Drink

Learn about beer with Certified Cicerone Thomas Kelley and get certified yourself

Edumacate yo self about beer

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Beer is not just for throwing ping pong balls into a red cup, it can be quite sophisticated. Just ask Certified Cicerone (beer sommelier) Thomas Kelley, who’s launching a class about beer. The three part course ($50) begins on Wednesday, April 11 at 7 PM and is held at El Segundo Brewing Company in El Segundo, CA. Each session is about 1.5 hours long, allowing the student to familiarize themselves with the history, the brewing process, evaluation of beer, serving and pairing with food, and beer styles. The point of the class is not only to prepare students for the Certified Beer Server exam (first level of the program), but to break down the stigma of Budweiser commercials. “The best way for craft beer advocates to overcome the mass marketing campaign of the last century is very simple and can be summed up in one word. Educate,” Kelley says. Read More

Drink + Food

Inside look at Mixology 101 at Planet Dailies + Salvatore Calabrese shows us how to make the Breakfast Martini

Cocktail Jedi

If you’ve ever stumbled into a 24 hour eatery at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas after a night of drinking, then you might know about Planet Dailies – unless of course you passed out on the table (the best ones do). The second location for this growing brand shares the idea of the original spot, but unlike the original – this one includes a cocktail bar. Mixology 101 at Planet Dailies opens on March 12 at The Original Farmers Market in L.A. Here is an inside look at the bar/lounge and a brief introduction of London-based bartender Salvatore “The Maestro” Calabrese (pictured on the left) and his apprentice Joseph Brooke (pictured on the right). Read More

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Temecula Valley’s Wine Country showcases their growing popularity with their sold-out ‘World of Wine’ barrel tasting weekend

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While Napa Valley may be the most popular wine destination in California, one shouldn’t be so quick to forget the wineries of Temecula Valley – which has seen consistent growth in popularity over the last few years.  This past weekend, the wineries of Temecula shared their finest with the 21st annual “World of Wine” event.  From the big vineyards such as Wilson Creek to newer ones like Europa Village, over thirty wineries participated in this sold-out event. Read More

Drink + Food

Taking on L.A.’s Skid Row with the owners of The Escondite, DTLA’s burger and craft beer hideout

With owners Erin Carnes and Brian Traynam

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The Escondite, located in Skid Row adjacent to Little Tokyo in downtown L.A., blocks away from the epicenter of L.A.’s contemporary restaurant and bar culture. Co-owner Erin Carnes describes the area as, “a great location with a lot of history. It’s an old bar stemming way back to the 80′s called Al’s Bar (closed in 2001). People raged here – it was a celebrity hangout.” Her business partner Brian Traynam was emphatic about the location and endeared himself to all of its qualities, “it’s just such an awesome spot. We call it Skidrowkyo.” A nickname Brian gave to the geographical position of the restaurant and bar. Read More

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Drink

6 questions with Blind Tiger Cocktail Co.’s Dustin Haarstad

And Dustin's cocktail bar recommendations

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At the age of 28, young Dustin Haarstad is already an established cocktail craftsman, having worked in bars as soon as he was legal. Originally from Seattle, WA, Dustin credits his love for the crafted adult beverage to a college friend who introduced him to Murray Stenson of (formerly) Seattle’s Zig Zag Café, winner of American Bartender of the Year at the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans. Presently, Dustin serves as a Brand Ambassadors and Mixologists for Tequila Fortaleza and operates his own cocktail creation company, San Diego-based Blind Tiger Cocktail Co., with his business partner Adam Stemmler. This May he’ll be representing San Diego at the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, one of the biggest cocktail events in the States. We caught up with Dustin in San Diego and learned about the man behind the craft (also, where to grab a drink in S.D., Chicago and Seattle). Read More

Drink + Food

Los Angeles happy hour round up: DTLA, Santa Monica

Taste Terminal's Happy Hour Round Up II

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We all work hard for our money (so hard for it honey) and now with the recent spike in gas prices, who can afford to eat? You can, with these discounted dishes from Taste Terminal’s list of local happy hours. Here it is, Happy Hour Round Up Part Two. Read More

Drink

Brewers Association’s Julia Herz tells us how she celebrates American Craft Beer Week

ACBW 2012 is May 14 - 20

As microbreweries continue to grow, so do beer weeks all throughout the States, but no other beer week takes it to a national level like the American Craft Beer Week (May 14 – 20) organized by the Brewers Association; an organization that promotes micro and independent American brewers. The ACBW is about celebrating the delicate work by small breweries. We connected with Brewer Association’s Craft Beer Program Director Julia Herz and asked her three questions about the beer industry, the beer week and how she’s going to celebrate it. Read More

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How to make a margarita for National Margarita Day or any other day

A quick how-to video with Casa Vega's bartender Antonio Navarro

Let’s be honest, if it was up to us, every day would be National Margarita Day. Apparently tomorrow is the day where you’re suppose to drink (and celebrate with) pitchers of margaritas. So, to make sure we’re in an adequate state of mind for all the lime and alcoholic goodness, we brought a camera crew to Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks, CA, a Mexican restaurant operating since 1956, and filmed long-time bartender, Antonio Navarro, creating one of Casa Vega’s more popular drinks – the Cadillac Margarita. Read More

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Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing’s philosophy on beer styles

'Why bother making beer that's not delicious'

Santa Rosa-based Moonlight Brewing Company was created by Brian Hunt back in 1992. Twenty years later, still small, and local. So small, it doesn’t even have a tasting room, let alone a brewery tour. Brian brews about 1,000 barrels of beer per year, not much considering Sierra Nevada outputted nearly 850,000 barrels in 2011. Which is exactly what Brian intended for his brewery to be, micro, keeping the distribution within the Bay Area, selling beers in kegs exclusively. Thus making it almost impossible to find anywhere else in the country. Taste Terminal host, Jace Milstead caught up with the whimsical Brian Hunt at the Opening Celebration of San Francisco Beer Week and asked him about his philosophy on beer styles. Read More

Pliny the Younger to make an appearance in Claremont, Redlands

At two Eureka! Burger locations

San Bernadino County can now get a taste of Russian River Brewing Co’s limited release, Pliny the Younger, as it heads east to Claremont and Redlands. Both Eureka! Burger locations will be pouring the brew, however the date and time will be released on Eureka!’s Facebook pages. Luckily we got a confirmation from General Manager of Eureka Claremont, Sean Ranallom, that the release will be on the Thursday, February 23 at the Claremont location. Eureka! Burger Claremont: 580 West 1st St, Claremont, CA 91711. 909-445-8875. Eureka! Burger Redlands: 345 Pearl Ave #130, Redlands, CA 92374. 909-335-5700.

Read more: More places to get a taste of Pliny the Younger in Southern California, Pliny the Younger coming to Southern California

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An inside look at the plethora of Bay Area breweries at the ‘Opening Celebration’ of S.F. Beer Week 2012

See host Jace Milstead interview some heavy hitters of S.F. craft beer

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2012′s beer week, now underway, will have over 300 events spread around the Bay Area. A monumental growth from four years ago when beer week only had a few dozen events. Since last year, “basically everything has doubled in size,” S.F. Beer Week Communications Director, Brian Stechschulte tells us.

Over 68 Bay Area-based breweries flexed their brewing muscles at the “Opening Celebration” of San Francisco Beer Week last weekend, from old school outfits like Anchor Brewing to newcomer, Almanac Beer Company. The festival, presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild was held at the Concourse Exhibition Center and drew over 2,600 beer lovers to officially welcome ten days of beer celebration. Read More

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6 questions with the world’s first female Master Cicerone – Nicole Erny

Beer sommelier

Since the establishment of the Certified Cicerone Program four years ago, a certification exam acknowledging individuals working in the beer industry, only four people have passed the final level of the three level certification process. One of which is Nicole Erny, the newest Master Cicerone, who is also the first woman and the youngest person to ever pass this extensive exam. The test is a two day process with written and oral questions regarding styles of beer, the brewing process, draft systems, and beer and food pairings. We caught up with her during San Francisco Beer Week and asked her these six questions. Here are her answers. Read More

Drink + Food

Art as an appetizer – secret menu at John Sedlar’s Playa and Rivera

Available now until March 31

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From now until March 31, a secret menu will be available at John Sedlar‘s Playa and Rivera in L.A. to guests with proof of admission to any of Pacific Standard Time’s Exhibitions and guests who ask for the “Pacific Standard Time Secret Menu.” Joined by artist and Del Maguay Mescal’s Ron Cooper and mixologist Julian Cox, Chef John Sedlar’s Playa and Rivera will host a menu inspired by select art work from Pacific Standard Time’s collection. Read More

Drink + Food

Haven’s Holy Trinity: brewery, craveable cuisine, and groovy gastropub

Plus a video interview with host Jace Milstead, co-owner Wil Dee and brewmaster David Larsen

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Haven Gastropub +Brewery may be new to Pasadena, but the second location of this Orange, CA establishment is hardly the new kid on the block. Balancing artfully executed fare with carefully curated craft beer, wine and cocktail selections, Haven exists somewhere between a high-quality, local-centric restaurant and relaxed gastropub. If that wasn’t enough, they will soon brew their own beers right inside the Pasadena premises, due to start serving in late February. Read More

Drink + Food

Northern California native brings casual touch to SoCal gastropub

Introducing chef Charlie Parker of Freddy Smalls

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Charlie Parker might have worked in some of the best kitchens up in Northern California (consider such places as Manresa, Ubuntu, and Plum), but he brings a decidedly casual affair to the rather sleepy area of West Los Angeles along Pico Boulevard. With David Fleisher (formerly of Seven Grand) taking care of cocktails and front-of-house, they’re pushing the gastropub envelope at Freddy Smalls, the brainchild of The Counter Burger owner Jeff Weinstein.

Jeremy Fox, Parker’s mentor, consulted early on with the menu but Parker is applying the neighborhood aesthetic of Oakland’s Plum restaurant, with a few simple, well-made pub favorites (that eschew the same-old burger/pizza/hot dog variants) in favor of market-fresh vegetables, house-made charcuterie, and dishes like the crispy pig ear open-faced sandwich. Amid the start of dinner service, we sat down with Parker and Fleisher to hear about their start in the restaurant industry. Read More

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KRUPS looking for the best in coffee

'KRUPS Best Brew Awards 2012'

Know who makes the best coffee in your city? Support your favorite by voting for them on KRUPS’ Facebook page as they will honoring the best coffee shops throughout New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. Don’t see your favorite java provider? You have the option to write in whoever you want. See last year’s winners. Read More

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5 questions with 21st Amendment’s head brewer Zambo

Plus a list of all Zambo's must visit S.F. destinations

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San Francisco Beer Week is just around the corner (February 10 – 19) and with over 400 events, navigating San Francisco as a first timer, or even as a local, can be a bit overwhelming. We asked S.F.’s own 21st Amendment Brewery‘s (best known for their unorthodox can beers like the Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer) head brewer Zambo five questions to help you better understand what the beer week is all about. He’s also tipped us on some must-visit locations! Read More

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Klatch Coffee’s Mike Perry on winning awards, and expanding to LAX in June

Meet the Willy Wonka of coffee

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Upland, CA based micro coffee roaster company, Klatch Coffee, opened in 1993, is no stranger to winning awards. Having already won some of the highest honors in the coffee industry like “Best Espresso in the World” at the 2007 World Barista Championships in Tokyo, to San Dimas “Businessman of the Year”. Owner, Mike Perry, can now add another one to his long list of accolades. Just a few weeks ago in San Francisco, Klatch Coffee took home a Good Food Award (an award for “recipients who push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities“) for their Ethiopian Gedeo Worka. Read More