House roast, huzzah!: Kreuzberg’s house roasted coffee
Say what you want about the disappearance of the chalk-covered walls in the women’s bathroom (poetic stuff, people). Kreuzberg, California is on the up and up; I like it. Earlier this month, the downtown SLO coffee shop, restaurant, and popular homework/hipster hangout began offering its own house-roasted coffee, and it’s the best pick-me-up I’ve had all week. Better yet, you can actually see the roasting process take place while you wait in line, thanks to a newly-constructed alcove located at the back of the joint. Look for dedicated on-site coffee roaster Shawn Clark, who put down his bag of beans long enough to make me a truly artful iced pour over. The freshly roasted organic, natural process Ethiopia Sidamo Peaberry is slowly poured over cold cubes using a Japanese method that produces less bitterness than your traditional, thrown-together “hot coffee meets ice” mélange. With notes of blueberry and dried apricot, you know I gulped down a hot cup, too. Unexpected perk: The constant hum of the new roasting machine produces a soothing white noise that is great for taking the edge off any caffeine-induced jitters.
Take home a fresh bag of Kruezberg’s on-site roast at 685 Higuera St., SLO; about $15.
Wine, fresh from the … keg?: Sextant Winery’s 2013 Pinot Gris
There is a not-so-talked-about truth to wine tasting, and as a former tasting room employee, I know it first-hand. That cold, crisp albariño just poured in your glass? It may not be as fresh as you’d imagine. Really, there is no way of telling when that bottle was opened and how much air it’s taken on. The tasting staff may be keeping track, but you usually aren’t privy to that information, and how many patrons are ballsy enough to ask? Of course, all wine needs a certain amount of oxygen to truly blossom, and there’s nothing wrong with a few-days-old bottle, provided the excess air is pumped out each evening. The problem here is one of consistency and control. Enter: Sextant Winery’s state-of-the-art “wine keg.” The 100 percent recyclable, eco-friendly Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) receptacle uses fresh-from-the-keg technology to ensure each sip is fresh and reliable. No room for oxidation means no off flavors, and a light, mobile frame means the offerings can travel far from winery grounds. Currently, the Sextant wine keg (which features a pinot gris, chardonnay, and zinfandel tap) is located at Pismo Beach hangout Harry’s Night Club & Beach Bar. I recommend the summer-approved 2013 Sextant Pinot Gris, gushing with crisp, tart green apple flavor. It’s an exclusive you can only get through the keg, but hurry up—come July, the whole kit and caboodle will relocate to Lido at Dolphin Bay Resort in Avila Beach. It’s a delicious game of tag that also includes wine—my favorite kind.
Check out the Sextant Winery mobile keg, located at Harry’s Night Club & Beach Bar through June; 690 Cypress St. in Pismo Beach.