It seemed like an easy idea at the time, write about two women in leadership positions in the Silicon Valley Brewing community. It turned out a lot harder than that. I certainly wanted to avoid a patronizing “see, women can brew beer, too!” kind of article, because, well you know, they can. And I wanted to avoid muck raising if there was no muck to be raised. Sure, many women face a lot of discrimination, but I wanted to tell the stories of how Strike Brewing’s CEO Jenny Lewis and Freewheel Brewing’s Alicia Blue got to where they were. Both told me they pretty went about their business finding a career in beer without having to deal with a lot of sexism.
The female editors at Edible Silicon Valley were enthusiastic about the story, which is always good, but sometimes I felt they wanted it to go in a different direction than the material dictated. At times, I felt some pressure to produce a story about the freewheeling, sassy barrier busting women of Silicon Valley Beer about subjects that were more subdued and technical. It didn’t help my first draft was a little tentative and lacking some punch. Good collaborative efforts often involve tension, as this one did, and I certainly appreciate the editors comments even though at times I wasn’t too thrilled to hear them.
But I’m pretty happy with the final result, which I credit my editors for helping achieve this, and you can read here:
Devil’s Canyon Brewing was ahead of its time in opening up its brewery to the public, providing the connection between beer and the community that so many breweries establish today with their tap rooms and brew pubs. Devil’s Canyon Beer Friday events have always been much more family friendly than most breweries, their Root Beer playing a significant role in that. I tried to capture Devil’s Canyon pioneering ideas in the latest issue of Edible Silicon Valley (ESY) which is out now both in print form and online. I’d like to thank the ESY editors at who were pretty enthusiastic about the story and provided some interesting and helpful “non-beer geek” perspective for the piece. You can read the online version here:
Damien Fagen and Jesse Friedman of Almanac Beer (Almanac Beer photo)
One of the best things about writing about brewing is that most beers have a story behind them. Thankfully, I got to write about a beer with one of the more interesting back stories. A San Jose non-profit called Garden to Table goes around to picking fruit from private property owners that would otherwise go to waste. Almanac Beer uses some of this local fruit for their Valley of the Heart’s Delight sour ale. It’s shows how a local, untapped food resource can be taking by forward thinking individuals and transformed into something special and unique.
I want to thank Zach Lewis of Garden to Table and Jesse Friedman of Almanac Beer for their time and assistance with the story, and of course, thank my editor Kerri Stenson of Edible Silicon Valley for her enthusiasm. I think it’s one of the best article I’ve published, and you can read it now in the Spring issue of Edible Silicon Valley right here: The Valley of the Heart’s Delight is Still Bearing Fruit
Strike CEO Jenny Lewis and Brewmaster Drew Ehrlich in an empty corner that not too long from now will be their brewery
As the local Silicon Valley foodie culture sits up and takes notice of the small yet thriving craft beer scene in the South Bay, hopefully I’ve given them a little push with an article I wrote for Edible Silicon Valley on Strike Brewing’s pending brewery opening. The full version is in the print version as well as a digital version on the Edible Silicon Valley website, and a abbreviated can be found here.