Archive for September, 2011

American craft beer fans will likely find a new favorite spot to grab a pint in Downtown Livermore. Tap 25, the latest addition to the historic Blacksmith Square, opened its doors in mid-September and the early reviews have been glowing.

Tap 25 in Livermore's Blacksmith Square

American craft beer is highlight at Blacksmith Square's Tap 25.

Tap 25 has a constantly changing lineup of 25 beers available everyday. The focus of Tap 25 is seasonal and limited release beers, as well as classics that are usually difficult to find on tap. A few local and regional brewers in the lineup include: North Coast Brewing Co., Laugunitas Brewing Company, Eel River BrewingGreenflash Brewery and select limited releases from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Enjoy the rotating selection by the taste, glass or custom flights.

Continuing the collaborative spirit among businesses within the Square, neighboring wine & tapas bar, Swirl on the Square, provides delicious menu items like grilled paninis, bar snack and weekend BBQ specials.

Enjoy a flight of smartly-paired brews in the wine & beer garden in Blacksmith Square.

Perfect for a sunny fall afternoon, the beautiful outdoor courtyard in the middle Blacksmith Square invites customers to linger. Be sure to check out the Square on weekends, when there is regular musical entertainment.

Tap 25 is currently open Thursday- Saturday, noon to 10 pm and Sunday, noon- 8 pm. Because the beer lineup at Tap 25 is always changing be sure to check out the website and Facebook for a list of what’s currently on tap.

Looking for another new craft beer option in Tri-Valley? Be sure to check out Handles Gastropub in downtown Pleasanton too.


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How often does a Bordeaux-style red blend score 90 points in Wine Enthusiast? Well the answer is not often, and more specifically has only happened twice in the history of Livermore Valley Wineries. Nottingham Cellars, established in 2009 by father-son duo, Jeff and Collin Cranor, have figured out that attention to detail in every phase of winemaking separates a good bottle of wine from an award-winning bottle of wine.

On top of scoring a 90 in Wine Enthusiast Magazine, the infamous 2008 Supremacy has taken home several other awards at three of the Nations top wine competitions. Not to mention, Collin Cranor, age 25, has recently become the youngest Livermore Winemaker in history to score a 90 or higher in Wine Enthusiast. The Supremacy’s official release is marked for this Saturday, so make sure to stop by Nottingham Cellars over the weekend. If you can’t make it to the release, the Wine Steward in Pleasanton, First Street Wine Company and the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards are currently carrying this one-of-a-kind blend.

Looking for a remarkable pairing to compliment your palate? Winemaker Collin Cranor recommends “a grilled New York steak and potatoes, or any red meat dish for that matter.” With retail price at an affordable $42 per bottle, this Bordeaux Style red blend is one you will want to add to your collection.

Over the last three years this small boutique winery has given even the biggest named wineries a run for their money. If your looking for an intimate new spot to taste some of the greatest wines the region has to offer, do yourself a favor and check out Nottingham Cellars, located in the heart of Livermore Valley’s wine country.

Nottingham Cellars’ tasting room is located at 2245 S. Vasco Rd., Unit C in Livermore, and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday noon to 4:30 pm, and by appointment.

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Have you ever wondered what exactly happens during harvest in wine country? How do those grapes get from vine to barrel to bottle to your glass? Livermore Valley’s Wente Vineyards will answer those questions and more during an exclusive Harvest Tour & Tasting on October 1, 2011.

Wente Vineyards offers a unique experience touring and tasting during harvest 2011.

This intimate experience will provide the public a rare glimpse into the harvest and production of Wente Vineyard’s world-class small lot wines. Sample current vintages and select wines aged to perfection from the winery’s library.

The Harvest Tour & Tasting is offered exclusively on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at 10 am, noon, 2 pm and 4 pm. Space is limited and reservations are required.  Tickets are $15 plus tax for Nth Degree and Wine Club members, and $20 plus tax for guests and are available online.

Tours will take place at Wente Vineyards Estate Winery and Tasting Room, located at 5565 Tesla Road Livermore, CA 94550.

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