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Beer

01 Dec 2015
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The first Coachella Valley Beer Week—which I helped create—recently wrapped up after 10 days of craft-beer events all over the valley. On Nov. 14, the Indio BBQ and Beer Competition took place, and on that same day, La Quinta Brewing celebrated its second anniversary. Now that these excellent events are over, where in the Coachella Valley can you go to enjoy the ever-expanding craft-beer revolution? The Ace Hotel and Swim Club keeps up with trends in music, art, food and drink, and the folks in charge have updated the Amigo Room to carry more craft beer again. You can enjoy them in the dim, cavernous space, or brighten up by the pool. In the northernmost reaches of Palm Desert, you’ll find the beloved La Quinta Brewing Co. and its taproom. On any given evening, you may find a local band playing, or women enjoying Koffi Porter ice cream floats during…
03 Nov 2015
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Stout beers offer a soft, almost chewy richness—unlike any lager. The sharp and roasted yet creamy flavor is delicious any time of the year—but these beers are especially lovely when the temperatures start to drop. These darker beers pack a cornucopia of flavors, with plenty of alcohol by volume to keep you warm and toasty. It’s time to celebrate these beers: The Fifth Annual International Stout Day (an event I helped create) will be celebrated around the world on Thursday, Nov. 5. International Stout Day has become a day of delicious celebration, a time when we salute this rich and complex style—and the brewers who craft it. On this fine, roasted-malt-infused day, I recommend checking out some of these delicious beers: Deschutes Brewery Obsidian Stout: Sharp coffee flavors and full-bodied hop bitterness are prominent, while the beer provides the warmth that’s common among great stouts. Espresso and dark chocolate notes…
21 Sep 2015
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Local beer weeks celebrate the culture and community of craft brewers across the U.S. These events give the beer-lover a chance to taste a variety of rare and new beers, meet area brewmasters and hang out with fellow beer-drinkers. Featuring local breweries, pubs and restaurants at their best, beer weeks allow attendees to experience a “beercation” filled with gastronomic pairings, rare tastings, beer dinners and festivals showcasing thoughtfully crafted suds. While the Coachella Valley may not have as many breweries as, say, Los Angeles or San Diego, the rate at which the craft-beer revolution has taken hold and demanded attention here is impressive. Two award-winning Coachella Valley breweries—Coachella Valley Brewing Co. and La Quinta Brewing Co.—are celebrating their second anniversaries this year, while Rancho Mirage’s Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse has taken home a lot of notable craft-beer awards—including the 2015 California State Brewery of the Year honor from the California…
28 Aug 2015
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Coachella Valley’s 100-plus-degree thirsty season continues well into September, so there’s no better time than now to review new and returning classic summer craft beers that can quench our thirst—in the most delicious way possible. Almanac Dogpatch Sour: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Sours are perfect for hot weather. They’re refreshing, brisk and—in the case of Almanac’s Dogpatch Sour—bright. This barrel-aged wild ale (above) is a hazy reddish-orange pucker bomb. Paying tribute to the Flanders red style, this complex and sophisticated beer offers notes of cherry, apple, candy, earthy funk and wine. Ballast Point Fathom: Want the hop-smacking goodness of an IPA melded with the clean, bready notes of a lager? Here’s one of the best IPLs on the market. With the hop profiles of a West Coast IPA and lager yeast, this brew, with 7 percent alcohol by volume, offers tropical and easy-drinking goodness. Hints…
24 Jul 2015
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The San Diego area is renowned for its high-quality beer. San Diego’s legacy breweries—Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Stone Brewing Co., Ballast Point, Green Flash Brewing Company and AleSmith Brewing Company—have a stellar reputation for brewing consistently great craft beers. These craft-beer pioneers continue to inspire fellow brewers, homebrewers and beer drinkers alike. Therefore, we decided to check out some new kids on the brewery block that are helping make America’s Finest City even finer. Half Door Brewing Company: This brewery opened in January and is located downtown in a historic 4,000-sqaure-foot, two-story home on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Island Avenue. The Irish-inspired pub oozes cool. HDBC celebrates old-world European tradition with a new flair. The Bearleener is a day-drinking 3.8 percent alcohol by volume beer brewed with Citra hops and Lactobacillus grown from acidulated malt. Sour, meet wheat; wheat, meet sour. This refreshing summer beer has lovely sour…
26 Jun 2015
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With the help of nature’s unpredictability, experienced brewers are adapting traditional European techniques to bring bursts of tart and tangy flavors to beers. Yep. We’re talking about sours. In the mid-19th century, when beer was aged and shipped in wooden barrels before the advent of refrigeration, nearly all beer was, to some extent, sour. Today, good sours can take up to two to three years to produce. But the wait is worth it: All hail Pediococcus, Lactobacillus and Brettanomyces. The remarkable flavors in sour ales can be attributed to these wild yeast strains. We recently spoke to people at three Southern California breweries that are helping lead the sour resurgence. The Bruery: A Chat with Benjamin Weiss Benjamin Weiss is the marketing director of The Bruery, in the Orange County community of Placentia. The Bruery celebrated its seventh anniversary in May. Benjamin became a professional brewer at The Bruery in…