Monday, September 19, 2011

Interview Series: Meet the Geeks: Maine Edition: Carla Companion/The Beer Babe

Carla! The Beer Babe
Name: Carla Companion, AKA "The Beer Babe"

Hometown: Syracuse, NY (currently living in Portland, ME)

Favorite Beer: Too many to name, though I really, really enjoy Dogfish Head's 90 Minute IPA. But it depends on the day.

Favorite Beer Haunt: Novare Res Bier Cafe, Portland, ME

What was the first craft brew you ever tried? What did you think? I'm actually having a hard time remembering exactly what my first craft beer was, though I bet it was at Red Hook in Portsmouth, NH. I went there for my 21st birthday and had beer and dinner there - I tried most of the beers and was very happy to go on my first brewery tour at the same time. I remember bringing home a growler (my first ever) and drinking the beer the next day.

Do you homebrew? If yes, favorite homebrew to date: I am usually more of an "assistant" homebrewer to others, since I have neither a good stove nor a backyard. I help friends brew, and of course, taste beer. Though I am intrigued by the 1gallon beer kits that I saw at the Beer Blogger's conference - I might actually be able to pull that off in my tiny kitchen.

How’d you hear about the pdxbeergeeks? Mostly on Twitter, you're all very active over there and I like seeing that kind of unity within a community. I hope that New England beer geeks can achieve the same level of recognition. Also, at the 2011 Beer Blogger's Conference, I met many of the pdxbeergeeks and was adopted as an honorary member. :) Thanks!

What does being a beer geek mean to you? There's a great quote that I think sums this up pretty well (subsitute "geek" for "nerd):

"Nerds, like us, are allowed to be un-ironically enthusiastic about stuff. Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-your-chair-can't-control-yourself love things. When people call people nerds, it's like saying, 'You like stuff,' which is not a good insult at all. As if one can be too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness." -John Green, author and video blogger

Beer geeks are just unabashedly in love with the process, history, taste, and everything else behind beer, and their enthusiasm is an infectious and delightful thing to be around. The beer community in general is very cross supportive, and we are all just geeking out to the wonders of brewing.

If you could change one thing about beer culture in the US, what would it be? No more beer commercials unless it's really about how the beer tastes. Horses? Bikinis? Frogs? Volleyball? None of these things have anything to do with why I would buy a beer, so let's cut the stupid ads altogether and advertise our beer based on its characteristics. I also think that would have the lovely side effect of furthering the disintegration of beer gender stereotypes.

What do you love about Portland’s Craft Beer scene? PDX's beer scene, what little I have seen of it, is pretty sweet. The number of breweries and beer-centric establishments is astounding, and I would probably spend my entire budget on beer if I lived there just trying everywhere! I also like that some of the most well-known beer personalities (Fred, Lisa M., Terri F., etc.) are out your way and there's a pretty good chance of running into them out there. Beyond that, I don't feel like it's fair to comment on PDX's beer scene since I was only there for a weekend, but I have to say I was treated very well and treated to some excellent beer while I was there.

Now, PWM's beer scene, if I might be so bold, is also worth exploring. I'd love to host a PDX beer geek for a "cultural exchange" in Maine. Some highlights of the PWM beer scene? Allagash just relased one of their "coolship" beers which is one of the only spontaneously fermented beers ever made in the US with one of those rooms where the windows are open at night so whatever yeast is around can come in(!), Novare Res is a Belgian Beer paradise in a little alleyway downtown, we have some fabulous new brewers and a couple of dark beers here to die for. Any PDXers want to get a tour of the "other" Portland, let me know and I'll hook you up with some great beer!

Where can we find you on the web?
My blog is
I also write for Rate Beer's "The Hop Press" at
Twitter @beerbabe
The Aleuminati (Ning)
Beer Bloggers Unite (Ning)