Total Pageviews

Friday, September 30, 2016


North Park Beer Company and Mastiff Kitchen will be celebrating not one, but two days (because why not?) with a stellar lineup of amazing beers, including a special Grand Opening beer, plus an array of beer from friends and neighbors who've provided support along the way.

Saturday, October 1st and/or Sunday, October 2nd from 11am - 3pm.
Party partake offers 10-4oz pours of 30+ carefully curated beers along with nicely paired, unlimited tray passed food from Mastiff Kitchen. Extra beer tickets will be available for purchase.

30th & Iowa Streets in hip, historic North Park.

Your ticket includes:
*10-4oz pours of NPBC beers and a select assortment of special goodies from our friends & neighbors
*Unlimited tray-passed, buffet stations, & other tasty spreads from Mastiff Kitchen
*Souvenir Grand Opening Tasting Glass
*Exclusive bragging rights for being part of the fun!

Note: Custom designed NPBC/Mastiff Grand Opening T-shirts available for purchase from on-site printers.


Homebrewers learn about hops at the annual Hops & Brew School event in Yakima, Washington.
GUEST BLOG / By Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the American Homebrewers Assn.--America has slowly awakened to the tremendous economic impact of small and independent craft brewers. With more than 4,600 entrepreneurs creating sales and jobs across the country, it’s likely you’ve seen that impact at work in your community. But there’s another group of brewers who are also leaving an imprint on our nation’s economy: homebrewers.

That may seem like a strange statement; homebrewers by definition don’t sell their products. Nevertheless, they support numerous businesses including homebrew shops, equipment suppliers, raw material producers and more (they’re huge supporters of local, independent craft brewers…). How big have those economic ripples become?

Based on American Homebrewers Association research, 815 shops sold home beverage-making supplies to the nation’s estimated 1.2 million homebrewers in 2015, with collective revenues estimated at $764 million. That’s probably a conservative estimate for the total sales going to homebrewing for a couple of reasons:

Retailers other than homebrew shops now sell homebrewing equipment.
You can buy much of the basic equipment for homebrewing at any general retailer. And given the do-it-yourself nature of many homebrewers, some also make many of these tools from something else entirely. Many homebrewers use equipment they already have at home (think the soup pot that doubles as a brew kettle), but since those purchases have already happened they can’t be counted as new economic impact.

Ingredients—both core brewing ingredients and adjuncts—often come from outside of homebrew shops. Water is an obvious one, but what about the grapefruit for your IPA or the coriander for your gose?
Homebrewers spend other money in pursuit of their passion. Traveling to Homebrew Con or a local homebrewing competition. Buying fertilizer and a trellis for the backyard hops garden. Don’t believe me? Just ask a homebrewer’s significant other.

Given those adjustments, $1 billion in spending is probably a conservative estimate, with 80%-90% going directly to homebrewing equipment and the rest going to other activities directly related to the activity.

To estimate the total impact of that spending, we need to think about all the other ripples those dollars create. Equipment suppliers buy raw materials to make the equipment. Homebrewing shops employ people, and those employees spend money. This is called the “multiplier effect.” Retail multipliers are typically lower than those in manufacturing industries, but they can still add 20% to the total impact.

To estimate the total impact, I put these spending numbers into economic impact modeling software called IMPLAN. For simplicity, I assigned the $764 million to a retail category that includes hobby shops. In addition, I put $50 million in building material and garden supply stores (I’m sure some of you have bought homebrew supplies at Home Depot) and another $50 million in food and beverage stores. The final $136 million I evenly divided between hotels, travel, restaurants, and entertainment (to estimate travel and other expenses).

Here are the results:

The model estimates the total impact of homebrewing at $1.225 billion in 2015
In addition, it estimates that homebrewing created 11,672 jobs in the United States
Not too shabby! So next time you’re thinking about a brew day, remember that you’re not just making tasty beverages, you are also supporting the American economy.

Bart Watson, Chief Economist for the Brewers Association, is a stats geek, beer lover, and Certified Cicerone®. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where in addition to his dissertation, he completed a comprehensive survey of Bay Area brewpubs one pint at a time.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Illustration of a 17th century coffee house in Istanbul/Constantinople, Turkey
National Coffee Day is celebrated annually on September 29. People across the United States celebrate one of the most beloved morning beverages on National Coffee Day. It is a morning favorite, however, it is found being drunk throughout the day either hot or cold and either black or with additives such as cream, creamers, milk, sugar, flavored syrups and ice.

There are many legendary accounts of how coffee first came to be but the earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or the knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century in the SUFI monasteries around Mokha in Yemen.  It was here where coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed, similarly to how it is prepared today.  Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland from Ethiopia and began to cultivate the seed.

Image from the University of California/Los Angeles Daily Bruin newspaper
In 1670, coffee seeds were smuggled out of the Middle East by Baba Budan, as he strapped seven coffee seeds onto his chest.  The first plants grown from these smuggled seeds were planted in Mysore.  It was then that coffee spread to Italy, to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and to the Americas.

In 1583, Leonard Rauwolf, a German physician, gave this description of coffee after returning from a ten-year trip to the Near East:
A beverage as black as ink, useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. It’s consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water and the fruit from a bush called bunnu.
         —Léonard Rauwolf, Reise in die Morgenländer (in German) (Wikipedia)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


AFTER: Hong Kong tiny apartment sings with creativity.  Sliding wall separates kitchen with bath (right) when needed.

GUEST BLOG / By LAAB Architects--Michelle Tennant and Andy Knight came to LAAB, a Hong Kong based architectural firm, with big laundry list of needs to upgrade their newly acquired apartment also in Hong Kong.  Top of the list items fitting in a full American-style kitchen, large bathtub, home cinema, gym, cat friendly spaces and plenty of storage.
BEFORE: Compare with above; entry is center of image

Because the couple wanted to live in the heart of Hong Kong’s vibrant Central district, the couple was willing to acquire and remodel a 309 square foot abode.
It’s no secret, Hong Kong is already one of the most expensive places in the world to live, and nowhere is this truer than in Central.

Given the choice of putting all of their resources to gain an extra 30-50 sq.ft. in the existing space or go with professional space planning that would create the feeling of much more space, the couple chose to go with interior design.

To realize their ambitious plans, the team at LAAB had to think beyond static spaces. “We began considering time as a factor, eventually designing the space around a Form Follows Time philosophy,” said LAAB co-founder Otto Ng, “which means that spaces open and close depending on the purposes needed at that particular time.  A great example of time centric design is what LAAB created surrounding the bathtub.  That one space can take the following forms:

--The traditional bathroom with separate bathtub so that a guest can shower while the host brushes teeth or vice versa;
--Second tier seating creating a two tiered home cinema or seating for large groups of friends
--Guest bedroom for short stay guests.”

Tub is below second tier guest bed space

Ng of LAAB adds, “other forms can also be blended, allowing for a home cinema experience while in the bath, or movie viewing for host and guest while both are in bed. Achieving this level of flexibility in this area and others required over 30 design iterations and large amounts of experimentation.”

The architects pointed out, all elements, from the 4K curved TV, to the dining table, to the make-up table and storage are all designed to hide flat and smooth to keep the flat looking neat and spacious.

NEW: Overhead view of redesigned 309 square foot apartment in Hong Kong

A range of app-controlled smart home technologies have also been implemented, primarily Philips Hue bulbs and the August smart lock. The lights are able to slowly brighten the room in the morning, giving the couple a gentle wake-up while the door lock means they can enter effortlessly or send electronic keys to friends to help them look after their cats.

MEOW: More OW and less ME with 3 cats in 309 square feet, but that's what the client wanted.

Cats and their needs were a very important factor in this design. You could say that the apartment was not only designed for Michelle and Andy but also for their three cats, Banoffee, Dumpling and Tuxedo. Cat areas include a cat walk around the ceiling, cat ladder, litterbox hidden beneath the bathroom sink, cat food trays hidden within the kitchen cabinets and a hidden den for them to relax in.

Implementing these cat friendly concepts was a challenge.  Materials, details and mechanical systems were all strategically designed to keep the spaces dry, cleanable, cat-friendly, and free of undesirable smells. For example, the cat litter box has been equipped with its own ventilation system that pulls smells out of the building.

INNOVATIVE: Slide the TV wall into view for entertaining; behind Andy another sliding wall closes in the master bedroom area.

Andy and Michelle summed it up, “The most important thing is how comfortable the apartment is.  Many of our friends come over and visit our place, and they have never seen such a nice kitchen even though their own apartments are bigger than ours.”

Visit the following web and YouTube videos for images of the LAAB Architects project: