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The Beer Goddess

28 Oct 2016
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Celebrate all things beer in November with both Coachella Valley Beer Week and the sixth annual International Stout Day! Each year, beer weeks celebrate the culture and community of craft brewers across the United States—and Coachella Valley Beer Week, which I am organizing, will commence for the second time, on Nov. 11. Before I get into the details of what will be happening here in the desert, let’s get into the history of beer weeks, why they exist—and why they’re important. Back in 2008 (the same year when I started The Beer Goddess website), Joe Gold, of Victory Brewing (who would become the founder of Baltimore Beer Week), traveled to Philadelphia to talk with some beer loving friends: Tom Peters, of Philly’s Monk’s Café, and Don Russell, the “Joe Sixpack” columnist. They discussed the possibility of a week-long celebration of beer. Thus, Philly Beer Week was born. It started the…
20 Sep 2016
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“There are 4,700 breweries in the U.S., and 10,000 wineries. There’s room to grow.” —David Walker, Firestone Walker Brewing The craft-beer movement has reached nearly every nook and cranny of the Golden State: Some 80 percent of Californians live within five miles of a craft brewery—including the vast majority of us in the Coachella Valley, thanks to Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse, La Quinta Brewing Co. and Coachella Valley Brewing Co. Thus, it makes perfect sense that the folks at the California Craft Brewers Association decided to brew up the California Craft Beer Summit. The second annual three-day event recently took place in Sacramento. There are now 700 breweries in California, which provide jobs for more than 50,000 people, according to the California Craft Brewers Association. California craft beer contributed $7.29 billion to the state economy in 2015, and the summit plays a vital role in bringing together all of the…
19 Aug 2016
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It’s no secret that the scorching-hot weather can extend well into September and October here in the Coachella Valley. However, locals don’t need to fret or sweat—because crafty beach cities with more moderate temperatures are less than a couple of hours away. I recently spent some time in Orange County’s beach cities—looking for some of the best places to enjoy craft beer, of course. Here are some of my findings. The Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille (pictured below) is under new ownership, and I’m loving the Taco Tuesday specials—two tacos for $5 or $6, depending on whether you get fish, carne asada, chicken or pork. The inside bar and floor have a sleek look thanks to concrete and marble, and a handsome copper tank from Czechoslovakia sits near the kitchen. While it’s not filled with local suds yet, it should be serving beer in about six months. In the meantime,…
22 Jul 2016
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Like IPAs? You aren’t alone. According to the Brewers Association, IPAs accounted for less than 8 percent of the craft beers sold in 2008. As of August 2015, 27.4 percent of beers sold were IPAs. That’s a huge amount growth—and the popularity of IPAs continues to rise: According to the 2016 Craft Brewers Conference, by the end of 2017, the IPA category is projected to have grown to one-third of the nation’s total volume of craft beer. The bitter brew has grown to new, different and stronger heights. To dive deeper into the popular style, I spoke with three amazing Southern California craft brewers. First: Mitch Steele, until his departure on June 30, was the head brewmaster at Stone Brewing, and is the author of IPA: Brewing Techniques, Recipes and the Evolution of India Pale Ale. IPAs account for more than 50 percent of Stone Brewing’s sales! What are some…
28 Jun 2016
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The temperatures are absolutely scorching. Pool parties, mercifully, are everywhere. Yep. Summer has arrived with full force in the Coachella Valley. If you’re thirsty, you may want to check out what’s happening at Coachella Valley Brewing Co. We decided to check in with CVB—one of the three fantastic breweries that call the valley home—and we learned they’re brewing up a storm in Thousand Palms, with 25 to 30 rotating beers on tap. That’s a lot of great local beer. I spoke with Chris Anderson, head brewmaster and part owner of CVB. He told me that the latest release is the return of Dubbel Date—this time, made with medjool dates. These larger dates are sweet and regarded by many as the “best” variety of dates. “We used to make that year-round,” Anderson said. “It’s always been kind of a popular beer here (at the CVB taproom), but for whatever reason, from…
18 May 2016
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Great beer and excellent music go hand in hand—so it’s no wonder that craft beer is becoming a bigger deal each year at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, aka Coachella. Not only did the Craft Beer Barn delight beer fans for the third year in a row; this year’s festival included a smaller rare beer barn, craft beer cocktails and a cabin speakeasy by the Houston Brothers. Also present were all three of Coachella Valley’s local breweries, including La Quinta Brewing Co.—just weeks before taking home a gold medal at one of the world’s biggest beer competitions. (More on that later.) As I enjoyed the second weekend of the festival, seeing all of the great beer together with all of the renowned musicians got me thinking about pairings: Which brew goes best with which music? Prince Prince was at Coachella in spirit, after passing away on April 21,…