Alison’s Favorite Things from 2018

Posted December 6, 2018 by Alison Conklin

Another year in the books. 2018 brought new clients, events, cities and experiences as well as catching up with some of my favorite people and places I have met along the way. Here is a recap on some of my favorite things from the year.

Favorite Beer: Tart Cherry Kvass, Wynkoop Brewing Co.

While hosting an event at Wynkoop Brewing Co. in Denver, Colorado, we were able to tour the historic brewery and learn about their more than 20 beers they have on tap at any given time. This allowed me to try a new beer style I had never had before: Kvass.

Kvass is usually a dark, slightly sour, bready brew. Typically, it is low-ABV, acidic and made with rye bread or flour. Wynkoop’s perfect combination of breadiness and tart cherries made for a perfect beer to enjoy while walking around the brewery.

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Favorite Work Trip: Portland, Oregon

This year, not only did I get to go to Portland, Oregon, for the first time, but I got to go three times! One of these trips was for the Honey Beer Session where we taught local Portland brewers about honey, tasted samples of honey from around the country and went on an amazing apiary visit on an island.

Our trip kicked off at Cascade Brewing Barrel House, where head brewer Mike Mathis introduced Buckwheat Braggot, a honey beer made just for our event. Knowing my love for sour beers and Cascade, I was asked to tap the barrel! It was a nerve-wracking, thrilling and once-in-a-lifetime experience I will never forget!

After our event was over, Keith and I walked the streets of Portland trying to find the best ice cream shop around. Had we not went out for a quick treat or felt the need to walk off all the delicious beer and food we had all day, we would not have ran into the one, the only Owen Wilson! You would have thought I was having an out of body experience! Mr. Wilson was eating at a pizza joint while we spotted him on the sidewalk. He was so genuine and asked us about our trip, which he was intrigued to hear about brewing with honey. We were able to catch a quick selfie before fans spotted him (it’s blurry from how much I was shaking), but it was yet another once in a lifetime experience.

Favorite Restaurant: The Olde Pink House, Savannah, GA

If you have been to Savannah, Georgia, you know there is no shortage of restaurants to try! I had the chance to live in Savannah for a few months at the beginning of the year, and I was sure to make frequent trips to The Olde Pink House.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Savannah, The Olde Pink House has history beyond measure. But in short, the restaurant is in a 1771 Georgian mansion named for the beautiful shade of “pink” stucco, which covers its old brick. I had the chance to bring my sister and husband while they visited and we were able to share beautiful dishes and wine with some of Savannah’s greatest hospitality. As all of my fellow Savannahians will attest, The Olde Pink House is a must!

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Favorite Spirit / Cocktail: ?

My favorite? I am not sure I can narrow in on just one, but I know it was definitely the year of spirits for me. Brightly Creative hosted the National Honey Board’s first Honey Spirits Competition, which brought in more than 90 made with honey spirits from around the country. I was able to sit in as a moderator as eight experienced spirts experts judged entries. It gave me a new appreciation for and insight into the industry. I know I learned more about spirits and what it takes to create a great cocktail this year than ever before. I also was able to expand my alcohol vocabulary!

Favorite Packaged Food or Beverage: My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream

I might be one of the worst (or best) people to attend a food tradeshow. I am “one of those” people that will stand in line to try all the craziest and most innovative food samples. Especially if they are cheesy or fruity! This past year, we attended Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim where I met my newest addiction, My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream. It is like biting into a magical dough ball filled with mouthwatering ice cream. If you haven’t had one yet…you probably won’t because I have ate them all!

(photo credit: My/Mo)


Let us know your pursuits. We’ll find the best way to get you there.