Posts Tagged ‘San Bernardino County’

Which came first: the chicken or the egg? Since the beginning of time, civilization has always asked what came first. While the public can typically attribute tangible items with an origin, everything else requires documentation to pinpoint an origin, unless generally accepted. For example, today’s gourmet food truck trend started in early 2009 with Kogi BBQ, which everyone will say started it all. When you look at expos for comic books, all fans will tell you that the San Diego one started it all. But with the San Diego Comic Con selling out in seconds every year, what else can fans do? Sure they can shell out the cash for super inflated after-market passes, but why not travel up two hours to the greater Los Angeles area? We have witnessed countless comic events in Southern California, with one seemingly popping up every weekend or two. But how does one know which event to go to compared to others? It takes the brave to venture out and seek the new comic events, and many found that the Comic Con Revolution held up to its promise to deliver a fantastic comic con experience.

The 1st Annual Comic Con Revolution took place at the Ontario Convention Center this past Saturday to a massive crowd easily in the thousands. For as large a turnout that appeared, this expo worked in a very small space to hold that many fans. Taking place in most of the rooms on the first floor, hundreds of local comic book writers and artists traveled here to exhibit their merchandise, art, books, toys, and more. Eager fans could gain access to the entire show floor for the low price of $25 per person or $15 for teenagers, with children 12 and under entering free with a paid adult admission. In addition to the expo on the show floor, various workshops and seminars took place in the surrounding meeting rooms for those who registered ahead of time. True fans will recognize the various celebrities sitting in for meet & greet and autograph sessions. For a small space, it took some time to walk through every single aisle to gaze at all the work on display.

Even to those not interested in comics, everyone should attend a comic expo/con just to see everyone dressing up in costume. At any expo involving comics, video games, anime, manga, and more, any attendee cannot avoid seeing another guest participating in the inevitable cosplay for the duration of the event. Cosplay has turned into a staple for any sort of expo in this industry, and the fans proudly donned their best gear for this expo. Check out some of the amazing costumes that I encountered at Comic Con Revolution below.

Considering the massive turnout for this event along with the cramped space, not only do I foresee Comic Con Revolution returning next year, but I also predict that they will have to expand their space to accommodate for all the extra vendors and attendees that will want to attend next year. Comic Con Revolution joins the ranks of big comic events in Southern California, such as San Diego Comic Con, Long Beach Comic Con/Expo, Wonder Con, Los Angeles Comic Con (formerly Comikaze), Anime Expo, Fantasia Comic Con, Comic Excitement Con, and lots of others. Keep in touch with future updates from Comic Con Revolution by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Some time after the frozen yogurt fad took off around 2004-2005, the cupcake trend emerged thanks to the opening of Sprinkles Cupcakes in Beverly Hills. After their success, hundreds of pastry chefs across the nation followed that trend and soon opened up their own cupcakery. Many have tried, yet many have failed due to bad cupcakes. However, some cupcake stores have proven that they deserve to remain in the business. Some television shows have helped to keep cupcakes in the spotlight, such as Cupcake Wars. With cupcake stores all over the place, it takes some time and dedication to discover which ones truly stand out for the quality of their cupcakes. Throughout my travels, my sweet tooth has led me to a bunch of different dessert places, some classic and some inventive. While I always appreciate new and unique desserts, sometimes it helps to go back to the classics, which has led me to My Delight Cupcakery in Ontario.

For over seven years now, My Delight Cupcakery has doled out some of the best cupcakes this side of the Mississippi. During their early years, I recall that they only had their mobile food truck to serve their scrumptious cupcakes out of. Since I discovered My Delight, they have since opened as storefront in a corner of Ontario close to Upland and Montclair. My Delight utilizes organic and all-natural ingredients to give their cupcakes the texture, moisture, and sweetness that makes a cupcake worth it. Prominently, their frosting does not taste overwhelmingly of butter, which many other cupcakeries seem to not pay any attention to. This allows their cupcakes to portray more of the true flavors of the cupcakes rather than the richness found in most other frostings elsewhere. My Delight rotates the flavors of their cupcakes monthly, so while they will always carry their standard lineup of cupcakes, My Delight will also have a great assortment of seasonal flavors.

My Delight understands the art of baking, as evident in their little packages of goodness. Make a road trip to My Delight, and you will not regret it. Check out what My Delight has baking up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

Craft beer continues to grow in popularity and sales, despite big corporations trying to snuff out the local mom & pop shops. The big guys can do all they want to ensure that they hold a monopoly over the world, but true capitalism means that new breweries will pop up all the time. So many new breweries pop up that I cannot even keep track of them all, so I took it upon myself to explore one of the many clusters of new breweries to see what they have to offer. This past weekend, I ventured out to Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario to see just how far they have come in the local craft beer industry.

My day started at No Clue Craft Brewery in Rancho Cucamonga, where they had celebrated their second anniversary with an Oktoberfest-themed party. No Clue Brew had made their presence well-known in a lot of the local beer festivals, as well as many of Southern California’s craft beer establishments. Visiting for the first time, their menu looks like they brew a handful of Belgian beers in addition to the standard lineup of beer styles typical of most Southern California breweries. For their second anniversary event, they had beers pouring inside and outside, as well as a few food vendors for the day. As a result, they could not serve flights on this day, so I simply settled to sip on their second anniversary India Pale Saison. I could not accurately describe this in words, as I have never tasted a flavor like this. You combine an IPA with a Saison, and you basically have this brew.

Up next, I went around the corner to Hamilton Family Brewery, where they had released their Oktoberfest brew starting this weekend. Now normally when I visit a brewery for the first time, I start with a flight to sample as many of their beers as I can. However, with a special release, I thought I would give their new release a try. True to the style, I got an Oktoberfest beer, and it did remind me of attending an Oktoberfest party, albeit I have never gone to the real thing in Germany. I had known about Hamilton Family Brewery for the longest time when I first heard about their story. While I do not have all the specific details on hand, I do recall that a family sold their home and a lot of their assets in order to open this brewery. That takes guts, and I respect the folks at Hamilton Family Brewery for doing that, as it looks like this risk and investment has paid off.

Next, I went to a brewery that I had searched online for, but did not know anything about. My search brought me to Chino Valley Brewery. This small brewery appears as a place for the locals by the locals. I do not recall seeing them at beer festivals, nor do I recall seeing their brews at any restaurant or bar that I have visited. As such, Chino Valley Brewery represents small-town charm with friendly folks that choose quality over quantity. In fact, the folks here even tipped me off to a handful of other breweries in the area that my initial search did not yield. Thanks to their information, I adjusted my brewery tour from this point, and that brought me to the following locations.

When I receive a brewery suggestion that I never heard of, I make it a priority to visit them, which brought me over to Strum Brewing. Upon arrival, the place looked like a garage or tool shed. Indeed, walking in, I felt like I had entered a place where a bunch of dudes hang out. Still, they had adorned the place with the necessities of any small brewery. They had plenty of furniture out, a water dispenser, music, and games to play. Strum names their beers after generic music terms, since they cannot legally use proper names. They have a decent-sized back area that can house a food truck too. Despite the shoddy outside appearance, Strum actually manages to do a great job on the small brewery vibe.

Following up on another suggestion received at Chino Valley Brewery, I circled back towards No Clue Brew to find that I had just drove right past Kings Brewing Company earlier. Despite not appearing in my brewery search, Kings Brewing appears quite fancy when you walk in. They have a spacious, well-lit interior that looks very pristine and clean. All the monitors around the room help to create a family-friendly vibe, as well as the little bit of outdoor seating that they have. While they have a small brewing system, Kings Brewing has over 25 different beers on tap. For such a new and small brewery to have so many beers already, one would think they brew off-site. However, I got a chance to see their brewing equipment, and it turns out that they simply have multiple small fermenters. Kings looks like one of the top up & coming breweries in the area, and I highly recommend any craft beer fan to check out Kings.

My day in the Inland Empire ended with I & I Brewing in Chino. Named after Bob Marley, I & I has existed for quite some time by now, but I never had a chance to head out to Chino to check them out. After all, as a brewery, they kind of exist out in the middle of nowhere, with no other brewery near them for miles. Regardless, for them to remain in the industry for this long stands as a testament that they know their constituents, and understand the local craft beer market.

The growth of craft beer continues to rise up a steep slope and sees no signs of plateauing any time soon. Like a snowball effect, the popularity of craft beer will not slow down, despite large corporations buying out many of the local microbreweries. Large corporations prefer not to compete with rising microbreweries, so instead simply buy them out altogether. This shows just how much power microbreweries have garnered on their own by sheer force of will and by catering to the local community. Local communities of craft beer fans function best when they congregate close to each other, and many microbreweries tend to open close to each other, such as Torrance, CA and Ballard, WA. Communities of microbreweries have popped up in many places, such as Redlands, CA. The craft beer culture in Redlands has grown substantially over the past few years, and it will continue to grow thanks to heavy hitters such as Ritual Brewing.

Last week, Redlands’ Ritual Brewing turned three years old, and to celebrate, they held a week full of festivities at their tasting room. Since their grand opening three years ago, Ritual Brewing has made a lasting impact on the Southern Californian craft beer market, appearing in countless bars & retail shops, and occupying space in numerous beer festivals. It goes without saying that through determination and hard work, Ritual Brewing has definitely earned their spot as one of the Inland Empire’s breweries to watch out for in the upcoming years. Their immense popularity contributed towards them having a full week of events as opposed to just one thing. Throughout the week, they had small events at the tasting room, such as preview tastings or bottle releases. The week culminated with a beer festival on Saturday afternoon with unlimited beer pours for the duration of the event. All attendees received an anniversary goblet and access to all beers, including all the special tappings such as their barrel-aged beers and the special blends. Unlike standard beer festivals, Ritual Brewing never had any worries about running out of beer – all of the special beers kept pouring the entire time.

Ritual Brewing threw an anniversary party the right way with all that occurred during the anniversary celebration. None of the brews ever ran out, so even when long lines formed, most of the guests could wait for the line to subside before heading up to get a pour. Out of all of the special blends, the Extra Red w/ Tangelo stood out the most – this brew had a pleasant aroma and did not taste too bitter, so it appeals to all palates. I would go so far as to say that they should make a candle out of the tangelo blend. Aside from the great beer, Ritual Brewing also had live music, mobile food vendors, beer ice cream, Jenga, cornhole, a dunk tank, and a high striker game, all of which prevented anyone from ever getting bored.

Looking forward to seeing Ritual Brewing around? Check them out on Facebook and Twitter to see what events they have coming up and what new beers they have brewing up.