Edible Monterey Bay


Why collaboration and not competition is the mantra of local craft breweries

Celebration: Brewers Tim Clifford and J.C. Hill (bottom right) and their crews from Sante Adairius and Alvarado Street breweries toast the second batch of their collaboration beer, 38 Miles. Photo by Brock Bill.

Cold hands wrapped around hot mugs of coffee as brewers from 12 craft breweries from Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties crowded around the towering steel mash tuns and fermenters at Discretion Brewing in Soquel. Smiles easily thawed the chill as malted grain was crushed, water boiled, temperatures tracked. These beer folks hadn’t seen each other in a while and were happy to take a rare break from their own breweries to work collectively to create a beer that would represent the Monterey Bay … Read More


How one man’s quest to mix the perfect drink led him to his freezer—and how you can recreate what he discovered at home


The key to a truly stellar cocktail may go beyond top-shelf liquors and trendy mixing techniques. In fact, the secret ingredient may be something that is odorless, colorless and tasteless, and easily made at home—ice. Not just any ice, says Mark Davidson, a software-engineer-by-day, cocktail-enthusiast-by-night. “The secret sauce is pure ice. It makes a clear, clean cocktail.”

If you thought the ice in your freezer was already pure, take a closer look. Little cracks and bubbles on the inside of the cube are evidence of trapped impurities like chlorine, organic compounds and suspended particles which result in opaque, muddy streaks. Not only are … Read More

Edible Notables: Foodlab

It’s lunchtime at Pacific Elementary School in Davenport and the kitchen is a flurry of activity. The lower grades have finished eating already and the upper grades will be sitting down at the low blue gingham-covered tables within the hour. By that time the marine layer will likely have burned off, allowing the children to enjoy stunning views through the ocean-facing windows.

In the kitchen, one of the cooks fluffs a huge pot of brown rice with a fork, releasing warm, nutty plumes of steam. Another calls out, “Opening oven!” and checks the roasted chicken thighs for doneness, spooning over a little more of the garlic, Dijon mustard and balsamic sauce. A third stands on a stool as she deveins large leaves of romaine lettuce, expertly guiding a chef’s knife Read More

Edible Artisans: Backyard Bakers

The first time I walked down the small lane off 26th Avenue in Santa Cruz where Evan Lohr lives and bakes, I wasn’t sure I was in the right place—until I rounded a bamboo-lined fence and saw a friendly face dusted with flour.

Tall and tan, with a surfer’s physique and oceanic blue-green eyes, Lohr wasn’t exactly the baker I thought I’d encounter. He greeted me with a rough hand and told me to pick any loaf I wanted from the baker’s rack. Heat radiated from the clay oven nearby as I chose a wide, crusty loaf scored with a fern. I couldn’t resist giving it a sniff, and a warm, heady bouquet spiked with the soft tang of fermentation filled my nostrils and made its way down my throat.

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