21 Amendment’s ‘Big Can Draft Series’ packs a punch

Kegs full o' Lower DeBoom

San Francisco‘s 21st Amendment Brewery is starting the “Big Can Draft Series” as a part of its periodic release of small batch, draft-only brews. Kegs will be offered in half and sixth barrels starting this week with the first being the strongest beer in the lineup, the Lower DeBoom Barleywine. Lower DeBoom, 10.5% alcohol by volume, is an American-Style barleywine (a beer thats comparable to the strength of wine) that is full of citrusy Pacific Northwest hops, flavored with toffee malt, fruitcake, tropical fruit, toast, and piney hops. 563 2nd St., San Francisco, CA, 94107. 415-369-0900.

Flavor! Napa Valley returns for a second year

A taste of Napa Valley

November 14 – 18 will be the second annual Flavor! Napa Valley, hosted by the Silverado Resort and Spa. Foodies and wine enthusiasts will have the opportunity to enjoy a showcase of what Napa Valley has to offer featuring two full days of hands-on experiences hosted by the local vineyards, wineries, restaurants, farms and more. Additionally, this event raises scholarship monies for students at The Culinary Institutes of America at Greystone, donating $60,000 last year.

Love Apple Farms to begin designer seedling sale

Scotts Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains

Having trouble finding that perfect tomato-seed strain? Love Apple Farms can help with their Annual Seedling Sale, where tomato-lovers can check out over 100 varieties of heirloom tomato seedlings. From March 10 – June 30, Ivy’s Porch in Scotts Valley will be home to the seedling sale. Guests can purchase a variety of heirloom and hybrid tomatoes including the Black Oxheart, Chili Verde, Super Marzano, Ludmilla’s Pink Heart, and Berkeley Tie-Dye ($3.50 to $5.50 each) while learning at-home landscaping and plant a garden. Ivy’s Porch will be open Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM and Sunday, 11 AM – 4 PM. Ivy’s Porch: 5311 Scotts Valley Drive Scotts Valley, CA 95066. 831-588-3801.

Drink

Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing’s philosophy on beer styles

'Why bother making beer that's not delicious'

Santa Rosa-based Moonlight Brewing Company was created by Brian Hunt back in 1992. Twenty years later, still small, and local. So small, it doesn’t even have a tasting room, let alone a brewery tour. Brian brews about 1,000 barrels of beer per year, not much considering Sierra Nevada outputted nearly 850,000 barrels in 2011. Which is exactly what Brian intended for his brewery to be, micro, keeping the distribution within the Bay Area, selling beers in kegs exclusively. Thus making it almost impossible to find anywhere else in the country. Taste Terminal host, Jace Milstead caught up with the whimsical Brian Hunt at the Opening Celebration of San Francisco Beer Week and asked him about his philosophy on beer styles. Read More

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Wine Road’s unfinished barrel wine tasting

Northern Sonoma County

In just a few weeks, over 100 wineries will participate in Wine Road Northern Sonoma County’s annual barrel tasting, including wines from Dry Creek, Russian River, and Alexander valleys. The barrel tasting will allow attendees to sample young, unfinished wines with the option to purchase discounted cases (“futures” will be received 12 – 18 months later) and meet the winemakers.

The event takes place March 2 – 4 and March 9 – 11 from 11 AM – 4 PM. Tickets (good for the entire weekend) can be purchased online until February 27 for $30, or for $40 at participating wineries.

Orange County’s The Bruery goes into action during S.F. Beer Week

Starting tonight

The Bruery of Orange County is flexing its muscles during San Francisco Beer Week. On Thursday night, February 16 at The Monk’s Kettle, Head Brewer Tyler King (pictured on the left) will be pouring anniversary ales Papier, Coton, and Cuir. Tyler will also make an appearance with Smoking Wood and Burly Gourd kegs at Oakland’s Beer Revolution on Friday, February 17. On Saturday, February 18, Beer Revolution will relinquish control of its taps allowing Southern California breweries, including The Bruery, to showcase their brews.

Events & Festivals

Hear from travel experts at the Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show

At the Santa Clara Convention Center

travel-show-experts

Bay Area Travel & Adventure Show is coming to the Santa Clara Convention Center on February 18 from 10 AM – 5 PM and February 19 from 11 AM – 4 PM. The show focuses on helping travelers plan for their ideal getaway and offers travel resources, hands-on activities, and informational seminars. Read More

Drink

An inside look at the plethora of Bay Area breweries at the ‘Opening Celebration’ of S.F. Beer Week 2012

See host Jace Milstead interview some heavy hitters of S.F. craft beer

opening-celebration

2012′s beer week, now underway, will have over 300 events spread around the Bay Area. A monumental growth from four years ago when beer week only had a few dozen events. Since last year, “basically everything has doubled in size,” S.F. Beer Week Communications Director, Brian Stechschulte tells us.

Over 68 Bay Area-based breweries flexed their brewing muscles at the “Opening Celebration” of San Francisco Beer Week last weekend, from old school outfits like Anchor Brewing to newcomer, Almanac Beer Company. The festival, presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild was held at the Concourse Exhibition Center and drew over 2,600 beer lovers to officially welcome ten days of beer celebration. Read More

LYFE Kitchen to start mid-day discounts

LYFE Kitchen in Palo Alto, CA is now adding “Social LYFE” to its weekday afternoons. From 3:30 – 5:30 PM, Monday to Friday, all drinks including their cucumber-mint cooler, mango madness smoothie as well as local beers and biodynamic wines are a dollar off and select dishes are half-off. Chefs Art Smith and Tal Ronnen specialize LYFE Kitchen’s menu in comfort foods that are less than 600 calories per dish, such as barbeque chicken flatbread, lemon aioli dressed grilled artichokes and edamame hummus with flatbread crisps. 167 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301. 650-325-5933.

The Dish

Little Griddle: Lost In Sri Racha Burger

On Market St.

little-griddle-burger

Little Griddle, which opened last summer on Market Street in San Francisco might be best known for their glazed donut burger (Lucifer), but let’s not forget the 13 other specialty burgers on the menu like the Lost In Sri Racha Burger, made with Nimon ground beef, griddled jalapenos, pineapples, onions, pepper jack cheese, cilantro, aloha Sriracha sauce, and on the side, butter lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and pickles. For $9.10 it also comes with fries. Read More

San Francisco Bay and Islands Trek, an inn-to-inn walking vacation

While most vacations involve a train or cab getting you where you need to be, Wine Country Trekking introduces the “San Francisco Bay and Islands Trek“ – an inn-to-inn walking vacation. An experience for travelers who want to explore the history and scenery of the San Francisco bay area on foot, without traffic, taxis, or any other forms of unfamiliar transportation. Read More

Winemaker dinner with AQ Restaurant & Bar and Donkey & Goat Winery

Emphasizing its focus on “fresh local produce and sustainable meats and seafood,” AQ Restaurant and Bar in SoMa San Francisco will host the Donkey & Goat Winemaker Dinner ($80 per person) – a five-course prix fixe meal with wine pairings, on February 21 at 6 PM. Chef Mark Liberman is preparing a winemaker dinner featuring Donkey & Goat Winery – known for wood barrel-aged Rhône varietals and Chardonnay blends, by Berkeley’s own wine producer Jared Brant. Read More

Get your taste buds in shape at Harvest Inn in Napa

'Food and Wine Bootcamp'

A “trust fall” can help you learn to work more efficiently with your teammates, but just in case your insurance doesn’t cover those types of accidents, Harvest Inn, located in Napa Valley, is introducing its Food and Wine Bootcamp. This four-hour event presents a different spin on company meetings by offering an interactive cooking class designed to focus on team-building and creative thinking. Read More

Valentine’s Day, Bay area style with Sonoma Coast Villa and Spa

Bodega Bay in the Russian River Valley

If you’re looking to avoid the hustle n’ bustle of the city on Valentine’s Day, Sonoma Coast Villa and Spa is offering a one-night stay in a Country Room ($695) or Deluxe Villa ($750) on February 14 as part of their Valentine’s Day package. Early check-in starts at 1 PM. Couples will receive a bottle of champagne, a dozen roses, chocolates, as well as a 75-minute massage and complimentary parking. If that’s not enough, a private 90-minute horseback ride for two along coast ($250) can be arranged as well.

The package also includes a three-course dinner, served in your private villa or the dining room, and a breakfast for two. Main course choices include grilled filet Mignon with rosemary or fresh Halibut with lemongrass served with portabella mushroom, organic vegetables, and saffron risotto, or organic rack of lamb with mint sauce.

Reservations can be made by calling 877-314-1711 or a visit to scvilla.com. 16702 Coast Highway One, Bodega, CA 94922.

Prix fixe menu with alligator for Valentine’s at Boxing Room, Clift Hotel’s Valentine’s Day dinner

First of the many Valentine’s day menus to come is from Boxing Room off Grove Street. Executive Chef Justin Simoneaux‘s Southern influenced menu includes Deep-Fried Alligator; New Orleans-Style BBQ Shrimp; Southern Fried Chicken; Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chop; Mushrooms & Dumplin’s and some other new creations for $50 per person. Wine pairings available for an additional $20 as well as beer pairings for $15. Dinner will be served from 5 PM to 11 PM on Valentine’s Day and reservations can be made by calling 415-430-6590 or by visiting Open Table. We’re sure that you could find a date that would appreciate some alligator this “Heart Day.” 399 Grove Street, San Francisco, CA 94102.

If your date is not into vicious reptile meat, this might be for you. On Tuesday, February 14 at the Velvet Room of the Clift Hotel is serving up a five-course prix fixe menu for $85 per person. The main course includes a choice of grilled rib eye or stripe bass, and ending with a Red Velvet cake with strawberries, hazelnut ice cream, and vanilla. Call 415-929-2300 for reservations. 495 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102. Read More