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Beer is hopping in the Inland Empire

August 10, 2012|By Todd Martens
  • Ray Duran, left, Matthew Maldonado and Joshua Duran of Chino Valley Brewery.
Ray Duran, left, Matthew Maldonado and Joshua Duran of Chino Valley Brewery. (Joel Gorospe )

Practically no suburb shall be left behind in thriving craft beer movement. The past two weeks alone have welcomed two new outfits to the ale-destination that is the Inland Empire.

Joining a region already home to Hangar 24, Black Market, Dale Bros, and I&I Brewing, among others, are Ontario's Chino Valley Brewery (1630 E Francis St, Unit J) and, only about 10 miles away, Claremont's alliteration-friendly Claremont Craft Ales (1420 N. Claremont Blvd, Suite 204C).

The latter opens Saturday, and Chino Valley has been welcoming customers since the end of July. Chino Valley, run by two former law enforcement officers, has launched with some unexpected options. Reaching beyond the traditional wheat or India Pale Ale favored by craft brewers, its Route 83 is a dark brown ale and its Prado Porter comes complete a morsel of anise.

"I learned to brew in England in the mid 80's when I lived there for five years," said co-founder Matthew Maldonado. " I learned to love English style beers which is what I specialize in."

Emily Moultrie, who runs Claremont Craft Ales with her husband Simon Brown, notes the beer lovers appreciate far more than just taste.

"The kind of beer that we make is beautiful," she says. "It's floral, and citrusy, and fresh and bright. There's so much you can experience in the beer, just in the bouquet and the different types of hops. We want to show people what it's like to have beautifully hoppy beers that are incredibly well-balanced."

Visitors to the region will have plenty of options. Just a couple miles away is Dale Bros. (495 West 9th Street #603), and all three breweries have tasting rooms and take-home growlers. "We want people to come to this area for the purpose of drinking beer," says Moultrie.

BEER 101: Turn drinking beer and eating out into an educational process with three weeks of classes at Echo Park's Mohawk Bend. On Sept. 10 the beer-geek, vegan-dining utopia will offer the first of three "back to school beer classis." The first two sessions are $20 per person, and the final Sept. 24 session is a $30 graduation dinner. All three classes can be purchased individually or in a $60 package by calling (213) 483-2337 and will max out at 30 people.

An introduction to how beers are made and how to properly taste them will be offered Sept. 10, and the Sept. 17 lesson will focus on California breweries and styles unique to our home state. Can't make the hour long Monday classes? Keep an eye on happenings at downtown's Public School 612 for their "night school" beer gatherings.

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