The Bitch

SeaportWho am I?

I am a writer. First and foremost. With a degree in journalism and 15+ years of writing everything from daily news to marketing communications for global companies, I have seen it all, and—if I have not done it all—I certainly have seen a lot of the ups and downs life has to offer. A few years ago I found craft beer in NYC, and I’ve never looked back.

Aside from learning about the beverage of my choice, I have worked in marketing beer events, writing about new breweries opening across the city, covered festivals from D.C. to Denver (Alaska and Barcelona are on my 2014 “to do” list), and I have found my work published in some of this city’s—nay (hey, I told you I’m a writer!), this country’s—biggest news outlets: The New York Times, The Village VoiceTime Out New York, The Wall Street Journal, not to mention many prominent blogs. It’s amazing how a well-written PR piece and just the right amount of follow-up can create a platform from which to reach an audience.

Yet very few people working in the craft beer scene have the skills to get their message out there. They struggle to gain market traction; after a banner opening, an owner watches in dismay as beer geeks flock to the next big new thing. How to remain competitive doing what you’re passionate about is a challenge for any small business entrepreneur, even more so for the burgeoning craft beer industry brewer or bar owner.

What I do is help you hone your message and get the word out for you. So you can go back to making beer or creating a bar that is a destination in NYC. I will be happy to offer you a free (okay, almost free… the beer is on you!) consultation to discuss your business needs and get you started on the path of craft beer success for many years to come.

Why the “Bitch”?

Because it’s irreverent. And I’m irreverent. Because I’m brash and genuine and honest and I don’t filter. Sometimes when people first meet me, my personality doesn’t make for instant rapport. Just know that if you work with me, I won’t bullshit you. I’ll be brutally honest and your business will be all the better for it. I’m more about mutual respect and success in this industry than schmoozing with false promises that never come to fruition.

Also, there’s a strong need for a voice among female beer drinkers. We’re out there—in fact, we’re everywhere—but we don’t have a cohesive voice (especially, and surprisingly, in NYC). My moniker identifies me as a woman; it lets the world know I’m serious about the beer I drink. But I still know how to slyly mock myself. Craft beer is cool because we don’t have to take ourselves too seriously. The day craft beer becomes like wine, I’m switching to… well, I don’t know, so I really hope that day never comes.

Finally, it’s because I’m angry. And I mean that in the best sense. I want to see my friends and colleagues succeed in a marketplace that is dominated by major corporations that would like to shoo us from the bar like so many drain flies. Those of us in this industry work our asses off for the joy of making (or serving or drinking) a great beer. I don’t want someone who bottles piss from a factory to win.

Why Brooklyn?

Because I love it here. It’s my adopted home. I’m part of the gentrification that is taking over Kings County, but I’m following the rules of hiking in nature: Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints. I don’t want my neighborhood bodega to disappear, but I am glad they’re bringing in organic produce. I think there are those of us moving to Brooklyn because we long for the flavor of the city that has pretty much been eradicated on the Island of Manhattan south of 125th Street.

Brooklyn still has some grit, but it also has real New Yorkers living here: The same colorful clans that were iconic in the 60s still exist in Brooklyn, albeit in a much more “hipster” manifestation.

For the first time in my entire life I’m proud of where I live. I’m from Brooklyn. And we have a lot of incredible craft beer on this Island (the Island of Long).

Final thoughts…

I’m a level nothing Cicerone. I am not a beer extremist. I don’t live to update my Untapp’d profile, nor do I stand in line for hours to get the new “great” beer release. While I have a copy of the BJCP Judge Procedures Manual, I view it less as the Gospel and more as a guide book. In short, I drink beer because I love it. And my goal in any beer, bar or brewery profile (as opposed to “review”) is to boost the business of craft beer. To coin another cliched phrase: A rising tide lifts all boats. I’m thrilled that craft now makes up nearly 10 percent of the marketplace, but I want to see the day when we’re the 99 percent.

My rankings are simple:

  • Highest rating – “The Bitch is Orgasmic”—pretty much self-explanatory, I think;
  • Not quite perfect – “The Bitch is Ecstatic”—for truly superior experiences, perhaps due to company or a great food pairing;
  • Mid-grade – “The Bitch is Very Happy”—most of my beers probably land here;
  • Sub-par – “The Bitch is Satisfied”—in the Rolling Stones sense, although maybe my palate is less than pleased;
  • Sorry, but you suck – “The Bitch is not in the Mood”—for whatever reason, this beer is off… may be the batch, may be the pour.

I invite you to read me and drink!

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