West Coaster San Diego August, 2015


By. Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
(Doctor Q)
This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of West Coaster San Diego.

Conscious consumers are demanding high caliber, locally made artisanal products; this stretches beyond beer. Golden Coast Mead, for example, is gaining momentum with their varieties of mead crafted from California honey and Palomar Mountain spring water. Ballast Point will soon release craft cocktails in cans: Fugu Vodka & Bloody Mary; Three Sheets Rum & Ginger; Three Sheets Rum & Cola; and Old Grove Gin & Tonic. The San Diego Distillers Guild now has seven members: Old Harbor, Ballast Point, Kill Devil, Liberty Call, Malahat, California Spirits Co., and Twisted Manzanita. Coffee roasters and their craft beer collaborations are reaching new heights and hype. Even local ice creamery Niederfrank’s has gotten into the collaboration game, churning cream utilizing South Park Brewing Company beers. San Diego is a bastion of creativity and open-mindedness, and it’s easy to see why.

Another trend making its way around the county is root beer. While only Mission Brewery is crafting and distributing a hard root beer, several local operations are creating a non-alcoholic version for consumers. ChuckAlek, Hillcrest, Groundswell, Thorn St., Arcana, Ballast Point Scripps Ranch, and Stone are among those serving soft beer in their tasting rooms.

We sat down with Bobby Oliver (Mission) and Grant Fraley (ChuckAlek) to discuss.

WC: Give us the skinny on your hard root beer:
Oliver: It’s bold. It’s robust. It has just the right amount of sweetness; it’s well-balanced like it should be, even at 7.5% ABV.

WC: How do you brew it?
Oliver: We make a neutral malt base which is essentially a strong ale, and blend it with our proprietary root beer fixings. Brew it all together, carb it high to get a bunch of bubbles to recreate that same mouth feel as a soft soda root beer, and there you go. Boom goes the dynamite.

WC: What’s the response been?
Oliver: Excellent. People are going crazy for it. When it hits retail shelves it’s gone as quick as it hits. There’s a few reasons for that. There’s nothing like it brewed locally or on the West Coast for that matter. It’s local and super fresh.

WC: Where did the idea come from?
Oliver: Originally we started to brew craft cocktails: Mission Mule, White Peach Margarita, Blueberry Paloma, Frozen Tropical Punch, and Frozen Orange Lemonade. Given our location is close to downtown and Petco it was a natural progression given the requests from our visitors. These craft cocktails did well. This motivated the owner of our brewery who approached Mission Brewer Quentin E. Anderson about expanding these ideas; Mission’s Hard Root Beer was born.

WC: What do you think is the future of these new craft concoctions?
Oliver: People are stoked. We already live in the biggest beer city in the world. People love to support their home town breweries. I myself use Ballast Point Mai Thai Mix and Bloody Mary mix because it’s good, it’s local, and there is nothing like it. We’re just going to keep at it and see what happens.

WC: Why do you serve Soft Root Beer at your brewery?
Fraley: It is exciting to share a house made soda, but it is also a responsible option for both our customers and their children.

WC: How is it craft?
Fraley: We make root beer by hand, in small batches, with natural ingredients, much like our craft beer. The recipe was artfully crafted for Nate’s Garden Grill with quality and depth of flavor in mind.

WC: What is the next step in craft beverages?
Fraley: We’ll certainly see more craft sodas offered alongside craft beer and craft spirits, which will propel cocktails and blends beyond canned Radler (fruited malt beverages). All of this should further the family-friendly vibe of many local craft beer spots.


Brewer Bobby Oliver


Marta of ChuckAlek


Photo courtesy of Tabitha Thompson

The photo above is courtesy of

Here’s a home soft root beer recipe I’ve worked on over many batches…


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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Uncategorized


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West Coaster San Diego – July, 2015


San Diego,  CA
July 2015

The July issue of West Coaster San Diego is available in print and online now! You can download it for free by clicking here.

In this issue I discuss the issue of craft beer fatigue. When is enough enough?

Here’s an excerpt…

Perhaps that’s the key: cautious consumerism. Understanding what craft beer means to you can be the first step to ending consumer fatigue. Craft beer is here to stay, don’t let your self-imposed need to support the economy of craft beer paralyze you. There will always be festivals to attend, rare beers to chase, and brewers to meet. Don’t worry about where you fit into the craft beer scene, but rather, reflect and see how the scene fits to your lifestyle.

Gonzalo J. Quintero
Dr. Q



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Posted by on July 3, 2015 in IN PRINT


West Coaster San Diego June 2015


By. Dr. Gonzalo J. Quintero
This article originally appeared in the June issue of West Coaster San Diego.
You can click here to download the entire issue.

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” These words attributed to Greek philosopher Aristotle, in no uncertain terms, assert the need for connection of spirit, mind, and body throughout the educational pursuits of the individual. San Diego State University College of Extended Studies (SDSU CES) Professional Certificate in The Business of Craft Beer has succeeded in doing just that for hundreds of students since the program’s inception in 2013. Classes that delve into beer styles through tastings and food pairings taught from the perspective of a world-renowned publican; to a brewery start up course helmed by the industry’s go to attorney at law have been at the heart of the program as have the industry professionals whom sit on its advisory board. SDSU COE has shared in many student successes by pairing passion with knowledge, the heart to the brain, with a few splashes of craft beer in the mix. Recently I had a chance to catch up with three of my former students: Steve Garcia, Travis Hudson and Michael Peacock. All three are graduates and holders of a professional certification, students whose “life after SDSU” has been taken to great heights in the world of craft beer.


WC: What attracted you to The Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer?

Michael: Initially, I thought it would help improve my job skills. What I discovered was that I needed to change my career path completely and focus 100% of my time on beer.

Steve: Being a San Diego native, my love of craft beer and brewing was a major factor in enrolling in the program. However, “career growth” played a big role as well. At that point I had been in banking/finance for 15 years and the craft beer industry was steam rolling along in San Diego. I figured having additional knowledge and insight on how the Craft Beer Industry functioned on a daily basis, would give me a leg up on other bankers trying to gain brewery’s  business.  Along the way I realized I was trudging along the wrong career path.

Travis: I was already working in the industry on the retail side, and thought it was the next logical step to increase my knowledge of the craft beer world having already passed the certified beer server certification. It was also a ground floor type of thing and I hoped being one of the first graduating classes would lead to the types of opportunities I was looking for.

WC: Did the program meet your expectations?

Steve: Not only did the SDSU Business of Craft Beer program meet my expectations; it is a major reason for me leaving my banking career and putting my dreams in motion. I am now in the process of taking our home brewing love to a whole new level with the planning and development of Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Co. here in San Diego as well as a similar brewing venture in Tijuana.

Travis: It did. I always tell people it was taught by people in the industry and not just Bob Loblaw from the community college.  Even just one piece of knowledge from people who work in craft beer is indispensable if you’re looking to advance your career in this business.

Michael: The program has far exceeded my expectations. I thought I would learn a few new things about beer and be able to better converse with my customers on the topic. What I did not expect to find was how much passion there was with everyone involved in the craft beer explosion. I had to be a part of that.

WC: What are you doing with the knowledge?

Steve: The knowledge gained through the completion of this program has been invaluable. We had the privilege of being mentored by some of the industry legends. Their “first hand” experience in owning and operating their brewery has served as our “guiding light”.

Travis: I have since focused my energy to the distribution side of the craft beer world, starting with a small start-up company.  I embrace the opportunity to help not only the fledgling distribution company grow, but also build brand awareness for some lesser known local breweries.  I’ve also enjoyed getting away from the corporate structure of the retail end and focus on business that actually supports local craft beer.

Michael: On a personal level, I am continuing to learn as much as I can about beer and the industry. I am hoping to pass my second level Cicerone certification in the future. On a professional level, I will be teaching a class in the program on Draught Systems. I have worked on that side of the industry for many years and discovered a tremendous interest from others in the program about how these systems work. When I was asked by some of the instructors if I would teach this material, I did not hesitate.

WC: What advice do you have for others following your path?

Steve: If you’re interested in joining the craft beer industry in any facet, do yourself a favor and enroll in the SDSU Business of Craft Beer program.

Travis: Absorb all the knowledge that is available to us in this day and age, and take advantage of the knowledge of the people surrounding you.  I’ve learned as much from the people in the program than the actual program itself.  One of the best functions of the program is the networking with those you come in contact with through the classes, and the craft beer community as a whole.

Michael: Get out there in the middle of it. You do not need to go very far. Surround yourself with craft beer people. Go to every event that you can. Volunteer to pour or just help set-up. Try styles that seem scary. Find a designated driver, get a group of friends together and go on a brewery tour. Be that DD. Continue to learn all that you can and talk about it to everyone you see. Have fun! This is a wonderful time to be in San Diego.

Indeed it is. What these students have achieved in the business of craft beer is proof positive that the craft beer industry is booming, educated individuals are thriving in it, and The Professional Certificate in The Business of Craft Beer Program has crafted a workforce which is in high demand.


Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.

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Posted by on June 5, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Toronado to host AleSmith Vegetarian Brunch


On Sunday May 17th Toronado San Diego will host one of San Diego’s most award-winning yet overlooked (how’s that for an oxymoron?) breweries:

According to the good folks at Toronado “AleSmith has a LOT going on these days; we’re stoked that they’re taking the time to do this with us! So help us kick off our 7th anniversary week and join us from 10:30 until 2pm on Sunday the 17th. We’re excited to be featuring the outstanding beers from San Diego brewing stalwart AleSmith Brewing for our annual vegetarian brunch.”

You can get your tickets by clicking here

I asked everyone’s favorite bartender Nate Soroko (The Toronado Islander) how this brunch came to be.

Doctor Q:
What lead to the AleSmith brunch being a totally vegetarian brunch?

Nate Soroko:
“Vicky Zien is a veg head. Perameters were set by her, and I got with all chefs involved.”

Doctor Q:
What Chefs are involved with this vegetarian brunch?

Nate Soroko:
Chef Nick Brune from Hillcrest’s Local Habit. Chef Mike Arquines of The Lab Dining. Chefs Tony Guan and Phil Esteban of The Cork & Craft. Brad from Rabbit Hole. Along with our Chefs at Toronado Steve and Andreas.

Doctor Q:
What has this dream team developed?

Nate Soroko:
An entirely vegetarian 7 course brunch…

“East Meets West”
“Misozuki” | Herbed Burrata | Pickled Asparagus | Soffrito | Watercress | Balsamic Currant Vinaigrette
-Pale Ale .394

Roasted Romanesco | Coffee + Cocoa Mole | Pickled Garlic | Verjus Raisins | Gjetost Cheese
-“Kua” Speedway Stout

Cashew Beet Cream | Braised Carrots with Butter Poached Turnip | Cayenne Brown Sugar Brittle 
-Old Ale

“Duel Dish”
Poblano & St Angel cheese empenada | Charred Avocado  Beurre blanc| Tomatillo Radish slaw | Venezuelan arepas with perico.
-AleSmith X

Panang | Potato | Bok Choy | Bell Pepper | Rice Cracker | Thai basil
-Nitro Speedway Stout

Gumbo | Vegetarian Andouille Sausage | Holy Trinity | Brie Crostini | Fresno Chilies
-Nut Brown Ale

Blueberry lemon crumb cake | almond streusel | pistachio cranberry relish | vanilla custard
-Horny Devil

Tickets are $63.09 and available via Brown Paper Tickets by clicking here.

See you Sunday!

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q



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West Coaster San Diego, May 2015


San Diego, CA
May 2015

The May 2015 issue of West Coaster San Diego is available in print and online now.

Click here to download the May issue for free.

In this month’s Doctor’s Office I discuss the emergence of session ales as a go-to (pun intended) style emerging as a pervasive trend in the craft beer brewing community.

What’s your favorite session ale?

Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.


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Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Three B Zine Podcast featuring Dr. Q


Three B Zine Podcast

This past Monday I was fortunate enough to be a guest (for the second time!) on Three B Zine Podcast.

If you’re unfamiliar the goal of Three B Magazine is “to bring you the best in online content that has to do with rad bikes, great bands and cold delicious brews, all from right here in America’s Finest City. We want to create a real sense of community amongst lovers of one or more of these subject. We feel that these three things go hand in hand (in hand) with one another. What better way to spend a day then a ride on your favorite bike while listening to great music and drinking your favorite local beers? We feel that there is no better way. So hop on your bike, blast the stereo, pop a top and let bottoms up for great weather great friends and great times!”

The trio of awesomeness that is Three B Zine is just as energetic and upbeat as the mantra above. Lead by local writer, podcaster, and all around great human being Cody Thompson there’s nothing quite like what they’re doing. Sure there are probably tens of hundreds of beer podcasts, but none capture the camaraderie and excitement of the craft beer community as does this podcast.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking here to download episode 52.

Why should you?

Well aside from hearing my perspective on a few things; the most important, and near and dear to my heart, is my opinion of the Southbay Uprising currently happening in San Diego’s South County, my home and native land.

The most exciting (and timely) part of the conversation, however, was doing a side by side comparison of Ruination and Ruination 2.0 from Stone Brewing Company! Are you scared of new things? Wary of trying something that may ruin(ation) your taste buds? Let us do the heavy lifting for you… all 12oz of it.

So… click that link, download it to some sort of computing device, and listen to the smooth sounds of Three B Zine on your commute… at the gym… or crack open a few and listen to Cody along with Thomas and Dustin on a fantastic voyage.

Cheers Tasters!
Dr. Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.


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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


Abnormal Beer Dinners > Stovetop


Rancho Bernardo · San Diego · CA

Remember those Stovetop™ commercials from the 1990’s? You know the type. Where resourceful friends mooched off of each other? They made it seem like Stovetop™ brand stuffing meals were the second coming of Christ. While that may be true to some I’m here to share the fact that THE FIRST (yes 1st) Abnormal Beer Dinner at The Cork & Craft was the best beer dinner this observer has ever been to. Yes. Even better than Stovetop™ brand dinner.

How can I qualify that? Well, I’ve been to tens (if not hundreds) of beer breakfasts, lunches, brunches, and dinners in several different countries and when I’m not at beer dinners I’m busy raising my own chickens, harvesting my own eggs, and buying artisinal soap. What I’m saying is it’s a lifestyle and this past Monday’s Abnormal Beer Company x The Cork and Craft x Firestone Walker beer dinner blew the doors off of the hinges of my minds eyes 1985 Mustang 5.0, know what I mean?

No?! Let some people more important than myself qualify that assertion for you.


Derek Gallanosa

According to Abnormal Beer Company’s Derek Gallanosa (Head Brewer) “It was a pleasure having one of the most respected people in the industry. Jeffers Richardson (Barrel Master for Firestone Walker Brewing Company and Barrelworks) is a very awesome guy, very down to earth and he showed his appreciation for what we do.”

What follows is an actual quote from Jeffers… “This dinner was orgasmic, it gave me a sense of well-being.”

I must admit. My wife and I purchased tickets to this event to sample Firestone Walker Barrel Works Agrestic. As previously asserted, I’ve been to many a beer dinner and it’s always one or the other ‘The beer was superior to the food.’ OR ‘The food was superior to the beer.’ In any case (or in actuality every case) you’re there to experience the event, but one item tends to outshine the other. That was not the case with the first Abnormal Beer Dinner event.

Executive Chef Phillip Ian Esteban and his team took the time to explain each selection alongside Derek and Jeffers who, in turn explained their pairing selection. It was a true collaboration. Well thought out. Seamlessly executed. Was it the food? Was it the beers? Was it the way they paired together? Yes. All of the above.

It was elegant and sophisticated, yet warm snd inviting. It was fine dining in approachable atmosphere. World-class beers described on such a way as to take away their mystique and present their flavors.


There’s no way to experience the first dinner again, but you can pick up where they left off.

Monday May 18th, 2015 at 6pm The Cork and Craft and Abnormal Beer Company will team up with local superstars, AleSmith Brewing Company and Mostra Coffee Roasters for a beer dinner experience you will also find to be org… anzied to give you a sense of well being ;)


Each of the 8 courses will be paired with a carefully selected beer from either Abnormal Beer Co or AleSmith. The special guest for the evening will be Peter Zien, Owner and Brewmaster of AleSmith. In addition; the Mostra crew (who have designed special one off beers specifically for this dinner) will be on hand to discuss their wares. Below is the menu for your viewing pleasure…

Hamachi Crudo
Binchotan | Yuzu Koshu | Citrus | Elder Flower Vinegar 
Paired with Abnormal Beer Co. 5pm Session

Liquid Nitrogen Foie Gras
Almond Milk | Fuji Apples | Pepitas
Paired with AleSmith Coffee Nut Brown.

Grilled Octopus
Pancetta | Lemon Zest | Basil Pistou
Paired with AleSmith IPA Cask: Brewer’s Blend

Merguez Sausage
Braised Kale | Green Lentils | Roast Garlic
Pairee AleSmith Summer Yulesmith IIPA

Cheese Intermezzo
Salted Caramel Goats Milk (Pasteurized)
Paired with AleSmith JBM Vanilla Speedway on Nitro!

“Porchetta” Chop
Cumin Verde Creme Fraiche | Cilantro 
Paired with Abnormal Beer Co. Mostra Mocha Stout

Palette Cleanser
Preserved Meyer Lemon Sorbet

Sous Vide Wagyu Beef Belly
Smoked Sunchokes | Icicle Carrots | Pearl Onions | Piquillo Pepper | Abnormal Wine No. 35 Demi
Paired with AleSmith Beer Geek Speedway

To close?
A dessert Course some deliciousness TBD to be paired with AleSmith Barrel Aged Wee Heavy.

There you have it Tasters. The second best beer dinner of all time. You can purchase your tickets now!

Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

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Posted by on April 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


Taco Party Tonight with Stone Brewing


Otay Ranch · Chula Vista, CA

Tacos and Tarros (2015 Birch Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91915 (619) 482-8555) will be hosting the team from Stone for a meet and greet at their bar tonight from 6 to 9PM. There will be $6 pints and $15 pitchers of the featured beer; as well as samples of various Stone craft beers.

The beer that will be featured on draft is the perennial classic STONE IPA. First released in August 1997 this is one of San Diego’s original IPAs. According to the good folks at Stone “By definition, an India Pale Ale is hoppier and higher in alcohol than its little brother, pale ale-and we deliver in spades. Now one of the most well respected and best-selling IPAs in the country, this golden beauty explodes with citrusy flavor and hop aromas, all perfectly balanced by a subtle malt character. This crisp, extra hoppy brew is hugely refreshing on a hot day, but will always deliver no matter when you choose to drink it.”


Suggested pairings for tonight, according to this observer should include some of Tacos and Tarros’ Mexican seafood classics like aguachile, shrimp cocktails, and fish tacos.

Hope to see you at the taco party!
Cheers Tasters!
Dr. Q

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Posted by on April 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Firestone Walker gets “Abnormal”


Firestone Walker Gets Abnormal
Rancho Bernardo, San Diego County, CA
By. Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.

Starting tonight at 5PM (Monday April 20th, 2015) The Cork and Craft and Abnormal Beer Company will feature Firestone Walker for an 8 course dinner paired with a “carefully selected beer from either Abnormal Beer Co or Firestone.”

According to Derek Gallanosa, Head Brewer at Abnormal Beer Company tickets are still available online.

Special guest Jeffers Richardson, Director of Firestone Walker Barrelworks, will be on hand to discuss the pairings alongside Abnormal Beer Co.’s Derek Gallanosa. Of the many world-class beers featured in today’s event, this craft beer taster is most intrigued to sample Agrestic.


According to the good folks at Firestone Walker Agrestic is an American wild red ale that “begins its journey as DBA then continues through a “chrysalis” process involving 87% French and 13% American Oak barrels, and our proprietary collection of micro flora.  To blend, we selected beer matured eight to 24 months in barrels, creating a synergistic beer. Immediately, toasted oak and lemon pith swirl on the nose and palate, followed by an amazing harmony of vanilla, coconut, Earl Grey tea and spice. The finish is crisp, with mouth-watering acidity and chewy tannins. Since we age, blend and bottle these beers once a year, there will be slight variation with each release.”

This beer was only vailable in draft and bottles in September 2014, and was extremely limited at debut, and is only more so now.

What follows is the menu for the very first, of I’m sure many, Abnormal Beer Company Dinners…

First Course:
Compressed Watermelon
Pistachio | Balsamic Vinegar
(Firestone Walker Easy Jack)

Second Course:
Poached Lobster
Brown Butter Emulsion | Basil | Hedgehog Mushrooms | Hazelnut Powder
(Firestone Walker Pivo)

Third Course:
Manila Clams
Fingerling Potatoes | Preserved Meyer Lemons | Miso Dashi
(Abnormal Beer Co Debut IPA)

Fourth Course:
Braised Pork Belly
Apple Sauerkraut | Pickled Shallots | Apple Cider Vinaigrette
(Abnormal Beer Co Mostra Mocha Stout)

Fifth Course:
Loup de Mer
Braised Leeks | Fingerling | Wild Mushrooms | Genevoise
(Firestone Walker Opal)

Sixth Course:
Hamachi Crudo
Binchoton | Lychee Gelee | Citrus | Elder Flower
(Firestone Walker Agrestic)

Seventh Course:
Sous Vide Wagyu Beef
Mostra Coffee dry rub | Vanilla Parsnip Puree | Leeks | Bourdalise
(Firestone Walker Parabola)

Eighth Course:
Meyer Lemon Cake
Almond Cocoa Streusel

I’ll be getting Abnormal with Firestone Walker this evening, won’t you join me?

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

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Posted by on April 20, 2015 in Abnormal, Uncategorized


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#SouthbayUprising · (Post 5 of 5) · MACHETE, NATIONAL CITY


Birth of a Hashtag
By. Gonzalo J. Quintero,Ed.D.
Doctor Q
National City, CA

All week I have asserted that #SouthbayUprising is more than a marketing tool, or a social media device. Where did it come from, how are hashtags born?

I asked the originators Eddie Trejo and Joann Cornejo of National City’s MACHETE BEER HOUSE where the hashtag came from

Eddie Trejo: The hashtag #SouthBayUprising originates from our brainstorming for names for Machete Beer House. Our buddy Phil from modern times threw out the idea of South Bay Rising. Although it would not become our namesake, I knew it would be the base for something interesting.

The hashtag’s evolution into #SouthBayUprising happened because I didn’t want it to be just “rising,” since that may be misinterpreted to imply that the community is lower or less-than others and needs to “rise”. Instead, I felt that uprising was a perfect fit, as it not only implies a change but also that the communities we are a part of are tired of the lack of options and are ready to rise up against the old norm. I meant it to apply to beer, food and everything else that may apply.

Another extremely important element is that it implies unity and strength. To me that was the most appealing aspect of it. Like in any revolution, the unity and strength of it’s members determines the ultimate outcome, and our craft beer revolution is no different. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s slightly edgy and fits perfectly with our edgy revolutionary theme at Machete.  Little did we know it would become the flag that leads this movement in the South Bay but we are thrilled and honored that it has.

There you have it.

Cheers Tasters!
Dr. Gonzalo J. Quintero


Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


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