Jul 062013

Last month, Greg Sonick, DBI Beverage’s craft/specialty brand manager for Santa Clara County, put the call out for folks to participate in a downtown San Jose beer crawl. Fortunately for me, I was able to make it, and the evening proved to be definitely fun.

Here are some pics from that evening of Fri., June 28:

The meeting place was at Market Beer Co.

It was nice bumping into and chatting with fellow South Bay beer enthusiasts Nicole and Billy. Which reminds me that I have some photos to send them from the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest.

It’s Market Beer Co.’s Jake!

Some great live music.

Me and Greg.

The downtown San Jose beer crawl was, in part, to help with the Bitter Beer Bar challenge hosted by Stone Brewing Company.

The crew: My bro’, Katie, me, Ondrej, and Waffles (not included in this pic.).

And the lineup of our first round: Double dry-hopped Ruination and three RuinTens.


Slices from Pizza Bocca Lupo to fill our tummies.

Brothers cracking up.

It was tough to leave the Peralta Adobe Plaza – such a great outdoor space. But Waffles agreed that we had places to visit.

Like the Garage Bar.

How cute with our matching gray shirts and khaki shorts.

Ah, San Pedro Square Market – live music, good food, a fashion show with runway models, and a flash mob that we just missed upon arrival… We’ll definitely be back.

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub was our next stop.


A packed house.

Our last stop was The Brit.

Still able to enjoy perfect weather.

And some grub.

The last pic of the evening.

I wish that wifey could’ve joined us. As always, a big thanks to her without whom I’d be unable to attend outings such as these.

As Stone fans, the beers were mighty tasty.

But really, it was all about enjoying downtown San Jose and the great weather, supporting local businesses and the South Bay beer scene, and most importantly, getting a chance to hang out with awesome people.

Cheers! Prost! Gun bae!


Mar 302013

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose held their IPA Day event this year once again on the last day of SF Beer Week, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013. And like last year, I was able to find some time to check it out.

Here are some pics:

The beer menu and finalized tap list was posted on their Facebook page the day before the event:

Russian River – Pliny the Younger
Drakes – Black Label Hopocalypse
Russian River – Pliney the Elder
Drakes – White Label Hopocalypse
Fifty-Fifty brewing – S.S. Steiner experimental IPA
Dogfish Head – 120 Minute IPA
Deschutes – Hop Henge experimental IPA
Green Flash – Palate Wrecker DIPA
101 – North brewing- Heroin IPA
Tap It brewing – IPA (GABF GOLD Medal Winnrer!)
Stone and Drakes collaboration – 1/4 century problems
The Brewery Abigaile – DIPA
Sierra Nevada Collaboration – Hop Harmony
Newport Brewing – straight outta Newport IPA
Knee Deep and Boulder collaboration – Shakenbake Rye.P.A
Sea Bright Brewing – The Blur DIPA
Lagunitas – Maximus
Almanac – Single Origin Chinook IPA
Karl Strauss – Tower 20 DIPA
Firestone Walker – Double Jack
Mission Brewing – Shipwrecked DIPA
Uinta – Detour DIPA
Ballast Point – Big Eye (NITRO)
Coronado Brewing – Islander IPA
STONE – Ruination
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery – Organic IPA
Port Brewing – Mongo DIPA
Firestone Walker – Wookey Jack Black Rye.P.A
Ballast Point – Sculpin
Dogfish Head – 90 minute IPA
Widmer Brothers – Falconers IPA
Ninkasi – Tricerahops
Hermitage – Single-hop Galaxy
Devil’s Canyon – California Sunshine IPA

The allotment of Russian River’s Triple IPA Pliny the Younger was long gone by the time I arrived, but there was quite a bit of Drake’s Triple IPA Hopocalypse Black Label still available, which was more than fine by me.

It was great seeing friend and craft/specialty brand manager for DBI Beverage of San Jose Greg Sonick providing expert hospitality.

Had a very nice chat with Silicon Valley Sudzers homebrew club members Derek, Keith, and Tom.

It was about mid-afternoon, and there was a full house at Harry’s.

Enjoyed hanging out with friend Kregg.

From left to right: Drake’s Hopocalypse DIPA White Label, Drake’s Hopocalypse Black Label, Almanac Single Origin Chinook IPA, and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA.

Boulder Beer Co. Shakenbake Rye IPA Collaboration Brew with Knee Deep Brewing Co.

Hats off to Harry’s bar manager Jeremy and his team.

By all accounts, this was another awesome event.



Mar 272013

Wifey and I both had the chance to attend a rehearsal dinner for Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain View yesterday. I think the set of pictures below can help show why we think Steins is a wonderful addition to the Silicon Valley beer scene.

We definitely owe my brother a lot for his childsitting services, which allowed for both of us to make it to this great dinner.

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Wifey and Casey, who guided us on a tour of the patio and restaurant before dinner.

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Executive chef Colby Reade.

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Me and chef.

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Pickled vegetables.

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2 Fresh Baked Pretzels with caraway beer mustard.

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Menu parts.

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Beer flight menu.

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Steins coaster.

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The Steins Beer Runner Program.

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Tap-to-table deliver beer service.

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Beers, consisting of:

Dark Flight (top row of picture): Krusovice Cerne Dark Czech Dark Lager, Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre Belgium Strong Dark Ale, Band of Gypsies Collaboration Belgian Tramp Belgium Quad, and The Lost Abbey Serpent’s Stout Imperial Stout.

IPA Flight (bottom of picture): New Belgium Rampant Double IPA, High Water Retribution Double IPA, Sam Adams Grumpy Monk Belgium IPA, and Hangar 24 DIPA.

Beer Runner Ticket #1 (top left): Hangar 24 IPA.

Beer Runner Ticket #2 (bottom left): Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter.

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Pork Belly Poutine: Kennebec fries, fromage blanc, beef gravy, and fresh herbs.

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Owner Ted Kim.

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Ted asked whether wifey and I ever tasted Brouwerij Huyghe Fruli Strawberry fruit beer or the Brouwerij Huyghe Floris Apple Ale fruit beer. We had not, and Ted enthusiastically suggested that we try some. Sweet, and very, very yummy. Super glad to have tasted them as it was quite difficult for Ted to get his hands on these particular beers.

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The keg room – a focal point of the restaurant, at least according to me. :)

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Breakfast for Dinner: Smoked pork belly, poached egg, frisée, maple dijon vinaigrette, and toast points.

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Seared Mahi Mahi and Herbed Lentils with smoked tomato confit, preserved lemon, and herb salad. The mahi mahi was a substitute for sea bass this evening.

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Braised Lamb Shoulder with parsnip puree, au jus, and lollipop kale.

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A special dessert table.

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The beers and the food were all tasty as heck, but I’m someone who feels that things are even that much better if the folks behind a particular place are good people. Chef Colby and Ted are two such folks.

For more behind-the-scenes peeks into Steins’ beginnings, check out the past several articles that I’ve written about them.

March 26, 2013 in Metro Silicon Valley Newspaper: Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant: The Better-Beer Scene Continues its Ascent in the South Bay

Jan. 18, 2013 on Examiner.com: Hard Hat Tour of Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant (with video)

Dec. 14, 2013 on Examiner.com: An Early Article on Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

And finally, Steins’ grand opening will take place tomorrow, Thursday, March 28, 2013, as they will open for lunch service immediately following a private ribbon-cutting ceremony.