Thursday, October 13, 2011

International Stout Day Interview with Erin Peters, the Founder of the Stout Day

With the Seasons changing and fall setting in it is the perfect time to relax outside by a fire pit and sip the bold flavors that stout beers have to offer.  Those who enjoy this crisp weather and beer now have yet another reason to rejoice.  November 3rd is officially the first annual Stout Day!  Excited we went straight to the source and contacted Erin Peters, the Founder of the Stout Day movement (who is also known for her beer blog http://www.thebeergoddess.com/), to get some further information about the up and coming event!
Hop & Kettle:  You have been writing about beer for a while now.  How did you get started and where did the name of your site http://www.thebeergoddess.com/ come from?
Erin Peters:  Write what you know, isn’t that what authors always tell you?  So, I decided, after having gone through some personal stuff and some unemployment issues – having been laid off like seemingly the rest of the country, to start a blog about what I know and what I love – beer!  My boyfriend had suggested to me that I do what I love and what I’m good at.  So I took inventory of my skills – writing – and concentrated on what I love to do - drink beer!  Two loves combined into a profession.
I got the name of the blog from the moniker some of my friends gave me: “Beer Goddess”.  At first I thought there was no way this would ever fly, but I had nothing to lose at the time, so I just ran with it. And here we are!
Hop & Kettle:  Tell us how the idea to start an international beer holiday based on Stout came about?
Erin Peters:  Beer is an integral part of the lives of many communities. There is an awesome trend where breweries use local, indigenous ingredients – food, spices, etc.  These ingredients are grown right in that community.  Sounds like such a throwback idea, it’s definitely nothing new, but it’s an idea that got lost along the way, and I’m excited it’s making a comeback.
I’ve always been intrigued with the idea of celebrating a beer style or local area.  Just like vineyards tell the story of the people, the weather, the land and its history, beer, too, tells a story of the land, of the people, the brewers, etc.  The camaraderie of the brewers, the industry and cities that get together to celebrate the craft of beer is nothing short of awesome.  Families and friends have been sharing stories and creating a sense of community over beer for centuries, and this is just another way to celebrate and share your story in a more open way, everywhere!  The power of the Internet has made this possible.
I did an article a while back on beer weeks, and spoke with Greg Koch from Stone and some key players from Philly Beer Week (who started the city beer week vision) and it got me thinking, in addition to L.A. Beer Week, San Diego Beer Week, New York Beer Week, etc., what about a beer style week, such as stout, that could be celebrated everywhere?   Then some awesome beer bloggers had a similar idea and started #IPADay (specifically founder, The Beer Wench and featured blogger, Tatiana Peavey), which happened August 4th.  That confirmed for me that Stout Day was a great idea so I rushed online and bought http://www.stoutday.com/.
Having a day dedicated to a beer style really has just accelerated the excitement, the intrigue regarding its history and the variety that the craft beer industry has to offer. Every beer tells a story.  It’s really an exciting time.  So, to keep in the same theme and dedicating a day (and not a week) to a beer style, Stout Day was born.  And the announcement came soon after IPA Day happened – which was fresh in beer drinkers’ minds and palates.
Hop & Kettle:  Out of all the different styles of beer, why choose to celebrate Stout?
Erin Peters:  Simply put, I love Stout.  It’s not an easy or simple beer, comparatively.  It reminds me of that line in Sideways: “I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot!” Not to oversimplify, but it seems to me that Stout, like, say, a Pinot Noir, is a bit more complicated.  It’s a handsome beer.  The pairing possibilities are boundless, and it goes so very nice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It also has a really interesting history – starting with river porters of London.  Some high ABV stouts are also superb to age for a while.
What can I say?  I’m Irish and I love drinking stouts when it’s brisk out. It’s in my genes.  I think the question is, why not stout?  Of course, all the beer styles deserve a day of world-renowned recognition. Don’t you think?
Hop & Kettle:  International Stout Day is November 3rd. Was there a particular reason for picking that day?
Erin Peters:  I wanted the day to be a crisp, cool day prefect weather for everyone to fully enjoy a few dark pints.  It’s right after Halloween so spiced foods and beers will be available, which pair really well with malty, rich stouts.
Hop & Kettle:  The official site for International Stout Day is http://www.stoutday.com/. What should readers expect to find on the site?
Erin Peters:  Readers can register for the site and find out about exiting event being held in their area.  Bars and Breweries can create an account and inform everyone of what they are doing to celebrate stout day.  Of course, there will be more exciting news for next year.
Hop & Kettle:  What would be the best way for the readers to help support International Stout Day?
Erin Peters:  Register on the site, and tweet about #StoutDay (using the hashtag) on and around November 3rd and tell us what you’re drinking or brewing!
Hop & Kettle:  With so many amazing Stouts on the market do you have a favorite that you will be drinking on Stout Day?
Erin Peters:  That’s very, very hard to say because there are so many truly amazing craft stouts.  It really all depends on which bars I will be celebrating Stout Day at and which stouts each of them has on tap.
Hop & Kettle:  We agree with Erin!  With so many great craft Stouts out there it is hard to choose.  We at the Hop & Kettle would like to thank Erin Peters for taking time out of her busy schedule to answer our questions.  For additional information about International Stout Day, check out the official web site:  http://www.stoutday.com/.