Category Archives: Beer Bars

Top South Bay Events for SF Beer Week 2018, Part 2

20 beer taps at 20twenty cheese bar in Willow Glen

Below is the rest of the roundup of select, mostly South Bay events scheduled to take place the second half of SF Beer Week 2018, from Thursday, Feb. 15 to Sunday, Feb. 18.

As previously stated in Part 1 covering the first half of SF Beer Week, it’s great to see so many options, especially since we all have our own preferences.

Thurs., Feb. 15: San Diego Night at Tap Room at Whole Foods Market Santa Clara

  • What: Special treats and good, old favorites from San Diego breweries – including Modern Times, Mike Hess, Pizza Port, Coronado, Lost Abbey and more – are taking over the taps. 11am-7pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2732 Augustine Dr., Ste. 1600, Santa Clara

Thurs., Feb. 15: The South Bay’s Favorite SF IPA at Steins Beer Garden Cupertino

  • What: San Francisco breweries – including Laughing Monk, Almanac, Fort Point, 21st Amendment and more – will be sending their favorite IPAs. Steins will be serving blind flights and asking you to vote for your favorite with the winner announced at 8pm. Brewery reps. will be on hand to answer questions. 11am-8pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 10088 N. Wolfe Rd., Ste. 130, Cupertino

Thurs., Feb. 15: Beer & Cheese Pairing at 20twenty cheese bar

  • What: Sample four unique beers paired selectively with four varieties of cheese, a tasting led by 20twenty’s very own cheesemonger. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose

Thurs., Feb. 15: Alvarado Street 10 Tap Takeover at South Winchester BBQ

  • What: Alvarado Street owner and head brewer JC Hill will be in the house as his beers take over the entire tap list, including Double Dry Hopped Mai Tai, Double Dry Hopped, Minesweeper, Contains No Juice, Delorean Dust, Triple Haole Punch, Double Cone, Hopres Ski, Motor Oil and more. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1362 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose

Thurs., Feb. 15: Dustbowl Brewing Special Release – Maple Coffee Black Blizzard Russian Imperial Stout at The Halford

  • What: The exclusive, small-batch Maple Coffee Black Blizzard Russian Imperial Stout is being released outside the brewery for the first time and only at The Halford for SF Beer Week. Also on tap will be the GABF gold medal winner Public Enemy Baltic Porter, a fresh batch of Confused Therapist, Fruit Tramp Kettle Sour and Change Order IPA. 6-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1494 Halford Ave., Santa Clara

Fri., Feb. 16: The Flying Tomahawp Dunk at IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop

  • What: Seven Stills Distillery and Alvarado Street Brewery teamed up to make a super dry hopped, hazy, juicy, delicious beer, and they canned it. We will have cans of Tomahawp DIPA and Bayview Haze (Tomahawp with Pomegranate) as well as a keg on tap. 2-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1422 Dempsey Rd., Milpitas

Fri., Feb. 16: Alesmith Speedway to the 5th at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Mountain View

  • What:  We’re going deep into our hidden stash and bringing out some special kegs for you! We’ve been saving these Alesmith Speedway kegs for a day like today as well as to celebrate our 5th year in Mountain View! We’ve lined up: Hammerhead, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, & Thai. 4pm-12am. SFBW page.
  • Where: 895 Villa St., Mountain View

Fri., Feb. 16: Name That IPA at TAP’T Beer & Kitchen

  • What: Try six IPAs blind and be able to ‘Name That IPA?’ to take home a prize. Hint: all breweries are in the SF area. Also vote for your favorite of the six, and TAP’T will have it on tap for the rest of the month. 5-8pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 259 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Fri., Feb. 16: Oysters and Stout at Strike Brewing Company

  • What: The Oyster Man will be at Strike from 5-8pm (while supplies last). Strike will have their 2017 and 2018 versions of Big Wall Imperial Stout on draft as well as their 2017 Big Wall on Nitro. Look for a special release of the Big Wall Double Vanilla Imperial Stout variant. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2099 S. 10th St., San Jose

Fri., Feb. 16: Sour Ciders, Sour Beers at The Cider Junction

  • What: The Cider Junction will be featuring a variety of sour ciders and beers. Some on draft, some in bottles and available in special flights as well as by the glass, including Finnriver Cider: Berry Barrel Aged, Lambic style sour cider (only available at The Cider Junction, nowhere else in CA); 101 Cider: 2 unique releases aged in port barrels and co-fermented with grape skins; The Lost Abbey Cuvee du Tomme (2018 release), BarrelHouse Brewing 2014 Wild Dapple Fire; Hermitage Brewing SF Beer Week Pineapple Ophion; BareBottle Brewing Pomegranate Kettle Sour; Ratel Cider Apricot hopped sour cider and Red Branch Cider Sour Cider. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 820 Willow St., Ste. 100, San Jose

Fri., Feb. 16: New Glory Tap Takeover at Nom Burger

  • What: It’s a New Glory tap takeover, including Dank Juice, Make It Rain, Dimed Out, Word Cloud DIPA, Lite Dream and Batter Up. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 251 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Fri., Feb. 16: Check Out the 916 at Harry’s Hofbrau San Leandro

  • What: The Harry’s Hofbrau San Leandro location will be hosting a number of Sacramento area breweries, including the brand new brewery Moksa out of Rocklin. Other featured breweries include Moonraker, Mraz, Claimstake, New Glory and Track 7. Look for some of the brewers to be in attendance. 6-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 14900 E. 14st St., San Leandro

Fri., Feb. 16: Lunar Near Year Featuring Karoke & Hapa’s Brewing Tap Takeover at 7 Bamboo Lounge

  • What: Celebrate the Lunar New Year with karaoke and a Hapa’s Brewing Company tap takeover. 9pm-2am. SFBW page.
  • Where: 162 Jackson St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 17: Sour Fest 10.0 at Original Gravity Public House

  • What: Their 10th bi-annual Sour Fest features over 20 sour, tart and funky beers on draft and specialty bottles as well. On tap: Almanac – Splendid Population, Avery – Raspberry Sour, Bear Republic – Tartare Rouge, Bruery – Sour in the Rye (POG), Calicraft – Barrel Project: Sour Peach, Cascade – Figaro (2015), Drake’s – Papa Roy’s Peche, E9 – Wild Tacoma Black Currant, Fieldwork – De Colores, Firestone Walker (Barrelworks) – Krieky Bones, Jolly Pumpkin / Monkish – Apocolocynopsis, Lost Abbey – Red Poppy (2017), Mikkeller – SpontanCassis, Modern Times – World Tree, Paradox Beer Co – Passion of the Fruit (Skully #51), Pure Project – Saison D’ Sabio, Soquel Fermentation Projec – Red #1, The Good Beer Co – Old Fortified, Upland – Kiwi and more. 12-11:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 66 S. 1st St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 17: 9th Annual Meet the Brewers at Hermitage Brewing Company

  • What: Celebrate the best local beer from Monterey to Livermore, and all points in between. 30+ local breweries, within 150 miles of San Jose. Live music and mobile eats. 1-5pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1627 S. 7th St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 17: Stone Brewing Night at Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Los Altos

  • What: Stone Brewing takes over along with free Stone Brewing glassware (while supplies last) and a free raffle at 7pm for an Arrogant Bastard LED, beanies, Berlin Magnum Bottles and specialty glassware. Pouring: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic, 6th Anniversary Porter, Double Bastard 2016, Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure, Merc Machine DIPA, Vengeful Spirit IPA, w00tstout 2017 and more. 5-9:30pm. SFBW page
  • Where: 1031 N. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos

Sat., Feb. 17: Barrel-Aged Love at TAP’T Beer & Kitchen

  • What: TAP’T will be dedicating eight taps (that’s 1/3 of them) to barrel-aged beers for one night. 8-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 259 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Sun., Feb. 18: IPA Day at Harry’s Hofbrau

  • What: IPAs, DIPAs and TIPAs. 11am-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose

Sun., Feb. 18: Sour Sunday at Nom Burger

  • What: Join Nom Burger for six sours on tap at once, including from Almanac, Hermitage, Calicraft and more. Try flights of three so you can try all six. 11am-9:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 251 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Top South Bay Events for SF Beer Week 2018, Part 1

Alum Rock NE DIPA from Santa Clara Valley Brewing will be back in time for SF Beer Week, available on draft and in 16-oz. cans

The 10th annual SF Beer Week is coming up quickly, with the Opening Gala kicking off the festivities on Friday, Feb. 9 in San Francisco.

A quick check of the SF Beer Week Schedule page shows over 100 events taking place in the South Bay region – which includes the Peninsula – and hundreds more throughout the rest of the Bay Area.

Local participating breweries include:

  • Alpha Acid Brewing Company
  • Blue Oak Brewing Company
  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • Clandestine Brewing
  • Das Brew
  • Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
  • El Toro Brewing Compant
  • Freewheel Brewing Company
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
  • Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
  • Hapa’s Brewing Company
  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • Highway 1 Brewing
  • Hop Dogma Brewing Company
  • Loma Brewing Company
  • Palo Alto Brewing Company
  • Sacrilege Brewing + Kitchen
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Strike Brewing Company
  • Uproar Brewing Company

Local establishments and organizations hosting events include:

  • 7 Bamboo Lounge
  • 20twenty cheese bar
  • Ale Arsenal
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Foster City
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Los Altos
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ San Jose
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Sunnyvale
  • Beach Hut Deli (San Felipe Rd., San Jose)
  • Beerwalk
  • Fibbar Magees
  • Gourmet Haus Staudt
  • Grape & Grain
  • Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City
  • Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose
  • IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop
  • Jack’s Bar & Lounge
  • Jane’s Beer Store
  • Nom Burger
  • Original Gravity Public House
  • San Jose Walks & Talks
  • SmokeEaters Santa Clara
  • South Winchester BBQ
  • Spread Deli & Bottles
  • Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Mountain View
  • Taplands
  • TAP’T Beer & Kitchen
  • The Cider Junction
  • The Halford
  • The Refuge Menlo Park
  • The Refuge San Carlos
  • The Rose and Crown
  • Timber & Salt

Below is a roundup of some standout, South Bay-centric events scheduled to take place the first half of Beer Week through Wed., Feb. 14. I’ll post Part 2 with the rest of the roundup in a few days.

It’s great to see so many options, especially since we all have our own preferences. Don’t forget that there will be even more events sure to be added in the coming days.

Sat., Feb. 10: Wake & Break(fast) at Taplands

  • What: Taplands will be offering special foods to pair with a growing lineup of hearty breakfast and coffee beers in a variety of styles. It’s their most popular event of the year. 10am-1pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Sat., Feb. 10: 17th Double IPA Festival at The Bistro

  • What: The original kickoff to SF Beer Week, over 60 Double and 30 Triple IPAs on tap. A professional competition with awards ceremony at 3 pm. Live music on 2 stages, cheese tastings, grilled sausages and frickles. A bunch of South Bay folks head up 880 for this event. 11-4pm. $55. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1001 B St., Hayward

Sat., Feb. 10: Alum Rock Double IPA Can Release at Santa Clara Valley Brewing

  • What: Alum Rock NE DIPA will be back on draft and in 16-oz. cans. This limited beer is juicy and hazy, and features tropical fruit notes complemented by citrus-like hop flavors and aroma. Food from Emergency BBQ Company will be available for purchase, including ribs, tri-tip, mac-n-cheese and slow-smoked pulled pork. 12-8pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: Clandestine Brewing Grand Opening

  • What: Featured events include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the City of San Jose, limited-release beers, food truck and prize give-aways throughout the day, including a grand prize of a membership into their exclusive Secret Agent growler club. Prizes are only for those present. Hours extended from 12-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 980 S. 1st St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: South Winchester BBQ Hosts Triple Threat: Cellarmaker, Green Cheek & Highland Park

  • What: Come talk beer with the founders/brewers of all three breweries while enjoying one of several culinary collaborations, including Vastness of Space BBQ Sauce, Chicken Chorizo IPA Sausage, and Mac & (Beer) Cheese. Cellarmaker beers: New Beer Smell – Pale Ale, Dobis + – IPA, Coffee and Cigarettes – Smoked Porter and Bourbon Vanilla Latte Vastness of Space. Other brewery beers TBD. 12pm-5pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1362 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: Downtown San Jose Beerwalk

  • What: Explore the unique shops, studios and restaurants in downtown San Jose while sipping on great beers and enjoying the social enthusiasm of shopkeepers and beer lovers alike. 1-4pm. $35-40. The Beerwalk website.
  • Where: Check-in at Local Color, 27 S. 1st St.

Sat., Feb. 10: Beer and Cookies at Strike Brewing Company

  • What: Join Strike Brewing for an afternoon tasting of four Strike beers, each paired with a Girl Scout cookie. There will be a special release of two of their Big Wall Imperial Stout variants and their newest release Willie Haze, a NE style IPA. 2-6pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2099 S. 10th St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: 2 Towns Cider Tap Takeover and Release at The Cider Junction

  • What: 2 Towns Cider is taking over 8: New cider release Pacific Pineapple, special and rare barrel-aged Nice & Naughty, special Traditions Series cider Riverwood, two seasonal ciders Hop & Stalk and Serious Scrump, limited release cider Man Goh and two flagship ciders. Flights and single pour specials. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 820 Willow St., Ste. 100, San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: A Bay of Our Own Release – SF Beer Week 2018 Collaboration, Monterey Bay at The Halford

  • What: The Halford hosts a special beer release: A Bay Of Our Own (Salted Caramel Stout), one of the official SF Beer Week 2018 collaboration beers bringing together a dozen breweries from the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz areas, including New Bohemia Brewing, East Cliff Brewing, Uncommon Brewers, Brewery Twenty Five, Alvarado Street Brewery, Corralitos Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Shanty Shack Brewing, Humble Sea Brewing, Steel Bonnet Brewing Company, Seabright Brewery and Discretion Brewing. Look for a small-bites food menu for the event. 7pm-12am. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1494 Halford Ave., Santa Clara

Sat., Feb. 10: Blind Barrel-Aged Beer Takeover at Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City

  • What: Two days of a unique event to blindly taste some of the best barrel-aged beers in the country. Flights will be available. Consumers can vote for their favorites. Beers to be revealed Sunday evening at 7pm as well as the top vote getters. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City

Sun., Feb. 11: Barrel Aged Sundae at SmokeEaters Santa Clara

  • What: No mimosas today. Just some full-bodied stouts that have been aging for quite some time. Order any of the following beers for a scoop of vanilla ice cream: Dogfish Head World Wide Stout ’16, Dogfish Head Vanilla World Wide Stout ’17, Oskar Blues Java Ten Fidy ’15, Founders CBS ’17 & KBS ’17 and more. SFBW page.
  • Where: 3175 Mission College Blvd.

Sun., Feb. 11: Breakside Brewery at Taplands

  • What: Taplands serves as the launch site for Breakside Brewery in the South Bay. Brewers will be on hand from 2-4pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Sun., Feb. 11: Historic Breweries, Bars & Brothel Tour in Downtown San Jose

  • What: Take a walk back in time, when San Jose lived up to its reputation as a drinking town. An alcohol-themed walking tour will cover San Jose’s drinking past and introduce what’s brewing in the present. This interactive stroll will visit former brewery locations, introduce famous brews and infamous drinkers. The tour has sold out in the past so sign up early to avoid the wait list. You MUST register in advance to receive the exact starting point for the tour. 2-4pm. $15. Evenbrite page.
  • Where: TBD – see above.

Sun., Feb. 11: Yeast Class – Lecture & Tasting at Santa Clara Valley Brewing

  • What: John LaPolla, NYC craft beer pioneer and owner of Brooklyn’s Bitter & Esters Homebrew and Brew On Premises, will be explaining everything you’ve always wanted to know about yeast. Did you know that most of the flavor of beer comes from the strain of yeast used in fermentation? In this class we will delve into the wonderful world of brewers yeast, including a history and usage of yeast and how it affects the flavor of your beer. Tastings and discussions to take place after the talk. 2-5pm. $70. Eventbrite page.
  • Where: 101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose

Mon., Feb. 12: Drake’s Hopocalypse Event at Wicked Chicken

  • What: 6 kegs from Drake’s to be tapped, including Black Label Hopocalypse, Green Label Hopocalypse, Cherryland Sour, Rye Robustito Barrel Aged Porter and Papa Roy’s Peche. 2-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2565 The Alameda, Santa Clara

Mon., Feb. 12: From Our Cellar with Love at Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe

  • What: Join Good Karma as they dig into their cellar for beers from The Bruery/Terreux, including Sour in the Rye w/Passionfruit, Orange & Guava, 2016 Wanderer, Vindictive II, Zesty Mounds, 2015 Oude Tart, 2015 Tart of Darkness, Bouffon (collab w/ Jester King), White Chocolate and more. Look for specialty paired pizza as well. 3-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 37 S. 1st St., San Jose

Mon., Feb. 12: Half Moon Bay Brewing Takeover at Taplands

  • What: Taplands will be featuring single, double, and triple IPAs – all made in collaboration with other Bay Area breweries – along with a few special releases from Half Moon Bay Brewing. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Mon., Feb. 12: An Evening with Our Pals Temescal Brewing at Original Gravity Public House

  • What: Fresh offerings from Oakland’s Temescal Brewing, plus Original Gravity will be the first to pour – even before he brewery – a very special pre-release SFBW beer on draft. Current beer lineup for the event: Lite Idea – Blonde Ale w/ Mosaic, Mandarina Bavaria & Motueka, Neon Gold (Hoppy Blonde Ale w/ Mosaic & Ekuanot), Settle In (Robust Porter), Around Town (IPA w/ Zeus, Chinook, Crystal & Comet), Wonder Why (IPA w/ Citra, Simcoe & Laurel) and Big News Imperial IPA w/ Mosaic & Motueka. 6-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 66 S. 1st St., San Jose

Mon., Feb. 12: Hops Class – Lecture & Tasting at Santa Clara Valley Brewing

  • What: NYC craft beer pioneer John LaPolla will be explaining everything you’ve always wanted to know about hops. Hops are wonderfully diverse and are used for multiple purposes. Each variety imparts a uniquely different scent and flavor – from spicy, citrusy, pine-like, earthy to floral. Learn how hops are used for flavoring, bittering, and preserving beer and leave with a deeper appreciation for the world of hops. Afterwards we will taste four beer samples and discuss the hops role in the flavor profile of each beer. 7-10pm. $70. Eventbrite page.
  • Where: 101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose

Tues, Feb. 13: Nuclear Meltdown on Dempsey at IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop

  • What: IBU hosts an event featuring El Segundo Brewing Company and their hop-forward offerings. On tap: Power Plant TIPA, Nuclear Power Plant TIPA, Blurred Lines Hybrid IPA and Cerveza Fresca IPA (Hazy w/ Guava). 3-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1422 Dempsey Rd., Milpitas

Tues., Feb. 13: Beers around the Bay at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Mountain View

  • What: Steins Mountain View will be showcasing offerings from local Bay Area breweries, including Fieldwork, Fort Point, Barebottle and Altamont.
  • Where: 895 Villa St.

Tues., Feb. 13: Drakeslands at Taplands

  • What: Taplands will transform into Drakeslands and will be pouring both familiar and specialty beers from San Leandro’s Drake’s Brewing Company, including a limited amount of a special collaboration between Taplands and Drake’s. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Tues., Feb. 13: Beer Can Cornhole Tournament at Jack’s Bar & Lounge

  • What: Have fun while competing in teams for giveaways and prizes. 6-9pm. $10. Eventbright page.
  • Where: 167 E. Taylor St., San Jose

Tues., Feb. 13: Trivia Tuesday – Beer Edition at 20twenty cheese bar

  • What: Test your beer knowledge and compete for prizes galore. 7-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose

Wed., Feb. 14: IPA Day at The Rose & Crown

  • What: The Rose & Crown will be showcasing the art and the styles of the IPA, including singles, ryes, doubles, and even triples. This is also the day they tap a very special brew, for which a line forms early (usually 8am). 11:30-7:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 547 Emerson St., Palo Alto

Wed., Feb. 14: I <3 MWS at Clandestine Brewing

  • What: Make Clandestine Brewing your date on Valentine’s Day. They will be featuring at least 10 different versions of Milky Way Stout: Coffee MWS, Peanut Butter MWS and Barrel Aged MWS, to name a few. 4-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 980 S. 1st St., San Jose

Wed., Feb. 14: Barebottle Homebrew Competition at Floodcraft Brewing Company at Whole Foods Market on The Alameda

  • What: Have a say in picking the winner between two contenders in Barebottle’s “Magic in a Bottle” contest. Every customer that orders the two-beer flight will get to vote for their favorite beer. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 777 The Alameda, San Jose

Wed., Feb. 14: Beer, Chocolate and Love – My Favorite Things at Fibbar Magees

  • What: Per Fibbar Magges: “Come join us in the Abyss where our hearts are black and our beer is blacker. There will be nothing sweet about this vertical flight of Abyss Imperial Stouts except the dessert we pair with it.” On tap will be Deschutes Abyss 2014, Deschutes Abyss 2015, Deschutes Abyss 2016, Deschutes Sav Pinot and other delicious tasty treats from Deschutes. Vertical flight of Abyss comes with a tasty chocolate cake until supplies last. 6-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 156 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale

Wed., Feb. 14: Stouts & Sweets – Mini-Beerwalk in Downtown Campbell

  • What: Celebrate Valentine’s Day by tasting 4 different stouts paired with 4 different sweets from local shops while visiting 4 different watering holes, including the first public look at Boiler Maker (formerly Liquid Bread Gastropub). 6-9pm. The Beerwalk website.
  • Where: 193 E. Campbell Ave.

Wed., Feb. 14: Fall Brewing & Fieldwork – California Love at Original Gravity Public House

  • What: Per Fieldwork’s special request, Fall Brewing from North Park in San Diego will also be joining in on the fun as Original Gravity will have 5 beers on draft from each brewery and some sweet treats to pair with their beer. 6-11:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 66 S. 1st St., San Jose

Original Gravity Public House Celebrates 5-Year Anniversary

Original Gravity Public House

[Updated 7/20/17 to include the anniversary tap list.]

Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose is set to celebrate its five-year anniversary on Saturday, July 22 starting at 12pm to closing.

As in past years, a stellar tap list will help mark the milestone.*

  • Alesmith – Decadence (2014) (Wheat Wine)
  • Allagash – Golden Brett (Dry Hopped Golden Ale w/ Brett)
  • Altamont – Maui 3x (Triple IPA w/ Mosaic & Citra)
  • Altamont – BA Something New (Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout)
  • Alvarado Street – Chiffon Fog (Double IPA w/ Vic Secret, Mosaic, El Dorado, Denali & Eureka)
  • Alvarado Street – Nitro Best Part of Waking Up (Stout w/ Coffee)
  • Alvarado Street / Original Gravity – Tumeke Pils (Pilsner w/ Simcoe, Motueka, Pacific Gem & El Dorado)
  • Bruery – White Chocolate (2017) (Bourbon BBL aged Barley Wine w/ Cacao Nibs & Vanilla)
  • Cascade – Sang Du Chêne (2015) (Oak aged American Wild Ale)
  • Coronado – BA German Chocolate Cake (Bourbon Barrel aged Imperial Stout w/ Toasted Coconut)
  • Coronado – Pompous Moose (Witbier w/ Ruby Red Grapefruit, Orange Peel & Coriander)
  • Deschutes – The Abyss (2013) (Barrel aged Imperial Stout)
  • Drake’s – 1500 (Dry Hopped American Pale Ale)
  • Elkhorn Slough – Jewel (Barrel aged Saison)
  • Faction – S.A.P.A. (American Pale Ale w/ South African Hops)
  • Faction – Summer IPA (IPA w/ Nelson, Galaxy & Citra)
  • Fieldwork / Original Gravity – More Betterness (IPA w/ Citra, Mosaic & Calypso)
  • Fieldwork – Galaxy Sauce (Double IPA w/ Galaxy)
  • Firestone Walker – Pivo Pils (Hoppy Pilsner)
  • Firestone Walker – XIX Anniversary (Barrel aged Strong Ale Blend)
  • Lost Abbey – Genesis of Shame (Foeder aged Sour Blonde Ale w/ Peaches)
  • The Good Beer Co – George (French Oak BBL aged Wild Ale w/ Peaches)
  • Lost Abbey – Track 8 (2015) (Barrel Aged Quad w/ Cinnamon & Chilis)
  • Mission Trail – Fairy Land (Port Barrel aged Cider Pluot Blend)
  • Modern Times – Double Dry Hopped Orderville (IPA w/ Mosaic, Ekuanot & Nugget)
  • North Coast – Barrel aged Old Rasputin XIX (Bourbon BBL aged Russian Imperial Stout)
  • Perennial – Abraxas (2016) (Imperial Stout w/ Chilis, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla & Cinnamon)
  • Russian River – Yup, that Beer. No not the one released in February
  • SARA – Tomorrow, Today (IPA w/ Simcoe, Citra & Mosaic)
  • SARA / Peter Hoey – Hoeybier (Odonato Wine Barrel aged Saison w/ Brett)
  • SCVB / Original Gravity – Fountain Alley (American Pale Ale w/ Wakatu, Centennial & Mosaic)
  • SCVB – Barrel aged Loma Prieta (Rye) (Rye Barrel aged Imperial Stout)
  • Temescal – Take the Time (Keg Conditioned Saison)
  • Temescal – Extra Credit (IPA w/ Citra & Dr. Rudi)
  • Track 7 – One Legged Zebra (Nitro) (White Stout w/ Vanilla, Cinnamon & Lactose)

* List Subject to Change at Any Time

Additionally, Original Gravity has partnered with Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Alvarado Street Brewery and Fieldwork Brewing Co. to create three collaboration beers to be released on tap on Saturday.

Look for a very limited number of the Fieldwork collaboration to be available in cans.

There’ll be pop-up food specials, music in the patio and commemorative shirts for sale.

Earlier this month, owner Dan Phan shared the following message on Facebook:

“Wow, can’t believe it’s going to be FIVE YEARS! Seems like yesterday I decided to change course and open a business. I’m so thankful for all the people who have been involved with Original Gravity over the years, especially my business partner Johnny Wang. I’ve made lifelong friendships and met so many amazing people throughout the years.

Dan Phan and Johnny Wang, April 9, 2012

“A big shout out to the guys who run the show at Original Gravity. Thank you Rob Monroe and Anthony Jwanouskos for your extraordinary leadership throughout the years. Original Gravity wouldn’t be what it is without our amazing staff.

“If you’re free July 22nd, come party with us and see what we’ve been up to. We got to brew three awesome beers with three amazing breweries! Come down to the bar that day and have a beer with me.”

Collaboration beer (Fountain Alley Pale Ale) brew day at Santa Clara Valley, June 2017, Credit: Original Gravity
Collaboration beer (the second batch of Tumeke Pils) brew day at Alvarado Street Brewery, June 2017, Credit: Original Gravity
Collaboration beer (More Betterness) brew day at Fieldwork Brewing Co., July 2017, Credit: Original Gravity



Whole Foods Market’s Floodcraft Brewing Company Grand Re-Opening

A name change is happening for the popular brewery and tap room Mission Creek Brewing Company, located at the San Jose Whole Foods Market on The Alameda (777 The Alameda).

Brewmaster Guy Cameron recently shared with me the reason for the name change:

“Due to the success of the first Whole Foods Market Northern California brewery here in San Jose on The Alameda, we wanted to create a trademarked brand that could be distributed beyond this location. We chose Floodcraft because it is original and relates to the history of Whole Foods Market.

“People might be surprised to learn that on Memorial Day in 1981, there was a devastating flood that nearly destroyed the first ever Whole Foods Market store in Austin, TX. The inventory was wiped out, and most of the equipment was damaged. There was a question of whether or not this first Whole Foods Market store would ever reopen.

“Customers, neighbors, and team members came together to help clean up and repair everything. Thanks to all these efforts, the store was able to reopen 28 days later.

“If it weren’t for that community support, Whole Foods Market might not be what it is today. It’s a very important part of the history of Whole Foods Market that continues to be celebrated and honored to this very day.”

Grand Re-Opening Party

Floodcraft Brewing Company is celebrating the renaming with special events and activities throughout the weekend.

Kickstarting the festivities is a “grand re-opening party” Friday, June 2, 6pm-8pm to feature:

  • Bread-breaking ceremony
  • Four Floodcraft beers
  • Meet-and-greet with brewmaster Guy Cameron
  • Classic and local beers from guest breweries on tap to provide a variety of styles
  • Pop-up food items

To receive a complimentary Floodcraft beer koozie at this Friday’s shindig, register on Eventbrite and check-in at the event with a printed ticket or show the RSVP on your phone.

Floodcraft Offerings, including Curry for 3 Triple IPA

Below is additional information regarding the four Floodcraft beers that’ll be poured on Friday:

  • Curry for 3 Triple IPA: ABV: 10.5%; Juicy, orange, tangerine, marmalade, papaya, heavy dank.
  • Solely Simcoe American Pale Ale; ABV: 6.5%; Orange, passionfruit, peach, grapefruit, pine/resin, light dank.
  • Nelmo American Pale Ale; ABV 6.6%; Tangerine, papaya, gooseberry, tropical fruit, dank.
  • Mindfulness American Amber Ale; ABV 6.1%; Citrus, gooseberry, passionfruit, light floral, pine, toast, bread.

The Curry for 3 Triple IPA is a special release tapping brewed just for the re-opening. The three other beers have already been available.

Guy brewed a first batch of Curry for 3 Triple IPA for SF Beer Week earlier this year in February which highly anticipated, given his extensive experience previously brewing big, well-regarded IPAs – including Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger – at Russian River Brewing Company.

The first batch lasted only a week and was a standout beer according to many. Guy himself described Curry for 3 as his favorite – a “10.4% Citra orange juice bomb.”

As I sadly missed it earlier this year, I’ll be sure to enjoy some this time around.

P.S.: Go Warriors!

(Update: Click here for my recap post from the grand re-opening party.)



Taplands in Santa Clara Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary, Plus Q & A with Founder Matt Hartenstein

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Matt Hartenstein pouring Taplands Johnny Mac Rye Red Ale, Credit: Taplands

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
  • 1086 Kolsch
  • 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!

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Credit: Taplands

Below are some pics from several month ago.

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Matt entertaining his guests
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Matt joined by friends Kirill Egorov and Seth Hendrickson of Golden State Brewery
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Taplands’ Jillian Stone joined by friend Irene Murphy of Fibbar Magees

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Forager Tasting Room & Eatery Grand Opening Celebration

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Credit: Forager Tasting Room & Eatery

Renovations began last July at Forager Tasting Room & Eatery located in downtown San Jose’s SoFA District.

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.”

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Heinz Jones and Andrea at last year’s Mountain View Oktoberfest.

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.

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Billy and Hermitage Brewing Company’s Nicole Marquez.

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Peter Estaniel of Santa Clara Valley Brewing.

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Bellpenny Brewing Company’s Jim Turturici in conversation with brewer Dave Roberts and Stacey.

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Stacey pouring Dave’s homebrewed porter – very enjoyable.

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Uproar Brewing Company’s Steve Vandewater, Nicole and Billy.

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Steve and Jim.

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Heinz about to pour local beers Santa Clara Valley Brewing Valley Surprise DIPA and Hermitage Brewing Company Citra Single Hop IPA.

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Peter and brewer Ryan Campagna of Touchstone Brewing Company in Sacramento. Ryan previously worked at Strike Brewing Company.

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Ryan and Calicraft Brewing Company’s Zac Taylor.

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Peter, Billy, Nicole and Hermitage Brewing Company’s Joel Wind.

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Bryan and Heinz.

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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.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!



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

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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.



Half Moon Bay Brewing Updates: Coastside Brewfest, Pacific Standard Grand Opening

Visiting Half Moon Bay is always a treat, providing a wonderful opportunity for a quick coastal getaway to soak in the fresh, crisp air and help recharge our bodies and minds.

Visiting the area typically means an enjoyable stop at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. And though I’ve been seeing more of their beers available throughout the South Bay, nothing rarely beats enjoying a beer at the source.

As I enjoy keeping tabs on Half Moon Bay Brewing (including writing about a previous visit), I’ve rounded up some of their latest beer-centric news and developments.

Recent Beers

Brewmaster James Costa has crafted award-winning beers since his arrival at Half Moon Bay Brewing in 2013.

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In addition to the regular beer lineup, this fall has seen the releases of seasonal favorites and one-offs:

  • Pumpkin Harvest Ale – A seasonal favorite amber ale made with locally-grown organic, roasted and spiced Sugar Pie pumpkins, which are added to the brew kettle  resulting in a subtle pumpkin pie flavor balanced by a biscuit maltiness. 6.3% ABV.
  • Imperial Pumpkin Ale – Well-spiced, rich and malty, this beer is brewed with fresh local organic Sugar Pie pumpkins and pumpkin puree. 10.2% ABV.
  • Take it to the Limit Barleywine – The biggest beer the brewery has ever made, the beer displays a deep amber color with the Crystal and Munich malts presenting strong fruity-esters in the aroma, while the American hops identify this offering as an American take on a classic. The high alcohol is evident, adding to the complexity of this smooth barleywine. With two months aging in stainless and six months in bourbon barrels, the result is a smooth, dark and strong beer. 14.5% ABV.
  • Damage, Inc. – Inspired by brewers in the 1800s who were attempting to win over the Russian Czar, this beer is the king of stouts, boasting a high alcohol content and plenty of malt character, with huge roasted, chocolate and burnt malt flavors. It’s the second beer in their Bourbon Barrel Aged Series. A chewy malt sweetness with suggestions of dark fruit and flavors of higher alcohols is quite evident. Hop character from Columbus, Chinook and Ahtanum round out the attack on the senses. 10% ABV.
  • Presidential Alection – Known for their passion for politics, craft beer and sustainable coastal cuisine, Half Moon Bay Brewing has unveiled commemorative bottles of their popular IPA in honor of this year’s election. While the Alection IPAs are available individually on-site, guests can also create their own “SuperPACK” of two Alection IPAs for $12, which includes a set of two collectable Alection coasters and a ballot. ABV 6.1% and 80 IBUs.

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These fall beers follow the launch earlier this year of the Ocho Barril sour beer series:
  • Ocho Barril Series No. 1: The first in the long-anticipated Ocho Barril series, the Magic Beer Genie is a Belgian Dark Sour with strong acidity and plenty of funky flavors and aromas. 10.7% ABV.

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The Ocho Barril Series was named after the batch sizes in which the unique sour ale is produced. A batch of 420 gallons fills eight oak barrels while leaving room for the addition of fruits and spices. The beer is then fermented with a combination of Saccharomyces, Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, and Pedioccocus and aged between 12-24 months to create a melange of bright acidity and a funky barnyard finish.

Coastside Brewfest

The third annual Coastside Brewfest is set for this Saturday, Oct. 22 from 1pm to 5pm in the expansive waterfront parking lot of Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. There’ll be live music and food trucks.

The current list of participating breweries includes:

  • Alpine
  • Alvarado Street
  • Berryessa
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • Discretion
  • E.J. Phair
  • Faction Brewing
  • Farm Creek
  • Fieldwork
  • Fort Point
  • Green Flash
  • High Water
  • Highway 1 Brewing
  • Hop Dogma Brewing
  • Magnolia
  • Marin Brewing Company
  • Morgan Territory
  • Moylan’s
  • New Bohemia
  • Santa Clara Valley
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works
  • Sudwerk Restaurant & Brewery
  • Temescal
  • Track 7

Tickets are $30 ($35 at the door) and include a keepsake tasting jar and unlimited tastings. Designated driver tickets are $10.

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For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit www.coastsidebrewfest.com.

This is a benefit for Mavericks Coastside Foundation; a portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Coastside Hope.

Pacific Standard Taproom & Growler Station

Congratulations are in order! Half Moon Bay Brewing Company officially opens its first outpost today in Berkeley (Go Bears!).

Pacific Standard Taproom & Growler Station aims to become the premier local destination for craft beer, offering a wide variety of 16 to 24 local and regional beers on tap, including, of course, Half Moon Bay Brewing’s own beers.

Pacific Standard also features a rotating assortment of ciders and Northern California wines, as well as growlers and bottles of Half Moon Bay Brewing beers.

To complement the taproom’s local beer, wine and cider, chef Federico Godinez – the executive chef at Half Moon Bay Brewing – has crafted a small, eclectic menu featuring locally sourced meats, cheeses and produce. Opening menu items include:

  • Seasonal Salad
  • Prawns
  • Local Pretzels
  • Ceviche
  • Hummus
  • Charcuterie Board
  • Panini (Vegeterian, Andouille or PLT)

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To develop the concept for Pacific Standard, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company general manager Nate Rey enlisted the expertise of Joel DiGiorgio, a Berkeley-based food and beverage consultant with Farm League Design & Management Group, and promoted Half Moon Bay Brewing manager Kyle McCarthy to director of business development.

With custom decor, eclectic elements and an urban location, the atmosphere at Pacific Standard Taproom & Growler Station seeks to achieve the balance between refined, cool and approachable. Additional features include natural wood colors, large, communal tables, recessed lighting and pin lights that illuminate the bar.

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“We’re excited to expand our footprint beyond Half Moon Bay and introduce a new community to our extensive selection of top-quality, hand-crafted beers, and feature brews made by other West Coast breweries,” said Rey. “At Pacific Standard, we want our guests to experience the very best elements of the Coastside in an urban, casual environment.”

Pacific Standard Taproom & Growler Station is located at 2055 Center Street in Berkeley, CA. Starting today – October 19, 2016 – the taproom will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 11pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to midnight.

Additional information is available at pacificstandardtaproom.com. Photos courtesy of HMB Brewing Co.



Q & A with Ravi Takhar of Stuft Pizza Milpitas, Plus the Latest on the Soon-to-Open IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop

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The Stuft Pizza location in Milpitas has been making quite an impact on the local beer scene in recent years.

They’ve been hosting creative and very customer-friendly beer events – especially during the San Francisco and Silicon Valley beer weeks – and have well-regarded beers regularly on tap.

Along with a great tap list, the environment is fun and welcoming, and there’s a variety of hearty food options available.

The good folks behind Stuft Pizza Milpitas are general manager Ladi Musafar and assistant manager and beer buyer Ravi Takhar. Both have local ties – Ladi grew up in Yuba City and has been a Milpitas resident for the past 15 years, while Ravi was born and raised in San Jose and still lives in San Jose.

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Stuft Pizza Milpitas assistant manager/beer buyer Ravi Takhar (left) and general manager Ladi Musafar (right)

Through their social media accounts, Stuft Pizza Milpitas recently announced that they will be opening a new taproom and bottle shop right next door to be called IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop.

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Ravi recently took the time to answer some (mostly) beercentric questions about Stuft Pizza and to provide the latest details on the soon-to-open IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop.

Can you share a bit about the history of Stuft Pizza Milpitas? How long as it been around, and when did you first start offering craft beer?

Stuft Pizza Milpitas is a franchise of Stuft Pizza. Our location has been here since 1990 in Milpitas, and we are one of only two remaining in Northern California.

We started offering craft beer in 2013 when we decided to revamp our beer program by bringing in beers that you would never see at your local pizza place.

Our experiences in the world of craft beer have been really awesome because we have new people we get to meet each week when they find out about us on social media. New and regular patrons are always happy to try what is new on tap, and they are always fascinated with what we have to offer.

How many taps and bottled options does Stuft Pizza Milpitas have? What kinds of beers do you have on tap?

We have 40 taps and about 20 bottle selections.  Our bottle selection is going to go through the roof pretty soon once we get our bottle shop opened next door.

We like to keep our tap list with something from each style of beer we can find, like IPA, stout, porter, saison, sour, etc. I personally love IPAs, barrel aged porters and stouts.

What’s been your own experience with craft beer?

I have been a craft beer fan for about 6 years now, and I became a fan by going to places where I would try new beers based on the logo of tap handles. The more a logo would look interesting, the more likely it was that I would try the beer. I slowly started to learn more about beer by doing research.

I also met Jake McCluskey around 2014. He taught me more about beer styles and served me my first Pliny.

I fell in love with IPAs, Double IPAs, Triple IPAs, Imperial Stouts and barrel-aged variants.

Can you talk a bit about your extensive food menu? Which items are customer favorites?

Our food menu is definitely a highlight of coming here (our beer is awesome, too!) because our dough is made fresh daily here in our kitchen. The crust of our pizza pies are a very thick crust (we have thin crust and medium crust options, too) which is very tasty.

Crowd favorites include our Stuft Special, Meatball Pie, Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cool Ranch Luke. Our hot wings are also a favorite among patrons, which you can order sauced up with our sauces or without the sauce on them.

Anything else to add?

Our mission here at Stuft Pizza Milpitas is to provide a place and atmosphere that is simply for everyone to enjoy. We like to cater to everybody, which is why our dining room is set up for families or big parties. We have every major sports package on DirecTV for the sports fans, and we have a tap list of beer that has something for everyone to enjoy.

It feels really good to hear patrons say great things about our beer list, and it’s humbling when people say it is their favorite spot to come and hang out.

Seeing new people, meeting them and getting to know them is always amazing because this industry is all about bringing people together.

Switching gears a bit, how did the idea for IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop come about?

The idea for IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop came about one day when we realized how underserved our area of Milpitas is.

Everyone goes downtown to San Jose to drink great beer and we wanted to fill the void with offering great beers in bottles and on tap right here in Milpitas. So we decided to make a destination for beer drinkers by starting this taproom-bottle shop project.

Please share some of the details of the space, including any special features.

Our space is about 1,700 square feet. We plan to have 10 cooler doors of bottles and packaged beer for on-site and to-go with about 30-40 more taps of beer.

How did you come up with the name IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop? I assume IBU refers to the International Bittering Units scale, generally speaking the measurement of a beer’s bitterness?

The name IBU came about when we were drinking a Mega Fortunate Islands Double IPA by Modern Times Beer one night (shoutout to the other Andy Lee who gave us the bottle).

We were brainstorming what to name the new place, and when we turned the bottle around to read the caption (Modern Times and Lagunitas have the best beer label captions), Ladi saw IBU and the light bulb just clicked on.

The same bottle of Mega Fortunate Islands is on display at Stuft Pizza Milpitas above our taps as the motivation behind the new venture.

Do you have a tentative opening date yet?

We are hoping to be open mid-October, but that may change. Once all inspections are passed we will be able to set soft opening and/or grand opening dates. We will definitely keep you posted!

Additional photos from a recent visit to Stuft Pizza Milpitas below:

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New Whole Foods Market and Tap Room Opens in Santa Clara

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A new 50,000 square-foot Whole Foods Market – built from the ground up – opened last month, July 26, in Santa Clara at 2732 Augustine Drive.

Located at the bustling corner of Scott Boulevard and Bowers Avenue, it’s the first Whole Foods store in Santa Clara and – for those keeping track – the 44th in Northern California.

The store also features its own Tap Room, which I recently had the chance to visit.

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Jamie Silvestrini working in the Tap Room bar

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The Tap Room is bright, open and inviting, with indoor seating for about 60 guests. The cushioned benches lining the walls are comfortable and a particularly nice touch.

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There’s also a great outdoor space right next to the Tap Room that can seat 40 guests.

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I met up with Wesley Miller, the specialty associate coordinator for Northern California, and we discussed some of the highlights of the Tap Room and the store.

The Tap Room bar has 19 taps dedicated to craft beer, plus two taps for wine and a tap for maple cold brew coffee on nitro made in-house.

Tap specialist Art Escobar – having previously been at the Whole Foods Market in Fremont – has been busily procuring and maintaining the draft beers, setting up events and training bartenders.

The store has digital kiosk and self-serve stations, the first of their kinds in Northern CA. There are also wide and varied food options, including a sushi, ramen and bao (savory steamed buns) station and a special menu created just for the Tap Room by Top Chef finalist (from season 12) Melissa King.

Some of Melissa’s appetizer, hamburger and skewer creations include spinach sesame salad, kimchi summer squash, chicken karaage, lemongrass meatballs, Tokyo burger (served with shiitake mushrooms, greens, caramelized onions, yuzu miso aioli), Seoul burger (served with kimchi, arugula, sesame-gochujang aioli), chicken thigh and green onion skewer with yakitori glaze, enoki mushroom skewer wrapped in bacon with togarashi and simple zucchini skewer.

Wesley noted that Melissa’s exclusive menu items pair well with beer and wine and are meant to be shared and enjoyed in small bites.

Wesley also noted that specialty food items throughout the store will be featured at the Tap Room. For instance, look for cheese and chocolate pairing events to take place on an ongoing basis.

The opening of the Tap Room at the Santa Clara store continues Whole Foods’ contributions – especially with regards to fresh draft beer options – to the local beer scene.

The new Tap Room follows the opening of the Tap Room at the San Jose store on Blossom Hill Road this past October, the December 2014 opening of the Mission Creek Brewing Company and tap room at the SanJose Whole Foods on The Alameda and the opening of the Brew Hub tap room in the Cupertino store also in December 2014.

Below are some additional photos from my visit.

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Fries with Citrus Miso Aioli
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Skewers of Enoki Bacon and Shiitake Mushrooms
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Tokyo Burger, served with shiitake mushrooms, greens, caramelized onions, yuzu miso aioli

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Beer Flight
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Wesley Miller, Specialty Associate Coordinator of Northern California

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