Passing along the details of the upcoming five-course Spring Wine Dinner at Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose (185 Park Ave.) featuring Francis Ford Coppola Winery.
It’s set for Monday, March 27 from 6pm-9pm on Scott’s picturesque sixth floor rooftop patio of the City View Plaza.
We’ve been big fans of Scott’s Seafood San Jose and have especially enjoyed their epic beer dinners. Enjoying good beer will always remain a passion, but we certainly enjoy good wine. And I know we’re not alone in our enjoyment and appreciation of both.
Dinner and Wine Pairing Menu
The special wine pairing menu crafted by Food and Beverage Director Sammy Reyes:
Opening Reception: “The Cantankerous Ceviche” Tropical Halibut Ceviche
Wine Pairing: Sofia Blanc De Blancs Cocktail
Course One: “The Crabby Deviled Egg” Curry spiced deviled eggs topped with crab meat
Wine Pairing: Sofia Blanc De Blancs
Course Two: “The Solo Crab Cake” Crab Cake with an Asian Persimmon Coleslaw
Wine Pairing: The White Doe (A Virginia Dare wine)
Course Three: “The Earth and Sea” Lamb Chops topped with chimmichurri sauce and scallops surrounded in an English sweet pea puree.
Wine Pairing: Directors Pinot Noir
Course Four: “The Picante Soufflé” Spicy Chocolate Soufflé with Pistachio Ice Cream.
The region’s largest cider festival – Cider Summit SF – is returning to the Civil War Parade Ground in the Presidio on Saturday, April 22 from 1pm-5pm for its fourth annual Bay Area event.
The festival will feature nearly 200 ciders – plus cider cocktails and apple spirits – from local, regional and international cider companies, and opportunities to meet with many of the cidermakers.
Representing the South Bay will once again be Sunnyvale’s Red Branch Cider Company, whose sister company Rabbit’s Foot Meadery, incidentally, made for another impressive showing at the recent Mazer Cup International 2017, winning gold for their Hel (Aged Barrel Saison) and bronze for Biere de Miel (Honey Kolsch) – congrats to owner and brewmaster Mike Faul and his team!
New this year at Cider Summit SF is a collaboration cider between Cider Summit festivals and Washington’s Finnriver Farm & Cidery, resulting in a limited edition Saison/Farmhouse style cider. It’s made from a select blend of Washington-certified organic apples fermented with a Saison ale yeast at high temperatures to bring out the tropical and spice notes of the yeast.
Food will be available for purchase from Slow Hand BBQ and Whole Foods Market Truck. Whole Foods will also host a cider and food-pairing pavilion featuring Sebastopol’s Golden State Cider and local food purveyors.
Tickets are $35 for general admission and $45 for VIP tickets if purchased in advance before April 1. Beginning April 1, tickets go up by $5 ($40 and $50, respectively).
General admissions tickets get you a souvenir tasting glass and 8 tasting tickets. VIP tickets get you early access to the event from 12pm-1pm, a souvenir tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets will be available onsite for $2 each.
Designated driver tickets will be available for $5, and accompanied minors will be admitted at no charge. A percentage of tickets sales from the event will support charities including The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, Berkeley Humane and the California Association of Cidermakers.
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain is celebrating its four-year anniversary with a BBQ celebration – featuring a pig roast and a slew of special draft beers – on Saturday, March 25.
The BBQ will be available beginning at 11am (Steins opens at 10am with their regular menu as well).
BBQ Menu for Outdoor Patio Guests
There’ll be a walk-up window for guests sitting outside.
Choices of meat: Ribs, roast pig, spicy pork sausage
Choices of sides: Baked beans, mac & cheese, cole slaw.
Pricing for outside:
$8: Your choice of one protein and one side
$14: Choice of 2 proteins and two sides
$20: All proteins and all sides
Note: Extra sauces will be available outside only
Pre-Fixed BBQ Menu for Guests Dining Inside
For guests dining inside the restaurant, there’ll be pre-fixed BBQ plates available for $16.
Pig and ribs with cole slaw and baked beans OR mac & cheese
Pig and sausage with cole slaw and baked beans OR mac & cheese
Ribs and sausage with cole slaw & baked beans OR mac & cheese
All with housemade Maker’s Mark BBQ Sauce
Steins manager Lynna Nguyen has provided a sneak peek to some of the beers to be tapped:
Allagash Hibernal Fluxus 2016 Belgian-Style Stout
Avery Oak-Aged Samael’s Barley Wine
Cascade Cranberry Sour Ale
Clown Shoes Hammer of the Beast Imperial Stout and Barleywine Ale
Elkhorn Slough Vierra Golden Ale
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2015 Imperial Stout
Lagunitas WTFarmhouse Sour Farmhouse IPA
Logsdon Oak-Aged Bretta Farmhouse Ale
The Bruery Poterie Anniversary Ale (Old Ale)
Included on the tap list will be the winner of last year’s annual Steins homebrew competition – Lower Ground American Stout brewed by Scott Wilson. All proceeds from this beer will go to a local charity of Scott’s choice.
Lynna – who’s been with Steins since the beginning – shares:
“We have come so far and worked so hard to make this restaurant what it is today. I am so proud of everyone and all that we have accomplished together. There is actually still a handful of us that have been here since the beginning, too.
“To watch this place develop into what Ted envisioned is amazing. I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this company. This year is a big year for us. As you know, we are opening our Cupertino location soon, hopefully in Summer 2017! We are so excited for this expansion of our company and are looking forward to the journey.”
Q & A with Ted Kim and Colby Reade
Steins owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade graciously took time out of their very busy schedules to share some thoughts about reaching the 4-year milestone.
How does it feel to reach the 4-year mark?
Ted Kim: It’s a very humbling experience. We started this endeavor hoping for the best but being realistic about the crushing odds that all new restaurants face.
Four years later, to see the success and impact we’ve been able to have as a business and on the community is nothing short of amazing.
Chef Reade: It’s great! You know, Ted and I always joke about it, how it sometimes seems like we just started. It’s funny like that, but then we think about certain experiences and memories, and we realize that it was a while ago.
For us, we know that there’s always room for improvement, and that’s the key that keeps us young and looking forward.
What have been your greatest highlights?
Ted Kim: Steins marriages and babies! Four years in we’ve seen our first marriages and babies being born from staffers who met and fell in love at Steins. Very, very cool stuff.
Chef Reade: We strive for consistency with our dishes, and one of the things I’m proudest of is the kitchen crew we’ve built. We have two amazing sous chefs – brothers Paco Guzman and Cheke Guzman. Paco worked at Johnston’s Saltbox in San Carlos, and both have worked at Pixar and Google. They’ve been with us the last couple years, and now they have chefs under them. I couldn’t take on our new Cupertino restaurant without them.
I’m constantly amazed by how many dinner items we sell other than burgers and sandwiches. We have a really good spread. Our lamb trio – we go through 3-4 whole lambs a week – steaks, seafood… there’s really nothing I want to push more. The burgers are still most popular, but we’ve tweaked the menu and fine-tuned it enough to sell everything according to our expectations.
What’s the latest on Steins Cupertino?
Ted Kim: Coming Summer of 2017. We are hiring key management positions, so interested parties can visit our Facebook page for more info.
Aesthetically, Cupertino will be have an updated modern look. The food menu will be the same but with differing specials.
The beer list will be different as well. Same 30 taps of beer, but the selection will ride heavily on the respective bar manager’s preferences. Both are fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing the varying directions they decide to go. You can definitely count on a great list either way!
Chef Reade: It’s coming faster than you think. From a kitchen perspective, we’ll open and start with the same menu as the Mountain View restaurant. We’ll let that run while taking a look at what the community wants.
Two pigs again for this year’s anniversary BBQ celebration?
Chef Reade: Yes, we’ll have two 80-pound pigs.
Anything else to add?
Ted Kim: We’ve officially launched our catering program. We received a lot of requests for it and finally decided to formalize our offerings. The reception has been great so far.
The Mountain View Oktoberfest was another stunning success. Every year seems to grow exponentially, and we’re already gearing up for 2017.
We also expanded and offered more hosted events throughout the year – the summer beer series, various pop-up dinners and pairings as well as showcasing some amazing new breweries. We even had a champagne brunch, flower-arranging class!
Chef Reade: Look out for a special spring Asian-French fusion dinner featuring Hitachino. It’s set for Wednesday, April 26 at 5:30pm. It’ll be our most formal dinner to date with six courses.
The first two courses will feature an unfiltered cold sake followed by a scotch distilled from the well-known Hitachino Nest White Ale. Four Hitachino beers will round out the rest of the dinner.
Bona fide craft beer hub Taplands is celebrating its one-year anniversary Saturday, March 18 with live music, raffles, BBQ and beer specials from 12pm-9pm (Taplands will open at 11am).
Five of Taplands’ own beers will also be on tap.
My previous Q & A with founder Matt Hartenstein focused on his background and how Taplands came to be. This time around, Matt – who’s as great a guy as they come – graciously took the time to share his thoughts about reaching the one-year mark.
Congrats on the 1-year mark! How does it feel to reach this milestone?
It feels great! It’s funny – for the first few months we felt like, “It’s ONLY been a month, or two months…” Now it’s, “Wow, it’s been a year already!”
What’s been the biggest eye opener?
Definitely the community support. It has been humbling to continually be appreciated and thanked by our customers for being in this location. We have been very lucky.
What’s been the greatest accomplishment (highlights, surprises) this past year?
Again, I think it would be the support. We set out to make a “neighborhood” spot. Being part of a community was very important to our plan. To have it in such abundance so quickly has been awesome.
Also, to be recognized within the craft beer community as well. We are often offered special release beers from breweries because they know our customers appreciate it.
Being invited to judge at the Bacon & Beer Classic was also flattering and confirmed to me that we are accepted by the beer community as well.
What can we look forward to in the upcoming year at Taplands?
We are planning to add a Mug Club this year and add more special events like takeovers and Firkin events. And we hope to mix up the food menu a bit more this year, too.
What house beers will you have on tap at the upcoming anniversary celebration?
We are very excited to be offering five Taplands beers at the anniversary event! We will have our:
Johnny Mac Wry Red
Sid’s Serrano Ale
Grape Ape IPA
Brothers from Other Mothers – our Imperial Porter Collaboration with our friends at Golden State Brewery
We are also planning some special beers from our favorite and local breweries, as well as beer specials, BBQ, oyster bar, live music, and giveaways. We are planning a blow out!
Anything else to add?
Just a BIG THANK YOU! to the beer community for supporting us. Keep coming, and we’ll keep adapting to make you happy!
The first annual Hop ‘N Vine Festival & Market is set for Saturday, March 11 from 2pm-8pm at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose (344 Tully Rd.).
It’s taking place indoors in Pavilion Hall and will feature a number of local breweries and wineries that all produce their beer and wine in Santa Clara County.
Campbell Brewing Company
El Toro Brewing Co.
Golden State Brewing
Hapa’s Brewing Company
Hermitage Brewing Company
New World Ales
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
Strike Brewing Company
Aver Family Vineyards
Jason Stephens Winery
J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines
La Vie Dansante Wines
Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Medeiros Family Wines
Sunlit Oaks Winery
The event also features the Hop ‘N Vine Market – where you can purchase bottles of your favorites – and the Hop ‘N Vine University – a chance to learn about the county’s agriculture and history as it pertains to beer and wine making. Presenters include Mark Denari of New World Ales, Umunhum Brewing Company and others.
A number of beercentric establishments are participating in a flood relief fundraising effort Sunday, March 5 from 12pm-9pm, including Britannia Arms (South San Jose on Almaden Expy.), Britannia Arms (The Brit, downtown San Jose), The Farmers Union, Henry’s World Famous Hi-Life, Ludwig’s German Table, O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, San Pedro Square Market Bar and Garage Bar and Market Beer Company.
From the Facebook event page hosted by the non-profit San Jose Downtown Association:
“When the community needs, these restaurants respond. Like many last month, restaurateurs and the Sharks Foundation watched helplessly as Coyote Creek flood waters inundated the San Jose homes of neighbors and friends.
“Now, they’ve joined together to help. Visit any of these restaurants between noon and 9 p.m. Sunday, March 5 and 25 percent of the bill will go to flood recovery. Eat well. Give well.”
Below is the full list of participating locations:
Blush Ice Bar
Britannia Arms South San Jose (Almaden)
Britannia Arms Downtown San Jose (The Brit)
Da Kine Island Grill
El Guapo’s Campbell
Fairmont San Jose’s Lobby Lounge
Fountain Restaurant in the Fairmont.
The Farmers Union
Habana Cuba Restaurant
Henry’s World Famous Hi-LIfe
Hom Korean Kitchen
Konjoe Burger Bar
Ludwig’s German Table
O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub
Pizza Bocca Lupo San Pedro Square Market
San Pedro Square Market Bar
San Pedro Square Market Beer Company
San Pedro Square Garage Bar
Toasted, Craft Sandwiches – SoFA Market
Veros Coffee in the SoFA Market
The Sharks Foundation is sponsoring Family Flood Relief Day.
This event supports The Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund, which helps the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Sacred Heart Community Service and The Salvation Army, Silicon Valley provide flood relief.
These are certainly hyper creative and experimental times at Firestone Walker. Their most recent beer – Fortem Unfiltered Imperial IPA – is the first beer to come out of the newly launched Leo v. Ursus Chronology program, which will feature the release of a new one-off beer every quarter. More nitty-gritty info. below per a recent press release.
Leo v. Ursus
The name Leo v. Ursus is a nod to the brewery’s distinctive culture of purposeful conflict, as embodied by founders Adam Firestone (The Bear) and David Walker (The Lion).
While diverse in style, each beer in the Leo v. Ursus Chronology will exhibit unifying threads – they will be bold, intense and often hoppy but strive for a sense of balance. Many will also address wish lists expressed by loyal fans.
The Leo v. Ursus Chronology was made possible thanks to the recent launch of the Propagator, Firestone Walker’s pilot brewhouse in Venice, a state-of-the-art miniature brewery. It’s designed to brew small batches, nimble enough to explore new ideas which can be fine-tuned and scaled at the main brewery in Paso Robles.
“Until the Propagator came along, our ability to experiment and go crazy with tiny batches was limited…” says brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Leo v. Ursus opens the door to increased creativity with new and exciting raw materials – namely, a host of new hop cultivars that do not fit into our established recipes. We will also explore dark malts, experimental hops and alternative grains in this program.”
The launch of the Leo v. Ursus series is clearly a big deal for Matt. “This is a new chapter for us. We will go to our graves wishing we had made the perfect beer—but we will give it our best shot with Leo v. Ursus.”
Fortem (Latin for “The Strong”) is a contemporary imperial IPA (8.2% ABV) that draws upon a range of influences while exhibiting DNA from Firestone Walker’s own forays into the IPA style, including Double Jack and Luponic Distortion. It’ll be available in draft and 16-ounce can (four-pack) formats.
Fortem aims for power through a balance of aromas, mouthfeel and bitterness. It blends newer hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest and Hallertau, Germany, along with pale malt, wheat malt and flaked oats for a full body and a rounded texture.
Look for a mix of aromas, including mango, blueberry, raspberry, lime zest and lychee. After time in the glass, it opens up to reveal stone fruit blossoms and mandarin oranges, finishing with just enough bitterness to encourage your next sip. Fortem has been left unfiltered for a hazy appearance and full hop impact.
Fortem on Tap in the South Bay
With the first keg of Fortem in San Jose, Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe will tap the inaugural Leo v. Ursus release Friday, March 3 at 5pm.
On Thursday, March 9 at 6pm, Original Gravity Public House will tap Fortem during their Firestone Walker Milk & Cookies Night event featuring Nitro Velvet Merlin Milk Stout and other FW offerings.
Armadillo Willy’s BBQ in Los Altos has scheduled to tap Fortem on Thursday, March 16 at 5pm.
A number of San Jose breweries will participate this Saturday, March 4, in a benefit to help the recent flood victims of San Jose.
Below are their respective Facebook updates.
Strike Brewing Company
Join us as we raise money to help our South Bay neighbors affected by the recent flooding. 10% percent of all taproom sales and all of the proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to the San Jose Flood Relief Fund.
KFOX live broadcast from the brewery
Hapa’s Brewing Company
Join us (and/or other participating San Jose breweries) this Saturday for a special benefit to raise money for the victims of San Jose’s recent flooding. We’ll be donating a portion of beer sales to flood relief funds. 333 Truck will be serving food and we’ll have a basketball shoot contest!
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
We are proud to be participating in Saturday’s fundraiser for the victims of San Jose’s recent flooding. Portions of the entire day’s sales will be donated to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund, plus we’ll have great food on site and hourly giveaways of SCVB swag!
Hermitage Brewing Company
It’s San Jose Flood Relief this Saturday!
Join us at Hermitage, Strike Brewing Co., Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Hapa’s Brewing Company this Saturday for great local craft beer and good times. We’ll be donating a portion of beer sales to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund! #dotherightthing #sanjosecraftbeer #drinklocal
A note on their website at the time indicated that the 14,400 sq. ft. space at 420 South First St. (former home of South First Billiards) would comprise of a coffee bar, a main bar, 2 beer walls, 6 micro-restaurants, a stage, a corner art gallery and plenty of seating arrangements.
In the ensuing months, as renovation and construction continued, Forager utilized available space to host a “pop-up” series to showcase local artists and musicians: “We witnessed the potential for what Forager will soon become – an inviting and creative space where culture thrives and guests enjoy food, the arts, and community.”
When I caught up with Forager founder Heinz Jones this past October during the Mountain View Oktoberfest – where he serves as the emcee at the annual event – he was his usual enthusiastic self when talking about Forager.
He was eager to get Forager going as a business incubator for local entrepreneurs in the food, beverage and arts industries who are passionate about launching their respective enterprises.
He confirmed his wanting to play a part in bolstering the downtown San Jose business landscape by cultivating a community through good food, beverages, music and art.
As a beer enthusiast – Heinz had been working weekly at Market Beer Company – he was excited about opening his own tasting room at Forager.
Fast forward to earlier this month. Forager announced that they would be open daily from 7am to 7pm. Their coffee bar would serve offerings from Devout Coffee, and beer would be served from among their 16 taps.
Grand Opening Celebration
Forager will celebrate their official “hard” opening Friday, March 3, as part of the monthly South First Fridays Art Walk. Forager will host the photo exhibit “Picture This” featuring local San Jose photographers.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 5:30pm, and all beers will be $5 and coffee drinks $2 from 5:30pm to 7pm. There’ll be small bites available as well.
Forager will also be open longer starting March 3, from 7am to 11pm daily.
Scenes from the Neighborhood Bottle Share
Look for Forager to continue hosting a variety of creative events. For instance, Forager hosted a “Bottles of the Bay: Neighborhood Bottle Share” event back in October that focused on beers from the local brewing community.
Forager’s Bryan Chen.
Billy and Hermitage Brewing Company’s Nicole Marquez.
Peter Estaniel of Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
Bellpenny Brewing Company’s Jim Turturici in conversation with brewer Dave Roberts and Stacey.
Stacey pouring Dave’s homebrewed porter – very enjoyable.
Uproar Brewing Company’s Steve Vandewater, Nicole and Billy.
Steve and Jim.
Heinz about to pour local beers Santa Clara Valley Brewing Valley Surprise DIPA and Hermitage Brewing Company Citra Single Hop IPA.
Peter and brewer Ryan Campagna of Touchstone Brewing Company in Sacramento. Ryan previously worked at Strike Brewing Company.
Ryan and Calicraft Brewing Company’s Zac Taylor.
Peter, Billy, Nicole and Hermitage Brewing Company’s Joel Wind.
Bryan and Heinz.
The Neighborhood Bottle Share was the first time I visited the space, and I was struck by how big the space was and how much warmth seemed to radiate throughout.
I look forward to returning to Forager and checking out the changes and enjoying the ambience, some coffee goodness and a beer or two.