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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Craft beer finds a home at Winter Fancy Food Show


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
A crowd gathers to sample Cypress Grove Chevre paired with local beers and ciders at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

At the 39th annual Winter Fancy Food Show, held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center last month, more than 1,300 companies from around the world highlighted an incredible diversity of food and beverage products from artisanal cheeses and charcuterie to microwavable prepared meals.

Of course, I went in search of beer-infused and beer-related products, and I found that beer appeared in two significant segments of the specialty-food products at the show: cheese and candy.

Beer-infused cheese

Beer and cheese share an affinity as products that are both fermented, in addition to tasting great together.

Two cheesemakers highlighted the relationship between cheese and beer in different ways. Cypress Grove Chevre, a goat-cheese producer from Arcata, served cheese samples with two different beers from North Coast Brewing Co. in Mendocino and a cider from Ace Cider in Sebastopol. The pairings brought out the complex flavors of both products. Cypress Grove Marketing Director Jason Baxter said they initially planned to recommend specific beers with specific cheeses but decided to let people make their own combinations because each beer brought out different characteristics in each cheese. My personal favorite pairing was the Sgt. Pepper cheese, a slightly tangy goat cheese with spicy chili threads, with the smooth roastiness of the North Coast Old No. 38 Stout.

Rogue Creamery, based in Central Point, Ore., took things a step further. As Francis Plowman, whose business card identifies him as the “Cheese Narrator” for Rogue, said, “The next step in the cheese world beyond beer and cheese pairing is to put it right in the vat.” Since 2004, Rogue has incorporated beer directly into the cheesemaking process, and it currently offers seven different beer cheeses. Four of the cheeses feature beer or ingredients from Rogue Ales, which is not formally connected to Rogue Creamery despite the Rogue name. Several cheeses incorporate porters or stouts (including Rogue Chocolate Stout, Caldera Mogli Porter and Hopworks Survival Stout), each with different flavor balances but highlighting the distinct roast and chocolate notes of these styles. The Hopyard Cheese is a salty, smooth, buttery, medium-sharp cheddar with an herbal bitter finish from hops pressed into the cheese.

Beer-flavored candy

Beer also made an appearance in several candy products, some more successful than others. One highly touted product debut at the Fancy Food Show was Jelly Belly’s “Draft Beer”-flavored jelly beans. The golden beans, with an iridescent “foam” finish, actually look like beer in a glass. However, while the chemically-produced flavor of beer is unmistakable, I have to confess to not really enjoying this candy. I found the beans to taste like a slightly stale mass-produced cheap beer – the possibilities of craft beer flavor are endless, but Jelly Belly went for the lowest common denominator.

Annette’s Chocolates from Napa served two versions of Beer Brittle – regular and “Firey” with spicy peppers. While the brittles were certainly tasty, the flavor contribution of the “local amber ale” was quite subtle. Beercandy Inc., featured in my December column on gift ideas, distributed thousands of samples of its Hopdrops, Beercaramels and Beertaffy. While Beercandy has been producing its beer-infused caramels since 2009, other producers have joined in. Chicago’s Vosges Haut-Chocolat, known for its bacon and chocolate bars, also had a Smoke & Stout Caramel Bar on exhibit, featuring Rogue Chocolate Stout beer and alderwood-smoked salt with burnt sugar caramel and 70 percent cacao dark chocolate.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club in Los Altos Hills, which welcomes both new and experienced beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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