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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Overcome the winter blues with some tasty reds


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Red Ales pair malty sweetness with a strong hop backbone. California brewers have been trending toward potent “Imperial” editions.

Red Ale, also known as Amber Ale, originated with California brewers, and many commercial versions are still brewed here. While the style highlights a balance of hops and malt, there is great variation in different breweries’ interpretations of that balance. Some beers present a predominant caramel malt sweetness with hop bitterness and flavor in the background, while others significantly focus on hops and drink more like a darker-colored West Coast IPA.

I sampled five California-brewed examples and ranked them by my personal enjoyment, ending with the finest example I found. Based on the hefty bitterness and relatively high alcohol levels for the style, most of these would be categorized as Imperial Red Ales. While I don’t always prefer beers with higher alcohol levels, in this case, my rankings fell in order by the strength of the brews.

Evil Twin, Heretic Brewing, Fairfield, 6.8 percent ABV

Although marketed as a Red Ale, Evil Twin pours a deep brown in color with a low beige head. Pungent, catty hops dominate the aroma, and the flavor highlights dank hop bitterness, balanced by a dark-chocolate malt backbone. The interplay between the hops and malt results in an earthy flavor – while caramel malts in Red Ales tend to produce some sweetness, Evil Twin is malty without coming across as sweet. The beer is very well carbonated, and the bubbles accentuate a spicy Columbus hop flavor that lingers through the finish.

Red Rocket Ale, Bear Republic Brewing, Healdsburg, 6.8 percent ABV

Bear Republic describes Red Rocket as a “bastardized Scottish-style Red Ale.” The malt dominance certainly reflects the brew’s Scottish heritage, while the bitterness levels represent the West Coast of the U.S. Mahogany brown in color with a medium tan head, the aroma highlights a graham-cracker sweetness. However, the first sip reveals a firm, spicy bitterness that persists through the finish. Medium full-bodied, with just a hint of roast on the palate, Red Rocket does not offer much hop flavor despite the pronounced bitterness.

Hop Head Red, Green Flash Brewing, San Diego, 7 percent ABV

Ruby red with a full beige head, the aroma of Hop Head Red showcases a balance of orange zest from Amarillo hops with a caramel candy malt – the blend actually reminds me of orange Brach’s Caramel Royals candy (in a good way). The medium-bodied beer features a delicious juicy citrus hop flavor in balance with a toasty caramel sweetness. With moderate bitterness from start to finish, Hop Head Red drinks like an excellent fruity IPA.

McCarthy’s Bane, Knee Deep Brewing, Auburn, 8 percent ABV

With a humorous mock-Soviet label for its “red” beer, Knee Deep has produced a fine Imperial Red Ale. The beer pours deep copper in color with a fluffy off-white head, and the complex aroma includes citrusy hops, spicy rye notes and a hard-candy sweetness. On the palate, the mouthfeel is velvety and the moderate bitterness and light caramel malt provide a backdrop to feature a pronounced hops flavor. The pleasant grapefruit twang of the hops is present from the first sip through the finish.

Shark Attack, Port Brewing, San Diego, 9 percent ABV

Shark Attack is deep ruby red in color, with a huge rocky beige head and a resinous, piney aroma backed by a hint of malt sweetness. Surprisingly smooth for its strength, the flavor features a complex interplay of smooth bitterness, crystal malt sweetness and a crisp citrus hop flavor, all highlighted by high carbonation. While there is a moderate alcohol bite, Shark Attack is one of the finest Imperial Red Ales available.

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

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