Category Archives: Beer

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Opens Second Location in Cupertino

Photo credit: Steins

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.

Photo credit: Steins

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.

Photo credit: Steins

The interior features an updated industrial-inspired atmosphere. More below from a recent media release:

The Space

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.

Photo credit: Steins

The Beer

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.

Photo credit: Steins

The Food

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.

Photo credit: Steins

About Steins

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.



Lagunitas Founder Tony Magee to Perform at Downtown San Jose’s Cafe Stritch

Just a quick post to announce the performance of the band Alice Drinks the Kool Aid in downtown San Jose at Cafe Stritch (374 S. 1st St.) later today, Wed., June 21 from 6pm-7pm.

Lagunitas Brewing Company founder Tony Magee helped form the band –  a “Blues Based Chicago Indie Rock band” – several years ago as a creative outlet with two other lifelong musician friends.

And having just listened to several songs available on their website, the band is very good in my humble opinion, reflecting the accomplished, musical experiences of each member.

There’ll be Lagunitas IPA and Aunt Sally Sour Ale on tap – plus cans of 12th of Never Pale Ale – but the focus will be on the music, with – preferably – a good beer in hand.



New Bohemia Brewing Company Bottle Release – Cherry Bomb Imperial Cherry Stout Brewed with Honey

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.



Uproar Brewing Company to Open June 14

The wait is over. Uproar Brewing Company (439 S. First St.) has finally announced their opening date via their Facebook page earlier this morning:

“Words we’ve been waiting to say for too long… We’re opening June 14. Drop by and say hello.”

It certainly has been a long wait, and after a series of delays and changes, Uproar’s low-key update is sure to excite many, including local beer fans as well as folks eager to see the continued growth of downtown San Jose and the SoFA district in particular.

I had the good fortune to attend a preview dinner earlier this spring, and the event indeed portended a positive outlook for the brewery and restaurant and the surrounding area.

In becoming the newest member of the South Bay brewing community, Uproar will look to enhance the local beer scene by offering more options for beer fans with an emphasis on good beer and good food.

Very happy for the Uproar team and look forward to visiting soon.

Update: Below is the opening menu shared by Uproar a handful of hours after their initial opening date announcement:





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!



Scenes from the 6th Annual Downtown Campbell Beerwalk

It was a sold-out Beerwalk event in downtown Campbell last week, and no doubt that the theme of Stars Wars on May the fourth added to the popularity.

Wifey and I had the very good fortune of being able to make it, joining the 1,198 other revelers out and about on a picture-perfect Thursday evening.

Pics below.

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Instagram sensation – and local guy – Dan, AKA Louie Baton.

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High Water Brewing Aphotic Imperial Porter with Cacao Nibs and Calambic Series Le Petit Diablotin American Sour Ale (aged in wine barrels for 12 months with local sour cherry and pomegranate juice) .

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High Water Brewing Cucumber Kolsch and Campfire Stout (brewed with graham crackers, molasses and toasted marshmallow).

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Dale Swanson – AKA Brewtographer – snapping pics.

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The Hermitage Brewing Company crew, including Joel Wind (center) and Nicole Marquez (right).

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Hermitage Brewing Company Mosaic Single Hop IPA.

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Hermitage Brewing Company Motueka Single Hop IPA, the latest release from their Single Hop Series.

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Cheers! with Joel.

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Beer enthusiast Billy with Beerwalk co-founder Charlie Mann.

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Yours truly with Bobby Favela of Wine Warehouse.

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Campbell Brewing Company assistant brewer John Paine, head brewer Michael Paine and bar manager Jeremy Eseroma.

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Yours truly with Beerwalk co-founders Jordan Trigg and Charlie.

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El Gigante with two cute kids.

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Billy and Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Peter Estaniel.

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Santa Clara Valley Brewing Electric Tower IPA.

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Golden State Brewery’s Stephanie Hendrickson and Adrienne Lenore. Golden State always brings their latest and greatest to the Beerwalks, this time their recently released Maibock along with their Bay Area Blonde.

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Jay and Justin Ganz of San Jose’s GearTooth Alewerks.

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Beerwalk fans Shelly, Stephanie and Chris.

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Sonoma Springs Brewing Company’s Robert Raney.

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Robert treating me to a taste of Sonoma Springs Triple IPA.

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Bobby and Darth Talon, who’s arrived just as we’re leaving.

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It was another excellent Beerwalk.

The next installment is their 2nd Annual Sakewalk, taking place Thursday, June 8 in Japantown.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

6th Annual Downtown Campbell Beerwalk: Star Wars Edition

Beerwalk Campbell 2017

The upcoming Beerwalk on Thursday, May 4 will mark the 6th annual visit to downtown Campbell and the 2nd year in a row that the event will be Star Wars themed.

When

Thursday, May 4, 6pm-9pm

Breweries

  • Altamont Beer Works
  • Anchor Brewing Company
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company
  • Breckenridge Brewery
  • Calicraft Brewing Company
  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • Discretion Brewing
  • Elysian Brewing
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • GearTooth AleWerks
  • Golden Road Brewing
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Goose Island
  • Heretic Brewing Company
  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • High Water Brewing
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Saint Archer Brewing Company
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Sierra Nevada Brewery
  • Sonoma Springs Brewing Company
  • Strike Brewing Co.
  • Tilt Brewery
  • Uncommon Brewers

Tasting Locations

  • The Art Beat
  • Bestie’s Boutique
  • Blueline Pizza
  • Brown Chicken Brown Cow
  • CaliMuscle
  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • The Celtic Shoppe
  • Freshly Worn Furniture
  • Frost Cupcake Factory
  • Khartoum
  • Liquid Bread Gastropub
  • The Olive Shop
  • Redemption
  • Rocket Fizz
  • Socialight
  • Sneak & Butterfly
  • Spread Deli & Bottles
  • Steepers
  • Sushi Confidential
  • Tessora’s
  • Therapy Stores
  • The Courtyard (Bombshell Boutique, The Cruiser Shop, Embelish Hair Lounge, Pout Beauty)

Check-In Times and Location

Check-in: 5pm-8pm

Location: Khartoum, 300 Orchard City Drive #101, Campbell, CA 95008

Tickets

Tickets are $30 throughout this weekend and go up to $35 starting next week. A limited number of tickets will be available for $38 the day of the event.

Tickets include beer samples, custom glass and a tasting passport. To purchase tickets, visit the Beerwalk’s Eventbrite page.

For my pictures from last year’s event, click here.

MAY THE 4TH BEer WITH YOU!

‘Beers Around the World Tour’ Spring 2017 Edition

SJSU Beer Around the World Spring 2017

San Jose State University’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management presents the next installment of the “Beers Around the World Tour,” taking place Thursday, April 27 from 6pm-9:30pm at The Glasshouse in downtown San Jose (2 S. Market St.).

The event is run entirely by SJSU students enrolled in select courses – including beer appreciation and event industry classes – and provides real, hands-on experience in putting together a big event project from scratch to finish.

Expect the format to be similar to that of the previous event held this past December – numerous booths set up throughout the venue representing different countries with beers and hors d’oeuvres available to taste.

According to Professor and Internship Coordinator Dr. Kate Sullivan, the upcoming trade show will be the largest one yet, and for the first time tickets can be purchased by non-SJSU folks.

For registration information and to purchase tickets, click here.

I had the good fortune of being able to attend the previous Beer Around the World event (click here for my recap post) and really look forward to this upcoming one. I’m happy to be helping support future hospitality professionals one sip at a time. :)

Go Spartans!

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

Where to Find Waldos’ Special Ale in the South Bay

waldoposter_2017It’s that time of the year when those of us into ultra dank and hoppy IPAs go looking for Waldos’ Special Ale. Brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company, Waldos will be featured at a number of upcoming events, including a bunch on Thursday, 4/20. FYI, this year’s batch comes in at 11.5% ABV.

Saturday, April 1

Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose looks to be the first of the local beer spots to feature Waldos on Saturday, April 1 at 12pm. They’ll have other Lagunitas offerings on tap, including PILS, Dark Swan Wild Ale, Davey Murray’s Best Scotch Ale and High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout (2016).

Thursday, April 6

IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop in Milpitas is hosting “The Waldos Get Westified” on Thursday, April 6 at 3pm. The event features 2017 Waldos’ Special Ale, 2016 High Westified Coffee Stout Batch 2, 2016 High Westified Coffee Stout Batch 3, 2016 Willet Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and Lagunitas IPA.

Thursday, April 20

I just received word that there’ll be a “very disorganized pub crawl in downtown San Jose starting at high noon” with stops at Market Beer Company, ISO: Beers, Original Gravity Public House and finishing at Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe at 4:20pm. Look for Waldos and other Lagunitas goodies at these stops.

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose will tap Waldos at 4:20pm alongside other Lagunitas offerings.

Finally, a Waldos’ Pub Crawl in downtown Campbell kicks off at Spread Deli & Bottles at 4:20pm with Waldo’s Special Ale on draft at every stop, along with other Lagunitas beers and beer cocktails:

  • 4:20pm – Spread Deli & Bottles
  • 5:30pm – Liquid Bread Gastropub
  • 6:30pm – The Vesper
  • 7:30pm – Khartoum

Don’t forget that you can also pick up Waldos’ Special Ale in bottles in the coming weeks at many of the local shops that carry craft beer.



Scenes from the 2017 Bacon and Beer Classic at Levi’s Stadium

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This year’s Bacon and Beer Classic at Levi’s Stadium welcomed over 3,000 attendees over two sessions on a Saturday afternoon and evening exactly one month ago.

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It was the first time that the event was held on the field, which added an extra special touch to the festivities.

Once again, I was extremely honored to be included on the judging panel where we awarded winners in a number of categories.

Complete Winners List

Here’s the list of categories and winners:

Best Overall Bacon Dish: Fattoria e Mare’s Fried Bacon Jalapeno Aioli Calzones
People’s Choice: The Boneyard’s Pulled Pork Deviled Eggs with Smoked Bacon and Izzy’s Bacon Cheesesteak Shots

Best Sweet Dish: Kindred Cooks’ Spicy Bacon Caramels and Sunny Side Up’s Maple Glazed Bacon Pancakes
Best Savory Dish: Loma Brewing’s Whiskey Glazed Bacon on Salted Potato Chip with Bacon Beer Cheese and The Halford’s Bacon Cheddar Hushpuppies with Bacon Beer Cheese

Best IPA: Speakeasy’s Blood Orange Double Daddy Imperial IPA
Best Dark Beer: Coronado Brewing’s Imperial Blue Ridge Coffee Stout
Best Belgian or Wheat Beer: Mother Earth’s Cali Creamin’ Vanilla Cream Ale
Best Red or Amber Ale: Anderson Valley’s Boont Amber Ale
Best Light Beer or Lager: Speakeasy’s Metropolis Lager
Best Cider or Fruit Beer: TW Pitchers’ Radler

More pics from the afternoon session are below, starting with Cross Hatch Eatery’s Cold Yam Noodles with Pork Belly.

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The Boneyard’s Pulled Pork Deviled Eggs with Smoked Bacon.

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Loma Brewing Company pouring Warren Peace Kölsch (4.9% ABV) and AC Sleightor Doppelbock (7.2% ABV).

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Loma Brewing Company head brewer Warren Billups on the right.

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Loma Brewing Company chef Aubrey Arndt in the middle.

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Loma Brewing’s Whiskey Glazed Bacon on Salted Potato Chip with Bacon Beer Cheese.

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The crew from Spread Deli & Bottles, including Jordan Trigg and Charlie Mann – both in the middle.

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BLT Sliders from Spread Deli & Bottles.

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Beer Snobiety’s Glen and TJ on the left and right.

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South City Ciderworks’ Greg and Alex.

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Roots and Rye’s Braised Pork Belly with Bacon Jam.

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Jim and Ariella pouring Golden State Brewery I-5PA (6.6% ABV) and “Pearsuit” of Happiness Pilsner (5.1% ABV).

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Mini Pinto Bean Tamales with Jalapeno and Bacon by Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas.

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T.W. Pitchers’ Brewing pouring Snake Bite (Lager and Apple Cider Shandy, 5.1% ABV) and Radler (Lager and Grapefruit Shandy with Blood Orange, 5.1% ABV).

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Ryan Brown and Stuart of Sierra Nevada enjoying a bite between pours of Otra Vez (Gose-Style Ale Brewed with Cactus and Grapefruit) and Sidecar (Orange Pale Ale).

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Michael McKee of Anchor pouring Anchor’s Mango Wheat and Blackberry Daze IPA.

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What a treat! – A pour from a 1.5 liter magnum bottle of the one-time, limited-edition Anchor 2016 Brandy Barrel-Aged Stout.

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Siobhan and Jon of Red Branch Cider Company pouring Black Cherry (Semi-Sweet cider) and Beauregarde Extract (Blueberry Cider).

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Sonoma Spring’s Robert Raney pouring Women Are Smarter Wildflower Ale (Saison Style) and HazyCaliFrajilisticHoppyAladocious Northeastern-Style IPA.

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Gordon Brown of Coronado.

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Devil’s Canyon pouring Triple IPA (Nelson Sauvin, Citra and Mosaic Hops, 11% ABV) and Coconut Porter (Coconut Milk and Toasted Coconut, 6.5% ABV).

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Pam and Kevin Leonard representing Ballast Point.

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Oskar Blues’ Derek Stanfill on the right.

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Knee Deep pouring Breaking Bud IPA and No Seeds No Stems Triple IPA.

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Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion IPA No. 4.

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Berryessa’s Adam pouring La Fuerza Mexican Lager and Mini Separation Anxiety Mosaic Session IPA.

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We also got the chance to look inside the BNY Mellon Club West, a great space located at the 50-yard line, field level.

Beers pouring inside:

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Ale, Deschutes Sageflight IPA, Oskar Blues Ten Fidy Imperial Stout and Beerito Mexican Lager, Dogfish Head Beer to Drink Music to, Ballast Point Red Velvet Golden Oatmeal Stout with Beets & Chocolate and Founders Rubaeus Pure Raspberry Ale.

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Beer guru Randy Griggs.

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Wifey enjoying a short break.

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Fattoria e Mare’s Fried Bacon Jalapeno Aioli Calzones.

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Wine Warehouse’s Bobby Favela and Ballast Point’s Kevin.

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Beer legends – and fellow Bacon and Beer Classic judges – Pete Slosberg and Dan Gordon with Cannonball Productions’ Olivia French.

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Speakeasy Blood Orange Double Daddy Double IPA (with blood orange juice & puree, 8.5% ABV) and Metropolis Lager (West Coast Lager with Mosaic and Saphir Hops, 5.3% ABV).

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Speakeasy’s Christopher and Shuk.

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It was another excellent Bacon and Beer Classic, with countless happy folks getting their fill of bacony goodness, tasty beer and good fun.

Definitely looking forward to next year’s.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy