Special Interview: Mama “Beer Wench” Routson

Written by Wenchie. Posted in INTERVIEWS, LATEST, The Wench UNCENSORED

Tagged: , beer story, , , mama wench, , special inteview

With Mama Wench drinking "Saison de Wench"

Published on May 13, 2012 with No Comments

In honor of Mother’s Day, I would like to take a moment to introduce all of my friends and fans to the most important woman in my life — my mother. Most mothers might freak out if their daughters decided to “throw away” two perfectly good degrees to blog about beer and pursue a career in the industry — but not my mom. Although at times my crazy path and adventures has made her nervous and scared for me at times, my mother has always been and will always be my biggest fan and greatest supporter.

In order to provide for my sister and I growing up, my mother worked 3rd shift in a factory in order to raise us girls by day and put herself through grad school at night. Believing in living by example and “being the change”, my mother showed me that I could be and do anything — regardless of gender — if I wanted it enough and worked hard enough to get it. It is her compassion, conviction, and ambitious nature that has shaped and molded me into the person I am today.

I am proud to say I am my “mother’s daughter”. And so it is, with great pride and honor, that I introduce you all to the strongest and most important woman in my world — Mar Routson.

Drinking "Saison de Wench"

Mar “Mama Wench” Routson

Occupation: Retired Special Ed Teacher; Current Tutor Boys & Girls Club; Volunteer for JFS, ARC, WEST POINT MILITARY ACADEMY, MDSA, BEACON SLOOP CLUB
Location: Montgomery, NY
Twitter handle: @MarZDotes

Beer Wench: Where did you grow up?

MAMA WENCH: RYE, NY (WITH VISITS AND SLEEPOVERS AT GRANDMA’S IN NYC)

Did you parents drink beer?

NOT THAT I RECALL, MAYBE AT A METS GAME, BUT THEY WERE SERIOUS SCOTCH AND MARTINI DRINKERS! (NONE OF THE FRILLY-STYLE MARTINIS OF TODAY, STRAIGHT LIQUOR UP OR ON THE ROCKS)

What kind of beers did you have in your house growing up?

THE NEIGHBORS (schaefer brewing co. of brooklyn) HAD AN ENDLESS TAP OF SCHAEFER’S, BUT I DON’T EVER REMEMBER BEER IN OUR HOUSE, EXCEPT WHEN MY BROTHER AND I HAD PARITES.

Mama Wench in High School

Mama Wench in High School

Can you remember your first beer experience?

OURS WAS A WELL-STOCKED, FULLY SUPPLIED HOUSE OF ANY KIND OF LIQUOR IMAGINABLE, WINE, TOO, BUT NO BEER.

What beer was it and did you like it?

I HAD A SENSITIVE PALATE, WAS SERVED FRENCH AND ITALIAN WINES AT SUNDAY SUPPERS FROM A VERY EARLY AGE, DESPISED THEM, BUT WAS EXPECTED TO DRINK IT NONE-THE-LESS. BEER CAME ALONG AT TEEN PARTIES. THE DRINKING AGE WAS 18, SO I WAS FREQUENTING LOCAL BARS AND PARTIES AT 15 GOING ON 16. MY NEIGHBORS WERE FROM THE SCHAEFER FAMILY, AN NYC BREWERY, SO I DRANK THAT BY DEFAULT. IT WAS COOL TO DRINK MOLSEN AND St. PAULIE GIRL. THEN A GUY WE KNEW WHO DROVE A VW VAN BROUGHT BACK A FULL VAN OF COORS (A BEER YOU COULDN’T YET GET IN NY). WE THOUGHT THAT WAS COOL BECAUSE IT WAS ILLEGAL! BUT LIKE MY PARENTS, I LIKED THE HARD STUFF!

THEN I WENT TO COLLEGE IN BOSTON AND DISCOVERED GUINNESS. THOUGHT IT TASTED LIKE THE BARROOM FLOOR. I STUCK WITH VODKA AND GRAPEFRUIT THROUGHOUT COLLEGE, (or whatever yellow fuzz water was being served for happy hour). IT WASN’T UNTIL I GOT MARRIED DID I BEGIN TO ACTUALLY DEVELOP A TASTE FOR BEER. WEEKEND COLLEGE (OSU) FOOTBALL GAMES WITH SPATEN or GROLSCH (partly because the bottles were so much fun) BEER. PLAYING GOLF AND WAITING FOR THE BEER CART FOR A COLD ONE (I think there may have been a Heineken phase). THEN I BEGAN TRYING OTHER BEERS. FELL IN LOVE WITH KILLIANS RED AND MY FAVE (AT THE TIME), SAM ADAMS.

La Familia de Wench (Mom, Sis, Dad)

Currently, what is your favorite style of beer to drink?

I ADORE BISON ORGANIC’S HONEY BASIL AND CHOCOLATE STOUT, BUT SINCE I CAN’T GET THEM IN NY YET, I TRY TO ORDER WHATEVER IS LOCALLY BREWED. MOST RECENTLY I HAD CAPTAIN LAWRENCE WIT AND KEEGAN ALE’S MOTHER’S MILK STOUT. MY (BEER) PALATE HAS NOT YET DEVELOPED A SENSE FOR A TRUE FAVORITE STYLE. I ENJOY WHAT I AM HAVING AT THE TIME.

What are some of your favorite beers and breweries to imbibe?What are some of your favorite bars to enjoy beer at?

I AM A TRUE BELIEVER IN SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESS, SO WHENEVER THERE’S A NEW PLACE OPENING UP, OR A TASTING OR FESTIVAL, I’M THERE TO SUPPORT IT. WE HAVE A NEW PLACE IN NEWBURGH, NEWGURGH BREWING COMPANY, THAT’S JUST STARTING UP, AND I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO TRYING IT OUT. THERE ARE TWO GREAT SPOTS TO HIT AFTER A DAYS HIKING IN THE GUNKS, THE MOUNTAIN BRAUHOUSE AND THE GILDED OTTER. THE FORMER SERVES LOCAL BEERS AND THE LATTER IS A BREWPUB. IN THE SUMMERTIME, THE GILDED OTTER SERVES BLUEBERRY BEER WITH FRESH PICKED BERRIES FROM THE AREA- THAT’S ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES. IT’S A PACKAGE DEAL: PURPLE BEER, RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW, A DAYS HIKE OR ROUND OF GOLF, AND GOOD FRIENDS.

Christmas Morning

When shopping for beer, what do you look for?

I LOOK TO SEE WHERE IT IS BREWED, AND I LOOK AT THE PACKAGING. I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A SUCKER FOR CREATIVE PACKAGING.

Have you visited any breweries? If so, where have you visited and what are some of your fondest memories?

ONE OF MY GREATEST MEMORIES IS WHEN I WENT TO CAPTAIN LAWRENCE AND TOLD THEM I WAS THE BEER WENCH’S MOTHER, AND THEY THOUGHT I WAS COOL ENOUGH TO HAVE MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH THEM AT THE TAP! I TRY TO VISIT A BREWERY (AND WINERY) ON EVERY VACATION, ANYWHERE FROM MAINE TO CALIFORNIA, AND IN BETWEEN. THERE’S EVEN ONE IN THE USVI, ST. JOHN’S BREWERS, THAT I PLAN TO VISIT IN DECEMBER!

Your family has an interesting history will alcohol, care to dish the dirt?

MY GRANDFATHER WAS A BOOTLEGGER AND SPEAKEASY OPERATOR IN NYC DURING PROHIBITION. HE WAS ABLE TO RUN HIS BUSINESS BECAUSE HE PROVIDED PURE ALCOHOL FOR THE HOSPITAL (AND HE WAS AN IRISHMAN AS WERE MOST OF THE NYPD IN THOSE DAYS).

Familia de Wench

Familia de Wench & Friends

Questions regarding your daughter…. The Wench….

When you were pregnant with The Wench, your doctor told you that it was okay to consume a small quantity of beer. Can you elaborate on this story more?

THAT QUESTION IS A BIT MISINFORMED. PREGNANT AND WELL OVERDUE IN MY 42ND WEEK WITH THE WENCH, AND UNABLE TO PLAY AT THE SOFTBALL/KEG GAME, I WAS INFORMED THAT A BEER WOULD RELAX ME AND PERHAPS BRING ON CONTRACTIONS. SO I DRANK, FOR THE FIRST TIME DURING THE PREGNANCY, 2 BEERS OVER THE COURSE OF 4 HOURS. YEP, LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER, I WENT INTO LABOR. IT WAS ACTUALLY DURING THE NURSING STAGE OF THE WENCH’S INFANCY THAT I WAS INFORMED THAT 1/2 A BEER WOULD ENRICH THE BREAST MILK (THE YEAST WAS THE IMPORTANT INGREDIENT, THEREFORE, IT WAS RECOMENDED THAT I CONSUME IMPORTED BEER). SO, I DRANK 1/2 A BEER AND LEFT THE REMAINING 1/2 CAN OF WARM BEER FOR MY HUSBAND. NOT EVERY DAY. JUST ONCE IN A WHILE.

So is the rumor true? Did beer induce your labor with The Wench?

I WAS 42 WEEKS PREGANANT. THE WENCH WAS GONNA COME OUT ANY MOMENT. DID THE BEER INDUCE LABOR? HECK, IT MAKES A GREAT STORY IF YOU’RE THE BEER WENCH!

Mama & Papa Wench

Talk about your husband’s (aka Papa Wench’s) relationship with beer.

PAPA WENCH IS A GERMAN AND DRINKS GERMAN BEER. END OF STORY. (To elaborate: Papa Wench is a very stubborn and picky man who knows what he likes and knows what he doesn’t like. Geoff has been and will always be a very loyal Spaten drinker — he even brings it to other people’s parties. When he isn’t drinking Spaten, Geoff prefers to drink other German beers as well as Scottish and English styles).

When your daughter and her friends were finally old enough to drink beer, you made fun of her friends for buying “piss beer” — care to elaborate on this?

ANY AND ALL LIGHT BEERS = YUK. FAKE BEER. NEAR BEER. PISS BEER. WASTE-OF-TIME BEER.

ONLY FOR MY NEIGHBORS, AND AT GREAT PAIN, DID I SERVE THAT STUFF IN THE SILVER CAN. BUT NOW THAT MY NEIGHBORS KNOW ME, I ONLY SERVE QUALITY, CRAFT BEER AND THEY LOOK FORWARD TO IT!

Mama Wench & Best Friend, Laurie

You and your husband worked very hard to put your daughter through college. How did you feel when she decided to “throw” her two degrees away to become a vagabond beer blogger in pursuit of a career in beer?

WE SUPPORT HER 100%. WE DO NOT FEEL SHE THREW AWAY ANYTHING! SHE WORKED HARD ALL FOUR YEARS OF COLLEGE AND IS FREE TO TAKE WHATEVER PATH IN LIFE SHE WISHES TO FOLLOW. WE ARE VERY PROUD OF ALL SHE HAS ACCOMPLISHED ALREADY AND ENJOY WATCHING HER PROGRESS TOWARDS HER GOALS.

Are there any moments where you felt particularly proud to have The Wench as your daughter?

EVERY MOMENT, EVERY BREATH.

FROM HER CONCEPTION TO BIRTH, TO HER FIRST STEP AT NINE MONTHS, TO HER MONKEY BAR PULL-UPS, TO HER GIRL SCOUT BADGES, TO HER SWIMMING AND TRACK ACCOMPLISHMENTS, TO HER 5TH GRADE CLASS PRESIDENCY, TO HER BEING THE BEST BIG SISTER, TO HER ACADEMIC ACCOMPLISHMENTS, TO HER INDEPENDENCE, TO HER PERSEVERANCE, TO HER STUBBORNNESS, AND RIGHT ON UP TO HER MARRIAGE.

Like mother....like daughter?

Has anything cool happened to you as a result of your daughter being The Wench?

LOTS OF TIMES, BECAUSE I ALWAYS BRAG ABOUT IT. AT KENNEDY AIRPORT, SOME YOUNG EYE CANDY BOUGHT ME A DRINK. I’VE HAD MY PICURE TAKEN BECAUSE OF IT. IT WAS ANNOUNCED ON THE LOCAL RADIO STATION WHEN I WON TICKETS TO THE BEER FESTIVAL (I PLUGGED IT). I THROW HER NAME AROUND AT EVENTS LIKE A PEACOCK PLUMES ITS FEATHERS WHILE MATING. BIG, PROUD CHEST.

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Special thanks to my mom!! I would never have been able to do any of this with out her endless support and undying love over all these years! I love you, Mom!! XOXO!!

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