Don’t forget – you have until Sunday night to enter the Running for Hope 5K giveaway. Race is on Saturday, June 29 in Avon Lake and benefits Love Without Borders.
Another Ohio Blogging Association meet up is history!
The blogroll for the evening included:
- Alicia from Poise in Parma (that’s me!)
- Amanda from Clue Into Cleveland and her husband Scott
- Becca from beccakocheryoga.com and her husband Brandon
- Cleveland Chick from Happiness is a Hot Pierogi
- Crystal from Eat*Drink*Cleveland
- Dave from Health Insurance Issues with Dave and Again? Really?
- Holly from Rust Belt Runner
- Jacquie from @hey_cle and her friend Rachel
- Jen from WhyCLE? and her husband Matthew
- Michael from Deck on Food
- Sarah from Cooker Girl
- Stuart from SOS Associates and his wife Julie
I’ve been slow to get more Ohio Blogging Association meetings on the rest of the 2013 calendar. So when our friends from Whole Foods Market Cedar Center had a unique opportunity available during Goose Island Migration Week, I knew our bloggers would have a blast learning about this Chicago-based beer company. The allure of drinking beer and eating chocolate didn’t hurt either.
As in the past, we gathered at Whole Foods Market Cedar Center‘s cafe area where the store’s team took such care to provide a wonderful classroom set up all ready for the OBA members to taste and learn. The Goose Island beer list for the evening included options from their Vintage Ales line (descriptions from Goose Island’s website):
- Sofie: “Fermented with wild yeasts and aged in wine barrels with orange peel, Sofie is a tart, dry, sparkling ale.”
- Matilda: “Wild in character, with a slightly fruity aroma and a spicy yeast flavor… Dry and quenching”
- Pepe Nero: “Pepe Nero is a farmhouse ale brewed with black peppercorns. His roasty sweetness melds into a lingering, earthy, black pepper finish”
- Pere Jacques: “Brewed with loads of malt and Belgian yeast, Pere Jacques is a wonderfully fruity, malty ale.”
…and the part I definitely indulged in – the chocolates sampling from WILD OPHELIA, the spirited younger sister of Vosges Haut-Chocolat (descriptions from their website):
- Southern Hibiscus Peach Milk Chocolate Bar (paired with the Sofie): “These fragrant, tangy peaches and puckering, tart hibiscus flowers mingle in the southern tradition of tart and sweet”
- Beef Jerky Chocolate Bar (paired with the Pepe Nero): “Natural smoked fruit woods and peppered spices perfectly match our rich, milk chocolate”
- Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips Chocolate Bar (paired with the Matilda): “A sweet, savory and spicy warm-the-back-of-your-throat chip is entrenched in dark chocolate”
- Peanut Butter and Chocolate Milk Chocolate Bar (paired with the Pere Jacques): “A sweet, mild flavored banana with a honeyed smell, blended with roasted peanut butter and rich milk chocolate.”
Dave drank my beer and I ate his chocolate. We made an excellent tasting pair. If I remember correctly, he enjoyed the Matilda. I remember really loving the peanut butter and banana chocolate. I heard feedback that the bloggers enjoyed learning the basics on how to “taste” something: learning to look for notes of different flavors, different variations of certain types of food, how they work with the pairing. The 45 minute presentation was a fun activity that allowed us to take something home - other than chocolate bars!
Post-tasting, I encouraged everyone to go spend their money on the bulk flash sale (20% off bulk nuts, popcorn, oats – huzzah!) and then perhaps giving their wooden nickel (for bringing their own reusable shopper) to a good cause (*cough*cough*choose the one on the right!!*):
Many of us took advantage of the Whole Foods hot bar post-tasting. Hello, I’m a healthy living blogger – you should have seen that one coming! I was freezing, so I grabbed some chipotle veggie turkey soup (light yet hearty, with a hint of smokiness) and a bunch of mixed greens (surprise, surprise). Other bloggers snagged options from the BBQ smoked meats hot bar, sushi and one really good looking burger. Good stuff and happy bellies all around.
LONG STORY SHORT: We ate. We drank. We ate again. We talked each others’ ears off. It made my heart smile when Stuart shared the following feedback: “You can always tell a good meeting by the fact that people hang around long after the official ending time.” While sometimes things get crazy, pulling together some of Cleveland’s bloggers makes it worthwhile every single time. Thank you all for attending, and thanks again to Whole Foods Market Cedar Center and Goose Island for the opportunity!
I’m always taking suggestions for Ohio Blogging Association events: leave them in the comments below. Information on the next meeting will be posted very soon – per suggestions from last night, I foresee another blogging roundtable in the horizon…