According to a note written on the back of this celebratory, wax-sealed bottle, Jaime Dietenhofer and his father, Jim, don’t know where the years went. “It seems like just yesterday we were delivering beer in the back of our pickup truck. We are so grateful for our family, friends, and customers for helping us grow so much in these last five years,” the bottle reads. Tell me about it! With a sixth taproom slated to open in Westlake Village this summer, the Fig boys are not slowing down any time soon. Hopefully they do have a chance to kick back and savor this well-earned release, which has come to symbolize all they’ve accomplished and all they hope to tackle in the years ahead. Aged for eight months in rum barrels, this dark, wintery doppelbock is rich and malty with sweet and subtle toasted flavors enlivened by a dash of caramel and toffee goodness. What have you done in the last five years? I know. They’re making us all look bad.
• Figueroa Mountain’s Fifth Anniversary Doppelbock—$8 for a 10.5 ounce glass; 1462 E. Grand Ave., Arroyo Grande.
I have an unfortunate love affair with diner coffee. The problem, of course, is that diner coffee is usually an annoying people-pleaser, often pandering to the blandest palate in the room. Big Sky Cafe is not a diner, but they do serve up some mean rosemary potatoes, eggs, and thick-cut bacon. The house coffee is also anything but “diner,” although it truly does appeal to the average customer, from the hip college kid to the old farmer. It’s not crazy bright or berry-like or extra bitter. The beans, sourced from Indonesia and Central America and roasted in a “Full City and French Bi-Level” manner (whatever that means). The flavor is nutty and approachable, with a nice caramelized finish. You can try all flavors of Coastal Peaks Coffee—from frothy lattes to the syrupy, full-bodied Black Rabbit—at their cozy little cafe, also serving breakfast and lunch. However, it wouldn’t hurt to stop by Big Sky for a cup of the house joe. You might even have a nice chat with New Times intern Rebecca Lucas, who always has a steaming pot of coffee in hand.
• Coastal Peaks Coffee—A few bucks depending on your poison; 3536 South Higuera St., SLO.
Hayley Thomas would never, ever, ever give up coffee. She can be reached at [email protected].