Winners to be announced on May 4 and 7
The nominations for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards was announced this afternoon from The Venetian Las Vegas Casino, Hotel & Resort. The award is to honor the best in food, restaurant, spirits, bar, and food related media. Outstanding Chef award nominations include: David Chang of Momofuku Ssam Bar in NYC, Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park in NYC, Paul Kahan of Blackbird in Chicago, Donald Link of Herbsaint in New Orleans, Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles.
Outstanding Restaurant award nominations include: Balthazar in NYC, Blue Hill in NYC, Boulevard in San Francisco, Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL, Vetri in Philadelphia.
Outstanding Bar Program award nominations include: The Aviary in Chicago, Bar Agricole in San Francisco, Pegu Club in NYC, PDT in NYC, The Violet Hour in Chicago.
Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional nominations include: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, DE; Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Winery in Sebastopol, CA; Paul Grieco of Terroir in NYC; Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery in NYC; Neal Rosenthal of Mad Rose Group in Pine Plains, NY. Winners will be announced on May 4 and 7. Download the entire 12-page nominees list here.
More and more craft breweries like L.A.’s Golden Road Brewing and Chico, CA’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. are putting their beers in cans. Cans are not only good for the environment, due to the efficiency of packing and shipping, it’s also better for the brew than bottles. According to craftbeer.com, an online blog and database for canned beers, “Cans actually lock in the flavor of beer better than even dark glass bottles. No light penetrates the cans and the seal is tighter than a bottle cap. Thus, your beer tastes fresher longer.” As of 2012, 23 Colorado-based breweries can their beers. Today, Fort Collins, CO based New Belgium Brewing, the third largest craft brewery in the U.S., announced a sixfold expansion of a 16,000 sq. ft. canning line, which will continue to produce 12-ounce cans, and all new 16-ounce cans.
Grab lunch with man's best friend
Effective immediately, restaurant patrons in Los Angeles County are now privy to the company of their four legged friends. Recent policy changes now allow dogs in the outdoor dining area of restaurants. With the support of dog advocates and restaurant owners, Spot no longer needs to sit outside throughout LA County (excluding areas not subject to this policy – Pasadena, Long Beach, and Vernon). However, the decision is at the restaurant’s discretion and specific guidelines must be followed. Read More
Maui Brewing Co. reaches ‘Regional Craft Brewery’ status, selling more than 15,000 barrels of beer per year
Maui Brewing Co. has officially become the only brewery in Hawaii to reach ‘Regional Craft Brewery‘ classification thanks to increased sales and national distribution. The Brewers Association defines the craft beer industry by four distinct markets: Brewpubs, Microbreweries, Regional Craft Breweries and Contract Brewing Companies; a regional brewery has an annual production of 15,000 to 6,000,000 barrels.
Maui Brewing Co.’s 7-barrel brewpub at the Kahana location, as well as the 25-barrel production brewery and canning facility in Lahaina, showed strong mid-year revenues and will begin distribution in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Maryland later this year. 4405 Honoapiilani Hwy #217, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761. 808-669-3474.
The James Beard Foundation released a nine page PDF of the semifinalists for the 2012 James Beard Foundation Awards for restaurants and chefs. This award is also known as the Oscars for the food industry honoring and highlighting the best in North America. Best New Restaurant includes: AQ from S.F.; Bistronomic from Chicago; MB Post from Manhattan Beach, CA; Picca from L.A.; Yardbird Southern Table & Bar from Miami Beach, FL. Outstanding Bar Program includes: Bar Agricole from S.F., and The Esquire Tavern (pictured above) from San Antonio. Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional includes: Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.; and Abe Schoener of The Scholium Project. Finalists will be announced on March 19. See below for the complete list. Read More
Sales rose more than 2%
The Beer Institute reports that retail beer sales rose more than 2% in 2011 to reach a sum of more than $98 billion (that’s nine zeros). Beer sales, which contribute to approximately 1.8 million American jobs throughout over 500,000 beer distributing establishments, exceeded wine and liquor sales in both revenue and volume, with high-end beer leading the surge. Craft and import beers sold for off-premise consumption claimed a 3% total increase, while the overall off-premise consumption category only rose 1%. Total sales for alcohol consumed on-site at a bar or restaurant rose by 3% to exceed $55 billion in revenue. In other words, Americans spend a lot of money on beer.
Knowledge is power
So your friend leans over a cold beer and says, “It’s got subtle yet harmonious fruit flavor, not hoppy in character, slightly hazy in appearance, and has an acidic taste to it,” this is most likely because they’ve been reading the 2012 Beer Style Guidelines, recently released by the Brewers Association. This guide, which is updated annually, describes 140 styles of beer and uses comments and suggestions from Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup judges, as well as other beer industry members, to make pertinent revisions to the guidelines. Read More
Of course, these things always come with a big number and a quote, “the impact of the $1.8 trillion U.S. travel industry is significant and growing, which is why we are galvanizing support and asking all Americans to ‘Vote Travel’ this election season,” says Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. Here’s there game plan and goals to make tourism a major political topic this election. Read More
According to Wines & Vines magazine
Wines & Vines magazine revealed at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, the largest wine and grape trade-show in the nation held in Sacramento, on Tuesday, that there are 7,345 wineries currently operating in the U.S. as of 2012. A 6% increase from a year ago. The top six states for wineries are California, Washington, Oregon, New York, Virginia, and Texas. The Golden State currently accounts for more than 90% of the nation’s wine production, as well as the count for most wineries in North America.
Culver City, CA based custom burger joint, The Counter founded in 2003 by Jeff Weinstein is heading to 33 new locations. In the next eight years, find them in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and England. The first few locations are set to open late 2012 in London, Dubai and Kuwait with regional flavors such as lamb and local fish found in the Arabian Gulf area. The new venture is a collaboration between The Counter and the Americana Group. The Counter currently operates in 32 U.S. locations and two international restaurants in Ireland.
Tourists, we need...
Fresh from the White House, a press release notes an initiative to promote tourism in America. Of course, there is a hefty figure to back up this initiative. “The number of travelers from emerging economies with growing middle classes such as China, Brazil, and India – is projected to grow by 135%, 274%, and 50% respectively by 2016 when compared to 2010. Nationals from these three countries contributed approximately $15 billion dollars and thousands of jobs to the U.S. economy in 2010.”
That’s a big number. I can’t think of a country that doesn’t value tourism. Even in North Korea, you can see Chinese tourists rollin’ around PyongYang in their Audis. But how exactly is the Obama administration going to pull this off? Read More
Features 100 OC restaurants
dineLA is just around the corner, but don’t you feel left out, Orange County residents, your restaurant week kicks off on February 26 through March 3 featuring multiple course menus starting at $10 to $40. Pamela Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Association describes Orange County Restaurant Week as the showcasing of “top chefs at the county’s best restaurants.” See the list. Read More
'New Year's Resolution' menu is available through March 2012
Airplane food is notorious for having that disgusting reputation, but that’s all going to change with Virgin America‘s new approach. A new focus with menu options including local fruits and vegetables, premium meats and artisan breads reflects on “I’d rather not eat crappy food” movement. With a seasonal menu offering more locally sourced options, Virgin America is listening to your palates. Their inflight menu offers cage-free eggs and lighter options like Asian Vegetable Salad and a Chickpea Salad Wrap. Read More
With only being open for four years, on December 31st, Redlands, CA based Hangar 24 Craft Brewery broke the 15,000 barrel production mark and graduated from being classified as a “Microbrewery” to a “Regional Craft Brewery”. The criteria between the two terms is based on the number of barrels they produce, regional breweries brew from 15,000 to 6,000,000.
We asked owner Ben Cook what the significance of this classification meant to him, “reaching Regional Brewery status is a milestone in Hangar 24′s history books. It shows what a small company can accomplish with hard working, dedicated individuals, great beer and the support of its community.” Hangar 24 has doubled their production twice since opening and is in the process of doubling again.
California might be the state with the most breweries totaling 245 in 2010, but Los Angeles County, with a population over nine million, is still behind with their number of craft breweries. With the recent movement of Alchemy & Science, the newly formed craft beer consortium of Ace Beverage and Mission Beverage, and four more L.A. breweries in development (according to the Brewers Association), L.A. is rapidly catching up to the rest of the craft drinking region of the United States. Read More
Alchemy & Science coming to L.A.
After yesterday’s unconfirmed report on Reddit.com by Redditor djolliebaba about Magic Hat Brewing to open up a brewery in L.A. Today the Boston Herald reports that Alchemy & Science, a company launched by Boston Beer Co. and Alan Newman, founder of Magic Hat Brewing Co. is taking over Angel City Brewing‘s facility in downtown L.A. The report also states that it’s the first brewery for the portfolio in the newly formed company Alchemy & Science and the current owner of Angel City, Michael Bowe, will remain with Angel City for two years as an adviser. 216 South Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.
See the full story Boston Beer Co. subsidiary buys L.A. microbrewer.
With nearly 30 destinations across California
Participating restaurants in four regions: Northern California, San Francisco Bay Area, Central Coast and Southern California will be offering prix fixe menus, wine pairings, celebrity chef events and deals for patrons during “California Restaurant Month.” Caroline Beteta, Visit California president and CEO described restaurant week as “a great opportunity for foodies and aspiring foodies alike to experience the best of California’s abundant and diverse wine and food product.” See a list of the participants. Read More