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News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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Local brewmaster describes his inspirations


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Santa Clara Valley Brewing Co. brewmaster Steve Donohue, right, and Jake McCluskey of Market Beer Co., center, listen at a July 9 release party as former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery discusses the history of the Peralta Adobe, the oldest building in San Jose and namesake of Donohue’s Peralta Porter.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing Co. introduced its first beer, Electric Tower IPA (India Pale Ale), on local taps and in bottle shops throughout the Bay Area in mid-May. The brewery has generated significant buzz – no pun intended – among beer lovers in the area.

The company has a unique branding approach tied into the history of Santa Clara Valley. Brewmaster Steve Donohue has an excellent reputation, earning medals at the Great American Beer Festival every year from 2008 to 2011 while he was brewmaster at the FireHouse Grill & Brewery in Sunnyvale.

I recently conducted an interview with Donohue, who describes his inspirations and his products.

What inspired your brewery’s focus on the history of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley in your names and labels?

My business partner, Tom Clark, and I have a great appreciation for the rich history of the Santa Clara Valley. We also felt that the South Bay needed a brewery that showcased this history. All of our beers will be named after something from the history of the Valley.

What initially got you into brewing beer? What’s the favorite

brew you’ve ever created?

I started brewing completely on a whim while in college at Chico State. A friend and I were bored one day and decided to make some beer. We went to the local homebrew shop, bought everything we needed and brewed. As for the favorite beer I’ve created? That’s a tough one. I’m proud of all of them, but the Belgian IPA I brewed at another establishment was quite good, in my opinion. Although, I’ve really been enjoying our new Electric Tower IPA lately.

With all of the IPAs available these days, what makes Electric Tower distinctive?

True, there are tons of IPAs on the market at the moment. I think what makes ours stand out is the balance that our beer has – it’s not just hop juice. It has a definite malt backbone that balances the bitterness and the extreme hoppiness.

Following the successful launch of the Electric Tower IPA and Peralta Porter, what beer do you expect to release next?

We released our draught-only Little Orchard Saison in late August. After that, we’ll have a rotating seasonal draught-only selection. I’m just not sure yet what will be after the Saison.

When you became the brewmaster at Stoddard’s Brewhouse & Eatery in 2000, could you have imagined a Silicon Valley Beer Week?

Man, the year 2000 seems like it was a whole lifetime ago. The craft-brewing industry has changed a lot since then. Fortunately, so have the consumers. They’re more educated about beer now. And thank God for that. So, no, I don’t think I could have fathomed a Silicon Valley Beer Week back then. I’m really glad there’s one now, though.

What has been the most challenging part of starting a new brewery?

It’s been relatively easy so far. Because we are currently brewing under contract, we haven’t had to deal with the process of building out a brewery yet. That should be forthcoming within the next year or so. I’m sure I’ll have much more to add once we start building our brewery and taproom. Hopefully, we’ll be up and running by late 2014.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new and experienced brewers and beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.sudzers.org.

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