DRINK WITH THE WENCH PRESENTS:
The Beer Blogger Interview Series
Curious what goes on in the minds of your favorite beer bloggers? Well, The Beer Wench is and she has embarked upon a mission to interview as many beer bloggers that she can — from all over the world. Are you a beer blogger? Do you want to share your story? Send me an email!
INTRODUCING: LISA MORRISON
AUTHOR OF: BEER GODDESS
Beer Blogger Interview
1. Where did you grow up?
Tulsa, Okla., then we moved to Evergreen Colo., when I was in high school.
2. What sports if any did you play growing up, through college and beyond?
I was a “Glee” geek.
3. How old were you when you had your first beer?
Sips? A kid from Dad’s Busch cans. I always liked it! First full beer was probably in college. “Back in the day” in Colorado, you could drink “3-2 beer” (3.2 percent ABV) when you were 18! They even had little bars for us 18-20 year olds to hang out in. The one in Fort Collins, where I went to college, was called The Library, which was great because if your parents called, your roommate could say you were at The Library. It worked until my parents found out about The Library. Then, even if I was at the library, they thought I was at The Library.
4. If you can recall, what is the story of your first beer? Where did you have it? What style and brand was it?
See above, that’s all I remember!
5. Where, if applicable, did you go to college? What did you study? What additional activities, organizations, sports did you partake in during college?
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo. (Go Rams!) I got a degree in Journalism. I worked all through college, first as the assistant to our professor in Broadcast Journalism, teaching the labs that I had just completed. Then, I got an internship at a local commercial radio station, which turned into a job as their cub reporter, reading the news in the afternoons and covering city council and school board meetings; so I was doing that AND the lab work at school. It didn’t give me a lot of time for extracurricular activities!
Craft Beer Epiphany
Every craft beer enthusiast has at least one pinnacle craft beer experience that completely changes ones perspective on beer. I refer to this mind-blowing moment as a “craft beer epiphany.”
1. What was your first craft beer epiphany? Recall as many details about it as you can:
My first craft beer epiphany was when I was working as a TV reporter in Fort Collins. I got to go cover the opening of a place called Coopersmiths (which was related to Wynkoop, which had already opened in Denver). They gave us tastes of the beers they were making and I thought it was great! I noticed a few other reporters were making “bitter beer” faces (this was a time of macros and the land of Coors Light, remember) but I couldn’t understand why. Of course, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I had been drinking imports and doing the World Beer Tour or whatever they called it at Old Chicago restaurant in town, so I think my palate was more up to the challenge!
2. Have you have additional craft beer epiphanies since the first? Detail as many of them as you wish:
Here’s another: My (now) husband and I were moving to Portland from Colorado. This was 1989. (Yep! I am that old!) He had already moved here and I was finishing up my job there. He called me one day and was going on and on about this great beer he had at a place called McMenamin’s. Our first day moving in, he took me there. I ordered a beer called a Hammerhead. It was amazing! I knew I was going to love Portland. We spent a lot of time cruising around looking for great beers back then. Oh, wait. We still do!
I have craft beer epiphanies all the time, though. It’s one of the things I love about craft beer. There’s always something new that blows me away. I think the biggest one I had was a few years ago, after I had been writing for awhile and someone called me an “expert.” I don’t consider myself an expert. I consider myself a lifelong craft beer student. Because the one thing I’ve learned is the more I know about beer, the more I realize how little I know.
Beer Blog Background
1. How long have you been writing your beer blog?
Over a year for Hoppress and about the same for beergoddess.com, but I’ve been writing about beer for more than a dozen years. I started with an online twice-monthly column in 1999. That was before there was anything called a blog!
2. What inspired you to start writing your blog?
I love how it reaches out to so many people.
3. Why did you choose the name of your blog?
Beergoddess is my nickname. Hop Press was assigned by rate beer.
4. What are you personal goals for your blog? What do you hope to achieve with it?
Spread the good-beer word — just like everything else I do.
5. What is one of the coolest things that happened to you as a result of being a beer blogger?
Actually, the coolest thing that happened to me was when I won the Beer Journalism Award for “electronic media” in 2004. It was the first time the Brewers Association gave out the awards, and I was the first woman to receive one. I also was up there with Stan Hieronymus and Michael Jackson, which was a big honor.
6. What are you top 3 favorite beer blogs/beer websites?
There is no way I could narrow it down to just three! Plus, they kind of change all the time.
1. What are your top 3 favorite beer styles?
Today? Pilsner, IPA, Flanders-style Red. No, wait. ESB, Cascadian Dark Ale, Saison …
2. What are your top 3 favorite breweries?
Besides all my local peeps you mean? Because there is no way I could ever pick out three from my locals! I am going to go for some smaller breweries that might not be as well-known but deserve some attention:
- Lost Falls Brewing, Colville, Wash. They open their doors to the public only a couple of times a week, and the place becomes THE hangout in town. Folks bring potluck dishes, homemade sausages, cookies, etc. and they just hang out, chat with their neighbors and drink all the delicious beer up and then leave. It’s a hoot.
- Le Cheval Blanc in Montreal, Canada. It’s a funky, friendly fantastic little place that makes great beer. And my hubby and I had a wonderful time there a few years ago, sipping on one of the most amazing imperial stouts I have ever tasted, talking hockey with the locals and brushing up on our really awful French.
- NOLA Brewing, New Orleans. I heart New Orleans, but until NOLA showed up, they really didn’t have very good local beer. The Hopitoulas IPA is even bracing enough for this Northwest hophead! Now, I can dance to my favorite music, eat all that wonderful southern food AND have good beer at the same time.
3. If you could work with or for any one brewery, which one would it be and why?
I think my efforts are best served working for ALL the great breweries by promoting craft beer. But I might be convinced otherwise if the right offer showed up.
4. Are you a homebrewer? If yes, what is the most unique and interesting beer recipes you’ve brewed as a homebrewer?
Yes, but it’s been a while. My favorite beer was one I created after I dreamed about it one night. It was probably a good eight years ago, it was a vanilla bean porter and at the time, I don’t think anybody was doing stuff with vanilla beans. It turned out yummy!
5. Do you have any beer certifications (BJCP, Cicerone, Siebel, American Brewers Guild)?? If so, what are they?
Nope, not yet. Sometime soon, I hope!
6. What is your favorite beer and food pairing?
Oysters and stout. But ask me again in a few minutes and it will be different.
The Personal Side
1. What is your current day job?
I am now full-time Beer Goddess, because I also have a weekly radio show called Beer O’Clock: the show for people who love great beer. It’s on the local airwaves on Newsradio 101 FM and 750 AM as well as being picked up on the Radio Northwest Network by small local stations all across Oregon and into Washington and even down into Northern California. You can listen livestreamed on kxl.com anywhere and also pick up the podcast on kxl.com, beergoddess. com and on iTunes.
That keeps me busy, along with finally finishing my first book, Craft Beers of the Pacific Northwest: A Beer Lover’s Guide to Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Now we are working on a book tour!
2. If you could change your career at this very moment, without any restrictions on what you could do, what would you want to do and why?
I’d become a brewer myself. Because I love the creation of beer. I find the balance of science and art fascinating.
3. Are you married?
Yes, Children? Not human ones, but we have a furry child in dog form named Yeti and another one in cat form named Lottie.
4. Outside of beer and writing, what are some of your other hobbies?
Traveling, cooking, hiking, snow-shoeing, hula-hoop dancing.
Off The Beaten Path
1. If you were a style of beer, what style would be and why?
Flanders-style Red Ale, because I am kinda sweet, kinda tart and I have red hair.
2. You were caught smuggling beer illegally, which has now been made punishable by death. Right before you are sent to the executioner, you are offered one last beer. What beer would you chose and why?
Great Divide Yeti, because I love the beer and my dog is named after it. And I’d take my own sweet time deciding which version I would want, which would bide me time until my stay of execution was signed!
3. If I contracted you to brew a beer (or design a beer recipe) called “The Beer Wench” — what style would you chose and what, if any, extra ingredients would you add?
Something effervescent, like a saison. Maybe with some pepper for extra zing!
4. If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
The ability to make anybody laugh and be happy.
5. What is one of the craziest things you have ever done and lived to tell the story?
I can’t tell you or we would all have to be killed.
6. What are your thoughts on bacon?
It’s an essential food group. But I think my hubby said it best when, on a Meatless Monday, he was trying to convince me to add bacon to whatever it was I was cooking. His argument: “Bacon’s not meat. It’s flavor!”
SPECIAL THANKS TO LISA FOR AN AWESOME INTERVIEW!