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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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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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