Top 100 cultural trends shaping the West

The ideas, people, places, and things that are making life out here better right now

Cocktail catering
Photo by Jeffery Cross

#14-16: Cocktails, beer, and dessert wine

14 | Cocktail catering: Star Bay Area bartenders are launching catering businesses that bring handcrafted cocktails right to your party. H.M.S. Cocktails ( specializes in fanciful drinks like the Chartreuse Swizzle (pictured) and Sazerac. With Rye on the Road (, you get custom menus, vintage barware, and even workshops. Sure beats a watery G&T.

15 | Beer takes the spotlight: Beer no longer has to play second fiddle to the wine list, as restaurant menus now fizz with dozens of brews. We’re seeing this especially in Colorado, California, and the Northwest, where craft beer is king. Try the Kitchen in Boulder, the Ritual Tavern in San Diego, and Quinn’s Pub in Seattle.

16 | Dessert wine makes waves: More and more Western winemakers are tackling port-style wines—the dark, sweet, fortified stuff that is best consumed fireside. And made from a range of grapes (Zinfandel, Syrah, and the traditional Touriga Nacional and its cousins), they’re even more versatile than the Portuguese product. We (gasp) paired them with pizza. Look for Prager, Ficklin, Quady, Sonoma Valley Portworks, and PasoPort.


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