The next Hops & Harvest beer dinner at Bourbon Pub – located at Levi’s Stadium (4900 Marie P. DeBartolo Way) – takes place Friday, April 7 at 6pm. The dinner features a four-course menu with pairings from SF’s Anchor Brewing Company.
Below is the recently-released details on the menu and pairing:
Meet & Greet with Anchor Brewing:
Los Gigantes Mexican Style Lager
Diver Scallop Tostada with easter radish, fesno chili & coconut-lime dressing.
Bona fide craft beer hub Taplands is celebrating its one-year anniversary Saturday, March 18 with live music, raffles, BBQ and beer specials from 12pm-9pm (Taplands will open at 11am).
Five of Taplands’ own beers will also be on tap.
My previous Q & A with founder Matt Hartenstein focused on his background and how Taplands came to be. This time around, Matt – who’s as great a guy as they come – graciously took the time to share his thoughts about reaching the one-year mark.
Congrats on the 1-year mark! How does it feel to reach this milestone?
It feels great! It’s funny – for the first few months we felt like, “It’s ONLY been a month, or two months…” Now it’s, “Wow, it’s been a year already!”
What’s been the biggest eye opener?
Definitely the community support. It has been humbling to continually be appreciated and thanked by our customers for being in this location. We have been very lucky.
What’s been the greatest accomplishment (highlights, surprises) this past year?
Again, I think it would be the support. We set out to make a “neighborhood” spot. Being part of a community was very important to our plan. To have it in such abundance so quickly has been awesome.
Also, to be recognized within the craft beer community as well. We are often offered special release beers from breweries because they know our customers appreciate it.
Being invited to judge at the Bacon & Beer Classic was also flattering and confirmed to me that we are accepted by the beer community as well.
What can we look forward to in the upcoming year at Taplands?
We are planning to add a Mug Club this year and add more special events like takeovers and Firkin events. And we hope to mix up the food menu a bit more this year, too.
What house beers will you have on tap at the upcoming anniversary celebration?
We are very excited to be offering five Taplands beers at the anniversary event! We will have our:
Johnny Mac Wry Red
Sid’s Serrano Ale
Grape Ape IPA
Brothers from Other Mothers – our Imperial Porter Collaboration with our friends at Golden State Brewery
We are also planning some special beers from our favorite and local breweries, as well as beer specials, BBQ, oyster bar, live music, and giveaways. We are planning a blow out!
Anything else to add?
Just a BIG THANK YOU! to the beer community for supporting us. Keep coming, and we’ll keep adapting to make you happy!
The first annual Hop ‘N Vine Festival & Market is set for Saturday, March 11 from 2pm-8pm at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose (344 Tully Rd.).
It’s taking place indoors in Pavilion Hall and will feature a number of local breweries and wineries that all produce their beer and wine in Santa Clara County.
Campbell Brewing Company
El Toro Brewing Co.
Golden State Brewing
Hapa’s Brewing Company
Hermitage Brewing Company
New World Ales
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
Strike Brewing Company
Aver Family Vineyards
Jason Stephens Winery
J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines
La Vie Dansante Wines
Lion Ranch Vineyards & Winery
Medeiros Family Wines
Sunlit Oaks Winery
The event also features the Hop ‘N Vine Market – where you can purchase bottles of your favorites – and the Hop ‘N Vine University – a chance to learn about the county’s agriculture and history as it pertains to beer and wine making. Presenters include Mark Denari of New World Ales, Umunhum Brewing Company and others.
A number of beercentric establishments are participating in a flood relief fundraising effort Sunday, March 5 from 12pm-9pm, including Britannia Arms (South San Jose on Almaden Expy.), Britannia Arms (The Brit, downtown San Jose), The Farmers Union, Henry’s World Famous Hi-Life, Ludwig’s German Table, O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, San Pedro Square Market Bar and Garage Bar and Market Beer Company.
From the Facebook event page hosted by the non-profit San Jose Downtown Association:
“When the community needs, these restaurants respond. Like many last month, restaurateurs and the Sharks Foundation watched helplessly as Coyote Creek flood waters inundated the San Jose homes of neighbors and friends.
“Now, they’ve joined together to help. Visit any of these restaurants between noon and 9 p.m. Sunday, March 5 and 25 percent of the bill will go to flood recovery. Eat well. Give well.”
Below is the full list of participating locations:
Blush Ice Bar
Britannia Arms South San Jose (Almaden)
Britannia Arms Downtown San Jose (The Brit)
Da Kine Island Grill
El Guapo’s Campbell
Fairmont San Jose’s Lobby Lounge
Fountain Restaurant in the Fairmont.
The Farmers Union
Habana Cuba Restaurant
Henry’s World Famous Hi-LIfe
Hom Korean Kitchen
Konjoe Burger Bar
Ludwig’s German Table
O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub
Pizza Bocca Lupo San Pedro Square Market
San Pedro Square Market Bar
San Pedro Square Market Beer Company
San Pedro Square Garage Bar
Toasted, Craft Sandwiches – SoFA Market
Veros Coffee in the SoFA Market
The Sharks Foundation is sponsoring Family Flood Relief Day.
This event supports The Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund, which helps the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Sacred Heart Community Service and The Salvation Army, Silicon Valley provide flood relief.
These are certainly hyper creative and experimental times at Firestone Walker. Their most recent beer – Fortem Unfiltered Imperial IPA – is the first beer to come out of the newly launched Leo v. Ursus Chronology program, which will feature the release of a new one-off beer every quarter. More nitty-gritty info. below per a recent press release.
Leo v. Ursus
The name Leo v. Ursus is a nod to the brewery’s distinctive culture of purposeful conflict, as embodied by founders Adam Firestone (The Bear) and David Walker (The Lion).
While diverse in style, each beer in the Leo v. Ursus Chronology will exhibit unifying threads – they will be bold, intense and often hoppy but strive for a sense of balance. Many will also address wish lists expressed by loyal fans.
The Leo v. Ursus Chronology was made possible thanks to the recent launch of the Propagator, Firestone Walker’s pilot brewhouse in Venice, a state-of-the-art miniature brewery. It’s designed to brew small batches, nimble enough to explore new ideas which can be fine-tuned and scaled at the main brewery in Paso Robles.
“Until the Propagator came along, our ability to experiment and go crazy with tiny batches was limited…” says brewmaster Matt Brynildson. “Leo v. Ursus opens the door to increased creativity with new and exciting raw materials – namely, a host of new hop cultivars that do not fit into our established recipes. We will also explore dark malts, experimental hops and alternative grains in this program.”
The launch of the Leo v. Ursus series is clearly a big deal for Matt. “This is a new chapter for us. We will go to our graves wishing we had made the perfect beer—but we will give it our best shot with Leo v. Ursus.”
Fortem (Latin for “The Strong”) is a contemporary imperial IPA (8.2% ABV) that draws upon a range of influences while exhibiting DNA from Firestone Walker’s own forays into the IPA style, including Double Jack and Luponic Distortion. It’ll be available in draft and 16-ounce can (four-pack) formats.
Fortem aims for power through a balance of aromas, mouthfeel and bitterness. It blends newer hop varieties from the Pacific Northwest and Hallertau, Germany, along with pale malt, wheat malt and flaked oats for a full body and a rounded texture.
Look for a mix of aromas, including mango, blueberry, raspberry, lime zest and lychee. After time in the glass, it opens up to reveal stone fruit blossoms and mandarin oranges, finishing with just enough bitterness to encourage your next sip. Fortem has been left unfiltered for a hazy appearance and full hop impact.
Fortem on Tap in the South Bay
With the first keg of Fortem in San Jose, Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe will tap the inaugural Leo v. Ursus release Friday, March 3 at 5pm.
On Thursday, March 9 at 6pm, Original Gravity Public House will tap Fortem during their Firestone Walker Milk & Cookies Night event featuring Nitro Velvet Merlin Milk Stout and other FW offerings.
Armadillo Willy’s BBQ in Los Altos has scheduled to tap Fortem on Thursday, March 16 at 5pm.
A number of San Jose breweries will participate this Saturday, March 4, in a benefit to help the recent flood victims of San Jose.
Below are their respective Facebook updates.
Strike Brewing Company
Join us as we raise money to help our South Bay neighbors affected by the recent flooding. 10% percent of all taproom sales and all of the proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to the San Jose Flood Relief Fund.
KFOX live broadcast from the brewery
Hapa’s Brewing Company
Join us (and/or other participating San Jose breweries) this Saturday for a special benefit to raise money for the victims of San Jose’s recent flooding. We’ll be donating a portion of beer sales to flood relief funds. 333 Truck will be serving food and we’ll have a basketball shoot contest!
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
We are proud to be participating in Saturday’s fundraiser for the victims of San Jose’s recent flooding. Portions of the entire day’s sales will be donated to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund, plus we’ll have great food on site and hourly giveaways of SCVB swag!
Hermitage Brewing Company
It’s San Jose Flood Relief this Saturday!
Join us at Hermitage, Strike Brewing Co., Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Hapa’s Brewing Company this Saturday for great local craft beer and good times. We’ll be donating a portion of beer sales to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund! #dotherightthing #sanjosecraftbeer #drinklocal
A note on their website at the time indicated that the 14,400 sq. ft. space at 420 South First St. (former home of South First Billiards) would comprise of a coffee bar, a main bar, 2 beer walls, 6 micro-restaurants, a stage, a corner art gallery and plenty of seating arrangements.
In the ensuing months, as renovation and construction continued, Forager utilized available space to host a “pop-up” series to showcase local artists and musicians: “We witnessed the potential for what Forager will soon become – an inviting and creative space where culture thrives and guests enjoy food, the arts, and community.”
When I caught up with Forager founder Heinz Jones this past October during the Mountain View Oktoberfest – where he serves as the emcee at the annual event – he was his usual enthusiastic self when talking about Forager.
He was eager to get Forager going as a business incubator for local entrepreneurs in the food, beverage and arts industries who are passionate about launching their respective enterprises.
He confirmed his wanting to play a part in bolstering the downtown San Jose business landscape by cultivating a community through good food, beverages, music and art.
As a beer enthusiast – Heinz had been working weekly at Market Beer Company – he was excited about opening his own tasting room at Forager.
Fast forward to earlier this month. Forager announced that they would be open daily from 7am to 7pm. Their coffee bar would serve offerings from Devout Coffee, and beer would be served from among their 16 taps.
Grand Opening Celebration
Forager will celebrate their official “hard” opening Friday, March 3, as part of the monthly South First Fridays Art Walk. Forager will host the photo exhibit “Picture This” featuring local San Jose photographers.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 5:30pm, and all beers will be $5 and coffee drinks $2 from 5:30pm to 7pm. There’ll be small bites available as well.
Forager will also be open longer starting March 3, from 7am to 11pm daily.
Scenes from the Neighborhood Bottle Share
Look for Forager to continue hosting a variety of creative events. For instance, Forager hosted a “Bottles of the Bay: Neighborhood Bottle Share” event back in October that focused on beers from the local brewing community.
Forager’s Bryan Chen.
Billy and Hermitage Brewing Company’s Nicole Marquez.
Peter Estaniel of Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
Bellpenny Brewing Company’s Jim Turturici in conversation with brewer Dave Roberts and Stacey.
Stacey pouring Dave’s homebrewed porter – very enjoyable.
Uproar Brewing Company’s Steve Vandewater, Nicole and Billy.
Steve and Jim.
Heinz about to pour local beers Santa Clara Valley Brewing Valley Surprise DIPA and Hermitage Brewing Company Citra Single Hop IPA.
Peter and brewer Ryan Campagna of Touchstone Brewing Company in Sacramento. Ryan previously worked at Strike Brewing Company.
Ryan and Calicraft Brewing Company’s Zac Taylor.
Peter, Billy, Nicole and Hermitage Brewing Company’s Joel Wind.
Bryan and Heinz.
The Neighborhood Bottle Share was the first time I visited the space, and I was struck by how big the space was and how much warmth seemed to radiate throughout.
I look forward to returning to Forager and checking out the changes and enjoying the ambience, some coffee goodness and a beer or two.
Steve Altimari of High Water Brewing and Drew Ehrlich of Strike Brewing Co.
Strike Brewing Co.’s Tyler Rusten and a pour of Strike’s tasty Winter Camp (Winter Warmer Olde Ale). Tyler later shared that he had accepted a brewer position at Fearless Brewing Company in Oregon. Best wishes, Tyler!
Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Coleen Clark.
Michael Barker of Sactown Union Brewery and Peter Licht of Hermitage Brewing Company share a laugh.
El Toro Brewing Company’s Geno Acevedo.
Almanac Beer Co.’s Brian Sneed, Fernando Tovar and Fernando’s wife Sandra.
Hermitage Brewing Company’s Mark Fazzio, Nicole Marquez and Joel Wind.
Enjoying a pour of Luponic Distortion No. 004 from Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Mark and Corey.
FireHouse Grill & Brewery’s Larry Hoang.
Beer enthusiasts Anita Arguello and Mike Condie.
Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Coleen Clark and Hermitage Brewing’s Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez. Carolyn later shared that the end of the year would be her last day as marketing director of Hermitage Brewing Company and Tied House. With her family moving to Sacramento, her departure (which I’ve mentioned previously) is a big blow to the local beer scene (for instance, Carolyn coordinated this event). We’ll miss you, Carolyn!
Jon Siddoway and Siobhan Faul of Red Branch Cider Company and Rabbit’s Foot Meadery.
Los Altos will be adding a public house and pizzeria later this summer in the downtown area at 101 Plaza North.
Led by brothers – and peninsula natives – Andrew and Lars Smith, State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria is inspired by the “golden state” and will focus on California beer and local food.
A recently launched Kickstarter page reveals plans to feature 25-30 California craft beers, ciders and California wine, with a menu showcasing seasonal ingredients and food made from scratch. The fare will consist of appetizers, salads, pizzas, wings, brewer’s pies, sandwiches and desserts.
Look for board games, pinball, arcade games and large TVs for entertainment, along with a casual and family friendly vibe.
If the Kickstarter campaign proves successful – there’s less than a week left in their effort – then the funds will go primarily towards the installation of a 30-tap draft beer system and a walk-in refrigerator for draft beer featuring a direct draw system.
Before this venture, Andrew and Lars helped open Palo Alto Tap Room. More about them and the State of Mind team from their Kickstarter page:
“State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria has been a long time dream of ours (Andrew and Lars Smith) along with our father Jim. After years of planning and searching for the right location, State of Mind Public House is close to becoming a reality… We have a combined experience in the restaurant business of close to 25 years. Andrew’s passions are service and bartending and Lars is very passionate about both food and beer. Our father Jim is a newly retired high school teacher who has passed on his lifelong passion for craft beer to us. We are extremely excited to also have Cristina Smith and Amy Betz as part of our management team. Cristina (Lars’ wife) has worked in the restaurant industry on and off for 8 years and loves keeping all of us organized and on track. Amy Betz has also been in the restaurant business for years…”
State of Mind Public House and Pizzeria looks to be a very welcome addition to Los Altos. They’ve been providing the latest updates on Instagram and Facebook.