CraftHaus Is a Go, Italian Beers, and Festival del Sole

dsc05012.jpgTwo weeks ago I told you about CraftHaus, Henderson’s proposed brewery and taproom. Owners Wyndee and Dave Forrest turned to Kickstarter in hopes of getting community support … and it worked! CraftHaus was successfully funded by midnight, May 31. In all, 205 backers came in for a total of $25,859, nearly $6,000 more than the original goal of $20,000. The Forrests have said that if they exceeded the original goal by $5,000 they would invest in whiskey barrels for a barrel-aged beer program. So, it looks like it’s whiskey a-go-go for the Forrests! Can’t wait to taste that saison.

• On the subject of beer, I’ve waited a long time for the opportunity to experience a side-by-side tasting of one of my favorite beers, My Antonia Imperial Pilsner—a collaboration between Delaware’s Dogfish Head and Italy’s Birra del Borgo—in both its imported cask-conditioned and imported bottle-conditioned formats. I heard through the grapevine that Fiamma now has both formats (the only place outside of the East Coast to have My Antonia on draft), and so I hightailed it June 8 to the MGM Grand restaurant. The difference is wild! The draft brew ($16 per pint) is light golden, the bottled beer ($15 per 12.7-ounce bottle) is darker and with a greater head. The draft has a grainier honeyed aroma, the bottled more fruity. And on the palate, the draft is crisper, drier and finishes with flavors of golden raisins and sun-warmed hay, while the bottled seems sweeter, more powerful, and finishes with glacé and dried fruits. My Antonia is made from the same recipe in both Delaware and Italy, so the next big test will be to get ahold of Dogfish Head’s domestic version and have that side-by-side-by-side with the Italian editions. According to Dogfish’s “Fish Finder,” there’s some domestic My Antonia in Las Vegas right now!,

• Did you miss Bottle Rock, Napa’s wine and music weekend? So did I. And I’m not happy about it! But if you can’t wait till next summer, book that getaway right away. Festival del Sole is July 12-21, 10 days and nights of world-class music, dance and theater alongside one-of-a-kind lifestyle programs and Napa’s incomparable wines and culinary delights.

• And finally, save the date, 7-10 p.m. June 30, for an evening that will be both cultural and delicious. Food for Thought’s benefit for Keep Memory Alive at Lady Silvia and Amanda Harris Gallery features local DJs, local artists, cocktails and canapés.

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How to Make RM Seafood's Inca Dinka Doo Cocktail

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RM Seafood lead bartender Nathan Greene recently got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to follow his spirit. That is, he entered the 2013 Encanto Pisco Distiller’s Apprentice Competition and won a trip to Peru, where he got to follow pisco (South American grape spirit) from harvest and distillation to blending and bottling. His winning cocktail, the Inca Dinka Doo, refers to the Incas of ancient Peru and fits nicely into the RM Seafood cocktail program, where the lines between kitchen and bar simply don’t exist.