NGingold_Homage_CBMblog_006

5 Minutes with Homage Brewing’s Matthew Garcia

NGingold_Homage_CBMblog_004

If you’re used to visiting breweries, Downtown Pomona’s Homage Brewing will be a rare sight to behold. It has attributes uncommon to most start-up breweries I visit. Located on a main street in the historic Arts Colony, I can’t help but notice I’m somewhere walking distance to other local shops and restaurants. The welcoming signage beckons me in, and once inside I notice a decor that’s both modern and minimalist, much like it’s branding. There’s an aesthetic and style here that’s unique in beer culture, maybe more suited to a boutique coffee shop.

I’m greeted by founder and head brewer Matthew Garcia. We’ve never met and he didn’t know I was visiting, so I can attest that with no special treatment at all that Garcia is indeed a welcoming guy that seems to genuinely care about his business, his beer, and his customers. Taking me through the line up we create a tasting flight of eight beers for a true sampling of what Homage has been concocting.

ngingold_homage_cbmblog_001 Read more

NGingold_Vagabond_CBMblog_008

Vagabond Cheese: Pairing Beer and Cheese Across Los Angeles

NGingold_Vagabond_CBMblog_003

It’s 4pm at the Buzz Wine Beer Shop in downtown Los Angeles. Certified Cheese Professional (yes that’s a thing) and owner of Vagabond Cheese Alex Ourieff has literally been cutting the cheese – 30 to 40 times if I’m not mistaken, right in front of me. My nose is on olfactory overload (from the cheese, not Alex), my tongue is coated with a mix of hops and rind, and my stomach is immensely happy yet totally confused by its contents. For the last three hours I’ve been taking bites of cheese and taking sips of beer. Bites of cheese, sips of beer. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

After the marathon I just endured, tasting what seemed like insurmountable number of cheeses to pair with a tasting flight of five dank IPAs, I needed a nap. Ourieff, on the other hand, walked around as gleefully as when he walked in, packing up his arsenal of cheeses into a large cooler with a pep still in his step, happy with the selections we’ve made – another cheese pairing set in the books. And he’s headed to conduct another pairing at a brewery down the road.

Read more