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Friday, January 31, 2020


San Diego’s Gravity Heights’ Triple IPA debuts on Super Bowl weekend

GUEST BLOG / By Brandon Hernandez, Senior Editor, West Coaster Beverage News, San Diego--The NFL’s championship game isn’t the only super-sized thing about this weekend, or even this time of year.

Thanks to the innovation of Vinnie Cilurzo, owner of Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing and the brew mastermind behind an imperial IPA dubbed “Pliny the Younger” come February, professional brewers bring out their biggest, lupulin-loaded artillery — high-octane, hop-driven brews known as “triple IPAs.”

Defined as IPAs coming in at or above 10% alcohol-by-volume (ABV), they are challenging to get right. It’s not simply a matter of adding lots more grain and seemingly stupid amounts of hops. It takes skill and, even then, what went into a fermenter with the greatest of promise (sometimes Golden Promise) can fail to realize its potential.

For example locally, a high-caliber triple IPA from Sorrento Valley’s Gravity Heights, is something to be appreciated… and sipped. While pronounced citrus, tropical, and stone fruit flavors can up perceived drinkability, it’s important to remember that these beers are behemoths and will knock you down if guzzled with reckless abandon. Even at 10.4% ABV, One More Trip finishes particularly dry for this sometimes-sweet style, so pace yourself. It should be easy enough seated amid this indoor-outdoor brewpub’s stylish environs. The first chance to do so will be during Gravity Heights’ one-year anniversary festivities, which will take place on Super Bowl Sunday and see the business take over its entire front parking lot for increased sports and suds-inspired revelry.

Skip Virgilio, Brewmaster, Gravity Heights: “San Diego has long-been known for hoppy beers. This is embodied by the classic ‘West Coast’ IPA, a style known for its simple malt characteristics, which allow the hop-derived citrus, pine, floral, and fruit flavors and bitterness to dominate on the palate.

Single IPAs, which have dominated craft beer sales for years, are typically clean, crisp, and easy-drinking, however, brewers always like to push the envelope, so IPAs have evolved over time to include a stronger subset with even more hop presence and strength. The ‘double’ IPA is a stronger, danker, and more complex version of its lighter counterpart. But why stop there?

The ‘triple’ IPA style represents the richest, hoppiest, and most intense example of an IPA. This style was made famous by Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger in the mid-2000s. Each February, countless fans line up for hours prior to its release. Other breweries have since taken notice and look to this time of year—following the holiday chaos but still in the throes of the winter season—to release their strongest and most robust triple IPAs.

Our team has been looking forward to brewing a triple IPA since we opened, and are proud to present our first-ever IIIPA to celebrate our one-year anniversary. One More Trip will join our family of hoppy beers on Super Bowl Sunday. It is an extremely crisp, dry IPA overloaded with Ekuanot, Citra, and Azacca hops, which exude aromas of dank tropical fruit, fresh citrus, and berries. There are few things in craft beer more anticipated than what triple IPA season delivers, so we are excited to share this amazing new beer with all our friends and guests!”

For free online issue of February, 2020 West Coaster Beverage News click here.


Where'd they go?     
Wikimedia Commons Map

GUEST BLOG / By CNN Travel writer Joe Minihane--Britain's departure from the European Union is finally upon us, but after all the warnings of chaos for inbound tourists and problems for UK travelers heading to the continent, what will situations will travelers actually face after January 31?

The arrival of Brexit comes three and a half years after the country held a referendum that set it in motion and follows a series of missed deadlines, each one carrying the threat of the UK leaving with "no deal" -- a scenario that raised the prospect of a shortage of medical supplies and food, as well as long border queues.

What will change?

Click here for the rest of CNN’s coverage.

Thursday, January 30, 2020


“For the last time, senators—please, no more questions about remaking Season 8 of ‘Game of Thrones.’ ”


Photographer Michelle Mishina Kunz captured two of Tin Hut’s regular customers.
Leigh Buchanan writing in’s online newsletter penned a remarkable piece of journalism about how Frank Diaz’s Tin Hut BBQ delights men and women in uniform with its food while also providing needed assistance to struggling veterans. 

The article is a regular series by’s online newsletter highlighting the imagination, diversity, and resilience of American enterprise.  Well done,

Before clicking on to the rest of the article note the rare quadruple puns involved with the name owner Diaz has chosen for his BBQ empire.

Pun 1.  Tin Hut is a take on Ten Hut slang for “attention!”
Pun 2.  Tin is the siding on the food truck’s exterior
Pun 3.  Hut is the small size of the food operation.
Pun 4.  Tin Hut is operates on military bases.

Click here for’s article by Leigh Buchanan.
Frank Diaz, owner of Tin Hut BBQ holding one of his weapons of tastiness.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


Too busy being a tourist, especially on Granville Island that's home to the famed public market.  Vancouver House can be seen in the background. 

Before retiring from the nine to five world of periodical journalism, I covered architecture and design for a host of publications like San Diego Home/Garden, San Diego Magazine, San Diego Union-Tribune, Modernism magazine, Old House Interiors, Arts & Crafts Homes magazine and American Bungalow.

Now my travel writing is devoted to, a daily online magazine style blog.

Recently, I traveled to Vancouver, Canada to spent time with my family.  Before taking an Air Canada flight, I researched nothing when it came to architecture of that beautiful and creative City.

And, for the life of me—even with my architectural writing background--I cannot figure how I missed stopping to view the Vancouver House, a new high rise that CNN’s website has named as one of the world's most anticipated buildings in 2020.

I blame it on being retired and not really going there in search of article ideas.

But, when I returned I noticed CNN’s blog calling Vancouver House a 49-story significant architectural accomplishment.   Where was I?

Vancouver's scenic False Bay distracted us from seeing Vancouver House
This is how CNN described Vancouver House: Twisting from a triangular base to a rectangular top, Vancouver House appears to defy the laws of engineering when viewed from afar.

It’s precisely the sort of eccentricity we’ve come to expect from Bjarke Ingels, the Danish architect who recently built a ski slope on top of a power plant in Copenhagen. But it’s also a smart response to various restrictions and regulations that limited the size of the tower’s footprint in downtown Vancouver.

The pixelated facade, also characteristic of Ingels’ work, helps to create deep-set balconies for residents in the 493-foot-tall tower.

It is possible that Ingels’ rise to fame over the last seven years (city council approved the rezoning for Vancouver House in 2013) also benefited the Vancouver project by bringing it more international attention.

Vancouver House topped out in 2019, and is slated to reach full completion later this year, including the opening of many of its commercial tenants. The new public realm beneath the bridge will be activated by 85,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail and restaurant space, namely London Drugs, Fresh St. Market grocery store, and Momofuku Noodle Bar.

Five permanent container shipping retail units will also be placed at the entrances into this new public space, where an oversized chandelier public art sculpture spins three times daily.

Within the two triangular podium buildings, 90,000 sq. ft. of office space will be furnished into academic space for University Canada West. Approximately 3,400 students are expected to study at this new campus, providing regular foot traffic for the area.

The residential portion of the CAD $750-million project contains 375 market condominiums and 105 market rental homes.

How did I miss seeing Vancouver House?  Actually, I did look at the building giving it a cursory glance as part of a burgeoning city skyline.  That speaks to the fact, Vancouver House fits in.
Stanley Park in West Vancouver was a great place to visit and to ignore Vancouver House in the background.
But how did I miss the twisting, curvilinear aspect of the ground-breaking design?  [I blame being preoccupied with Stanley Park and the Water Street Café].

Because we were being tourists.  And, our wanderings took us to the north and west side of Vancouver House. We simply didn’t notice the east and south faces of the building where its twists on its foundation to make Vancouver House one of the more remarkable high rise designs in North America.

It goes to say, a little advance research would have made our trip more interesting. Oh, well we have a reason now to return to Vancouver, a skyline and a city worth revisiting. –By Thomas Shess, founder and editor in chief of daily online magazine.

Here's what we missed.