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Good Beer Hunting

Aug 12, 2023

It's easy to get lost in the world of craft beer. I liken it to falling in love with someone. For years, craft beer was the only thing I could think of, but eventually I came up for air and realized there’s a world of wine and spirits out there. But instead of diving into the history or stories behind my favorite bottles, I find myself fascinated by the influencers, tastemakers, and educators in the beverage space.

One of those people is Cha McCoy, a sommelier, public speaker, and beverage programmer. Cha first crossed my radar in 2021 via email for a social media campaign she was working on for Cherry Bombe Magazine where she served as the publication's first beverage director and editor. To my surprise, I ran into Cha a year later at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, where she served as the event’s beverage director. Since then, I have followed her career and the incredible moves she’s made with interest and adoration. 

Along with consulting for a list of prestigious clients like the James Beard Foundation, Cha last year opened The Communion, a wine and spirit shop in Syracuse, NY. The brick-and-mortar location feeds into her mission to make wine more accessible by connecting local vineyards with people who are often excluded from the conversation. Before opening the shop, Cha traveled the world hosting wine dinners, and that’s only a small portion of Cha’s accomplishments. 

In our conversation, I wanted to understand what makes Cha the powerhouse she is. You'll hear how she's driven by her love of teaching others, and how moving to Italy and experiencing the “la dolce vita” or “the sweet life” gave her the space to figure out what she loved. She also talks about how an engineering degree still applies to her career in wine. While the wine world is different from craft beer, you'll notice some similarities between the two as you listen to our conversation.