Add zing to your spring with white wines

German wine
Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier

It is undeniably fresh and floral outside as spring breezes cross our backyards and the season awakens. I find myself wanting a glass of fresh and floral, too. Cue the world of German and Austrian white wines, which represent an exciting area of spring sipping for oenophiles not already familiar with this force in the wine world.

Craft lagers and creative ale ingredients make New Bohemia a Santa Cruz destination

New Bohemian
Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
New Bohemia’s craft lagers include a Santa Cruz take on pilsner.

New Bohemia Brewing Co. opened in Santa Cruz in 2015, and co-founder and brewmaster Dan Satterthwaite’s education (Siebel Institute) and experience (brewing at Trumer Brewery and Gordon Biersch after honing his skills at a small family-owned brewery in Germany) led him down the path of brewing craft lagers years before those styles gained the popularity they enjoy today.

Lockdown Passover Part Two: Next year, in person

Seder Plate” width=
Photo courtesy of Anat Catering
Anat Catering included a to-go Seder plate in Passover feasts this year.

Local Jewish families and their friends and neighbors are celebrating a second Passover-at-a-distance this week. The weeklong holiday, which began last Saturday and ends Sunday evening, saw an explosion of delivery innovations this year as people experimented with how to assemble ritual foods for the holiday’s festive Seder dinner and share them together online.

Easy to find and locally made, Laughing Monk has grown from homebrew to regional staple

Laughing Monk
Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Laughing Monk brews in San Francisco and sells locally.

Since the pandemic has limited the number of opportunities to leave the house over the past year, I’ve taken the opportunity to drive around visiting local breweries as a way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday afternoon. One of my favorite Bay Area breweries during this time has been Laughing Monk Brewing, launched by homebrewers Andrew Casteel and Aaron Hicks in 2016 in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood.

Virtual events bring the tasting room to the living room

Wine Tasting
Courtesy of Christine Moore
Virtual wine events bring winemaker input to at-home tastings.

One of the highlights of living in California is our easy access to world-class wine destinations. A weekend spent touring one of our local wine regions sat firmly at the top of my list of favorite ways to celebrate big birthdays and anniversaries, enjoy reunions with friends or entertain out-of-town guests.

Top local picks for San Francisco Beer Week

Beer Week
Courtesy of SF Beer Week
Beer Week looks different this year – but still brings new releases of special local brews.

With the pandemic disrupting San Francisco Beer Week this year, the Bay Area Brewers Guild teamed up with six other regional guilds throughout the state to organize California Craft Beer Week from February 12-21. While large gatherings and festivals won’t be happening this year, breweries are still hosting plentiful virtual tastings and other events over the next two weekends.


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