Saturday, January 16, 2010

Fancy Food Show—Here I Go

My interests in international commerce and beer come together this weekend as I arrive to balmy San Francisco for the 35th Winter Fancy Food Show, where I’ll be volunteering at Booth 2415 for the fine folks of the Brewers Association.

The association’s Export Development Program, which generates publicity for the US craft beer industry and assists its affiliate brands in gaining attention and distribution in selected markets, will be coordinating the events at our booth.

Ten big-name craft brewers will be displaying their artisan-style ales and lagers. I’ll be serving and tasting them all over the next few days. Here’s the lineup:

21st Amendment Brewery
Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Boston Beer Co.
Brewery Ommegang
Dogfish Head Craft Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Kona Brewing Co.
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Rogue Ales
Stone Brewing Co.

To say that I’ve worked with Dogfish and Stone, both brands which I can buy in Texas, will be damn cool. But I’m particularly pumped to meet the representatives at 21st Amendment. From San Francisco, the hometown boys are fairly new on the beer scene. I’m intrigued by their can-format packaging and watermelon-flavored beer. Firestone Walker, of Paso Robles, California, has my attention too.

I’ve never been to this festival, so I’m not sure what to expect. On the show’s website, I note how vast it really is, both in its size and number of exhibitors. Thousands of vendors will be on hand, representing every corner of the “fancy” food world—from grass-fed beef to olive oil and yogurt, it will all be there.

An online contest (“Can You Spot the Next Food Trend?”) to predict the top five food trends that will emerge from the event caught my eye, appealing to my trend-spotting instinct. Willing to win, I go for it, entering my top five:

• Açaí
• Coconut Water
• Kombucha
• Raw Honey
• Yerba Maté

The two previous show’s winners were:

Summer 2009
• Blood orange
• Chocolate and salt
• Superfruits
• Gluten-free
• Eco awareness

Winter 2009
• Single-Serve Portions
• Fruity Additions
• Organic
• Sensitivity to Dietary Needs
• Exotic Spice Blends

While this event for me is mainly about the beer—the good kind, with benefits of its own—perhaps I'll learn of new, healthy ingredients to mix into smoothies on future mornings in Cherryhurst. (See ‘Smoothie Operator’ post last year.)


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Survey Says: FMOC Lives on in 2010

Happy New Year!

Here’s a big THANK YOU to all who completed the 2009 Readership Survey.

I don’t plan to go on at length about the results. (Your feedback was primarily for my benefit.) If interested, please contact me directly, and I can share the general sentiments shared.

Nobody nailed the correct number of email subscribers… but since I’d rather give it away than keep it, I’ll send the $15 gift certificate to the person who guessed closest. Correct number: 23.

In the biggest news of all, Future Mayor of Cherryhurst will live on in 2010!

Considering all feedback (mine, included), I’m making a couple of tweaks that will manifest themselves in 2010:

1. New description & future redesign

Although the meaning of FMOC remains the same, the blog’s description has changed to read: “One Man's Quest to Take Office in a Quaint Corner of Montrose.”

On the whole, I like the blog’s look and feel, but the functionality can be improved. In the spirit of continuous improvement in the blogosphere, I’ll work for change.

I’m looking at ways to make the blog more appealing to the passing reader, and especially, more attractive for all readers to make comments.

Ideally, this blog will become a means of communicating with friends and followers alike, all in support of the FMOC campaign.

2. Less regimented schedule & more freewheeling content

The schedule will be less regimented, as will be the content. No longer will I be posting every two weeks.  Posts may come more frequently, maybe less.

A biweekly schedule was useful because it allowed me to publish regularly... to avoid a collapse into the blogging ether. I also wanted to be conscious to not let my blogging interfere with my day job, so I intentionally posted on Sundays. This rigid schedule put undue stress on the Covey household.

The way forward?

Posts are intended to be freewheeling, a reflection of what’s on my mind at the moment—a complement to the daily proceedings of life. They will probably be shorter and (hopefully) to the point—as is the case with the blog’s description.

This year brings a looser and more spontaneous mayoral candidate… do keep reading, and enjoy:-)