Brooks on Beer: 5 great California flagship beers to try

By Jay R. Brooks | Correspondent PUBLISHED: March 5, 2018 at 7:00 pm | UPDATED: March 8, 2018 at 10:01 am Breweries — and craft beer lovers — are forever chasing new thrills, looking for the next new hot thing. There’s no doubt that makes for exciting times. But the real hallmark of a great brewer is the ability to consistently brew the same beer time and time again. So while you’re chasing the latest or trendiest seasonals, IPAs and whales, don’t forget that there’s a reason flagship beers — a brewery’s most popular brew — are so important. We call those beers “the ones that keep the lights on.” A good flagship gives a brewery the latitude to experiment with specialty beers and ephemeral one-offs. Here are five flagship beers I always keep on hand. Anchor Liberty Ale San Francisco’s Anchor was the first modern brewery to offer more flavorful craft beer. When Fritz Maytag bought the brewery in the 1960s, his first success was re-creating Steam Beer, a popular style that was nearly lost during Prohibition. But the flagship beer I love is Anchor’s Liberty Ale, first brewed in 1975 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s famous ride. It was unique in its day and there were debates — then and since — over whether it was a hoppy pale ale or an IPA. What’s undebatable is that it was the first beer to use Cascade hops, the most popular variety of hops used by craft brewers today. Liberty Ale is one of the most successful single-hop beers — and it still tastes as delicious to me now as the first time I tried it. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale This flagship beer from Chico’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was likely the second beer made with Cascade, and the brewery’s liberal use of the hop gave the pale ale its signature aroma and flavor. This beer, one of the first killer beers made by a small brewer, created a new style, Continue Reading

Retail-restaurant roundup: Bay Area’s Koja Kitchen coming to Tustin; Grater Grilled Cheese opens in Irvine; Roger’s Gardens ‘Tomatomania’ begins

By Samantha Gowen | [email protected] | Orange County RegisterPUBLISHED: March 2, 2018 at 11:21 am | UPDATED: March 2, 2018 at 11:44 am KoJa Kitchen, a blend of Korean & Japanese cuisine, is coming to Tustin side of The Market Place this summer. The Asian fusion restaurant — born in a food truck in San Francisco in 2011 — is known for its gourmet “KoJa” burgers made with crispy garlic rice buns. Most of its locations are in the Bay Area. The Irvine location will mark the restaurant’s first move to Southern California. San Diego-based Grater Grilled Cheese has opened in Irvine. The restaurant franchise’s mission is “making the world a grater place, one grilled cheese at a time.” The Lobster Grilled Cheese, seen here, is a fan favorite, made with a “secret” five-cheese blend, butter fried lobster, crab, and signature Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Beer Chipotle Aioli. Other selections include soups, salads, mac n cheese, and pomme frites. (Courtesy of Grate Grilled Cheese)San Diego-based Grater Grilled Cheese has opened in Irvine. The restaurant franchise’s mission is “making the world a grater place, one grilled cheese at a time.” Seen here is the avocado grilled cheese sandwich. (Courtesy of Grate Grilled Cheese)San Diego-based Grater Grilled Cheese has opened in Irvine. The restaurant franchise’s mission is “making the world a grater place, one grilled cheese at a time.” Seen here is the Grater Burger. (Courtesy of Grater Grilled Cheese)San Diego-based Grater Grilled Cheese has opened in Irvine. The restaurant franchise’s mission is “making the world a grater place, one grilled cheese at a time.” (Courtesy of Grate Grilled Cheese)San Diego-based Grater Grilled Cheese has opened in Irvine. The restaurant franchise’s mission is “making the world a grater place, one grilled cheese at a time.” (Courtesy of Grate Grilled Continue Reading

How to make a cheesy shrimp and bacon pale ale pasta

Cheese, pasta, bacon and beer.Each of these words solicits joy in the hearts of food lovers, but what happens when you combine them? That’s the idea behind this dish from Lori Rice, author of a new food-and-beer cookbook called “Food on Tap: Cooking with Craft Beer” (Countryman Press, $24.95). Beer pairs well with lots of pasta and bacon dishes, but this beer-pasta-bacon-cheese meal inspiration comes from Lori Rice’s new cookbook, “Food on Tap.” Contributed by Lori Rice. Even without the beer, this dish would be a winner. It instructs you how to make a cheese sauce using the leftover pasta water, whose starch helps hold the sauce together without watering it down. If you do want to use beer, Rice suggests a pale ale like Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Pale Ale, Oskar Blues Brewery Dale’s Pale Ale or Deschutes Brewery Mirror Pond Pale Ale. A less hoppy British pale ale works in this recipe, too. Cheesy Shrimp and Bacon Pale Ale Pasta with Green Peas The light pale ale cheese sauce in this recipe delicately coats the pasta for a meal that’s hearty but not too heavy. Feel free to serve this meal with a pint of pale ale. 16 ounces pastaFill a large pot with water for your pasta. Turn to high and heat to boiling while you begin the pasta sauce. For the pasta sauce, cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven, until the fat renders and the bacon begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, until it reaches your desired crispness. Add the shrimp and cook until opaque, about 2 more minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon and shrimp to a bowl, leaving the bacon grease behind. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions while you finish the sauce. Return the pot with bacon grease to medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in Continue Reading

What Are the Best Restaurants in Balboa Terrace?

Related Articles 1 A Little Russia Breakfast: Is There Any Better Way to Greet the Day? 2 What Are Some Can't-Miss Choices Near Corona Heights for Breakfast? 3 What Are the Options in Yerba Buena for Brunch? 4 What Are the Top Spots in Little Saigon for a Great Breakfast? Balboa Terrace, an upscale neighborhood nestled near Lakeside, Monterey Heights and Merced Manor, stands out for its tree-lined streets and well-manicured lawns, along with a selection of cafes and restaurants. Ocean Avenue, known for its shops and food establishments, is just a short walk away. Part of the charm of the neighborhood is its walkability, which allows residents and visitors access to food without worrying about dealing with traffic or parking. While Balboa Terrace doesn’t have the largest selection of restaurants, its neighborhood food options are well-respected. Here’s a look at the best restaurants in Balboa Terrace. The Dubliner: Drinks While The Dubliner, featured in an HBO documentary, is a favorite among locals and tends to cater to its core native crowd, the selection of beer and cocktails ranges from local favorites to ales and brews from around the world. There are plenty of beers on tap to suit all tastes. Some examples of what might be included on the menu include the 805, a light blonde ale designed with the breezy California lifestyle in mind, to the Goose Island Matilda, a strong Belgian pale ale, to the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and American Pale Ale brewed in Chico, California. Instead of a dedicated cocktail menu, customers are invited to make up a cocktail of choice. The Dubliner: Food Unlike a traditional bar, The Dubliner doesn’t offer any food. However, hungry patrons are invited to step across the street for a bite at The Manor, which serves typical bistro fare. Another distinguishing characteristic of The Dubliner is that outside food is allowed inside the pub, allowing guests to enjoy delicious drinks with their cuisine of choice. Continue Reading

What’s your favorite chip to pick up for the Super Bowl?

The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles will go head to head during Super Bowl LII this Sunday. If you still need ideas for your spread, we might some insight on what your guests might like. Instacart revealed what chips and beers ranked at the top of their customers' shopping lists. Data from the grocery delivery service includes the favorite beer and snack selections, according to its customers. The top five chips ordered on Instacart may actually surprise because they are not traditional potato chips. 1. Tostitos Scoops!​ 2. Stacy's Simply Naked Pita Chips​ 3. Harvest Snaps Snapea Crisps ​4. Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps ​5. Sensible Portions Veggie Straws As far as the beer goes, Bud and Bud Light are out. Shoppers are looking for real crowd pleasers to stock their fridge. 1. Lagunitas IPA ​2. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale ​3. New Belgium Fat Tire ​4. Stella Artois ​5. Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale​ Instacart is a grocery delivery serves available in the Tulsa area partnering with area stores such as Whole Foods, Reasor's, Costco and more. If you run out of chips or beer before the half-time show and need a Hail Mary, consider using Instacart to deliver it to your door. Continue Reading

Whole Foods vs. Safeway: A price comparison of popular grocery items

By Amy Graff, SFGATE Published 4:03 am, Thursday, September 10, 2015 window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-5', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 5', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-10', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 10', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-15', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 15', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-20', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 20', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-25', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 25', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-30', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 30', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-35', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 35', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-39', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 39', target_type: 'mix' }); Continue Reading

Great choices for pairing beer and snacks for the Super Bowl

Although Super Bowl LII will be here soon, only a lucky few of us will be fortunate enough to snag a ticket. While the game plays out at U.S. Bank Stadium, most of us will be watching from the comfort of our living rooms — hopefully with a roomful of friends. Beer will be a part of many watching parties. Make the most of what you drink by offering perfect pairings for classic game-day snacks. First, let’s talk about some core beer styles to have on hand. This party may go on for a while. You want to stock beers that will let guests go the distance. Lower alcohol and less taxing to the palate are the name of the game. It’s also good to have a set of beers that go well with a wide range of foods. Here are my four core style picks. Golden lager: One of these — American lager, pilsner or Munich helles — will appease your less beer-savvy friends and go well with almost any dish. American pale ale: This will satisfy the hop heads without the alcohol and tongue-scraping bitterness of an IPA. Amber beer: A Vienna lager, amber ale or dark American lager will keep the malt lovers content. German-style black lager: For those who like their beer dark, a schwarzbier has the roasted notes without the richness or heavy burnt flavors of a porter or stout. With the four basics covered, you can pop a bottle or two of some specialty beers to let your guests try some tasty pairings. Give everyone a glass and offer a range of beers to let folks sample their way through the spread. Chips and snacks Barbecue chips give you the sauce without the meat. Molasses, tomato and spices stand all alone without the toast and char. The schwarzbier in your stock will add the missing piece, offering a roasty bitter contrast. Köstritzer Schwarzbier is an excellent option from Germany. For something local, look for Stargrazer from Bauhaus Brew Labs. If you’d rather serve a dark American lager, Schell’s Dark is a good way to go. A Belgian dubbel also works Continue Reading

Sierra Nevada issues recall of select beers sold in 36 states

SAN FRANCISCO  — Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. announced a recall Sunday of certain 12-ounce bottles of its pale ales, IPA's and other beers after detecting a packaging flaw that could cause a piece of glass to break off into the bottle. In a statement Sunday, it said the recall applies to eight different types of its craft beers, including its popular Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, purchased in 36 states across the Midwest, the South and East Coast of the United States. The California-based company issued the voluntary recall after quality inspections at its Mills River, North Carolina, brewery detected a limited number of bottles made with a flaw "that may cause a small piece of glass to break off and possibly fall into the bottle, creating a risk of injury," the statement said. The affected beer has a package date that falls between Dec. 5, 2016, and Jan. 13, 2017 and a brewery code of "M'' — which stands of Mills River — printed directly on bottles and the packaging of cardboard cases. "We have decided to take this precaution to ensure the safety of our customers," Mike Bennett, chief supply chain officer, was quoted as saying. He said Sierra Nevada had not received any consumer reports of injuries, and it believed the concern could impact about 1 in every 10,000 — or .01 percent — of its bottles packaged during the five-week time period. Aside from its Pale Ale, the Sierra Nevada recall includes 12-ounce bottles of its Beer Camp Golden IPA, Sidecar Orange Pale Ale, Torpedo Extra IPA, Tropical Torpedo, Nooner, Hop Hunter and Otra Vez. The company has stopped distributing all affected beer and is working to have it removed from retails shelves, the statement said. Consumers were urged to check the company's website for details on the recall and not to drink any of the recalled beer, which would be fully refunded. The recall applies to the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Continue Reading

Beer talk: Craft beers to enjoy at holiday time

The holidays are meant for togetherness.Beer can heighten the experience of spending time with loved ones. To aid in the spirit of togetherness, I humbly offer up some tasty craft beer treats to enjoy during the holidays.1. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale: Many holiday-themed beers feature spices of some sort. California craft beer pioneer Sierra Nevada created its own holiday ale. Sierra Nevada brewed a fresh hop India pale ale to celebrate the holidays. For longer than I've been alive, Sierra Nevada has released its Celebration Ale. Celebration is a hoppy, festive ale. It's a tradition I look forward to yearly. It's both super piney and super citrusy. It's a quintessential West Coast India pale ale.2. Ommegang Adoration/St. Bernardus Christmas Ale: Both of these beers are ideal winter sippers, the kind to be enjoyed over the course of a cold night with good friends and great conversation. Both clock in at 10 percent alcohol. They have bodies reminiscent of a Belgian-style Quadrupel. The Bernardus Christmas has incredible malt complexity, changing as the beer warms.The Ommegang is a Belgian-inspired, American-brewed example of the style. (It has been retired. But I've seen it hanging around on some Wegmans' shelves.) Unlike the Belgian example, according to the Ommegang website, Adoration is spiced with coriander, orange peel, mace, cardamom and grains of paradise. I have no idea what mace is. I'm not a chef. I eat pizza and pasta for pretty much every meal. I just know the resulting beer is luscious and decadent. And if you can still find it on the shelves, I wholeheartedly recommend Tröegs Brewing's truly decadent Mad Elf ale. Like the Ommegang and St. Bernardus, it's a bigger-bodied Belgian-style ale. But it's brewed with cherries and honey to give it a distinct character. It's also a wonderful candidate for aging.3. Thirsty Dog 12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Lakes Christmas Ale is really the classic example of this style. Thirsty Dog's Continue Reading

Prospect Heights man gets cited for drinking a beer…on his stoop

For some people, a beer is just a beer, but for Kimber VanRy of Prospect Heights, one particular tall one has spawned a full-scale battle. VanRy got a $25 ticket for drinking a cool brewsky on his stoop in August, and he's taking his case straight to Brooklyn Criminal Court next month. "If it was a dollar, I wasn't going to pay it ... I hadn't done anything wrong," he said. "My private property shouldn't be construed as public space." VanRy, 39, was nursing a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and checking his BlackBerry messages on the stoop of the Sterling St. condo building where he owns one unit when a police car pulled up. "At first I thought maybe [the cop] was asking for an address, said VanRy. "They didn't get out of the car or anything. There was nothing in my mind thinking [they were] stopping because I was doing something wrong." VanRy said that as one of the cops played a video game on a cell phone, the other wrote him a $25 summons for drinking on the stoop - and allegedly told him not to worry because the ticket would likely be dismissed. "I was a little confused, because my stoop is well set back," from the street, said VanRy, whose last brush with the law was a speeding ticket 14 years ago. "I could see if somebody is becoming a public nuisance, walking around and endangering other people; but someone sitting there quietly on their own property is not worth [the NYPD's] time," he said. Last week, VanRy pleaded not guilty to the summons, which he said was inexplicably reduced to $15. "Do you realize if this goes to trial this could cost you more?" a public defender told him. VanRy wasn't fazed. His trial date in Brooklyn Criminal Court is set for Dec. 11, and he's looking for an ale-loving lawyer who will help him - pro bono - in his bottle battle against the city. "I have a couple of feelers out for some free representation," VanRy said. Drinking in public is prohibited under the city's open container law, which defines public Continue Reading