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A Truly Organic LA Growth: Distiller Profile with Greenbar’s Melkon Khosrovian

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Today we take a break from craft beer to focus on something equally important: craft spirits. I confess that I am just as much a fan of a fancy $15 cocktail as I am any craft beer. Put a Negroni or Old Fashion in my hand and the look on my face will probably reside somewhere between satisfied and elated. Find me three to four hours later in the same room, and that look will have changed only slightly; to satisfied and sleepy.

My love of cocktails aside, we take a break from beer today because there are equally intriguing characters harnessing the same can-do mindset that we’ve come to observe so often in beer; and I for one believe that spirit-makers deserve equal representation. For that reason I’d like to introduce you to Melkon Khosrovian, founder of LA’s Greenbar Craft Distillery.

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Being Beer Friendly: An Interview with Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait

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I’ve interviewed plenty of brewers since starting California BrewMasters. If you haven’t noticed by now, it’s kind of my thing. I’ve spoken to brewers in depth about primary and secondary fermentation methods, and listened closely as they pontificated the philosophies of good recipe formulation. For me this information is thought provoking, but as someone that has never brewed, either at home or on a commercial level, these pieces of brewing knowledge are not why I got into craft beer journalism.

I got into beer because of the community that was every bit as intriguing as the beer itself. The nuances of my favorite farmhouse saison are every bit as interesting to me as following the rise of a new brewery in an untapped neighborhood. And just as beer doesn’t make itself, a beer community is only as strong as those that foster and create it. As journalists and fans our appreciation most likely begins after the doors have opened, but we should take into consideration the incredible determination by each brewery to pry the doors open in the first place. It takes months and years, and the process is oftentimes fraught with red tape due to a lack of information or misinformation by the city and county it hopes to call home.

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No, Thank YOU Firestone Walker: LA Bloggers Take Acid and Drink in Barns

   a photographic perspective 
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Last weekend I took advantage of an incredible opportunity. Like a story involving a Nigerian Prince and his bank account, someone approached me months ago and said, “Nick, we’d like you to join a group of beer savvy, like minded individuals on a weekend excursion to Firestone Walker in Paso Robles, to build relationships with their staff and gain an inside look at some of their programs. There will also be multiple parties which take place in barns.” Fighting off a first response of, “Get the fuck outa town!” I followed up on the off chance that his could, possibly, maybe, be true.

Fast forward to the sunny afternoon of Sunday, April 12th in Venice Beach. It was the sort of day where if you were a productive member of society, you’d be wearing your Sunday best, skipping around to farmers markets and indulging in the newest brunch spot with a French Bulldog in tow. I, however, required sunglasses and Panda Express to give my body the relief it so desperately required. The weekend had taken its toll.

I rolled off the bus, our weekend chariot manned by mustachio bus driver Frank Frankowski (real name). I collected my things and gave hugs and hand shakes to new friends and old. I left slightly smelly, slightly hung over, and a bit buzzed. I climbed into my girlfriend’s car, gave her a smooch, and settled in for the ride home. A fat grin slid across my face.

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Train Your Tongue Like a Brewer

Please note: an annotated version of this article appeared in the April edition of BeerPaperLA – be sure to pick up a copy! 

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The human tongue is a thing of evolutionary beauty. An organ equipped with the working force of 10,000 taste buds, we owe countless palatable fads throughout history to a complex series of receptors that respond to whatever chemical make up it encounters. When a stimulus activates these receptors, neurons send the information to our brains, registering its interpretation in the form of taste. The ability for human beings to understand the complexities and nuances of what we taste is nothing short of spectacular. What’s even more amazing is that this feature comes standard. So whether we choose to use this tool or not, make no mistake that it is in everyone’s toolbox. The question then becomes this: are you doing your tongue justice? Read more