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The Beer Goddess

30 Jan 2015
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Beer culture stretches back more than 4,000 years—and for much of that time, beer was primarily made by amateurs. The more things change, the more things stay the same: Homebrewing today is on a meteoric rise in the United States. Since 1978, the American Homebrewers Association (www.homebrewersassociation.org) has promoted the joys of homebrewing. The organization now has more than 43,000 members. An American Homebrewers Association survey done in the earlier part of 2014 estimated that there were at least 1.3 million homebrewers in the U.S. The hobby has been growing at a rate of 20 percent per year in the last five years—oh, and a lot more women are joining in, too. I recently spoke several notable local homebrewers to get their two cents on the growing trend. Joshua Kunkle has been brewing since October 2007 and is now the president of the Coachella Valley Homebrew Club. Club meetings are…
20 Dec 2014
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It’s time to take a look back at another glorious year for the craft beer industry. The year that was 2014 wasn’t just great for beer; it was a push-the-envelope, challenge-the-palate, variety-exploding year. In November, there were more than 3,200 breweries in the United States, with more than 2,000 in the planning stages, according to the Brewers Association. The majority of Americans now live within 10 miles of a craft brewer. So, what were some of the largest and inspiring stories and trends of 2014? Transporting American Craft-Beer Culture to the Old World History was made in July 2014, when Green Flash became the first U.S. craft brewery to begin making and selling fresh beer in the European market. The San Diego brewery started selling its signature West Coast IPA, brewed and bottled at traditional abbey brewery St-Feuillien, in Belgium. Around the same time, Escondido’s Stone Brewing Company announced plans…
01 Dec 2014
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Located just 70 miles or so from the Coachella Valley, Temecula is known as Southern California’s wine country; the charming California town and surrounding area produce more than 50 different varietals of wine. This is a great thing for the craft-beer industry. Brewers for years have been using wine-making techniques, like-barrel aging, to produce amazing beers. And today, the rolling hills and plateaus of the Temecula Valley are not just the home of fantastic wineries; they’re now home to some fantastic breweries, too. Founded in 2009, Black Market Brewing Co. is the beer-maker that broke ground in wine country with the much-loved Hefeweizen. The Bavarian-style ale is a semi-crisp 5.0 percent alcohol-by-volume unfiltered wheat beer that pours a hazy, California sun yellow, and showcases unique fruit and spice characters like clove, orange peel, banana and sweet bread. Brewed in the spirit of the German purity law, the flagship beer won…
24 Oct 2014
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The weather is starting to cool down in the Coachella Valley—so it’s a perfect time to explore what the craft-beer industry has to offer at local beer festivals. They are the perfect place to experiment, meet fellow craft-beer enthusiasts and even get involved in the community! For the third year, the Palm Springs Air Museum is combining two things that you may not normally think go together: flying and beer. The Props and Hops Craft Beer Festival commences on Saturday, Nov. 22, at the Air Museum, a picturesque venue with gorgeous views. General admission costs $35. I am on the festival’s board, and this year, the beers on offer will range from one-off seasonals to perennial favorites. All three local breweries will be pouring their award-winning beers. Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse will be pouring its Belgian Vanilla Blonde Ale, which just took home a silver medal from the granddaddy of…
29 Sep 2014
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What is a hop? Why should we care? This is why: They lead the way toward flavorful, delicious beers like Pliny the Elder, Stone IPA, Dogfish Head 60 or 90 minute IPA, Tröegs Nugget Nectar, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA and Green Flash Imperial IPA. Hops can inspire legends. They contain two types of acids—alpha and beta, which act as natural preserving agents by killing or hindering the growth of various bacteria. British brewers took advantage of this in the 16th century by brewing intensely hopped beers (which eventually became known as India pale ales, or IPAs) in order to prevent spoilage on their long journey to the colonies in India. We’re in the thick of harvest season now. Hop plants sprout in the spring, and harvest starts in August, continuing into October. After harvested, hops can be used fresh, but are often dried for long term storage. The craft-beer…
22 Aug 2014
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Back when Palm Springs was a frequent destination for the truly hip, Frank Sinatra would hoist his Jack Daniel’s flag on the pole in his luxurious Movie Colony neighborhood. It was like a smoke signal to Frank’s cohorts—it was cocktail hour. Today, the Coachella Valley is once again becoming a frequent destination for the truly hip—but in a younger way. There’s new blood pumping into the area, and instead of a Jack Daniel’s flag, the craft-beer flag is flying high. Aug. 30 marks the first anniversary of Coachella Valley Brewing Company, and what a year it’s been. Most recently, CVB signed an agreement for statewide Arizona distribution with Young’s Market Company. Head brewer and chief operating officer Chris Anderson attributes the company’s fast success to “quality beer matched with a quality brand—but most importantly, the hardworking team at the brewery.” CVB has secured more than 100 tap handles in the…