CVIndependent

Sun07052020

Last updateMon, 20 Apr 2020 1pm

Beer

11 Jun 2020
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All right, that’s it. I’ve had enough. I have to break free. No, you’ll still find me wearing a mask when I’m out; I am merely talking about finding things to write about related to the lockdown. I need to talk about something else—while simultaneously looking forward to the future. What better way to do that than talk about where I would love to travel when everything has settled down? Of course, beer is going to play an important part in deciding which places I choose—and I am accepting no limit to our imaginations. So grab your travel-size toiletries and your most-easily removable shoes, and come with me. I’ll begin with the country whose beers changed my perception of what beer could be: Belgium. If you haven’t experienced Belgian beer outside of the parody of it called Stella Artois, I almost envy you in a strange way. For centuries, Trappist…
15 May 2020
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In these strange times, the last thing you might be pondering is: "How do I get my craft beer, though?" However, there are options for California craft-beer aficionados. In fact, the pandemic has made it easier than ever to get one’s hands on the best beer across the state—without having to go to a single brewery. A group of friends and I have been enjoying some of these benefits, and my fridge has seen some amazing beers that I didn't get to previously enjoy very often. Let's begin locally. As far as I know, every brewery in the Coachella Valley is doing to-go orders, and some are offering rotating deals. The best way to find out about these details is social media—as much as I despise Facebook and its ilk, as I think it has made the world a demonstrably worse place. Anyway, the brewery where I work has been…
06 Apr 2020
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As this Horseman of the Apocalypse continues his world tour, some of us are handling isolation poorly. Well, I'm here with a helpful suggestion if you have some time on your hands and have a little extra money lying around: Make your own beer. If your first reaction to this suggestion is to scoff, please read on—and see that the prospect of brewing beer at home is not as difficult as you might think. I’ve been interested in beer for decades and learned how it was made early on in my readings about the subject (Beer for Dummies was really a great introduction), but I didn't feel the urge to brew my own until a little more than a decade ago. At the time, I was doing a podcast on beer with my cousin Josh, and it just seemed silly to not try our hand at brewing. We ordered the…
09 Mar 2020
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I have avoided them successfully for so long, but they have found a way into my home. Now I must brace myself, confront them—and hope for the best. No, I am not talking about Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am talking about the trend known as hard seltzer. Last year, we saw the apotheosis of these low/no-carb alcoholic beverages marketed toward people with an “active lifestyle,” which—and I must apologize for this beforehand—I always took as meaning “upper middle-class yuppies.” The brewery for which I work gave in and made one, so I felt like the time was right for me to delve into subject. But before we do so, we need to take a look at what these drinks actually are. First: They are not seltzers. “Seltzer” is a term I heard on the East Coast (or from one of its transplants) as a term for carbonated water, aka club soda.…
12 Feb 2020
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This month, I want to take a look at what has been officially dubbed the "New England IPA," but is otherwise known as the hazy IPA. If you are a craft-beer nerd, you may be thinking, "Aren't you, like, years late to this party?" While I don't get many questions about hazy IPAs at my taproom, I know people are still learning about them—and I also know there’s a small universe of things still being learned, either about these beers or about the ingredients used in making these beers. What I'm trying to say in a roundabout fashion is this: Whether you're new to this topic or the haziest of "haze bros," read on—because there may very well be something you can discover about this young style of IPA. Let's start with the facts (as far as I can ascertain them), shall we? The Alchemist, a brewery with a very…
14 Jan 2020
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Ladies and gentlemen, the state of the local craft-beer scene is … puzzling. I've racked my brain for ways that I can approach this topic, and I’ve decided to just write what comes to mind. I wonder if it will get me in as much trouble as last year's version of this column did. (Caring if it gets me in trouble, however, is something I cannot bring myself to do.) I've done something unusual for me and made a resolution for the new year: I’m trying a more Buddhist approach, to not let what could or should be happening (in my opinion, of course) cause me to suffer over what actually is happening. I don’t want my hopes for the craft-beer scene to overshadow what good exists here. With that ominous foreword, let's get this show on the road. There have been some positive changes over the last year. Before…

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