Art & Culture

Magazine launch party highlights locally-brewed beer

Relax! Grillin & Chillin Roadhouse hosted a launch party for Edible Monterey's summer issue
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On Monday, June 6, local Hollister restaurant and bar Relax! Grillin & Chillin Roadhouse hosted a summer Issue release party for Edible Monterey Magazine. The issue focuses on craft beers from around the Monterey Bay area, a sector of the food and beverage industry that has seen exponential growth in recent years, both on the national level and in San Benito County. Grillin & Chillin, which produces its own beers in an alehouse on McCray Street in Hollister, provided a custom-made apricot ale for the occasion.

“This is the Standard Heavy Apricot ale," said a young man named Jonathan from behind the bar, pouring a sampler of fruit-scented beer. Jonathan has been working as a beer maker for Grillin & Chillin for the past year, helping to craft the brews that the company creates in the Hollister alehouse. “For this one, I just grabbed some apricots that I got off my tree in my backyard, pureed them, and mixed them into the batch this morning.  It’s typical that you add the fruit during the brewing process, but this was sort of an experiment.”

Other such experiments from the Alehouse include brews called Dark Side, an imperial sour stout with whiskey notes, and Dark Rose, a stout fermented in a wine barrel that came from DeRose Winery, a local Hollister vineyard.

“Very few beers are made in wine barrels,” Jonathan explained. “Barrel-fermented beers are hardly done because they’re incredibly risky. When we get the wine barrels there’s still quite a bit of wine left in them, so the flavor is very unique and definitely influences the final taste of the beer."

“The Dark Side is a dark sour beer, very rare. It was made in a barrel that came from another winery that we can’t divulge the name of,” continued Jonathan, “fermented in a whiskey barrel.  And the thing is that when you have an infected barrel, you can burn down a winery by having an infection that spreads. So you have to get rid of the infected barrel immediately. So I get a call, and they say ‘You have to come down and get this right now’. And actually, we put a dark stout in there is because I didn’t have enough of my normal, high-strength ale to go in there.  Now it’s one of our higher-selling beers! It’s pretty amazing.”

Ingenuity and craft in brewing is seemingly a staple of Grillin & Chillin beers, characteristics that are also featured in Edible Monterey’s Summer issue. The launch event offered guests complimentary small plates and their own copy of the featured Edible issue to take home, complete with the magazine’s illustrated 2016 Craft Beer Guide.

With a unique and ever-changing menu, Grillin & Chillin joins the hosts of businesses focusing on hand-crafted, individualized products.  


Dillon is an accomplished graphic artist. She has taken on a variety of roles at BenitoLink from running the social media and graphics for BenitoLink's 2016 election coverage to reporting on a wide of topics.