Meet Joy of Sweets & Joyness

Joy and I at Ross Island Brewery

I have this amazing friend name Joy of Sweets & Joyness.  She is an extremely talented baker.  You can check out her website here.  On top of her baking talents, she has a huge passion for beer.  She loves combining the two in really creative ways.  She once made a stout beer cake for our friend’s birthday!

Joy is a wonderful baker that has over 15 years of experience in traditional baking and pastry and would be happy to make your next occasion the best with contemporary style of cookies or cakes to order.

Texagonian (a native Texan living in Oregon or a native Oregonian living in Texas) Joy Childress is a pastry chef focused on making the world a sweeter place one dessert at a time. She founded Sweets & Joyness in 2011 to capture fun events and personalities in custom cake and cookie designs.

Joy’s love for pastry-making started early with a cake decorating course at a local craft store when she was in junior high. From there Joy spent her formative years nurturing an interest in calligraphy and design and building her decorating expertise with a cake decorating job at Cold Stone Creamery.

Joy received her Patisserie and Baking Associate of Arts degree from Western Culinary Institute in 2007. Since then, she has worked for a number of Portland, Oregon’s finest bakeries – including three-times Cupcake Wars winner Crave Bake Shop (now Kyra’s Bake shop), Helen Bernhard’s Bakery, and Marsee Baking – honing her confectionary crafts and creating her unique approach to custom desserts.

BiteSize Brew’s Mentions of Joy:

Zwickelmania 2017 (Recap)

Zwickelmania 2015 [Portland, OR]

Holiday Ale Festival 2014

You’ll see more posts from Joy popping up on BiteSize Brews including some amazing beer reviews and recipes to try at home.  Leave a comment and say “hi” to Joy.

Meet Beckie

Beer Bestie, Beckie with #DannerBrasston and Jenna with #BulletTheDog at Gigantic

Meet Beckie.  She is my best friend, dog-auntie to #Bulletthedog, bad ass Athletic Trainer, professional beer drinker.  I first wrote about Beckie on this blog back in 2011, “I don’t have a sister, but I’m lucky enough to have an amazing best friend who is like a sister to me.”  Since then our friendship has only grown stronger.  She has been drinking beer with me for years, in two different countries, and two different states.  She also does some beer drinking on her own and I’d like to highlight that as well.  So look forward to seeing more blog post from her on this blog.  In her own words:

I’m an Athletic Trainer by trade, but also consider myself an exert beer taster. Member of the “Frommates” friend-family and been Jenna’s best friend for 10 years. My opinions can sometimes be seen on here, especially if I’m able to finish my beer before Jenna steals it to take a sip (that doesn’t happen often).  

[Jenna’s Note: This only happens when she gets strawberry beer!]

Previous articles mentioning Beckie include:

Siem Reap Brewpub – Siem Reap, Cambodia

Himawari Microbrewery – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Dead Lizard Brewing Company – Orlando, FL

Cascade Brewing Sour Fruit Fest 2016

Great Notion Brewing – Portland, Oregon

Oregon Brew Fest 2014

Biketobeer 2013

Fruit Beer Festival 2013

First Annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival




Arch Rock Brewing Company, Gold Beach, OR [Guest Post]


Leave a comment and say “hi” to Beckie.  You’ll be seeing her and hearing from her more on BiteSize Brews!

Beer Review: Uinta Brewing Free Form IPA

Everyone loves coming home to a beer.  A few weeks ago, that happened to me.  I got home from work, walked up my steps and there sitting on my doorstep was a four-pack of Uinta Free Form beers.  I snapped a few photos, cracked open on, started reading the letter from Isaac Winter (Head Brewer at Uinta) and then texted my roommate, who’s gluten free.  Over the course of a few nights, I finished off the four-pack and can honestly say that I really want to visit the least beer’d state (Utah) and check out this brewery.  And for a gluten free beer, Free Form is pretty good.  Definitely a hot summer day, drinking beer.  Can’t wait to try the Blonde Ale next.

Here is what Unita has to say about the beer:

Salt Lake City – After an extensive research and development process that lasted nearly two years, Uinta Brewing Company has added two gluten-free offerings to its beer portfolio with Free Form IPA and Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale. Brewed to appeal to all beer drinkers, but produced with naturally gluten-free ingredients, Free Form can be enjoyed worry-free and sacrifice-free by all gluten-conscious consumers, not just those with specific dietary restrictions.

“We take pride in crafting high-quality beers in a variety of styles so that everyone can experience a Uinta, and Free Form is a natural extension of that,” said Steve Mills, CEO of Uinta Brewing Co. “Our brewing team set out to make gluten-free beer that didn’t compromise on taste, and we weren’t satisfied until both criteria were achieved.”

Brewed with millet and buckwheat, Uinta’s Free Form offerings are naturally gluten-free and have not been gluten-reduced by enzymes. Additionally, the brewery has implemented rigid testing procedures to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. Each batch of Free Form will be tested a minimum of two times prior to release: once by an external certified lab and once in house using Glutenox Detection, which can detect gluten as low as 5 parts per million (ppm). Free Form consistently measures below 10 ppm for gluten content, a level below that of current dietary labeling guidelines for gluten-free products.

 Uinta’s Free Form offerings showcase Uinta’s sense of adventure and commitment to carefully crafted beers for all consumers and occasions. Both brews will be available in four-packs of 12 oz. bottles through Uinta’s distribution territory by the end of spring 2017. 

About Free Form Beers

Free Form IPA Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale
Availability: Year-round Availability: Year-round
ABV: 4% • IBU: 63 • SRM: 5 ABV: 4% • IBU: 20 • SRM: 6
Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat Ingredients: Millet, Buckwheat, Coriander
Hops: Citra, Ella, Cascade Hops: Sterling, Opal
Description: Citra and Ella hops impart a bright and tropical essence to this exceptional tasting, sessionable India Pale Ale. Description: Hints of coriander and Belgian yeast character partner perfectly with Sterling and Opal hops in this sessionable Blonde Ale.

About Uinta Brewing Co.

Uinta Brewing Company began its journey in 1993 with a passion for craft beer and a yearning for the great outdoors that aligned perfectly in Salt Lake City, Utah. Named after the only major east-west running mountain range located in the continental U.S., Uinta’s path is consistently led by the values of sustainability, community involvement and innovation. The brewery’s wide selection of high-quality beers is currently enjoyed in 38 states and three export markets. For more information visit

Have you ever had Uinta Beer?  What was your favorite?  Been to the brewery?  Had a good gluten free beer before?  Leave a comment and share your experience!

Heads up, Uinta provided me the beer and the awesome letter from Isaac Winter, the Head Brewer.

Great Notion Brewing – Portland, Oregon

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Beckie and I on a Brewvana tour.

Some days it just pays to be a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador.  (It also pays to be my best friend, when I give up alcohol for Lent).  This is how Beckie and I got invited to a test tour of Great Notion Brewing with BREWVANA.  One of the newest breweries in town opening January 1, 2016!

Great Notion Brewing is a 7 BBL brewery and tap room in Portland, Oregon located at 2204 NE Alberta #101 (next to Pine State Biscuits).  It’s the old Mash Tun Brewery. They focus primarily on juicy New England-style IPA’s and creative sour ales, though you’ll also find a variety of beers on fresh fruit, and stouts with maple, coffee & chocolate.

Their barrel program is hosted both in on-site and off-site locations where their American sour ales age for 9-24 months in oak barrels and clay amphoras. A portion of their sour ales are blended with Summer Oregon fruit like peaches, apricots, strawberries, and cherries. Freshly emptied Bourbon barrels age their imperial stout on ingredients like roasted coffee, vanilla beans, chocolate, and maple syrup.

Brewvana VIP

Brewvana VIP

When it comes to brewing creative craft beer, they realize the immense talent within this city and been inspired by many, in Portland and beyond.

The Great Notion cofounders are: James Dugan, brewing & marketing, Andy Miller, brewing & operations, and Paul Reiter, finance & strategy.  The creative and delicious food menu at Great Notion Brewing was created by our chef and long time friend, Ryan O’ Connor.

Here is what we (aka Beckie) tried:

  • Zest – Their take on a German style Berliner Weisse, the lemony tartness in this refreshing wheat beer comes from a two stage fermentation with Lactobacillius and Brettanomyces.  Zest is the beer that will guide you into the spring time.  Beckie says this beer was tart at the finish, but still refreshing.
  • Coffee and Cream – on nitro – is a Cream Ale on specially roasted whole bean Columbian coffee in partnership with Clutch Coffee Roasters.  It’s a one of a kind brew and a unique flavor experience.  Beckie says this beer was a great coffee stout and would make a great beer to add to a float.  It had good texture and thickness.
  • The Merry Dankster DIPA – their tribute to Ken Kesey and his merry band of pranksters.  This Double IPA is saturated with hop flavor.  It’s dry hopped with over three pounds per barrel and fermented with local wild flower honey.  Slammed with notes of pineapple, pine and stinky dank goodness.  Beckie says it was definitely “dank” with powerful flavor but didn’t have the boozy finish that a lot of IIPA’s have.
  • Single Stack – this was a special tasting of the beer that started Double Stack.  (Northwest Breakfast Stout aged on a ridiculous amount of Vermont maple syrup and locally roasted coffee beans.)  Beckie says it was waaay to sweet and watery.  Needed something more thicken it.  I’m sure Double Stack is better.
Great Notion Brewing

Great Notion Brewing

Here is what I tried – FOOD:

  • Sweet Potato Waffle Fries with curried ginger ketchup.  While the fries were great, the curried ginger was AMAZING.  It’s like once you have chocolate chips in your banana bread, you can never go back to plain banana bread.  I’ll never be able to go back to plain ketchup after this.
  • Buffalo Tostones.  These were fried green plantains, covered in buffalo sauce (like wings) with a mojo jicama slaw.  I’ve never tried anything like this and I loved it.  Great vegan / gluten free option.
  • Cheese Crisps.  Grilled sharp cheddar, spicy roasted serranos, pickled sweet peppers and neufchatel.  Like the Tostones, this isn’t something I’ve ever had before.  It was amazing, almost like something I would plan on ordering at Bollywood Theatre.
  • Salt & Pepper Chicharonnes.  These were house pork cracklings featuring Tilting Hog Ranch pork with a malt vinegar dipping sauce.  I’m not a huge fan of pork or even fried chicken so I tried some and while it was good, it definitely isn’t for me.
Don’t forget since you read BiteSize Brews you can get 10% off your own BREWVANA Beer Tour!  Just use the code “jenna_r4″ when you check out!

Want to be a Brewvana Ambassador?! [Discount Code]

Brewvana-LogoAs many of you know, I’ve been a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador for over a year now.  I’ve been on tours, written blog posts, attended a bunch of beer events, rocked some sweet swag and drank a ton of free beer because of it.  And now, I’m looking for more Portland-loving, beer-drinking friends, to join me being BREWVANA Brand Ambassador’s with me!

What is BREWVANA’s Brand Ambassador program?

Our Brand Ambassadors are an extension of the mission and brand of BREWVANA.

The Brand Ambassador program aims to promote BREWVANA’s services and role in the craft beer community by building relationships through our Brand Ambassadors. Through different activities and responsibilities, Brand Ambassadors can connect with potential tour guests, travelers and beer lovers, local businesses and events and connect them with the city of Portland and its craft beer culture.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.21.43 AMBrand Ambassador minimum requirements:

  • Volunteer at at least one BREWVANA related event during the 2016 year.
  • Join one regular public BREWVANA tour per year.
  • Distribute flyers/marketing materials to assigned hotel quadrants once per quarter.
  • Distribute tour/event posters to assigned quadrants.
  • Attend one BA happy hour/brainstorming event per year.
  • Deliver brewery care packages once per quarter.

Expectations of Brand Ambassador:

  • Love and passion for craft beer and its surround culture and industries.
  • Knowledge of all things BREWVANA including history, tours offered, FAQS, etc.
  • Represent BREWVANA in a positive manner.
  • Familiarity and love of the city of Portland.
  • Intermediate knowledge and proficiency of social media.
  • Active social media account(s)- ideally -Familiarity and love of the city of Portland, Twitter and/or Instagram.
  • Friendly, outgoing and helpful.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.22.56 AMBrand Ambassador perks/activities:

  • Invitation to bi-annual BREWVANA brew day.
  • Invitation to quarterly happy hour/brainstorming event.
  • First invitation to join new tour test runs.
  • 1 free seat on any regular public tour per year.
  • 30% off tours and merch (same as employees) if purchased for yourself, 15% off for friends & family.
  • Super awesome welcome package.
  • Free beer fest passes for volunteering.

Plus, you get a Super Welcome Package:

  • BREWVANA beanie or hat
  • Growler (bomber)
  • Variety of printed marketing materials
  • Stickers
  • Two pilsner glasses
  • Baseball tee shirt
  • BREWVANA poster
  • Post cards
  • Buttons
  • Referral cards

Love Portland, love beer and are decent with social media?  Interested in being a BREWVANA Brand Ambassador?  Let me know and we can chat more.

Just want to take a BREWVANA Tour?  Since you read BiteSize Brews you can get 10% off your own BREWVANA Beer Tour!  Just use the code “jenna_r4″ when you check out!