Excerpts from emails to new chapter founders,
from Barley’s Angels director, Christine Jump
Much of these were composed as a stream of consciousness/brainstorm. The intent of sharing these excerpts is to stimulate ideas. Take what might work for you, and leave the rest.
1. Working the food and beer pairing angle. And the cooking with beer angle. If you check out the craft beer trends in the news it's undeniable that food and beer is a hot topic.
Not only that the response to even the newest Barley's Angels chapters has been mind blowing. Several have waiting lists or must limit tickets/seating at events due to overwhelming demand. That's just food for thought.
For a first event - something that gets peoples attention is a fundraiser.
Here's what I would try to do:
- Since you’re fostering relationships with the local brewers and distributor put together a fundraiser that will support a local beloved cause or charity. I suggest a few courses consisting of a simple bite paired with a 3-4 oz taste of fine craft beer (carefull-you don't want to fill them up with 40 oz - keep it reasonable).
- Get a local celeb to host the event - or someone you can bill as a celeb. Invite the press, and the mayor, chief of police, and/or fire department - well recognized public figures. Even if only one of them will come as a special guest - it implies support of your cause/organization.
- This time of year the bites can be holiday sweets, or chocolate. I'd steer away from an all cheese and beer pairing as some folks don't eat cheese or dairy - but mix it up, or go all sweets. Maybe an equal number of beer samples from each local brewery so that you're making friends all the way around or feature a brewery and have the event at their location.
- Pick a per guest ticket price that covers all costs, the donation, and your efforts [use the Ticket Price Calculator available in the Members Only section of barleysangel.org].
- Maybe a there's a local celeb chef that you could feature and would design the treats. Use pairing info found at craftbeer.com and listen to the 10/25/12 Barley's Angels beer and food pairing seminar at craftbrewcast.com.
- Sell tickets in advance so the chef has an idea of how much food to prepare - this will save cost and prevent shortages.
- Send invites and detailed info to the local and regional papers/blogs/radio/tv news networks (this can all be done via email costing nothing more than time), follow up with calls.
- Spread the word on social media outlets - google+, facebook, twitter.
- If you’re going with a fundraiser
- Get the space donated
- try to get beer donated,
- Get the chef's time donated.
- VERY often the food service vendor will donate ingredients for the chefs menu. Here in Portland it's "Food Services of America" - this is where working with a local restaurant or brewery with a restaurant space is key.
- When it's all said and don't just send the funds to whomever you've raised them for - make a presentation and photo opportunity. Even make it humorous.
I recently saw a presentation where three home brew clubs were being thanked for their efforts with carboys (large 5 gallon glass fermenting vessel) BUT the presenters had stuffed each one with $1000 one dollar bills! Got great press and everyone won.
- Have the venue/restaurant promote it - in house posters or whatever they normally do to promote events.
- Take a gazillion pictures with lots of people in the shots and you posing with all the players - brewer, chef, mayor whoever - these become evidence of your credibility. Try to position your hosts logos visibly in the photos.
- I will help you promote it and have media contacts across the US that we can reach out to.
Okay, that was me brainstorming. All just suggestions that would probably stand alone as well as in combination. Small scale is fine to start, but remember - the more attention you can draw to what you're doing the better in the short run.
11/5/2012 [this founder is also brewmaster at their venue]
What will your theme be at your inaugural event? Let me know quick so that I can include it in our social media outlets. I take it you will be the host leading the tastings. What a fabulous Meet the Brewer opportunity for Women! We have found that attendees are very interested in the brewing process and ingredients, so including a brewery tour would be ideal.
At meeting (suggestions):
- Take a group photo - easiest at the beginning just before you begin the tastings. We'll add it to the website gallery.
- Have someone greet the ladies at the door and introduce them to one another as they arrive.
- Have them sign in, with names, addresses and emails. (Sign in sheet available online in Members Only section)
- Collect their entrance fees at this time.
- The event goes on one tab - you will pay it at the end, out of fees collected. Be sure to price your ticket to include your server tip etc. (see ticket pricing form http://barleysangels.org/membersonly/ticket_wksht.htm)
- The ladies are responsible for all things ordered outside of your event's menu.
- Tell the Bartender/servers
- Remind the ladies to settle their tabs and tip their servers before they leave.
- As you wrap up the event, get feedback from the attendees, invite suggestions for future events
- Tell them date of next event.
- Advance ticket sales will help tremendously for preparation
- Have bites and tastes served one course at a time as you describe what's coming and your group discuss each course.
When developing the menu I've found that using ingredients that are already part of a restaurant's inventory keeps things simple. Don't offer items on the regular menu, but build one-bite tastes to pair with each 3-4 oz beer taster. You may want to use Julia Herz pairing guidlines found here: craftbeer.com pairing tips, or give the cook a price per head and let him develop the menu.
Remember you must charge an entrance fee.
Tell people. Yours is the first Eugene chapter and your inaugural meeting is news worthy. You must be clear that is is a women only event:
- Region’s daily newspaper
- Weekly papers
- College paper
- Beer publications (Brewing News, Celebrator Beer News)
- Local beer and lifestyle blogs
- Local radio station
- Chambers of Commerce
- Events Calendars
- Local magazines
- The Rotary
- The Mayor
- Local radio staff
- Businesses surrounding the venue
Do not charge press of course. And male members of the press may attend.
I suggest a facebook page for your chapter.
There is an online form to start a chapter at http://barleysangels.org. Follow the "Sign-up" link.
The approval process it's to confirm that:
- Founders are female.
- The chapter name is not already taken.
- That you'll be having events at public venues that adhere to the alcohol laws in your area.
It seems you have numbers 1 & 3 sorted. And for your chapter name I suggest one that includes your location for branding proposes, i.e Barley's Angels of Germany, or Barley's Angels Munich, etc. But of course it is up to you.
There is also a $25 annual fee which can be submitted from the same web page as the online application. (http://barleysangels.org)
I'm so very excited by your interest in founding a chapter! Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
I know that I talk about press alot, but that is a way to get the word out. The more people that know the more will come and bring friends.
Give us as much detail as you can so that I and the press can promote your event. Are the beers brewed at the location? What are the styles or the names of beers that you will sample? Did the chef design the bites you'll pair with them? What bites will be paired with which beers? Are they ethnic? Any special or unique ingredient in the beer or the bites? What is the menu? Who will be guiding the tasting?
This kind of info that makes it interesting for a press release and even more inviting to your guests!
I can still get a press release out tomorrow that will give the press time to contact you and plan to cover the event if we catch their interest
As you work with venues, ask them to promote the event too. On their website or posters at their place or in the bathroom stalls.
Above all else have fun!
We received your application. I'm delighted that you're interested in creating a Chapter, yours would be the first in your state!
There is one detail that needs to be sorted out. Chapters must be based at a space licensed to serve beer according to your local regulations/laws. Let me know if you're still interested in founding a Barley's Angels chapter and where your venue will be. If you need help sorting that out I'm happy to do what I can. Please don't hesitate to call me. Often a local craft beer pub or brewery is more than willing to be home to our chapters. Where is your favorite place?
You can find more details on the website here: http://barleysangels.org/barleysangels_details.htm and rules here: http://barleysangels.org/barleysangels_rules.htm
I sincerely hope to see your Barley's Angels chapter find a venue.
Themes have been:
Winter Warmers - the darker and higher ABV beers of winter were paired with just a bite of something. We had about 10 different beers, in 4 ounce pours. The publisher and editor in chief of Beer West Megan Flynn presented each pairing. It was a big hit. Feedback was that it was very positive, although some felt it was too much beer.
We did an informal self guided tasting at Cascade Barrel House in Portland, the tour and samples from their barrels was a big hit. The tasting part not so much. We had a few trays of cheese and ordered tasters from the bar nibbling the cheese and discussing them. Unanimously theAngels in attendance felt having a more structured and guided tasting portion would have been better.
The recent all day event that we had at Rogue Hop Farm got wonderful feedback. The presentations were separated by tours, and the presentations were held in different locations i.e. first up was Beer Traveling over a buffet lunch. Then the hop tour. followed by an alchemy of glassware and beer held in the orchard, followed by a tour and tasting of the nano brewery, then pairing beer and food - in depth and interactive. After another break we had beer in bath and beauty products demo - maker of beer soaps and hop salves demonstrated how it is done, finally we adjourned to the lawn for a cooking with beer demo followed by a farm to bottle feast. I had attendees fill out a feedback form which I recommend for all events. On the form I ask what they would like to see or have at future events.
Check out the Toronto chapter, they are very active and host full beer dinners too. Some chapters have members that pay a fee, then get reduced rates for event tickets.
Hope this helps! Tmr I'll be fee most the day so if you'd like to call any time that's convenient will be fine.
Please feel comfortable calling me Christine. I only have a moment so let me answer the easy questions.
- Yes, you may name your chapter. Part of the application process is to assure that you're name is not already taken.
- Yes, you may co-sponsor co-ed events - I highly encourage it as this kind of thing will build community integration! That said, let's talk more about organizing co-ed events.
- Don't hesitate to organize Women Only events.
- By "Meetings" do you mean chapter events? Tastings w/ food and or a presenter? 4 times a year at least. Presenters may be male as well as press people invited.
- Logo - 90 percent decided. Will have a decision by weeks end.[done]
- I've been kicking around the T-shirt questions you've raised. Please shelve that one for the time being.[now available at our online store http://barleysangels.org/store]
It's a pleasure to become acquainted with an Angel from Florida! If my info is correct you're a paid member of the Orlando Chapter?
Individual Chapters are fairly autonomous and have quite alot of leeway as to how they operate. Many charge a fee for membership as it seems Orlando does.
In order to found a brand new Chapter, yes an annual fee is required. Then you may decide to charge Angels for membership in your chapter in the same way the Orlando chapter works. I've seen that other chapters does so, offering discounted entry into their Barley's Angels events to members and a slightly higher ticket price to non members. Makes sense to me, but again that will be up to you as chapter organizer.
I haven't received your new chapter application. Did you fill it out at http://barleysangels.org/barleysangels_signup.htm.
Thanks so much for joining the ranks of women sharing craft beer with women! I received your application and am excited about your chapter.
August is great timing to kick off your chapter. You may be able to get the venue to do promotion too. Maybe the local paper and local radio stations will cover it.
An August date also gives your local press time to do a piece on the new chapter. Your events are definitely news worthy! Check out some of the links at Barley's Angels News page for inspiration.
I have found it easier on the venue if the bites served with the tasters are chosen from inventory they already carry in their kitchens. I used the house menu to pick through ingredients and put together our tastings here in Portland. Another useful tool is the Food Pairing chart found on craftbeer.com here: http://www.craftbeer.com/attachments/0000/0533/beerandfood.pdf
You may be able to get your local press to do a piece on new chapter, depending on their deadlines. A great way to do that is by inviting them to your meeting. Your events are definitely news worthy! Check out some of the links at Barley's Angels News page for inspiration.
The voting [to decide the chapter’s name) is a fun idea and a great marketable aspect for the first meeting. I recommend contacting the local: papers, beer columnists, calendar listing, bloggers, beer mags and rags and let them know about the first Barley's Angels Calgary Chapter meeting including the voting "rights" to name the chapter. Might include the name options too. Makes the first meeting that much more intriguing.
Be sure to include a means for them to contact you, any web site/twitter/facebook if you have them and the organization's website so that they can get background info too.