Prost! : Raise a glass – and a fork – during Oktoberfest

Photos courtesy of Ben Bate
Ludwig’s German Table in San Jose celebrates Oktoberfest with sausages, potato salad, pretzels and an impressive range of German wines and beers.

Every culture has its own traditions to celebrate historical events and the passing of the seasons. When an observance is a supernova of a party, it becomes mimicked around the globe. Such is the case with Oktoberfest, the two-week festival held annually in Munich, Germany.

The original Oktoberfest occurred in 1810 when Munich residents were invited to mark the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig’s marriage. Thinking of modern versions of the event as a wedding reception fit for royalty is appropriate.

IPAs headline Fieldwork's laid-back San Mateo tasting room

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
A tasting flight at Fieldwork’s San Mateo taproom showcases hop-heavy local beers.

Founded in 2015, Berkeley’s Fieldwork Brewing Co. has grown quite rapidly, with a presence in craft beer establishments throughout the Bay Area and beyond, and its own taprooms now open in Berkeley, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento and San Mateo.

While Fieldwork is well-known for IPAs and its tap lists are pretty hop-heavy, it also brews lagers, sour beers, European styles and dark beers. The San Mateo taproom has a very laid-back vibe, with casual outdoor seating and plenty of friendly servers.

End-of-summer fete celebrates lazy evenings

Photos Courtesy of Christine Moore

I am determined to enjoy every last bit of laziness our September schedule can afford. An especially good way to achieve this goal is to invite a group of friends over for an easy, breezy outdoor dinner. Pizza on the grill and a drink made by the pitcher are just the menu items to serve my crowd of late-summer-lovers.

If you’ve attempted – and failed – to create perfectly crispy crust pizza at home, it might be because you haven’t used your backyard grill. It is shockingly straightforward to turn out spectacular pizza on your grill. Once you’ve grilled your first pizza, it’s likely to become a favorite technique for uncomplicated entertaining.

Food Briefs

Town Crier File Photo
An apricot picker gathers fruit at Los Altos’ Civic Center Orchard. Tours of the orchard are available weekly in September.

LA Farmers’ Market continues for four more weeks

The Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market, staged 4-8 p.m. Thursdays on State Street, continues through Sept. 27.

The Los Altos Village Association and the city of Los Altos co-host the event, which includes booths from local groups and merchants and children’s activities in addition to produce, meat, baked goods, prepared foods and made-to-order hot meals. Shelling beans are coming into season.

Fresh corn tastes best straight off the cob – even in soup and salad

Photos by Rita Held
The yellow, white or multicolored corn starting to proliferate in local markets lends itself to summer soups and salads. To top greens, cook whole cobs to al dente, above, and then pair the kernels with cherry tomatoes, left.

Summer isn’t quite summer unless there’s fresh sweet corn.

Corn on the cob from the farmers’ market – yellow, white or bi-color – is so tasty, yet sometimes that buttered cob can be a bit too routine, too predictable.

Leave no Stone beer unturned

Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Stone Brewing’s Ruination Double IPA showcases hop aromas of grapefruit, gooseberry and pine.

Since 1996, Escondido’s Stone Brewing has been known for its bold beers, love of hops and in-your-face marketing. It’s currently one of the top 10 craft breweries by volume in the United States, and has added several new outposts throughout California (as well as in Berlin, Germany). With the number of new small, independent breweries that have sprung up in the past decade, it’s easy to forget about one of the classic craft brewers.

Stone IPA

This is an iconic West Coast IPA, originally brewed to celebrate Stone’s first anniversary in 1997. At 6.9 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and 71 International Bitterness Units (IBU), this seriously bitter brew still packs a punch relative to most single IPAs that have come out in the past two decades. The original recipe was tweaked in 2016 to add five new hop varietals to the dry hopping regimen, which originally included just Chinook and Centennial but now also includes Azacca, Calypso, Motueka, Ella and Vic Secret.

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