Tuesday Five: Booze Tastings at Distilleries Are Happening

A win for the free market that even a Commie could get behind, a closure on Divis, a retooling on Valencia, and srsly-WTF-is-black-garlic-anyway? Your Tuesday foodie roundup, below the fold!

[jump] Liquor on Premises
Freaking finally. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing distillers to sell spirits in tasting rooms, putting hard liquor right there with beer and wine. As of Jan. 1, 2016, A.B. 1295 will permit distillers who produce less than 100,000 gallons per year (brandy doesn't count) to sell up to three 750-mL bottles on-site. The law also allows distillers to serve cocktails (in case you don't feel like drinking, say, straight gin) enables them to invest directly in up to three bars and restaurants, as long as one is adjacent to the facility. According to the SF Business Times, the California Artisanal Distillers Guild said it's “the most significant piece of legislation” since the repeal of Prohibition. (They're only talking about things related to alcohol, hopefully.)

Divisadero Cannibalizes Itself While Remaining Herbivorous
Hoodline has reported that the 16-year-old Divisadero location of vegetarian mini-chain Herbivore has closed down. (The Valencia St. and Berkeley locations remain open.) It was only a matter of time before the red-hot corridor started seeing once-new-and-cool places vanish. After 16 years serving vegetarian fare to the neighborhood, Herbivore appears to have shut its doors for good at 531 Divisadero. A vermin infestation earlier this year was probably no help, either.

St. Vincent Shutters, Will Revamp 
The Valencia Street Herbivore might still be open, but not that far away, the wine-heavy restaurant St. Vincent has shut down to become a wine shop and enoteca. (It was barely two weeks ago that author Richard Betts told me how much he loves St. Vincent's wine list, too.) Inside Scoop's Paolo Lucchesi noted that there's no hard timetable for reopening while proprietor David Lynch figures out the more casual vibe and pared-down menu. I always feel like this place is ripe for confusion, owing to the other famous people also named St. Vincent and David Lynch.

Exxon Knew About Climate Change in 1990
Only indirectly related to foodie things, but the L.A. Times ran a story about how Exxon's in-house scientists have known about the connection between CO2 emissions and shrinking Arctic sea ice for a quarter-century, and incorporated the data into their models for the hunt for Arctic oil. Utterly infuriating.

Black Garlic
Are you curious about what black garlic is, exactly? Lucky Peach is all over it. (Short version: It's heated for 40 days at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and technically, it's not fermented.)

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