Voodoo Dolls, Black Magic & Beer: Seducing the Enemy in PDX

Written by Wenchie. Posted in LATEST, Random Musings

The Beer Wench and I

Published on August 05, 2011 with 6 Comments

For those that arrived here seeking some sort of news or information regarding craft beer, the industry and the people in it; I hate to disappoint, but this is more of a story than an editorial. Nonetheless, the story is quite lovely – AND, it even ends “happily ever after”. However, don’t get my wrong. It is definitely no fairytale.

I find no more appropriate way to start this tale than with my rendition of the prologue in Shakespeare’s Rome & Juliet (I was a Thespian in my other life)….

Two beer bloggers, both alike in dignity,
In fair Portland, where we lay our scene,
From blogging grudge break to Twitter mutiny,
Where uncivil tweets makes followers get mean.
From forth the fatal loins of the Oregon Brewers Fest
This pair of star-cross’d lovers meet in real life;
Whose misunderstood piteous jest
Do with a marriage proposal bury their Internet strife.
The awkward passage of their Twitter-mark’d love,
And the continuance of affection from both,
Which, but use of black magic, could not remove,
Is now the subject of this post;
The which if you with open minds will read,
What here shall miss, our tweets shall strive to exceed.

Last month, along with 10 different craft breweries, several beer bloggers and other social media savvy friends, I helped launch International #IPADay — the world’s largest craft beer celebration dedicated to, yes you guessed it, the India Pale Ale. For the most part, the announcement of #IPADay went off without a hitch, if not exactly as planned. As hoped, hundreds of craft beer lovers, breweries, bars and retailers automatically adopted the idea and started planning celebrations all over the world.

Well, not everyone was excited about the concept. We, errrr…. *I* received some resistance from another blogger who goes by the name of Samurai Artist on the Internet. And although saying this now might insult him, which is totally unintentional yet an important part of the story, I actually had never heard of him up until then. Which now I realize, after reflecting upon how influential he is in the craft beer scene both in Portland and in the blogging realm, is a major fault on my behalf.

Either way, knowing him or not, I took great offense to his public opposition to #IPADay, which I also saw as a blatant attack against me.

I found out about Ezra’s Anti-#IPADay article as I was commuting to Berkeley. While stuck in Bay Area traffic, which resembles a parking lot more than a freeway, I spent some time sorting through email. Like any good social media savvy person (you reading this Ezra?), I receive Google Alerts daily on a plethora of things — including anything “The Beer Wench” and my name. So anytime someone mentions beer + wench or my name consecutively, Google tells me. And as fate would have it, Ezra did both — although he did not tag my site in his post.

Seeing as how I had just sat through over an hour of painful traffic, in rather gloomy weather, under-caffeinated with low blood sugar, his article did not sit well with me. In fact, it hurt me. So much so, I cried. But, in true Wench form, I rallied up and drafted a retort to all of the opposition. And naturally, true to his form, the Samurai Artist updated his original post to include further critique of the matter, in response to my retort. Needless to say, the passive aggressive brawl did not stop at the blogosphere. It continued into the depths of Twitter and Facebook, where a mini war between the supporters and haters of #IPADay was waged.

Over the weeks, as the haters developed apathy and stopped caring, the fighting subsided and, for the most part, there was peace. Well, we will call it the calm before the storm.

As fate would have it, only a few weeks after announcing #IPADay and a week before the actual event, I found myself visiting Portland to take the Cicerone Exam and attend the Oregon Brewer’s fest. Originally excited for my first ever Portland visit, I  became extremely nervous about the visit because of Portland’s unusually high resistance to #IPADay and perceived “hatred” towards me. Now, mind you, I take things very personally. Which means I actually did believe that Portlanders hated me and I actually feared making the trek. Which all seems silly no. But hindsight truly is 20-20.

But all the same, love or hate, I had no idea what to expect in Portland. The only thing that I really relied on was the fact that just about none of the Twitter personalities and bloggers in Portland had ever seen me in person, and therefore were very unlikely to recognize me. Which meant that I could go about my business, doing my thing, unnoticed, and not get stoned to death or burned at the stake.

It is important to note now that, although I consider myself to be an atheist, I have rather unique superstitious tendencies and I am oddly fascinated with black magic, stones, astrology and other weird things. A week before my Portland visit I purchased two Voodoo Dolls (hey I never claimed sanity people) at the Cincinnati airport, of all places. I bought The Equalizer — who is supposed to help me get even, and The Gladiator — who is supposed to give me strength to fight for what I believe in….

Those of you that know me know that I have a fighter personality. I fight on Twitter, Facebook and on my blog all the time. My first response is always fight, not flight. And often times, my friends and family have to step in to prevent me from making decisions that I am sure to regret — which almost never works. Needless to say, with both The Equalizer and The Gladiator in hand, I arrived in Portland ready to fight.

Whilst wondering around the Oregon Brewers Fest, I befriend some unsuspecting Portlanders. Naturally, Twitter came up, as it usually does in conversations with me that last longer than 5 minutes. Being local Twitter personalities themselves, it didn’t take them long to figure out that I was, in fact, the girl that was causing quite a stir amongst Portland beer bloggers.

Luckily, they did not feed me to the wolves. In fact, they were more than excited to aid me in my pursuit to find and confront the man that felt the need to question my integrity publicly on the Internet. They offered to bring me to him, but only under the condition that I play dumb — an act I am more than good at. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t fired up. I had already consumed a decent amount of liquid courage and my “Rowdy Routson” personality was clearly ready to jump in the ring.

The boys had no problem finding Ezra for me. But, just as I was approaching the circle where Ezra was located, I was stopped dead in my tracks by fellow beer blogger and friend, Brian Yaeger. I’m quite certain Yaeger knew I was on a mission, yet I tried to play dumb, pretending that I didn’t know Ezra was two feet away from me, even though blood was rushing through my veins just thinking about it.

Yaeger, not wanting to pass up an epic moment, picked up his video camera and captured the errr…. what we will call awkward, moment on camera.

The initial meeting was less than inspiring (sorry Ezra, my darling). I arrived feisty and ready for a throw down — or at least a challenging and heated debate. The actual result was a rather awkward silence and some witty report. I believe, and Exra correct me if I’m wrong, the first thing I said was “Why do you hate me?”

After standing around staring at one another, rather awkwardly, a few of us went off to grab what I assume was meant to be “peace” beers together, expect that I got, well, distracted by a different beer journalist — another story for another time. Or probably not :)

But thank goodness for social media, because what might have been an otherwise rather underwhelming encounter became glamorized online. Awkward silence suddenly evolved into romance. And well, the rest is history.

Oh, you know I can’t just leave you hanging like that. After all, I promised you a happy ending (no Ezra, not THAT kind of happy ending).

Brian “Beer Yenta” Yaeger exaggerated a somewhat peaceful meeting between two “nemeses” into a beer baby making romance on the Twitterverse. Both Ezra and I took the high road and decided to play along. And before we knew it, our relationship turned into a full-blown, hot and steamy, Lifetime movie-like romance.

My Portland romance culminated with the “first date” at the Widmer Brunch where, after a few beers, Ezra got on one knee and proposed to me.

I suck at romance writing, huh?

Well, don’t expect it to get any better. The details go as is: I made Ezra get on one knee, which he adamantly objected to until the last minute. But we all know that The Wench is virtually impossible to resist. Even Greg Koch has said that you can’t say no to The Wench. Sorry kids, it’s the truth.

Since Ezra showed up unprepared for our epic proposal, I provided him with a bedazzled bottle cap ring with which to propose. Naturally, I said yes. I mean come on now, what kind of asshole would make someone get on one knee and propose in front of an audience of people and then say no? Even I am not that big of a jerk (most of the time).

The real kicker was posing for pictures. Those that know me in the slightest know that I HATE smiling in pictures. So much so that I’m known for making the “wench face” — aka a puckery smirk. It is either that or I pose kissing a beer or kissing a cheek. I opted to kiss Ezra’s cheek, with my eyes closed. And in the 2 seconds my eyes were closed, BAM. There it was. A kiss to seal the deal. And luckily, all the paparazzi were in place to capture the moment, which will now live on forever thanks to the Internet.

In all seriousness, I am not only relieved, but extremely happy to resolve the issue between Ezra and myself. Is it love? Well kids, hate to break it to you, but it is entirely way to early to even host such thoughts. Wounds are still fresh. Yet, I have learned a lot about myself in the process — and truly thank Ezra for this experience, though it is extremely peculiar. And although Ezra still adamantly opposes #IPADay (to each there own), we have agreed to disagree — and even be friends.

And so, I would like to end this story with the closing line from Cassablanca:

“Ezra, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”




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There are currently 6 Comments on Voodoo Dolls, Black Magic & Beer: Seducing the Enemy in PDX. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. His original beef probably had more to do with the 2010 Rose Bowl. Still, you two will make lovely beer babies…or something.

  2. Wow. I never thought beer bloggers would be the type to “get into it”. This whole thing is too funny. Glad it seems to be over!



    PS I think I may sell some shirts.

    Team Beer Wench
    Team SamuraiArtist

    I may be onto something. Not sure.

  3. I totally will wear a Team Beer Wench shirt.

  4. Oh yeah. I keep meaning to upload that video. Maybe the folks who bought Pam Anderson’s or Paris Hilton’s sex tapes will pay big bucks for it.

    And Beer Buddha, it’s neither: Team Samwench. (Wish you were the Beer Witch!)

  5. [...] Drink With The Wench: Voodoo Dolls, Black Magic & Beer: Seducing the Enemy in PDX [...]

  6. @Jeremy (Buddha) — T Shirts would be hilarious! I like “Wench Army” or the “Wench Brigade”…. lol.

  7. @Zac — hey now, the 2010 Rose Bowl was won fair and square. Despite what all those Buckeye haters want to say :)

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