Drink

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

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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

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

Drink

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

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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

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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