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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Try California brews in the German style to mark Oktoberfest


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
California brewers experiment with German styles this autumn.

Pale ales and India pale ales continue to dominate the craft beer market in California and across the U.S. However, a number of California breweries also produce beers in traditional German styles or using traditional German ingredients, but with a West Coast twist.

As the season shifts from summer to the cooler evenings of autumn, many beer lovers enjoy Oktoberfest lagers and other German beer styles. Following are a few California-brewed options to quench your Oktober thirst.

• Calicraft Brewing Co. is based in Walnut Creek, but its Cali Cöast Kölsch-style ale is contract brewed at San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Co. Kölsch, the traditional beer style of Cologne, is a straw-colored and lightly hopped ale, with a crisp, clean finish. Cali Cöast is crystal clear, highly carbonated and very dry, vaguely reminiscent of an Extra Brut sparkling wine. Both the aroma and the flavor boast hints of white bread and almost-ripe pear. The brew is quite refreshing and well suited to one of the few remaining hot days of the year.

• Gordon Biersch is probably the best-known brewer of German beers in the Bay Area. It offers several seasonal options throughout the year, including its annual FestBier release for Oktoberfest. FestBier tastes moderately sweet, with a bready malt flavor and slightly spicy finish from the traditional German Hallertau hops. The bottled version lacks some of the malt complexity of the best-known German Oktoberfest lagers, though a fresh pint on tap at the Palo Alto or San Jose brewpubs has more character.

• For those seeking additional local Oktoberfest brews, several area brewpubs offer options. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (with locations in Cupertino, San Jose and San Mateo), Faultline Brewing in Sunnyvale, Los Gatos Brewing Co. in Los Gatos and San Jose, and Rock Bottom Brewery in Campbell all offer seasonal Oktoberfest lagers, available exclusively on draught at their respective brewpubs.

• Farther afield in California, San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. is known for its hoppy beers. The company decided to put a twist on its anniversary special release this year by brewing its Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA with German hops and pilsner malt. The beer includes the German hops Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal and Smaragd, and is dry-hopped with Sterling, an American hop with German lineage, and French Strisselspalt hops from across the Rhine in Alsace.

The German IPA approach works remarkably well, with pronounced citrus and floral hop aroma, sturdy bitterness and a lemony, spicy hop flavor that lasts well into the finish. Remarkably smooth and drinkable for its 9.5 percent alcohol by volume, Götterdämmerung IPA is definitely a unique hybrid of the best of what both German and Californian beers have to offer.

• Port Brewing Co. in San Marcos produces an unusual spring seasonal brew called Hot Rocks Lager, which you may still be able to find in local bottle shops – but you may want to wait until spring when a fresh batch is released.

Steinbier is brewed using a 19th-century technique in which heated granite was dropped into wooden barrels of wort to boil the liquid. Smooth and relatively full-bodied for a lager, Hot Rocks has aromas of caramel and toffee resulting from the caramelization of malt sugars by the hot stones. On the palate, the predominant flavor is dark cocoa with a hint of smoke. And because Port Brewing makes Hot Rocks, a pleasant hoppy finish balances the sweetness.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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