Greg Daniels' introduction to the culinary world wasn't a romantic one: he started working at a fast food restaurant at age 15, followed by a stint as a bartender. Nevertheless, these jobs ignited a passion for cooking that would guide his entire life. The Le Cordon Bleu graduate now works as the executive chef at Haven Gastropub, where he has designed a menu of gourmet American and European comfort foods inspired by his travels to England, New York, and San Francisco.
The eatery is an across-the-pond extension of the gastropub movement, which began in London in the 90s. Gastropubs differ from traditional pubs in that they specialize in high-quality eats and permit only the most beautiful drinking songs. Haven, for example, serves lamb burgers on rosemary brioche buns, fries sprinkled with house-made truffle salt, and whole roasted suckling pigs.
Of course, the "pub" part of Gastropub still implies a lively bar. Bartenders pour more than a dozen draughts as well as a selection of bottled beers, red and white wines, and craft cocktails blended with house-made mixes.
Once an actual storage facility, Packing House Wine Merchants converted the novel space into a comfortable wine bar, shop, and lounge stocked with high-quality vintages from around the world. Silky libations like the Godspeed cabernet from Napa Valley ($11 per glass) seduce the senses with a complex balance of black cherry infusions, mineral hints, and spices. Opt for the chilled sweetness of Germany's Armand Kabinett riesling ($7.50 per glass) and be rewarded with the mingled pleasures of apricot, musk, melon, mango, and brown-spiced persimmon. The adventurous and mathematically inclined can pair a thematic tasting, each with two to six samples ($5–$17), with one of four specialty cheese plates ($15 each) for an endless permutation of tasty tippling. Packing House also offers live music entertainment on Saturdays to entertain the wine while it awaits its inevitable fate.
Transform your wine technique from a semi-inspired slosh to a proper swirl by traversing a variety of distinct wine blends at WineStyles. The shop hosts a range of rare reds and whites at each tasting. And because WineStyles specializes in hard-to-find wines from vineyards large and small, you'll be sure to shake tongues with a few blends for the very first time.
While craft beer festivals sling inventive and rare brews while breeding camaraderie amongst casual drinkers and connoisseurs, they're typically lacking in ghosts, goblins, and monsters. With BierBuzz Masquerade, that problem is solved. Here, a craft beer festival and Halloween gaiety are combined. Making a classy red carpet entry, revelers clad in costumes ranging from scary to silly to scintillating breeze into the masquerade ready to cavort and impress with their lurching zombie, sexy nurse, or sexier ombudsman getup.
To the soundtrack of live reggae and bluesy rock from My Own Holiday and Papafish, decked-out attendees quench their thirsts with more than 40 beers from dozens of local and faraway brewmasters, including Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Crispin Cider, Goose Island, and Black Market Brewing Company. As a bonus for this special occasion, each brewery is brewing up over 20 new and rare beers that will be exclusive to the BierBuzz Masquerade, and may never be tasted again unless some cool Groundhog Day time-warp occurs.
Pomona Packing Plant?the historic structure that holds Sanctum Brewing Co.?served as a fruit cannery in the days before the Great Depression. Workers there spent their days processing lemons, peaches, snozberries, and other fruits. Today, you can still find fruit at the plant if you look behind a door marked "21." Thats where Jason and Scott, the founders and head brewers of Sanctum Brewing Co., create beers infused with fruits, such as tangerines and apples.
They go far beyond fruit when choosing unique ingredients for their creative beers, though. For example, turnips lend a smooth, earthy flavor to an imperial red ale, and Dutch cocoa deepens the robust taste of a russian imperial stout. Guests can savor these creations?a portion of the proceeds from which are donated to charity?in a tasting room outfitted with a copper-topped bar. In addition, the brewery sometimes hosts art shows and food trucks, such as Haute Burger.
On October 26, Halloween monsters rise from the undead to invade Luna Supper Club. Not for blood or revenge, but instead for craft beer. At the BierBuzz Masquerade Beer Fest, costumed guests flood the two-story nightclub, letting unlimited sips of beer filter through their hockey masks. 15 local breweries tap kegs for the masses, including Left Coast Brewing, Ironfire Brewing Company, and Ritual Brewing Co. Live bands and DJs set the proceedings to a rhythmic thump, including a reggae set by MightyMellowMassive. Guests enjoy the club's modern stylings as they frolic, including lounge rooms awash in circling light beams and a long outdoor patio.