Two long wooden tables in the dark front corner of Tap 42's dining room were covered in white stickers last night. Plastic boxes full of black shirts with the tagline "Wicked women who love beer" were stacked against the wall. And a chatty woman with long, dark hair made sure everyone around her had one of each.
Arwen Lehman spearheads the Craft Brewjas, the women-drinkers group that met at Tap on Thursday, March 14, for the first time in Broward County. Some local media previewed the event, inviting the public to "Catch up with the Craft Brewjas."
But at the bar, attendees were mainly beer geeks and local foodies. Most of them had met prior, but on Facebook. Or maybe they had tweeted each other, or liked some Instagram pictures someone present had posted.
Lots of "Oh, you're that Twitter handle? Great to finally meet you. I mean, in person!" was going on.
Virtual friends, but real-life strangers, knocked back Cigar City special-release brews, checking into beer-geek app Untappd to unlock badges for drinking out with friends or at a specific location. Many moments were blanketed by silence as the group furiously uploaded photos to all social-media outlets.
Is that why "the public" seldom shows up to these things? Does this sound like fun?
The Craft Brewjas welcome everyone: It's an unofficial group without membership roles or fees, events are casual, and men are included. (Brew Daddies are a thing.)
Here's an outline of some characters at last night's brew-a-thon, if your interest is piqued and you want to try catching the next one:
The mastermind: She won't admit it, but she's the team leader. She spread the word about the party and brought the swag to give out. And, once people start arriving, she's the one to make sure everyone has a beer. Before leaving home, check her Facebook for beer articles from around the web. Use the hashtag (#craftbrewjas) when you tweet; she'll appreciate it.
Inspired by Craft Brewjas.
The food blogger: This is a person whose identity is not advertised. You may follow her on Instagram and like all her photos, but you wouldn't know it if she shared your table. Because this is South Florida, you'll connect with her and others present about Hialeah stereotypes and Khloe Kardashian's ridiculous cortadito "addiction."
Inspired by Fatgirl Hedonist.
The brewer(s): Unassuming, quiet drinkers, the beer-makers in our hometowns are most likely bearded men sporting hats or plaid shirts. Well, fashion choices vary. The sure thing is, you probably want to try the beer they're drinking, and make sure you check out their own product. Ask about beer-industry jobs or city permits; it's a fun talk you never knew you could have.
Inspired by Wynwood Brewing.
The food-trepreneur: Ever meet folks who quit their day job to follow their dreams? Or their nose? Some can pull that off, but only with a strong, web-savvy social-media presence and a quirky product. Bacon jam, beer cakes or amazing cheese all count. Extra points if the business owners tattoo their logos on themselves.
Inspired by Copperpot's and Sweet Days.
The reporter: That's me. I observe. Pro-tip? Charge your smartphone before going.