Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer beers not as rich as some of the winter-style brews. In this transitional season between winter and summer, the unpredictable weather means that we can still enjoy the richer beers typically consumed during colder weather while starting to explore the refreshment of summer-style beers. For the right kind of beer to enjoy until summer kicks in after Memorial Day, check out these five beers each with a unique flavor profile of its own.

5. Surf Brewery‘s Blueberry Wahine Wheat

With the arrival of spring comes the rebirth of many natural objects. Flowers start to bloom, animals start to bustle with activity, and fresh fruits start to appear. The arrival of spring also brings about a change in the weather, which starts to heat up and bring about more daylight hours. This makes the beach a great place to start visiting more often, and this makes more refreshing drinks more desirable. Enter Surf Brewery, who knows that both of the aforementioned go great together when springtime rolls around annually. The beach and alcoholic drinks go well together, albeit one cannot legally drink in public. However, if you get the chance to, make sure you enjoy the Blueberry Wahine Wheat at the beach. At a sessionable 5.0%, blueberries give this witbier a refreshingly slightly fruity flavor and aroma. The light tartness and light body does not attack the palate, so you can enjoy this on its own or with light foods such as fish tacos.

4. Belching Beaver Brewery‘s Horchata Imperial Stout

Almost every brewery has some flagship beer that people everywhere recognize the brewery for. For example, Sam Adams has their Boston Lager, New Belgium has their Fat Tire, Stone Brewing has their IPA, and Hangar 24 has their Orange Wheat. If you ask any craft beer enthusiast about Belching Beaver Brewery, they will rave about the brewery’s Peanut Butter Milk Stout, partially because it tastes more like a dessert than a beer. Like the aforementioned breweries, Belching Beaver delivers a lot more than just their most popular beer. Sometimes, they even make a slight variation of it where the end product tastes completely different, such as their Horchata Imperial Stout. Fans of the Peanut Butter Milk Stout would love this horchata-flavored brew, as it basically tastes like a roasted version of horchata. This 9.0% abv imperial stout contains vanilla, cinnamon, and rice malt just like horchata, only now it has alcohol in it. For a fancy treat, serve this beer with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. With Cinco de Mayo coming up, your friends and family would love you for serving this to them to celebrate in style.

3. The Pike Brewing Company‘s Octopus Ink Black IPA

Many breweries have some sort of theme to not only their beers, but their entire lifestyle. For example, Unsung Brewing has a comic book theme, and Florida Keys Brewing has a fishing theme. Sometimes these themes get them more popularity from unrelated industries, sometimes these themes can get you in legal trouble. For those who stick with their theme, it makes for a more interesting experience to indulge in and share, plus it also gives people something to talk about. If you visit the famous Pike Place Market in Seattle, no doubt one will encounter The Pike Brewing Company. This local legend started as the local watering hole, and has since turned into a known name across the country. Pike Brewing gives back to the local community that has supported them for many years in the form of their Octopus Ink Black IPA. A deep, dark brown ale with a dense tan head, this 8.3% American black ale contains bold aromas of citrus, pine, and floral notes with coffee and cocoa in the background. It tastes of a sweet dark malt with a creamy, roasty finish. A portion of every Pike Octopus Ink Black IPA sale benefits Puget Soundkeeper Alliance, so drink up!

2. Anderson Valley Brewing Company‘s Horse Tongue Wheat

Sour ales have risen in popularity alongside standard ales, and they have grown so much that sour ales have their own categories by now. In fact, some breweries grow their sour line of ales so much that they need to open a separate facility in order to increase their production of sour ales. Some of these “blenderies” exist in Southern California, such as Beachwood Blendery or Bruery Terreux. Lots of other breweries out there that do not specialize in sour ales do in fact produce a sour ale, such as Anderson Valley Brewing Company. I always underestimate Anderson Valley because, like another known brewery, they tend to stay in the middle of the fray instead of trying to stand out. Perhaps they do this on purpose to avoid controversy by making good beers without getting the attention of the big companies. This means that Anderson Valley can continue to churn out beers such as Horse Tongue Wheat. Coined as a 5.3% American wild ale, Anderson Valley takes a Belgian wheat beer and ages it in white wine barrels to give it a very slightly sour taste. Although not totally tart, this represents a good gateway beer to segway into the more tart sour ales.

1. High Water Brewing‘s Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights

With all the hype over craft beer in the past few years, some millenials want something different to stay ahead of the trends. Some may think that they enjoyed craft beer before it became popular, and thus they seek something else to try. Perhaps craft cider can come into the limelight? How about lesser known styles of beer? If you want a type of beer not often touched on, High Water Brewing has just the answer. Based in California’s Bay Area, High Water Brewing has made lots of waves up in Northern California, from San Jose to Chico to Sacramento to Alameda and more. Though one cannot easily pinpoint their exact location, High Water Brewing has their beers pretty much everywhere by now, including their Boom Boom Out Gose The Lights. Brewed as a gose-inspired style ale, this 7.30% brew primarily contains apple juice, galangal root, and pink Himalayan sea salt. This brew represents a traditional sour mash with less-than traditional ingredients. This refreshing champagne-like beer gose great with any celebratory purposes for its similarity to other toasting beverages.

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The Uptown Whittier Spring Antique Street Faire returned for its 22nd annual run this past Saturday. Taking place on Philadelphia Street between Greenleaf Avenue and Painter Avenue, this free and all-ages street fair attracted thousands of people to come check out the dozens of vendors all selling lots of interesting goods. Items sold here ranged from apparel to accessories to decorations to furniture to toys to antiques and many other old-fashioned goods. In essence, this represented a local swap meet for the locals to vend their otherwise outdated items in hopes that visitors may find new use for them. Nevertheless, local markets such as this always make for a good opportunity to find items that you may have use for, and you may find something for a good price too. Check out Uptown Whittier on Facebook and Twitter, as they always have events going on here throughout the year.

Artisanal LA returns for its semiannual show this weekend to its new home at the California Market Center in Downtown Los Angeles. Featuring the latest and greatest of artisan food and drinks in Southern California, this designer edibles fair brings together the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more. Hundreds of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcase their goods and sell their wonderful products to all the attendees. The floor features aisles after aisles full of vendors in each little space, all vying for attendees to try their goods, and hopefully generate a fan out of them. Due to the enclosed space with no industrial ventilation, most of the food arrived premade, or as cold/room temperature goods. From refreshing soft drinks to chocolates to ice cream to grass-fed beef to cakes and beyond, Artisanal LA truly exhibits the best of local Southern Californian flavor.

Find the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more at this designer fair this weekend. See dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcasing their goods and selling their wonderful products. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10 presale or $15 at the door. Parking at the venue costs $6 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs. Words cannot fully depict all that transpires at Artisanal LA, so take an abridged tour through last year’s Artisanal LA here:

Who appreciates the warmer weather recently? With Spring starting this week, Southern California definitely feels the turn of the seasons in the weather. The warmer weather combined with increased daylight hours allow people to do more things that they could not do a month or two ago due to weather restrictions. Perhaps people opt to travel to the beach as the most popular option. The beach certainly feels like a unifying area bringing together strangers onto one strand of sand all for the purpose of relaxation. Find other reasons to gather large groups of people, and the beach turns into the perfect venue for attracting said large groups. In this case, Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach provides the right expanse for AID LA to host their annual Holi On The Beach.

Holi originated in India, where they celebrate the arrival of Spring with a grandiose public party filled with colors, music, and joy. Traditional celebrations included nonstop live music, dancing, and the unique act of throwing or smearing color on other people. Like the color runs prevalent across the world today, these events typically involve using dry colors made with natural ingredients as to not stain the attendees’ clothing; however, traditional Holi also utilized wet colors, which the attendees at Holi On The Beach love to use.

Holi On The Beach lacks a structured schedule – instead, attendees simply arrive, receive colors from the organizers, and let loose on the sand. A live DJ provides music all throughout the afternoon while everyone dances and get merry with colors. Whereas other fests contain vendors and other content such as yoga, Holi On The Beach only provides the colors and the space to run around and get dirty. A food vendor eventually sets up on the sidewalk between the parking lot and the beach, but other than that, all attendees just show up and get crazy. Sometimes, you need no rules to live a joyful life.

Admission to this all-ages events costs $12 presale or $15 on the day of the event. Guests can find plenty of street parking in the nearby neighborhoods, but should prepare to walk a bit towards the event location. Most importantly – wear old clothes, and keep spare towels in your car.

In India, citizens celebrate the arrival of Spring with the Holi Festival, a time where the people leave their worries & stresses at home to get happy with music and shower others with color. Traditionally, people celebrated with natural colors and traditional music, sometimes even including ritualistic effigy burnings. Today, the entire world has caught on with the Holi festival, and celebrate it 21st century style. Numerous 5K runs across the world incorporate color throws into their races, turning the intensity of a race into more of a “hurry to the next color” fun run. To partake in the shower of colors without the necessity of running, one must seek out an actual Holi celebration, and Southern Californians can find these festivals throughout the area.

This Saturday afternoon, the 2017 Riverside Holi Festival of Colors returns to the fields of Martha McLean Park in Riverside. People of all ages and nationalities will gather on this day to dance and socialize without worrying about mundane activities like work or school. In essence, this festival strongly resembles Woodstock because of the friendliness of all attendees and the entrancing pop music. Admission only costs $5 and comes with free parking, but all guests can only use colors purchased within the festival. The organizers will also invite a few food trucks to keep guests fed. Those not wanting to stand in the crowd of people and colors can opt to join in the communal yoga sessions.

If you do go to a Holi festival or any color run, keep in mind the nature of color throws. Unless you have access to industrial-strength laundry machines, wear old clothes and old shoes – albeit the colors wash off, they tend to remain in nooks & crannies, especially in shoes. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, consider donning a dust mask. If your eyes get irritated easily, either wear sunglasses or goggles. Check the weather too – you may need to apply sunscreen. An important tip to remember – bring spare towels and keep them in your car. Find more information about this weekend’s event and future ones by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter. But most important of all – have fun and socialize with everyone. Holi comes once a year, so like New Year’s Eve, let loose and enjoy the day.

Artisanal LA returns for its semiannual show this weekend to the second floor of The Reef near Downtown Los Angeles. Featuring the latest and greatest of artisan food and drinks in Southern California, this designer edibles fair brings together the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more. Hundreds of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcase their goods and sell their wonderful products to all the attendees. The floor features aisles after aisles full of vendors in each little space, all vying for attendees to try their goods, and hopefully generate a fan out of them. Due to the enclosed space with no industrial ventilation, most of the food arrived premade, or as cold/room temperature goods. From refreshing soft drinks to chocolates to ice cream to grass-fed beef to cakes and beyond, Artisanal LA truly exhibits the best of local Southern Californian flavor. Words cannot fully depict all that transpires at Artisanal LA, so take an abridged tour through the last Artisanal LA here:

Find the latest trends in food, drinks, fashion, accessories, and more at this designer fair this weekend. See dozens of artists, chefs, bakers, designers, and more from across the world showcasing their goods and selling their wonderful products. Admission to this all-ages event costs $10 presale or $15 at the door. Parking at the venue costs $15 per vehicle, but visitors can either search for other parking lots or street meters, or take public transportation to save on commute costs.

Southern California has such a diverse culture that appreciates many different things. Nowhere else does this diversity appear more in than within the cuisine here. Southern California houses so many different types of food that keeping track of them all turns into a job rather than a chore. Luckily, Southern California has food events, such as Artisanal LA, that allow visitors to experience what Southern California has to offer to your curious tastebuds. Artisanal LA returned for its semiannual show this past weekend to The Reef in Downtown Los Angeles, bringing along with it a slew of local designer goods for our eyes and mouths. At Artisanal LA, this two-day all-ages event allows visitors to stroll through the numerous aisles filled with local artisanal vendors, where visitors can sample products, purchase products, or receive information about services for future business. At select times during the weekend, seminars would take place, where visitors can sit down to listen and watch demos or learn about things. Although this past weekend’s event did not carry as many vendors as the last Artisanal LA, just as many visitors showed up, making for a greater customer to vendor ratio. Around every corner, most products sold consisted of snacks, especially jerky, or dessert, such as cookies, cupcakes, candy, and more. I would anticipate that anyone arriving without a sweet tooth may feel left out of the many vendors present. Regardless, Artisanal LA did a great job of stocking a diverse lineup of vendors.

This weekend, I sampled and bought a handful of goodies from vendors such as:

What other ways exist to sample some of the great products that Southern California has to offer other than at Artisanal LA? Remember that Artisanal LA takes place twice a year, so keep an eye out for news of the Fall event that should occur in October. Keep up with Artisanal LA by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter for more information about their upcoming events as they release it.

Corgi lovers and Corgi owners united this past Saturday afternoon for a dog day at the beach at the SoCal Corgi Nation‘s 5th Annual Spring SoCal Corgi Beach Day. At this free and all-ages event, thousands of passionate Corgi owners gathered for a fun & fur-filled day on the sandy dunes of the Huntington Beach Dog Beach. Over 600 Corgis appeared to play, mingle, and enjoy this special day for them. Activities primarily included an Instagram photo meet-up and a limbo contest. Other than that, the day consisted of mingling, chatting, and playing with all the cute pups.

Looking forward to the next Corgi Beach Day? Mark your calendars for the summer meetup on Saturday, July 2nd at its other home of Rosie’s Dog Beach in Long Beach, as they plan more activities revolving around the 4th of July weekend. In the meantime, check out some of my photos from this past Saturday at the Spring SoCal Corgi Beach Day.

The age of the domestic beer monopoly in the United States shrinks with each passing day. The beer industry around the world dominates the alcoholic beverage industry, as consumers drink 3,500 bottles of beer for every one glass of wine – that makes 8,000 times more beer consumed by the liter. Annually, consumers worldwide drink 189 billion liters of beer, but only 24 million liters of wine. While drinking habits may peak during certain times of the year such as holidays, the consumption of beverages remains fairly consistent and rarely makes huge changes in consumption from one day to the next. The changing seasons do have a great effect on the types and styles of beers consumed, as more people start to prefer beers not as rich as some of the winter-style brews. In this transitional season between winter and summer, the unpredictable weather means that we can still enjoy the richer beers typically consumed during colder weather while starting to explore the refreshment of summer-style beers. For the right kind of beer to enjoy until summer kicks in after Memorial Day, check out these five beers each with a unique flavor profile of its own.

5. Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment‘s Strawberry Blondie

Springtime reminds us of the resurgence of fresh greens and produce as plants start to awaken from their slumber following winter. In the spring, we see fresh seasonal produce such as potatoes, turnips/parsnips, green onions, and especially strawberries. Spring marks an important time of the year for this lovely fruit that the entire world has fallen in love with, as the harvest can overwhelm some farms with how much they need to ship out. In fact, some farms may even invite the public to come pick their own strawberries! People love strawberries so much that they have started to include strawberries in food and drinks, something that Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment has done. Based in the west coast craft beer capital, Acoustic Ales knows a thing or two about staying fresh and keeping up with the times. Their dedication to their craft stems from their love of music, which always goes through phases of fads and trends. When it comes to brewing, Acoustic Ales keeps up with the times with fresh seasonal ingredients, evident in their Strawberry Blondie. This seasonal fruit beer pours a hazy orange amber color, but the aromas of light bread and strawberries lead to a nicely balanced flavor of natural strawberries freshly picked from Carlsbad with a touch of tartness and balancing malts. At 6.0% abv, this brew not only refreshes your palate, but relaxes your body.

4. Founders Brewing‘s Rübæus

Continuing on with the fresh fruit theme, the local selection of fresh fruits and vegetables varies greatly between different regions. Hops grown in different places around the world have a profound effect on the result of a beer. Hops from the Pacific northwest have a piney and citrus finish to them. Hops from England have a more earthy tone to them. Hops from Germany have more body and somewhat of a spice characteristic. This lends to the certain styles of beer exclusive to these regions, much like how we associate bocks with Germany/Austria, or English Special Bitters (ESB) with England. Local farms play a big role in this too, as some climates can affect what local farms can grow, which Founders Brewing has taken advantage of. As one of the big names in the craft beer industry to finally make its way to the west coast, Founders Brewing brings a taste of home with them wherever they go. Their location lends well to the ingredients they use in their brews, such as with the flavors of fresh raspberries in their Rübæus (roo-BAE-yis). Available year-round, this garnet brew contains dominant aromas of fresh raspberries with sweet and tart flavors, ending with a crisp finish. At just 5.7%, Founders Brewing loves to ring in the warmer months with Rübæus as the perfect way to cool down.

3. Almanac Beer Company‘s Golden Gate Gose

When the weather starts to warm up, people tend to want to stray away from warm, hearty foods to start looking for lighter, more refreshing things. For example, instead of a hot coffee, a person would go for an iced tea instead. Instead of a hot chocolate, a person would go for a strawberry or vanilla milkshake. In the beer world, people move from dark ales like stouts or porters over to refreshing brews like a saison or gose. The gose style remains largely unknown to non-enthusiasts, so a gose remains a style known primarily by those with extensive experience drinking craft beer. For those looking for a good approachable gose, look towards Almanac Beer Company. Based in California’s Bay Area, Almanac has an extensive reach across the nation with their “farm to barrel” approach. Their location allows them easy access to the countless farms of California, proving Almanac plenty of sources for fresh ingredients to go into their brews. One can taste the variety of fresh ingredients in Almanac’s Golden Gate Gose. Inspired by classic wheat ales from Leipzig, Germany, Almanac brews this California-inspired version with San Francisco Bay sea salt, lemon verbena from Eatwell Farm in Dixon, and coriander grown & dried by Dirty Girl Produce in Santa Cruz. Golden Gate Gose pours pale, straw-yellow color with a bright foamy head. The bright aroma contains pale malts, stone fruit, and light hop characteristics. At 5.0% abv, this year-round brew tastes very fruity with hints of apricot, peach, and crackery malts & peppery spices. Crisp and refreshing, this gose has a somewhat salty finish and pairs well with fresh seafood.

2. Uinta Brewing‘s Bière de Mars

Around the world, people regard the French for their wines and cuisine. The French have very unique tastes and styles when in comes to food or drinks. No one can truly pinpoint the French style down to one particular taste, as it represents the style as an entity rather than one particular flavor that stands out. As a result, French food and drinks can taste very different, yet it has that aura that can only derive from France. When it comes to French beer, they usually have some earthy or fruity flavor to it (exceptions apply, of course). French ales usually have a lot of body and feel filling when drinking it. To get a sense of what this feels like, we turn towards Uinta Brewing. Uinta has quite a legacy in the craft beer industry here in the United States, as their retail products have touched all four corners of the country. As a brewery, Uinta has pretty much done it all, from basic beers to crazy ideas to barrel-aged beers and beyond. Uinta often dabbles in limited edition beers too, and this time, they have gone the way of the French in their Bière de Mars. In fact, Uinta brewed this limited release ale so recently that nobody has an official description of the ale, not even Uinta on their website themselves. The hops used in this brew originate from multiple regions of Europe, from the Czech to the Germans to the Austrians to the Belgians and, of course, the French. These all come together to form a mellow and spicy body, perfectly complementing the characteristics of a smooth dark lager. Uinta aged this French-style spring ale in chardonnay barrels, and the resulting brew comes out at 7.20% abv. You can only taste this blend of French and American brewing techniques for a limited time, as nobody knows if Uinta plans to keep this in their repertoire.

1. Mammoth Brewing Company‘s Dos Osos

The spring season means that things start to come out of hibernation. When spring hits, the weather warms up, events start to crop up, and holidays & festivals appear all over the place. Spring provides us with a lot of celebratory holidays and occasions, such as Easter, Memorial Day, and Cinco de Mayo. Getting together to socialize belongs in our human natures, so we want to have as many chances to get together as possible. When an occasion arises, we want to have all the necessary preparations completed and out of the way. This means having the right food and drinks available to satisfy everyone around. To get into the spirit, people celebrate with food and drinks based on the occasion; for example, the consumption of Mexican or Latin foods & drinks increases for Cinco de Mayo. For the perfect Cinco de Mayo celebratory brew, Mammoth Brewing Company has you covered. It sounds strange that a brewery all the way up in the mountains of Central California has the perfect thing for a Cinco de Mayo party, but rest assured they got this one right. As their name suggests, Mammoth Brewing hails from Mammoth Lakes in California, a place known as a winter vacation spot. Despite this, Mammoth Brewing has a lineup of beer that spans the entire calendar, including their Dos Osos. Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Mammoth Brewing brews this imperial Mexican-style dark lager with vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and Mammoth’s own Black Velvet coffee. Dos Osos emits decadent aromas of toasted nuts, chocolate malts, smoky characters, coffee, and cocoa nibs backed up by vanilla. The flavor follows with toasted malty coffee, nutty characters, dark fruit, and vanilla dominating the profile, while at the same time blending with chocolate, brown sugar, and a suggestion of cinnamon. The lager yeast and long cold aging keeps the beer especially clean and crisp in the finish. Dos Osos pours a light brown/red color with a khaki head. The 7.5% abv will keep you feeling good as you sip on this brew and enjoy whatever occasion you may find yourself drinking Dos Osos at.

In India, citizens celebrate the arrival of Spring with the Holi Festival, a time where the people leave their worries & stresses at home to get happy with music and shower others with color. Traditionally, people celebrated with natural colors and traditional music, sometimes even including ritualistic effigy burnings. Today, the entire world has caught on with the Holi festival, and celebrate it 21st century style. Numerous 5K runs across the world incorporate color throws into their races, turning the intensity of a race into more of a “hurry to the next color” fun run. To partake in the shower of colors without the necessity of running, one must seek out an actual Holi celebration, and Southern Californians can find these festivals throughout Los Angeles County.

This Saturday afternoon, the 4th Annual Los Angeles Holi Festival of Colors returns to the fields of Excelsior High School in Norwalk. People of all ages and nationalities will gather on this day to dance and socialize without worrying about mundane activities like work or school. In essence, this festival strongly resembles Woodstock because of the friendliness of all attendees and the entrancing pop music. Admission only costs $5 and comes with free parking, but all guests can only use colors purchased within the festival. The organizers will also invite a few food trucks to keep guests fed. Those not wanting to stand in the crowd of people and colors can opt to join in the communal yoga sessions.

If you do go to a Holi festival or any color run, keep in mind the nature of color throws. Unless you have access to industrial-strength laundry machines, wear old clothes and old shoes – albeit the colors wash off, they tend to remain in nooks & crannies, especially in shoes. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, consider donning a dust mask. If your eyes get irritated easily, either wear sunglasses or goggles. Check the weather too – you may need to apply sunscreen. An important tip to remember – bring spare towels and keep them in your car. But most important of all – have fun and socialize with everyone. Holi comes once a year, so like New Year’s Eve, let loose and enjoy the day.