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Rainy Day in the City and a New Craft Beer Book

Ain't that what it's all about – By Tony Forder

I recently dusted off my press credentials and ventured into the city. The reason was an invitation from a colorado-based marketing outfit named Backbone Media to attend their spring showcase. As well as presenting 20 leading active lifestyle brands, including products from Chaco, Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Ooni pizza ovens, Schwinn bikes, Thule, Klean Kanteen, and more, they are now representing the Brewers Association to whom I am well known – and representing them was one Em Sauter, who along with promoting American Beer Week (coming up May 16-22) was also touting her new book Hooray for Craft Beer!

Em Sauter, her book, lightning sketch Warren and self, Pendleton Whisky rodeo queen,BeerSensei goes electric.

Was this the same Emily Sauter with whom I had worked while she was with Two Roads Brewing? Sure enough! And as a latent wannabe artist I was intrigued with her

cartooning. Apparently she had received a Masters in the skill.

But first I met up with compatriot Warren BeerSensei Monteiro at – of course – the Blind Tiger. It was raining cats and dogs, you could even call it Tigers and Wolves. I was drying out... not from the alcohol mind you but from sodden lower portions of my anatomy. Thinking that the rain was hardly anything more than a Scotch mist I had elected to walk from my house to the Anderson Street train station in Hackensack, NJ. Even with a Brolly (umbrella) my feet and downwards of knees took on water. A train delay was announced but luckily I was able to repair to the Straphanger Saloon where a pint of Hackensack Musket Haze gave some solace.

At the Tiger I felt like something with a little more umph might be in order – Allagash Triple, it had been a while.

Backbone had extended a Lyft credit to get us up to the venue which, although only a 20 minute walk, well, it was still Cats and Dogs, Tigers and Wolves, Elephants and Giraffes. We waited expectantly for our ride which oscillated from 5 to 3 to 4 mins away without ever actually getting any closer. We ended up walking two blocks to the subway and then another block on the other end to the Altman Building on 18th Street.

As soon as we entered I felt echoes of many beer events I had attended there – New York City Beer Week where a hastily constructed Real Ale bar leaked melted ice all over the floor. We spotted Em and said howdeedo. She knocked out a quick couple of cartoon portraits of us and we went on our way. Backbone has a pretty impressive portfolio, heavily weighted to outdoor pursuits – a Swedish company ( selling loaded electric mountain bikes, lightweight camping equipment (, inflatable paddle boards (, clothing, unbreakable cell phone covers. We were a little concerned that there might be no vittles, but no worries, there was a bar offering beer and wine and a food counter offering various appetizers.

Backbone also represents an Oregon whisky company. We saved Pendleton Whisky for last – tied to the rodeo (Pendleton Roundup), remarkably smooth barrel aged samples distilled with northwest grains and Hood Mountain glacier waters. And ain't that what it's all about.

A quick goodbye to Em, a gift backpack stuffed with gift cards and goodies and we are out the door – I guess the 'ol press card still works! Em was headed that evening to the UK for a couple of book gigs...I would be headed that way also in a few days for a family reunion, postponed for two years, following that Ale Street News' France/Belgium Tour also postponed (4 times) from 2020...stay tuned.


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