colin Powell
I’ve decided it’s probably time I got serious about studying for Cicerone. I asked Jen Blair, a Advanced Cicerone, what were the “must have” books and these were some she recommended. (Above)
Another two she recommended were :
-The Brewers Association “Draught Beer Quality Manual”
-Road to Cicerone: Keeping and Serving Beer
In all transparency, I took the “Certified Beer Server” test again and FAIlED again. Why? Because I didn’t study. Growing up, things always came so EASY for me! I was always a fast learner and I usually got things right on the first try. I graduated college in 2011, which means I’ve been out of the classroom for a VERY long time. The way I use to study and learn, may not be the way I study and learn now.
Nothing happens over night, and I think I’m learning more than anything with this process, I have to be PATIENT!
We all have to start somewhere. Ordering these books and getting serious about studying is my starting point. The finish line, becoming a Certified Cicerone one day.
Today I received my official LLC papers from the N.C. Secretary of State and I couldn’t be more excited!
When I started this journey, I had no “end” in mind. I just wanted a way to continue to share with others my passion and not let fear and doubt get in the way. I am in no way a “beer expert” or have it all figured out. I literally went to bed one night and woke up the next morning and decided I was going to build a website. Lol. I won’t get rich selling t-shirts or stickers. Lol (It would be nice.)
But what I am hoping to do, as I continue to share my journey with whoever is listening is:
1. Continue to connect with people in the craft beer scene.
2. Increase diversity and inclusivity in the craft beer scene.
3. Drink good beer.
4. Share my passion with others.
The rest im just figuring out as I go. But I thought it would be cool to sound all official and sh*t.......
so Beer Chick LLC it is. 🍻
Untappd Festival: ”The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice over how you view it.” -Chris Pine
I can’t begin to express how excited I was when I heard that Untappd was hosting their first ever beer festival in Charlotte at the Bank of America Stadium. I’m new to Charlotte, about 3 years, and although I’m not a football fan, I thought it would be pretty cool to drink beer on a NFL field. Pair that with the line up of breweries, and I was in beer heaven!
I took a Uber down to the stadium with some of my friends that afternoon and I couldn’t wait to get inside. While I was excited about the beer, I think I was even more excited that some of my closest friends and bar patrons had agreed to wear my “Beer Chick” shirt to commemorate the experience.
So there I was, black combat boots, with a black tutu and my “Beer Chick” shirt and I knew I could conquer the world!
The clock striked 3:00pm and we impatiently waited to descend upon the field where “Beer Heaven” awaited us.
I got my cute, yet flimsy tasting glass and was ready to orchestrate my attack. I think my main focus was trying stuff I had never tried before. I was very familiar with Charlotte local breweries, so I really wanted to try some stuff from other places.
I think the first thing that impressed me about the festival was the Jumbotron listing live check-ins on the Untappd app. I had always been terrible at checking in my beers, so why bother today. Lol But to see “Sam’s” face pop up on the screen with, over 800 check-ins really made me feel like crap. Lol
As I went around to different breweries, I honestly don’t think the lines were too long. They moved fairly quickly, and what did you expect at a 13,000 ticketed sold out event!
The storm hit and we left for a bit and then came back once they announced it was safe to re-enter. I think my favorite part about the festival was trying out some of the smaller breweries that were set up outside. There was a lot of great variety, and everyone was so nice and gave generous pours!
Overall, I would not call the Untappd festival the fyrefest of beer fests. I genuinely had a great time with my friends and was able to connect with people and share with them my “Beer Chick” vision.
Did Untappd execute everything 100%? No. But I think they will learn from the mishaps this time around and make next year even better!
I look forward to attending next year. Checkout some pictures from the festival below.