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News

Paws-itively  ready for  disaster

Paws-itively ready for disaster


Dozens of local residents participated in the Pet Ready! program, which included first-aid tips for animals from Adobe Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Cristi Blackwolf, above right. Girl Scouts Rachel Torgunrud, above left, in purple of Sunnyv...

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Schools

Local students earn honors at Tech Challenge

Local students earn honors at Tech Challenge


Courtesy of Ann Hepenstal
Gardner Bullis School’s Tech Challenge Team “Fantastic V,” above, recently showed their project at the school’s STEM Expo. Teammates, from left, Brandon Son, Will Hooper, George Weale, Tripp Crissma...

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Community

Merchants, maypoles, music: Farmers' Market season launches May 1

Merchants, maypoles, music: Farmers' Market season launches May 1


Town Crier File Photo
Visitors examine the fresh produce on display at last year’s Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market.

It wouldn’t be spring without the return of the Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market May 1. The Los Altos Village Association sp...

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Sports

LA tops MV behind Beutter's big day

LA tops MV behind Beutter's big day


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High pitcher Lizzie Beutter went the distance to earn the win against Mountain View.

The number of Los Altos High hits and Mountain View High errors may be in dispute, but there’s no debating which softball ...

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Comment

Enlightened California: No Shoes, Please

I recently read a newspaper article about the newly adopted sex-education curriculum in the state of Mississippi. In the city of Oxford, the following exercise is included: Students pass around a Peppermint Patty chocolate and observe how spoiled it ...

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Business

Cobblery makes short move next door: Longtime business relocating to State Street in May

Cobblery makes short move next door: Longtime business relocating to State Street in May


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
European Cobblery owner Paul Roth is relocating his business from 201 First St., above, to 385 State St. in May.

The European Cobblery, a family-owned and -operated shoe store, is relocating to a new home just a f...

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Books

Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summa...

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People

'Champions for Youth' announced

Challenge Team will honor Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer as “Champion for Youth” at the nonprofit organization’s annual fundraising breakfast, scheduled 7 a.m. May 7 at Michaels at Shoreline, 2960 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View.

Lauren ...

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Stepping Out

Last go-round for 'Hound'

Last go-round for 'Hound'


Tracy Martin/Special to the Town Crier
The actors in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” – from left, Darren Bridgett, Ron Campbell and Michael Gene Sullivan – take on dozens of roles.

TheatreWorks is slated to present “The Hound of the Baskervilles...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away


Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday mornin...

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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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