Category Archives: Breweries

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!

Scenes from Soon-to-Open Uproar Brewing Company

Uproar Brewing

Look for an announcement soon on the exact opening date for the much-anticipated Uproar Brewing Company in downtown San Jose’s SoFA district, located at 439 S. 1st St.

I got a sneak peek a couple weeks ago of Uproar Brewing’s first official beer. Grant Kjos, taproom manager and one of Uproar’s founding members, poured me a glass of Uproar Saison. The Saison was tasty, refreshing, clean and easy drinking.

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And earlier this week, I returned to Uproar for a preview of what was in store for the opening.

The view upon entering the restaurant and brewery.

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The kitchen is to the right.

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The bar.

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Beer list.

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Steve Vandewater, who is the co-partner of Uproar Brewing along with his wife Christina, stands next to the six barrels that were recently filled with Uproar Saison.

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Jim Turturici, Uproar’s brewmaster, strikes a pose.

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Uproar Saison was brewed by Jim at Uncommon Brewers in Santa Cruz. Uproar awaits final approvals to be able to start brewing on their own equipment.

Uproar Saison on a beautiful copper countertop with a view to the brewery.

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Wifey, the kid and Steve.

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Jim was busy showing folks around the brewery, including Dan Satterthwaite of New Bohemia Brewing Company.

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The view of the restaurant and bar from the brewery side.

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The menu.

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Stuffed Figs & Demi-Glace: Figs, walnuts, thyme, goat cheese, wrapped in pan-seared prosciutto and demi-glace drizzle.

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Lamb Lollipops: Brazilian-inspired rack of lamb sous vide and grilled to temp, red wine and blackberry reduction mint jam, goat cheese wonton crust, micro greens and basil.

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Barbeque Pork Belly Sliders and Fries: BBQ broiled pork belly, creamy garlic slaw made with sliced fennel, frisee, carrot, shallot and alfalfa sprouts.

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Classic Sliders and Fries: 3-oz. Angus beef patty, American cheese, butter, lettuce, tomato, house pickles, red onion and house tomato chutney.

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The kitchen staff.

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The kitchen is headed by James Thornton, who previously worked at Paper Plane.

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Great service throughout the evening.

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Beer tasting: Elkhorn Slough Hoppy Jewel American Wild Ale, Uproar Saison, Alvarado St. The Revolution Will Not Be Clarified Double IPA and Uproar Porter, which was brewed at Santa Clara Valley Brewing.

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Catching up with Derek Stanfill of Oskar Blues Brewery.

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Christina and Steve Vandewater.

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The space is big and great, and to put it simply, the beers were tasty, the food was delicious, the service was excellent and the vibe was warm, lively and friendly. We can’t wait for Uproar to open.

If the preview is any indication, I predict that there’ll be many other satisfied guests when Uproar Brewing Company opens.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!

~Andy



The Beerwalk Visits Downtown San Jose for the First Time

Beerwalk Downtown SJ

The next installment of The Beerwalk is right around the corner, taking place on Wednesday, April 5, 6pm-9pm in downtown San Jose.

It’ll be the first visit to the area for the popular Beerwalk series.

The current list of participating breweries includes:

  • 10 Barrel Brewing Company
  • Almanac Brewing
  • Altamont Beer Works
  • Anchor Brewing
  • Ballast Point Brewing Company
  • Calicraft Brewing Company
  • Discretion Brewing
  • Elysian Brewing
  • Firestone Brewing Co.
  • Golden Road Brewing
  • Golden State Brewery
  • Goose Island
  • Heretic Brewing Company
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company
  • Lost Coast Brewery
  • Saint Archer Brewing Company
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Strike Brewing Co.
  • Uncommon Brewers

The current tasting locations include:

  • 55 South
  • AFK
  • Blush Ice Bar
  • Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub
  • Five Points
  • O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub
  • Sushi Confidential

Look for more tasting locations to be announced soon.

Tickets are $35 the week of the event but remain at $30 throughout this week. Tickets include beer tastings, a custom tasting glass and a passport.

Check-in takes place from 5pm-8pm at Local Color at 27 S. 1st St.

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

For a look at some pictures from the previous Beerwalk held last month in downtown Sunnyvale, click here.



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



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.




South Bay Craft Beer Benefit for San Jose Flood Victims

South Bay Craft Beer Benefit

A number of San Jose breweries will participate this Saturday, March 4, in a benefit to help the recent flood victims of San Jose.

Below are their respective Facebook updates.

Strike Brewing Company

Join us as we raise money to help our South Bay neighbors affected by the recent flooding. 10% percent of all taproom sales and all of the proceeds from the silent auction will be donated to the San Jose Flood Relief Fund.

Come enjoy:

  • Cochi BBQ
  • Silent Auction
  • KFOX live broadcast from the brewery

Hapa’s Brewing Company

Join us (and/or other participating San Jose breweries) this Saturday for a special benefit to raise money for the victims of San Jose’s recent flooding. We’ll be donating a portion of beer sales to flood relief funds. 333 Truck will be serving food and we’ll have a basketball shoot contest!

Santa Clara Valley Brewing

We are proud to be participating in Saturday’s fundraiser for the victims of San Jose’s recent flooding. Portions of the entire day’s sales will be donated to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund, plus we’ll have great food on site and hourly giveaways of SCVB swag!

Hermitage Brewing Company

It’s San Jose Flood Relief this Saturday!

Join us at Hermitage, Strike Brewing Co., Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Hapa’s Brewing Company this Saturday for great local craft beer and good times. We’ll be donating a portion of beer sales to the San Jose Flood Victims Relief Fund! #dotherightthing #sanjosecraftbeer #drinklocal



Scenes from ‘For Pete’s Sake’ Brewfest at CEFCU Stadium, Nov. 2016

Many in the local brewing community came together this past November to support a good person and a good cause – Peter Cogan and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

‘For Pete’s Sake’ Brewfest – which took place at San Jose State University’s CEFCU Stadium – produced plenty of good times as well.

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Peter Cogan.

Peter Cogan

Mark Fazzio of Hermitage Brewing Company.

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Steve Altimari of High Water Brewing and Drew Ehrlich of Strike Brewing Co.

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Strike Brewing Co.’s Tyler Rusten and a pour of Strike’s tasty Winter Camp (Winter Warmer Olde Ale). Tyler later shared that he had accepted a brewer position at Fearless Brewing Company in Oregon. Best wishes, Tyler!

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Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Coleen Clark.

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Michael Barker of Sactown Union Brewery and Peter Licht of Hermitage Brewing Company share a laugh.

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El Toro Brewing Company’s Geno Acevedo.

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Almanac Beer Co.’s Brian Sneed, Fernando Tovar and Fernando’s wife Sandra.

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Hermitage Brewing Company’s Mark Fazzio, Nicole Marquez and Joel Wind.

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Enjoying a pour of Luponic Distortion No. 004 from Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Mark and Corey.

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FireHouse Grill & Brewery’s Larry Hoang.

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Beer enthusiasts Anita Arguello and Mike Condie.

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Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Coleen Clark and Hermitage Brewing’s Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez. Carolyn later shared that the end of the year would be her last day as marketing director of Hermitage Brewing Company and Tied House. With her family moving to Sacramento, her departure (which I’ve mentioned previously) is a big blow to the local beer scene (for instance, Carolyn coordinated this event). We’ll miss you, Carolyn!

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Jon Siddoway and Siobhan Faul of Red Branch Cider Company and Rabbit’s Foot Meadery.

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Rabbit’s Foot Meadery’s exquisite sipper Sweet Mead.

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Peter Cogan with his mum.

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Palo Alto Brewing Company’s Sikandar Syed and Kasim Syed with Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Steve Donohue.

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Golden State Brewery’s Cinnabrown (Nut Brown Ale).

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High Water Brewing’s Steve and Barri Altimari and Mike Peasley.

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Palo Alto Brewing’s Kasim Syed and Tied House’s Ron Manabe.

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Palo Alto Brewing’s Sikandar Syed.

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Local stalwarts Jake McCluskey and Jim Helvie.

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Selfie with Jim.

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Codi Salazar, JD Stager, Peter Licht and Hermitage Brewing’s Greg Filippi. Codi also later shared that she was leaving Santa Clara Valley Brewing and moving to the Central Coast. Best wishes, Codi!

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Selfie with Steve.

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Beer fan Tim Haggerty.

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Campbell Brewing Company’s John Paine and Dan Doherty.

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Peter and Dan.

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My last tastes of the evening – Almanac Beer Co. Grand Cru Red: 2016 Vintage (Imperial Sour Red Ale) and Grand Cru White: 2016 Vintage (Imperial Sour Blonde Ale).

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Performance by the Spartan Marching Band.

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Great to hear that you’re doing better, Peter.

Cheers,

~Andy



Hapa’s Brewing Company Grand Opening Celebration

Image credit: Hapa's Brewing Company
Image credit: Hapa’s Brewing Company

Right after passing their final building inspection last month, Hapa’s Brewing Company – located at 460 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 90, San Jose – opened their doors on Jan. 18.

As they wrote, in part, on their blog at the time:

“This is it! The post four years in the making. Hapa’s Brewing Company is opening to the public!… Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way. We couldn’t have done it without our friends, family, and all the beer lovers who have supported us for such a long time! More to come including detail about our Grand Opening Party…”

Their grand opening celebration has been set for this Saturday, Feb. 25 from 1pm to 5pm featuring:

  • Local band HackJammers
  • Mayor Sam Liccardo and Councilwomen Dev Davis at 1:30pm
  • Food from C. George Smoke & Fire and I Love Cheese Steaks
  • And two – possibly three – new beers, including a single hopped (Equinox) pale ale and a red ale. These beers join their blonde, IPA and a porter.

More about the brewery – started by two South Bay natives – from their website:

“Hapa is the Hawaiian word for ‘mixed.’ A word very applicable to brewing beer. Hot water is mixed with malted barley to create wort. Hops are mixed with wort during the boil to add flavor and aroma. Yeast is mixed with the cooled wort to ferment sugars and make beer. Hawaiians also use the word hapa to describe people of mixed cultural backgrounds. Taken in this context, the word is also very applicable to the founders of Hapa’s Brewing Company.

“Brian and Derek started homebrewing in 2007 after moving back to their childhood hometown in the South San Francisco Bay Area. Friends since their Little League days, the two formed the idea for Hapa’s Brewing Company during that first homebrew in Brian’s mom’s kitchen. Over the course of the next eight years the two would join the workforce, move to San Francisco, and meet their future wives, but never stop making award winning homebrew or thinking about Hapa’s Brewing.

“In 2012, the two would meet Peter Burrell, owner and head brewer of Dempsey’s Restaurant and Brewery in Petaluma. In Peter, Brian and Derek had found a mentor; someone who could help make their dream a reality. To cut his teeth in the business, Brian took a leap of faith and left his job in Silicon Valley to begin brewing professionally with Peter. Derek worked to set up the dominos that would eventually need to fall to open a craft brewery.

“Slowly but surely, the picture that is Hapa’s Brewing Company began to take shape. On August 24, 2015, Brian and Derek signed the lease for the future home of Hapa’s Brewing. There is still a lot of work to be done, but things are moving full steam ahead with the goal of opening in early 2016. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media for updates. Hope to see you in the taproom soon!”

I haven’t visited their taproom and brewery yet but very much look forward to doing so as soon as possible. And I love the fact that there’s another brewery in San Jose to call our own.



Golden State Brewery 1-Year Anniversary Celebration, Plus Q & A with Owner Seth Hendrickson

Golden State Brewery 2016

It’s been a busy year for Santa Clara’s Golden State Brewery.

Their brewery and taproom space – located in the old Memorex building at 1252 Memorex Drive – has become a popular attraction for the many locals who are drawn to the creative, well-crafted, tasty beers and the friendly vibe and service.

Golden State Brewery made big news last month with the opening of the GSB Tap Room at Voltaire Beach House in San Diego’s Ocean Beach neighborhood. The Tap Room features 12 Golden State Brewery beers on tap and a number of bottled offerings.

One-Year Anniversary Party

To celebrate their one-year anniversary, Golden State Brewery is throwing a party this Friday, Feb. 24 from 3pm to midnight.

$30 gets you a souvenir pint glass with unlimited pours during the event. $5 individual beer tickets will also be sold.

The current beer lineup – a mix of year-long and seasonal offerings – includes the following:

  • Bay Area Blonde
  • Golden Gate Red Ale
  • Eureka! IPA
  • Cold Brew Coffee Stout
  • Heritage Honey Ale
  • Poppy Pale Ale
  • “Pearsuit” of Happiness Pilsner
  • Cinnabrown (Nut Brown Ale)
  • Pumpkin Pie Milk Stout (Nitro)
  • I-5PA (Northeastern Style “Juicy” IPA)
  • Belgian Witbier

Food will be available for purchase courtesy of Smoked Out BBQ, Sarah’s Latin Taste and Mama Bear’s Oven Baked Treats. There’ll be live music by Math Class (6:30pm-9:30pm) as well as raffle prizes. The good folks of Beer Snobiety will also be on hand.

Q & A with Owner and Head Brewer Seth Hendrickson

I recently caught up with the affable Seth Hendrickson, owner and head brewer of Golden State Brewery.

Congrats on the one-year mark! How does it feel to reach this milestone?

It’s great. It feels like a whole lot longer honestly. The taproom has been open for a year, but work on it and the brewery started before that. There’s still so many people who don’t know about us yet. It’s exciting. I love what I do.

What’s been the biggest eye opener?

Just how cool the beer community is. Everyone involved is so passionate, so personally involved. Everybody just wants to sit down and have a beer together. No one thinks that they’re higher than anyone else, no matter how big or successful they are.

What’s been your greatest accomplishment this past year?

When the taproom opened, we started off with 4 to 5 beers. We’re up to 12 to 13 beers. We have all our brewery equipment now, fully functioning. We’ll reach full capacity in six months. We now understand our style, of mixing in batches of seasonal beers throughout the year, like our Strawberry Smash, “Pearsuit” of Happiness Pilsner and I-5PA.

What can we look forward to in the coming year for Golden State Brewery?

We’re going to start construction on a restaurant and brewery in downtown Gilroy (7560 Monterey St.), to be called Golden State Brew and Grill.

We have the building and are now in the engineering phase. We hope to break ground in March.

We’ll get the brewery going first with plans for a nice restaurant where families can stay for several hours and enjoy themselves, watching sports or hanging out inside or outside.

We’ll be the first place with a patio on Monterey Road in Gilroy history.

Anything else to add?

Thank you to everyone for your support, especially to our regulars who come in weekly and monthly wanting to try the newest beers. It’s amazing to see hundreds show up whenever we release a new beer. Without them, we wouldn’t be around and be able to pursue these new ventures.