Category Archives: New Products

What I’ve Been Drinking of Late, Part 5

This year's Anchor Brewing Company Christmas Ale has the most alcohol by volume of any other.
This year’s Anchor Brewing Company Christmas Ale has the most alcohol by volume of any other.

Anchor Brewing Company 46th Annual Christmas Ale

Dark and spicy as an intense holiday ginger cake, the just-released 46th annual Anchor Brewing Company Christmas Ale also boasts its highest ABV ever at 7 percent.

Yes, this is a hoppy, robust beer with a pronounced bitter coffee edge. I had a chance to try a sample of this festive beer that boasts a substantial body rivaling Santa’s. Pour it into a glass to appreciate its deep espresso-like color and cappuccino-colored foamy head.

Each year, the holiday beer gets a different tree design on its label. This year’s features The Three Graces, the three majestic sequoias from the Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park.

This beer, available now through January 2021 or until supplies last, will definitely get you into the holiday spirit. Or make for a welcome gift.

With an homage to Yosemite's sequoias on its label.
With an homage to Yosemite’s sequoias on its label.

It’s available in 6-packs ($10) and a gold-foiled 50.7-ounce magnum bottle ($14). Orders can be placed online for pickup at Anchor Public Taps in San Francisco.

Cheers: Anchor Brewing suggests enjoying the Christmas Ale alongside Thanksgiving turkey or rack of lamb. I think it’s pretty awesome with a slice of pumpkin bread, too.

Rickhouse Straight Bourbon

The newest spirit by San Francisco’s Gold Bar Spirits Company truly pays tribute to the Bay Area.

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Condiments That Make You Weak In The Knees

These hot sauces are sure to become a staple in your pantry.
These hot sauces are sure to become a staple in your pantry.

Weak Knees is the real name of a hot sauce line made by Brooklyn’s Bushwick Kitchen. And they are so good, they may very well knock you off your feet.

The company sources local ingredients from the Hudson Valley, the Catskill Mountains, and the Flushing neighborhood of Queens to make its products, which I had a chance to sample recently.

Weak Knees Gochujang Sriracha (10.5-ounce squeeze bottle for $10.99) has the sweet, fermented character of Chinese hoisin sauce combined with garlicky depth and a deep peppery kick from Korean gochujang. It’s spicy, but manageably so. Use it on scrambled eggs, Asian noodles, dumplings, or even in a grilled cheese.

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Get Your Hands on One of the Best Butters in the World

French butter -- in all its glory.
French butter — in all its glory.

Buttah.

Creamy, dense, complex, and so rich that a a tiny swipe on the tongue will fill your entire mouth with intense milky, fatty lushness.

That’s Le Beurre Bordier — a French butter beloved by the most discriminating chefs and pastry chefs.

Now, you can get your hands on some in the Bay Area easily, thanks to the Frenchery, a French online marketplace based in San Francisco, which starting offering it a few weeks ago.

While mass-produced butter takes less than a day to make, Le Beurre Bordier needs a full 72 hours. Jean Yves Bordier uses milk from local farmers in Brittany to make his small-batch butter. Unlike conventional butter, he allows the cream to culture, and thus develop a fuller flavor. He also kneads the butter with a wooden machine for as long as half an hour to expel water and create an especially silky product.

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Sponsored Post: Wrapples with Pazazz

Pazazz apples, along with layer upon layer of buttery, flaky crust, make up this cute little hand pie known as a "Williamsburg Wrapple.''
Pazazz apples, along with layer upon layer of buttery, flaky crust, make up this cute little hand pie known as a “Williamsburg Wrapple.”

Given the trials and tribulations of this unprecedented year, who can be blamed for wanting plenty of snuggle time underneath layers of warmth and comfort?

That’s why when I received samples of juicy, red Pazazz apples, I figured they rightfully deserved their own cocooning time, too. Under fold upon fold of buttery, flaky, golden crust, that is.

The joyfully named “Williamsburg Wrapples” are an ideal treat for this time of year when apples are at their peak. They’re like hand pies, but sport three layers of apples and four of crust instead, because they are not filled and folded over once like a turnover, but multiple times like a jelly roll. That means you get even more buttery pastry in every bite. A win-win.

With their very crisp texture, Pazazz apples work great in this recipe because they hold their shape well and their sweet yet gentle tart flavor doesn’t get lost in all those layers of crust.

Red-skinned with a cream-colored flesh, Pazazz apples are available at Albertsons.
Red-skinned with a cream-colored flesh, Pazazz apples are available at Albertsons.

Pazazz were developed by Honeybear Brands of Minnesota, a leading grower and developer of apple varieties. Indeed, they’re the ones who brought you the ever-popular Honeycrisp.

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Oakland Native Ray Roundtree’s Urban Flavors Gourmet

Juicy, snappy sausages from East Bay company, Urban Flavors Gourmet.
Juicy, snappy sausages from East Bay company, Urban Flavors Gourmet.

During nearly three decades as a special agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Ray Roundtree was used to packing heat.

Now, its his Red Devil Hot Links that do that.

The recently retired Oakland native traded a career in law enforcement for entrepreneurship when he founded his passion project, Richmond’s Urban Flavors Gourmet line of sausages, condiments and spices.

“It has been my dream to be an entrepreneur in this ever competitive marketplace,” he says. “I kept my promise to my parents for three decades that I would finish what I started with my career as an ATF agent. It is now time for me to venture into the unchartered waters of my new culinary endeavors ‘one bite at a time.’ “

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