Category Archives: Beer

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

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant 4-Year Anniversary Celebration, Plus Q & A with Owner Ted Kim and Executive Chef Colby Reade

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A photo from last year’s anniversary celebration at Steins

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain is celebrating its four-year anniversary with a BBQ celebration – featuring a pig roast and a slew of special draft beers – on Saturday, March 25.

The BBQ will be available beginning at 11am (Steins opens at 10am with their regular menu as well).

BBQ Menu for Outdoor Patio Guests

There’ll be a walk-up window for guests sitting outside.

  • Choices of meat: Ribs, roast pig, spicy pork sausage
  • Choices of sides: Baked beans, mac & cheese, cole slaw.

Pricing for outside:

  • $8: Your choice of one protein and one side
  • $14: Choice of 2 proteins and two sides
  • $20: All proteins and all sides
  • Note: Extra sauces will be available outside only

Pre-Fixed BBQ Menu for Guests Dining Inside

For guests dining inside the restaurant, there’ll be pre-fixed BBQ plates available for $16.

Choices include:

  • Pig and ribs with cole slaw and baked beans OR mac & cheese
  • Pig and sausage with cole slaw and baked beans OR mac & cheese
  • Ribs and sausage with cole slaw & baked beans OR mac & cheese
  • All with housemade Maker’s Mark BBQ Sauce

Beer List

Steins manager Lynna Nguyen has provided a sneak peek to some of the beers to be tapped:

  • Allagash Hibernal Fluxus 2016 Belgian-Style Stout
  • Avery Oak-Aged Samael’s Barley Wine
  • Cascade Cranberry Sour Ale
  • Clown Shoes Hammer of the Beast Imperial Stout and Barleywine Ale
  • Elkhorn Slough Vierra Golden Ale
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2015 Imperial Stout
  • Lagunitas WTFarmhouse Sour Farmhouse IPA
  • Logsdon Oak-Aged Bretta Farmhouse Ale
  • The Bruery Poterie Anniversary Ale (Old Ale)

Included on the tap list will be the winner of last year’s annual Steins homebrew competition – Lower Ground American Stout brewed by Scott Wilson. All proceeds from this beer will go to a local charity of Scott’s choice.

Lynna – who’s been with Steins since the beginning – shares:

“We have come so far and worked so hard to make this restaurant what it is today. I am so proud of everyone and all that we have accomplished together. There is actually still a handful of us that have been here since the beginning, too.

“To watch this place develop into what Ted envisioned is amazing. I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this company. This year is a big year for us. As you know, we are opening our Cupertino location soon, hopefully in Summer 2017! We are so excited for this expansion of our company and are looking forward to the journey.”

Q & A with Ted Kim and Colby Reade

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Throwback photo of Ted Kim and Chef Reade from Dec. 2012

Steins owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade graciously took time out of their very busy schedules to share some thoughts about reaching the 4-year milestone.

How does it feel to reach the 4-year mark?

Ted Kim: It’s a very humbling experience. We started this endeavor hoping for the best but being realistic about the crushing odds that all new restaurants face.

Four years later, to see the success and impact we’ve been able to have as a business and on the community is nothing short of amazing.

Chef Reade: It’s great! You know, Ted and I always joke about it, how it sometimes seems like we just started. It’s funny like that, but then we think about certain experiences and memories, and we realize that it was a while ago.

For us, we know that there’s always room for improvement, and that’s the key that keeps us young and looking forward.

What have been your greatest highlights?

Ted Kim: Steins marriages and babies! Four years in we’ve seen our first marriages and babies being born from staffers who met and fell in love at Steins. Very, very cool stuff.

Chef Reade: We strive for consistency with our dishes, and one of the things I’m proudest of is the kitchen crew we’ve built. We have two amazing sous chefs – brothers Paco Guzman and Cheke Guzman. Paco worked at Johnston’s Saltbox in San Carlos, and both have worked at Pixar and Google. They’ve been with us the last couple years, and now they have chefs under them. I couldn’t take on our new Cupertino restaurant without them.

I’m constantly amazed by how many dinner items we sell other than burgers and sandwiches. We have a really good spread. Our lamb trio – we go through 3-4 whole lambs a week – steaks, seafood… there’s really nothing I want to push more. The burgers are still most popular, but we’ve tweaked the menu and fine-tuned it enough to sell everything according to our expectations.

What’s the latest on Steins Cupertino?

Ted Kim: Coming Summer of 2017. We are hiring key management positions, so interested parties can visit our Facebook page for more info.

Aesthetically, Cupertino will be have an updated modern look. The food menu will be the same but with differing specials.

The beer list will be different as well. Same 30 taps of beer, but the selection will ride heavily on the respective bar manager’s preferences. Both are fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing the varying directions they decide to go. You can definitely count on a great list either way!

Chef Reade: It’s coming faster than you think. From a kitchen perspective, we’ll open and start with the same menu as the Mountain View restaurant. We’ll let that run while taking a look at what the community wants.

Two pigs again for this year’s anniversary BBQ celebration?

Chef Reade: Yes, we’ll have two 80-pound pigs.

Anything else to add?

Ted Kim: We’ve officially launched our catering program. We received a lot of requests for it and finally decided to formalize our offerings. The reception has been great so far.

The Mountain View Oktoberfest was another stunning success. Every year seems to grow exponentially, and we’re already gearing up for 2017.

We also expanded and offered more hosted events throughout the year – the summer beer series, various pop-up dinners and pairings as well as showcasing some amazing new breweries. We even had a champagne brunch, flower-arranging class!

Chef Reade: Look out for a special spring Asian-French fusion dinner featuring Hitachino. It’s set for Wednesday, April 26 at 5:30pm. It’ll be our most formal dinner to date with six courses.

The first two courses will feature an unfiltered cold sake followed by a scotch distilled from the well-known Hitachino Nest White Ale. Four Hitachino beers will round out the rest of the dinner.

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Another throwback photo of Ted and Chef Reade from Dec. 2012




San Jose Breweries Announce New, Limited Release Offerings

Below is a quick roundup of the latest beer releases from several San Jose breweries, including Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Hermitage Brewing and Strike Brewing Co.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing

In part from a recent Facebook update: Cheers to our Assistant Brewer Adam Nanni for another sensational brew in our Beta Test series. Come on down to have a pint of Centennial SMASH – Beta Test #2.

Pilsner malt and Centennial hops make up this light-bodied session IPA that is bursting with intense citrus aroma, hints of melon and mild bitterness.

Enjoy SMASH in an SCVB pint glass (yours to keep) for $8, otherwise $6. This beer is very limited so don’t wait too long or you will miss out on something special.

SCV Brewing Centennial SMASH

Hermitage Brewing Company

The latest release from Hermitage Brewing Company’s Single Hop Series is Jester Single Hop IPA, now pouring in their Tap Room.

Coming from England, the Jester hop has characteristics of juicy grapefruit and tropical fruit notes.

The Jester Single Hop IPA promises to be a juicy, tropical offering.

Hermitage Jester Single Hop IPA

Strike Brewing Company

Strike Brewing Company will tap their latest Bullpen Series beer – Stone Finger Tart Saison – this Friday at their taproom.

Stone Finger Tart Saison has been aging in a wine barrel for the last 9 months and represents Strike’s first wine barrel-aged sour.

Per brewer Ryan Bridge, the various microbes have done wonders, producing a beer that’s “nicely tart with an awesome funk to it.”

Strike Brewing Stone Finger Tart Saison



Dine & Give: Family Flood Relief Day

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O’Flaherty’s irish Pub, one of the participating restaurants

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
  • Konjoe Tei
  • Ludwig’s German Table
  • Mezcal Restaurant
  • O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub
  • Olla Cocina
  • Origins Juicery
  • 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
  • Treatbot
  • Vino Vino
  • 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.

Learn more about the fund, giving or volunteering to help victims here: www.siliconvalleycf.org/sjflood



Introducing Firestone Walker’s Leo v. Ursus Chronology, Kicking Off with Fortem Unfiltered Imperial IPA

Firestone Walker Leo v Ursus Fortem

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

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.




Bravo Becomes First Firestone Walker Vintage Beer in 12-Ounce Bottles, Plus FW Barrel-Aged Takeover at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose

Firestone Walker Bravo

Passing along the following item culled from a recent press release, especially for my friend Stef who had recently asked about it.

Firestone Walker’s Bravo Imperial Brown Ale will be bottled for the first time and sold in 12-oz. bottles starting this month.

The first-ever bottled release of Bravo corresponds with the transition of all Firestone Walker Vintage Reserve beers – their line of barrel-aged beers – from 22-oz. bombers to individually boxed 12-oz. bottles in 2017.

The Vintage Reserve series includes well-regarded Parabola Imperial Stout, the annual Anniversary Ale, Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout, Stickee Monkey Central Coast Quad and Helldorado Blonde Barley Wine.

Brewmaster Matt Brynildson noted that the primary benefit of 12-oz. bottles is the ability to enjoy a high-gravity, barrel-aged beer without committing to consuming a full 22-ounce bottle.

He adds, “The per-bottle price point ($9.99) becomes more palatable, and we can spread the same amount of beer farther so that more people can try it. It also makes it easier to drink one now and age another for later. It’s just a lot more flexible.”

About Bravo

Bravo was the first beer aged in retired spirits barrels by Matt back in late 2004, during the experimental stages of what would become Firestone Walker’s inaugural Anniversary Ale.

Matt says, “At the time, most barrel-aged beers veered toward the sweeter side. We wanted to make something more dry and lean that would really allow the true bourbon barrel character to pop.”

Bravo has remained one of the driest beers in Firestone Walker’s Vintage Reserve series of barrel-aged beers, and since day one has been considered a vital component in the annual blending of the Anniversary Ale, balancing out some of the stickier components.

“Coming out of stainless steel, Bravo is pretty bracing. But when it goes into the barrel, it really mellows out, and the barrel character comes to the forefront.”

Another signature of Bravo is a lively malt quality that is maintained through Firestone Walker’s cold-storage of its barrel-aged beers. “It has this malt character that is surprisingly fresh. There’s a ton of barrel character, and a lot of toffee and caramel. It has the flavor of things sweet, but without being cloying or oxidative.”

Firestone Walker Night of Barrels

‘Firestone Walker Night of Barrels’ takes place on Thursday, Feb. at 6pm at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose (390 Saratoga Ave.). It’s an annual event during SF Beer Week.

Look for the following beers on tap:

  • XX Anniversary
  • XIX Anniversary
  • Krieky Bones
  • 2017 Bravo
  • 2016 Parabola
  • 2016 Stickee Monkee
  • 2016 Helldorado
  • 2016 Velvet Merkin