Five years ago today, while I was living in Beijing, I came across news that gave me renewed pride in my "native village," as Chinese people might put it (jiāxiāng, 家乡). A young entrepreneurial couple in the little city of Redlands, California, had decided to open a craft brewery -- at the local airport! For me, the ideal combo. On-scene pic:


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Off and on in the time since then I have chronicled the growth of this Hangar 24 craft brewery, for instance in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012.  I don't know what I was doing in 2010.

Now here is the 2013 report: Hangar 24 beer, flagship brew of Redlands, is now a featured item in the Trader Joe's in a chic shopping area of LA (the Farmer's Market on Fairfax and 3rd). That's its Columbus IPA and Double IPA as they appeared this afternoon, alongside the big-time brews:

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Some people say that the pride of Redlands should be Landon Donovan, the talented-and-controversial U.S. soccer star. Some say ESRI, king of the geospatial-info business. Some say Brian Billick, Redlands High graduate and Super Bowl-winning coach. No offense to any of them, but today I'm nominating Ben and Jessica Cook and their teammates at Hangar 24.

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