Category Archives: Beer

9th Annual Meet the Brewers Beer Festival at Hermitage Brewing Company

New Bohemia Brewing Company’s ‘Light My Fire’ Smoked Helles, one of my favorites from last year’s Meet the Brewers beer fest at Hermitage Brewing Company

This year’s Meet the Brewers beer fest – held once again at Hermitage Brewing Company (1627 South 7th St., San Jose) – takes place Sat., Feb. 17 from 1-5pm.

It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the offerings of many local and nearby breweries (and cideries) – from the South Bay, Peninsula, Santa Cruz and Monterey regions – all in one place.

Participating Breweries

  • Almanac
  • Clandestine
  • Discretion
  • Eight Bridges
  • El Toro Brewing
  • Faultline Brewing
  • FireHouse Grill
  • Forager
  • Freewheel Brewing
  • GearTooth Werks
  • Golden State Brewing
  • Half Moon Bay Brewing
  • Hermitage Brewing
  • Highwater Brewing
  • Holy Craft Brewing
  • Loma Brewing
  • New Bohemia Brewing
  • New World Ales
  • Peter B’s Brewpub
  • Rabbit’s Foot Meadery
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Santa Cruz Ale works
  • Shadow Puppet Brewing
  • South Bay Brewco
  • Sonoma Springs Brewing
  • South City Cider
  • Steel Bonnet Brewing
  • Strike Brewing
  • Taplands
  • Umunhum Brewing
  • Uncommon Brewers
  • WildCide Hard Cider
  • And more…

Tickets

Tickets are $45 and as in previous years, there’ll be live music and a good variety of mobile eats available for purchase:

  • Garcia’s Fish Tacos
  • Grilled Cheese Bandits
  • The Rolling Dough
  • El Burrito Loco
  • Cross Hatch Eatery
  • Sarah’s Latin Taste
  • Chula Puebla
Also on hand will be local makers:
  • Sumsaara
  • Gypsy Vine Candles
  • Natalie’s Workshop
  • Frenchie Couture Co.
  • Dream Light Jewelry
  • Sircar Grooming Co.

With folks from Caliva and the San Jose Sharks, plus a table for girl scout cookie purchases.

And having taken a peek at the weather forecast, it can’t get much better than the sunny 71 degrees predicted.

For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit the Meet the Brewer’s Eventbrite page.

Top South Bay Events for SF Beer Week 2018, Part 2

20 beer taps at 20twenty cheese bar in Willow Glen

Below is the rest of the roundup of select, mostly South Bay events scheduled to take place the second half of SF Beer Week 2018, from Thursday, Feb. 15 to Sunday, Feb. 18.

As previously stated in Part 1 covering the first half of SF Beer Week, it’s great to see so many options, especially since we all have our own preferences.

Thurs., Feb. 15: San Diego Night at Tap Room at Whole Foods Market Santa Clara

  • What: Special treats and good, old favorites from San Diego breweries – including Modern Times, Mike Hess, Pizza Port, Coronado, Lost Abbey and more – are taking over the taps. 11am-7pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2732 Augustine Dr., Ste. 1600, Santa Clara

Thurs., Feb. 15: The South Bay’s Favorite SF IPA at Steins Beer Garden Cupertino

  • What: San Francisco breweries – including Laughing Monk, Almanac, Fort Point, 21st Amendment and more – will be sending their favorite IPAs. Steins will be serving blind flights and asking you to vote for your favorite with the winner announced at 8pm. Brewery reps. will be on hand to answer questions. 11am-8pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 10088 N. Wolfe Rd., Ste. 130, Cupertino

Thurs., Feb. 15: Beer & Cheese Pairing at 20twenty cheese bar

  • What: Sample four unique beers paired selectively with four varieties of cheese, a tasting led by 20twenty’s very own cheesemonger. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose

Thurs., Feb. 15: Alvarado Street 10 Tap Takeover at South Winchester BBQ

  • What: Alvarado Street owner and head brewer JC Hill will be in the house as his beers take over the entire tap list, including Double Dry Hopped Mai Tai, Double Dry Hopped, Minesweeper, Contains No Juice, Delorean Dust, Triple Haole Punch, Double Cone, Hopres Ski, Motor Oil and more. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1362 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose

Thurs., Feb. 15: Dustbowl Brewing Special Release – Maple Coffee Black Blizzard Russian Imperial Stout at The Halford

  • What: The exclusive, small-batch Maple Coffee Black Blizzard Russian Imperial Stout is being released outside the brewery for the first time and only at The Halford for SF Beer Week. Also on tap will be the GABF gold medal winner Public Enemy Baltic Porter, a fresh batch of Confused Therapist, Fruit Tramp Kettle Sour and Change Order IPA. 6-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1494 Halford Ave., Santa Clara

Fri., Feb. 16: The Flying Tomahawp Dunk at IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop

  • What: Seven Stills Distillery and Alvarado Street Brewery teamed up to make a super dry hopped, hazy, juicy, delicious beer, and they canned it. We will have cans of Tomahawp DIPA and Bayview Haze (Tomahawp with Pomegranate) as well as a keg on tap. 2-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1422 Dempsey Rd., Milpitas

Fri., Feb. 16: Alesmith Speedway to the 5th at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Mountain View

  • What:  We’re going deep into our hidden stash and bringing out some special kegs for you! We’ve been saving these Alesmith Speedway kegs for a day like today as well as to celebrate our 5th year in Mountain View! We’ve lined up: Hammerhead, Hawaiian, Vietnamese, & Thai. 4pm-12am. SFBW page.
  • Where: 895 Villa St., Mountain View

Fri., Feb. 16: Name That IPA at TAP’T Beer & Kitchen

  • What: Try six IPAs blind and be able to ‘Name That IPA?’ to take home a prize. Hint: all breweries are in the SF area. Also vote for your favorite of the six, and TAP’T will have it on tap for the rest of the month. 5-8pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 259 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Fri., Feb. 16: Oysters and Stout at Strike Brewing Company

  • What: The Oyster Man will be at Strike from 5-8pm (while supplies last). Strike will have their 2017 and 2018 versions of Big Wall Imperial Stout on draft as well as their 2017 Big Wall on Nitro. Look for a special release of the Big Wall Double Vanilla Imperial Stout variant. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2099 S. 10th St., San Jose

Fri., Feb. 16: Sour Ciders, Sour Beers at The Cider Junction

  • What: The Cider Junction will be featuring a variety of sour ciders and beers. Some on draft, some in bottles and available in special flights as well as by the glass, including Finnriver Cider: Berry Barrel Aged, Lambic style sour cider (only available at The Cider Junction, nowhere else in CA); 101 Cider: 2 unique releases aged in port barrels and co-fermented with grape skins; The Lost Abbey Cuvee du Tomme (2018 release), BarrelHouse Brewing 2014 Wild Dapple Fire; Hermitage Brewing SF Beer Week Pineapple Ophion; BareBottle Brewing Pomegranate Kettle Sour; Ratel Cider Apricot hopped sour cider and Red Branch Cider Sour Cider. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 820 Willow St., Ste. 100, San Jose

Fri., Feb. 16: New Glory Tap Takeover at Nom Burger

  • What: It’s a New Glory tap takeover, including Dank Juice, Make It Rain, Dimed Out, Word Cloud DIPA, Lite Dream and Batter Up. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 251 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Fri., Feb. 16: Check Out the 916 at Harry’s Hofbrau San Leandro

  • What: The Harry’s Hofbrau San Leandro location will be hosting a number of Sacramento area breweries, including the brand new brewery Moksa out of Rocklin. Other featured breweries include Moonraker, Mraz, Claimstake, New Glory and Track 7. Look for some of the brewers to be in attendance. 6-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 14900 E. 14st St., San Leandro

Fri., Feb. 16: Lunar Near Year Featuring Karoke & Hapa’s Brewing Tap Takeover at 7 Bamboo Lounge

  • What: Celebrate the Lunar New Year with karaoke and a Hapa’s Brewing Company tap takeover. 9pm-2am. SFBW page.
  • Where: 162 Jackson St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 17: Sour Fest 10.0 at Original Gravity Public House

  • What: Their 10th bi-annual Sour Fest features over 20 sour, tart and funky beers on draft and specialty bottles as well. On tap: Almanac – Splendid Population, Avery – Raspberry Sour, Bear Republic – Tartare Rouge, Bruery – Sour in the Rye (POG), Calicraft – Barrel Project: Sour Peach, Cascade – Figaro (2015), Drake’s – Papa Roy’s Peche, E9 – Wild Tacoma Black Currant, Fieldwork – De Colores, Firestone Walker (Barrelworks) – Krieky Bones, Jolly Pumpkin / Monkish – Apocolocynopsis, Lost Abbey – Red Poppy (2017), Mikkeller – SpontanCassis, Modern Times – World Tree, Paradox Beer Co – Passion of the Fruit (Skully #51), Pure Project – Saison D’ Sabio, Soquel Fermentation Projec – Red #1, The Good Beer Co – Old Fortified, Upland – Kiwi and more. 12-11:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 66 S. 1st St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 17: 9th Annual Meet the Brewers at Hermitage Brewing Company

  • What: Celebrate the best local beer from Monterey to Livermore, and all points in between. 30+ local breweries, within 150 miles of San Jose. Live music and mobile eats. 1-5pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1627 S. 7th St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 17: Stone Brewing Night at Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Los Altos

  • What: Stone Brewing takes over along with free Stone Brewing glassware (while supplies last) and a free raffle at 7pm for an Arrogant Bastard LED, beanies, Berlin Magnum Bottles and specialty glassware. Pouring: 02.02.02 Vertical Epic, 6th Anniversary Porter, Double Bastard 2016, Loral & Dr. Rudi’s Inevitable Adventure, Merc Machine DIPA, Vengeful Spirit IPA, w00tstout 2017 and more. 5-9:30pm. SFBW page
  • Where: 1031 N. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos

Sat., Feb. 17: Barrel-Aged Love at TAP’T Beer & Kitchen

  • What: TAP’T will be dedicating eight taps (that’s 1/3 of them) to barrel-aged beers for one night. 8-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 259 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Sun., Feb. 18: IPA Day at Harry’s Hofbrau

  • What: IPAs, DIPAs and TIPAs. 11am-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose

Sun., Feb. 18: Sour Sunday at Nom Burger

  • What: Join Nom Burger for six sours on tap at once, including from Almanac, Hermitage, Calicraft and more. Try flights of three so you can try all six. 11am-9:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 251 W. Washington Ave., Sunnyvale

Top South Bay Events for SF Beer Week 2018, Part 1

Alum Rock NE DIPA from Santa Clara Valley Brewing will be back in time for SF Beer Week, available on draft and in 16-oz. cans

The 10th annual SF Beer Week is coming up quickly, with the Opening Gala kicking off the festivities on Friday, Feb. 9 in San Francisco.

A quick check of the SF Beer Week Schedule page shows over 100 events taking place in the South Bay region – which includes the Peninsula – and hundreds more throughout the rest of the Bay Area.

Local participating breweries include:

  • Alpha Acid Brewing Company
  • Blue Oak Brewing Company
  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • Clandestine Brewing
  • Das Brew
  • Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
  • El Toro Brewing Compant
  • Freewheel Brewing Company
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
  • Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
  • Hapa’s Brewing Company
  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • Highway 1 Brewing
  • Hop Dogma Brewing Company
  • Loma Brewing Company
  • Palo Alto Brewing Company
  • Sacrilege Brewing + Kitchen
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Strike Brewing Company
  • Uproar Brewing Company

Local establishments and organizations hosting events include:

  • 7 Bamboo Lounge
  • 20twenty cheese bar
  • Ale Arsenal
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Foster City
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Los Altos
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ San Jose
  • Armadillo Willy’s BBQ Sunnyvale
  • Beach Hut Deli (San Felipe Rd., San Jose)
  • Beerwalk
  • Fibbar Magees
  • Gourmet Haus Staudt
  • Grape & Grain
  • Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City
  • Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose
  • IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop
  • Jack’s Bar & Lounge
  • Jane’s Beer Store
  • Nom Burger
  • Original Gravity Public House
  • San Jose Walks & Talks
  • SmokeEaters Santa Clara
  • South Winchester BBQ
  • Spread Deli & Bottles
  • Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Mountain View
  • Taplands
  • TAP’T Beer & Kitchen
  • The Cider Junction
  • The Halford
  • The Refuge Menlo Park
  • The Refuge San Carlos
  • The Rose and Crown
  • Timber & Salt

Below is a roundup of some standout, South Bay-centric events scheduled to take place the first half of Beer Week through Wed., Feb. 14. I’ll post Part 2 with the rest of the roundup in a few days.

It’s great to see so many options, especially since we all have our own preferences. Don’t forget that there will be even more events sure to be added in the coming days.

Sat., Feb. 10: Wake & Break(fast) at Taplands

  • What: Taplands will be offering special foods to pair with a growing lineup of hearty breakfast and coffee beers in a variety of styles. It’s their most popular event of the year. 10am-1pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Sat., Feb. 10: 17th Double IPA Festival at The Bistro

  • What: The original kickoff to SF Beer Week, over 60 Double and 30 Triple IPAs on tap. A professional competition with awards ceremony at 3 pm. Live music on 2 stages, cheese tastings, grilled sausages and frickles. A bunch of South Bay folks head up 880 for this event. 11-4pm. $55. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1001 B St., Hayward

Sat., Feb. 10: Alum Rock Double IPA Can Release at Santa Clara Valley Brewing

  • What: Alum Rock NE DIPA will be back on draft and in 16-oz. cans. This limited beer is juicy and hazy, and features tropical fruit notes complemented by citrus-like hop flavors and aroma. Food from Emergency BBQ Company will be available for purchase, including ribs, tri-tip, mac-n-cheese and slow-smoked pulled pork. 12-8pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: Clandestine Brewing Grand Opening

  • What: Featured events include a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the City of San Jose, limited-release beers, food truck and prize give-aways throughout the day, including a grand prize of a membership into their exclusive Secret Agent growler club. Prizes are only for those present. Hours extended from 12-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 980 S. 1st St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: South Winchester BBQ Hosts Triple Threat: Cellarmaker, Green Cheek & Highland Park

  • What: Come talk beer with the founders/brewers of all three breweries while enjoying one of several culinary collaborations, including Vastness of Space BBQ Sauce, Chicken Chorizo IPA Sausage, and Mac & (Beer) Cheese. Cellarmaker beers: New Beer Smell – Pale Ale, Dobis + – IPA, Coffee and Cigarettes – Smoked Porter and Bourbon Vanilla Latte Vastness of Space. Other brewery beers TBD. 12pm-5pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1362 S. Winchester Blvd., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: Downtown San Jose Beerwalk

  • What: Explore the unique shops, studios and restaurants in downtown San Jose while sipping on great beers and enjoying the social enthusiasm of shopkeepers and beer lovers alike. 1-4pm. $35-40. The Beerwalk website.
  • Where: Check-in at Local Color, 27 S. 1st St.

Sat., Feb. 10: Beer and Cookies at Strike Brewing Company

  • What: Join Strike Brewing for an afternoon tasting of four Strike beers, each paired with a Girl Scout cookie. There will be a special release of two of their Big Wall Imperial Stout variants and their newest release Willie Haze, a NE style IPA. 2-6pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2099 S. 10th St., San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: 2 Towns Cider Tap Takeover and Release at The Cider Junction

  • What: 2 Towns Cider is taking over 8: New cider release Pacific Pineapple, special and rare barrel-aged Nice & Naughty, special Traditions Series cider Riverwood, two seasonal ciders Hop & Stalk and Serious Scrump, limited release cider Man Goh and two flagship ciders. Flights and single pour specials. 5-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 820 Willow St., Ste. 100, San Jose

Sat., Feb. 10: A Bay of Our Own Release – SF Beer Week 2018 Collaboration, Monterey Bay at The Halford

  • What: The Halford hosts a special beer release: A Bay Of Our Own (Salted Caramel Stout), one of the official SF Beer Week 2018 collaboration beers bringing together a dozen breweries from the Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz areas, including New Bohemia Brewing, East Cliff Brewing, Uncommon Brewers, Brewery Twenty Five, Alvarado Street Brewery, Corralitos Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Shanty Shack Brewing, Humble Sea Brewing, Steel Bonnet Brewing Company, Seabright Brewery and Discretion Brewing. Look for a small-bites food menu for the event. 7pm-12am. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1494 Halford Ave., Santa Clara

Sat., Feb. 10: Blind Barrel-Aged Beer Takeover at Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City

  • What: Two days of a unique event to blindly taste some of the best barrel-aged beers in the country. Flights will be available. Consumers can vote for their favorites. Beers to be revealed Sunday evening at 7pm as well as the top vote getters. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City

Sun., Feb. 11: Barrel Aged Sundae at SmokeEaters Santa Clara

  • What: No mimosas today. Just some full-bodied stouts that have been aging for quite some time. Order any of the following beers for a scoop of vanilla ice cream: Dogfish Head World Wide Stout ’16, Dogfish Head Vanilla World Wide Stout ’17, Oskar Blues Java Ten Fidy ’15, Founders CBS ’17 & KBS ’17 and more. SFBW page.
  • Where: 3175 Mission College Blvd.

Sun., Feb. 11: Breakside Brewery at Taplands

  • What: Taplands serves as the launch site for Breakside Brewery in the South Bay. Brewers will be on hand from 2-4pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Sun., Feb. 11: Historic Breweries, Bars & Brothel Tour in Downtown San Jose

  • What: Take a walk back in time, when San Jose lived up to its reputation as a drinking town. An alcohol-themed walking tour will cover San Jose’s drinking past and introduce what’s brewing in the present. This interactive stroll will visit former brewery locations, introduce famous brews and infamous drinkers. The tour has sold out in the past so sign up early to avoid the wait list. You MUST register in advance to receive the exact starting point for the tour. 2-4pm. $15. Evenbrite page.
  • Where: TBD – see above.

Sun., Feb. 11: Yeast Class – Lecture & Tasting at Santa Clara Valley Brewing

  • What: John LaPolla, NYC craft beer pioneer and owner of Brooklyn’s Bitter & Esters Homebrew and Brew On Premises, will be explaining everything you’ve always wanted to know about yeast. Did you know that most of the flavor of beer comes from the strain of yeast used in fermentation? In this class we will delve into the wonderful world of brewers yeast, including a history and usage of yeast and how it affects the flavor of your beer. Tastings and discussions to take place after the talk. 2-5pm. $70. Eventbrite page.
  • Where: 101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose

Mon., Feb. 12: Drake’s Hopocalypse Event at Wicked Chicken

  • What: 6 kegs from Drake’s to be tapped, including Black Label Hopocalypse, Green Label Hopocalypse, Cherryland Sour, Rye Robustito Barrel Aged Porter and Papa Roy’s Peche. 2-11pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 2565 The Alameda, Santa Clara

Mon., Feb. 12: From Our Cellar with Love at Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe

  • What: Join Good Karma as they dig into their cellar for beers from The Bruery/Terreux, including Sour in the Rye w/Passionfruit, Orange & Guava, 2016 Wanderer, Vindictive II, Zesty Mounds, 2015 Oude Tart, 2015 Tart of Darkness, Bouffon (collab w/ Jester King), White Chocolate and more. Look for specialty paired pizza as well. 3-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 37 S. 1st St., San Jose

Mon., Feb. 12: Half Moon Bay Brewing Takeover at Taplands

  • What: Taplands will be featuring single, double, and triple IPAs – all made in collaboration with other Bay Area breweries – along with a few special releases from Half Moon Bay Brewing. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Mon., Feb. 12: An Evening with Our Pals Temescal Brewing at Original Gravity Public House

  • What: Fresh offerings from Oakland’s Temescal Brewing, plus Original Gravity will be the first to pour – even before he brewery – a very special pre-release SFBW beer on draft. Current beer lineup for the event: Lite Idea – Blonde Ale w/ Mosaic, Mandarina Bavaria & Motueka, Neon Gold (Hoppy Blonde Ale w/ Mosaic & Ekuanot), Settle In (Robust Porter), Around Town (IPA w/ Zeus, Chinook, Crystal & Comet), Wonder Why (IPA w/ Citra, Simcoe & Laurel) and Big News Imperial IPA w/ Mosaic & Motueka. 6-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 66 S. 1st St., San Jose

Mon., Feb. 12: Hops Class – Lecture & Tasting at Santa Clara Valley Brewing

  • What: NYC craft beer pioneer John LaPolla will be explaining everything you’ve always wanted to know about hops. Hops are wonderfully diverse and are used for multiple purposes. Each variety imparts a uniquely different scent and flavor – from spicy, citrusy, pine-like, earthy to floral. Learn how hops are used for flavoring, bittering, and preserving beer and leave with a deeper appreciation for the world of hops. Afterwards we will taste four beer samples and discuss the hops role in the flavor profile of each beer. 7-10pm. $70. Eventbrite page.
  • Where: 101 E. Alma Ave., San Jose

Tues, Feb. 13: Nuclear Meltdown on Dempsey at IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop

  • What: IBU hosts an event featuring El Segundo Brewing Company and their hop-forward offerings. On tap: Power Plant TIPA, Nuclear Power Plant TIPA, Blurred Lines Hybrid IPA and Cerveza Fresca IPA (Hazy w/ Guava). 3-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1422 Dempsey Rd., Milpitas

Tues., Feb. 13: Beers around the Bay at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant Mountain View

  • What: Steins Mountain View will be showcasing offerings from local Bay Area breweries, including Fieldwork, Fort Point, Barebottle and Altamont.
  • Where: 895 Villa St.

Tues., Feb. 13: Drakeslands at Taplands

  • What: Taplands will transform into Drakeslands and will be pouring both familiar and specialty beers from San Leandro’s Drake’s Brewing Company, including a limited amount of a special collaboration between Taplands and Drake’s. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara

Tues., Feb. 13: Beer Can Cornhole Tournament at Jack’s Bar & Lounge

  • What: Have fun while competing in teams for giveaways and prizes. 6-9pm. $10. Eventbright page.
  • Where: 167 E. Taylor St., San Jose

Tues., Feb. 13: Trivia Tuesday – Beer Edition at 20twenty cheese bar

  • What: Test your beer knowledge and compete for prizes galore. 7-9pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose

Wed., Feb. 14: IPA Day at The Rose & Crown

  • What: The Rose & Crown will be showcasing the art and the styles of the IPA, including singles, ryes, doubles, and even triples. This is also the day they tap a very special brew, for which a line forms early (usually 8am). 11:30-7:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 547 Emerson St., Palo Alto

Wed., Feb. 14: I <3 MWS at Clandestine Brewing

  • What: Make Clandestine Brewing your date on Valentine’s Day. They will be featuring at least 10 different versions of Milky Way Stout: Coffee MWS, Peanut Butter MWS and Barrel Aged MWS, to name a few. 4-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 980 S. 1st St., San Jose

Wed., Feb. 14: Barebottle Homebrew Competition at Floodcraft Brewing Company at Whole Foods Market on The Alameda

  • What: Have a say in picking the winner between two contenders in Barebottle’s “Magic in a Bottle” contest. Every customer that orders the two-beer flight will get to vote for their favorite beer. 5-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 777 The Alameda, San Jose

Wed., Feb. 14: Beer, Chocolate and Love – My Favorite Things at Fibbar Magees

  • What: Per Fibbar Magges: “Come join us in the Abyss where our hearts are black and our beer is blacker. There will be nothing sweet about this vertical flight of Abyss Imperial Stouts except the dessert we pair with it.” On tap will be Deschutes Abyss 2014, Deschutes Abyss 2015, Deschutes Abyss 2016, Deschutes Sav Pinot and other delicious tasty treats from Deschutes. Vertical flight of Abyss comes with a tasty chocolate cake until supplies last. 6-10pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 156 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale

Wed., Feb. 14: Stouts & Sweets – Mini-Beerwalk in Downtown Campbell

  • What: Celebrate Valentine’s Day by tasting 4 different stouts paired with 4 different sweets from local shops while visiting 4 different watering holes, including the first public look at Boiler Maker (formerly Liquid Bread Gastropub). 6-9pm. The Beerwalk website.
  • Where: 193 E. Campbell Ave.

Wed., Feb. 14: Fall Brewing & Fieldwork – California Love at Original Gravity Public House

  • What: Per Fieldwork’s special request, Fall Brewing from North Park in San Diego will also be joining in on the fun as Original Gravity will have 5 beers on draft from each brewery and some sweet treats to pair with their beer. 6-11:30pm. SFBW page.
  • Where: 66 S. 1st St., San Jose

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Reopens Taproom, Celebrates ‘Grand Opening’

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers officially celebrates their return with a grand opening event on Saturday, Jan. 27, 1-5pm at its San Francisco brewery and taproom (1195 Evans Ave.).

Speakeasy recently reopened the doors to their remodeled Hunters Point taproom and resurrected its bottle production for retail distribution throughout California and select markets across the country.

The grand opening celebration will take place outdoors and inside the taproom and will feature 17 draft beers along with food by Native Sons BBQ and music by The Dirty Downtown Jazz Syndicate. The event is free with a cash bar for beer and food.

Speakeasy will release their hoppiest beer ever brewed at the grand opening, the taproom-only exclusive Blind Tiger Triple IPA, an aromatic blend of hops and resinous citrus fruit flavors at over 100 IBUs. With an addition of over 10 pounds of hops per barrel – including Huell Melon, El Dorado, Columbus, and Centennial hops – and clocking in at 10.6% ABV, Blind Tiger aims to deliver ample flavors of freshly cut melon, citrus peel, and ripe passionfruit.

Below are some photos from a media preview event held last month at the Speakeasy brewery and taproom:

Pop Gun Pilsner and Pop Gun Pilsner Oak-Aged and Unfiltered

Session Dark Lager and Bootlegger’s Cut Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout
Speakeasy taproom manager Nick Martinez provided expert beer tasting guidance.
Payback Coffee Porter (Philz Coffee) and Holdout Stout
Cheers!

Old Godfather Barleywine and Scarface Imperial Stout
Delicious bites from Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint
Syndicate No. 3 Bourbon Barrel Aged Vintage Ale

Speakeasy’s Ces Butner and Steve Shapiro of Beer by Bart

Speakeasy’s Clay Jordan

Clay getting set to lead a brewery tour

Prohibition Ale straight from the tank

The event was a memorable one – very tasty beers at a very cool spot. It was great getting to know some of the folks behind Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, and we look forward to visiting again soon.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

ps: Much more information below from a recent press release:

Hunters Point, Calif.Thursday, December 14, 2017 — The birthplace of craft brewing, San Francisco welcomes back one of its iconic brands Speakeasy Ales & Lagers following a nine-month hiatus during a change of ownership to Hunters Point Brewery LLC. Preserving the two-decade history and tradition of one of San Francisco’s stalwart production breweries, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers reopens its remodeled Hunters Point taproom with an expanded 17-line draft system, new copper-top tables and ambient lighting on December 15. Speakeasy features their acclaimed flagship beers such as Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy IPA alongside an array of exclusive taproom-only experimental small batch beers. Brand new crowlers as well as growlers will now be available at the Speakeasy taproom located at 1195 Evans Avenue in San Francisco, Calif.. Speakeasy officially celebrates its return with a Grand Opening event at the brewery on Saturday, January 27, 2018.

With a three-decade long career in the craft beer industry, prominent Bay Area business entrepreneur Ces Butner (CEO, Hunters Point Brewery LLC) bought Speakeasy Ales & Lagers to uphold one of San Francisco’s most renowned independent breweries. Butner’s expertise as a former award-winning beer distributor offers a healthy competitive edge in a growing national market with 6,000 craft breweries. The purchase of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers by a local African-American businessperson is a success story for craft beer in a day and age when big beer acquisitions of small craft businesses are all too common.

“As a company, we do more than just sell quality craft beer,” says Ces Butner. “We’re part of the community that we owe a lot to with all of their incredible past support for Speakeasy. It’s now time that we can once again embrace the craft community and let them know we are jumping in with both feet to strengthen our ties with craft beer drinkers across California and nationwide. We further want to help our colleagues at other craft breweries in any way we can. We have a 60,000 barrel facility and we’re looking forward to inviting brands in need of a brewing facility to collaborate with us in 2018.”

Only a handful of production breweries exist in San Francisco and Butner sets forth an innovative platform for Hunters Point Brewery LLC. While Speakeasy’s flagship beers and new seasonal releases maintain the majority of the 60,000 barrels capacity, Butner will open up the brewery to additional regional brands in need of a local facility looking to enhance their production numbers. Hunters Point Brewery LLC serves as a community partner working with Bay Area brewers to bolster the Northern California craft scene as a whole.

Located on the southeastern corner of San Francisco, Hunters Point is in the midst of a major comeback with the adoration of southern neighborhoods such as the adjacent Dogpatch at an all-time peak. Artisanal distillers, breweries, bakeries, restaurants, and redevelopment projects are blossoming within the southeastern region. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers churns out exceptional craft beers and is currently operated by many Speakeasy employees who’ve stayed the course during the brewery’s receivership to new ownership with Ces Butner now at the helm. The Speakeasy taproom offers a unique experience for beer aficionados to step inside their 1920’s underground watering hole to enjoy 17 draft beers always available on tap.

Speakeasy’s Clay Jordan (Director of Brewing Operations) is among the standout employees who persisted through the change of ownership. Collectively with his brewing team, they conceived and brewed a new beer in true Speakeasy fashion, Holdout Stout. Jordan comments, “During the recent uncertain times with the company, we developed a beer from scratch — completely off the record. We used ingredients we had on hand to specifically design a beer to be able to age well through an unpredictable future. We knew that if we came through on the other side of the receivership, we’d want a beer to celebrate with. Like the eight company holdouts that the beer is named after, it is a hearty, strong stout that’s built to last with a very roasty aroma and flavor, creamy mouthfeel, and smooth finish.”

Statewide throughout California and select markets nationwide including New York City will see Speakeasy’s acclaimed beers on retail shelves and on draft, including Prohibition Ale, Big Daddy IPA, Double Daddy Imperial IPA, Baby Daddy Session IPA, Pop Gun Pilsner, Metropolis Lager, and Payback Porter. At the Speakeasy Taproom, consumers will have access to a rotating lineup of experimental beers such as new releases Holdout Stout, Speakeasy Dark Lager, Speakeasy Saison, Bourbon Session Stout, Big Daddy’s Humidor, Oak Aged Pop Gun Pilsner, and Coffee Payback Porter. The brewery’s limited-edition bottle series will continue to be available for purchase in the taproom (Limited Series, Infamous Series, Syndicate Series, Perfect Crime Series).

About Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has been defiantly brewing small batch beers in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood since 1997. The brewery started with a single iconic beer, still made today, Prohibition Ale. The hoppy amber beer embodies the spirit of bootleggers and gangsters who persevered when America’s taps ran dry. Speakeasy quickly gained a loyal following with its bold, complex beers, and striking 1920s imagery. Speakeasy’s kingpin Big Daddy IPA is the brewery’s highest seller among its wide array of celebrated beers, from session ales to bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts. In 2013, the Speakeasy Taproom opened serving thousands of local craft beer lovers with fresh draft beer to be enjoyed onsite or to-go in growlers and crowlers.

Speakeasy’s original 15 barrel brewing system was replaced in 2015 during a major expansion, which included a 60 barrel brewhouse, centrifuge, malt handling system, canning line, and an additional 1,200 barrels of fermentation capacity.

Hunters Point Brewery LLC, a company founded by former owner of Horizon Beverage Company, Ces Butner, acquired the Speakeasy beer brands and brewing equipment in 2017. Under new ownership, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will grow by leaps and bounds. The brewery’s trademark eyes, ubiquitous and cryptic, beckon you to join our mob, no password required.

Floodcraft Brewing Company ‘Inner Strength’ Hazy Double IPA Release

Floodcraft Brewing Company Inner Strength Hazy Double IPA

San Jose’s Floodcraft Brewing Company – located at the Whole Foods Market on The Alameda (777 The Alameda, to be exact) – has just released ‘Inner Strength’ Hazy Double IPA.

According to brewmaster Guy Cameron, Inner Strength was brewed with a Vermont Ale yeast strain plus Citra, Mosaic and Azacca hops.

During my recent visit on its release day, a good crowd had formed before noon, and many looked to be enjoying the new beer.

Inner Strength Hazy Double IPA is flooded <ahem> with ripe citrus, pineapple and melon aromas and flavors, well balanced by a pleasant hop bitterness. It’s a super smooth beer that belies the 8.4% ABV.

A flight of Floodcraft Brewing beers (left to right): Forward Momentum Hazy Pale, Perspective Shift New England IPA, Inner Strength Hazy Double IPA and Song for You Blonde Ale

Inner Strength Hazy Double IPA is the third ‘hazy’ offering from Floodcraft Brewing, with all three having been released within the past couple months.

‘Perspective Shift’ New England IPA, brewed with all Citra hops, comes in at 6.8% and showcases bright aromas and flavors of orange, peach, passionfruit and pine.

‘Forward Momentum’ Hazy Pale, 5.5% ABV, exhibits orange and stone fruit aromas and flavors with a slight hop bitterness.

Additionally, ‘Song for You’ Blonde Ale with Hallertau Blanc (5.6% ABV) is a bright, citrusy beer with floral and peppery notes.

The tap list at Floodcraft Brewing Company featuring ten of their own beers

It’s certainly a busy time for Guy and assistant brewer Ben Wright, as the current tap list features ten of their beers, marking the highest number of Floodcraft Brewing beers on tap at one time.

Inner Strength stands out as my current favorite of the Floodcraft Brewing offerings. I’m struck by its citrus, melon juiciness and smoothness, making for one delicious and memorable Double IPA.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy

Japantown Beerwalk: Christmas Edition 2017

The next Beerwalk is set to take place Sat., Dec. 2 in Japantown from 2pm-5pm.

It’s the holiday edition, and guests are welcome to participate throughout Japantown in their favorite holiday attire.

Tasting Locations

  • 7 Bamboo Lounge
  • Banana Crepe
  • Biscuits – Give a Dog a Bone
  • Carisoul
  • Cielito Lindo Restaurant
  • Classic Loot
  • East Taylor Barbershop
  • The Get Down
  • Happi House Restaurant
  • Headliners
  • Jack’s Bar & Lounge
  • JT Express
  • Kogura Company
  • Nichi Bei Bussan
  • Secondhand Hustle
  • Ukulele Jams
  • Wenzhou Fish, Noodles & More
  • Zonkey
  • and more…

Breweries

  • Altamont Beer Works
  • Anderson Valley Brewing Company
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • Hapa’s Brewing Company
  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
  • Lagunitas Brewing Co
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Strike Brewing Co.
  • Sierra Nevada
  • and more…

Tickets are $30 through this weekend and go up to $35 starting next week. Tickets include beer samples, custom glass and passport.

For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit the upcoming Beerwalk Eventbrite page.

Cyber Monday Special

Now through Monday, Nov. 27, take 25% off all currently scheduled 2018 Beerwalk events with the discount code: cyber2018

  • Sat., Feb. 10, 2018, 1pm: Downtown San Jose Beerwalk
  • Wed., Feb. 14, 2018, 6pm: Downtown Campbell Mini-Beerwalk Series: Stouts & Sweets
  • Thurs., Mar. 22, 2018, 5pm: San Jose Sharks and San Jose Breweries Mini-Beerwalk Series: Locals Only
  • Wed., May 2, 2018, 6pm: Downtown Campbell Beerwalk
  • Sat., June 9, 2018, 2pm: Japantown Sakewalk
  • Wed., July 25, 2018, 6pm: Ciderwalk
  • Sat., Oct. 27, 2018, 2pm: Downtown Willow Glen Beerwalk

To purchase tickets, visit The Beerwalk site to select the particular event(s).

‘Beers Around the World Tour’ Fall 2017 Edition

The fall edition of the The Beers Around the World Tour is set for Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6pm-9:30pm, taking place at the Rotary Summit Center in downtown San Jose above Flame’s Restaurant (88 S. Fourth St.).

Presented by San Jose State University’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management – and a joint production of the department’s Meeting Planning and Beer Appreciation classes – the beer show will be similar in format as past events.

The Beers Around the World tour will feature 54 different beers from 27 countries and regions of the U.S.

And like this past spring’s event, the upcoming beer tour will be open to the community.

For additional information – and to purchase tickets – visit the tour’s Eventbrite page.

Consider purchasing tickets sooner than later as the number of tickets are limited.

Rock Bottom and Gordon Biersch Fundraisers to Benefit the Veterans Supportive Services Agency

Passing along some information regarding a couple of upcoming fundraising events to benefit the non-profit Veterans Supportive Services Agency (VSSA) out of San Jose.

The fundraising events take place this week at Campbell’s Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery and downtown San Jose’s Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant.

Rock Bottom

When: Tuesday, Nov. 7, 5:30pm to 7:30pm

What: Rock Bottom will tap Watchdog IPA, and 10% of proceeds will be donated to the VSSA

Where: Rock Bottom Campbell, 1875 S. Bascom Ave.

More Info.: Facebook event page

Gordon Biersch

When: Thursday, Nov. 9, 5:3pm to 7:30pm

What: Gordon Biersch taps 10 Hut IPA with 10% of proceeds going to the VSSA

Where: Gordon Biersch Downtown San Jose, 33 E. San Fernando St.

More Info.: FB event page

Headlands Brewing Company Cloudview White Ale Keg Tapping Event at Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market has partnered with Headlands Brewing Company to create a holiday beer – Cloudview White Ale.

Cloudview White Ale is a blend of a Belgian Wit style with generous West Coast hopping and provides a change of pace from the more traditional porter and stout holiday offerings.

I very much enjoyed the beer during a recent sneak peek tasting and was struck by its citrus aromas and flavors combined with the more traditional Belgian Wit flavor characteristics of orange peel and spices.

To celebrate its release, keg tapping events will be held Friday, Nov. 3 from 5pm-7pm at five locations throughout the Bay Area:

  • Whole Foods Market Santa Clara
  • Whole Foods Market Dublin
  • Whole Foods Market SoMa
  • Whole Foods Market Potrero Hill
  • Whole Foods Market Coddington Mall

RSVP for a chance to win a beer cooler, pint glass and a Whole Foods Market gift card. Prize valued at $99. Purchase of a pint of Cloudview White Ale comes with a free holiday cheese pairing.

Cloudview White Ale will be available on tap and in 4-packs exclusively at Whole Foods Market.

About Headlands

Headlands Brewing was born when two brewers and athletes decided to embark on an adventure combining their passion for great beer with their love of land and sea. If we’re not at the brewery we’re likely running a trail, swimming off the coast, or just hanging out and drinking a beer.

Scenes from the 2017 Halloween Beerwalk Edition

Ever since the very first Beerwalk in Japantown, we’ve tried our best to make each and every Beerwalk.

They’re fun, and the local weather is nearly always picture perfect. Plus we get to hang out with good folks, and we get to explore different pockets of the South Bay and shop and dine at new-to-us stores and restaurants, all while enjoying a variety of tasty beers.

And the Beerwalks just seem to be get better and better.

The latest Beerwalk in Willow Glen – the annual Halloween edition that took place yesterday – was likely our most favorite yet.

It was another sold-out affair.

Catching up with friends Peter of Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Jim and Matt.

So many folks dressed up in fantastic costumes.

Catching up with The Beerwalk’s Cindy.

So grateful for this person – I’m talking about in the photo below vs. the photo above.

My fortune from Zoltar: “Beer is in your future.”

Mark, Kevin of Ballast Point, Matt & Jim.

Kevin brought Ballast Point’s newly released Fathom IPA, launched earlier this month.

This jacket from the Bella James store simply had to come home with us.

Justin of GearTooth AleWerks – stationed at BRUNI Gallery – brought their Conveyor IPA and Cogzilla Double IPA. He shared that their next new beer will be a smoked porter.

Derek of Hapa’s Brewing Company poured their Red and the recently released Pilsner.

Robert of Sonoma Springs Brewing Company – stationed at Park Place Vintage – poured their Subliminal Gold IPA…

and their limited release Thor Helles Bock.

Our friends Terry and Amanda helped pour on behalf of Golden State Brewery.

Stationed at Whatnots & Dodads, they poured Golden State Brewery’s latest offerings – Oktoberfest and their just released 3-Way Unfiltered Triple IPA.

Catching up with The Beerwalk’s Charlie.

Rosanna holding down the fort at 20twenty cheese bar.

Nicole and Miriah of Hermitage Brewing Company with Spider-man…

pouring the latest Hermitage releases – Galaxy Single Hop IPA and Flower Sour.

The Beerwalk in full swing at the 20twenty cheese bar outdoor patio.

Alas, we had to leave early and couldn’t get to the other breweries and shops, but we were heartened by the fact that the next Beerwalk is only five weeks away, set to take place Saturday, Dec. 2 in Japantown, 2pm-5pm.

And before the upcoming Japantown Beerwalk, there’s a Sour Walk – part of the Mini Beerwalk Series – set for Wednesday evening, Nov. 15, 5pm-9pm, in downtown Campbell.

Both events are circled on my calendar.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!