Metro’s Best of Silicon Valley 2013: Shopping & Services, Editors’ Picks

Japantown beerwalkers in 2012
San Jose Japantown beerwalkers in 2012

Best Homebrew Store

Beer and WineMakers of America

755 E. Brokaw Road, San Jose. Homebrewing is growing in popularity. Local homebrew supply shops are attracting more customers than ever before, and many folks have turned to San Jose’s Beer and WineMakers of America as their go-to homebrew store. Open since 1975, they have gained a loyal customer base largely thanks to their fair prices and friendly staff, including the knowledgeable and affable owner Rich. (AL)

Best Community Showcase

The Beerwalk Wine walks shedding light on local businesses have been mainstays throughout the valley. Leave it to the folks from Jack’s Bar & Lounge to try the model with beer. Beerwalks took place last year in Japantown (twice), downtown Campbell and Willow Glen, connecting many folks to new-to-them local shops and restaurants. (AL)

Best Beer-and-Food Pairing Event

California Cafe Palo Alto

700 Welch Road, Palo Alto. The beer-food concept is not new, as the South Bay’s 10 brewpubs naturally connect good food to fresh, local beer, but more folks are discovering the delights of special beer-and-food pairing events. California Cafe in Palo Alto hosts an ongoing brewmasters dinner series, and its annual South Bay Brewmasters dinner, held last February, filled the large, main dining area to capacity. Customers were treated to a five-course dinner that paired each course with two beers from different South Bay brewing companies, including Tied House, FireHouse Grill & Brewery, Los Gatos Brewing, Hermitage, Strike Brewing and Palo Alto Brewing. (AL)

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