Delish in a Barrel: Green Flash Silva Stout

Zach Fowle
Beer: Silva Stout
Brewery: Green Flash Brewing Co.
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.1 percent

It's a good time to own a whiskey distillery in America. Not only are sales of the brown stuff up close to 8 percent from last year and 36 percent over the past five, but you're also making money selling your used barrels to brewers, those nuts. There was a time that the U.S. law requiring "straight bourbon" whiskey be aged in new, unused American oak barrels created a surplus of used wood at distilleries, and in days past these were often sold off on the cheap or just given away. Those days are over. The resale value of a bourbon barrel has skyrocketed, and used barrels are in such high demand among American beer-makers that many distillers now have waiting lists.

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Case Congolio: 2015 Big Brain Award Finalist, Culinary Arts

Categories: Big Brains

Lauren Saria
Case Congolio of Brazen Chocolate
You submitted nominations for the best and brightest emerging Valley creatives, and the results are in. Presenting the 2015 BigBrain finalists.

Leading up to the announcement of winners at Artopia on May 9, Jackalope Ranch, Chow Bella, and Up on the Sun will introduce the finalists. Up today is Case Congolio.

"Most people are fishing over here," says Case Congolio, placing his hand on top of a handmade bar of Brazen Chocolate.

Wrapped in a handsome patterned paper, the $8 candy bar's label indicates it's an organic product made with heirloom cacao from Belize.

"But I'm focused over here."

He moves his hand to a pile of plain-looking brown beans, each about the size of an almond, and pops one in his mouth.

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3 Best Places to Eat and Drink This Week in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events

Edsel Little/Flickr
Wolfert authored several cookbooks and has written extensively about Moroccan food, such as fish tagine.
Dinner with Paula Wolfert
Wednesday, April 22

Two years ago, legendary cookbook author Paula Wolfert was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. This Wednesday, the Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter will host a dinner honoring her culinary accomplishments, as well as her work as an ambassador for early Alzheimer's diagnosis. For the event, six of the Valley's top chefs, including Christopher Gross, Aaron May, Kevin Binkley, Beau McMillan, Matt Carter, and James Porter, will prepare a six course dinner celebrating Wolfert's award-winning cooking. The dinner will be held in a private Paradise Valley residence, and is limited to 100 guests. Proceeds from the $250 tickets benefit the Alzheimer's Association Desert Southwest Chapter, and can be reserved by calling 602-528-0545.

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King Coffee Brings a Fresh New Face to an Old Tempe Favorite

Categories: Grind

Zaida Dedolph
Espresso and Ice Cream -- what's there to dislike?

King Coffee, a new near-campus coffee shop, opened four weeks ago in the space once occupied by 3 Roots Coffee House (RIP). The storefront has seen some turnover since the iconic hippie cafe closed its doors a few years ago, but we're hoping King Coffee will stick around.

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7 Ways to Cook With Marijuana: Recipes for Canna Butter, Pot Brownies, and More on 4/20

Categories: Baked!

Looking for a recipe for "special" brownies? We got you.
For some people, today is just another normal Monday. Another day to get up, go to the office, and start the five day slog that is the typical work week. But for anyone with any level of interest in weed culture (that's a fancy way of saying, "smoking marijuana") today is one of the most important days of the year. Today is 4/20 a.k.a. stoner Christmas a.k.a. the unofficial holiday of smoking weed.

So if you happen to be looking for a way to celebrate this "holiday," we've dug up a few resources for you to check out. Whether you're on the hunt for a recipe, the perfect stoner beer, or a guide to must-have munchie foods, we've got you totally covered.

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Dessert First at Pastries N Chaat in North Phoenix

Categories: Dessert First

Jenny Zink
Mango cake at Pastries N Chaat in North Phoenix.

Just the name Pastries N Chaat inspired wide eyes at last week's Chow Bella staff meeting, and it was determined that the first thing to try at the north Phoenix spot was dessert. We'll save chaat -- savory Indian street food -- for later. This time we were all about the pastries.

See also: Baklava at Middle Eastern Bakery & Deli in Metro Phoenix

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Corduroy in Midtown Phoenix Is Not Really a Tapas Bar -- But It Does Have Good Cocktails

Categories: First Taste

Lauren Saria
An open-faced smoked trout sandwich from Corduroy in Phoenix.
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Lauren Saria
Inside Corduroy
Restaurant: Corduroy
Location: 2601 North Central Avenue
Open: About two weeks
Eats: Small plates, sandwiches, salads
Price: $20+/person

Tom Jetland and the team behind such popular mid/downtown spots as Fez, Switch, and Pizza People Pub have added a stylish new restaurant to their growing group. And with a menu dominated by globally inspired small plates, the new addition, called Corduroy, gives neighborhood diners plenty of new dishes to try.

Though the name doesn't seem to fit the restaurant's "tapas style" cuisine, the space, formerly a Schlotsky's deli, seems just as polished as you would expect given the team behind it. The combination of exposed brick, stained glass, and richly patterned metal ceiling panels lands you somewhere between a 1920s speakeasy and a modern Spanish eatery. In addition to a large dining room, Corduroy offers a covered patio and full bar.

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Tickets Are on Sale Now for New Times' Artopia at Monarch Theater in Downtown Phoenix

Categories: Events

Andrew Pielage
The scene at Artopia 2014.
Mark your calendars, Phoenix, because on Saturday, May 9 we're going to announce this year's Big Brain Award winners at the 5th annual Artopia at The Monarch Theater.

Over the next few weeks we'll introduce you to each of the finalists, including the three finalists in the Culinary Arts category, but in the meantime, you may want to secure your spot for the big event.

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5 Best Places for Absinthe Service in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Hooch

Shelby Moore
Absinthe at Little Cleo's served traditionally. Ice cold water from a fountain drips over sugar to dilute.
A question for the ages: Just how many abandoned absinthe fountains are out there? Disenchanted by the apparatus (tragically, just picture those heavy fountains metal-plated Lady Absinthe lifts tirelessly above her head), some barkeeps may have even banished her to the highest shelf, by the 40-year-old scotch, as I've seen her, to accumulate dust like a hockey trophy.

But unlike hockey trophies, absinthe is cool. Some would argue it's been cool. Online stores even hawk vintage four-dripper fountains to the living-room entertainer by virtue of their group-friendly design to gather 'round. Like fondue sets that come with four fondue forks, no one except an unlucky fifth gets left out of the fun.

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Lunch Under $10 at Giant Rustic Pizza in Scottsdale and Phoenix

Categories: Budget Beat

Jenny Zink
Two pepperoni slices from Giant Rustic Pizza in Scottsdale.

Remember those college days of late night drunk dialing for crappy pizza delivery? Of course you don't. You were too drunk to know that your pizza took forever and was terrible. Cheap, but terrible. Giant Rustic Pizza in Scottsdale has a pizza deal that harkens back to our college days of needing cheap quick pizza, but has created a pizza you'll be glad you are sober to taste.

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