Ghostwood Beer turns to crowlers, local fans under ongoing lockdown

Ghostwood Beer Co
Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Ghostwood brewmaster Tommy Domingo, right, hands the mash paddle to Stanford University biochemist Ouma Onguka as they collaborate on brewing Old Forgotten Words West Coast IPA.

Ghostwood Beer Co.’s taproom opened on Brewster Avenue in Redwood City in September 2018 and quickly established itself as a favorite among Peninsula beer drinkers.

Oh, Zoom all ye family

Snacks for a Zoom party
Courtesy of Christine Moore
Pack a wine split, gluhwein or to-go-cocktail with snacks for the drop-off preamble to a party on Zoom.

There’s an entirely new kind of magic fueling this holiday season – creative ways to connect with family and friends over Zoom. The ingenuity comes as little surprise given the beautiful adaptability of what “together” has become under COVID restrictions.

Perfect beers for a Thanksgiving feast

Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Lagers like Floodcraft Brewing’s Festbier complement rich food and oven-roasted fall feasts.

For a few years now, I’ve been projecting that craft lagers would be the “next big thing” in the beer world, something to dethrone hazy IPAs from their dominant place on brewery taplists everywhere.

It took a global pandemic to make it happen, but lagers seem to have moved into a more prominent spot, at least for the moment.

Taking time for fresh, fluffy pita bread

Pita Bread
Courtesy of Blanche Shaheen
Pair homemade pita bread with labne, za’atar and olives.

If there is one consistent item that has been missing from supermarket shelves during the lockdown, it’s yeast.

People have been buying yeast like never before, and social media has been saturated with home cooks posting warm and fuzzy photos of baguettes, pizzas and banana bread baked from scratch.

These longer baking projects have the extra bonus of permeating the home with beautiful scents and tapping into fond childhood memories.

Cheers: Where to find outdoor beer & a side of dinner

Freewheel brewing
Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Freewheel Brewing operates an outdoor beer garden in Redwood City.

As the cool fall weather rolls in and restrictions on indoor dining continue to be extended, a beer and a meal outdoors remains one of the simple pleasures still available in 2020.

Under state guidelines, breweries and beer bars can only serve beer on premises if it is accompanied by a “bona fide meal,” so locations that have a kitchen on-site have had a distinct advantage in remaining open, though many small breweries have had success with food truck partnerships to provide meals during the pandemic.

Column: Harvesting from loss, we see interconnectedness

Moore's Santa Rosa vineyard
Courtesy of Christine Moore
The Moore family’s vines, near Santa Rosa, lost their harvest this year.

As I write this, it’s foggy and autumnal outside. It’s been a week of normal fall days – morning mist giving way to sunny, blue skies. Yet what was once considered run-of-the-mill weather fills me with gratitude.

It has been an especially helpless-feeling fire season thus far. Poor air quality keeping us indoors has weighed heavy on our already fatigued emotions. The new habit of daily checks on PurpleAir tell us if we can run and play outside, and determine the masks to wear should we venture out of the house. The flames themselves have burned unprecedented amounts of acreage, taking with them lives, livelihoods and structures.

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