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Weekend Departure L.A.

Weekend Departure L.A.

Weekend Departure is back!  Pause Diablo III and enjoy a sun-filled day this weekend by attending one of these awesome events!!

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2012 James Beard Foundation Awards nominees announced

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.

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Beard Foundation announces 2012 semifinalists

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.

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Retail beer sales rise in 2011 to reach $98 billion

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.

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Brewers Association reveals 2012 Beer Style Guidelines

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.