Author Archive | Amber Turpin

Oasis Prepares to Open in Santa Cruz

May 9, 2017 – Santa Cruz is definitely a town that celebrates collaboration. Just look around at the flourishing and hyper-friendly beer community, all rubbing elbows and sharing advice with each other. A prime example of this delicious meeting of the minds is the highly anticipated opening of a dream team collaboration between Chris LaVeque of el Salchichero and Alec Stefansky of Uncommon Brewers. The umbrella business, aptly named “Oasis” is sure to become an oasis of food and drink in the revamped Farmers Exchange building on River Street. At last, the very long awaited project is grandly opening for all on Friday, May 19th.

“I’m probably gonna cry a lot when it opens, because I’m so #!&%* happy,” says LaVeque. “It’s kinda like having a baby, and after 4 years giving … Read More

Continue Reading ·

Meet the Folks Behind Soquel Fermentation Project

May 2, 2017 – For many of us beer believers, seeking out craft breweries is no longer enough. We’ve quickly moved on to searching for “micro” facilities that use 30 to 60 barrel brewing systems—as a way to find small-scale, experimental beers.

But those can still be big operations and leave us dreaming of unearthing a hidden fantasy gem. So then comes the “nano” brewery, a commercial brewery using 3 to 10 barrel systems. Sounds really small, right? Certainly these nano folks make some rare, hard-to-get beers.

We actually have a fair amount of them spread around Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. A very common scenario goes like this: an avid homebrewer, who really geeks out on the chemistry and craft of experimental brewing, and often has some background in tech or … Read More

Continue Reading ·


At Sones Cellars in Santa Cruz, Rachel Morphy refills her
bottle with the winery’s popular Hedgehog Red blend.
Photo by Deborah Luhrman.

When you hear the word “keg,” you most likely picture red plastic cups, beer bellies, rowdiness or memories of high school parties of yore. But in the last few years, the term has started to find a home with a quite different audience. Wine on tap is becoming more and more commonplace at cafes, wine bars and upscale restaurants throughout the country.

The idea is nothing new—wine served and sold in bulk actually has a longer history than today’s commonplace 750-milliliter bottle. A wide variety of containers from barrels to wineskins have been utilized to hold the prized juice since its creation.

But now, advancements in technology and … Read More

Continue Reading ·


general store
Homesteading: Jorah Roussopoulos and Andi Rubalcaba
with their children, Ember and Reese. Photo by Ted Holladay.

“We really just want to be a homesteader’s convenience store,” says Mountain Feed and Farm Supply owner Jorah Roussopoulos. But instead of a six-pack of Budweiser and some Lay’s potato chips, this colorful “convenience store” offers books and kits on how to brew your own beer and seed potatoes for growing your own crop.

In fact, if a do-it-yourselfer’s convenience store sounds a bit like an oxymoron, the truth is that Mountain Feed is so much more than that: a veritable sustainable-living country store, ready to outfit anyone from any walk of life who wants to live a little more in harmony with the planet—and find stellar customer service while they’re at it. Roussopoulos … Read More

Continue Reading ·

Bantam: A chef comes home to roost

bantam1Santa Cruz is an urban city with a small town mentality. That means neighborhood friendliness and loyal local sup- port—but also a generally casual dining scene. So it used to be the case that most chefs with big ambitions would just take the short trip up to San Francisco and explore more sophisticated opportunities. But now, the opposite is true; trained chefs from the city are choosing to move back down the coast and set up shop here in our little beach town. Lucky us! The newest delicious example is Ban- tam Restaurant.

Owners Sarah and Ben Sims have struck upon a perfect formula, creating a space on Santa Cruz’s Westside that with
its lofty exposed steel beams, glossy polished cement floors and Mugnaini wood- fired oven is sleek and … Read More

Continue Reading ·