Category Archives: Beer

August 2017 Beer Share 2 of 2

So a week after the previous beer share meet-up, a group of us were back at it at Taplands, heeding the call put forth – once again – by local beer enthusiast Michael Su.

Jillian of Taplands enthusiastically served up Half Moon Bay’s Hop Dogma Brewing Co. Silly Gimmick Northeast Style Double IPA.

Virginia’s The Veil Brewing Co. Never Scared Pink Guava Gose Ale.

Vermont’s The Alchemist Heady Topper Double IPA.

The early group, including Dale, Michael, Ray, Barry, wifey and Matt.

Ohio’s North High Brewing collaboration with Pennsylvania’s Weyerbacher Brewing – HighWeyer Double IPA.

Michigan’s Old National Brewing Company Boxer New England IPA.

Oregon’s Rogue Ales XS Old Crustacean Barleywine (bottled in 2002).

The Veil Brewing Co. Hornswoggled Chocolate Milk Stout.

Alaskan Brewing Company Barley Wine Ale (2009).

Ohio’s Hoof Hearted Brewing Konkey Dong Double IPA.

Anaheim’s Bottle Logic Brewing Down Down New England Style IPA.

When I asked Michael what motivated him to share all these wonderful beers, he stated:

“Wish I could give some poetic answer, but alas there is none. I like trading for beer. Sometimes, the rush from closing a trade is more satisfying than the beer itself, <lol>. And then I end up with all this beer I can’t possibly drink myself. Plus, it’s way more fun sharing beer with others than just chugging solo.”

I’m sure there are many like me who are very appreciative of Michael’s generosity. Thank you, Michael!

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

August 2017 Beer Share 1 of 2

In the midst of an unusually hectic summer, I was very fortunate to be able to attend a couple beer sharing meet-ups late last month.

They took place at Taplands and spearheaded by local beer enthusiast Michael Su, who brought many stellar cans to share with us fellow South Bay Beerhounds.

First up: pre-gaming with Taplands’ own 40 Whacks Northeast Style IPA with Blood Orange.

Sophia and Dale generously shared special beers as well.

Group photo, courtesy of Jill of Taplands: Brian, yours truly, Sophia, Michael, Dale, Amanda, Terry.

Here we go…

Sacramento’s Track Seven Brewing Company Mo’Suka Northeast-Inspired Double IPA.

Monterey’s Alvarado Street Brewery Cool Runoffs Double IPA.

Iowa’s Toppling Goliath Brewing Company King Sue Double IPA.

Brewed by Oregon’s Hair of the Dog Brewing Company at Belgium’s Brouwerij de Molen – Binkie Claws = Doggie Claws Ale Barleywine (bottle dated 8-5-15).

Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery Last Snow Coconut & Coffee Porter.

Oakland’s Temescal Brewing Your Favorite Jerks IPA.

Sacramento’s New Glory Craft Brewery Astro Haze Galaxy IPA.

Massachusetts’ Tree House Brewing Company Lights On American Pale Ale.

Massachusetts’ Trillium Brewing Company Double Dry Hopped Congress Street IPA.

San Francisco’s Cellarmaker Brewing Company collaboration with Torrance’s Monkish Brewing Co. – Keeping the Family Together Double IPA.

New Glory Flippin’ Good Pancake Brown Ale.

Alvarado Street Chiffon Fog IPA.

Ohio’s Hoof Hearted Brewing collaboration with Maryland’s RaR Brewing – Party At: Steve Guttenberg’s House Double IPA.

Auburn’s Moonraker Brewing Company Yojo IPA.

Wisconsin’s New Glares Brewing Co. Enigma Sour Brown Ale.

Oregon’s Great Notion Brewing Juice Jr. IPA.

Tree House Julius IPA.

Tree House Single Shot Coffee Milk Stout.

Virginia’s The Veil Brewing Co. collaboration with New York’s Other Half Brewing Company – All Wheat Everything Double IPA.

Berkeley’s Fieldwork Brewing Company Shoot the Moon American Stout.

Pennsylvania’s Tired Hands Brewing Company Refreshing Double IPA.

Trillium collaboration with Other Half: Two Hundred Thousand Trillion Double IPA.

Moonraker collaboration with Alvarado St. – Electric Lettuce Double IPA.

Another group photo, including Amanda, Terry, Matt, Michael, Tiyo, Brian and Dale. Cheers!

New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb Wisconsin Wild Fruit Ale.

Washington’s Reuben’s Brews Anniversary Style Juice IPA.

Lance (chief beerhound), Tiyo, Dale, Amanda, Terry.

Alvarado Street DeLorean Dust Double IPA.

Matt of Taplands with Michael and Terry.

Hoof Hearted Who’d Like to Hold my Clipboard? Double IPA with Pink Guava, Vanilla & Lactose Added.

Trillium Small Bird Series: Skimpy Sparrow American Pale Ale.

New Jersey’s Magnify Brewing Dr. Citra IPA.

The beer share was simply epic, and I ended up staying much, much longer than originally planned.

Extremely generous folks brought wonderful beers to share. Thanks to all for such special beers and for your splendid company and the festive vibes.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

PS: The next post is another beer share recap that took place a week later.

Scott’s Seafood Presents ‘Best of Summer’ Beer Dinner Featuring Santa Clara Valley Brewing

Photo from last fall's beer dinner at Scott's Seafood
Photo from last fall’s beer dinner at Scott’s Seafood

The special beer dinners at Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose (185 Park Ave.) have proven time after time to be can’t-miss events. We’re talking consistently excellent food-and-beer pairings, stellar service , warm vibes and the gorgeous outdoor rooftop venue.

Following up their previous beer dinner last fall, Scott’s Seafood recently announced their next one – set for Monday, July 24 from 6pm-9pm – featuring San Jose’s own Santa Clara Valley Brewing.

The upcoming “Best of Summer” beer dinner will be a truly local, San Jose affair; Santa Clara Valley Brewing is located less than two miles south of the restaurant.

And a quick peek at the weather forecast portends a lovely summer evening.

The Five-Course Menu

Food and beverage director Sammy Reyes and the culinary team have created the following five-course dinner menu:

1st course/opening reception:

  • Charcuterie and Cheese Platter
  • Beer Pairing: Dry Creek Blonde

2nd Course:

  • Scallop Crudo: Thinly sliced raw Sea Scallop served with citrus wasabi soy sauce
  • Beer Pairing: Alviso Hefeweizen

3rd Course:

  • Steak Tartare served with arugula and crispy shallots in a citrus dressing
  • Beer Pairing: Electric Tower IPA

4th Course:

  • Halibut served with a saffron risotto and a mushroom ragout topped with basil pesto.
  • Beer Pairing: New Almaden Red

5th Course:

  • Chefs sweet surprise
  • Paired with: Loma Prieta Rye Stout

Dinner Tickets

Tickets for the beer dinner are $60 dollars per person and available for purchase at the dinner’s Eventbright page.

Consider getting tickets sooner than later as previous beer dinners have sold out.

As is the case with any good beer dinner, brewery representatives will be on hand to introduce the beer pairings and to answer any questions about Santa Clara Valley Brewing and their offerings.

 

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.



Scenes from Berkeley’s Pacific Standard Taproom, June 2017

We visited my alma mater UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) on a gorgeous Saturday morning last month.

We try to get out to Berkeley as often as we can – checking out various places in and around the city – but it had been an unusually long time since our previous visit.

It’s been amazing seeing the development taking place around the campus in recent years.

A particular highlight during our visit was checking out Pacific Standard Taproom, located just a couple of blocks from the campus at 2055 Center St.

Pacific Standard is the first outpost for Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and opened last October.

We arrived right at the open and were welcomed in with a friendly smile.

On tap were beers from Half Moon Bay Brewing as well as from other local breweries.

Pacific Standard also offers ciders, wines and a selection of small bites featuring fresh and local ingredients. Weekly specials include discounts on growler fills on Mondays.

We opted for the four-ounce tasters, including (from left to right) The Good Beer Blackberry Oro, Half Moon Bay Brewing Apricot and Passionfruit Belgian Blonde, Two Rivers Ciders Mango Cider, Half Moon Bay Brewing Honey Ale, Faction Smoked-N-Oaked and Faction Anomaly Milk Stout (Nitro).

Foodwise, we ordered House-Pickled Seasonal Veggies.

Charcuterie Board.

Grilled Cheese with Chips and Salsa.

We ordered additional tasters of Barebottle Galaxy Dust and High Water Campfire Stout (Nitro).

To pair with House-Baked Pretzel Knots with Cheese Sauce and Mustard.

As we enjoyed our beer and food, it quickly became clear how special Pacific Standard is, thanks mainly to the excellent and knowledgeable service, a great beer selection (including bottled offerings), tasty bites and the charming space.

Wifey and our younger kid both raved about the food, and we made sure to offer up our compliments to Jana, who’s been with Pacific Standard since its opening.

Cheers to Jana and Sophia (who had just recently joined Pacific Standard)! They helped make our visit extra enjoyable.

Whenever we visit Berkeley, a stop at Pacific Standard will be a must.

Switching gears a bit, we recently enjoyed a couple limited-release offerings from Half Moon Bay Brewing.

Red Sails in the Sunset Flemish-Style Red Ale with Cherries marks the third release from Half Moon Bay Brewing’s Ocho Barril Series of Sours.

It’s a Flanders Red-inspired beer aged in pinot noir barrels for a total of 18 months, with the last 4 months aged on tart cherries from Michigan.

Coming in at 7.3% ABV, it’s a bright, tart and delicious beer with subtle oak flavor and enjoyable complexity.

A limited number of bottles of Red Sails in the Sunset are available at Pacific Standard.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Papa Juice Old Ale is a small batch release aged six months in Redemption Rye Whiskey barrels.

The flavors are punctuated by notes of dates, maple, molasses, whiskey and oak.

Papa Juice is an exquisite, smooth sipper that belies its 13.1% ABV content.

With special releases like these two excellent offerings, brewmaster James Costa and his team continue their output of standout beers.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy



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.

Beerwalk Campbell 01

Beerwalk Campbell 02

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

Beerwalk Campbell 03

Beerwalk Campbell 04

Beerwalk Campbell 05

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) .

Beerwalk Campbell 06

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

Beerwalk Campbell 07

Dale Swanson – AKA Brewtographer – snapping pics.

Beerwalk Campbell 08

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

Beerwalk Campbell 09

Hermitage Brewing Company Mosaic Single Hop IPA.

Beerwalk Campbell 10

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

Beerwalk Campbell 11

Cheers! with Joel.

Beerwalk Campbell 12

Beer enthusiast Billy with Beerwalk co-founder Charlie Mann.

Beerwalk Campbell 13

Yours truly with Bobby Favela of Wine Warehouse.

Beerwalk Campbell 14

Beerwalk Campbell 15

Beerwalk Campbell 16

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

Beerwalk Campbell 17

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

Beerwalk Campbell 18

El Gigante with two cute kids.

Beerwalk Campbell 19

Billy and Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Peter Estaniel.

Beerwalk Campbell 20

Santa Clara Valley Brewing Electric Tower IPA.

Beerwalk Campbell 21

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.

Beerwalk Campbell 22

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

Beerwalk Campbell 23

Beerwalk fans Shelly, Stephanie and Chris.

Beerwalk Campbell 24

Beerwalk Campbell 25

Sonoma Springs Brewing Company’s Robert Raney.

Beerwalk Campbell 26

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

Beerwalk Campbell 27

Beerwalk Campbell 28

Beerwalk Campbell 29

Beerwalk Campbell 30

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

Beerwalk Campbell 31

It was another excellent Beerwalk.

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

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy