Search Results for: The Mead Kitchen

The Mead Kitchen joins local artisan drinks boom

Dan Cook, the mead maker, tests the mead at Urbano Cellars in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come May, a new honey-based alcoholic brew is set to debut in the East Bay. Well, perhaps not so new, as the drink, mead that is, has been part of civilization for thousands of years. Some experts say it fell out of popularity as cultures became urbanized, and an influx of sugar sent honey production mostly underground. Others say it was, in fact, the growth of cultivated grapes and grains that led to mead’s decline.

But, whatever the reason it lost favor, longtime home brewer Dan Cook has his sights set on launching mead into the East Bay drinks market, and the opportunity appears ripe for the taking. Under the moniker of The Mead Kitchen, Cook is working with two local beekeepers to provide the base for his new line of brews, which are currently aging and fermenting at Urbano Cellars in West Berkeley.

Cook, aka the Mead Maker, describes his passion to sell mead commercially as, until not long ago, just one among many of his schemes that fell into the category of what his friends affectionately call “Dan’s harebrained ideas.” … Continue reading »

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Forebears to make mead for whiskey, beer lovers

Making mead. Photo courtesy: Forebears Meadery
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It’s not every day that an upstart company enters its first experimental brew on a whim to an international competition and takes home first place. But that’s just what Forebears Meadery did.

The four man team of John Wirkner, Dave Myers, Michael Halby and Chris Langer entered a curious mead — made primarily with caramelized honey and cooked with hops — into last March’s Mazer Cup International Mead Competition primarily to get feedback said Wirkner. “We didn’t even go,” added Myers. “We just sent it in.”

This mead, which they’re temporarily calling “Paleoale” since it contains no grains or simple sugars, was the result of a few years of tinkering in home kitchens. It looks and tastes nothing like a typical mead. The brew is a deep ruddy brown with a creamy head reminiscent of Guinness. At first, it tastes bittersweet — the caramelized honey flavor is strong. But as you continue to drink, its malty notes come through, and the mead finishes with a definitive piney hop note. If blindfolded, this reporter would guess the “Paleoale” was actually a beer. In fact, its alcohol content, around 8-9%, is similar to a craft beer and much lower than typical meads. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XXXVII

Meats with sauerkraut (Boudin blanc; corned beef with parsley sauce). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings…

BOX AND BELLS This week’s biggest opening has to be James Syhabout’s latest restaurant, Box and Bells, in Rockridge. Berkeleyside Nosh wrote about a preview of the endeavor in February at one of Syhabout’s other Oakland restaurants, Hawker Fare. Syhabout is most known for being the only Michelin-starred chef in the East Bay for his Piedmont Avenue restaurant Commis. With Box and Bells, he said he aimed to offer the “things we like to eat as cooks that no one else is making. On our days off we want to spoil ourselves and indulge.” Added executive chief Benjamin Coe, at the preview, “This is the food that we eat after a long day at Commis.” According to Inside Scoop, Syhabout has been working on Box and Bells for more than a year: “It’s about getting back to basic cooking,” he told the San Francisco-based food news blog, which is run by the San Francisco Chronicle. Box and Bells is located at 5912 College Ave., the former location of Somerset. Items featured on the menu include fried chicken with raw oyster mayonnaise, sea scallops with spaetzle, blood pudding poutine, bone marrow with bagna cauda crust and more. The full food and drinks menus are available online. Check out the restaurant’s Twitter feed for updates.  … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Spark 2.0: Art, innovation and a kinetic bear

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On Saturday July 19, Berkeley’s Civic Center Park will be filled with artists, idea makers, entrepreneurs and techies from around the Bay Area for the second annual Berkeley Spark, a festival of creative and technological splendor.

From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., these innovators will host an array of activities and share their ideas with the public. At the event’s “tech corridor,” representatives from All Power Labs will showcase their biomass-fueled power generators. ArtIsMobilUs, Frankentrikes and Infinity Boxes will be there too. Attendees can also participate in a letter-writing project by Letters to the Universe, or share their work at a hip-hop open mic.

For the foodies, organizers are bringing in Drake’s Brewing Co., Dan Cook of The Mead Kitchen, Amy Murray from Revival Bar + Kitchen and Tamales Acapulco to share their specialty drinks and food dishes. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Good Hop, Mr. Delivery, Bacano Bakery, more

The wall of beer at The Good Hop Bottle Shop. Photo: The Good Hop
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Openings, closings…

THE GOOD HOP BOTTLE SHOP  The beer renaissance continues apace with the opening of The Good Hop Bottle Shop at 2421 Telegraph Ave., at 24th Street. (As we reported in January, the all-things-beer shop had hoped to open in February in time for SF Beer Week, but eventually slung open its doors June 15.) The shop offers roughly 600 bottled and canned craft beers from around the world, and 16 taps, featuring primarily local and California brewers’ special beers, and seasonal beers. There’s an impressive “wall of beer” to peruse (pictured above), and you can take away your preferred brew or consume it on site. Owner Melissa Myers, who started working as a professional brewer 16 years ago, is planning monthly events featuring beer and cheese pairings, as well as Meet the Brewer nights. Connect with The Good Hop on Facebook for updates. … Continue reading »

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The Berkeley Wire: 06.24.14

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The Nosh Wire: 06.24.14

Addis Ethiopian restaurant, Berkeley. Photo: Min Lee
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Your daily delivery of fresh East Bay food news. Continue reading »


21st Amendment plans showcase East Bay brewery

21st 2
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With the words “Let’s turn some dirt,” a group of city officials and executives of San Francisco brewers 21st Amendment broke ground last week on a 95,000-square-foot new facility in a former Kellogg’s factory in San Leandro.

When completed, the new facility will be one of the largest craft brewing operations in the state, and will at first bring 20 new jobs to the city, and then, by phase two, more than 100 new jobs.

21st Amendment — known for such products as Hell or Highwatermelon Wheat and Back in Black IPA — began operating in San Francisco in 2000. Its facility and restaurant near the ballpark is a fixture of that neighborhood, and that’s also where new beers are created and tested. Once ready for a larger market, they are brewed and canned at their facility in Cold Spring, Minnesota. While the Minnesota facility has capacity for 60,000 barrels, and they have no plans to shut it down, the San Leandro facility will start with 100,000 barrels with room for further expansion. … Continue reading »

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New craft brewery, restaurant slated for Berkeley

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A large craft brewery capable of producing over 310,000 gallons of beer a year is set to open in West Berkeley, assuming the owners secure final planning permissions. The plan also calls for a restaurant and barrel-aging facility.

Far West Brewing already has a permit from Berkeley to manufacture beer at the 10,212-square-foot industrial building at 1150 Sixth St. (at Harrison).

In its application to the city for restaurant and retail operation permits, Far West, which was formed specifically to open this business, said it would brew six year-round beers, limited release beers, and a series of barrel-aged sour beers and American wild ales. … Continue reading »

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East Bay’s craft beer boom is just getting started

Trappist by Colin Burke McClure
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Craft beer aficionados in the East Bay have had much to celebrate over the past few years with a veritable explosion of new spots specializing in small production, handcrafted beers from across the country and around the world — many of which serve delicious bites too.

Think The Trappist, Beer Revolution, Hog’s Apothecary, Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo Room, Moxy Beer Garden, The Mead Kitchen, and more (check out Berkeleyside Nosh’s drinking map for a sense of what’s out there).

And evidence suggests the craft beer phenomenon is still on the upswing, with more beer destinations slated to open this year, including Westbrae Biergarten in Berkeley, and, in Oakland, Fruitvale Fermentation Factory from Ale IndustriesThe Good Hop Bottle Shop on Telegraph, and a new Drakes Brewery destination in the Hive development at the corner of Broadway and 23rd Street.

Perhaps the most compelling evidence that beer is where it’s at is to be found in Alameda, however, where Du Vin Fine Wines, an established player in the local wine scene for the past 12 years, has just morphed into Craft Beer & Wine. … Continue reading »

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Hot East Bay restaurants, food news of 2013

Homestead, August 2013, Oakland, CA. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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In 2013, Berkeleyside Nosh celebrated its one-year anniversary, and we’re looking forward to bringing you even more local restaurant news this year. Before 2013 recedes too far in the rear view, we wanted to take a moment to look back at some of our best stories and biggest happenings in East Bay restaurants over the past year. (We’ve included a few places that opened in late 2012, as well, as we didn’t do a round-up last year. Click any of the links below to see complete past coverage of places you want to learn more about.) Make sure not to miss our weekly Bites feature for all the latest restaurant news in Oakland, Berkeley and beyond.

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The most important Berkeley stories of 2013

Spring storms over Berkeley. Photo: D.H. Parks
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2013 was a significant year for Berkeley residents, and not only because of what happened inside the city’s boundaries. This was the year the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and declined to consider the repeal of Prop 8 — two rulings that opened the way for gays to marry one another. (Two Berkeley women, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were the plaintiffs in the latter suit.) 2013 was also the year that sign-ups began for Affordable Health Care Act and that Congress let unemployment benefits lapse for millions, and sliced food stamp benefits. Berkeley residents were affected by all those developments. The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened and BART workers went on a disabling strike — twice.

But there were a number of developments unique to Berkeley that will change the shape of the city for years to come. Here are Berkeleyside’s selections for the most important stories of the year. … Continue reading »

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Bites: ‘New Comal’ to Elmwood; Gogi Time comes to Telegraph Avenue

An early rendering of a new restaurant prosed for Ashby Avenue
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Openings, closings…

GREAT CHINA OPENS DEC. 16 The much anticipated opening of the ‘new’ Great China — the old one was shuttered by a fire in January 2012 — is happening Monday, Dec. 16, at 11:55 a.m. After opening day, the hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5-10 p.m. for dinner, Monday through Sunday, according to beverage director Mark Yatabe. The alcohol license is still pending but is expected early in the new year, Yatabe said. The menu is largely unchanged but there are some additions, including a new dessert menu and tea program. Read our scoop on Great China’s comeback. Great China is at 2190 Bancroft Way (at Oxford), Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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