thebeerwench thebeerwench

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✨Ash Slay✨  •former beer expert •aspiring yoga teacher •published author •coffee lover •fitness enthusiast •super foodie •sober: 12/24/16

School Pride.

As many of you probably remember, I used to spend an unnatural amount of time in Instagram. Some might say that it used to consume me—and they would be correct, to some extent. I always criticized, if not outright hated on, Snapchat. Which is ironic because that is the social space where I spend the most time these days. It’s the preferred platform of my coworkers and closest friends in my new life—and like the chameleon that I am, I’ve adapted accordingly.
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If any of you are interested in following a more personal side of “the girl formerly known as the Beer Wench”—I welcome and encourage you to follow me on Snapchat. You can expect lots of dog pics and videos, silly videos of me lip-syncing in the car, pics of me flexing like a baller in the gym, latte art, food porn and so on and so forth. Let me know you followed me in the comments below so I can return the favor. I’d love to see the more “human” side of all of you as well!
Xoxo,
Slay (aka @namaste.slay on snap)

Connecting my past with my future via “beer yoga” (sans the beer, naturally). Just finished up a yoga class at @urbanrestbeer—a local brewery here in the Detroit metro area. One of my favorite local yoga teachers @_sparklewolf taught an amazing flow this morning at the brewery. Capped off the rejuvenating experience with an amazing house-brewed strawberry kombucha. Not that I plan on drinking ever again—but who needs sour beer when you can have this stuff?
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I know I’ve hinted at it, but in case you haven’t heard—I’m going to be a yoga teacher when I grow up (errr, again). I joke with everyone that I’m currently in my second phase of adulthood. After all, I’ve already lived one life as an adult. I spent over a decade in the craft beer and wine industry. My beer blog would have been 10-years old this past February. That chapter closed on December 24th 2016 when I made the life-changing decision to get sober. And I’ve been on a path of recovery and self-discovery ever since.
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One day I hope to bridge my past, present and future by teaching my own classes at craft breweries. After all, I will never stop loving the craft beer culture and all of the people in the industry. Until then, namaste my friends.

Truth be told, I had my doubts about the youth of our country—the next generation of leaders and potential activists. I assumed that they were over-stimulated and desensitized by technology (and overly dependent on it). But, I’m proud to admit that I was wrong. After witnessing today’s events in Washington and around the country, I couldn’t be more impressed with and inspired by the youth in America. I’m proud and honored to march with them, in spirit at least. As a member of the Columbine generation, I’ve always supported stricter gun laws in this country. I wish my generation had the guts to march for our lives and fight for change when our world was turned upside down by gun violence. I’m disheartened that it took almost 20 years and dozens more school shootings to get us to where we are today—but, I’m happy that we got here.
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Your move, Washington. The people have spoken. We want change, and we want it now. #NeverAgain

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends!
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Flashback photo from fall 2015 when I was lucky enough to be chosen by Guinness to go to Ireland on a media trip. Guinness was preparing to open a small 10-bbl pilot brewhouse and hosted a bunch of American writers and bloggers for the unveiling.
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I learned so much about the history and heritage of Guinness during that trip—and the brewery will always hold a very special place in my heart, even in sobriety. Guinness was one of the very first, if not the first, company in the world to offer paid time off to its employees. They were also one of the first companies to offer maternity leave. Guinness was also single-handedly responsible for keeping thousands of people in Dublin employed during the Great Depression. The brewery is also responsible for a tremendous amount of the infrastructure in the city of Dublin. They have helped to rebuild and restore several local historical landmarks. Guinness was also the very first company ever to advertise in a newspaper—and its extensive history of advertising campaigns is a marketing geek’s wet dream. And the list of awesome facts about Guinness just goes on and on and on and on.
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Just some things to think about as you throw back some pints this evening!
Cheers,
Slay

In honor of International Women’s Day, I’m sporting my favorite feminist t-shirt. Oh common kids, don’t act like y’all didn’t know I was a flaming feminist. Liberalism practically oozes from my veins. Equality is kind of my jam. What can I say? I think everyone is entitled to the same basic human rights, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity and so on and so forth. Sadly, not everyone agrees with me—but, this is not about them.
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As much as it excites me to see and be a part of women’s marches around the country, I also find it disheartening and disturbing that women are still fighting for equality in the year 2018. It blows my mind, actually.
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But, I will refrain from standing on my soap box today. No need to go on a political rant, my shirt sends the exact message that I wish to convey. Sending mad love, hugs, kisses and high-fives to all my fellow bad-ass, fierce, strong-willed and independent women out there. Happy International Women’s Day!
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Namaste.
Slay

My mini-me (personality kids, obviously not looks haha) introduced me to a swanky local restaurant that serves a massive amount of fries for, get this, $7. Yup, a baking tray full of fries for SEVEN FREAKING DOLLARS. And not your average shitty pre-frozen fries—we are talking legit fries freshly made in-house. And I repeat, they were only 7 bucks. It was also the first time I’ve seen burrata on a menu since I moved to Detroit—something that completely blows my mind considering every restaurant and it’s mother has burrata on its menu in California. Yeah, no one said the big move here was easy, haha. Capped off the evening with fresh baked cookies (and milk) that were brought to us in a legit ceramic cookie jar. Pretty sure I just found my new favorite food spot in the Detroit burbs!

It is with a heavy and humble, yet grateful and hopeful heart, that I come to you today with this bittersweet news. After 10 years almost to the date, I have made the executive decision to give up the rights to the domain name as well as all the content from DrinkWithTheWench.com. At this juncture in my life, I just can’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on the domain, the hosting and all the bells and whistles associated with running the website.
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When I first planned on writing this, what we will call, tribute—I wanted to treat it like a eulogy. But the truth is, my “legacy” isn’t going to die just because my website no longer exists. My career in the craft beer industry extended far beyond my blog. I didn’t just write about beer, I actually lived the dream. I traveled the country and even to Ireland because of my career. I have toured and brewed in some of the best breweries in the world. I spoke at numerous conferences. I poured beer at dozens upon dozens of beer festivals. I have shook the hands, pat the backs, hugged and kissed some of the best brewers in the world. I was a part of the beer world, and part of me will always be a part of that world because of all the lifelong friendships that were created during my brief, yet not-so-brief tenure.
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When I started Drink With The Wench in February of 2008, I was a fledgling beer geek. I barely knew the difference between a porter and a stout. But what I did know, was that craft beer excited me and that I loved everything about it. I instantly became a cheerleader for the craft beer movement, and dedicated the following 10 years to promoting and advocating for craft beer.
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My blog opened up a door for opportunities that I couldn’t even dream of at the time. In a million years, I never thought I would have gotten as far as I did in the industry. Don’t get me wrong, though. Perceived internet popularity didn’t get me the respect and recognition that I ultimately received from my peers. Due diligence, an affinity for writing, and working my ass off in and out of breweries is where I earned my street cred. I will never regret my choices to follow my dreams. But that chapter has come to an end.
RIP DWtW, Xoxo

Dear Pizza,

I love you. I always have, I always will. To me, your are perfect. Just as you are. Happy National Pizza Day, my darling.

Love, Slay

Just because I’m sober, doesn’t mean I’m dead. And just because I’m no longer an active craft beer consumer or employee of the industry, doesn’t mean I can’t ever set foot in a brewery ever again.
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Today, I attended my very first yoga class hosted inside of a brewery. The concept is not new to me, as I attribute the unique concept and rise in popularity of “beer yoga” to my beautiful and inspiring friend @beeryoga. Oddly enough, I never had the opportunity to do yoga in a brewery setting during my tenure in the industry. (And twisting my body in awkward positions to clean the mash tun doesn’t count, haha).
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As fate would have it, I ended up at “class and a glass” at @urbanrestbeer this morning because my beautiful and inspirational yogi friend and soul sister (the lovely @_sparklewolf) was teaching the class. I was like, “so you’re telling me that I can practice something I was already going to do today anyways with a teacher whose energy and style that I adore, in an environment that feels like my home away from home?” Um, no brainer.
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Now, I know there are probably a few raised eyebrows out there, so let’s clarify some things. The liquid pictured in this glass could just as easily be a sour beer of sorts—but alas, it’s house-made apple, lemon, ginger kombucha. And a very tasty one at that. As for the whole home away from home line, I will always consider the craft beer industry and the people in it as family. Some of my greatest years were spent working in that world, and I have made many life-long friends that have stayed by my side above and beyond sobriety. I will always respect and love the industry, the people and the beverage itself—even if I never swallow another sip of it for as long as I live.
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Today’s experience was insightful and inspiring, to say the least. As I start down my own path of yoga teacher training (spoiler alert), I have uncovered some ideas on how I can bridge my new life with my old life. Perhaps, one day I will find myself working inside breweries again—not brewing this time, but spreading the love for yoga. Obviously, too soon to let such goals turn into stone. But, at least an idea I can comfortably entertain.
Namaste, Slay

So what have I been up to since I started the whole recovery thing? Oh you know, I little bit of this and a little bit of that...
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It might come as no surprise that physical health, fitness and overall well-being has been a major focus during my recovery—in addition to my mental health, emotional stability and spiritual growth. I’ve replaced my desire to drink and drug with the desire to better myself, inside and out. I abused my body with alcohol and drugs for over ten years. Undoing that damage isn’t going to happen overnight, mind you. But, I’ll be damned it I let my past decisions impact my current and future health.
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This back and these shoulders have always been a blessing and a curse for me. They were developed over a 15-year period starting as early as age 5. By the time I graduated college, I had developed a 6’1 wing span. And I say developed because I didn’t just magically grow arms disproportionate to my height. Years of hardcore training in the water and the weight room yielded this wing span. Sure, my body was probably predisposed to this shape, but let’s not kid ourselves. I built this body myself.
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Blessing and a curse, mind you. Blessing because this back has always been there, even through my drinking days. It literally takes little effort to get definition back. I haven’t touched a pool since college, I haven’t had a consistent lifting routine in over a decade—all I do these days is yoga. Not bad for just doing yoga, huh?
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The reason I say my back is also a curse is because I will never have a “normal” female figure because of it. I will never have that “ideal” curvy frame. I will never be petite. Shirts will always fit me weird, long sleeve jackets will never fit me right. But, at the end of the day, this is my body. And I intend of loving every inch of it, regardless of what society deems attractive or sexy.
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I’ve dreamt of teaching yoga ever since I turned to it in my early twenties as a way to rehabilitate a laundry list of sports injuries sustained in high school and college. I gravitated towards yoga in recovery to improve my physical and mental health. And now, I aspire to heal others with it. Stay tuned... xoxo, Slay

When in Rome.... #bestnine2017

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