Last week, the brewery shared some big news via social media – they would be opening a tap room in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood. And earlier this evening, they offered up the following notice:
“Golden State Brewery is officially flowing in San Diego! Come celebrate the opening weekend with us at Voltaire Beach House, 4934 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach.”
From the Voltaire Beach House website:
“With the opening of Voltaire Beach House we’re excited to announce the opening of our ‘Tap Room’ where we’ll exclusively be pouring Golden State Brewing from Santa Clara, California. The Tap Room offers (12) Golden State craft beers on tap in addition to a selection of San Diego’s finest including ciders and sours, a selection of fine wine and fresh squeezed crafted cocktails with a limited Voltaire Beach House dining menu with favorites like the Golden State beer battered ‘Fish & Chips’!
“Golden State Brewery and their farm-to-draft offerings are made using only premium quality organic produce and botanicals from the Golden State. The result is a beautiful crafted beer that taste uniquely California – authentic, fresh and adventurous…perfect for the coastal community of Ocean Beach!”
When Golden State Brewery’s Seth Hendrickson first told me about this development in November, it sounded like such a unique opportunity, and I was very excited for him and the Golden State Brewery team. He was well aware that his beers would be joining the thriving San Diego beer scene and couldn’t wait to be a part of the community.
Voltaire Beach House is headed up by San Diego restaurateur David Schiffman who tapped consulting chef Abe Botello to design the restaurant menu. More info. about the restaurant below (from their website):
“Enjoy New Americans eats in the coastal escape paradise otherwise known as Voltaire Beach House. Consulting Chef Abe Botello designed the Voltaire Beach House menu to offer California-inspired eats for all San Diegans to enjoy – with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options dotting the menu. Options range from your classic options, like burgers, sandwiches and salads, to more unique offerings, such as fried oysters & shrimp, avocado toast and more.”
This year’s San Francisco Beer Week (SFBW) – presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild and Whole Foods Market – takes place Fri., Feb. 10 through Sun., Feb. 19, and eager beer fans have already begun perusing the SFBW website to plan their tentative beer week schedules.
Per the usual, the SFBW Schedule page is organized into four regions – San Francisco, East Bay, North Bay and South Bay – and a quick count of just the South Bay region indicates over 50 scheduled events so far.
Visitors can create an account on the SFBW website, browse the Schedule and then create an itinerary. Note that hundreds of events will be added between now and the start of beer week.
South Bay Region
A quick check of the Schedule’s South Bay region shows a number of local establishments – including those along the peninsula – that have already signed on to host beer-related events, including San Jose spots like Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe, Original Gravity Public House, Wine Affairs, Mission Creek Brewing at the Whole Foods Market on The Alameda, Jack’s Bar & Lounge, 20twenty cheese bar and 7 Bamboo Lounge, along with Spread Deli & Bottles in Campbell, Brew Hub at the Whole Foods Market in Cupertino, Tap Room at the Whole Foods Market in Santa Clara, Armadillo Willy’s BBQ (multiple locations), Chromatic Coffee in Santa Clara and Ale Arsenal in San Carlos.
Expect many more South Bay restaurants and breweries to sign up to host SFBW events in the coming weeks.
Also, expect many of the South Bay breweries to be pouring their best offerings at the very popular and well-regarded SF Beer Week Opening Gala.
SF Beer Week Opening Gala
The Opening Gala officially kicks off SF Beer Week each year and is a highlight for many. The Gala is a beer festival that features the latest releases, rare selections and classics from many of Northern California’s brewing community.
This year’s Opening Gala takes place in SF at Pier 48 on Friday, Feb. 10 from 6pm-10:30pm. The brewery lineup is yet to be announced, but expect over 120 breweries from throughout the Bay Area to participate.
Opening Gala tickets – which went on sale last month – have sold out quickly in recent years, so consider purchasing tickets sooner than later
General Admissions tickets are $80. VIP tickets – good for early entry at 5pm and an SF Beer Week t-shirt – are $120.
The San Francisco Brewers Guild formed in 2004 as a non-profit 501(c)(6) during a renaissance in American craft brewing. Our mission is to restore and preserve San Francisco’s brewing heritage and unite those who make local beer with those who love it. The Guild achieves this by educating the public about craft beer, organizing and hosting events such as SF Beer Week, Brews on the Bay and Meet the Brewers, advocating for the craft beer industry in city government, donating services and product to local charities, and partnering with artisan producers in the food, beverage, hospitality and agricultural industries.
The Department of Hospitality Management at San Jose State University (SJSU) presented an excellent beer event last week – the “Beers Around the World” Trade Show – replete with educational beer tastings, tasty food pairings, live entertainment and dancing.
The semi-annual event, now in its third year, took place a few blocks from campus at The GlassHouse on Market St. It’s put on just for SJSU faculty, staff, administrators and a limited number of their guests.
The trade show is coordinated by the students of two Hospitality Management classes – Beer Appreciation and Meeting, Convention and Event Industry. The trade show provides students the real world opportunity to put into practice many of the learning objectives from both classes, including being able to explain to guests about different beer styles and beer’s versatility when paired with food, as well as coordinate all aspects of hosting a big, sponsored beer event.
Group photo: Dr. Kate Sullivan (Professor and Internship Coordinator), Kerry Feinstein, Dr. Andy Feinstein (Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs), Dr. Tsu Hong Yen (Department Chair).
Almanac Saison De Brettaville.
Students in teams set up booths throughout the venue representing 15 different brewing regions. Each booth had at least two different beers to sample and corresponding food pairings to taste.
Group photo: Greg Filippi (Hermitage Brewing Company Cellarmaster and Head Brewer), Joel Wind (Hermitage Brewing Company Tasting Room Manager), Dr. Stef Frazier (Professor, Linguistics and Language Development).
Awards were given in five categories – Best Booth, Most Creative, Best Pairing, Best Beer, Best Overall – as determined by a judging panel of local beer professionals. There was also a people’s choice awards for the same five categories.
Ticket options included $20 for 12 3-oz. tastings, $10 for 5 3-oz. tastings and $5 for general ticket admission (no tastings). Additional food and beverages were available for purchase.
Alaska booth food pairing items.
SoCal booth: Ballast Point Barmy Apricot Ale and ceviche.
Mexico booth: Manos De Calaca Guladon Bock and pork taco.
Group photo: Dr. Dennis Papazian, Dr. Mary Papazian (SJSU President), Dr. Stef Frazier.
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout.
Hawaii booth: students and Dr. Kate.
Sweet, milk chocolaty treat (amazing!) with Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale.
Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout.
Australia booth: student and Dr. Stef Frazier.
Some of the SJSU students who helped organize the event.
List of Judges’ Award Winners
Best Booth: Hawaii (1st), Belgium (2nd)
Most Creative: Australia (1st), Mexico (2nd)
Best Pairing: NorCal (1st), England (2nd)
Best Beer: Denmark (1st), Colorado (2nd)
Best Overall: Belgium (1st), Ireland (2nd)
List of People’s Choice Award Winners
Best Booth: Hawaii (1st)
Most Creative: Iceland (1st)
Best Pairing: Alaska (1st)
Best Beer: Iceland (1st)
Best Overall: Iceland (1st)
Group photo: The students from the Iceland booth.
A second tasting of the Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout to end a fantastic evening.
Again, the event was excellent – well organized, great venue, tasty beers and food, warm vibe, friendly and knowledgeable service, and I could go on…
Having earned two degrees from SJSU, having worked at the campus for five years and most importantly, having met my wife at SJSU, it was great to circle back and attend this SJSU-connected event.
Hermitage Brewing Company will release three new beers Wednesday, Dec. 7 at its Winter Release Party, starting at 4pm at their Tap Room (1627 S. 7th St.). El Burrito Loco will be on hand to serve up Mexican eats.
The Winter Release Party will feature the following three beers (with notes from the brewery):
Blood Orange American Sour: “The blood orange is the darling of the citrus world with its trademark sweet and tart citrus flavors and a richer, berry-like sweetness. The beer pours a deep ruby red color in the glass and explodes with an amazing aroma of 35,000 fresh cut oranges.”
That 70s Beer (a collaboration beer between Hermitage Brewing and Palo Alto Brewing brewed with Comet, Cascade and Cluster Hops): “That 70s IPA is our homage to a much simpler time, like, 45 years ago. We used only malts and hops (Bullion, Comet, Cluster and Cascade hops) that were readily available in the 1970s, and combined them with a modern brewing approach.”
Half Tun Milk Stout Nitro: “To make the Half Tun, we collected the second runnings off a recent batch of Two Tun, a technique knows as “Parti Gyle” brewing. The result is smooth, sweet, and easy drinking, with notes of dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. Served on Nitro, it’s like chocolate milk for adults.”
Cellarmaster Greg Filippi is particularly enthused about his latest sour beer offering and can’t wait for it to be tapped and shared:
“We blended beautiful blood oranges into a tart and refreshing blonde ale and aged it in our cellar for 18 months, creating a juicy sour with lots of citrus and a hint of sweet raspberry.”
I had the good fortune of sampling the contents of the barrels used to make the Blood Orange when Greg took me on an impromptu barrel tasting a little while back. So I’m extra excited to taste the final blended creation.
Below are some pictures from the barrel tasting, which took place in late October.
First, a bonus tasting of the base beers from the two 100-BBL foeders that Hermitage acquired earlier this year (excellent starts to both foeder-aged beers, of which I’ll write more about in a future post).
Greg drawing samples from the aforementioned barrels that were used to make Blood Orange American Sour.
I had originally stopped by Hermitage to simply enjoy their latest Single Hop IPA, but I fortuitously bumped into Greg and his lovely family. After catching up, Greg asked if I had some time to taste the progress of his latest projects. And what ensued was a tasty, educational and memorable tasting experience. Thank you, Greg, for being so gracious with your time!
The next Beerwalk – the 25th installment for those keeping track – is set to take place in Japantown on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 2pm to 6pm, and folks are encouraged to dress up in their favorite Christmas-themed attire (“Santa costumes, ugly Christmas sweaters, elf outfits!”).
It’s the first-ever Christmas holiday-themed edition for the award-winning Beerwalk series, while the Japantown Beerwalk itself marks the 7th time that Japantown – and its various local shops and businesses – have served as a host location.
Current Participating Breweries
10 Barrel Brewing Company
Six Rivers Brewery
Anchor Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Golden Road Brewing
Golden State Brewery
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Hermitage Brewing Company
Knee Deep Brewing
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Mad River Brewing Company
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
Beer Sampling Locations
7 Bamboo Lounge
Aristocrats San Jose
Biscuits – Give a Dog a Bone
East Taylor Barbershop
Happi House Restaurant
Jack’s Bar & Lounge
Jimbo’s in San Jose Japantown
Nichi Bei Bussan
Nikkei Traditions San Jose Japan-Town
San Jose Autoworks
The Get Down
Wenzhou Fish, Noodles & More
Tickets, Plus $10 Off Code
Tickets can be purchased online for $30 throughout the remainder of this week and will increase to $35 next week. Tickets include beer samples, a custom glass and event passport.
To receive $10 off the current ticket price, enter Promotional Code “grateful” prior to checkout.
Jack’s Bar & Lounge
167 E. Taylor Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Check-in starts at 12pm (from noon to two hours before the event).
The first 50 to check-in the day of the event will receive a complimentary tour of the nearby Gordon Biersch Brewing Company Bottling Plant.
Roy’s Station Coffee & Teas will provide free drip coffee, and H&R Block will have complimentary snacks on hand.
Event proceeds help benefit the Japantown Business Association (JBA) and the Bay Brewers Guild.
San Jose is turning 239 years old on Tuesday, Nov. 29, and the fine folks at Santa Clara Valley Brewing (101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose) are celebrating with a San Jose Founding Party.
San Jose Founding Party
Currently closed on Tuesdays, Santa Clara Valley Brewing will make an exception for this event and open their doors on Nov. 29 starting at 3pm. From their event page:
“239 years ago the beautiful city of San Jose was founded, and we are going to celebrate that birthday in the traditional way – with beer! With the help of History San Jose, we are going to bring you a unique night at the brewery.
“We are going to have an historical demonstration on brewing and leather working, a brief lecture on the history of beer in the city, historical artifacts, and photos to check out. Also Beer! Don’t miss out on this night at Santa Clara Valley Brewing!”
During a recent visit to the brewery, I got word that Santa Clara Valley Brewing will be releasing their first-ever imperial stout – Loma Prieta Imperial Stout – next month. Look below for additional release information as well as some photos from recent visits.
Co-founder and CEO Tom Clark.
Co-founder and brewmaster Steve Donohue.
Sales manager Peter Estaniel.
Assistant brewer Adam Nanni filling kegs with Alviso Mills Hefeweizen.
New taproom manager Gavin Goodman.
About to sample soon-to-be-released Loma Prieta Imperial Stout.
Loma Prieta Imperial Stout
Loma Prieta Imperial Stout – coming in at 10.2% ABV – is set to be released in mid-December.
Look for special flights of the beer and its variants to be available then – straight-up Loma Prieta, Loma Prieta on nitro, barrel-aged Loma Prieta in bourbon barrels and barrel-aged Loma Prieta in rye barrels.
Additional photos from a prior visit below:
Steve voguing to the music and with taproom employee Christian.
Dairy Hill Milk Stout on nitro.
Peter and COO Coleen Clark.
Peter, Peter’s wife Sammy and fellow beer enthusiast Steve.
The local brewing community – about 20 breweries at last count – will be coming together Saturday, Nov. 19 at CEFCU Stadium (aka Spartan Stadium at 1257 S. 10th St., San Jose) to rally support for a good person and a good cause – Peter Cogan, the longtime distribution manager for Tied House and Hermitage Brewing Company, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Presented by Hermitage Brewing Company in partnership with the San Jose State University Spartan Athletics Department, “For Pete’s Sake” Craft Brewfest will take place from 2:30pm to 6:30pm – in effect an epic tailgate party to be followed by the 7:30pm game time kickoff between the San Jose State Spartans and Air Force football teams. It’s the final home game of the season for the Spartans.
Tickets – $40 if purchased in advance and $50 for any remaining on the day of the event – include a 5-oz. taster to sample brewery offerings, unlimited tastings and a 50 to 30 yard line game ticket. You’ll need code “FORPETESSAKE16” to purchase tickets.
Below is the current list of participating breweries:
Hermitage Brewing Company
Tied House Microbrewery
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
Strike Brewing Co.
Red Branch Cider Company
Rabbit’s Foot Meadery
High Water Brewing
Almanac Beer Co.
Santa Cruz Ale Works
El Toro Brewpub
Bison Organic Beer
Faultline Brewing Company
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
Sactown Union Brewery
Hermitage Brewing and Tied House Brewery & Cafe national market manager Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez shares how this one-of-a-kind event came about:
“As soon as we heard the news of Peter’s lymphoma, we knew we had to do something, and a beer festival seemed like the perfect fit. SJSU Spartan Athletics has been wanting to work on a beer fest for a while, so it was perfect timing.
“Less than 24 hours after putting the word out about the festival, we had 20 breweries signed up and also had every volunteer position filled. Everything seemed to click easily.”
As for the quick response from the local brewing community, Carolyn shares:
“Do I really have to put in writing that Peter Cogan is special? Ugh. Okay, but don’t tell him I said anything nice about him. Ha!
“Peter has been around the South Bay brewing scene for almost as long as Tied House. He is the first to volunteer when a brewery needs help with something, whether it be an event, a delivery, anything.
“What’s the saying about 90% of life is showing up? Well, Peter always shows up, and when he does, he’s on time and brings along his British wit and charming accent.
“He and his signature “Brew Crew” t-shirt and khaki shorts have been working tirelessly to support the local brewing scene for years. After years of Peter helping everyone else out, it’s our turn to give back. There are very few people in the area more well-known or well-liked in our profession.”
I recently caught up with Peter to get an update on his health; he also graciously took the time to share a bit of his background and to answer some beery questions, including his thoughts about the upcoming beerfest.
Can you share a bit of your background?
I was born in London but raised in the West Country of England, specifically Plymouth, Bristol and Torquay where I lived from age 11 to 18. Sixteen days after my 18th birthday, I left home and moved back to London to work as a chef at the Savoy Hotel.
How did you get into craft beer? Any craft beer “Aha!” moment/experience?
After moving to California in late 1986, I was drinking the typical beers back then – MGD, Corona and stuff like that. I guess my “Aha!” moment came when I heard about a brewery opening just down the street from where I lived. I went there a day or two after it opened and was awed at how crazy busy it was. Eight beers on tap of varying styles? Amazing! I think for the next couple of months I didn’t drink anywhere else.
You’ve told me before your story of how you became a part of the Tied House team. Can you please share the story with me again?
As a regular customer they found out I used to be a chef back in England, so I was “recruited” to help them with events like New Orleans By The Bay at Shoreline where I would grill catfish and alligator sausage all day and be paid in Hurricanes.
Then I worked an event at Squaw Valley as a fundraiser for MS (the Tied House has been sponsoring this event for more than 25 years), and while I was on a chairlift with one of the owners and the GM, they asked if I would be interested in selling beer for them because I was very outgoing and had the English accent. How could I refuse them with a job interview like that?
How’s it been working with Tied House (and Hermitage) all these years?
Fantastic. I realized many years ago that one of the secrets to a good life is to be happy at work, and the owners and staff at both places have been instrumental in my happiness.
They have always encouraged me in whatever aspect of the business I happened to be in at the time and have always listened to me with any suggestions or criticisms I might have.
I will never be a millionaire, but I will be happy.
How has it been seeing the growth of the local beer scene these past years?
It’s almost like a runaway train. The movement has gathered so much momentum that I can’t keep up anymore. I could try 5 new beers a day for a year and barely make a dent in what is available out there.
As much as I love my IPAs, I grew up drinking European Pilsners, and when I find a good one (or Kolsch), I am like a kid in a candy store.
What does the upcoming beerfest mean for you? How is it seeing all the support from the local brewing community?
I used to run the beer side of the Small Brewers Festival of California in Mountain View from the early 90s until its last year in 2004, so I understand what it takes to put on a festival – the organization, the coordination between brewers, volunteers, equipment rental companies, cities to pull permits, charities…
I am humbled by how quickly all of these breweries offered their time and beer to support me and the LLS. Some brewers I have known more than 20 years, some only a few, but each and every one of them agreed to help no questions asked. I am going to be giving out a lot of hugs on the 19th.
Special thanks to Carolyn for putting this together.
How are you doing, Peter?
Overall, pretty damn good. I feel fortunate that so far chemotherapy hasn’t been too hard on me, although the third round has been a bit tougher.
I have a PET scan scheduled for the 16th to see how things are progressing, followed by another three rounds of chemo.
I didn’t want to see my hair fall out so before I started chemo, I had my signature ponytail cut off and donated it to Pantene so they could use it to make wigs for women with breast cancer.
I have been able to work part time so I am not sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. My brother Dave supplied my mantra for this adventure, and it is simply: “Kick Cancer In The Balls!”
Trust me. With the support I have from everyone, cancer has no chance.
What a treat – we decided at the last minute to head out to Wicked Chicken in Santa Clara last night for a quick dinner and to enjoy a glass of the Barrel Aged Campfire Stout from Highwater Brewing. But we ended up running into a bunch of folks – including many Southbay Beer Hounds – and stayed much longer than planned.
Some pics below:
High Water Brewing brewmaster Steve Altimari.
From left and clockwise: Hiromi, Kregg, Jim, Javier, Matt, Andy, little kid, Andrea.
Wicked Chicken’s Matt McClean and Jim.
Second most popular beer during our visit: Alvarado Street Contains No Juice (North-east Style Double IPA).
Previous beer dinners at Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose (185 Park Ave.) have been successful endeavors filled with excellent food, beer and service, all the more elevated <ahem> by the picturesque backdrop provided by the spacious, outdoor rooftop patio located on the sixth floor of the City View Plaza.
I’ve been eagerly waiting for any news about their next beer dinner. Thanks to a recent announcement, the wait is over.
Scott’s Seafood presents their fall beer dinner Monday, Nov. 7 starting at 6pm, featuring offerings from nearby Hermitage Brewing Company (1627 S. 7th St.).
The dinner will be a truly local, San Jose affair. The featured beers from Hermitage Brewing will have been crafted at the brewery just 2 1/2 miles south of Scott’s Seafood.
Food and beverage director Sammy Reyes and the culinary team have created a special, five-course dinner menu – including oysters on the half shell, grilled blackened red snapper tacos and Mahi Mahi – to complement the variety of Hermitage Brewing’s offerings, including IPA, Scotch Ale, Sour and Pear Saison.
Opening Reception: Oysters on the half shell, served with blood orange champagne foam.
Beer Pairing: Citra Single Hop IPA
First Course: Classic Greek Salad, Cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, red onions, tossed in a lemon vinaigrette dressing.
Beer Pairing: Maltopia Scotch Ale
Second Course: Grilled Blackened Red Snapper tacos with Strawberry Slaw and Housemade potato chips
Beer Pairing: Strawberry Rhubarb Sour
Third Course: Mahi Mahi with a tropical relish with new potatoes, warm spinach salad, and a champagne sauce.
Beer Pairing: 408 Session IPA
Dessert: Poached “Myles Perry” Pear, Served with French Vanilla ice cream and blackberries.
Beer Pairing: Myles Perry Saison
Tickets for the dinner are $45 dollars per person available for purchase at the dinner’s Eventbright page. Consider getting tickets sooner than later as previous beer dinners sold out.
As is the case with any good beer dinner, brewery representatives – including head brewer and cellarmaster Greg Filippi and territory manager Nicole Marquez – will be on hand to answer any questions about Hermitage Brewing and their beers.
About Scott’s Seafood
Scott’s Seafood San Jose is a Bay Area tradition in the heart of Downtown San Jose since 1986, offering a diverse dining destination in both cuisine and setting. Experience a friendly and relaxed environment to enjoy an intimate meal or a group gathering. With their modern lounge, stunning patio views, unique menu, and true hospitality, their American regional cuisine features the freshest seafood, pasta, chicken dishes, and USDA prime, aged steaks. Scott’s Seafood offers parking validation for its guests.
The event takes place on two days – Friday evening, Oct. 28 (8pm-11pm) and Saturday afternoon, Oct. 29 (1pm – 4pm) – at San Jose’s Municipal Stadium (588 E. Alma Ave.).
Municipal Stadium was also the setting for two of the three previous Bacon and Beer Classics held in the South Bay (the most recent being Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara).
Kate Levenstien, founder of Cannonball Productions and the Bacon and Beer Classic, says of the Broofest launch in San Jose. “What better way to celebrate Halloween than with craft beer? We will have something for everyone: refreshing brews, delicious food, games, music, costumes, and more. I can’t wait to be back in San Jose…”
San Jose Broofest will feature 80+ craft beers, including offerings from local breweries Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Strike Brewing Company.
General Admission (event entry for the 3 hours of beer tasting)
Early Access (half-hour earlier entry)
VIP (one-hour earlier entry plus exclusive treats)
All ticket holders receive a complimentary souvenir tasting glass good for unlimited beer tasting and have access to a game area, photo booth, and to myriads of contests and activities, including bobbing for apples, face painting, hunting for hidden treats, costume contest (naturally) and more.
Food options – sold separately – include deep-fried PBJs, pulled pork sliders, carne asada tacos, garlic fries, Italian sausages, corn dogs and more.
For more information about San Jose Broofest and to purchase tickets, visit www.sjbroofest.com.
Cannonball Productions is committed to fostering a sense of community in every host city and will donate a portion of proceeds to the local non-profit organization One Brick.