The craft beer industry is no stranger to collaboration. The craft brewer embodies not only an entrepreneurial spirit, but a basic human kindness towards his or her fellow brewer, an infatuation with the art of brewing itself and a respect for its consumers. Many of the top craft brewers are taking inspiration to the bottle in the form of collaboration, using ridiculous amounts of decadent ingredients and embracing radical beer styles.

A region formerly best known for old-school martinis continues to expand its craft-beer prowess—and a brewery that’s not even a year old is, in many ways, leading the way by offering small-batch offerings, tap-room special releases and seasonal farm-to-glass brews.

This year marked the 4th annual Food & Wine Festival in Palm Desert. The festival, organized by Palm Springs Life, gathered the brightest and most inspired chefs from across the country for three extravagant days of culinary prowess and  pairings.

Thursday, 27 February 2014 22:24

Food + Wine Festival - Palm Desert

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The 4th annual the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ will be held March 21-23, 2014. The festival, organized by Palm Springs Life, will gather the brightest and most inspired chefs from across the country for three extraordinary days of culinary and wine tasting under The Big White Tent on Larkspur between El Paseo and Shadow Mountain in Palm Desert, CA. This event will be uniquely educational in focus, showcasing the Coachella Valley as the ultimate culinary destination.

The Southern California Homebrewers Festival (SCHF) is an annual event held in early May. With over 40 homebrew clubs in attendance & unlimited tastings, this is a homebrew, craft beer, camping extravaganza that attracts thousands of California tourists, shining a light on the homebrewer.

The festival, hosted by the California Homebrewers Association (CHA), is held at Lake Casitas, in Ventura County. The weekend is a celebration of the craft and science of brewing. Friday night is a mini beer fest, with commercial breweries and homebrewers pouring their beers.  Award winning homebrewers and brewmasters speak at the wildlife recreation area, while wonderful hand-crafted Southern California brews are served to happy campers. Membership in the CHA is required for entry into the festival.

Located about 45 miles west of Palm Springs, lies the brewery that has taken off and plans to reach new heights in 2014.   

Hangar 24 has an undeniable charm. Perhaps it’s the fields of oranges you pass on your way there; maybe it’s due to the old-school feel of the converted Norton Air Force Base building this Redlands brewery occupies. At the end of a dusty road, with the San Bernardino Mountains serving as a backdrop, the brewery and its large patio is often occupied by a slew of locals enjoying Hangar’s beers. Even if you’re not an aviation geek, it’s is unequivocally cool to watch small airplanes take off and land at the nearby Redlands airport.

Stone started producing the line of Quingenti Millilitre barrel-aged brews and packaging them in 500-milliliter bottles back in 2011. The back of each Quingenti Millilitre bottle includes information on the original base beer—the story behind it and ingredients added at different steps throughout the brewing process.

Coming in at 14% ABV, the next beer in the series will have three different packages. It is 2013 Old Guardian Barley Wine aged in Bourbon Barrels.

Thursday, 30 January 2014 00:17

February is For Craft Beer Lovers

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Could it be that one month is better than another for craft beer? I enjoy drinking craft beer just about any time for any reason, but February has a special place in the heart of California craft beer drinkers.