Wed10222014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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