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The Beer Goddess

05 May 2014
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Friday, April 11, was the first day ever that craft beer was offered at the innovative, critically acclaimed, two-weekend event known as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Nic Adler—of the L.A. Vegan Beer and Food Fest, as well as The Roxy—was recruited to develop a tantalizing, foodie paradise within the festival foregrounds. Adler enlisted friend and craft-beer advocate Tony Yanow—of Golden Road and Tony’s Darts Away—to help assemble the craft-beer list. The result: A fantastic 130 or so beers on tap, many hailing from the Golden State, that proved brews and bands make perfect music together. Yes, Heineken is still the top sponsor and rocked the festival with surprise artists and mash-ups in the Heineken House. But in Coachella’s 15th year, the genre-bending festival joined the craft beer revolution by serving a savory selection of craft brews in what became known as the Craft Beer Barn. Located in…
25 Apr 2014
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The craft-beer industry is no stranger to collaboration: Many craft brewers embody not only an entrepreneurial spirit, but a basic human kindness toward his or her fellow brewer—as well as an infatuation with the art of brewing, and a respect for craft-brew consumers. The American Homebrewers Association’s National Homebrew Competition, which is currently under way for 2014, embodies this ethos. It’s the world’s largest international beer competition that recognizes outstanding homebrewed beer, and it has been going on since 1974. But the National Homebrew Competition isn’t the only contest; growing in popularity are smaller competitions that celebrate the craft of homebrewing—and one such contest is taking place here, starting in May. Coachella Valley Brewing Company and the Beer Culture Webshow are joining forces to present The Wort Challenge, a beer competition that celebrates the roots of American craft beer—homebrewing. Coachella Valley Brewing Company will provide entrants 5 gallons of golden…
28 Mar 2014
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A region formerly best known for old-school martinis continues to expand its craft-beer prowess—and a brewery that’s not even a year old is, in many ways, leading the way by offering small-batch offerings, tap-room special releases and seasonal farm-to-glass brews. Coachella Valley Brewing Co. may be best known for its popular wide releases like Kolschella, Desert Swarm and Monumentous, but it’s also pushing limits with clever blends, new yeast strains and inspiring bourbon beers. Currently aging in the barrels at the Thousand Palms brewery is Mayahuel, a new Belgian-style agave tripel. This will be the first offering of the brewery’s new Fault Line Society, premium reserve club, with memberships starting at $150 per year. Fault Line Society members receive discounts and can earn points, which can be redeemed for gift cards to be used on future purchases. Members will also be invited to beer-release parties, among other perks. Find details…
22 Feb 2014
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The Southern California Homebrewers Festival is held every year in early May. The festival, hosted by the California Homebrewers Association (CHA), is held at Lake Casitas, in Ventura County—about a three-hour drive from Palm Springs. Commercial breweries and homebrewers pour their beers; award winning homebrewers and brewmasters speak at the wildlife recreation area. With more than 40 homebrew clubs in attendance, and unlimited tastings, it’s a beer and camping extravaganza that attracts a couple thousand beer-lovers every year. However, its future was temporarily thrown into doubt, thanks to a potentially damaging piece of legislation. On Oct. 1, 2013, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1425. The bill was supposed to do good things—namely, make home-brewed beer and wine easier to share. However, it included this phrase: “A nonprofit organization established for the purpose of promoting home production of beer or wine, or whose membership is composed primarily of…
03 Feb 2014
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About 45 miles northwest of Palm Springs, you’ll find a brewery that has taken off—and plans to reach new heights in 2014. Hangar 24 has an undeniable charm. Perhaps it’s the fields of oranges you pass on your way there; maybe it’s due to the old-school feel of the converted Norton Air Force Base building this Redlands brewery occupies. At the end of a dusty road, with the San Bernardino Mountains serving as a backdrop, the brewery and its large patio is often occupied by a slew of locals enjoying Hangar’s beers. Even if you’re not an aviation geek, it’s is unequivocally cool to watch small airplanes take off and land at the nearby Redlands airport. Hangar 24 is named after the hangar where owner Ben Cook—a licensed pilot—and his friends would relax after a day of flying. Like most brewery owners, Ben started home-brewing years ago and fell in…
23 Dec 2013
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The colder winter months not only bring us sparkly lights, spiced aromas, family gatherings and tryptophan-induced naps; they also bring us sanity-saving winter warmers and Christmas ales with malt, spices and fruit. Unlike gifts under the tree, these smile-makers can be opened and enjoyed before or after Christmas. (During Christmas is OK, of course, as well.) Here are some winter beers worth checking out: Alaskan Winter English Olde Ale (Alaska, 6.4 percent alcohol by volume): Supposedly made with ingredients based on Captain Cook’s historical recipe, this holiday beer has clean, slightly sweet, bready malts, and is accented by fresh Sitka spruce tips. Citrus and fruity flavors like orange zest, blueberry and peach cream pack this beer with some serious holiday revelry. The ale, made with glacier-fed water from the Juneau Ice Field, is brewed in the old ale style, which means it’s a little heavier on the alcohol and the…