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Last updateWed, 27 Sep 2017 1pm

The Beer Goddess

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…
21 Jul 2014
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There’s been a paradigm shift regarding what we pair with elevated cuisine, and how we pair it. Luckily for us, these pairings now often include craft beer. Because there are more ingredients to play with in beer than wine, there’s more room for flavor and experimentation. The marriage of craft beer and food is a symbiotic relationship—and a new craft-beer and food reality show that covers this relationship may soon be on the air. Bru Appetit, a show which is currently in development, takes viewers on a journey through the entire dining experience in an Iron Chef meets No Reservations meets Brew Dogs sort of reality show. Each episode begins with an introduction to a city or town and soon moves to a local brewery. Host Jason Horn meets with chefs and brewmasters, and together, they collect local ingredients. The Bru Appetit team engages in wild-game hunting, deep-sea fishing, foraging…
27 Jun 2014
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Here's to the corkscrew—a useful key to unlock the storehouse of wit, the treasury of laughter, the front door of fellowship, and the gate of pleasant folly. —W.E.P. French Paso Robles’ Firestone Walker Brewing Company seems to have taken the words of W.E.P. French to heart, as evidenced by brewery’s fantastic barrel-aging program, called Barrelworks. Firestone Walker Brewing is in the midst of rapid expansion. In late 2014, the brewery plans to open a taproom restaurant, pilot brewhouse and craft beer hub on Washington Boulevard in Venice. I first learned about these plans last year, when Firestone gave a group of Los Angeles beer bloggers (and me!) a sneak peek at their expansion plans, which also include the new, but already popular, barrel-aging program in Buellton. The Firestone Walker folks—including co-founder David Walker—in May took beer journalists on a second trip to Paso Robles and the Central Coast; it’s about…
02 Jun 2014
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It’s been the best of times … it’s been the beeriest of times. My appreciation for craft beer began developing while I attended San Diego State University in the mid-’90s. Rearrange the letters in SDSU, and you get SUDS. Coincidence? Or divine inspiration? Either way, The Beer Goddess was meant to be. It was in the ’90s when Stone Brewing Company released the in-your-face Arrogant Bastard—blowing all of the San Diego beer-drinkers’ minds. I often hosted small dinner parties with my college friends. I started switching from Keystone Light and Bud Light (we all have to start somewhere, right?) to Bass, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Pete’s Wicked Ale and, of course, Stone’s Arrogant Bastard. I discovered more taste. I discovered more depth. And dammit, it was good. However, it was in 2008 when I began to pour my mind and passion into writing about the craft of craft beer. That…
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…