A novice might raise a skeptical eyebrow at a coriander- or sorghum-infused beer, but to craft brewer Erik Schmid, ingredients like these aren’t unusual in the least. At The Brewmeister, Erik teaches small groups of students to concoct liquid refreshments that are both distinctive and tasty. Beer-brewing classes cover the basics of fermentation, proper sanitation practices, and how to funnel beer into bottles or directly into bellies. Though Schmid prepares batches of seasonal ales in brewing classes, he can advise students on any brewing technique.
Those who wish to pursue the art of home brewing can purchase brewing equipment and ingredients such as malts, barley, and hops in The Brewmeister's shop. Schmid also stocks wine-making materials, including a variety of yeasts and rental presses with which to extract juices from grapes or grape-flavored juice boxes.
While doting grandmother Kim Wells helped to plan her grandson's 10th birthday party in 2008, she was frustrated by the lack of kid-friendly options. That's when she began developing ideas for The Birthday Bash, a company dedicated solely to organizing happy celebrations for children. Mad Science parties with fascinating dry-ice presentations, Pop Star Diva parties with glittery makeovers, and Nintendo Wii parties are just a few of the themed events held in rooms with whimsical decorations and mural-adorned walls. The Birthday Bash team also can accommodate requests for snacks such as pizzas, birthday cakes, and sundae bars at which kids decorate ice cream with sprinkles, whipped cream, and T-bone steaks. If desired, photographers will capture shots of the festivities.
California Backyard's five stores help homeowners turn outdoor spaces into full-fledged living areas with a variety of products, including barbecue grills, patio furniture, and hot tubs. California Backyard also provides its patrons with access to a team of service technicians skilled in the installation and repair of many of its products. Come the holidays, each store dedicates space to a Christmas trim-a-home center, where patrons can stock up on décor and pamphlets on healthy eating for Santa.
BounceU transports kids to an inflatable, climate-controlled playground, where they can bounce from side to side in a safe, secure environment. Children can practice for future careers as catapult payloads during adrenaline-pumping birthday parties, with options such as private bounce rooms and glow-in-the-dark accessories, or they can play during open bounce sessions throughout the week.
Adults are welcome to act like 8-year-olds and join the vivacious youngsters in the playground, where they can duel with the foam-shooting equipment or mount the climbing structures while imagining they're synchronized leapers in Michael Flatley's Riverbounce. The attentive BounceU staff will monitor the rebounding playground at all times, ensuring the facilities are safe and clean.
For more than 100 years, Emigh Ace Hardware has been equipping households and handypersons with a durable selection of tools, paints, and domiciliary goods. Helpful employees, some with more than 20 years of experience, can point shoppers toward the proper tools, while a koi pond and complimentary balloons and popcorn for kids add color and flavor beyond the usual hardware-store milieu. Customers may peruse popular name-brand paints like Clark + Kensington's paint and primer in one ($26-$36) or Benjamin Moore ($33.99+). Homeowners can invest in a Craftsman wrench set ($19.99) or scare away infiltrating ivy tendrils with a 30-inch leaf rake ($11.99). Air filters in assorted sizes ($4.49+) banish dust before future breaths, just as A-Maz Water Stain Remover ($7.99) eliminates mineral deposits, while the fall mums—like a jack-o'-lantern covered in fireworks—can keep gardens bright as they transition to the coming season ($1.99 for 4” flowers).
Home to a vast inventory of beautifully crafted earthenware, Panama Pottery provides vessel-seeking visitors with a stunning spectrum of handmade local treasures and glazed, technicolored imports. Peruse the historic studio space and score an 18-inch terra-cotta fluted leg bowl ($21), sculpted by hand on the premises. Or, save yourself a plane trip and snatch up an authentic and colorful Chinese drip pot ($60 for 20”x16”), perfect for containing falling water, plants, or a smaller Chinese drip pot ($10 for 8”x9”). Today’s Groupon can also be applied to a clay or mosaic class, where artists of all abilities can learn under one of Panama’s ceramic specialists. Guests who score today’s deal will also receive a complimentary bag of potting soil, which allows plants to grow better than encasing them in amber.