It’s a new year with plenty of great places to visit for wine tasting, beer festivals, tap takeovers and more. Check out some of the activities taking place around the Inland Empire on my monthly listing of beer and wine events on IEShineOn.com.
Egg Nog has always been a holiday tradition, but it’s always been the store-bought variety that makes its way to most homes. A couple of years ago my friends Dana and James Pike mentioned a special home-made version that most definitely packs a wallop. The recipe comes from none other than our first president, George Washington himself. The Father of Our Country was indeed a mixologist. While you can easily find the recipe online, we’ve posted it at IEShineOn.com as our Cocktail of the Month for December
, along with a few other holiday delights. Cheers!
The meal gets all of the attention at Thanksgiving. But before the turkey, while family, friends and football take center stage, it’s important to not ignore the day’s beverages. We’ve got a few suggestions in our monthly column for IEShineOn.com.
We’re a little late with this post here, but it did appear on IEShineOn.com last month. Nevertheless, this is worth including on the Sips, Suds and Spirits blog.
Four different craft brewers from the greater Inland Empire etched their names among the best in the United States by winning medals earlier this month in Denver at the Great American Beer Festival, the most prestigious and important competition in the U.S.
The 30th edition of the competition awarded a total of 286 medals to some of the best commercial breweries in the nation. Two local breweries came away with gold medals.
Weins Brewing Co./Weins Family Cellars from Temecula captured a gold medal in the Belgian-Style Fruit Beer category for its Apricot Wheat beer.
TAPS Fish House and Brewery in Corona won gold in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer category for its Silent Warrior.
Rancho Cucamonga’s No Clue Brew won a bronze medal in the Honey Beer category for hits Belgian Honey Blonde Ale, and Packinghouse Brewing Co. from Riverside won bronze in the Irish-Style Red Ale category for Riley’s Irish Red.
More than 1,750 breweries from all 50 states and the District of Columbia submitted a total of 7,227 entries covering 96 beer categories and 161 different beer styles. GABF entries increased by 9 percent over last year and easily surpassed all previous participation records.
The complete list of medal-winning beers is posted at the GABF website.
The Inland Empire’s newest local beer isn’t local at all. In fact, there’s no local brewery, but the company is based in Rancho Cucamonga.
Charlie’s Premium Lager is a smooth golden lager brewed in Belgium with distinct qualities of a Belgian beer, but made specifically to appeal to United States tastes.
“We are at the beginning of a great journey with Charlie’s,” says Marlies Christopoulos, president and CEO of The Charlie’s Beer Company USA. “My vision is to have Charlie’s available to enjoy for anyone, everywhere in the U.S. and to become one of the most popular and well known beer brands in the U.S.”
Christopoulos says the beer is made with a brewing heritage dating back centuries, but has less of the obvious “banana” or fruity esters taste often associated with Belgian-style b
eers. It’s also light and easy drinking at 5 percent ABV without the bitter aftertaste found in many popular craft beers.
Sold in four-packs of 16.9-ounce cans, Charlie’s Lager is now available at all California Total Wines and More stores, along with both Bev Mo stores in Upland and Craft Beer Cellar in Torrance.
With November comes the start of the holiday season, beginning with our nation’s observance of Veterans Day on Nov. 11 and the long Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 24-27. Annual releases of big beers, along with a host of other events, fill our November calendar. Cheers!
We’ve got your November guide at IEShineOn.com. And always remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver.