What We’re Reading: New Rules Let More Beer Flow, The Rise of Lighter Cocktails, Winter Beers, A Hotter Toddy, Angel City Brewing Opening is Now in Sight, Bye-Bye Barley, Drinking in 2013, Made Up Cocktails, 2013 Cocktail Trends

January 11th, 2013 — 4:19pm

New Rules Let More Beer Flow, 1/4/2013 – New York Times
In New Jersey, before September, microbreweries could not sell their products for consumption on the premises. Now they can, though they cannot serve food, and visitors must participate in a tour in order to imbibe. Microbreweries were also prevented from selling more than two six-packs of beer to go. Now, customers may buy up to a keg, equal to 15.5 gallons of beer, directly from a microbrewery. Read more!

The Rise of Lighter Cocktails, 1/4/2013 – Food & Wine
While boozy, brown drinks still rule in pre-Prohibition-style bars, bartenders who take inspiration from Europe are now popularizing aperitif-like cocktails that are flavorful and low in alcohol. In F&W’s series of cocktail predictions for 2013, Bryan Dayton, owner of OAK at fourteenth in Boulder, Colorado, championed low alcohol drinks as the future of mixology. “European cultures have always promoted light aperitifs,” Dayton says. “Whether it’s cider in Normandy or Aperol spritzes in Italy.” Read more!

Winter Beers, 1/9/2013 – Food & Wine
There’s plenty of winter left to go, which means plenty of time to buy yourself a case of tasty winter ale. That said, I don’t want the beer-drinkers of the world to come back home with something that tastes like a fermented brown sugar-cinnamon Pop-Tart. So here are six that are actually very good: Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale, Baladin Noel, Deschutes Jubelale, Innis & Gunn Winter Treacle Porter, Smuttynose Winter Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. Read more!

A Hotter Toddy, 1/4/2013 – Wall Street Journal
A hot toddy is salubrious as well as warming. When you’re fighting a virus, or even when you already have one, you get the medicinal lift of whiskey, sweet throat-coating honey, curative spices and the crisp tang of lemon with its vitamin C and mythical cold-fighting properties. For a little endorphin rush and immune-system stimulation, I add a very small dash of cayenne pepper. And I always make a toddy in the biggest cup in the house, with as much hot water as possible. Part of its function is to replenish fluids; unlike other cocktails, it doesn’t dehydrate you. Read more!

Angel City Brewery opening is now in sight, 1/11/2013 – Los Angeles Times
The reboot of downtown’s Angel City Brewing is on target for an early 2013 opening, but head brewer Dieter Foerstner will continue rolling out new beers well in advance of the grand unveiling of the refurbished tap room. At a sneak peak event last week, Angel City showcased a vanilla porter and on tap for later this month is a look at his pilsner. There’s one catch: The porter and the pilsner are designed for now to be tap-room exclusives, and the tap room probably won’t open till the spring. In addition to putting the finishing touches on the large, Art Deco-styled warehouse, Angel City operators are still awaiting final approval from the city. Optimistically, the brewery hopes for a grand opening in March or April, but will open for limited tasting hours once granted approval. Read more!

Bye-Bye Barley, January – Imbibe
If you’re gluten-intolerant, you know how tough it can be to find some of your favorite foods, and if you’re a beer drinker, that challenge gets even trickier. Traditional beers are commonly brewed with wheat and barley, which contain gluten, but gluten-free beers replace those ingredients with everything from sorghum to millet. And how do they taste? The flavor of gluten-free beers doesn’t quite compare to the real thing (though that’s sure to change), but we recently sampled an array of options and found five worth giving a shot. Read more!

Behind the Bar: Drinking in 2013, 1/7/2013 –
Last January, we asked master mixologist and advisory board member Dale DeGroff to predict the biggest cocktail trends of 2012. It was so interesting that we decided to turn it into an annual feature. Here’s what he’s expecting to drink this year. Trends include draft cocktails, spirited festivals/events, additional south-of-the-boarder spirits (cousins of tequila and mescal), artisan products, simplification, and less explanation required. Read more!

Bartenders: Stop Making (UP) Cocktails, January – Table Matters
Too often, bartenders, rather than sharpening our axes, studying, searching and trying to find meaning among the thousands of cocktails already created, the neophyte–and even sometimes seasoned veterans, I’m afraid–indulge in the worst possible fantasy: that of some mixological Prometheus who steals the eternal flame of creativity from the old, stuffy Gods and re-imagines it as lavender-infused ice or cinnamon-ancho rim. The unfortunate result is that it’s our liver and not theirs that is forever picked at by these often vile and outlandish combinations. Read more!

Raising the Bar: 2013 Cocktail trends and Predictions, 1/4/2013 – Intoxicology 101
Looking ahead to the year, they are predicting the rise of savory spirits, flavored tequila, dive bars, artisanal spirits, and cocktail trucks (food trucks). Read more!

Golden Gopher Craft Beer Society: Widmer Brewing (Monday, January 14th, 7pm)

January 8th, 2013 — 11:06am

Please join us on Monday, January 14th  at 7pm for the Golden Gopher’s Beer Society with Widmer Brewing!

Widmer Brewing  will be tasting you on 5 of their amazing specialty beers:

Brrr Winter Seasonal
Brrrbon (aged in Maker’s Mark barrels)
O’Riley IPA from the Rotator Series
Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout
Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout

Brothers Kurt & Robert Widmer have been brewing craft beer in Portland, Oregon since 1984.  It is the 9th largest brewing company in the US & part of the Craft Brew Alliance, Inc. When Widmer is mentioned, people often think of their hefeweizen. Most people do not know that in addition to their hefe they offer a range of amazing specialty and seasonal beers. They also have created our favorite gluten free beer “Omission”.

For more information on Widmer Brewing pelase go to:

Hope to see you all there!

Register Here!

Lauren Wong, Golden Gopher, GM

What We’re Reading: Brooklyn Brewery, Minimum Alcohol Pricing, Alcohol Trends for 2013, New Drinking Rules for 2013, Top Twenty Cocktail Books

January 7th, 2013 — 4:03pm

Brooklyn Brewery Is on Tap for Stockholm, 1/4/2013 – New  York Times
Brooklyn’s bid for world domination is extending to Sweden. Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg, the craft brewer that will turn 25 in March, will open a $5 million brewery and restaurant overlooking Stockholm harbor. “Brooklyn, the brand, is hotter than ever,” said Eric Ottaway, the brewery’s chief operating officer. “Swedes love the taste of our beer, the name of our beer and the mystique of Brooklyn.” Read more!

Minimum Alcohol Pricing Is Illegal: So Why Is The British Government Being So Stupid?  1/4/2013 – Forbes
There’s something of a scare on, a moral panic, about the amount that the British drinks these days. Apparently we’re all getting so sozzled that we’re in danger of bankrupting the National Health Service or something. Thus there’s a move to do something about this: the aim being to reduce the amount being drunk. But that’s only one set of problems. The other is over what is actually being proposed. There should be a minimum price for alcohol: 50 p a measure (say, 75 cents). No alcohol may be sold below that price. The article discusses the two main problems with this law. Read more!

Alcohol Trends We’re Looking Forward to in 2013, 1/1/2013 –
A new year means lots of opportunities to try new drink trends and we’ve been hearing some good buzz from the industry experts. Here are a few things we think are looking forward to this year:
• Sweet Wines, like Moscato and a range of sweet and medium red blends. It’s been rising in popularity over the last couple of years, but it’s expected to really shine in 2013.
• Bottle Shops, bringing an upscale turn for retailers.
• Outdoor and Indoor Beer Gardens, with the goal of offering relaxed settings to hang out and enjoy good food and drinks.
• Digital Menus for beer, wine and spirits. This has been building over time as well and is beginning to become more widely adopted across the nation. Digital menus can come in many different forms from a big, digital beer menu on the wall at a bar to an iPad wine list brought directly to your dinner table.
• On-site Barrel Aged Drinks, meaning everything from beer, wine, liquor and even full out cocktails.
• Local, local, local. We’re talking locally produced spirits, beer, and using local fruit/produce. Also keep an eye out for regional signature cocktails to keep with the local theme. Read more!

New Drinking Rules for 2013, 1/2/2013 –
• Drink American Gin: Thanks to the craft-distilling boom, there’s now a big selection of American gins created from a wide variety of botanicals. While we like the Dorothy Parker American Gin and Perry’s Tot Navy Strength Gin produced in Brooklyn by advisory board member Allen Katz as well as Aviation Gin, hailing from Portland, Ore., and co-founded by talented barman Ryan Magarian, there are just too many good ones to list. During the next 12 months, you’ll have to find your own favorite.
• Time Travel: While mixology is definitely thriving these days, the so-called golden age, when masters such as Jerry Thomas and William Schmidt were behind the bar, started in the 1860s and lasted until the 1920s. Even though these legends are long gone, you can easily get reprints of their books from places like Cocktail Kingdom. This year, check out at least a couple of these seminal volumes.
• Embrace High-Proof Liquor: One of the secrets to fixing great cocktails is high-proof spirits. Seriously. These potent bottlings, according to all-star bartender and advisory board member Dushan Zaric, have more flavor and stand up better to other ingredients in mixed drinks. So buy a high-octane liquor today and see for yourself.
• Mix Spirits with Beer: We obviously love spirits, but we also enjoy beer. And there’s no need to choose between the two types of alcohol when you can combine them. This summer, we found some delicious sudsy tipples at Tales of the Cocktail, which proved that the two can co-exist in a single glass. Toast 2013 with one of these concoctions!
• Try White Whiskey: There’s now a surfeit of white whiskies on store shelves and menus, including the new Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye and soon Jim Beam’s Jacob’s Ghost. While these products are no substitute for mature bourbon and rye, we do use them in recipes that normally call for vodka. They’re also great as a base for homemade infusions. Read more!

The Top Twenty Cocktail Books, 12/19/12 – Diffordsguide CLASS Magazine
How many of these bad boys (and yes, there are no girls here) have you read? We had a straw poll among the CLASS staff for the ‘must-haves’ that your bookshelves should be groaning under the weight of – and figured that you might be interested in the list we came up with. They’re listed in order of their publication date. Let us know what you think. Read more!

Music Monday: The Americans Live at Casey’s January 12th and 19th at Casey’s

January 7th, 2013 — 3:27pm

Whiskey fueled, growling guitars, snarl vocals and kick in the attitude of punk..Boyfriends hold on to your girlfriends because The Americans are in town! They are back at Casey’s for two weekends before they head out on the road again to take more names. A bashed out rock n roll set up of original and covers you don’t want to miss one of the best rock n roll bands in Los Angeles.

Check out the jams here..

Dave Freeman – 213 Music Director