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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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Give thanks for California's craft brews


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
A high-alcohol, spicy beer complements a Thanksgiving feast.

The approach of the Thanksgiving holiday seems like the perfect opportunity to highlight the versatility of beer as a beverage pairing for all kinds of food. From roasted turkey to pumpkin pie, there is a beer appropriate for every course of your Thanksgiving feast.

If you enjoy the acidity and carbonation that sparkling wine provides to cut through the richness of holiday meals, look no further than The Lost Abbey Saison Blanc. The beer is highly carbonated and crisp with a very dry finish. Saison yeast often produces a peppery spice aroma, which in this case is accentuated by the addition of white pepper during the brewing process. The Lost Abbey also added golden raisins to the Saison Blanc, which are difficult to perceive directly in the flavor or aroma but certainly contribute to the overall complexity of the brew. If you like champagne with your Thanksgiving dinner, try this instead.

At the holidays, many breweries break out the cloves and cinnamon to brew spiced seasonal holiday ales. Not AleSmith Brewing – it celebrates the winter holidays with YuleSmith (Winter) Ale, an impressively hoppy imperial red ale. While I tend not to pair hoppy beers with food (other than hamburgers or pizza), the piney hops of YuleSmith are supported by a subtle caramel sweetness. I would hesitate to call this beer “balanced,” as the hops are clearly the star of the show, but there is enough complexity to pair well with a fall feast. The malt backbone complements the richness of roasted meats, gravy and other Thanksgiving fare, while the resinous hops provide a pleasant contrast and clear the palate for more decadence.

North Coast Brewing Co.’s Brother Thelonious Belgian-style Abbey Ale manages to be simultaneously dry and sweet, largely due to the relatively high levels of attenuation and the fruity esters produced by the Belgian yeast. The yeast interacts with Belgian candi sugar and caramel malts to produce aromas and flavors reminiscent of sweet cherries, dried plums and caramelized figs. Relatively light in body for such a high-alcohol beer (9.4 percent alcohol by volume), Brother Thelonious has a bracing alcohol bite, particularly in the finish. The rich flavor profile pairs equally well with desserts like pumpkin pie and with savory fare like turkey legs or sausage stuffing.

One seasonal brew that seems custom-made for Thanksgiving dinner is The Bruery’s Autumn Maple. The nose is dominated by pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, with hints of ripe pear esters from the Belgian yeast. The eponymous maple flavor is not pronounced, but the flavor is moderately sweet, likely from unfermentable sugars in the yams that The Bruery includes in the mash. The spices create an unmistakably autumnal flavor profile. With a little more acidity or bitterness, the beer would pair even better with savory foods. Where this brew really shines is with spiced desserts like pumpkin roll or apple pie. There is noticeable alcohol heat from the 10 percent alcohol by volume – this brew may be even better after a year in the cellar.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Cheers!

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 beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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