20 Questions with my WCW @babels_cameron

Meet @babels_cameron a.k.a. Tanya Lawrence. This gal is a major beer influencer and an experienced brewer. Last year she was named “one of the top women in craft beer to follow” by Men’s Health MagazineTanya has a wealth of knowledge and amazing insight into the beer world.

Tanya Lawrence @babels_cameron • Instagram photos and videos (2)

 

 

1 Where are you from?
I was born in Washington, DC and am a current resident of Cleveland, Ohio via Tampa, Florida.

 

2 What beer can we find in your fridge right now? 
Oh wow [laughs]. Let’s see. We have a handful of Dancing Gnome’s latest releases, a handful of Finback’s latest releases, a couple Equilibrium IPAs, a crowler of Voodoo Apricot Berliner, a six-pack of Voodoo Big Black Voodoo Daddy, a handful of Platform Phunkenship series, a lone Civil Society can, a bottle of gueuze, and a few Mikkeller bottles. [laughs]

 

3 What is your favorite local beer?

Right now, I have apartments in both Cleveland, Ohio and Tampa, Florida. I commute between- and work in- both, so for Tampa Bay, I’d say my favorite craft breweries are going to be between Arkane Aleworks, Angry Chair, Coppertail, or Hidden Springs; and for Cleveland specifically, my favorite craft beer is going to be between Platform, Bottlehouse, or Masthead.

4 How long have you been loving the craft brews?
I’ve been drinking craft beer and touring craft breweries and distilleries for about thirteen years now.

 

5 How did you get into craft beer? 

As previously mentioned, I started traveling specifically for craft beer a little over a decade ago now; touring breweries and distilleries throughout the east coast. I started posting my experiences in craft beer onto social media around 2014 and 2015, and in 2017 was named by Men’s Health Magazine as “one of the top women in craft beer to follow”. Although I never intended to have a beer-centric or carefully-curated Instagram, I felt a certain responsibility after which to earn that title, and so I began writing, and formally utilizing my social media platforms to shine a light on the craft breweries, brewers, and beer that I loved.   

 

6 What is your favorite style of beer?
Lambics, gueuzes for sure.

 

7 What are your top 3 favorite beers?

There’s absolutely no way I could answer this from a lifetime perspective [laughs], but I can say that my three favorite thus far THIS year has been Great Notion Guava Mochi NEIPA [New England Style IPA], Hudson Valley Brewery Peach Silhouette sour IPA, and Voodoo Brewery Grande Negro Voodoo Papi imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels

 

8 What beer are you dying to try?

I was recently introduced to Great Notion, and after sipping only three brands of theirs in total, now want to drink any and all of their beers ever made available [laughs]. Aside from that, I have a handful of friends who have collaborations set to release soon — a couple specifically from my friends over at Chicago area-based Mikerphone — and I’m looking forward to those!  

9 What place have you been to that has the best beer scene?
As much as we are all suckers for Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and so forth, I’ve got to give it to Asheville, North Carolina. Not only is the liquid there golden, but there exists a comparable food and spirits scene there as well. And of course, once you tire of the beer and food and artisanal cocktails — if that’s even possible — you have a bevy of other phenomenal activities to enjoy: hiking, biking, rafting, or just indulging in the scenery and art culture there. Asheville is AMAZING.

 

10 What is your favorite brewery to visit?

SARA, hands down. There is something about their intimate, beautiful taproom — and all of beautiful surrounding Capitola — that feels so intensely intimate and special. I could crack bottles of saison there all day.

 

11 I’m a sucker for a cute can. What beer do you think has the best bottle/ can art?

I can narrow this down pretty easily by three breweries: KCBC’S bright, bold wholly-enveloping comic style cans, Finback’s gorgeously minimalist, clean designs — their use of color and iridescence is mesmerizing (think Oscillation or the gold application on Caviar 3XIPA) — and Voodoo Brewery’s fun, whimsical ones; the latter being fashioned by my friend Tom Ness, who is an amazing artist and has a great eye for color.

 

12 What new brewery are you most excited about?

Oh I couldn’t narrow this down if I tried. Equilibrium, District 96, Dancing Gnome, and Outer Range are all fairly new-to-me and on my radar right now!

 

13 What’s the most shameful beer you drank back in the day?

Believe it or not, I spent my formative drinking years solely consuming wine and spirits. My first beer EVER was Allagash White, and so I suppose you could say I’ve been spoiled on good beer since. I could say that I’ve been known once to slam a random PBR or Coors Banquet on a dare, but there’s truly no shame here

 

14 Have you ever tried to home brew?

I have brewed both on professional- and [what we could consider] home brewing- systems. I’ve brewed an imperial stout aged in Buffalo Trace and Jefferson bourbon barrels at Big Top Brewing in Sarasota, Florida and also assisted in brewing a NEIPA-style hopped with Nelson and Citra with my friends Jason Toft (Crooked Thumb), John Lewis (Brew Hub), and Dean Palmer (Palmer Tropical Beverages)

 

15 Where is your favorite place to drink a beer?

It’s not a “where” as much as it is a “with who”. My favorite place to drink is beer is always going to be with friends. Over the past year, some of my most favorite experiences in beer have been at festivals, so in that vein, I’m supposing it’s also “the more the merrier…”

 

16 How do you prefer to drink beer- keg, cask, can or bottle?

I prefer to #drinkallthethings [laughs]. There’s no preference to medium.

 

17 Besides beer what’s another favorite beverage?

Champagne. Give me all the champagne.

 

18 Any recommendations to read or listen to for craft beer lovers?  (book, magazines, blog, podcast)

The best piece of advice I can give is to follow whatever you love on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s been said a person checks their phone on average eighty-four times a day [laughs] I can wager that a heft of that is spent on social media. Whatever you love — FOLLOW it. Be it Draft or All About Beer Magazine, Hop Culture, Porch Drinking, your favorite breweries, favorite brewers, or favorite reviews or personalities. Follow them. There’s no better way of seeing real-time updates and obtaining up-to-the-minute information than via social media.

19 How has social media helped you share your love of craft beer? Any cool perks?

Obviously enough, social media has allowed me to reach an audience greater than ever imagined. From the United States to Brazil to Mexico to the UK, I am able to reach tens of thousands of imbibers with just a single post. From this, I’ve shared dialogue with a lot of great thinkers, drinkers, and brewers; and have had the opportunity to drink beer from all over the world and attend festivals and conferences all over the country. I’ve always said that at the end of the day, my account isn’t about me, it’s about shining a light on the breweries, brewers, and liquid that I love, so if I can influence or encourage even one person to try a beer that I love or visit a brewery or taproom that I think is out here doing amazing things, then I know I’m doing something right.

20 Where can we follow you? 

Instagram: @babels_cameron
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tjlawren & https://www.facebook.com/drinkallthethings/ the latter being my host site for my published articles and interviews
Untappd: tjlawren

 

 

 

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