The special beer dinners at Scott’s Seafood in downtown San Jose (185 Park Ave.) have proven time after time to be can’t-miss events. We’re talking consistently excellent food-and-beer pairings, stellar service , warm vibes and the gorgeous outdoor rooftop venue.
Following up their previous beer dinner last fall, Scott’s Seafood recently announced their next one – set for Monday, July 24 from 6pm-9pm – featuring San Jose’s own Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
The upcoming “Best of Summer” beer dinner will be a truly local, San Jose affair; Santa Clara Valley Brewing is located less than two miles south of the restaurant.
And a quick peek at the weather forecast portends a lovely summer evening.
The Five-Course Menu
Food and beverage director Sammy Reyes and the culinary team have created the following five-course dinner menu:
1st course/opening reception:
Charcuterie and Cheese Platter
Beer Pairing: Dry Creek Blonde
Scallop Crudo: Thinly sliced raw Sea Scallop served with citrus wasabi soy sauce
Beer Pairing: Alviso Hefeweizen
Steak Tartare served with arugula and crispy shallots in a citrus dressing
Beer Pairing: Electric Tower IPA
Halibut served with a saffron risotto and a mushroom ragout topped with basil pesto.
Beer Pairing: New Almaden Red
Chefs sweet surprise
Paired with: Loma Prieta Rye Stout
Tickets for the beer dinner are $60 dollars per person and available for purchase at the dinner’s Eventbright page.
Consider getting tickets sooner than later as previous beer dinners have sold out.
As is the case with any good beer dinner, brewery representatives will be on hand to introduce the beer pairings and to answer any questions about Santa Clara Valley Brewing and their offerings.
About Scott’s Seafood
Scott’s Seafood San Jose is a Bay Area tradition in the heart of Downtown San Jose since 1986, offering a diverse dining destination in both cuisine and setting. Experience a friendly and relaxed environment to enjoy an intimate meal or a group gathering. With their modern lounge, stunning patio views, unique menu, and true hospitality, their American regional cuisine features the freshest seafood, pasta, chicken dishes, and USDA prime, aged steaks. Scott’s Seafood offers parking validation for its guests.
After a series of soft openings, along with some last-minute construction updates, Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant officially opens today in Cupertino (10088 N. Wolfe Rd., Ste. 130).
Located just down the road from the new Apple campus, the Cupertino site marks the second location for Steins restaurant.
An official ribbon cutting ceremony in honor of today’s grand opening is set to take place at 3:30pm with complimentary appetizers and beer tasters to be served afterwards.
Owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade have retained the original Mountain View location’s beer-focused beverage program (30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews) and made-from-scratch food menu.
The interior features an updated industrial-inspired atmosphere. More below from a recent media release:
Steins again enlisted Marc Dimalanta of D-Scheme Studios to head the architectural design of the new space. The restaurant interior boasts a 6400 ft² dining room accented with bright copper, reclaimed wood panels and filament bulbs glowing on metal-worked light fixtures for an industrial interpretation of the classic European beer hall. The space’s earth-toned metal highlights are juxtaposed with a lush living wall designed by Habitat Horticulture to bring a touch of the traditional outdoor biergarten inside.
Paired with an accompanying 1568 ft² al fresco patio, the entire restaurant space is reservable and can also accommodate smaller private events as sectioned parties.
Akin to its Mountain View location, Steins Cupertino employs an innovative direct-draw beer draft system designed for dispensing each pour under optimal conditions for near-perfect flavor and consistency. Guests can expect a great international beer list with a focus on local craft brewers. Steins offers 30 draft beers; 20 year round staples and 10 rotating seasonal brews.
In addition to the myriad craft and import beers on draft, Steins Cupertino offers a robust wine program as well as a full-bar and seasonal craft cocktails.
Upholding a high standard of beer service, all front-of-house staff must successfully complete Steins’ stringent beer training program. Additionally, all bar staff must successfully complete and pass the Cicerone Certified Beer Server program.
Executive Chef Colby M Reade (Hawthorne Lane) parallels the quality characteristic of Steins’ ambitious beer selection with an all-scratch kitchen featuring New American comfort food. The opening menu at Steins Cupertino includes favorites like the Steins Burger made from a house-ground blend of dry-aged short rib, brisket and sirloin, the Fresh Baked Pretzel with caraway beer mustard and the Sonoma Lamb Trio’s brown butter green beans and salsa vert.
The kitchen will open with lunch, happy hour, and dinner with brunch to follow shortly.
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant is the vision of Bay Area native Ted Kim. Kim has more than 20 years of small business experience, including his tremendous success with Northern California’s Paris Baguette stores.
The Steins concept is a modern American take on the classic German biergarten, infusing rustic elements of nature with brilliant contemporary architecture. Each location offers the perfect escape for guests to drink and be merry.
With locations in Mountain View and Cupertino, Steins is open everyday from 11am – 11pm and until 11:30pm on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit www.steinsbeergarden.com and visit the restaurants on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Simply put, the “Spring Fling” pairing dinner featuring Hitachino out of Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery – held last month at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – was epic. It was festive, warm and intimate, elevated and delicious… and I could go on, but instead, let’s just skip ahead to the photos from the memorable dinner.
Hitachino Nest White Ale (Witbier). Beautiful tablescape.
Executive chef Colby Reade introducing the first pairing of the evening.
A Queen City-inspired cocktail featuring Kiuchi Brewery’s unique Kikusakari Asamurasaki – Red Rice Sake – served with a savory cream puff with creme fraiche, caviar and chai blossom.
Very much enjoyed the sweet and savory combination, and the mini-bursts of salt from the caviar provided an extra pop of flavor and texture.
Bar manager Ryan Hummel detailing the delicious cocktail – whiskey, lemon juice, amaro and grapefruit liqueur.
Second course: Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (Sparkling Wine) paired with Japanese Style Egg Custard with shiitake mushrooms, spring garlic and dashi.
In addition to the tasty flavors, the textures stood out with this pairing. The bubbly mouthfeel of the sparkling wine helped balance the creamy custard and mushrooms.
We then got to try the Red Rice Sake from the earlier cocktail by itself. Fruit and herbal aroma and flavor notes stood out.
Third course: Hitachino Nest Saison Du Japon paired with Apple and Asian Pear Salad with white miso vinaigrette, mizuna and daikon radish.
The lightly sweet yet tart and citrusy Saison Du Japon matched well with the fruits and vegetables from the dish, as well as with the acidity from the delicious and abundant dressing.
Manager Lynna Nguyen checking in with guests Chris and Van.
A surprise pour of Kiuchi No Shizuku, a unique whiskey-like spirit distilled from Hitachino Nest White Ale. Fine and clean tasting.
Cheers with Chris and Van. It was great meeting them – couldn’t have asked for better tablemates.
Before the fourth course, chef Reade brought out the service and culinary teams behind the pairing dinner.
He expressed great appreciation for the teams, including among others manager Rachel Rohrenbach, chefs (and brothers) Paco and Cheke Guzman, Ryan and manager Toby Yi.
Hitachino Nest Extra High XH (Oak-Aged Strong Ale).
Ryan imparting knowledge about both the Hitachino Nest Red Rice and Hitachino Nest Extra High XH ales.
Kurobuta Pork Belly with sesame wonton noodles, miso au jus, toybox mushrooms and sauce gribiche.
The malty heft from the Extra High XH was in sync with the pork belly while the carbonation and the beer’s dark fruit profile cut nicely through the protein’s richness. I enjoyed the sauce right down to the last drop.
A bonus plate of Gulf Prawn Paella with mussels, clams, chorizo, crispy rice cake, smoked white fish, bottarga and spiced tomato sauce. Exquisite.
Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout (Milk Sweet Stout) paired with Yakitori Chocolate Cake with macerated raspberries, sour cherry and truffle cream.
The slightly roasty bitterness from the Sweet Stout – plus its dry finish – provided a well-balanced counterpoint to the very moist and sweet chocolate cake.
I thought all the pairings were successful and showcased in delicious fashion the versatility of beer given its wide variety of aroma, flavor and mouthfeel characteristics. The kicker is the carbonation aspect of beer (Andrea has previously written about this aspect) that helps refresh the palate with every sip; food and beer can be enjoyed and appreciated to the fullest.
Steins next beer-and-food pairing event won’t be for a while, as a lot of energy will be devoted to the opening of Steins Cupertino. The memories from this one – good company, roaring laughter, excellent service, warm vibes and delicious pairings – will suffice in sustaining me (barely) until their next one.
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant will be hosting three beer events during the coming week, and Steins manager Lynna Nguyen invites one and all to come out and enjoy good food, service, atmosphere and – of course – tasty beer.
Cascade Brewing Tap Takeover, Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5pm
The beer list featuring Oregon’s Cascade Brewing:
Cranberry, ABV: 7%. This NW style sour wheat ale was barrel aged for up to 12 months with cranberries, orange peel and cinnamon. Soft aromas of cranberries and light floral notes start this beer off. Tart, dry notes of sweet cranberries with hints of wild strawberries on the palate give way to a pronounced dryness and a lingering finish of cranberries and spice.
Strawberry, ABV: 7.1%. This NW style sour ale is a blend of wheat and blond ales aged oak wine barrels with strawberries and vanilla beans for up to twelve months. Bright and crisp, the 2015 Strawberry captures the essence of fresh strawberries with subtle notes of oak, vanilla, and fruit preserves.
Pumpkin, ABV: 11.4%. This NW style sour old ale is no trick, it’s all treat. We smashed and triple roasted 50 lbs of pumpkin down to 6 lbs, then aged the beer for 11 months on the roasted pumpkin in rum barrels. The aromas of spiced rum, mingled with the soft notes of roasted pumpkin, are notice up front. Spice, roasted pumpkin and rum is followed by a soft warming from within.
Blueberry, ABV: 7.33%. This NW style sour ale blends wheat & blond ales that were oak aged in barrels for 6 mths, then additionally aged 4 mths on fresh blueberries. Huge herbal notes of dense blueberries in the nose give way to hints of oak & a dusty floral note. Rich earthy notes of dark fruit on the palate lead to a tart finish that dries out to a base note of blueberry skins.
Noyaux, ABV: 8.94%. This NW style sour ale features blonds and triples aged on oak for 18 to 24 months, then additionally aged for 12 months on raspberries and apricot noyaux.
Sang Royal, ABV: 10.12%. This NW style sour ale was made with various red ales that were aged in oak with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, then blended with red ales that were aged in Port and Pinot Noir barrels.
Along with individual pours, flights will be available.
‘My Bitter Valentine’ Featuring Fort Point Beer Company, Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 5pm
Steins will be offering up a special ‘Crispy Sweet, Salty Pork’ appetizer along with the following offerings from SF’s Fort Point Beer Company:
SFBW Collaboration Beer (Kölsch style, ABV 5.3%). This year’s annual collaboration beer – New Frontier – was brewed at Fort Point Beer Company. Japanese satsuma provides notes of zesty citrus, while Pacific Northwest Douglas Fir lends a light pine aroma to the finish. It’s a balance of old-world tradition and modern technique.
Standard American Pale Ale, ABV 5.5%. A moderate, refreshing ale with noticeable hop aroma balanced by supporting malt flavors.
Animal Tropical Modern IPA, ABV 7%. This is a big, wild and aromatic IPA. Amarillo and Meridian hops give the beer a sticky orange mid-palate that’s balanced with a classic IPA bitterness from an early addition of Centennial. All of this wild hop action sits on top of a fairly simple malt bill. We use a blend of winter-grown Pearl and Pilsner malts to create a light and delicately sweet foundation.
Moonphase Bourbon Barrel-Aged Quadruple Ale, ABV: 13.0%. A unique reflection of old-world Belgian Quadrupel ales, Moon Phase shines brightly full of bourbon and charred oak. Notes of gingersnap, toasted almond and toffee elevate Moon Phase’s smooth alcohol warmth and fade into a gentle, sustained finish. A delicate blend of smoky Buffalo Trace and Smooth Ambler Rye bourbon flavors, Moon Phase’s complexity rises with every sip.
Look for flights of the four beers to be available as well.
The following four-course, beer-pairing menu features offerings from Watsonville’s Elkhorn Slough Brewing. Brewmaster Michael Enos specializes in small batch specialty beers – with a focus on barrel-aged wild ales – crafted from locally sourced ingredients.
Amuse (a bite-sized appetizer served to prepare your palate for the meal):
Chef Selection Amuse
Paired with Starlight (mixed-culture wild rye ale with brett, ABV 6.8%)
Winter Squash Soup
Paired with Goose Blind (juicy central coast IPA, ABV 6.9%)
Manager Lynna Nguyen shares, “We had such a great turnout the first time, we thought why not ring in the New Year with another taco & beer pairing event… This time we will be doing seafood.”
Made with house-made tortillas, the event features three prix-fixe pairings of tacos and beers (including beer cocktails) selected by bar manager Ryan Hummel:
Shrimp Ceviche Tostada paired with Steins’ Michalada
Veracruz Seabass Taco paired with Paloma Cocktail
Fried Rockcod with Chipotle Salsa paired with Moody Tongue Applewood Gold (smoked pilsner)
There’ll be a salsa bar as well: Guacamole (mild), Roasted Tomato (medium), Tomatillo (hot).
Simply visit the restaurant and let the host know that you are looking to join the taco event.
SF Beer Week Events at Steins
SF Beer Week is coming up quickly, and Steins has a couple of events scheduled:
Tues., Feb. 14: Fort Point Beer Company “My Bitter Valentine” – Featuring an IPA with Satsuma mandarin and fir tips, Steins will be offering up a salty pork dish to pair with the beer for Valentine’s Day. Other Fort Point beers will be on tap as well.
Thurs., Feb. 16: Look for a collaboration beer dinner with Elkhorn Slough Brewery Co.
Steins’ 3rd Annual Home Brew Competition and 4th Anniversary Party
For their 3rd annual home brew competition, Steins is inviting homebrewers to craft any beer style within the 2015 BJCP guidelines with the caveat that the beer will be called “Nägar The Destroyer,” named after one of their employees.
The drop-off period for home brews is March 11 – 16, and the winner will be announced at the 4th anniversary party to be held on Sat., March 25. Check out the Facebook event page for additional info. regarding the home brew competition.
It was last year—also during SF Beer Week and featuring Hermitage Brewing—that Scott’s Seafood Mountain View held their inaugural beer dinner. Chef Ramon Nava and his team created well-executed dishes throughout the four courses that effectively paired with the respective, accompanying—and tasty—Hermitage beers.
It will be interesting to see how this year’s brewmaster’s dinner stacks up in comparison to last year’s successful beer dinner.
The upcoming dinner features two of Hermitage Brewing’s latest releases—Ale of the Hermit (a unique ale that “defies simple style classification”) and Simcoe Single Hop IPA, along with the popular Maltopia Scotch Ale and Hoptopia Double IPA.
The cost of the dinner is $40 (not including tax and gratuity). Space is limited, and reservations are highly recommended. For more information or to make your reservation, visit www.scottsseafoodmv.com or call 650-965-8129.
The following is the menu:
First Course: Feta and Olives
Beer Pairing: Simcoe Single Hop IPA
Second Course: Smoked Salmon with Arugula, shaved Fennel and Champagne vinaigrette
Beer Pairing: Hoptopia Double IPA
Third Course: Surf n Turf: Petite Filet with one Grilled prawn, Marble potatoes, Asparagus, Herbed compound butter.
Beer Pairing: Ale of the Hermit
Fourth Course: Pannocotta
Beer Pairing: Maltopia Scotch Ale
As is the case at any true brewmaster’s dinner, there will be a brewer on hand—reputable Hermitage lead brewer Greg Filippi—to introduce the beers and talk to attendees and answer any questions about the brewery and their offerings.
What: Brewmaster dinner at Scott’s Seafood Mountain View featuring Hermitage Brewing Company
About Scott’s Seafood Mountain View: Scott’s Seafood Mountain View is a Bay Area tradition in the heart of downtown Mountain View. Scott’s offers American regional cuisine features the freshest seafood, pasta, chicken dishes and USDA prime, dry aged steaks. In 2013, Scott’s Seafood Mountain View was awarded best seafood restaurant in Mountain View by The Mountain View Voice.
About Hermitage Brewing Company: Hermitage Brewery is becoming widely recognized for its Hoptopia, Maltopia, Ale of the Imp, Single Hop “H” Series IPAs, and craft soda brands. In 2011, Hermitage took four Gold Medals at the California State Commercial Craft Brewers Competition. Celebrator Beer News awarded One Door Quadrupel with four out of five stars in 2011, and Hoptopia DIPA four out of five stars in 2012.
Visiting Firestone Walker Brewing Company in Paso Robles was on the itinerary during a recent family getaway to the Central Coast, providing the opportunities to hang out in the tasting room, go on a brewery tour, and dine at the Taproom restaurant.
Beer aficionados know about Firestone Walker, led by owners Adam Firestone, David Walker, and Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. For many, it is the malty DBA Double Barrel (British Pale Ale) that helps to inspire the desire to continue seeking out good, local beer, as was the case for yours truly.
Their popular beers include the aforementioned DBA, the crisp and refreshing Pale 31 (California Pale Ale), the hoppy Union Jack IPA, the ultra bitterness of the Double Jack (Double IPA), and the roasted coffee flavors of Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout. Their barrel beers, anniversary ales, and newer offerings from the Barrelworks program in Buellton (about a one-and-a-half hour drive South of Paso Robles) also continue to garner accolades and a growing number of fans.
It is the quality of, and creativity behind, the Firestone Walker’s beers that compel many Bay Area folks to stop by the tasting room or the neighboring Taproom Restaurant when visiting the Central Coast or driving on Highway 101 en route to Southern California.
For those planning ahead, there are brewery tours that take place on the weekends lasting from 20 to 30 minutes. Weekday brewery tours are also available by appointment. During the tour, a friendly and knowledgeable tour guide begins by providing a brief history of Firestone Walker followed by a walk-through of the brewing process. Throughout the tour, visitors can ask general questions as well as more technical questions. Be sure to call in advance to make reservations.
The Tasting Room provides a convenient venue to try many Firestone Walker beers, with 13 beers on tap during the recent visit. Newcomers can consult with the staff for information on the beers, and with smaller 3-ounze pours available, guests can enjoy a variety of options.
The Taproom Restaurant offers a tidy menu of fine brewhouse fare. Particular favorites included the BBQ Smoked Brisket sandwich, Skirt Steak lunch entree, and the Fish Tacos. There is a very nice wine list featuring exclusively Central Coast wines. Smaller pours of beers are also available at the restaurant, with several, pre-selected beer flights available. Each flight consists of four different beers and comes with a token that is good for $2 off beer or merchandise to go at the restaurant or the tasting room.
2014 §ucaba Barleywine
Speaking of barrel beers, Firestone Walker just released their first Proprietor’s Vintage Series for this year with §ucaba, a barrel-aged English barleywine that, according to a recent media release, “remains confoundingly unpronounceable yet eminently drinkable.”
More from the release:
§ucaba was one of the first components created as part of Firestone Walker’s annual barrel-aged Anniversary Ale blend starting in 2006. It is now a mainstay in the brewery’s Proprietor’s Vintage Series, which is reserved for limited-production vintage beers aged in oak barrels for a year or more.
Longtime fans know §ucaba by its original name, which was undone by a legal challenge. It has been several years since Firestone Walker reversed course and changed the name to §ucaba, but who’s counting?
2014 §ucaba Lowdown
Release Date: January 6, 2014
ABV: 13.5% IBU: 42 Color: 36 (Dark Ruby)
Malts: Munton’s Pale, Crisp Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Dark & Light Crystal, Chocolate
Hops: Bravo (bittering), East Kent Golding (late kettle)
Aging: Barrel-aged for one year on average in retired Bourbon barrels
Production: 3,500 cases (22-ounce bottles)
Retail: $16.99 (22-ounce bottle). Available while supplies last in CA, NV, OR, WA, AZ, CO, MO, Chicago, TX, MA, NJ, NY, VA, PA, DC, and MD.
Big, boozy bourbon and American oak aromas combine with soft chocolate malty undertones. Complex malt flavors are framed in oak with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, coconut and just a touch of dark cherry. A sipping beer that is best served in a brandy snifter, §ucaba pairs well with dark chocolate and sturdy cheeses.
§ucaba is built to last and will reward careful cellaring (ideal aging temperature: 45F) for years to come. We recommend counting the years with an abacus.
SF Beer Week
Firestone Walker has partnered with select South Bay establishments in recent years to host excellent beer events. Already scheduled as part of the events taking place during this year’s SF Beer Week in the South Bay region are events with David Walker at Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose on Sun., Feb. 9 and Matt Brynildson at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose on Thurs., Feb. 13.