Mad Brewing Scientists Push the Flavor Meter: A Story in Three Parts

Written by Erin Browner
Photos by Henry Nguyen

“We’ve been brewing seriously together for about a year now,” explains Ryan Dalton, a seasoned home beer brewer. He chuckles and looks over at his brewing partner, Kenton Hokanson. The two do more than brew beer at home; they make homebrewing a scientific experiment. Their risky recipes and daring flavors raise the do-it-yourself brewing bar.

The dedicated duo pour their love into beer brewing even on weekends. The guys recall their first brewmantic adventure together. It was a basic recipe— “an easy red ale,” says Hokanson. After perfecting basics such as pale ales, stouts, saisons, and IPAs, the guys have excelled to tougher recipes that cater to their demanding palates. The two now add whole jalapeños for a richer flavor. The idea is to brew beers with gulpable flavors, qualities that cheap and mass-produced products like Coors lack.

Dalton and Hokanson are neuroscience graduate students at University of California, San Francisco. On weekends, they brew ten-gallon beer batches in the kitchen and basement of their NOPA home. Once a beer is up to par, the guys find a chemical or scientist to name the beer after, which make their brewmantic adventures too cute to overlook. These brilliant, mad beer scientists walk the line between experimenting and brewing. Since their day jobs include experimenting with mice, the duo decided to name their budding brewery, I Kill Mice.

Follow the Food Runners

Written by Lissette Alvarez

This map chronicles some of Food Runners’ primary locations they would pick up and drop off their food items. The map also pinpoints the agencies receiving the food from SoMa to the Embarcadero area.

According to the Food Runners’ site, their organization is a focal point where food donors, volunteers and recipients connect with their community.  Mary Risley, who founded the organization believes that people who like to cook are generous, and they like to see others being fed.

She also said the volunteers who pick up and deliver the food have an immediate sense of helping others at the most fundamental level–the recipients have tangible proof that their fellow San Franciscans really care.

1. Food runners
2579 Washington St.
Food Runners has over 200 volunteers, and more than 250 restaurants and other businesses regularly donate perishable food.

2. Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market 1 Ferry Bldg. Set 260
Some of the booths from farmer’s market have donated their products to Food Runners in the last 10 to 15 years. The organization receives most of their organic products, including breads, produce, and pastas, from them.

3. Trader Joe’s 555 9th ST. S.
This Trader Joe’s has collaborated with Food Runners for about five years now. The organization would receive food from all departments.

4. Twitter: 795 Folsom St.

This company is one of the few corporate cafeterias that donate to Food Runners. For eight months, they had given them prepared items such as spaghetti and salads.

5. Kara’s Cupcakes 3249 Scott St.
Kara’s Cupcakes, which had been one of Food Runners’s donors for over two years, sources local organic ingredients.

6. St. Martin de Porres 225 Potrero Ave.
St. Martin, a Catholic soup kitchen, has been Food Runners’ recipient since 1994. Their mission is to serve in the spirit of compassion — feeding and housing those in need.

7. Woh Hei Yuen 922 Jackson St.
Food Runners had recently began serving Woh Hei Yuen in February. Established in 1993, the recreation center serves both adults and children offering activities such as cooking and homework assistance.

8. Lutheran Social Services, 290 8th St.
LSS, which had been active since 1967, helps thousands of individuals with acute needs, including the young families and the elderly They had been the food program’s recipient since 1988.

9. St. Gregory 500 De Haro St.
Every Friday, this organization gives away free groceries to hundreds hungry people. The Food Pantry, one of Food Runners’ recipients for eight years, is currently serving over 1,000 families.

Soul Searching in San Francisco

Written and Video by Natalia Vaskez

Souls of San Francisco is a project independently crafted by Garry Bowden after his childhood friend began the Humans of New York project. Bowden seeks to interact with individuals and get to know about what makes each person a part of the community of San Francisco. Each day he ventures out to various parts of the city and photographs strangers, getting a sense of their identity in each shot. Bowden doesn’t have an end in mind, and wants to continue documenting people in new cities. He shares his works through online channels like Tumblr and Facebook, where his page has close to three thousand likes. Each portrait subject spans generations, races, and styles to showcase the individuals the city of San Francisco is comprised of. The project has connected Bowden to opportunities to further his photographic career as well as adventures with the souls he seeks to capture. Beyond expanding his portfolio, Bowden hopes to create a network fostering the connectivity of the human race. Listen as he discusses the project to some of his favorite portraits.

Capturing the Soul of a City from Xpress Magazine on Vimeo.

Steampunk: Mixing Fantasy and Fashion

Steampunk Fashion: Emily Marshall from Xpress Magazine on Vimeo.

By Lina Abascal


Nestled in the industrial warehouses of the South of Market, is a subculture that combines elements of the past with pieces from a fantasy of the future. A regular meeting place for participants of the Steampunk scene is the dance class and party, Alt.Dance, at DanzHaus dance studio. The weekly lesson starts with a beginners dance lesson that combines classic swing with futuristic goth and electronic music – a perfect fusion of past and present genres cohesive with Steampunk style.

Unlike other self-hating subcultures, many people are quick to identify as a Steampunk. Their unique style mixes items from the past such as monocles, top hats, corsets, and pocket watches with futuristic and Burning Man inspired fantasy items such as armor, goggles, and clockwork and gears. Many of the attendees of Alt.Dance claim to have handmade their clothes or gone to great lengths to find their perfect Steampunk pieces.

Steampunk is more than a style of dress. It reaches out to live action role playing, literature, and even music. Large DIY object fairs, conventions, and LARPing events are held nationwide for Steampunks, including Bay Area favorite, Clockwork Alchemy, which happens over Memorial Day weekend.

A few attendees of Alt.Dance and Bay Area Steampunks weigh in on their lifestyle and fashion.

SF State Students in the Dance Music Industry

By Lina Abascal


The San Francisco State University student body is filled with active consumers of dance music, but is also a learning environment for a community of aspiring industry professionals. Party photographers, publicists, record label owners, and promoters are just some of the hats being tried on by university students.

Grady Brannan, photographer and Media Director at music blog TechiBeats, dominates the concert and bottle service scene in the city. Jackie Angelo, owner of Jackie A. Photography, can be found floating around weekly dance music events and underground bass music parties, snapping photos along the way. Our House Records (OHR), an independent record label operated by Martín Klotzman, puts out music by SF State students Niteppl and Realboy. Temple night club intern  and owner of “Professional Fans” music blog Gregory Hill shows off his numerous skills, writing, photography, promotions, and booking all falling within the job description.


Grady Brannan, 21, Junior, Business Marketing Major


-Photographer working for Butchershop Creative, a branding company, and founding partner in music blog Techibeats


Q: How long have you been involved?


A: I have been shooting photos since the age of 15, but it was not until freshman year of college that I developed an interest in shooting EDM artists and events. was founded in September of 2011.


Q: How do you see yourself progressing after graduation?


A: Honestly I have no idea, but with how fast EDM has been growing here in the states, I can only see things getting better and better from here on out.


Q: How do you think it has positively/negatively affected your college experience?


A: It has definitely been a positive thing, working within the industry has opened up so many opportunities to travel to festivals, meet influential artists, and shoot photos I never would of been able to without it.


Q: What about San Francisco is good/bad for what you are doing?


A: SF is so big, but at the same time so small which creates a lot of competition but also a very small networking pool. Everyone knows everything that happens. it forces you to stay on top of your work and keep a good attitude. Living in a “big city” also creates a lot of opportunities because of the big talent that comes here to play almost every weekend.


Q: What is your favorite venue in the city?


A: My favorite club is Manor West. They’ve always treated me like family there. My favorite concert venue is the Fillmore.


Q: Favorite dance music show you’ve seen in the city?


For me personally, my favorite performance I have seen is probably Moby at the Lovefest After Party.



 Jackie Angelo, 21, Junior, Philosophy Major


Owner/Photographer at Jackie A. Photography


Q: Why do you love your job?


A: I do things that make me happy. I’m a photographer, teacher, student, artist, and a bass music and hip hop enthusiast. Combining my art with the EDM scene has been the best part about my work as a photographer. Party people are way more fun to shoot than wedding people. I can’t even consider it a job because when you do exciting things that make you happy, it doesn’t feel like working and then money is like icing on the cake.


Q: How has your job both positively and negatively affected your college experience?


A: It’s had a neutral impact. I think the fact that I grew up in San Francisco and lived in Lakeview, five minutes from SF State probably contributed to the fact that I didn’t really go to college looking for an experience. I’m a jaded city kid looking to learn, grow, and get a degree. Art and photography have always been, and will always be in my life.

My job is to go photograph amazing talent, express my creativity, and have a good time. Most people wake up the next morning with a hangover, while I have a bunch of photos to process and compile into my own creative rendition of what happened the night before.


Q: How do you see yourself progressing after graduation?


A: Shooting EDM events has definitely gotten me into other types of photography. I will probably pursue it a lot further in the next few years. Lately I’ve been more excited about working with musicians in a photoshoot setting, as opposed to a club or concert hall where they are performing. I really like the process of learning about a person through their music, as well as meeting them, observing their style, and from that compiling an image that represents them and their art. My love for the music will always have me coming back to shoot events though.


Q: What’s your favorite venue in the city?


A: My favorite club to go to shows at is Mighty; favorite club to shoot lately — 1015 Folsom.



Gregory Hill, 22, Senior, Philosophy Major


Owner of “Professional Fans” blog and intern at Temple nightclub since 2011


Q: How has your work affected your college experience?

A: Music has done nothing to negatively affect my college experience. However it does take time away that I’m sure some would consider time better spent on college. Either way, I make music work out for me in my life rather then let it control me.


Q: How does your job affect your daily life and schedule?


A: I am constantly thinking music: what’s popular, what’s hot, what’s trendy. I’m always interested in meeting or talking to producers in the city. It’s important to know how artists are different and how artists are the same


Q: How did you learn to do what you do?


A: I’ve read magazines my whole life and gone to shows my whole life but it was the kids who were going to college the same time as me and working in music that made me realize the opportunities available.


Q: Favorite venue in the city?


A: Great American Music Hall, hands down.



 Martín Klotzman, 21, Senior, Finance Major


-Chief Financial Officer of Our House Records, established January 2011


Q: What do you do for OHR?


A: Basically I manage every financial aspect of our company from setting show budgets, setting ticket prices, account management, artist financial consulting, credit line management, filing and claiming taxes, and maintaining bank and investor relationships.


Q: What have you learned from essentially starting your own company while in college?


A: Well starting a company you’re responsible for your own work and building your schedule around it. Being a full time student, I treat OHR as my full time job. Whenever I am not at school or doing homework I’m typically doing company work. In terms of how it affects my life on a daily basis, this is my life and I want it to continue to be my life for the foreseeable future. I love what I do and what we are trying to achieve here so it doesn’t take as much of an effort to incorporate into my daily schedule. On a regular day I’ll usually try to get all work done and send out all emails needed in the morning as banks and other institutions close around 5. I have night classes and afterwards I’ll usually try to get done whatever I couldn’t that morning.


Q: What are your post-graduation plans?


A: I’ll be done in the fall of 2012 and I plan on beginning my MBA program right after, which I should be graduating from in the fall of 2013. As a young company, there is so much room for growth and as students, we further our education to grow. In terms of progressing, I have the hope of this company and my studies progressing together. This is ultimately what I want to do with my life and I want to educate myself as much as possible to see this idea succeed.


Q: What about San Francisco? Do you think it’s ideal for the dance music industry?


A: In terms of the EDM [electronic dance music] scene I see San Francisco as an untapped market or blossoming market. Los Angeles and New York I would say are the two leading cities in this industry, however I think San Francisco can kick far more ass than both those cities and will become a major player in this industry. What is great about San Francisco is the general mentality of people. Living in here for four years now you can tell that the city comes together very easily, ie. Lovefest, Bay to Breakers, and the other million parades we have year round. Like I said, the idea of music is to bring people together. So what better city than San Francisco? The most difficult part about throwing events here are the venue options. Were actually pretty limited as to where we can throw a show and the size of it.


Q: Who in the dance music industry do you admire?


A: My idol in this industry is Gary Richards. The man created HARD, an EDM festival, out of nothing and I want the same thing for Our House. I also stand by the Gary’s message and can speak for all of us here at Our House that we are trying to reiterate Gary Richards principle. Unfortunately, the EDM scene has a pretty terrible connotation attached to it, in that it is “drug music,” which is complete bullshit. Just like any other genre of music ie. rock, hiphop, jazz, rap, etc., there is some amazing EDM music produced as well and it doesn’t take being under the influence to enjoy.


Q: Favorite venue in the city?


A: The Mezzanine


Hunting A Story’s Story

Jason Dewee browses through "Colossus of Maroussi" by Henry miller at his work place Flora Grubb Gardens, Feb. 28, 2012. Dewee brought the book in 1989 and donated years later. The book was found in OURSHELVES, a lending library inside Viracocha antique store. Photo by Hang Cheng.

Written by Mette Mayli Albaek


They weigh nothing and take up no space in your bedroom. Americans seem to love them, which may explain why the sale of e-books increases every year several hundred percent. In fact, today one-tenth of all books bought here are e-books and in 2010, Americans spent 441.3 million dollars downloading them from a computer screen. But even when the sales of e-books in only one year have risen by 164.6 percent, the old-fashioned book will not die. And if they won’t die on their own, why do we not just kill off these dusty, old-fashioned, predecessors? Because each of these relics tells a story of its own?

Each, indeed, does that.

Whoever bought this copy of The Colossus of Maroussi in 1989 for six dollars and ninety five cents must have read it several times and brought it to difference places—at least that is what the no-longer-white cover seems to proclaim. Other telltale clues indicate that the prior owner liked coffee while reading and did not worry a page or two getting dog-eared or torn. But then something happened: Could he no longer stand the thought of the 244 page travelogue written by the famous American-German author, Henry Miller? Or maybe he died—might his children brought in all of his books for an estate sale?

However it got there, right now that very copy of The Colossus Of Maroussi is just one of twelve hundred used books on the bookshelf in the lending library Ourshelves at 998 Valencia Street in The Mission. On page two, the name “Jason Dewees” is written in capital letters that slant to the right on two separate lines tilting down a little.

The e-book simply does not provide the same opportunities for such personal interaction, says Maxine Chernoff, professor and Chair of Creative Writing at San Francisco State University. “You can write your own notes in a printed book. You can highlight whatever you want. A book becomes a personal object in that way, and you cannot get the same individual feeling by downloading something on the Internet.”

Continue reading Hunting A Story’s Story

Page Against the Machine

Dan Weiss, employee and event organizer of Alley Cat bookstore, talks to a customer, Feb. 28, 2012. Weiss has organized a series of events in February and planed more for March. Photo by Hang Cheng.

Written by Victor M. Rodriguez


Walking in from the busy streets of the Mission, the ambient smells penetrate the nostrils and carry a familiar coffeehouse scent. The perpetual shelves squeezed tightly together display books, from the latest to the greatest. Either by curiosity or assignment, a title is found. As the first few pages are read, a sanctuary for knowledge is once again found, free from the technology that is striking down heavy covers and bound papers.

Despite the growing trend of people relying on thin machines like iPads and e-readers to obtain readings, Kate Rosenberger comprehends that there is nothing like sitting down to turn the pages as the story progresses.

“There is a romance that comes from reading a book,” says Rosenberger, who owns four bookstores in San Francisco. “No pleasure really comes from picking up plastic as when picking up a book to sit down and read.”

Rosenberger combined her passion for reading with an interesting business endeavor about 26 years ago when she and an associate opened Phoenix Books on 24th Street in Noe Valley. Since then, three more stores now offer the same services, including its largest that resides in the Mission district, Dog Eared Books.

“The whole idea about bookstores closing has always been around,” explains Rosenberger. “But people build too much of a relationship with books for paperbacks to just disappear.”

Though she opens a bookstore every seven or so years, Rosenberger strives to appeal to different interests, like art and news, while giving the community a place to fine-tune their literacy.

Other places also see fit to move into a new location. Modern Times Bookstore, which was open on Valencia Street in the Mission for 20 years up until June of 2011, now opens its doors each morning to a loyal clientele just a few blocks southeast on 24th Street. Despite the smaller space, the premise of selling books remains the same.

“It became hard to afford the rent,” says Ruth Mahaney. “But the plan was to make sure we stay in the Mission.”

Mahaney has been a collective owner since 1973, and the decision to stay in the neighborhood serves the purpose of being part of a community that needs places like these.

“We’re trying to stay alive because just like people want books, we also help them fight for justice.”

It could mean many things, but some of the key strategies for these neighborhood stores are to offer a place for like-minded peers who seek to extend their knowledge.

Customers browse through the books in Alley Cat Bookstore on 24th street in the Mission district, Feb. 28, 2012. The bookstore is one of the four own by Kate Rosenberger. Photo by Hang Cheng.


“We normally hold different events from open mics to poetry readings,” says John Escamillo, one of the newer members of the Modern Times family. “We also support important movements such as Occupy Wall Street.”

Standing behind a glass display and greeting customers with a smile, Dan Weiss prepares a film event at Alley Cat Books, the newest of Rosenberger’s stores. Carrying a popcorn machine to the vast space behind the shelves that categorize books in French, he recounts, “Spearheading this short film night, it’s just one of many events yet to come.” Though the turnout rate is a bit small, the purpose, according to Weiss, is to build a community presence and offer their clients an “artistic hub,” a place that will also sometimes feature a band or poetry night.

With the closing of Borders, a major retailer of books that had a strong presence all over the country, one might think that bookstores everywhere will be coming down. If not now, then sometime in the near future. NPR reports that almost four hundred Borders bookstores closed last September, a mix of various factors contributing to its demise. Among those, perhaps the biggest ones are e-book and finding better prices online.

“The rise of corporate book-selling came in the 90s,” says Weiss. “But at some point, some of these corporations are bound to fold because people will find alternatives to buying it in these stores.”

Weiss ascertains that while these huge stores offer a good amount of books, they have no character and usually serve as a reference point. That relationship with the community is not built.

However, local bookstores beg to differ, and they are still fighting the good fight to preserve literacy, culture, and knowledge amid growing apathy. San Francisco is probably one of the few cities exempt from the notion of disappearing books, according to Weiss.

“The Internet has served to make more readers out of us,” he says. Thus, the attempts of the stores can be seen as Ernest Hemingway describes guts: grace under pressure.


Spice Up Your Life

Feature by Kristina Kerley


Often times I wonder why white salt and black pepper always appear as the leads on the dinner table stage, serving as the go to accoutrement’s for just about everything edible. I’m not here to argue their place in our hearts, because let’s face it, a dish with too little salt is almost not worth eating and there truly is nothing like fresh cracked pepper. I am here to ask, do we settle when it comes to all the other spices in our cabinet?

I have come to realize that, yes, we do. The best reason I can think of is that spices, more so than any other food accessory, can be extremely daunting. Too much cayenne and your dish is inedible; being heavy handed with cinnamon will leave your mouth puckered and dry. And unlike a lot of other ingredients, with spices, a little can certainly go a long way, and inexperienced eyes aren’t the best judges. On the other hand though, there is nothing quite so visually pleasing as dark red paprika atop your morning eggs, with that amazing smoky flavor to boot, or the instant comfort of just enough nutmeg in your holiday slice of pumpkin pie.

I came to know most of my favorite spices from eating at various restaurants. I have come to love the rich thick taste curry powder brings to a soup, the fresh pop roughly chopped basil adds to any tomato sauce, and the way Star Anise brightens the body of a warm mug of Chai tea – with the beauty of the drink improved by leaps and bounds at the sight of the spice floating whole inside.

Continue reading Spice Up Your Life

Big Brother Comes Home

Photos by Nelson Estrada.

Written by Ashley Aires

A black television screen doesn’t need to wait for someone to turn it on before it can broadcast colorful images of soap operas or reports from the latest war. No, it’s already turned on – it’s always turned on. Through the screen, someone is sitting in a room filled from wall to wall with towering computer monitors, recording the smallest hint of sound or movement from the living room. But not even the slightest hiccup is safe from the cameras. The most minuscule eyebrow twitch can put you in jail. If you’re home, they’ll find you.

If you think your thoughts are safe, think again. The Thought Police can invade your mind if they think you’re against them. Nothing is safe. Nowhere is safe.

Sounds terrifying, right? It’s a good thing that this world exists only in a book that was written in 1949.

Or at least it did.

Continue reading Big Brother Comes Home

Legal Street Dogs

The infamous bacon wrapped hot dog from Leo's Hot Dogs. Photo by Godofredo Vasquez.


Written by Lissette Alvarez
It is a cold Saturday night in the Mission district and the streets are quiet except the faint notes of Cumbia music that radiates from a small hot dog trailer parked in front of El Mercantile on 19th Street. The tantalizing smell of hot dogs, bacon, and onions waft through the air.
Adan Gonzalez, the vendor owner, works the stand most nights along with his wife, Lucero Muñoz Arrellano, and employee Maria Reyes. Their white aprons and light-blue gloves almost blend in with the white background of the truck.
Their bacon-wrapped hot dogs and long strands of onions cook on a gas grill and glisten under the trailer’s bright lights. The tables that flank the grill are adorned with the feminine touch of bouquets of red roses and pink lilies. On top of the tables are several bottles of condiments and toppings, including a large jar of jalapeño slices. The women grin at each other as they move the hot dogs and onions with their tongs.
“Hot dogs,” Arrellano calls out as she snaps her silver tongs in the air. “Get your hot dogs here!”
Ricardo Pernia, clad in thick, black glasses walks up to the trailer and eyes the food on the grill.

SF State Students Weigh in on Truths Behind Juice Cleanse Fad

Aleeza Brown plays around with the all natural ingredients that will go into her juice, Feb. 19. Photo by Sam Battles

Written by Haley Brucato


Bags of fresh fruits and vegetables line the steel counter tops in a cramped college apartment. The vibrant colors provide a stark contrast to the habitual empty Seniore’s pizza boxes and abandoned Quickly’s cups usually lining the corner of the kitchen. The group of students work together in a line, and pass down dozens of tomatoes, apples, oranges, carrots and heads of broccoli methodically. One pony-tailed girl rinses at the sink, while a small, muscular male brushes the hair from his eyes and begins slicing quickly, halving a pear, chopping zucchinis and stacking up eggplants, forming a teetering tower of produce.

 A motor suddenly hums to life in the background, whirring in rotation, ready to swallow anything that gets thrown in its mouth. A young student begins shoving things in the opening, and expertly pushes everything in reach through the top. Juice slowly drips out of the spout. First red, then orange and green -The food creates a liquid rainbow. This frothy concoction will be dinner. Grumbling stomachs eagerly await the tomato shot for dessert – though their taste buds beg to differ. These five SF State students will repeat this process more than three times a day for about ten days.

Juice cleanses are all the craze right now, evident from the well publicized celebrity detoxes, and the recent growing popularity and inspiration stemming from Joe Cross’ documentary film, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” in which Cross takes on a 60-day cleanse to transform his health and successfully rid himself of an impairing skin disease. With independent juice bars beginning to pop up all across the country, this fad is quickly becoming mainstream. Angela Trinh, owner of PowerSource Cafe and juice bar, has seen a recent spike in popularity of her fresh squeezed juices.

For the cleanse, fruits and vegetables will be freshly juiced multiple times a day, and replace solid food for three, five or even ten-days. And the biggest catch – no alcohol, no caffeine, no nicotine. Not exactly an easy feat for a group of college students whose bodies are accustomed to ingesting those three detriments on a regular basis.

Continue reading SF State Students Weigh in on Truths Behind Juice Cleanse Fad