I’ve got to give it up to fellow Santa Barbara beer writer Zach Rosen.
On Tuesday, a collaboration beer between myself and Santa Barbara Brewing Company was released at the brewpub with plenty of friends and a smattering of some of the local beer people – also friends (I’m borrowing that logic from Zach, here). Among them was Zach.
Zach writes a column every week for the Santa Barbara Sentinel (you can find this week’s issue here – his column starts on page 10), and is a Certified Cicerone. That basically means that he’s something like a Sommelier for beer. As a writer for a competing local publication (I write for the SB News Press), it might seem like there would be some natural competition… but there isn’t. For starters, our format is fairly different. Although we both write about beer, our columns take different forms. Because my column appears just once a month compared to his weekly piece, mine has a different focus. Zach is also great at writing about beer itself, while I try to draw attention to the people and places.
In any case, Zach called me on Tuesday to talk about coming to the Painted Cave Porter Release Party and writing about it for the Sentinel. There’s a lot I could say about that, but I think I’ll just recreate the conversation here and let it speak for itself.
My phone rang while I’m looking at soup in Whole Foods – it said “Zach Rosen” on the screen.
“Hey Sean, how are you?”
I reached for a box of tomato soup, but start knocking over boxes of beef broth too. “Oh, I’m alright. Fighting off a bug.” I lied. I was dying.
We went over the details of the release party – when I was getting there and whatnot, and Zach had a question.
“Do you have any objection to me writing about the release party and the beer tonight?”
I didn’t, but I wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to preempt my story that will run Nov. 7. We talked about the angle he was going to take, I realized that it wasn’t going to conflict with the angle I was going to take, so it was all good.
“Yeah man, that sounds great. It will be fun to get a little cross-publication love out there.”
“You know, it’s funny. When some of my friends saw your column in the News Press, they said ‘oh, you’ve got a little competition now.’ I had to tell them that we weren’t competitors at all. That we were friends.”
I had to chuckle a little bit. I’ve often credited Zach for being the inspiration for my editors at the News Press to let me write my beer column – something I had been trying to get for a couple years.
“Yeah man (I start most of my sentences this way), I think there’s plenty of room for a couple of beer writers in this town.”
It went on like this for a little bit. I had to hit mute to cough up a lung and probably missed Zach saying goodbye, but I said goodbye and hung up.
Fun story, right? Maybe that head cold is still lingering and I’m a little loopy, but I’m glad to be a part of a strong and growing stronger beer community in Santa Barbara. Zach is part of that community too. With that in mind, may I suggest you check out his Beer Matinee this Saturday at 5 p.m. Part of being a Cicerone means pairing beer with food, but Zach is a little bit different and prefers to pair beer with life. I love his approach to beer when it comes to these pairings, and Saturday’s event is going to pair beer with scenes and characters from The Jerk. I don’t know what beer pairs best with Steve Martin, but I’d love to find out.
So go check it out. Go check out Zach’s article in The Sentinel, and go check out Painted Cave Porter at Santa Barbara Brewing Company.