The Beards, Arrowmatic + Breakfunch

Culinary Awards

The James Beard Foundation awards an Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or BEER Professional.

The James Beard Foundation has shortlisted semi-finalists for their annual awards. The Oscars/Grammys of the dining world. True, they have yet to separate craft beer into its own category for rewarding brewing talent like they have for wine, but maybe that will be saved for next year’s 28th annual event.

Semi-finalists appearing in the 27th year for Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional category are recognized for making a “significant national impact on the restaurant industry.”

Next month, on Wednesday, March 15, 2017, the final nominees will be announced live (via Facebook and Twitter) from a.o.c. restaurant right here in Los Angeles. [We can picket if no one from beer gets through to the next round.]

While wine dominated by the spirits group, five members of the craft beer world are still in the running. Of particular interest is the inclusion of a malting company! Craft malting is still tiny, but looks to be a future growth area with recent write-ups in beer blogs such as Good Beer Hunting.

Below are the still-alive five:

  • Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE
  • Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA
  • Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA
  • Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY
  • Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

Let the betting begin as to who will advance from this group.

The Beer of the Week is Arrowmatic from Arrow Lodge Brewing out in Covina. Aside from being very clever wordplay, this DIPA from brewer Amy Heller has great aroma and a strong amount of bitterness without walloping you over the head with alcohol. While you are there, I also recommend trying their French Saison, Oui Adelit. A delicate and floral beer.

Your Homework is to drive down to San Pedro to help Brouwerij West celebrate their 1st Anniversary in their gorgeous warehouse space this Saturday, February 25. Dubbed Breakfunch, $30 will get you a taster glass and 10 pours of featured beers plus a brunch item from Urban Espresso. You will find special variants of their Tripel and Mor Mor plus a pair of mixed fermentation beers Animal Farm and Chinatown as well as their 1st Anniversary beer, a Barrel-Aged Tripel!

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.


Sean Inman

Find more of Sean Inman’s writing on his blog, Beer Search Party.

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