Girl Meets Hops: Eat the Frog First

Girl Meets Hops: Eat the Frog First

By Marguerite Washut, BBBC Taproom/Events Coordinator

Earlier this year, my boss forwarded me an article on Wine & Spirits Daily about the reasons why millennials (ages 21-34) do NOT come into taprooms. It naturally peaked my interest because why wouldn’t anyone – especially millennials -- want to come hang out in a casual setting and drink beer with friends? I mean, it’s even dog/kid-friendly! What more could you want?

And just like a stereotypical millennial myself, I fell for the clickbait.

Top three reasons produced by this survey were:

  1. Price
    • Eh, $5/pint is cheap compared to my $12 Greyhounds I usually order on any given night out. For that price, I couldn’t afford not to buy a pint! Next.
  2. Overcrowded
    • Again, didn’t really resonate with me. Call me old fashioned, but I like going to a bar/brewery to meet people and people-watch.
  3. Intimidating
    • Now that I can understand!

As soon as I saw the third reason, I immediately replied to my boss (the quintessential specimen of the stereotypical craft beer dude) explaining that I understood the intimidation sentiment completely!

Before I explain why, let me tell you a bit about myself. I’m in my late twenties, female, lover of all animals - especially dogs, and on the weekends, you can find me at TJ Maxx hunting for a good bargain. The outdoors have never really been my thing – I don’t ski/snowboard (but I’m an excellent lodge bunny), I’d rather go to Pilates than on a hike, and before I moved to Yakima two years ago, my idea of a nice, cold beer was a Bud Light Lime. I never drank wine (unless it was out of a box in college) and I certainly wouldn’t try a craft beer – those were reserved for the hipsters, which clearly I am not. Needless to say, I avoided trying any craft beverage due to the one thing that scares most of us: intimidation.

“Winos” and “beer snobs” were coined for a reason. There’s truth behind those stigmas. Just like there’s truth behind “millennials” and “baby boomers.” I get it. Just like I feel a sense of entitlement to a band that I discover before they’re played on the radio, craft beverage lovers feel the same. Believe me, working as the new taproom and events coordinator, I see the fan mail pouring in saying how people feel like Bale Breaker is “their” brewery. It’s awesome to feel like you’re a part of something.

So I decided what better time than the present to “eat the frog first”? If I’m going to be a true Yakimaniac, I better start learning how to enjoy the fruit of my community’s labor – which happens to be hops, and hops make beer (which was recently unbeknownst to me), and beer makes me come out of my shell.

Listen, I’d like to think the folks here at Bale Breaker hired me for my expertise in the craft beverage industry, but let’s just say that’s not the case. I’m not an expert; but the moment I joined the team, we’ve been learning from each other. They’re excited to share what they know (even if they do have to break it down in layman’s terms) and I’m excited to help them connect with a broader range of people.

Join me on my journey and I’ll share what I learn (like that a half-barrel is the same thing as a keg?!), so next time you come into the taproom, you’ll be able to talk the talk too.


 Girl Meets Hops: A monthly column about an amateur's quest to find out what's behind the buzz.

Posted January 30, 2019

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