Here’s why your craft beer may taste different these days

With the air getting cool, it’s the perfect time of year to warm your body with a tall glass of beer. Even Pumpkin beer if you’d like.

Whether you’re a true fan with a sensitive palate or not, the current state-of-hop-emergency may affect your buzz.

But before we go there, you need to know what a hop is?

A hop is used to flavor a beer, and the flavor you get depends on when you add the hops. If you add them at the beginning, the beer will be bitter; if you add them toward the end of a boil, they will produce more of an aroma than a taste.

EVERCREECH, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 11: Jazz Tupman holds up some hops which are used to brew beer at the Wild Beer Co brewery at Lower Westcombe Farm on February 11, 2016 near Evercreech, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
EVERCREECH, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 11: Jazz Tupman holds up some hops which are used to brew beer at the Wild Beer Co brewery at Lower Westcombe Farm on February 11, 2016 near Evercreech, England. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Hops sound pretty great, right? So why are we in a state-of-emergency? Well, the craft beer world is currently suffering from a major hop-shortage. Last year, Europe experienced a serious drought, which didn’t allow farmers to grow the hop-crop, causing this hop-tastrophe.

Our favorite beers all come from hops, even our famous, locally-brewed ‘Chancellor’ from Tequesta Brewing Company, who ironically, just celebrated its yearly, ‘Hop Week’. Tequesta Brewing Company (big sister to Palm Beach Garden’s Twisted Trunk), explains that Europe’s drought has not only made it hard to find European hops, but has also caused the price of American hops to rise.

Tequesta Brewing Company brewer and owner Matt Webster started home brewing at age 21. He has been brewing professionally since 2008, and keeps six to seven beers on tap at all times. TBC brewery and bar is located on U.S. Highway One in Tequesta. (Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)
Tequesta Brewing Company brewer and owner Matt Webster started home brewing at age 21. He has been brewing professionally since 2008, and keeps six to seven beers on tap at all times. TBC brewery and bar is located on U.S. Highway One in Tequesta. (Bill Ingram /The Palm Beach Post)

TBC also says that it is much harder to acquire mosaic, citric and galaxia hops — three of the most popular varieties.

The brewery has a hop-purveyor who gets European hops for them, brew-master Matt Webster explained. The crop was so bad that the purveyor couldn’t complete the order, and the brewery had to turn to American hops.

Not that there is anything wrong with American hops. In fact, other Palm Beach County breweries like Due South in Boynton Beach aren’t affected at all by the hops shortage because they already brew with American hops from places like Yakima, Washington. For TBC, though, German hops is go-to source and they want to stay who they are.

Left to right: Ashley Doane, Delray Beach, Ashley Hayes, Laurie Schuster, Nancy Colman and Michelle Hershey, all of Boca Raton, gathered at the Saltwater Brewery bar following their yoga class at the Delray Beach craft brewery on Sunday, August 23, 2015. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)
Left to right: Ashley Doane, Delray Beach, Ashley Hayes, Laurie Schuster, Nancy Colman and Michelle Hershey, all of Boca Raton, gathered at the Saltwater Brewery bar following their yoga class at the Delray Beach craft brewery on Sunday, August 23, 2015. (Thomas Cordy / The Palm Beach Post)

So are we in a hop shortage? Yes. Will our favorite local breweries still produce our favorite drinks? Yes. Is Tequesta Brewing Company still putting out great beers? A for sure, yes.

And finally, should we worry about the lack of hops? Not just yet, so head over to your favorite local craft brewery and grab a pint, especially while your favorites are still on tap.

Less is more in fashion, beauty and… cake?

Less is more when keeping up with the latest social, fashion and food trends these days.

Take ripped jeans, for example. Instead of a subtle rip across one knee on a good pair, everyone from fashionable men to busy, I-just-need-something-to-throw-on moms are exposing an entire knee — and even a little thigh.

Then there are celebrities and beauty influencers posting selfies that embrace their natural skin with hashtags like #nomakeup and #naturalbeauty.

And while women are enjoying the skin they’re in, they also embracing the hair they’re under.

Over the past few years, a vast amount of women have publicly committed to big chops and no-heat hairstyles, encouraging other women to do the same. In most cases, these women have found that their natural hair texture — before chemicals, dye and styling products — is much more satisfying to their taste, looks better and feels better, #NaturalHair.

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Just a little curly motivation for my girls that are transitioning to healthy hair. I've done it all! Different colours, flat ironed without heat protectant for years etc. I've gone from healthy curls back to damaged several times as well. The best tips I can give you are 1) Start with a cut/trim – to me, it does more than start your healthy hair process, it's a psychological move that tells you that you're actually willing to go all in! ( kinda like cutting credit cards to get out of debt! ) even the smallest trim will make a difference! 2) Find inspiration! Look for images of other women with curly hair that is similar to your hair texture, this will keep you motivated ( be realistic! ) 3) Deep condition like it's going out of style! This will help those damaged curls immensely! 4) Enjoy the process! If you do a big chop, enjoy that stage! Trust me, when you look back you will regret not rocking that look as much as you could have..try to own it! If you're uncomfortable with a teeny fro, play with bold accessories to distract a bit until you just don't care! 5) A bun gets boring after a while so keep yourself entertained with different #protectivestyles and try the #wiglife if you get tempted to touch the flat iron or bleach during the transitioning process! Good luck! Tag a friend that needs some inspiration ( I have a natural curly hair playlist on my YouTube channel with my healthy hair journey etc if you want more details and tips 😉 YouTube : MissCharmsie ~ direct channel link in bio ) #naturalhair #curlyhair #damagedcurls #transitioninghair

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So, yes, it was only a matter of time before the “less is more” craze would venture into fine dining, and fine desserting.

We’re in a season of natural beauty exposed, where people are not only appreciating a more unfinished look but paying for it as well. Now, you’ve got the naked and semi-naked cakes. A two, three, four or more tier cake with buttercream filling, some fresh fruit or flower garnishment — and that’s it.

But make no mistake: Just because minimal vibes are trending doesn’t mean people are paying less. Not for jeans, not for hair or skin products, and surely not for the naked cake.

photo: naked cake
Vanilla naked cake with fresh strawberry filling, strawberries and flowers for a Bed and Breakfast in Loxahatchee made by Diva-Licious Cake House in Palm Beach County. Photo provided by The Diva-Licious Cake House.

Pricing may start at about $7.50 per serving but it all depends on what you’re looking for. Will you be including fresh flowers or sugar flowers? What flavor do you want? Will the cake have three layers or five?

“Naked wedding cakes, to the average eye, seem to be something that requires less work, but that’s not it,” Janderyn Makris of Earth and Sugar tells us.

Her naked cakes start at the same price point as any other cake from her bakery because the amount of time spent on it is the same.

You’re probably wondering, “how can that be true if a naked cake has very little or no icing on its exterior?” Well, there are careful skills and techniques to consider, like layering the cakes with particular amounts of buttercream filling so that the final product is not lopsided.

For frosting lovers, this is a good thing. They shouldn’t turn away from a slice of naked cake because there may be even more filling in a naked cake than a normal one.

“The naked wedding cake must be clean,” Marian Meyers of  Diva-Licious Cake House emphasized. But clean doesn’t necessary mean flawless.

photo: naked cake
A naked cake from The Sugar Monkey before it was ‘dressed.’ Photo provided by The Sugar Monkey.

 

It seems the idea of being ‘natural’, or ‘naked’ for the cake’s sake, is more about exposing and embracing flaws rather than covering them up. Are freckles on a nose just as beautiful as a contoured face? Are naked cakes as beautiful as desserts fully decorated in fondant and props? I’d say so.

Who’s the latest celebrity to visit West Palm Beach restaurant?

That would be Instagram and Internet celebrity LeJuan James, who visited Havana restaurant in West Palm Beach:

Other celebs who flock to this restaurant

 

Martha Stewart: I had a big, fun weekend in West Palm Beach

Cafe con leche in hand, Martha Stewart tours West Palm's GreenMarket. (Contributed photo)
Cafe con leche in hand, Martha Stewart tours West Palm’s GreenMarket. (Contributed photo)

Martha Stewart came to West Palm Beach and, in true Martha style, she flew away with something more stylish than a lousy souvenir t-shirt.

The businesswoman and lifestyle guru posted dozens of photos from her antiquing, thrifting and green market-shopping adventures on her “Martha Blog.” She also took the time to answer a few of our questions by email.

Read the full story here.

Stewart heads south this weekend to Miami Beach, where she is headlining the South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s sold-out rosé brunch with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. We took the occasion to ask her some brunch-centric questions:

We must ask: Is rosé your go-to brunch drink?

“Ever since my first trip to St. Barths, rosé has been my wine choice for brunch.  Year round, I think it accompanies most food perfectly.”

Martha shares her poached eggs secret below. (Photo: Andrew Purcell)
Martha shares her poached eggs secret. (Photo: Andrew Purcell)

What are the keys to creating and serving the perfect Sunday brunch?

“Do as much prep ahead of time as possible.  I have a secret way to make eggs Benedict. Poach the eggs the day before, then store them overnight in the refrigerator in ice water.  The next day, reheat them for a few seconds in simmering water right before you assemble them.  Perfect eggs Benedict every time.”

 

 

 

Five places for hot coffee on a rainy day

An Italian espresso at C Street Cafe. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)
An Italian espresso at C Street Cafe. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)

It’s rainy outside today. A good time to get some coffee.

1. C Street Café

This cozy coffee shop welcomes you with a laid-back, urban vibe and freshly brewed coffee. Can’t go wrong with an Italian espresso.

  • C Street: 319 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-469-9959; on Facebook here
Barista Amy Duell makes Japanese Cold Brew at Oceana Coffee in Tequesta. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Barista Amy Duell makes Japanese Cold Brew at Oceana Coffee in Tequesta. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

2. Oceana Coffee

The cold brew at this Tequesta roaster is clean and sublime. And now you can enjoy it at Oceana’s spiffy new coffee lounge.

  • Oceana Coffee: New coffee lounge at 150 N. US Highway 1, #1 (across from the Marshall’s/Homegoods store), Tequesta; roasting house at 221 Old Dixie Highway, Tequesta; 561-401-2453; OceanaCoffee.com
A cappuccino made with The Rabbit coffee at Brewhouse Gallery. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)
A cappuccino made with The Rabbit coffee at Brewhouse Gallery. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)

3. Brewhouse Gallery

As you peruse the works of local artists or listen to some live music, treat yourself to a yummy cappuccino made with The Rabbit’s locally roasted Guatemalan beans. It’s so delicious, I could sip it by the gallon.

A couple of macchiatos at Subculture Coffee. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)
A couple of macchiatos at Subculture Coffee. (Photo by Liz Balmaseda)

4. Subculture Coffee

This hipster hang on Clematis Street brews some delicious coffees that are roasted onsite. My favorite preparation: the macchiato, a bold café with the slightest puff of milk foam. South county folks can enjoy their Subculture brews at the new-ish second location in downtown Delray Beach.

  • Subculture: In West Palm Beach at 509 Clematis St. (561-318-5142), in Delray Beach at 123 E. Atlantic Ave. (561-808-8482); SubcultureCoffee.com
A latte from The Grind Cafe in Delray Beach. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)
A latte from The Grind Cafe in Delray Beach. (Photo by LibbyVision.com)

5. The Grind Café

This Delray Beach spot serves some yummy – and artistic – lattes. Sip one from one of The Grind’s branded retro cups while you decided if you’ll succumb to the café’s baked good temptations.

  • The Grind: at the Delray Marketplace, 14859 Lyons Rd., #132, Delray Beach; 561-270-2058; GrindCafeDelray.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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This Palm Beach chef is getting into a knife fight — on television

KNIFE FIGHT sEAN BRASELOne of Palm Beach’s biggest names in food is getting into a knife fight — and you can watch.

Sean Brasel, chef-owner of the Meat Market restaurants in Palm Beach and South Beach, is competing on the Esquire Network television cooking show, “Knife Fight.” The episode will air Nov. 17 at 9 p.m., and the Palm Beach restaurant will host a watch party, with free bar bites and happy hour specials.

Brasel’s Meat Market immediately became one of the best restaurants in Palm Beach County when it opened earlier this year, earning food editor Liz Balmaseda’s top marks for food and service.

“The steaks are stellar, the service sensational, the ambiance downright sexy,” she wrote.

This is the second cooking show Brasel has been involved in. He is a past contestant on the Food Network’s “Chopped,” Season 12.

IF YOU GO

What: Meat Market Palm Beach will host a watch party with free bar bites and happy hour specials as chef-owner Sean Brasel competes in the Esquire Network television show “Knife Fight.”

When: The one-hour show airs Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8 p.m.

Where: Meat Market Palm Beach, 191 Bradley Place, Palm Beach

More info: MeatMarketPalmBeach.com, 561-354-9800

Diner en Blanc: Why you may not get into exclusive secret dinner event

Diner en Blanc began in Paris as a picnic among friends. (Contributed by Diner en Blanc International)
Diner en Blanc began in Paris as a picnic among friends. (Contributed by Diner en Blanc International)

Don’t buy those fancy, white duds just yet. Your invite to Diner en Blanc may never come.

The massive outdoor dinner, to be held Nov. 10 at an undisclosed public space in West Palm Beach, can accept 1200 guests. So far, there are 3000 on the waiting list.

Designer Nora David, one of the event’s three local organizers, explains the complex, three-phase invitation process in MyPalmBeachPost.com.

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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Are these the best barbecue spots in Florida?

Derrick McCray's barbecue is a Palm Beach County favorite. (Contributed)
Derrick McCray’s barbecue is a Palm Beach County favorite. (Contributed)

Round up the best barbecue spots in the South? Impossible!

Still, “Garden & Gun” magazine gave it a shot and named these two Florida sites, Pearl Country Store & Barbecue in Micanopy and Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish in St. Petersburg.

Our own food editor Liz Balmaseda offers one great spot locally, McCray’s Backyard Bar-B-Q, which could easily make any list, especially since they were asked to cook for the last Super Bowl.

 

Restaurant of the week: seafood with a water view in Delray Beach

The jumbo lump crab cake at Hudson restaurant in Delray Beach on June 2, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
The jumbo lump crab cake at Hudson, Delray Beach. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

South county pick: HUDSON DELRAY

There’s nothing like a sparkling water view to remind us we live where many others vacation. Add a menu of expertly prepared seafood dishes and you’ve got a destination spot.

Executive chef Paul Niedermann inside Hudson restaurant in Delray Beach on June 2, 2015. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Executive chef Paul Niedermann.

Hudson Delray presents a solidly American menu with notable flair, thanks to executive chef Paul Niedermann, a past winner of “Hell’s Kitchen.” His lemony, olive oil-poached shrimp hum with hints of jalapeño and his crab cake rendition is chock-full of crab meat.

Those delicacies come at a price – this is not an inexpensive eatery. But with a newly debuted outdoor bar, Hudson has rolled out drink specials to greet football season. They’ve got game day covered on their many TV screens and promise to pour you a free draft beer if you wear your team’s football jersey.

Happy hour is also a good time to check out the outdoor and indoor bars – it runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, serving half-price drinks.

Hudson, at Waterway East: 900 E. Atlantic Ave., #22, Delray Beach; 561-303-1343; HudsonDelray.com

TWITTER: @LizBalmaseda

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Local Funky Buddha Brewery to collaborate on beer for national distribution

Funky Buddha Brewery co-owner KC Sentz, left, is in North Carolina with his brother, partner and brewmaster Ryan Sentz to collaborate on a beer with Sierra Nevada Brewing that will be distributed nationally. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Funky Buddha Brewery co-owner KC Sentz, left, is in North Carolina with his brother, partner and brewmaster Ryan Sentz to collaborate on a beer with Sierra Nevada Brewing that will be distributed nationally. (Damon Higgins / The Palm Beach Post)
Ryan Sentz (Libby Volgyes/The Palm Beach Post)
Ryan Sentz (Libby Volgyes/The Palm Beach Post)

Funky Buddha Brewery, founded in Boca Raton and based in Oakland Park, was  asked by one of the country’s largest brewers, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., to collaborate on a special six-pack that will be distributed across the country next year.

For this Beer Camp Across America 2016, Sierra Nevada asked six breweries to each choose four other breweries to join them in Asheville, N.C., to create six different beers in collaboration with Sierra, the United States’ seventh largest brewer. Thirty breweries, plus Sierra, will be involved.

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