Category Archives: Local Events

‘Beers Around the World Tour’ Fall 2017 Edition

The fall edition of the The Beers Around the World Tour is set for Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6pm-9:30pm, taking place at the Rotary Summit Center in downtown San Jose above Flame’s Restaurant (88 S. Fourth St.).

Presented by San Jose State University’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management – and a joint production of the department’s Meeting Planning and Beer Appreciation classes – the beer show will be similar in format as past events.

The Beers Around the World tour will feature 54 different beers from 27 countries and regions of the U.S.

And like this past spring’s event, the upcoming beer tour will be open to the community.

For additional information – and to purchase tickets – visit the tour’s Eventbrite page.

Consider purchasing tickets sooner than later as the number of tickets are limited.

Scott’s Seafood Presents Thanksgiving Cocktail Pairing Dinner

Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose – located on the sixth floor of the City View Plaza, 185 Park Ave. – presents their next special dinner pairing menu, taking place over two evenings at 6pm on Monday, Nov. 20 and Tuesday, Nov. 21.

The dinner pairing – designed by Food and Beverage Director Sammy Reyes – features a three-course, pre-fixed menu with a cocktail pairing for each course.

Appetizer Course

Choice of 1:

  • Butternut Squash Soup (Drizzled with Sage Brown Butter and Pepita seeds)
  • Lobster Bisque Soup (Topped Lobster Meat)
  • Classic Caesar Salad (Croutons and Parmesan Cheese)
  • Butter Lettuce Salad (Maytag Blue Cheese, Cranberries, Asian Pears, Raspberry Vinaigrette)
  • Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes (Remoulade Sauce)
  • Oysters on the Half Shell (with Champagne Mignonette Sauce)

Cocktail Pairing: Spiced Red Sangria

Entree Course

Choice of 1:

  • Wild King Salmon A la Oscar (Dungeness Crab Meat, Asparagus, Béarnaise Sauce, Spinach Mashed Potatoes)
  • Grilled Chilean Sea Bass (Mizo Glaze, Sautee Spinach, Sushi Rice)
  • Roast Turkey Breast (Cornbread Stuffing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole with Applewood bacon, Gravy)
  • Smoked Maple Ham (Maitake Mushrooms Sacatoush, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Cranberry Apricot Jam)
  • Prime Rib (Potatoes Au Gratin, Broccolini, Au Jus, Horseradish Sour Cream)

Cocktail Pairing: Ginger Pear Martini

Dessert Course

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake (Whipped Cream and Candied Pecans)(Ala Mode)

Cocktail Pairing: Warm Nog Rumchata


The dinner is $55 dollars per person and will be held on the beautiful rooftop patio, weather permitting.

For additional information – and to purchase tickets – visit the dinner’s Eventbrite page.

Scenes from Whole Foods Market ‘Taste of the Holidays’

We were very fortunate to be invited by Whole Foods Market to a festive sneak peek this past Wednesday of their holiday offerings for the upcoming season.

We sampled a variety of delicious foods, dishes and drinks from the Whole Foods Market holiday menu, including creations from William-Sonoma’s Amanda Haas, Nom Nom Paleo’s Michelle Tam, Top Chef finalist Melissa King and Whole Foods Markets’ Trent Page.

The event took place at Tank18 in San Francisco.

Taylor from Whole Foods Market and Patrick and Austin of Headlands Brewing Company.

Taylor and Headlands teamed up to create Cloudview White Ale, which made its debut at this event. It’s their take on a holiday beer and will be sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market.

We tasted a number of delicious cheeses, expertly guided by Nicholas, a certified cheese professional.

Also making its debut was the Golden Milk & Gingerbread Ice Cream, launched by Humphrey Slocombe and chef Melissa King and exclusive to Whole Foods Market as well.

We really appreciated the wonderfully warm hospitality provided throughout the evening. And it was great to have the opportunities to catch up with Greg (second from left), Melanie and Jen.

PR extraordinaire Erika.

As regular shoppers at Whole Foods Market – and having enjoyed the convenience of ordering fully-cooked turkeys and sides for past Thanksgivings – we fully appreciated seeing up close – and tasting! – the plethora of ways to help enhance the flavors of the holidays.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!


Taco Takeover Comes to San Jose’s Avaya Stadium, Plus 20% Discount Code

I didn’t get to enjoy any tacos on National Taco Day today, but I’ll be sure to make up for it this Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Taco Takeover festival taking place at the home of the San Jose Earthquakes – Avaya Stadium (1123 Coleman Ave.).

Taco Takeover is presented by Cannonball Productions – the same folks behind the popular Bacon and Beer Classic events – and will feature cocktails, beer and tequila samples paired with tacos from local restaurants, including original recipes from Olla Cocina, Tacolicious, Tacomania, Tacos el Pelon, Araujo’s Mexican Grill and more.

A​ ​panel​ ​of​ ​judges​ ​- including yours truly – will​ ​be on hand to award​ ​the​ ​best​ ​tacos​.

There’ll also be games and activities – bobbing for churros, nacho eating contest and more – and a live Mariachi band, not to mention the picture-perfect weather.

Kate​ ​Levenstien,​ ​founder​ ​of​ ​Cannonball​ ​Productions​ ​and​ ​the​ popular ​Bacon​ ​and​ ​Beer​ ​Classic,​ ​is​ ​thrilled​ ​to introduce​ ​Taco​ ​Takeover​ ​to​ ​foodies​ ​and​ ​tequila​ ​lovers​ ​across​ ​the​ ​country.

With recent Taco Takeovers having taken place in New York City and Dallas, Kate shares, ​“We​ ​know​ ​just​ ​how​ ​much people​ ​love​ ​bacon​ ​and​ ​beer,​ ​but​ ​the​ ​response​ ​we’ve​ ​seen​ ​to​ ​Taco​ ​Takeover​ ​is​ ​by​ ​far​ ​the​ ​most​ ​ecstatic yet.​ ​There’s​ ​something​ ​about​ ​a​ ​refreshing​ ​margarita​ ​in​ ​one​ ​hand​ ​and​ ​a​ ​guac-topped​ ​taco​ ​in​ ​the​ ​other​ ​that is​ ​simply​ ​unbeatable.​

“We​ ​can’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​bring​ ​this​ ​delicious​ ​combination​ ​to​ ​San​ ​Jose​ ​and​ ​beyond.”


Guests​ ​can​ ​choose​ ​from​ ​two​ ​2.5-hour​ ​sessions​ ​on​ ​Saturday.​ ​General Admission​ ​tickets​ ​are ​$59. ​ ​​VIP​ ​tickets​ ​are $75, good for ​half-hour​ ​early​ ​entry​ ​and access​ ​to​ ​an​ ​exclusive​ ​guacamole​ ​bar.​ ​All​ ​tickets​ ​include​ ​a​ ​souvenir​ ​tasting​ ​glass.

20% Discount Code

Use Discount Code “grateful” to receive 20% off both General Admission and VIP tickets.

For​ ​more​ ​information​ ​about​ ​the​ ​festival, visit the Taco Takeover website.

Cannonball Productions​ ​is​ ​committed​ ​to​ ​partnering​ ​with​ ​food​ ​recovery​ ​programs​ ​in​ ​every​ ​host​ ​city, ​and​ ​will​ ​donate leftover​ ​food​ ​from​ ​the​ ​San​ ​Jose​ ​event​ ​to​ ​the​ ​homeless.

Scenes from the ‘Best of Summer’ Dinner at Whole Foods Santa Clara

One of our summer highlights was the opportunity to enjoy a special summer tasting menu designed by Top Chef finalist Melissa King.

The dinner took place the end of July at the Whole Foods Market Santa Clara and showcased Bay Area producers Frog Hollow Farm, Jacobs Farm, Panorama Meats, Nicasio Valley Cheese Co. and Bonny Doon Vineyard.

The appetizer arrangements were lovely to look at. And delicious.

It was great seeing on tap a couple of Floodcraft Brewing Company offerings – Solely Mosaic American Pale Ale and Punchlist Pale Ale, both brewed at the Floodcraft brewery located inside the San Jose Whole Foods Market on The Alameda.

The friendly bar staff is headed by Art Escobar (right). Art has been with Whole Foods for four years now and has been with the Santa Clara store since its opening in July of last year.

Moscow Mules were a refreshing way to start the evening.

In attendance were Greg Severn, regional specialty coordinator for Northern California, and Taylor Cathala, beer and spirits buyer for the Northern California and Reno region.

Starter course: Scallop Crudo with Chilled Coconut Broth (fruit from Frog Hollow Farm)…

Paired with Bonny Doon 2015 “Gravitas” (North Coast White Wine).

Entree: Seared Panorama Beef Tenderloin (tomatoes from Jacobs Farm)…

Paired with Bonny Doon The Wine Fomerly Known as Clos de Gilroy (2016 Central Coast Grenache).

Dessert: Fromage Blanc Panna Cotta with Stone Fruit. Cheese from Nicasio Valley and fruit from Frog Hollow.

Chef Melissa King checking in on guests.

All the flavors, including the food-and-wine pairings, were sublime.

Hearing the personal stories of the featured Whole Foods’ partners – from both the companies themselves and from Whole Foods’ own food experts – was informative and inspiring.

The stories made for an already enjoyable and tasty evening that much more special.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!


Scenes from Great America’s Red, White & Brews Celebration

We had such a good time visiting Great America during one of their Red, White & Brews Celebration weekends held earlier this summer.

Happy to see the local breweries represented among the mix of California breweries.

A nice wine list as well.

The special food-tasting menu.

The latest Luponic Distortion offering from Firestone Walker.

Bacon wrapped chicken hearts.

Tilt Brewing Company IPA.

Tombstone slider.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing New Almaden Red.

Spicy roasted corn on the cob. Jumbo smoked chicken drums.

Pulled pork bun.

Drake’s Denogginizer Imperial IPA.

We had a blast checking out the rest of the amusement park. I had completely forgotten how fun Great America is.

By the end of our visit, it was an easy decision to go ahead and get season tickets for the family. Can’t wait to go back!

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!


Great America Introduces Red, White & Brews Celebration

Great America will be hosting a Red, White & Brews celebration over two weekends, May 27-29 and June 3-4. More info. from the news release below:

California’s Great America will add to its incredible lineup of live entertainment and festivals with Red, White & Brews, a hometown celebration of Americana food and fun taking place May 27-29 and June 3-4. Red, White & Brews will bring the Hometown Square area of the park to life with locally sourced food experiences, more than 25 regional craft brews, Northern California wines, Bay Area bands, outdoor games and kids’ entertainment.

Tasting cards will be available for just $25 per person (6 selections per card) to sample savory items that include jumbo smoked chicken drumsticks, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, skewered bacon wrapped chicken hearts, corn ears roasted in chili powder and lime juice, and tombstone sliders with shaved brisket. There will also be a delicious dessert choice between an innovative apple pie, bacon and cheddar parfait or a traditional strawberry shortcake with the tasting card.

Craft beer and wine tasting cards, $25 per person for six, six-ounce samples, will feature renowned and niche microbreweries from throughout Northern California, including Gordon Biersch, Sierra Nevada, Anchor, Stone, Mendocino, Hanger 24, Lagunitas, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers and many others. Wine pouring options will include William Hill, Flora Springs, J. Lohr, White Oak, Concannon and more.

Unique food items for sale individually in the Hometown Square area are: a brisket mac and cheese conewich with crispy brisket tips, crispy onions and BBQ sauce; red, white & blue funnel cakes topped with strawberries, vanilla ice cream and blueberries; tantalizing bourbon peaches and cream with cinnamon cream and candied walnuts; cinnamon dessert nachos, which are fried tortillas paired with vanilla ice cream and chocolate and caramel syrup.

For an additional fee, the San Jose Beer Bike will tour guests through the park each day, providing up to 10 friends the opportunity to view Great America while sipping and cycling (with a designated cyclist at the wheel). Hometown Square entertainment will feature oversized board and carnival games, free balloons for kids, giant Adirondack chairs for lounging and photo opportunities, and more.

“Red, White & Brews will create a vibrant, dynamic atmosphere inside the park and showcase the region’s incredible food and drink possibilities,” said California’s Great America Vice President & General Manager Raul Rehnborg. “Red, White & Brews joins Taste of Orleans and Fiesta Hispana as wonderful reasons to visit the park multiple times each year.

An outdoor stage will be constructed in front of the Great America Theater where four local bands will perform rock, country and bluegrass music throughout the day. Adding to the live entertainment, dueling pianos will be positioned in the gazebo, intensifying the outdoor atmosphere.

The entire festival will take place under the thrills of Patriot, the park’s new floorless roller coaster experience featuring a nine-story drop where riders’ feet dangle inches above the track.

Red, White & Brews is free with park admission.

Cedar Fair

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.”  In addition to Great America, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, two water parks, one indoor water park, and five hotels.  Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract.