February 13, 2014

What's that you say? DRESSNER BABY.

We live in the age of purell and antibiotics. We fear any and all things that are to be aged outside of the refridgerator, or heaven forbid grow something out of it. However, this challenges the very backbone of fermentation – including the art of beer, mead, and the wines I love. Author of The Art of Fermentation, Sandor Ellix Katz explores the notions of culture and cultures in his work.

“Fermentation relates to culture in many ways… We call the starters we add to yogurt, or to initiate any fermentation, cultures. Simultaneously culture constitutes the totality of all that humans seek to pass from generation to generation, including language, music, art, literature, scientific knowledge, and belief systems, as well as agriculture and culinary techniques.”

Louis/Dressner imports wine that epitomizes all of these standards and notions and above all imports that respect traditional aspects of the wine's original culture and cultures. Dressner prides themselves on importing wines that use native yeasts (cultures, baby!), hand harvesting, low yields, natural viticulture, no or minimal chapitalization, non-filtration, and non-interventionist winemaking. Above all they work with vignerons who craft their wines with, honesty, passion, and humor with strong integrity and respect for the traditions of the native region. What’s most exciting about these wines is that though they represent in many ways the most old-school, traditional styles of wine-making these wines are in fact becoming harder and harder to find.

So what’s all the fuss you ask? What’s the big deal with “wild yeasts?” “What in the hell is chapitalization?” Want to find out?

Well lucky for you we will be hosting a special Louis/Dressner tasting Thursday the 20th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m,. $20 a person. Come on down you won’t be disappointed, this I can promise.

p.s. I got this nifty photo off of Dressner’s website check it out!

¡Salute!

Brooke


January 30, 2014

Holy crap. It's the end of January. 2014.

In a recent meeting Craft staff was discussing the products that we should always have in stock. For a moment we were discussing the crowd pleasers and some of the most asked about and requested products. Then aptly, Ty “Boss Man” Martin proclaimed that, “we need to consider questions about selection from the heart first and the head second.” I couldn’t agree more. In response I told Ty we should sell products we love, because then it’s not selling them it’s sharing them. And that’s why people love craft – that’s why I love it. Good drink, better people, and more memories created with people we care about.

I meant what I said then and I mean it now even more. So here’s my toast to 2014, to drink and share the products that I love.

So to start lets talk about one of my favorite things right now; Terres Dorres Fleurie. This is everything that I revere in a Beaujolais, and I’m not sorry that there is one less bottle in the shop because I’m enjoying sipping it right now while I type.

An elegant and simple label. Gamay. Beautiful in violet color, cherry & berry notes with some subtle acidity, and a slightly mineral earthy dirty finish that I absolutely adore. The Domaine des Terres Dorées is located in the Southern Beaujolais, just north of Lyons. Wine maker Jean-Paul Brun has gained notoriety in the states for his “old style” light, fruity wines. Get here and grab a bottle before I drink them all!

-Brooke "Party Committee" Walshaw


January 9, 2014

I resolve to drink better!

I think this is one resolution I can handle. To qualify this statement I will not necessarily drink more, or spend more, but I resolve to drink the finest and freshest beers, most honest and distinct wines, and the best spirits I can get my hands on. Of course, I will save some for you!

Here we are three years into our business and I find that I am more excited about the prospects of what we do than ever before. Three years of fantastic customer support, new and improving relationships with suppliers, and (most importantly) a host of people out there making incredible things to drink has brought us to a high point in Reno drinking.

That being said, let's blow the doors off in 2014!

Take the first few weeks to get yourself ready. Hit the gym, eat a little better, hell, maybe even take a week or two off from the hooch. Be ready, because on Saturday, January 25th we'll be celebrating our three-year anniversary here and you'll want to be focused. On the agenda for the day: excellent free beer from amazing homebrewer Jeff Current, excellent free beer from Under the Rose, free smoked chorizo from Villa Basque Deli, amazing surprise tap and by-the-glass wine options, limited edition Craft t-shirts designed by artist Erik Burke, and 10% off everything to-go, all day. As is traditional, there will be a brief thank you speech right before I've had too much.

-Ty and (in historical order) Matt, Cassie, Elise, Joey T, Joey P,
Brody, Jacquie, Scott, Jessica, Brooke, Juda, and now Gena.


January 8, 2014

BEERSANITY 2014 !!!

Guess what time it is? Inventory-time! What's in it for me, you ask? How about 20% off ALL beer purchased to-go this Sunday from 12pm-6pm. That's right, you help make our counting easier and we'll send you home with a fifth more beer in your budget. And then Tuesday we'll reload the whole thing. -Ty


December 30, 2013

Champagne

In case you like to have something glittery on hand to ring in the New Year, here are some of our staff notes about our current Champagne offerings.

These wines offer up everything great about the region and most are grower-producers and retail for under $60! We also have tons of other sparkling options for your New Years holiday including stunning Cava from Avinyo, Petillant from Vouvray, demi-sec pink wines from the Savoie, and some bright Cremant from Alsace AND Chablis. Personnally, I always drink a bottle of bubbly with my black-eyed peas on New Years Day - keeps my luck running high. Cheers and thanks for a great 2013! -Ty & Brooke

PS - I had a great lunch at South Creek Pizza today and the owner was telling me about how fiercely loyal my customers are. That made my excellent lunch even better.


December 19, 2013

Have Yourselves a Hot & Spicy Holidays

The Holidays are here! We know some of you’d like to skip out on the family feuds, wacky aunts, and creep uncles to grab a drink with us here at Craft. However, as dutiful family members you can’t. But you can drink in cheer. Swing by Craft for the necessary liquor, go buy the remaining ingredients and enjoy one of our favorite holiday cocktails at home amongst the family you love.

Hot Spiced Rum Cider

2 Quarts Organic Apple Cider
½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons whole cloves
4 allspice berries, cracked
2 star anise pod
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, thinly sliced
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 Cup Eldorado Spiced Rum (Bartender MUST take a shot!)
1 whole fresh nutmeg for garnish
Double wrapped cheesecloth and cooking string or a muslin bag

Directions:
Layout the cheesecloth (doubled to ensure all the spices stay collected) and place the whole cloves, cracked allspice, star anise, and cinnamon sticks in the center. Wrap up and tie off with cooking string. In a medium pot, combine the remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the rum. Simmer on medium low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard spice bag and add the Eldorado Spiced Rum. Discard the apples and oranges if you’d like (we prefer them) and ladle into your favorite mug. Garnish with finely grated nutmeg.

-Brody “Cobbling” Mueller


December 18, 2013

Whoops Christmas is in a Week!

The holiday season is in full force! So close in fact that christmas is a mere week away. Are you a last minute shopper? Have no fear! Here at Craft we have several options to help you fill the void.

We still have a few beautiful Craft growlers and Mugs made by local artisan Joe Winter. We are also offering gift cards in any amount in which you see fit, $10.00, $200.00. $2.75?! You name it we got it! Need to stock up on some wine or champagne for the holiday? Receive a 10% discount on any six bottles of wine in the shop.

We haven't forgotten about the beer lover in your life either. We've got a wide selection of craft beers from all over the world including some amazing holiday specialty ales.

One of my favorite holiday beers...

Fantôme De Noel
A very dark and entirely unique farmhouse holiday seasonal beer. Spiced with honey, caramel, coriander, black pepper, and some other secret ingredients...The 10% ABV probably goes a long way toward explaining that very warm and satisfied feeling one finds on the very first sip! A rich, dark-flavored beer with lots of deep-roasted chocolate malt, but still fairly dry, with a hint of sourness at the core. $14.00

A great champagne offering for the holiday...

Champage Arnaud Margaine "Le Brut" $53.99
notes: " it’s fine, detailed and distinctive, cool fruit and expressive chalk. It’s balanced on the dry side, so a nice aperitif or starter-course wine. A long and blatantly chalky finish. Show this to someone who insists you can’t taste the chalk! Violet and hyacinth aromas make you think of Riesling (as these wines often do), but the palate is all apples and Rainier cherries with a chalk-powder sprinkle; wonderfully silky and generous, refined and accurate. A virtual Blanc de Blancs; 90% Chardonnay to 10% Pinot Noir." - Michael Skurnik

I can tell you first hand that this bad boy is DELICIOUS. Don't believe me? Stop by on the 24th and watch the one and only Ty Martin saber a bottle of bubbly with his very own samurai sword! We'll be here from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

-Brooke


December 11, 2013

Cheers to a Roasty Victory at Sea!

Want to get in on some of Ballast Point’s Imperial Porter, “Victory at Sea” before everyone else? We here at Craft are lucky enough to be hosting this beer exclusively in Reno for a week before it hits shelves elsewhere in town! Come visit us this Thursday night (December 12th) from 6-8pm for Ballast Point's Victory at Sea release with the brewer.

We'll have all Ballast drafts, and plenty of swag. In addition to Victory at Sea on draft we will be pouring Schooner Wet Hop Pale Ale and Abandoned Ship Smoked Lager. As the brewer notes winters in San Diego don’t get quite like these icy days we’ve had in Reno. This winter imperial porter is sure to bring a little comfort your way at a smooth and delicious 10% ABV. Victory at sea gets most of its roasty flavor from fresh brewed coffee from San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria.

We look forward to seeing you!
-Brooke


December 9, 2013

I love gin. Giny, gin, gin.

So a few weeks ago my inner hippie came out to play. I was wandering around my neighborhood and started to notice that juniper berries were out in full force ... three ziplock bags later I arrived back home. Outside of both the general herbal and medicinal uses my mind wandered to gin. Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries, Juniperus Communis in Latin if you want to get fancy. These days one can find gin with a variety of distinct flavor notes outside of the traditional juniper berry. Here's a brief focus of some of my personal favorites...

To start with this holiday season we are offering a three pack of one of our favorite Gin producers – St. George. At $29.99 a trio this is a killer gift for a friend or a special treat for yourself.

TERROIR GIN
Smells like citrus & pine and tastes like roasted coriander, sage, and lemon.
This Gin is the fellas at St. George’s ode to their home state of California. These guys took this one seriously, they did their research in their own backyard and landed on a profoundly aromatic gin with Douglas fir, California bay laurel, and sage. Enjoy this bad boy on the rocks or in a killer martini.

BOTANAVOIRE GIN
Smells like herbs and flowers and tastes like bright citrus, more flowers, earth, and spice.
Alright this gin is my favorite just take a look at the ingredient list - Angelica root, bay laurel, bergamot peel, black peppercorn, caraway, cardamom, cilantro, cinnamon, citra hops, coriander, dill seed, fennel seed, ginger, juniper berries, lemon peel, lime peel, orris root, Seville orange peel, star anise! Best. Gin. And. Tonic. EVER.

DRY RYE GIN
Smells like woodsy spice and tastes like bitter ginger & stone fruits.
This is a 100% pot-distilled Rye. With 50% juniper (more than our other friends). Or as I like to call it the gin for whiskey lovers. This gin has a distinct malty spicy mouth feel that even whiskey drinkers who don’t fancy gin can find something to appreciate. I have a sneaking suspicion that this one would make a killer negroni.

OLD RAJ GIN, BLUE LABEL
Smells like nut skins, dried herbs, and spices and tastes like saffron, coriander, bitter lemon.
This heavy hitter is distilled in Campbeltown by Springbank Distillery. As the name hints, navy strength gin is an impressively alcoholic expression of the junipery spirit, typically navy strength gins arrive at 57 percent alcohol by volume. (Regular London dry style gin typically ranges between 40 percent and 45 percent.) What makes Old Raj special is the sparing use of saffron.

UNCLE VAL’S BOTANICAL GIN
Smells like lavender, cucumber, and lemon thyme and tastes like cucumber, fresh melon, and sweet lime.
Uncle Val’s is a small-batch botanical gin with an immensely bright nose of lemon with odes to lemon, lavender, cucumber, and sage. Try this one in crisp and refreshing cocktail.