June 2012: Highlights of Two South Bay Beer Launches – Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau and Hermitage Brewing Company Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde

South Bay beer launch at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Imperial Pilsner Brau Launch Party at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose

Last month, there were two special beer launch parties in San Jose and Mountain View. The first took place on Friday, June 15, 2012 along East Taylor Street at the Gordon Biersch brewery and bottling facility in San Jose.

Owner Dan Gordon was on hand to introduce the Imperial Pilsner Brau (IPB), the first in a series of specialty beers with a limited production of 4,000 cases or less to be released throughout the year. The IPB comes in 750 ml. bottles with German swing-top enclosures.

Dan Gordon and friends at the Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau launch party at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Dan Gordon and friends at the Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau launch party at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose

The Imperial Pilsner Brau (6.5% ABV/50 IBU) poured a golden yellow and provided a unique and refreshing aroma and taste of a hoppy pilsner. It is an “intensely hopped, robust pilsner that emphasizes the noble hops from Central Europe, including Hallertau, Tettnang, Spalt and Saaz… and brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516.”

Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau
Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau

With a live jazz band, food catered by Sino and Straits Cafe, and plenty of the Imperial Pilsner Brau, the launch party for the Imperial Pilsner Brau was an elegant and memorable event.

Celebrating the launch of Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Celebrating the launch of Imperial Pilsner Brau at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose

The second beer release and tasting party took place on Friday, June 22, 2012 at Tied House Cafe & Brewery in Mountain View by invitation only. The occasion also served as an informal party to welcome multiple award-winning Steve Donohue to the brewing team.

South Bay beer launch at Tied House in Mountain View
Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde beer launch at Tied House in Mountain View

The featured beer was the Hermitage Brewing Company Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde, a traditional farmhouse ale popular in the northern French countryside. It is “the brainchild of our brewer Peter Licht. He fell in love with this beer style while studying abroad in northern France almost 30 years ago and has wanted to re-create that memory ever since.”

Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Pours of Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde at Tied House in Mountain View

The Ale de Dieux (9.2% ABV/26 IBU) poured a dark amber color, and the description for this beer is spot on: “It is complex and warming with subtle notes of spice and oak, while still being exceptionally smooth.” Look for the Ale de Dieux either on tap at Tied House for a limited time or in 750 ml bottles at select California retail locations (just 300 cases distributed).

Peter Licht recalls the inspiration behind the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde
Peter Licht (left) recalls the inspiration behind the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde with Hermitage/Tied House Marketing Director Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, Mike Pitsker of Celebrator Beer News, brewer Steve Donohue and Hermitage lead brewer Greg Filippi carrying his baby boy

Director of Marketing Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez introduced the brewing team of Tied House and Hermitage Brewing – brewmasters Ron Manabe and Peter Licht, along with brewers Greg Filippi and the newest team member Steve Donohue, reuniting him with Peter Licht from their days at Coast Range Brewing.

Ron Manabe and Peter Licht at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Ron Manabe and Peter Licht at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View

Along with a pour of the limited-release Biere de Garde, there were other Tied House and Hermitage beers as well as appetizers, all of which helped to make for a fun – and tasty – evening.

Steve Donohue (left) and Peter Licht (right) at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Steve Donohue (left) and Peter Licht (right) at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Greg Filippi at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Greg Filippi at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Mike Pitsker of Celebrator Beer News at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Mike Pitsker of Celebrator Beer News at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]