Last updateTue, 28 Feb 2017 4pm

Props to crops of nonstop hops: Enjoy the variety of Bay Area IPAs

Courtesy of Hermitage Brewing Co.
Hermitage Brewing Co.’s Mandarina Bavaria joins a series of single-hop varietal releases, this one highlighting a new orange-inflected German offering.

One of the most persistent trends in craft beer is the progressive cultivation of more “hophead” beer drinkers, who enjoy the intense hop flavors of India pale ales (IPAs), one of the largest segments of craft beer sales in the U.S.

As IPAs have grown in popularity, brewers have expanded the definition of the style to include West Coast IPAs, East Coast IPAs, English IPAs, Belgian IPAs, white IPAs, red IPAs, brown IPAs, black IPAs, wheat IPAs, rye IPAs, wild-fermented Brettanomyces IPAs, double (or imperial) IPAs, triple IPAs and even quadruple IPAs.

Food Brief

Strike Brewing Co. opens taproom

Strike Brewing Co., the craft brewery launched in a Los Altos kitchen, continues to grow, opening a warehouse taproom and stand-alone brewery in San Jose this fall.

The brewery, which began with a team of three and initially shared space in a larger brewery, opened its new location on South 10th Street in San Jose last week.

Tips and tricks: Grilling eggplant

Blanche Shaheen/Special to the Town Crier
Grilled eggplant adds nutrient-rich heft to sandwiches, above, and salads, below.

While eggplant is revered in the Middle East, it is generally ignored by the western world. When I mention how much I love eggplant to friends and acquaintances, I tend to get negative comments or puzzled looks. Even raw-food vegan enthusiasts reject this vegetable, because, frankly, have you ever tried raw eggplant?

“Raw eggplant is delicious,” said no one, ever.

Fruit beers offer unlikely complexity

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Lost Abbey’s Framboise de Amorosa is an ale aged in oak barrels with raspberries.

Fruit beers don’t always get much respect or attention in the craft beer world, most likely because the early commercially available examples were not very exciting.

Breweries released a number of raspberry wheat beers and other one-dimensional, slightly sweet, artificial-tasting brews designed for drinkers who didn’t actually enjoy beer. However, the addition of fruit ranging from berries to stone fruits to citrus, as well as other more obscure examples (such as acai, raisins, dates, apple, coconut, or melon), can create interesting flavor profiles of great depth.

Summer corn and leek risotto highlights weekday dinner

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Risotto showcases the season’s sweet corn. Pair it with sliced tomatoes and a glass of Viognier.

I get a little giddy when sweet corn starts arriving at the markets. Served grilled or boiled, the veggie is a perfect expression of summer. Everyone in my house is a fan.

So when I found myself with lots of corn and a need for a quick weekday dinner, I decided to showcase the sweet kernels in a simple and satisfying risotto.



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