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2nd Annual Salute! Celebrating Finely Crafted Beer & Food Festival – June 17/18


Salute! Beer Festival

Unlimited samples of craft beer. Unlimited samples of amazing food. Four-course VIP pairing dinner. In a nutshell, this is what guests of the 2nd Annual Salute! Celebrating Finely Crafted Beer & Food presented by Ojai Beverage Company (OBC) can expect. On Father’s Day weekend, leading Brewmasters and the nations finest craft breweries are joined by some of the Gold Coast’s finest chefs to present the next exciting installation of the now 2nd Annual Salute! Celebrating Finely Crafted Beer & Food Festival presented by Ojai Beverage Company (OBC) and Thirty-Three Productions, Inc. (33). Taking place during Fathers Day Weekend, on Friday, June 17th from 6:30pm – 10pm enjoy the Salute VIP Pairing Dinner presenting Dr. Bill Sysak, Certified Cicerone of Stone Brewing Company & World Bistro Gardens who will present rare and special reserve beers alongside Ojai Beverage Café inspired food. VIP Tickets, which are $85, include admission to the VIP Pairing Dinner & Beer Reception on Friday, plus entry one hour prior to the Unlimited Tasting Session on Saturday.

On Saturday, June 18th, 2011 from 2pm – 6pm they will hold the Salute! Unlimited Tasting Session, which will feature over 100 beers paired with a variety of delectable food items prepared by the regions finest chefs. Tickets to the Unlimited Tasting Session are $40.00, and include all of the food and beverage served at the event.

Tickets for Salute! can be purchased online or at Ojai Beverage Company located at 655 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA.

  • WHO: You!
  • WHAT: 2nd Annual Salute! Celebrating Finely Crafted Beer & Food
  • WHERE: Outdoors at Ojai Beverage Company
    655 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
  • WHEN: Friday, June 17th from 6:30pm – 10pm
    Saturday, June 18th, 2011 from 2pm – 6pm
  • WHY: To celebrate great food and amazing craft beer and to support the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation and American Cancer Society.
  • COST: $43.30 for general admission / $92 for VIP to include the VIP dinner.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.

Comments Off on 2nd Annual Salute! Celebrating Finely Crafted Beer & Food Festival – June 17/18 06.09.2011 |

The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival Celebrates the Big 3-0


Kapalua Wine and Food Festival

The Kapalua Wine and Food Festival celebrates 30 years on Maui with their annual celebration of great wines of the world and cuisine of Maui. That means I wasn’t even 21 at the first one! Starting in 1981, the wine world was a different place.  The wine industry has come a long way in 30 years, with tremendous growth seen in the United States with 712 wineries in ’85, compared to more than 4,000 now. The event has been long known for its kick off tasting party that features hundreds of wines called the Grand Tasting, which will have a new twist this year. Also new is a 3 hour intro wine course on Thursday. Friday also features the festival golf tournament at the Bay Course and the cab tasting seminar. On Saturday more wine tasting seminars, and festival wine dinners. On Sunday more seminars, Farm Fresh with celebrity Chef Peter Merriman, and the Finale, the Maui Seafood Festival with live entertainment from local band An Den.

The passion for wine and wine knowledge is no longer reserved for the elite. Wine grown around the world are more approachable than ever. The signature wine event in Kapalua continues to transform itself, this year in two specific events. The addition of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Introductory class on Thursday, targeting local food and beverage professionals. Here attendees, under the guidance of Master Sommeliers, will take a tour of the wine growing regions of the world. There will be lively discussions of wine by these Masters of wine, some of which are experts on certain regions. All of the proceeds of this course will go to the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation.

The Friday kick off event, The Grande Tasting has a new taste too, incorporating the significance of our local island bounty. This party has its roots in the who’s who social place to be on the island while featuring over 200 bottles of wine from around the world. Now the Friday night party follows the farm to table trend by partnering with the Maui County Farm Bureau and pairing our talented island’s chefs with our equally skilled farmers.

Under the splendor of the Ritz Carlton’s Aloha Garden Pavilion you will explore an insane combination of chefs, farmers, and wine. The wine stations that total over 200 hundred selections include Tour of California selected by Festival Host Fred Dame, Southern Hemisphere selected by Master Sommelier Andrew McNamara, Pacific Northwest Wines, European Wines selected by Master Sommelier Jay Fletcher, and Sparkling Wines selected by Larry Stone.

The Maui Restaurant Chefs and Maui Farms that will be creating the culinary route of your wine adventure will be as follows:

  • Cilantro Mexican Grill and Pacific Produce – Mahi-Mahi ceviche tostada with citrus, watercress and jicama salad and Mother Clucker Flautas with hibiscus jalapeno jelly on a bed of Kula greens, roasted corn and pomegranate vinaigrette
  • Flatbread Company and Hana Herbs and Flowers  – Pohole fern flatbread and salad
  • The Plantation House Restaurant and Escobedo Farm – Chef’s Meze Table with Bab Ghanjouj (eggplant-tahini), Melitzanosalata (eggplant-walnut), Eggplant-Sausage Caponata, Hummus, Mediterranean Olives, Peppers, Marinated Cheese and Pita, Flatbread and Crostini
  • Ruth’s Chris Steak House and J Shishido Farm – Broccoli Beef with house cured bersola, sautéed broccoli with a cilantro vinaigrette and Wild Mushroom Fricassee with house cured pancetta, parmigiano reggiano, red wine demi glaze and whole leaf parsley
  • The Banyan Tree and Syl’s Produce – Seafood Sausage with pumpernickel and béarnaise sauce and Smoked Ono on a Maui-Style tortilla with crème fraiche
  • Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman and Olowalu Nui Farm – Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Olowalu Nui Farm Tomato, Pineapple and Beet Gazpacho
  • Desserts by Chef Ashley – The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and Kula Country Farms

10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation  Introductory Class
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Local Industry Trade Show
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Welcome Reception (By invitation only)

FRIDAY, June 10
7:00 am – Shotgun Start – Festival Golf Tournament, The Bay Course, Kapalua
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Three Decades of Reserve Cab
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – The Grand Tasting – Maui Grown

11:00 am – 12:30 pm – Pinots Meet Cheese
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm – A Drive Up Hwy 101
Time & location varies – Festival Winemakers Dinners

Wine and dine with Festival Winemakers. For more information on these awe-inspiring dinners and priceless opportunities, please visit the Festival website at kapalua.com.

SUNDAY, June 12
11:00 am – 12:30 pm – You say Shiraz, I say Syrah
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Farm Fresh with Chef Peter Merriman
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Maui Seafood Festival

Purchase tickets online at kapalua.com or call 808-665-9160

1 comment 06.08.2011 |

Partying Like a Mutineer


Crazy Receipt

Someone has clearly taken a page from the Official Mutineer Guide to Partying with their over-the-top party on May 5th at the Tryst Nightclub at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas. I think the picture is worth a thousand words… but wow, $100,000 for four bottles of 15-liter non-vintage Veuve Clicquot Champagne? However, I think my biggest question is that there are 25 bottles of Dom Pérignon floating around for this group (for a grand total of $46,200), one of which is a 1995 6-liter bottle, and one (or two) people decide that they should order a Bud Light?

After that, my favorite part would be the $30,000 tip. Geeze, is that all?

4 comments 06.08.2011 |

How To: Art in the Age ROOT Bottle Terrariums


Art In The Age ROOT Terrariums from Art In The Age on Vimeo.

Founded in 2006, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction is an artist collective that takes its name from Walter Benjamin’s landmark 1935 essay. They sell a lot of random things from handcrafted soap to clothing to jewelry, but they also produce two really cool liquors, ROOT and SNAP, both of which are certified USDA organic. ROOT is a pre-temperance alcoholic Root Tea and SNAP is a spirit distilled from the ingredients traditionally used to make ginger snap cookies. Both also have really cool stories and I urge you to check out their website and watch the videos they’ve created for each of them.

I stumbled upon the above video of building a terrarium with the bottle you’re left with after enjoying the delicious ROOT and wanted to share it as I think it’s a cool concept and they do a really nice job on all the videos they create to promote their products. If you aren’t interested in building a terrarium, you might at least find the video entertaining. If you do plan on making a terrarium with your empty ROOT bottle or any other bottle, be sure to check out the ROOT website for directions and tips on how to do it correctly.

Note: Please also consider the environment and local laws pertaining to wildlife conservation or property rights when harvesting plant life for your terrariums. While it may be tempting to harvest mature mosses or ferns from state parks or other wooded areas, not only may it be illegal, but the delicate ecosystems required to sustain them are not easily recreated in a bottle.

1 comment 06.07.2011 |

The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Chas Cocktail


This week’s installment of The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess brought to you by the Small Screen Network brings you the Chas Cocktail. According to Robert Hess, “A good bartender inspires patrons with their creativity, skill and service behind the bar. Watching a master at work can do that. It is rare, however, when a patron inspires a bartender. Thus was the case with the Chas Cocktail created by Murray Stenson at Zig Zag Café in Seattle and named after Chuck Talbot, a regular at the bar with a love for Bourbon.”

We chose to highlight this cocktail to honor Murray Stenson, known by many to be one of the best bartenders in America and who was voted “Best Bartender in America” by his peers at the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail festival. We find this cocktail to be most fitting for today’s post as Murray worked his last shit at Zig Zag on May 27th and he is moving to Michael Mina’s RN74, set to open June 13th where he will tend bar. On the move, Murray said “I’d been at Zig Zag for 10 years. I’m looking to simplify. I’m really old, and Zig Zag is a young man’s bar.” He’ll do this at RN74, where the bar is smaller and the focus is a bit more on the food than the cocktails. No worries though as Zig Zag Café is still in very capable hands with bartender Erik Hakkinen who has been working at Zig Zag with Murray for the last three years.

Cheers Murray!

The Chas Cocktail

  • 2 1/2 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • 1/4 oz Amaretto
  • 1/4 oz Benedictine
  • d1/4 oz Cointreau
  • 1/4 oz Orange Curaçao

Comments Off on The Cocktail Spirit with Robert Hess: The Chas Cocktail 06.06.2011 |

So You Want to be an Absinthe Connoisseur…Part 1


Tasting Absinthe

It’s not cool enough to just drink absinthe anymore.  Since absinthe has been around in the U.S. legally since 2007 (and since the Wormwood Society has been around since 2004), ignorance is no excuse as to why you aren’t yet an absinthe connoisseur, or absintheur.  For those of you who are behind  on the times, the next series of blog articles are going to help bring you up to speed.  From types of absinthe based on production process, to the specific herbs used to make it, to how to evaluate an absinthe, and finally ending with how to throw your own tasting party.  We’ll go through it all.  And each week, we’ll also leave you with a popular absinthe cocktail that is simple to make, and will boost your cool points with your friends.

So, before we can get into tasting and evaluating absinthe, you need to know more about the different types.  That’s what we’ll be discussing today.  Of the products that call themselves absinthe (or absynt, absinth, abisinthe, etc), there are three major types, which differ based on production process.  Here are some basics for each:

Traditional, distilled absinthe.Making Absinthe

The botanicals are macerated (soaked) in high-proof alcohol for a brief time, usually around 24 to 36 hours.  This macerate, still containing the herbs, is then distilled. The resulting distillate is clear, and further herbs are usually used in a second maceration (think of a huge teabag full of aromatic herbs), which will add flavor, aroma and color. This is a traditional finishing step, but not all absinthes receive this second maceration, and remain clear. These uncolored absinthes are typically referred to as “blanche”style, while the herb-infused green variety are referred to as “verte”.  These terms are simply the French words for white and green, respectively.  You might also run across the term “La Bleu”, which indicates a blanche style absinthe that was traditionally made in Switzerland.

Compounded, or “Oil Mix” absinthe.

Essential oils are usually extracted from plant matter by steam distillation.  These are the same type of oils used in aromatherapy products, incense and fragrances. Other flavors are produced synthetically. These flavorings are then purchased by the producer in bulk and then simply blended with neutral spirits. This mixture isn’t distilled further, and the result will be clear. If the absinthe is to be green (or any other color), it will almost always be colored artificially.This is the common way to make absinthe cheaply—virtually all mass-market absinthes are produced this way—and they will normally be noted for tasting less complex and more like “black jelly beans” owing to the use of star anise oil, the flavoring used in much black licorice candy. They will also lack nuance and often contain acrid or harsh characteristics because the steam distillation process isolates different compounds than does the more traditional alcohol distillation method.

While the oil mix method was used in the pre-ban era, these were never considered to be quality products, merely “economy brands.” Only consumer ignorance permits these products to be sold at premium prices today.  Take a look at the Absinthe Cost Comparison entry for more information.

Macerated “absinthe”.

Herbs are soaked in alcohol. That’s it. The resulting macerate is filtered and bottled. It’s an extremely cheap way to make “absinthe” and it shows. Technically, this isn’t an absinthe any more than beer is whisky: in other words, it’s the first step, but not the same thing at all. If using the proper herbs (many do not), the overwhelming flavor of wormwood will stand out dramatically, since it’s one of the most bitter herbs in the world.Even the smallest amount of raw wormwood can be easily picked out by an educated palate due to its high level of bitterness and lingering astringency in the back of the throat. It’s a very unpleasant flavor.

OK, so now that you know the types of absinthe (and by way of inference, which type you should probably be drinking), we’ll move on to some of the specific herbs and what they taste and smell like in our next column.  Until then, I leave you with one of my favorite all-time cocktails, the Sazerac.

Sazerac Cocktail

Fill and Old Fashioned glass with ice, then set aside to chill.

In a separate glass, add:

  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 healthy dashes of Peychaud’s bitters (these must be used for a classic Sazerac)
  • 2 oz. Sazerac Rye

Fill glass with ice and stir.

Discard ice from the original Old Fashioned Glass, and rinse that glass with absinthe. Strain other ingredients into the Old Fashioned Glass, then garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!

Watch fellow Wormwood Society member Robert ”Drinkboy” Hess prepare this cocktail on the Small Screen Network.

Untappd Millionth Check-In Meet Up Today


Untappd Million Checkin-In Meet Up

It’s been quite a promising seven months for Untappd as they near their one millionth check-in on their web-based app. If you haven’t heard of Untappd, it’s similar to Foursquare but instead of checking into different venues, you “check-in” to the beers you are drinking, where you’re drinking and you can quickly rate them. Meanwhile, you can see what your friends are drinking and Untappd will make recommendations to what other beers you should try that are similar to the one in your hand and you can see what micro, macro and local beers are trending.

Today, Friday the 3rd, Untappd is having an east coast and a west coast Million Check-In Meet Up. For the east coasters out there, it will happen at Rattle N’ Hum in New York at 8:00 EST. For all my left coasters out there, it will happen at 6:00 PST at Libary Alehouse in Los Angeles. If you attend the events, be sure to check into the venue when you check-in to your first beer and you’ll unlock a promotion to receive half off of your next beer. Even if you aren’t attending the party, check-in to any beer today and you’ll earn yourself the Million Check-In Badge.

Comments Off on Untappd Millionth Check-In Meet Up Today 06.03.2011 |

Cognac Conversations with Ben, Daryl & Alan


Cognac. You know it and love it, and now you can witness Mutineer Editor in Chief Alan Kropf attempt to educate stand-up comedians Ben Morrison (who also happens to be a regular Mutineer contributor and host of the Mutineer Comedy Festival) and Daryl Wright (also a Mutineer Comedy Festival performer) at the world renowned Jon Lovitz Comedy Club at Universal City.

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