All posts by Grateful Hubby

Bravo Becomes First Firestone Walker Vintage Beer in 12-Ounce Bottles, Plus FW Barrel-Aged Takeover at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose

Firestone Walker Bravo

Passing along the following item culled from a recent press release, especially for my friend Stef who had recently asked about it.

Firestone Walker’s Bravo Imperial Brown Ale will be bottled for the first time and sold in 12-oz. bottles starting this month.

The first-ever bottled release of Bravo corresponds with the transition of all Firestone Walker Vintage Reserve beers – their line of barrel-aged beers – from 22-oz. bombers to individually boxed 12-oz. bottles in 2017.

The Vintage Reserve series includes well-regarded Parabola Imperial Stout, the annual Anniversary Ale, Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout, Stickee Monkey Central Coast Quad and Helldorado Blonde Barley Wine.

Brewmaster Matt Brynildson noted that the primary benefit of 12-oz. bottles is the ability to enjoy a high-gravity, barrel-aged beer without committing to consuming a full 22-ounce bottle.

He adds, “The per-bottle price point ($9.99) becomes more palatable, and we can spread the same amount of beer farther so that more people can try it. It also makes it easier to drink one now and age another for later. It’s just a lot more flexible.”

About Bravo

Bravo was the first beer aged in retired spirits barrels by Matt back in late 2004, during the experimental stages of what would become Firestone Walker’s inaugural Anniversary Ale.

Matt says, “At the time, most barrel-aged beers veered toward the sweeter side. We wanted to make something more dry and lean that would really allow the true bourbon barrel character to pop.”

Bravo has remained one of the driest beers in Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve series of barrel-aged beers, and since day one has been considered a vital component in the annual blending of the Anniversary Ale, balancing out some of the stickier components.

“Coming out of stainless steel, Bravo is pretty bracing. But when it goes into the barrel, it really mellows out, and the barrel character comes to the forefront.”

Another signature of Bravo is a lively malt quality that is maintained through Firestone Walker’s cold-storage of its barrel-aged beers. “It has this malt character that is surprisingly fresh. There’s a ton of barrel character, and a lot of toffee and caramel. It has the flavor of things sweet, but without being cloying or oxidative.”

Firestone Walker Night of Barrels

‘Firestone Walker Night of Barrels’ takes place on Thursday, Feb. at 6pm at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose (390 Saratoga Ave.). It’s an annual event during SF Beer Week.

Look for the following beers on tap:

  • XX Anniversary
  • XIX Anniversary
  • Krieky Bones
  • 2017 Bravo
  • 2016 Parabola
  • 2016 Stickee Monkee
  • 2016 Helldorado
  • 2016 Velvet Merkin




8th Annual Meet the Brewers Beer Festival at Hermitage Brewing Company

Photo from last year's Meet the Brewers beer fest
Photo from last year’s Meet the Brewers beer fest

This year’s Meet the Brewers beer fest is just around the corner, taking place Saturday, Feb. 18 from 1pm-5pm at Hermitage Brewing Company (1627 South 7th St.).

Now in its 8th year, the beer fest is well run, attracts the greatest number of local breweries to the South Bay and continues to elevate the status of the local beer scene.

I’ve said it before – I believe the Meet the Brewers is the crown jewel of local beer events.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed comparing notes with other attendees and keeping track of which breweries, brewers and beers generated the loudest buzz.

The current list of scheduled breweries indicates that this year’s event will be the biggest one yet:

  • Almanac Beer Co.
  • Bison Brewing
  • Brewery Twenty Five
  • Calicraft
  • Camino Brewing
  • Corralitos Brewing
  • Devil’s Canyon
  • Discretion Brewing
  • Eight Bridges
  • Elkhorn Slough Brewing
  • Faultline
  • FireHouse Grill & Brewery
  • Freewheel Brewing
  • GearTooth Alewerks
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Gordon Biersch
  • Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
  • Hermitage Brewing
  • Highwater Brewing
  • Hop Dogma Brewing Company
  • Loma Brewing Company
  • New Bohemia Brewing Company
  • Palo Alto Brewing
  • Peter B’s Brewpub
  • Rabbit’s Foot/ Red Branch
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Seabright Brewery
  • South City Ciderworks
  • Steel Bonnet Brewing
  • Strike Brewing
  • Tied House
  • Two Coast Brewing Company
  • Umunhum Brewing
  • Uncommon Brewers
  • WildCide Hard Cider

Tickets are $45 and available at the Meet the Brewer’s Eventbrite page.

There’ll be good eats available for purchase courtesy of El Burrito Loco , Brother’s Baby BBQ, Sarah’s Latin Taste, SweetDragon Baking Company and Mission Hill Creamery.

About a dozen SJ Made vendors will be on hand to sell their handmade crafts.

For additional info. – and to purchase tickets – check out the event page.

On a last note, credit to the successful growth of Meet the Brewers goes to Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, former director of marketing for Hermitage Brewing and Tied House. She recently shared that her family is moving out of the area. She has done much for the local beer scene, and her departure is a big loss for the community. I – along with many others – will miss her (and her lovely family) greatly. Cheers, Carolyn!

~Andy



San Jose Beer Events during SF Beer Week 2017

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe
Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe

Though the weekend festivities kickstarting beer week have come to a close, there are still plenty of San Jose-based SF Beer Week events remaining in the coming week and through next weekend.

Monday, Feb. 13

  • 4pm-10pm, Sierra Nevada Flight Night at The Farmers Union, 151 W. Santa Clara St. – Enjoy a flight of four 5-oz. pours of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company’s more unique beers. A special beer week menu will accompany the flight featuring beer-centric appetizers from executive chef Alex Jimenez.
  • 4pm-10pm, Santa Clara Valley Brewing Takeover at Taplands, 1171 Homestead Rd., #110, Santa Clara – It’s a tap takeover featuring San Jose’s SCV Brewing at Santa Clara’s Taplands. Look for flights of Loma Prieta Oatmeal Rye Imperial Stout, Bourbon Barrel Aged Loma Prieta and Rye Barrel Aged Loma Prieta, along with other SCV Brewing favorites.
  • 5pm-10m, Good Tidings We Bring, to You of Good Beer (Co.) at Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe, 37 S. 1st St. – The Good Beer Company specializes in mixed culture and Belgian-influenced farmhouse ales. Their unique releases, often one-off variations on these favorite styles, will take center stage.
  • 5pm-9pm, Karl Strauss Night at Armadillo Willy’s BBQ, 878 Blossom Hill Rd. – The beer list features Aurora Hoppyalis, Barrel-Aged Wreck Alley Imperial Stout, Pintail Pale Ale, Queen of Tarts, Red Trolley Ale and Tower 10 IPA with free glassware while supplies last.

Tuesday, Feb. 14

  • 12pm-11:30pm, Pucker Up! Sour Fest 8.0 at Original Gravity Public House, 66 S. 1st St. – The 8th biannual Sour Fest features over 20+ sour beers on draft and some very special bottle releases. Check their website for the latest beer lineup.
  • 4:30pm-9:30pm, Local Love ft. SJ Breweries at Nom Burger, 251 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale – This event at Sunnyvale’s Nom burger features San Jose-based breweries Camino Brewing, GearTooth Alewerks, Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Strike Brewing with Almanac Brewing and Golden State Brewery.
  • 5pm-9pm, Beer Lover’s Delight ft. Alvarado at South Winchester BBQ, 1362 S. Winchester Blvd. – Alvarado Street Brewery tap takeover features Triple Cone, When Dove’s Cryo (Cellarmaker Collab.), Run The Juice, Motor Oil, Trios Cabrones (Amplified Collab), Kettle Cooler and Chinook XPA.
  • 6pm-9pm, Taco Tuesday Cornhole Tournament at Jack’s Bar & Lounge, 167 E. Taylor St. – Hosted by Firestone Walker, you’ll need to register your team of two for $15, which includes two Firestone Walker canned beers and two tacos. There’ll be a taco stand and other drink specials, plus giveaways and prizes.
  • 6pm-10pm, Valentine’s Day Sweets with Beer + Wine Pairings at Mission Creek Brewing at Whole Foods,777 The Alameda – Enjoy sweets like cheesecakes, cookies and chocolates paired with your favorite beer and wine.

Wednesday, Feb. 15

  • 5pm-10pm, Wine Wednesday: Beer with Wine Influences at 20twenty cheese bar, 1389 Lincoln Ave. – Taking over their taps will be beers with a wine aspect, whether it is some juice from grapes or beer aged in wine barrels. Flight and draft specials all night.
  • 5pm-8pm, Meet the Fort Point Family at Pizza Antica, 334 Santana Row – Along with other Fort Point offerings, look for the exclusive New Frontier kolsch-style beer – uniquely flavored with satsuma citrus and douglas fir – to pair with two dishes chef Bradley Ceynowa has created especially for SF Beer Week: pork belly arancini with tomato conserva and lucanica sausage, served with warm potato salad, savoy cabbage, and whole-grain mustard. Head brewer Mike Schnebeck will be on hand as well.
  • 6pm-11pm, Modern Times Takeover at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, 390 Saratoga Ave. – Look for Bourbon Barrel-Aged Monsters’ Park with Vanilla, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Monsters’ Park, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Devil’s Teeth, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Devil’s Teeth with ?, Nitro Black House with Coconut and Cocoa Nibs, Triton Project, new hazy DIPA and more.

Thursday, Feb. 16

  • 11am-10pm, Movie Day & Night at the Tap Room at Mission Creek Brewing at Whole Foods, 777 The Alameda – Enjoy films and different varieties of popcorn that complement different beers.
  • 3pm-9pm, Annual Firestone Walker Night of Barrels at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, 390 Saratoga Ave. – On tap: XX Anniversary, XIX Anniversary, Krieky Bones, 2017 Bravo, 2016 Parabola, 2016 Stickee Monkee, 2016 Helldorado and 2016 Velvet Merkin.
  • 5pm-10pm, East Bay Breweries at Smoke Eaters Almaden, 5018 Almaden Expwy – Featuring Fieldwork, Faction and Altamont, the tap list is set to include Scarcity, Juice Above the Clouds, Salty Rita, Hop Arsenal, Hella Revised, Hop Soup and Faction Pale.
  • 6pm-11pm, Meet the Brewer – Altamont Beer Works at Original Gravity Public House, 66 S. 1st St. – Check their website for the latest lineup. Brewer Steve Sartori will be on hand as well.
  • 6pm-10pm, High West Loves Beer and Beer Loves High West at Fibbar Magees, 156 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale – High West has supplied multiple breweries with used whiskey barrels to create some phenomenal barrel aged beers. Fibbars will serve Lagunitas 2015 and 2016 High Westified Imperial Coffee Stout aged in Rye Barrels, two of Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Loma Prieta Imperial Oatmeal Stouts (one aged in Rye, one in Bourbon) and Drake’s Barrel Aged Drakonic aged in Bourbon Barrels. They will also have High West’s American Prairie Bourbon, Double Rye, Rendezvous Rye and Campfire Whiskey.
  • 7pm-12am, Karoke & Coedo Brewery Tap Takeover at 7 Bamboo Lounge, 162 Jackson St. – Featuring offerings from Japan’s Coedo Brewery, there’ll be plenty of sake and japanese whiskey along with free karaoke.

Friday, Feb. 17

  • 1pm-7pm, Ice Cream Social at 20twenty cheesebar, 1389 Lincoln Ave. – The event features stout, porter and Belgian ale floats alongside cider, Not Your Father’s root beer, ginger ale and vanilla cream ale floats.
  • 4pm-9pm, Night of the Barrels 2017 at The Taproom at Whole Foods, 1146 Blossom Hill Rd. – It’s nothing but barrel aged beers, both tart and sour, and thick and boozy. Special flights will also be available just on this night.
  • 6pm-11pm, Bourbon County Tapping + Takeover at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, 390 Saratoga Ave. – Look for the only keg of Coffee Bourbon County in San Jose, as well as Bourbon County Barleywine and a two-year vertical of Bourbon County Stout. There’ll be additional offerings as well, including Lolita, Madame Rose and Juliet.

Saturday, Feb. 18

  • 11am-11pm, Annual Double and Triple IPA Day at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, 390 Saratoga Ave. – All 31 taps will feature Double or Triple IPAs. Check their Facebook page for updates on whether they will have a certain Triple IPA from Santa Rosa.
  • 11am-4pm, Sierra Nevada Burger Bash at Armadillo Willy’s BBQ, 878 Blossom Hill Rd. – Look for half-price burgers and free glassware while supplies last. On tap will be 2017 Beer Camp Golden IPA, Audition Double IPA, Black IPA, German IPA, Peach IPA and Sidecar Orange Pale Ale. Ryan from Sierra Nevada will be hanging out with additional giveaways.
  • 11am-11pm, Hops for Hope at Smoke Eaters, 5018 Almaden Expwy – 15% of the total sales for the day will be donated to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. The current tap list includes Pliny the Younger (Russian River – limited tickets sold day of event, first-come, first-served), Pliny the Elder (Russian River), No Stems No Seeds IIIPA (Knee Deep), Doom Bloom IIIPA (Barebottle), All Hops on Deck (Moonraker), Alpha Tide (Moonraker), Scarcity IIIPA (Altamont), Green Label Hopocalypse (Drake’s), Hop Nookie IIIPA (Kern River), RPM (Boneyard), Diablo Rojo (Boneyard), Pineapple Express (Barebottle) and Citraholic (Beachwood BBQ).
  • 1pm-5pm, 8th Annual Meet the Brewers Beer Festival at Hermitage Brewing Company, 1627 S. 7th St. – There’ll be live music and mobile eats along with the featured 30+ local breweries at this year’s Meet the Brewers beer fest. Tickets are $45.
  • 6pm-11:30pm, Get with the Modern Times at Original Gravity Public House, 66 S. 1st St. – Check their website for the tap lineup.

Sunday, Feb. 19

  • Bloody Beers & Bloody Marys with Ballast Point Spirits & 10-Tap Takeover at Jack’s Bar & Lounge, 167 E. Taylor St. – It’s a tap takeover featuring Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, including Bloody Beers (BP Longfin Lager & BP Bloody Mary Mix), Bloody Marys (BP Fugu Vodka and BP Bloody Mary Mix), Beermosas (Longfin Lager or Sculpin and OJ), plus other BP spirits and additional draft beers. Free BBQ as well.

Week-Long Specials

  • Tues., 2/14 to Sat., 2/18: Lock, Stock & Thirty Smoking Barrels – A Barrel Aged Beer Event at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, 25 N. San Pedro St. – On tap will be 30 barrel-aged beers. Check out their website for the current list.




SF Beer Week Events at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

Sneak peek from Steins' upcoming beer dinner featuring Elkhorn Slough Brewing (credit: Steins)
Sneak peek from Steins’ upcoming beer dinner featuring Elkhorn Slough Brewing (credit: Steins)

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant will be hosting three beer events during the coming week, and Steins manager Lynna Nguyen invites one and all to come out and enjoy good food, service, atmosphere and – of course – tasty beer.

Cascade Brewing Tap Takeover, Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5pm

The beer list featuring Oregon’s Cascade Brewing:

  • Cranberry, ABV: 7%. This NW style sour wheat ale was barrel aged for up to 12 months with cranberries, orange peel and cinnamon. Soft aromas of cranberries and light floral notes start this beer off. Tart, dry notes of sweet cranberries with hints of wild strawberries on the palate give way to a pronounced dryness and a lingering finish of cranberries and spice.
  • Strawberry, ABV: 7.1%. This NW style sour ale is a blend of wheat and blond ales aged oak wine barrels with strawberries and vanilla beans for up to twelve months. Bright and crisp, the 2015 Strawberry captures the essence of fresh strawberries with subtle notes of oak, vanilla, and fruit preserves.
  • Pumpkin, ABV: 11.4%. This NW style sour old ale is no trick, it’s all treat. We smashed and triple roasted 50 lbs of pumpkin down to 6 lbs, then aged the beer for 11 months on the roasted pumpkin in rum barrels. The aromas of spiced rum, mingled with the soft notes of roasted pumpkin, are notice up front. Spice, roasted pumpkin and rum is followed by a soft warming from within.
  • Blueberry, ABV: 7.33%. This NW style sour ale blends wheat & blond ales that were oak aged in barrels for 6 mths, then additionally aged 4 mths on fresh blueberries. Huge herbal notes of dense blueberries in the nose give way to hints of oak & a dusty floral note. Rich earthy notes of dark fruit on the palate lead to a tart finish that dries out to a base note of blueberry skins.
  • Noyaux, ABV: 8.94%. This NW style sour ale features blonds and triples aged on oak for 18 to 24 months, then additionally aged for 12 months on raspberries and apricot noyaux.
  • Sang Royal, ABV: 10.12%. This NW style sour ale was made with various red ales that were aged in oak with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, then blended with red ales that were aged in Port and Pinot Noir barrels.

Along with individual pours, flights will be available.

‘My Bitter Valentine’ Featuring Fort Point Beer Company, Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 5pm

Steins will be offering up a special ‘Crispy Sweet, Salty Pork’ appetizer along with the following offerings from SF’s Fort Point Beer Company:

  • SFBW Collaboration Beer (Kölsch style, ABV 5.3%). This year’s annual collaboration beer – New Frontier – was brewed at Fort Point Beer Company. Japanese satsuma provides notes of zesty citrus, while Pacific Northwest Douglas Fir lends a light pine aroma to the finish. It’s a balance of old-world tradition and modern technique.
  • Standard American Pale Ale, ABV 5.5%. A moderate, refreshing ale with noticeable hop aroma balanced by supporting malt flavors.
  • Animal Tropical Modern IPA, ABV 7%. This is a big, wild and aromatic IPA. Amarillo and Meridian hops give the beer a sticky orange mid-palate that’s balanced with a classic IPA bitterness from an early addition of Centennial. All of this wild hop action sits on top of a fairly simple malt bill. We use a blend of winter-grown Pearl and Pilsner malts to create a light and delicately sweet foundation.
  • Moonphase Bourbon Barrel-Aged Quadruple Ale, ABV: 13.0%. A unique reflection of old-world Belgian Quadrupel ales, Moon Phase shines brightly full of bourbon and charred oak. Notes of gingersnap, toasted almond and toffee elevate Moon Phase’s smooth alcohol warmth and fade into a gentle, sustained finish. A delicate blend of smoky Buffalo Trace and Smooth Ambler Rye bourbon flavors, Moon Phase’s complexity rises with every sip.

Look for flights of the four beers to be available as well.

4-Course Beer Dinner Featuring Elkhorn Slough Brewing, Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6pm

The following four-course, beer-pairing menu features offerings from Watsonville’s Elkhorn Slough Brewing. Brewmaster Michael Enos specializes in small batch specialty beers – with a focus on barrel-aged wild ales – crafted from locally sourced ingredients.

Amuse (a bite-sized appetizer served to prepare your palate for the meal):

  • Chef Selection Amuse
  • Paired with Starlight (mixed-culture wild rye ale with brett, ABV 6.8%)

Appetizer:

  • Winter Squash Soup
  • Paired with Goose Blind (juicy central coast IPA, ABV 6.9%)

Entree / Choice of:

  • Hand Cut Rib Eye, root vegetable puree, roasted cipollini onions, fresh herbs
  • Paired with Love and Marriage (imperial IPA, ABV 9.3%)

-OR-

  • Pan Seared Diver Scallops, roasted trumpet mushrooms, risotto with parmigiano reggiano
  • Paired with Love and Marriage (imperial IPA, ABV 9.3%)

Dessert:

  • Chocolate Dream Trio
  • Paired with Muddy Water Porter (robust porter, ABV 6.8%)

Tickets are $65 per person (plus tax and tip), and reservations are requested. Dinner times  are available every 15 minutes from 6pm to 8:30pm.

Click here to make your reservations. For any questions, contact event manager Rachel at rachel@steinsbeergarden.com or (650) 386-1367.



Where to Catch Bruery Terreux’s Jeremy Grinkey during SF Beer Week

Jeremy Grinkey (credit: Bruery Terreux)
Jeremy Grinkey (credit: Bruery Terreux)

Wanted to pass along the following item, especially for local fans of Anaheim’s Bruery Terreux, located just three miles from The Bruery itself.

Their head cellarman, Jeremy Grinkey, will be making the trek from Anaheim to the Bay Area in the coming week.

It’ll be a homecoming of sorts for Jeremy, as he previously worked as the assistant winemaker for Jason-Stephens Winery in Gilroy. Jeremy joined Bruery Terreux at the beginning of 2015.

Bruery Terreux has previously stated that they likely have more similarities to a winery than a brewery, and there’s a great “Working Like a Winery” blog series on their website that showcases the comparisons between beer and wine production. It’s a quick read and an informational one at that:

Working Like a Winery: Fruit Fermentation (Nov. 8, 2016)

Working Like a Winery: Comparing 6 Processes (May 11, 2016)

Working Like a Winery: Process-Driven Terroir (March 30, 2016)

Working Like a Winery: Nature’s Role (Feb. 25, 2016)

Working Like a Winery: Terroir (Jan. 28, 2016)

Working Like a Winery: Introduction (Dec. 16, 2015)

Jeremy is scheduled to attend and participate in the following events throughout SF Beer Week, including a visit to Original Gravity Public House on Feb. 14:

  • 2/11 – The Reunion with The Bruery, Societe Brewing & The Rare Barrel at The Rare Barrel, Berkeley
  • 2/12 – Tap Takeover at Harry’s Hofbrau, San Leandro
  • 2/13 – Grand Sour Tasting at Fat Angel Food & Libation, SF
  • 2/14 – Sour Fest at Original Gravity Public House
  • 2/15 – Wild & Sour Takeover at Old Bus Tavern, SF
  • 2/16 – Almanac & Friends Sour Fest, SF

About Bruery Terreux

Bruery Terreux is a boutique craft brewery located in Orange County, CA specializing in farmhouse-style wild and sour ales. Bruery Terreux is rustic, traditional, familial, yet innovative and independent in spirit. Founded on an exciting revitalization of age-old traditions blended with current culture and newly forging practices, Bruery Terreux tells the story of wildly traditional bière.

Bruery Terreux, which loosely translates from French to “Earthy Bruery” was developed by Patrick Rue of The Bruery as a space to focus on and experiment with wild beers. While The Bruery had been creating such beers since their foundation in 2008, this new opportunity provides a dedicated space, equipment, and most importantly, staff to concentrate upon and go further within the process than ever before.

Bruery Terreux is founded on the excitement that Patrick and our team felt while creating wild ales under The Bruery’s moniker and we continue to strive for that same passion in every aspect of our business today. We never stop challenging ourselves to develop distinctive & imaginative beers, constantly pursuing improvement in all that we do. We brew dozens of original beers each year with our list of ingredients and inspirations growing perpetually. We are inspired by the old world and many of our techniques remain similar to those farmhouse brewers of Belgium or France, but our innovations for quality and creativity never cease.



Half Moon Bay Brewing Updates: Valentine’s Beer Pairing Dinner, New Releases & More

Half-Moon-Bay-Brewing-Company

It looks to be a super busy month for both Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and their first outpost – Pacific Standard – located in Berkeley.

First up is a special 4-course Valentine’s Beer Pairing Dinner – prepared by executive chef Federico Godinez – at Mavericks Event Center on Friday, Feb. 10 with seating at 7pm.

Menu

First Course

  • Slow oven roasted tomato soup served with Cypress Grove True Tremor goat cheese crostini
  • Paired with Belgian White Collaboration with Benoit Casper

Second Course

  • Cajun seasoned Jumbo prawns – red baby romaine salad with curly beets, tossed in a citrus chili oil vinaigrette
  • Paired with Lost in the Fog IPA Collaboration with Hop Dogma

Entrée, Choice of

  • Pan seared Australian lamb chops, served with soft polenta and roasted lemon asparagus, pomegranate red wine reduction, or
  • Prosciutto wrapped pan-seared Wild King Salmon, served with braised Lima beans, beet-micro salad with citrus vinaigrette, or
  • Caprese stuffed garlic butter mushrooms, served with polenta and micro-greens salad
  • Entrée paired with Amber Ale

Dessert

  • Triple chocolate mousse cake
  • Paired with Crazy for Coconuts Porter

The dinner is $100 per person (which includes tax and service), and reservations are required. For additional info. and to purchase tickets, visit the brewery website at www.hmbbrewingco.com. For the direct link to tickets, click here.

Special Releases

Brewmaster James Costa and his team have prepared for the releases of a number of special beers beginning Feb. 10 in conjunction with the kickoff of SF Beer Week. Below are the beers and beer notes courtesy of the brewery:

Belgian White Collaboration with Benoit Casper

  • This Belgian-inspired White Beer was brewed in collaboration with Benoit Casper Brewing Company. Half Moon Brewing Company’s house Belgian yeast strain, dried orange peel, coriander, and a bunch of wheat malt make this beer as true to style as possible not mention hazy, fruity, spicy and incredibly refreshing. 5.1% ABV.

Crazy for Coconuts!

  • The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company brewed this porter with the coconut lover in mind. Conditioned on toasted cacao nibs, vanilla and 50 lbs. of toasted coconut, this beer is bursting with dessert-like flavors without being cloyingly sweet. 6.7% ABV.

I Need a Miracle XXIPA

  • Brewed in collaboration with Peter Hoey from Brewer’s Supply Group, this IPA is all about the hard-to-get hops, hence the miracle. It starts off with a soft bitterness that showcases a blend of Simpsons Best Pale malt and Weyermann Premium Pilsner malt for a nice up front malt hop balance. The miracle hops in this year’s version are whole cone Cashmere and Mosaic hops.

Lost in the Fog

  • An IPA brewed in collaboration with Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s neighbor Hop Dogma uses revived heritage hops such as Citra, El Dorado, Denali, Idaho 7, plus Denali and El Dorado flowers.

Papa Juice Old Ale

  • A small batch, limited release old ale, aged six months in Redemption rye whiskey barrels. The deep ruby red color lets you know you’re in for a smooth ride, while the American hops add a well-distinguished dryness to the finish. The sweetness of the beer has been transformed by the oak and whiskey in the barrel, resulting in a treacherously easy drinking old ale that can keep you warm on even the coldest night. 13.1% ABV.

Red Sails in the Sunset

  • During the winter months in Half Moon Bay, residents and guests are treated to some of the most beautiful sunsets. As the boats float in the harbor, they are basked in the wonderful colors as the sun makes its daily departure from the sky. That very image is what the Brewing Company hoped to capture in Ocho Barril Series No. 3. A Flanders Red inspired beer, Red Sails in the Sunset was aged in oak for a total of eighteen months, with the last four months aged upon tart cherries from Michigan. This beer is bright, oaky, complex, and best paired with fading daylight. 7.3% ABV.

The Bat Flip XXXIPA

  • Brewed with Citra, Simcoe, Mosaic, Denali, and Ekuanot, in all the different hop formats available. The beer is also made with whole cone, pellet, CO2 extract, and Lupulin powder. 11.4% ABV.

Special Release Pourings and SF Beer Week Events

Half Moon Bay Brewing is set to pour their special releases at the following locations, which include a slew of South Bay spots:

  • San Francisco Beer Week Opening Gala
    Friday, February 10, 6 to 10 p.m.
  • Brews and Brats, Hayward – Tap Night
    Friday, February 10, 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Stuft Pizza, Milpitas
    Monday, February 13, 4 to 7 p.m.
  • Liquid Bread, Campbell – Tap Night
    Tuesday, February 14, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
  • Wine Affairs, San Jose – Tap Takeover
    Tuesday, February 14, 5 to 9 p.m.
  • SPiN, SF – Brewmaster Ping Pong a Palooza
    Wednesday, February 15, 6 to 9 p.m.
  • Taplands, Santa Clara – Tap Night
    Friday, February 17, 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Hermitage Brewing Company, San Jose – Meet the Brewer Festival
    Saturday, February 18, 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Zeitgeist, SF – IPA All Day
    Sunday, February 19, 9 a.m. to close

Lastly, below are additional events coming up at Pacific Standard (2055 Center St., Berkeley) unless otherwise stated.

Limited Draught & Bottle Release Party
Saturday, February 11, starts at 7 p.m. 

  • Half Moon Bay Brewing Company will kick off San Francisco Beer Week with their biggest beer release ever of seven never-before-seen brews. Special draught releases include a Double and Triple IPA, a Belgian White Ale collaboration with Benoit-Casper, an IPA collaboration with Hop Dogma, and a chocolate-vanilla-coconut Porter. In addition, 22 oz. bottles of Papa Juice Old Ale aged in Redemption Rye Whiskey barrels, and 750 ml. bottles of the Ocho Barril Flanders Red, Red Sails in the Sunset, will be available to enjoy on premise or to-go. 

Baby Brewery Night
Monday, February 13, starts at 7 p.m.

  • Check out some of the newest breweries in the Bay Area at Baby Brewery night, one of San Francisco Beer Week’s most popular events for more than a decade. Once held at Barclay’s Restaurant & Pub, Baby Brewery Night will be held for the first time at Pacific Standard Taproom & Growler Station. Participating breweries include Beniot Casper Brewing Company, East Brother Beer Company, Gilman Brewing Company, Hop Dogma, Novel Brewing Company, Tesmescal Brewing and more.

Beer & Comedy Night
Thursday, February 16, starts at 8 p.m.

  • In celebration of San Francisco Beer Week, Pacific Standard & Growler Station will host its first annual Beer & Comedy Night. The event will feature local comics courtesy of pilots Brandon Garner and Jesse Hett, some of the best local craft beer and organic bar bites.

Bay Area IPA Challenge
Friday, February 17, starts at 7 p.m.

  • The long-running Bay Area IPA Challenge has been a mainstay of San Francisco Beer Week for more than 10 years. The event, once held at Barclays Restaurant & Pub, has found a new home this year at Pacific Standard Taproom & Growler Station. Guests are welcome to enjoy a fun night of healthy competition in this blind challenge. Participating breweries include Altamont Beer Works, Beniot Casper Brewing Company, Drake’s Brewing Company, Faction Brewing Company, Fort Point Beer Company, Hop Dogma, 21st Amendment Brewery and more.

Half Moon Bay and Hop Dogma Specialty Tap Takeover
Saturday, February 18, starts at 6 p.m. at Hopwater Distribution (850 Bush Street, San Francisco)

  • Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and Hop Dogma are joining forces and coming up the Coast to showcase several beers in celebration of San Francisco Beer Week. To add to the fun, Hopwater’s beloved Chef John will make his famous Beer Braised Beef and Cheese SuperFrys so guests are encouraged to bring their appetites.




Upcoming Beerwalk to Take Place in Downtown Sunnyvale

Beerwalk Sunnyvale 2017
Image credit: thebeerwalk.com

The next Beerwalk is set to take place in downtown Sunnyvale on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 2pm to 6pm, marking the first time that Sunnyvale plays host to the popular Beerwalk series.

Current Brewery List

  • 10 Barrel Brewing
  • Almanac Brewing
  • Altamont Beer Works
  • Anchor Brewing Co.
  • Ballast Point
  • Discretion Brewing
  • Elysian Brewing
  • Faultline Brewing Co
  • Firehouse Grill & Brewery
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • Golden Road Brewing
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Goose Island Brewing
  • Heretic Brewing
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co.
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing
  • Sonoma Springs Brewing Company
  • Strike Brewing Co.

Tasting Locations

  • Aloft Sunnyvale
  • Beach Hut Deli
  • Bean Scene Cafe
  • Coffee & More
  • Fibbar Magees
  • Firehouse Grill & Brewery
  • Flywheel Sports
  • Il Postale
  • Isabella Boutique
  • Leigh’s Favorite Books
  • Lily Mac’s
  • Loft House Apartments
  • Metro City Restaurant & Bar
  • Murphy’s Law
  • Nom Burger
  • Prolific Oven
  • Solstice Apartment Homes
  • Status 5
  • Vino Vino

Tickets are $35 – but can be purchased at early bird prices through this weekend – and include beer samples, custom glass and passport.

Plus, the first 50 to check-in the day of the event receive a complimentary tour at Firehouse Brewery.

Check-in Location

  • 12pm to 5pm – Between Nom Burger and Prolific Oven: 251-259 W. Washington Ave.

For additional information – and to purchase tickets – visit the event’s Eventbrite page: www.eventbrite.com/e/the-beerwalk-sunnyvale-tickets-29773428125



The Bacon and Beer Classic Returns to Levi’s Stadium, Plus 15% Off Discount Code

Scene from last year's Bacon and Beer Classic at Levi's Stadium
Scene from last year’s Bacon and Beer Classic at Levi’s Stadium

Last year’s Bacon and Beer Classic at Levi’s Stadium was a highlight for many, including for wifey and me. And we’ve been eagerly awaiting the announcement of this year’s Classic.

No need to wait any longer, as this year’s Bacon and Beer Classic – presented by Cannonball Productions – is returning to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Saturday, Feb. 25 and will be held on the field.

Kate Levenstien – Cannonball Productions’ founder – is thrilled to host the Classic at Levi’s Stadium for the second time:

“Levi’s Stadium is an absolutely beautiful backdrop for the event, and I can’t wait to get on the field! From more ticket types, to new vendors and exciting VIP lounge additions, guests can expect the same festival with a fresh twist and a few surprises.”

Over 30 local restaurants will serve up original bacon-infused dishes to be enjoyed by the 100+ offerings from over 50 breweries.

A panel of judges – including yours truly – will be on site to rate the food and drink and award winners in select categories.

The first wave of breweries was recently announced, including South Bay locals:

  • Golden State Brewery
  • Red Branch Cider Company
  • Strike Brewing Co.
  • Umunhum Brewing
  • Wildcide Hard Cider (Aurum Cider Co.)

Additional breweries include:

  • Anchor Brewing
  • Anderson Valley
  • Ballast Point
  • Carneros Brewing
  • Coronado Brewing
  • Devil’s Canyon Brewing
  • Firestone Walker
  • High Water Brewing
  • Hop Valley Brewing
  • Knee Deep Brewing
  • Lagunitas
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Mother Earth Brew Co.
  • New Bohemia Brewing
  • Oskar Blues
  • South City Ciderworks
  • Sonoma Springs Brewing
  • Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
  • T.W. Pitchers’ Brewing
  • Uinta Brewing
  • Working Man Brewing Co.

Recently announced restaurants:

  • Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ
  • Cal Coast Kettle Corn
  • Cross Hatch Eatery
  • D’maize Restaurant
  • Fattoria e Mare
  • Faultline
  • Habana Cuba Restaurant
  • Hey Hey Gourmet
  • Izzy’s Cheesesteaks
  • Jerky Hut
  • Kindred Cooks
  • Nom Burger
  • Nousa’s Cakes & Sweets
  • Sammy G’s Pizzeria
  • Sweetdragon Baking Company
  • Tres Truck

In addition to unlimited sampling, guests can enjoy giant Jenga, a photo booth and bungee run, as well as brand themselves with bacon and beer-inspired tattoos, compete in a bacon eating contest and more.

The first-place winner of the bacon eating contest will take home a year of Hormel Black Label bacon; the second-place winner will take home a Duff Goldman gift basket from Tylina Foods.

Tickets for Bacon and Beer Classic

Guests can attend the afternoon (1-4pm) or evening (7-10pm) session on Saturday, Feb. 25.

For the first time, a Power Hour ticket is being offered along with General Admission, Early Access, and VIP tickets. Early Access ticket holders enter half an hour early, while Power Hour and VIP ticket holders enter a full hour early.

In addition to their early entrance, VIPs can enjoy a private lounge on the 50-yard line, stadium tours, special guest appearances, beer cocktails, exclusive food tastings and more.

General Admission tickets are currently selling at $69 and VIP tickets are selling at $129.

All tickets include a commemorative tasting glass and access to the Bacon and Beer Classic mobile app for vendor information, special partner discounts, a stadium map and more.

15% Off Discount Code

Use discount code CHEERS for 15% off current ticket prices. Direct link to tickets: http://www.baconandbeerclassic.com/santa-clara-bacon-and-beer-classic-2017-tickets/

Check out my photos from previous local Bacon and Beer Classics:

About Bacon and Beer Classic

Hosted in sports stadiums across the country, the Bacon and Beer Classic will travel to over seven destinations in 2017, including NYC’s Citi Field, Seattle’s Safeco Field, and Denver’s Mile High Stadium. Cannonball Productions works hard to make this national festival feel unique to each city.

Along with a variety of charitable organizations, Cannonball Productions is partnering with a local food recovery program to save and donate leftover food.

For more information about the festival, visit: www.baconandbeerclassic.com

Direct link to tickets: www.baconandbeerclassic.com/santa-clara-bacon-and-beer-classic-2017-tickets/

Facebook: facebook.com/bandbclassic
Twitter: @bandbclassic
Instagram: @bandbclassic
Hashtag: #bandbclassic



South Bay Breweries Confirmed for SF Beer Week 2017 ‘Opening Gala’

Credit: SF Beer Week
Credit: SF Beer Week

This year’s SF Beer Week Opening Gala is right around the corner, set for Friday, Feb. 10 at SF’s Pier 48.

The Opening Gala kicks off SF Beer Week and features many breweries from throughout Northern California. It’s a very well-run, well-regarded beer festival. Breweries consistently bring their finest offerings.

The San Francisco Brewers Guild recently announced the lineup of the more than 125 participating breweries. Among them are breweries from the South Bay that’ll be pouring at the Gala for the first time, including:

  • Camino Brewing Company
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Loma Brewing Company

Additional South Bay (and nearby) breweries include:

  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • El Toro Brewing Company
  • Freewheel Brewing Company
  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • Palo Alto Brewing Company
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Strike Brewing Co.
  • Tied House Brewery & Cafe

Tickets to the Opening Gala (General Admission: $80; VIP: $120) are available for purchase at sfbeerweek.org.

The list of confirmed breweries are below:

South Bay

Alpha Acid Brewing Co., Alvarado Street Brewing & Grill, Armstrong Brewing Co., Blue Oak Brewing Company, LLC, Camino Brewing Co., Campbell Brewing Co., DasBrew, Inc., Devil’s Canyon Brewing Co., Discretion Brewing, El Toro Brewing Co., Firestone Walker Brewing Co., Freewheel Brewing Co., Golden State Brewery, Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., Hermitage Brewing Co., Hop Dogma Brewing Co., Loma Brewing Co., New Bohemia Brewing Co., Palo Alto Brewing Co., Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Strike Brewing Co., Tied House Brewery & Cafe and Uncommon Brewers.

San Francisco

21st Amendment Brewery, Almanac Beer Co., Anchor Brewing Co., Barebottle Brew Co., Barrel Head Brewhouse, Bartlett Hall Brewing, Beach Chalet Brewing & Restaurant, Black Hammer Brewing Co., Black Sands Brewery, Cellarmaker Brewing Co., Ferment. Drink. Repeat, Fort Point Beer Co., Harmonic Brewing, Headlands Brewing Co., Holy Craft Brewery, Laughing Monk Brewing Co., Local Brewing Co., Magnolia Brewing Co., Old Bus Tavern, Pine Street Brewery, San Francisco Brewing Co., Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery, Social Kitchen & Brewery, Southern Pacific Brewing Co., Southpaw BBQ, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Standard Deviant Brewing LLC, Sufferfest Beer Co., Sunset Reservoir Brewing Co., ThirstyBear Organic Brewery, Triple Voodoo Brewery & Tap Room and Woods Beer Co.

East Bay

Alameda Island Brewing Co., Ale Industries, Altamont Beer Works, Auburn Alehouse, Benoit-Casper Brewing Co., Berryessa Brewing Co., Bison Brewing Co., Black Diamond Brewery, Calicraft Brewing Co., Cleophus Quealy Beer Co., Diving Dog Brewhouse, Drake’s Brewing Co., E.J. Phair Brewing Co., East Brother Brewing Co., Eight Bridges Brewing, Elevation 66 Brewing Co., Epidemic Ales, Farm Creek Brewing Company, Federation Brewing, Ghost Town Brewing, Heretic Brewing Co., High Water Brewing, Hoppy Brewing Co., Knee Deep Brewing Co., Lucky Devil Brewing, Mare Island Brewing Co., New Helvetia Brewing Co., Novel Brewing Co., Ol’ Republic Brewery, Pacific Coast Brewing Co., Rubicon Brewing Co., Ruhstaller Brewing & Taproom, Schubros Brewery, Sudwerk Brewing, Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co., Temescal Brewing Co., The Rare Barrel, Track 7 Brewing Co., Triple Rock Brewing Co., Trumer Brauerei and Working Man Brewing Co.

North Bay

101 North Brewing Co., Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Bear Republic Brewing Co., Cooperage Brewing Co., Eel River Brewing Co., Fogbelt Brewing Co., HenHouse Brewing Co., Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Co., Lost Coast Brewery, Mad Fritz Beer, Mad River Brewing Co., Moonlight Brewing Co., Moylan’s Brewing Co., Napa Smith Brewery, North Coast Brewing Co., Old Redwood Brewing Co., Petaluma Hills Brewing Co., Plow Brewing Co., Russian River Brewing Co., Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Sonoma Springs Brewing Co., St. Florian’s Brewery, Stumptown Brewery, Third Street Aleworks and Woodfour Brewing Co.



Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Presents 2nd Taco & Beer Pairing Event, Plus Upcoming Save-the-Dates

Steins Taco Beer Pairing Event
Photo courtesy of Steins

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain View (895 Villa St.) will be hosting their 2nd Taco & Beer  Pairing event Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 5pm.

Manager Lynna Nguyen shares, “We had such a great turnout the first time, we thought why not ring in the New Year with another taco & beer pairing event… This time we will be doing seafood.”

Made with house-made tortillas, the event features three prix-fixe pairings of tacos and beers (including beer cocktails) selected by bar manager Ryan Hummel:

  • Shrimp Ceviche Tostada paired with Steins’ Michalada
  • Veracruz Seabass Taco paired with Paloma Cocktail
  • Fried Rockcod with Chipotle Salsa paired with Moody Tongue Applewood Gold (smoked pilsner)

There’ll be a salsa bar as well:  Guacamole (mild), Roasted Tomato (medium), Tomatillo (hot).

Simply visit the restaurant and let the host know that you are looking to join the taco event.

SF Beer Week Events at Steins

SF Beer Week is coming up quickly, and Steins has a couple of events scheduled:

  • Tues., Feb. 14: Fort Point Beer Company “My Bitter Valentine” – Featuring an IPA with Satsuma mandarin and fir tips, Steins will be offering up a salty pork dish to pair with the beer for Valentine’s Day. Other Fort Point beers will be on tap as well.
  • Thurs., Feb. 16: Look for a collaboration beer dinner with Elkhorn Slough Brewery Co.

Steins’ 3rd Annual Home Brew Competition and 4th Anniversary Party

For their 3rd annual home brew competition, Steins is inviting homebrewers to craft any beer style within the 2015 BJCP guidelines with the caveat that the beer will be called  “Nägar The Destroyer,” named after one of their employees.

The drop-off period for home brews is March 11 – 16, and the winner will be announced at the 4th anniversary party to be held on Sat., March 25. Check out the Facebook event page for additional info. regarding the home brew competition.