Strike Brewing Company has released their latest collaboration effort this week – Four Bagger Hoppy Lager (6% ABV, 40 IBU) – brewed alongside Megan Parisi, head brewer of the innovative Samuel Adams Nano Brewery.
From Strike Brewing head brewer Ryan Bridge:
“We used German lager yeast and pale, wheat, oats, and light crystal malts. After a slow fermentation and cold conditioning process, we dry hopped it like an IPA using El Dorado, Citra, Simcoe, and Loral – some of my favorites. This is truly one of the best beers that we’ve made during my time at Strike, and I can’t wait to see the response in the taproom…”
I was fortunate to make it the taproom on its release day this past Tuesday.
The beer is super smooth and juicy with wonderful aromas and flavors of tropical, citrus fruits. I certainly agreed with the folks at the table next to me who described the Four Bagger Hoppy Lager to be one ‘crushable’ beer.
It’s a very limited offering and currently available on tap and in four-pack, 16-oz. cans.
Strike’s Collaboration Series is the brainchild of veteran brewer and consultant Ben Spencer, who joined Strike earlier this spring as director of brewing operations and brewmaster. Incidentally, this week’s release of Four Bagger Hoppy Lager also marks Ben’s last week at Strike, as he’ll be returning to his native state of Virginia.
The first release in the series was a collaboration with Marin Brewing Company brewmaster Arne Johnson (Winning Saison). Ensuing collaborations saw Strike team up with Half Moon Bay Brewing Company brewmaster James Costa (Hop Closet Double IPA), Social Kitchen & Brewery brewmaster Kim Sturdavant (Pop-Up Pilsner) and Magnolia Brewing Co. (Strong Arm English Strong Ale).
As Strike co-founder/brewmaster Drew Ehrlich puts it, “The Collaboration Series has been a great way to trade brewing tips and see first-hand how these brewers go about making their signature beers.”
Look for the series to continue in the near future with upcoming collaborations to feature fellow South Bay breweries.
This year’s list of nearly two dozen participating breweries – plus a cidery – includes:
Golden State Cider
Hop Dogma Brewing Co.
Marin Brewing Company
Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen
Santa Clara Valley
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company will be open for dining throughout the event. Additionally, local food will be offered including Seville Tapas, Spicoli Pizza and barbecue by American Legion Post 474.
Tickets to Coastal Brewfest are $30 in advance and available for purchase at the brewfest’s Eventbrite page. Tickets are $35 at the door, and designated driver tickets are $10. Proceeds will benefit the Mavericks Community Foundation seeking to promote the San Mateo County coastside and Coastside Hope.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company has re-released three signature beers:
Take it to the Limit Barleywine, an American-Style Barleywine displays a deep amber color, with Crystal and Munich malts presenting strong fruity esters in the aroma while American hops identify this as an American take on a classic. The high alcohol is evident, adding to the complexity of this smooth barleywine, and combines with a two-month aging process in stainless steel to result in a smooth dark beer. 14% ABV & 84 IBUs.
Pumpkin Harvest Ale, a full-bodied Amber Ale is made with locally grown sugar pie pumpkins that are roasted with a secret blend of spices added to the brew kettle, resulting in a subtle pumpkin pie spice flavor balanced by a biscuity maltiness. 6.3% ABV & 23 IBUs.
Papa Juice Old Ale, a small batch, limited release old ale, aged in Buffalo Trace Bourbon 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 in the barrel, resulting in an easy drinking old ale. 13.1% ABV.
Guests at Half Moon Bay Brewing Company will be able to take beer to-go and enjoy the quality-saving powers of the can with a 32 oz. crowler. For the unfamiliar, a crowler is the can’s take on a growler, allowing breweries and taprooms to fill and seal aluminum cans on-demand. The containers combine the flexibility and portability of growlers with the quality-preserving properties of a can.
On the menu through October is a special pumpkin menu created by chef Fred Godinez, featuring butternut squash soup, brussels sprouts salad with pumpkin vinaigrette and desserts including pumpkin ice cream.
The annual Halloween Party takes place Saturday, Oct. 28 with live music from 7pm to 10pm featuring The Bonedrivers. The annual costume contest begins at 8pm, where guests of all ages are welcome. Prizes will be awarded for a variety of categories, including most original costume, best group costume, trendiest costume, scariest and cutest.
Pumpkin Harvest Dinner
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s annual Harvest Dinner is back by popular demand and will take place Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 6pm at the Mavericks Event Center. The dinner – prepared by chef Godinez – celebrates the farms and breweries on the San Mateo County coast and will feature local Pescadero farmer Simms Organics and brewmaster James Costa’s hand-crafted Pumpkin Harvest Ale.
The event will be held on Saturday (Sep. 30) and Sunday (Oct. 1) from 11am to 7pm each day in the open-air parking lot located directly behind Steins at Bryant and Dana Streets, one block west of Castro St. The weather looks to be picture perfect.
Mountain View Oktoberfest will feature traditional German food, German beers and live entertainment, including music by Big Lou’s Accordion, The SF German Band and Alpiners USA. Check the MV Oktoberfest website for the entertainment schedule.
There’ll also be an expansive Oktoberfest tent, traditional Oktoberfest wood tables and benches for communal sitting, pretzel eating and stein holding contests, traditional songs and dance, as well as bouncy houses and face painting for kids.
Steins owner Ted Kim shares: “We’re happy to be celebrating our fifth year hosting the Mountain View Oktoberfest! Since its inception, the festival has grown to become a city staple and one of the most anticipated events of the year.
“This year at the Mountain View Oktoberfest guests will be able to choose from seven different beer offerings: six authentic styles from German beer houses and a special local brew combining sweet Munich malts and west coast hops.
“Additionally, there will be plenty of eats as Teske’s Germania and others serve up delicious German cuisine.
“Come out and join us for another fun-filled Oktoberfest! All ages welcome!”
Food & Beer
A variety of food will be available for purchase from four different vendors, including traditional German dishes from German restaurant Teske’s Germania.
German (and German-style) beers include:
Doppelbock Dunkel – Andechs
Pilsner – Paulaner
Helles Lager – Weltenburger
Oktoberfest – Hofbräuhaus
Grapefruit Radler – Steigl
Hefeweizen – Weihenstephaner
Hoptoberfest – South Bay
Prices and Ticket Information
￼$11 for 0.5-liter commemorative stein; requires 1 drink ticket to fill
$16 for 1-liter commemorative stein; requires 2 drink tickets to fill
$25 for 1-liter boot (limited quantities); requires 2 drink tickets to fill
Drink tickets: $9 for 1 drink ticket and $35 for 4 tickets.
Food: $6-$15 (depending on the dish).
A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit SOAR – Student Outreach Award Resource – a partner charity with the Chamber of Commerce. SOAR is known throughout the community for its financial help and scholarship awards for high school and community college students looking to advance their education.
I’m sure there are many like me who wish they were going to the official Oktoberfest in Munich.
Fortunately, local Oktoberfest-inspired events and celebrations are set to take place throughout San Jose and nearby, providing plenty of opportunities to enjoy German and German-style beer and food in a festive atmosphere. Many of the Oktoberfest celebrations are family friendly and will feature live entertainment.
Below is a roundup of this year’s local Oktoberfest events listed by date. I’ll add to it as new ones come to my attention. Prost!
Sat., Sep. 9: Gourmet Haus Staudt
What: It’s their annual outdoor Oktoberfest celebration, taking place from 12pm to 7:30pm. Six German beers on tap, lots of bratwurst and live music featuring The Internationals (starting at 2pm). $7 entry fee.
What: Folks are invited to don their Lederhosen and Dirndl as Golden State Brewery releases their new Ein Prosit Oktoberfest beer. There’ll be music, decorations, sausages courtesy of Arlington Brothers and a limited supply of 32-oz. Das Boots good for a fill of Ein Prosit for $16. Festivities take place from 5pm to 9pm.
Thurs., Sep. 21 – Sat., Sep. 23: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Update: Gordon Biersch announced on Sep. 15 that this event has been cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
What: The ongoing Taylor Street Night Market outdoor summer series continues to take place Thursday evenings at the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company brewing and packaging facility in Japantown. To celebrate Oktoberfest, the Night Market folks – Gordon Biersch and Moveable Feast – are throwing a three-day, family friendly bash featuring German-inspired food truck dishes and beers along with live music, games for kids and SJMADE artisans.
What: The 5th Annual Oktoberfest takes place the weekend of Sep. 30 and Oct. 1 (11am to 7pm both days) and is presented by Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. There’ll be plenty of German beer, good food and family friendly entertainment.
Where: Parking lot at Dana St. and Bryant St., Mountain View
What: Enjoy the annual Peninsula Oktoberfest at Hiller Aviation Museum, held for the first time at night from 5pm to 10pm. There’ll be live music as well as German beers and food available for purchase.
Brewmaster Guy Cameron was busy interacting with the first of many guests that evening.
The friendly bar staff.
On tap were four of Floodcraft Brewing’s own beers:
Curry for 3 Triple IPA
Solely Simcoe American Pale Ale
Nelmo American Pale Ale
Mindfulness American Amber Ale
Charcuterie, cheese and fruit platters galore. Plus cupcakes.
My bud Stef enjoying his flight of Floodcraft’s inaugural offerings.
All four Floodcraft beers were tasty, but I especially enjoyed Curry for 3 Triple IPA, a very well-balanced orange juice bomb with notes of tangerine, marmalade and papaya with a smoothness that belied its 10.5% ABV.
It was great – as always – catching up with Guy.
The Whole Foods team and guests expressed their appreciation for Guy’s leadership as well as for his consistently excellent creations.
Whole Foods also celebrated the occasion with their signature ‘breaking bread’ ceremony, which included pretzels that spelled out “FLOODCRAFT.”
Words of appreciation were given – again – to the Floodcraft Brewing Company brewing team, consisting of Guy and assistant brewer Ben Wright (right).
Ben and Guy.
I was grateful to have more than my fair share of the limited Curry for 3 Triple IPA.
In fact, it didn’t take long after the first initial sips to realize that Curry for 3 is one of my all-time favorites of any style.
What a memorable event – delicious food and beer, happy vibes and good times with good folks.
And look for Floodcraft offerings to start appearing at the other South Bay Whole Foods locations with taprooms.
A bunch of events are coming up featuring local breweries, which is great to see. Most are officially part of Silicon Valley Beer Week. The upcoming stretch looks to be the largest concentration of special local brewery events ever. Very exciting times!
Fri., July 21: Locals Only Beer Garden
WHAT: Forager Tasting Room & Eatery will host a ‘Locals Only Beer Garden’ as part of the Taste of San Jose event for Silicon Valley Beer Week. 5-10pm.
WHAT: 20twenty cheese bar hosts a special event featuring all San Jose breweries, including Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Hermitage Brewing Company, Bellpenny Brewing Company, Uproar Brewing Company, Strike Brewing Company, New World Ales, GearTooth AleWerks, Hapa’s Brewing Company, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company and Camino Brewing Company, as well as nearby Golden State Brewery and Red Branch Cider Company. Brewers and brewery reps. will be in attendance. 5-9pm.
WHERE: 20twenty cheese bar, 1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose
WHAT: Uproar Brewing Company hosts a four-course dinner – ‘The Beer, The Brine & The Brash’ – inside the brewery featuring brined ingredients from pickles to meats and beers selected by head brewer Jim. 7-9pm.
Thurs., July 27: Locals Only Featuring Floodcraft Brewing Company
WHAT: Whole Foods Market in Santa Clara will host an all-day tap takeover featuring only local breweries, including Floodcraft, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Hermitage Brewing Company, Camino Brewing Company and more. 11am-10pm.
WHERE: Whole Foods Market, 2732 Augustine Dr., #1600, Santa Clara
WHAT: Having started back on May 18, the weekly Thursday night market presented by Gordon Biersch Brewing Company and Moveable Feast features Gordon Biersch beers, Wildcide ciders, street food, music, artists and makers at the Gordon Biersch brewery facility in Japantown, San Jose. 5-9pm.
WHERE: Gordon Biersch, 357 E. Taylor St., San Jose
WHAT: Taplands in Santa Clara will celebrate local beer and feature offerings from Golden State Brewery, Hermitage, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Strike, Camino Brewing, GearTooth AleWerks and others, with plans to continue into the following week. 11am-10pm.
WHAT: Forager Tasting Room & Eatery hosts a talk – led by Mark Denari of New World Ales – about all things hops, including the local history of San Jose’s hop growing tradition. Tasting included. 5-7pm.
WHAT: Seth Hendrickson of Golden State Brewery and Matt Hartenstein of Taplands will participate in the inaugural ‘Inside the Brewer’s Studio’ series event to feature dynamic, local beer enthusiasts. 7-9pm.
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.
“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.”
The Summer KraftBrew Beer Festival 2017 will take place Sun., July 30, 1pm-6pm at San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Plaza (1700 Alum Rock Ave.).
The beer fest – returning after a two-year hiatus – will feature good food, music and local artisan vendors.
To purchase tickets for beer week’s official culminating event, visit the Eventbrite page for the Summer KraftBrew Beerfest.
Close to 90 Events (So Far)
Apart from these two marquee beer week events, at last count there were close to 90 events posted on the beer week website with multiple events scheduled for each day from Friday to Sunday. There’ll certainly be more events showing up in the days to come.
Visit the Events page to check out all the beer-related events and specials taking place throughout the region during this year’s beer week.
After a series of soft openings, along with some last-minute construction updates, Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant officially opens today in Cupertino (10088 N. Wolfe Rd., Ste. 130).
Located just down the road from the new Apple campus, the Cupertino site marks the second location for Steins restaurant.
An official ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of today’s grand opening is set to take place at 3:30pm with complimentary appetizers and beer tasters to be served afterwards.
Owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade have retained the original Mountain View location’s beer-focused beverage program (30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews) and made-from-scratch food menu.
The interior features an updated industrial-inspired atmosphere. More below from a recent media release:
Steins again enlisted Marc Dimalanta of D-Scheme Studios to head the architectural design of the new space. The restaurant interior boasts a 6400 ft² dining room accented with bright copper, reclaimed wood panels and filament bulbs glowing on metal-worked light fixtures for an industrial interpretation of the classic European beer hall. The space’s earth-toned metal highlights are juxtaposed with a lush living wall designed by Habitat Horticulture to bring a touch of the traditional outdoor biergarten inside.
Paired with an accompanying 1568 ft² al fresco patio, the entire restaurant space is reservable and can also accommodate smaller private events as sectioned parties.
Akin to its Mountain View location, Steins Cupertino employs an innovative direct-draw beer draft system designed for dispensing each pour under optimal conditions for near-perfect flavor and consistency. Guests can expect a great international beer list with a focus on local craft brewers. Steins offers 30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews.
In addition to the myriad craft and import beers on draft, Steins Cupertino offers a robust wine program as well as a full-bar and seasonal craft cocktails.
Upholding a high standard of beer service, all front-of-house staff must successfully complete Steins’ stringent beer training program. Additionally, all bar staff must successfully complete and pass the Cicerone Certified Beer Server program.
Executive Chef Colby M Reade (Hawthorne Lane) parallels the quality characteristic of Steins’ ambitious beer selection with an all-scratch kitchen featuring New American comfort food. The opening menu at Steins Cupertino includes favorites like the Steins Burger made from a house-ground blend of dry-aged short rib, brisket and sirloin, the Fresh Baked Pretzel with caraway beer mustard and the Sonoma Lamb Trio’s brown butter green beans and salsa vert.
The kitchen will open with lunch, happy hour, and dinner with brunch to follow shortly.
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant is the vision of Bay Area native Ted Kim. Kim has more than 20 years of small business experience, including his tremendous success with Northern California’s Paris Baguette stores.
The Steins concept is a modern American take on the classic German biergarten, infusing rustic elements of nature with brilliant contemporary architecture. Each location offers the perfect escape for guests to drink and be merry.
With locations in Mountain View and Cupertino, Steins is open everyday from 11am – 11pm and until 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.steinsbeergarden.com and visit the restaurants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
New Bohemia Brewing Company (NuBo, for short) celebrated its two-year anniversary earlier this year in March and will soon celebrate another milestone with the release of their first ever bottled offering.
NuBo’s first bottle release features Cherry Bomb 2017, an imperial cherry stout brewed with honey.
The release party is set for Thursday, June 22 at 4pm at their Santa Cruz brewery and tasting room (1030 41st Ave.). Cherry Bomb will be available on tap and in bottles to go. There’ll be a food pairing menu plus live music.
Cherry Bomb 2017 – coming in at 9.2% ABV – also marks the first beer from a new series NuBo is calling “The Bee Project.”
From NuBo: “The Bee Project is a brewer’s approach to supporting local sugar sources and raising global awareness of the benefits of bees, honey and our natural world.”
And regarding the beer itself, NuBo has provided the following description:
A bold and richly roasted imperial stout. Brewed with local sage honey and three kinds of cherries (Brooks, Chelan and Coral) freshly picked by our brewers. The deep caramel flavors are complemented by a tart cherry aroma and a strong, dry finish. Lots of dried fruit and plenty of alcohol to balance it out. 52 IBUs, 9.2% ABV.
According to co-founder and brewmaster Dan Satterthwaite, there are only 900 bottles available for purchase, and they’ll only be available at the brewery.