Tag Archives: Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez

‘For Pete’s Sake’ Brewfest at CEFCU Stadium in San Jose, Plus Q & A with Peter Cogan

Peter Cogan, photo courtesy of Hermitage Brewing Company
Peter Cogan, photo courtesy of Hermitage Brewing Company

The local brewing community – about 20 breweries at last count – will be coming together Saturday, Nov. 19 at CEFCU Stadium (aka Spartan Stadium at 1257 S. 10th St., San Jose) to rally support for a good person and a good cause – Peter Cogan, the longtime distribution manager for Tied House and Hermitage Brewing Company, and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Presented by Hermitage Brewing Company in partnership with the San Jose State University Spartan Athletics Department, “For Pete’s Sake” Craft Brewfest will take place from 2:30pm to 6:30pm – in effect an epic tailgate party to be followed by the 7:30pm game time kickoff between the San Jose State Spartans and Air Force football teams. It’s the final home game of the season for the Spartans.

Tickets – $40 if purchased in advance and $50 for any remaining on the day of the event – include a 5-oz. taster to sample brewery offerings, unlimited tastings and a 50 to 30 yard line game ticket. You’ll need code “FORPETESSAKE16” to purchase tickets.

Below is the current list of participating breweries:

  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • Tied House Microbrewery
  • Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Strike Brewing Co.
  • Red Branch Cider Company
  • Rabbit’s Foot Meadery
  • High Water Brewing
  • Uncommon Brewers
  • Almanac Beer Co.
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works
  • Discretion Brewing
  • El Toro Brewpub
  • Bison Organic Beer
  • Faultline Brewing Company
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
  • Seabright Brewery
  • Sactown Union Brewery

Hermitage Brewing and Tied House Brewery & Cafe national market manager Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez shares how this one-of-a-kind event came about:

“As soon as we heard the news of Peter’s lymphoma, we knew we had to do something, and a beer festival seemed like the perfect fit. SJSU Spartan Athletics has been wanting to work on a beer fest for a while, so it was perfect timing.

“Less than 24 hours after putting the word out about the festival, we had 20 breweries signed up and also had every volunteer position filled. Everything seemed to click easily.”

As for the quick response from the local brewing community, Carolyn shares:

“Do I really have to put in writing that Peter Cogan is special? Ugh. Okay, but don’t tell him I said anything nice about him. Ha!

“Peter has been around the South Bay brewing scene for almost as long as Tied House. He is the first to volunteer when a brewery needs help with something, whether it be an event, a delivery, anything.

“What’s the saying about 90% of life is showing up? Well, Peter always shows up, and when he does, he’s on time and brings along his British wit and charming accent.

“He and his signature “Brew Crew” t-shirt and khaki shorts have been working tirelessly to support the local brewing scene for years. After years of Peter helping everyone else out, it’s our turn to give back. There are very few people in the area more well-known or well-liked in our profession.”

I recently caught up with Peter to get an update on his health; he also graciously took the time to share a bit of his background and to answer some beery questions, including his thoughts about the upcoming beerfest.

Can you share a bit of your background?

I was born in London but raised in the West Country of England, specifically Plymouth, Bristol and Torquay where I lived from age 11 to 18. Sixteen days after my 18th birthday, I left home and moved back to London to work as a chef at the Savoy Hotel.

How did you get into craft beer? Any craft beer “Aha!” moment/experience?

After moving to California in late 1986, I was drinking the typical beers back then – MGD, Corona and stuff like that. I guess my “Aha!” moment came when I heard about a brewery opening just down the street from where I lived. I went there a day or two after it opened and was awed at how crazy busy it was. Eight beers on tap of varying styles? Amazing! I think for the next couple of months I didn’t drink anywhere else.

You’ve told me before your story of how you became a part of the Tied House team. Can you please share the story with me again?

As a regular customer they found out I used to be a chef back in England, so I was “recruited” to help them with events like New Orleans By The Bay at Shoreline where I would grill catfish and alligator sausage all day and be paid in Hurricanes.

Then I worked an event at Squaw Valley as a fundraiser for MS (the Tied House has been sponsoring this event for more than 25 years), and while I was on a chairlift with one of the owners and the GM, they asked if I would be interested in selling beer for them because I was very outgoing and had the English accent. How could I refuse them with a job interview like that?

How’s it been working with Tied House (and Hermitage) all these years?

Fantastic. I realized many years ago that one of the secrets to a good life is to be happy at work, and the owners and staff at both places have been instrumental in my happiness.

They have always encouraged me in whatever aspect of the business I happened to be in at the time and have always listened to me with any suggestions or criticisms I might have.

I will never be a millionaire, but I will be happy.

How has it been seeing the growth of the local beer scene these past years?

It’s almost like a runaway train. The movement has gathered so much momentum that I can’t keep up anymore. I could try 5 new beers a day for a year and barely make a dent in what is available out there.

As much as I love my IPAs, I grew up drinking European Pilsners, and when I find a good one (or Kolsch), I am like a kid in a candy store.

What does the upcoming beerfest mean for you? How is it seeing all the support from the local brewing community?

I used to run the beer side of the Small Brewers Festival of California in Mountain View from the early 90s until its last year in 2004, so I understand what it takes to put on a festival – the organization, the coordination between brewers, volunteers, equipment rental companies, cities to pull permits, charities…

I am humbled by how quickly all of these breweries offered their time and beer to support me and the LLS. Some brewers I have known more than 20 years, some only a few, but each and every one of them agreed to help no questions asked. I am going to be giving out a lot of hugs on the 19th.

Special thanks to Carolyn for putting this together.

How are you doing, Peter?

Overall, pretty damn good. I feel fortunate that so far chemotherapy hasn’t been too hard on me, although the third round has been a bit tougher.

I have a PET scan scheduled for the 16th to see how things are progressing, followed by another three rounds of chemo.

I didn’t want to see my hair fall out so before I started chemo, I had my signature ponytail cut off and donated it to Pantene so they could use it to make wigs for women with breast cancer.

I have been able to work part time so I am not sitting at home feeling sorry for myself. My brother Dave supplied my mantra for this adventure, and it is simply: “Kick Cancer In The Balls!”

Trust me. With the support I have from everyone, cancer has no chance.

for-petes-sake-craft-brewfest

For details about ‘For Pete’s Sake’ Brewfest and to purchase tickets, visit www.sjsuspartans.com/ot/petes-sake-brewfest.html.



4th Annual Mountain View Oktoberfest

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Mountain View Oktoberfest steins, courtesy of Mountain View Oktoberfest

The 4th annual Mountain View Oktoberfest celebration is set for this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday (October 1st and 2nd). It’ll take place both days from 11am-7pm in the open-air parking lot located at Bryant Street at Dana Street, directly behind Steins and one block west of Castro Street. Each day will kick off with a ceremonial cask ale tapping at 11am.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the Mountain View Oktoberfest – in my humble opinion – is the biggest and best of the local Oktoberfest-themed celebrations.

Presented by Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant, Tied House Brewery & Cafe and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce, attendance at this popular event is expected to be close to 7,000 for the weekend.

The celebration is Steins Beer Garden’s take on the traditional German beer festival, with a 7,000 sq. ft. beer tent, traditional German fare, live entertainment and plenty of German beer.

Steins owner Ted Kim says about this year’s festival:

“This year at the Mountain View Oktoberfest, guests will be able to choose from 8 different beer offerings: five authentic styles from German beer houses and three special brews from local breweries.

“Unlike years past, this year each beer house will be pouring from its own tent with proper signage. This way guests won’t be confused as to which line to stand in, and it will help speed up the lines. Come out and join us for another fun-filled Oktoberfest!”

Tied House director of marketing Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez adds:

“Mountain View Oktoberfest encompasses the true spirit of German Oktoberfest festivities with traditional German bands, food, beer and people from all walks of life enjoying the raucous celebration.

“We are proud to partner with Steins Beer Garden and Restaurant and the Chamber of Commerce Mountain View to bring this celebration to Silicon Valley for a fourth year.”

Beer and Food

The following beers will be on tap:

  • Andechs Doppelbock
  • Fruh Kolsch
  • Hofbräuhaus Oktoberfest
  • Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen
  • Steigl Grapefruit Radler
  • South Bay Church Lemon Basil Hef
  • South Bay Church Apricot Hef
  • Tied House Oktoberfest Lager

A variety of food options will be available for purchase from different vendors, including Aroma Concessions, Gourmet Faire and traditional German dishes from Teske’s Germania.

Prices

Commemorative steins with Mountain View Oktoberfest logo

  • $10 for 0.5-liter stein
  • $15 for 1-liter stein

Drink tickets:

  • $8 for 1 ticket
  • $30 for 4 tickets

1 ticket fills a 0.5-liter stein. 2 tickets fill a 1-liter stein. Attendees can bring their steins from past Mountain View Oktoberfest celebrations.

Food:

  • $6-$15 (depending on the dish)

Entertainment and Family Fun

There will be plenty of fun, family-friendly entertainment. Throughout the weekend, there will be live German music with performances by Big Lou’s Accordion, The SF German Band and Alpiners USA. There will also be kid-friendly activities, including bounce houses, face painting and games, pretzel eating contest, chicken dance and more.

For a look at the entertainment schedule, visit the Mountain View Oktoberfest website.

Charity

A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Community Services Agency, located in Mountain View, and SOAR, a partner charity with Chamber of Commerce Mountain View. Student Outreach Award Resource (SOAR) is known throughout the community for its financial help and scholarship awards for high school and community college students looking to advance their education. Community Services Agency is a non-profit serving low income individuals and families.

About Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

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. Steins is a salute to the traditional European beer hall and garden, infusing rustic elements of nature with brilliant contemporary architecture. The Beer Garden will offer the perfect escape for guests to drink and socialize, and the Beer Hall will offer an ideal environment for guests to “eat, drink, and be merry.” Steins is open every day, Sundays 11am-10pm, Monday-Thursdays 11am-11pm (patio closes at 10pm), Friday-Saturdays 11am-11:30pm (patio closes at 11pm). Steins is located at 895 Villa St., Mountain View, CA 94041. For more information, visit www.steinsbeergarden.com and visit the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

About Tied House Microbrewery

Tied House was founded in 1987, and poured its first pint in January of 1988. Nearly 30 years later, Tied House continues its loyalty to the community and provides a dynamic, fun space where guests continue to enjoy their favorite Tied House beer, and a handcrafted, laidback menu. Since 2010, Tied House acquired over fifteen awards for their beer, including back-to-back Gold Medals for Ironwood Dark from the California State Commercial Craft Brewers Competition. In 2015, Tied House earned a prestigious Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal for its Alpine Gold Ale.

Additional photos below courtesy of Mountain View Oktoberfest:

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Introducing the San Jose Small Brewers Association, Plus Brewery Crawl

Image courtesy of SJSBA
Image courtesy of SJSBA

Local breweries Hermitage Brewing Company, Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Strike Brewing Company announced last week the formation of the San Jose Small Brewers Association (SJSBA). The three founding brewery members are all located about a mile from each other and just south of downtown San Jose, next to Spartan Stadium, Sharks Ice and Municipal Stadium, home of the San Jose Giants.

There are other breweries in the works nearby, and the hope is to grow the association as other small San Jose breweries open. According to Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, director of marketing for Hermitage Brewing, the SJSBA was formed to promote the neighborhood as a brewery district and destination.

Brewery Crawl

To celebrate the formation of the association, the three breweries have teamed up for their inaugural event – Super Bowl Brewery Crawl. Through Sunday, Feb. 14, visitors to any of the brewery taprooms can purchase a $20 ticket, good for one beer flight at each brewery. Once your ticket has been stamped by each brewery, guests will receive a commemorative tulip beer glass.

Brewery Taproom Hours

Hermitage Brewing Company
1627 South 7th St.
Wednesday-Friday: 4pm-9pm
Saturday-Sunday: 1pm-6pm

Santa Clara Valley Brewing
101 E. Alma Ave.
Wednesday-Friday: 1pm-9pm
Saturday-Sunday: 12pm-8pm

Strike Brewing Company
2099 S. 10th St., #30
Wednesday-Thursday: 4pm-8pm
Friday: 3pm-9pm
Saturday: 1pm-9pm
Sunday: 1pm-7pm

Carolyn adds, “There’s no need to look beyond the city limits to find great, locally made beer, and that’s what we want people to know.”

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Hermitage Brewing Company Releases 408 Session IPA and Villa Street American Red Ale

Hermitage Brewing debuts Villa Street American Red Ale & 408 Session IPA (Photo courtesy of Hermitage)
Hermitage Brewing debuts Villa Street American Red Ale & 408 Session IPA (Photo courtesy of Hermitage)

San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company (HBC) debuted two new offerings last week – 408 Session IPA (5% ABV, 60 IBU) and Villa Street American Red Ale (5% ABV, 45 IBU) – during a release party held on Aug. 19 at the HBC Tap Room (1627 S. First St.). These beers were also available at sister brewery Tied House in downtown Mountain View (954 Villa St.).

Despite a short notice for the release party, the Tap Room attracted a busy stream of customers, especially for a Wednesday evening – a good indication of Hermitage Brewing’s growing popularity. Tap Room manager Joel Wind and the staff provided skillful and knowledgeable service, while brand managers Peter Estaniel and Nicole Marquez were on hand to field any additional questions.

The 408 Session IPA appeared to be the favorite of the evening – many bottles were purchased to take home. I understood why – great aroma and flavor from the Equinox hops with a distinctive smooth, yet solid, mouthfeel. As much as I enjoyed the 408, I preferred the Villa Street American Red Ale, at least on this particular evening. The citrus aroma and flavor from the Galaxy hops provided a bright complement to the sweet malt for an enjoyable hoppy red.

Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, the director of marketing for both Hermitage and Tied House, provided me insights as to how these beers came to be. “We wanted to come up with a project that would shine some light on the South Bay and its vibrant brewing community, which is why we jumped at the chance to brew the ‘408.’ ‘Villa Street’ was an obvious choice for a second name since HBC’s sister brewery, Tied House, has been located on Villa Street since 1987.”

She continued, “The other reason for these beers is that we heard a lot of requests for smaller beers from Hermitage, so these two are our answer. I’m really proud of the entire concept, the look of the labels and the end product. I worked with graphic designer Marcel Miranda, and he created exactly what I envisioned. The hops I chose to have the brewers dry hop these beers with turned out to be great choices, too. The Galaxy hops make the red ale very interesting, and the Equinox hops are perfect for adding an extra layer of flavor to the IPA.”

Carolyn added that both beers should be going into a year-round rotation. They can currently be enjoyed on tap at the HBC Tap Room and available in 22-oz. bottles at the Tap Room and at your local bottle shop.

Below are the descriptions of both beers from Hermitage Brewing Company and head brewer Greg Filippi.

408 Session IPA

408 is the area code for San Jose and the surrounding areas, home to Hermitage Brewing. Our 408 Session IPA pays respect to the rich brewing tradition of the Silicon Valley.

Head brewer Greg Filippi says this of the new release:

408 Session India Pale Ale pours a brilliant golden color like summer sunshine in your hand. Hop aroma wafts from the glass before your lips make contact for the first sip, enticing you with a sense of what is to come. There are no frills here, with just enough of a malt backbone to help the hops stand up and take center stage. The hop flavor is smooth and pleasant, with a subdued bitterness and a nice green grassy character underscored by notes of tropical fruit. The beer finishes dry and smooth, fading cleanly off the palate and leaving you yearning for the next sip.

Villa Street American Red Ale

Villa Street American Red Ale is an homage to sister brewery, Tied House, which has been on Villa Street in Mountain View since 1987. It is a beautiful American red ale, dry hopped with Galaxy hops.

Head Brewer, Greg Filippi, says this of the new release:

Villa Street Red pours a deep copper to red color with ample foam in the glass. The aroma is immediately hoppy, with notes of pine and citrus and undertones of sweet caramel malt. The hop character continues strongly into the flavor with a classic west coast style of resinous pine and subtle grassiness, with hints of grapefruit citrus brightening things up. The finish is moderately dry for the style, but the sweet malt lingers on the palate with just a trace of hop deliciousness.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

CineBrew Mart Links Movies and Beer

The CineBrew Mart - a truly local event
The CineBrew Mart – a truly local event

Hermitage Brewing Company has teamed up with San Jose Made (SJMADE) and Camera 12 Cinemas to present the CineBrew Mart, a uniquely local, family friendly event taking place July 26 during Silicon Valley Beer Week.

The event is the brainchild of SJMADE founder Marie Millares and stemmed from brainstorming sessions on what to do with the third floor theater space with Camera 12’s Alex Adams.

“Alex had a ton of great ideas,” Millares says. “I remember thinking that having a local brewery on the third floor would be a great concept to explore. A good number of local theaters in the nation have already married the brewpub and movie theater.”

After meeting Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, director of marketing for Hermitage and Tied House Brewing, at the annual Meet the Brewers festival held earlier this year, their ideas were set in motion.

Local purveyors at CineBrew Mart will set up shop on Paseo de San Antonio as well as the first floor lobby of Camera 12 and be open to the public from 11am-7pm.

Approximately 10 movies will be shown throughout the day, and a beer tasting will take place at the second and third floor concession stands from 1pm-4pm.

Hopkins-Vasquez has signed up 10, or so, local breweries from the Bay Brewers Guild to participate, including Hermitage, Tied House, Strike Brewing, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Campbell Brewing, Faultline, Gordon Biersch, Uncommon Brewers and Santa Cruz Ale Works.

Included among the SJMADE vendors will be local food artisans providing movie snacks to pair with the beer tasting, including gourmet brittle, popcorn, cotton candy, baked goods, caramels, biscotti and more. Treatbot will also produce special beer-flavored ice creams for the event that will feature Hermitage Brewing’s Ale of the 2Tun Imperial Stout and Mosaic Single Hop IPA.

[This post was shared on SanJose.com.]

Upcoming Beerwalk Takes Place in Downtown Campbell, Plus Pics from Last Year’s Event

Downtown Campbell Beerwalk 2013
Downtown Campbell Beerwalk 2013

According to a recent Facebook update, there have been 10 Beerwalks so far, representing over 7,000 attendees, over 500 volunteers, over 200 different beers, and perhaps most importantly, over $30,000 raised for local non-profit organizations.

For those still unaware, Beerwalks take place every few months throughout various South Bay communities (so far: Japantown, Willow Glen, downtown Campbell, and Santana Row) and provide opportunities for “beerwalkers” to visit local shops and businesses while sampling good beer.

The Beerwalks have proven to be a quadruple win strategy involving South Bay communities, local shops and businesses, beer fans, and local non-profits. The successes are what led the Metro Silicon Valley newspaper to single out the Beerwalks as the “Best Community Showcase” in last year’s “The Best of Silicon Valley” issue.

The next Beerwalk is upon us, as the third annual Downtown Campbell Beerwalk takes place on Wednesday, April 23 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The following is the current list of participating breweries:

  • Drakes
  • Firestone Walker
  • Lagunitas
  • Hangar 24
  • Anchor
  • Speakeasy
  • Anderson Valley
  • Strike
  • Hermitage
  • Santa Clara Valley
  • Campbell
  • Rock Bottom, Campbell
  • 21st Amendment
  • Gordon Biersch
  • Almanac
  • FireHouse
  • Calicraft
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Karl Strauss
  • Stone
  • St. Florian
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works
  • Faultline
  • Lost Coast
  • Headlands Brewing Company
  • Six Rivers
  • Deschutes
  • Oskar Blues

The following is the list of tasting locations:

  • Frost Cupcake Factory
  • Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop
  • Snake & Butterfly
  • Khartoum Lounge
  • Liquid Bread Gastropub
  • Tessora’s Barra di Vino
  • Steepers
  • Blue Line Pizza
  • Brown Chicken Brown Cow
  • Ciano’s Modern Latin Flavors
  • Mo’s
  • Sonoma Chicken Coop
  • Spread Deli & Bottles
  • The Socialight
  • Cali Muscle Sports Nutrition & Apparel
  • Embellish Hair & Lash Lounge
  • Pro Martial Arts
  • Bela La Vie Boutique & Gallery
  • The Cruiser Shop
  • Bombshell Boutique
  • In Style Shoes
  • The European Cobblery
  • Urban Girl
  • The Olive Bar
  • The Jewel Box
  • Toys Toys Toys
  • MarKey Capital
  • Bozzuto & Associates Insurance Services
  • Celtic Shoppe
  • Sushi Confidential

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $30 online at www.thebeerwalk.com. Last year’s Beerwalk in downtown Campbell sold out, and with the weather expected to be pleasant this upcoming Wednesday, the Beerwalk will again be a popular draw. In case the event does not sell out, tickets can be purchased day of for $35 at check-in locations.

For additional information, including check-in time and locations, visit the Beerwalk website.

More pics from last year’s Downtown Campbell Beerwalk 2013:

Beerwalk co-founder Charlie Mann
Beerwalk co-founder Charlie Mann
Beerwalk co-founder Jordan Trigg, Hermitage Brewing's Larry Hoang, and Campbell Brewing's Jim Turturici
Beerwalk co-founder Jordan Trigg, Hermitage Brewing’s Larry Hoang, and Campbell Brewing’s Jim Turturici
Great turnout at the Campbell Beerwalk 2013
Great turnout at the Campbell Beerwalk 2013

Great crowd at the Campbell Beerwalk 2013

Campbell Beerwalk 2013

Beerwalkers at the Campbell Beerwalk 2013
Beerwalkers at the Campbell Beerwalk 2013
Lost Coast Brewery's Jack Van Stone and Beerwalk volunteers
Lost Coast Brewery’s Jack Van Stone and Beerwalk volunteers
Hermitage Brewing Company's Peter Estaniel and Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez
Hermitage Brewing Company’s Peter Estaniel and Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez
Yours truly and Santa Clara Valley Brewing's Steve Donohue
Yours truly and Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Steve Donohue
Good eats at one of the Beerwalk tasting locations, Spread Deli & Bottles
Good eats at one of the Beerwalk tasting locations, Spread Deli & Bottles
Ending the Beerwalk with a nice view of the Campbell water tower
Ending the Beerwalk with a nice view of the Campbell water tower

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

San Jose’s Meet the Brewers and The Beerwalk Events Celebrate SF Beer Week 2014

Tied House - co-host of the annual South Bay Meet the Brewers beerfest
Tied House – co-host of the annual South Bay Meet the Brewers beerfest

Recently announced was the first wave of scheduled beer events for the 2014 edition of SF Beer Week presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild, set to take place from Fri., Feb. 7 to Sun., Feb. 16. Expect many more South Bay events to be listed in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, be sure to consider the following popular events:

San Jose Beerwalk in San Jose

[Note: Purchase tickets before midnight on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, to save $5 on the $30 tickets. Enter discount code: stockingstuffer.]

As The Beerwalk web page indicates:

The Beerwalk is hitting the streets of Japantown San Jose again for SF Beer Week on Sat., Feb. 8, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Whether you attended any Beerwalks previously, this event is a great way to kick off SF Beer Week.

Tucked away minutes from Downtown San Jose sits the charming Japantown business district. Stroll the streets and discover all the unique boutique shops, art studios, and great restaurants you cannot find anywhere else in San Jose. All while sipping on great beers and enjoying the social enthusiasm of shopkeepers and beer lovers alike.

The Beerwalk was created around more than the idea of sampling great beers, but rather to provide the outlet for our community to come together to explore the neighborhoods and small businesses which help make San Jose the great city it is today.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $30 at Jack’s Bar & Lounge or online at www.thebeerwalk.com. In the case the event does not sell out, tickets can be purchased day of for $35. Ticket includes beer samples, custom glass, and passport. Plus, first 60 folks to check-in the day of the event receive complimentary tours at the Gordon Biersch Brewery and Bottling facility.

Check-in registration begins at noon. For more information, visit www.thebeerwalk.com or like us on Facebook at The Beerwalk. To benefit the Japantown Business Association (JBA) & The Bay Brewers Guild.

Meet the Brewers Beer Festival

[Note: Early bird tickets are currently on sale for $30 dollars (reflecting $5 off) until January 1, 2014.]

Tied House Brewing and Hermitage Brewing Company (HBC) will host the fifth annual Meet the Brewers beerfest on Sat., Feb. 15 at San Jose’s Hermitage Brewery (1627 S. 7th Street, San Jose) from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., featuring a variety of Bay Area food trucks and over fifteen breweries from the South Bay, Peninsula, and Monterey Bay Area.

Here is a current list of participating breweries:

  • Clandestine Brewing
  • Calicraft Brewing
  • Discretion Brewing
  • Uncommon Brewers
  • Strike
  • Campbell Brewing
  • Faultline
  • Rabbits Foot Meadery/ Red Branch Cider
  • Los Gatos Brewing Company
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • The Rare Barrel
  • Peter B’s
  • Seabright Brewing
  • El Toro
  • Hermitage Brewing
  • Tied House

More from a recent press release:

2014 marks the 5th Annual Meet the Brewers beer festival. Join us for the best mobile eats paired with the best local breweries from Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay. Proceeds will be donated to Can Do MS, a national non-profit who helps thousands of people living with MS.

Peter Estaniel, Brand Manager for HBC says:

“It’s hard to believe that this will be the fifth year for Meet the Brewers Craft Beer Festival! This event started humbly with a handful of local South Bay breweries, and has quickly grown to include fantastic, small batch breweries from Oakland through Monterey. This is one of the few festivals where craft beer fans will be able to actually meet, and interact, with the men and women behind their favorite craft beers.”

The featured breweries participating in Meet the Brewers 2014 are: Uncommon Brewers, Seabright Brewery, El Toro Brewing, Strike Brewing, Rabbit’s Foot Meadery, Peter B’s Brewpub and more to be announced. Gourmet food trucks will be provided by Moveable Feast.

Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, Director of Marketing and Events for HBC says:

“The South Bay and Monterey areas are really experiencing a brewery renaissance, and it’s exciting to be able to showcase these new and up-and-coming businesses. What’s even better is the willingness of all the brewers to put in their time and craft to help us celebrate the South Bay craft beer scene. The Bay Brewers Guild will also host a raffle to raise money for their organization. It’s the Guild’s second year participating and having a brewers’ guild dedicated to this area just proves the brewing community in our area is growing. We look forward to seeing what another five years brings for both the festival and the Guild.”

For updates and more info. about Meet The Brewers please visit www.hermitagebrewing.com, or to purchase tickets please click here.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Hermitage Brewing Company Tap Room Grand Opening Friday, July 12, 2013

Hermitage Brewing Tap Room grand opening - Fri., July 12, 2013 at 4 p.m.
Hermitage Brewing Tap Room grand opening – Fri., July 12, 2013 at 4 p.m.

A major development in the local beer scene takes place today from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with the grand opening of the Hermitage Brewing Company Tap Room in San Jose. The Tap Room reflects, in large part, the South Bay’s growing interest and demand for well-crafted, locally made beer and greatly adds to the region’s burgeoning beer landscape.

A brewery’s tap room serves as the tasting room and is a wonderful place to soak in the vibe of the particular brewery while trying out the creations of the brewing team, providing both existing fans and those new to the brewery the opportunity to enjoy the offerings at their freshest points.

The opening of the Tap Room offers the best way for the Hermitage Brewing team, which includes brewmaster Peter Licht and lead brewer Greg Filippi, to directly link up with their growing fan base as well as connect with – and then convert – those who are new to the craft beer world. More from their recent press release:

Hermitage Brewing Company (HBC) is proud to announce the grand opening of the Hermitage Brewing Company Tap Room on Friday, July 12th, 2013 at 1627 S.7th St., San Jose, CA 95112 from 4pm to 7pm. The Tap Room will feature HBC’s award winning beers along with rotating local guest beers. A ceremonial Firkin will be tapped for the grand opening at 5pm.

Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, Director of Marketing for HBC commented, “We are thrilled that the HBC tasting room project has finally come to fruition. The South Bay’s craft beer scene has grown immensely in the last few years, and Hermitage looks forward to adding to that community with our tap room. We hope to become an integral part of our new neighborhood, as well as sports fans’ go-to watering hole prior to San Jose State Spartans and San Jose Giants games.”

Established in 2009, Hermitage Brewing Company is located in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Hermitage Brewing Company is becoming widely recognized for its Hoptopia, Maltopia, Ale of The Imp, and its Single Hop Series IPA. In 2011, Hermitage Brewing was awarded four gold medals at the California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition. Celebrator Beer News gave One Door Quadrupel four out of five stars in 2011, and Hoptopia DIPA four out of five stars in 2012. Maltopia Scotch Ale was most recently awarded 2nd Place at the 2013 California State Fair Commercial Beer Competition.

About Hermitage Brewing: Established in 2009, Hermitage Brewing Company is located in San Jose. Hermitage makes small batch craft beers, and specializes in developing new and innovative beer styles.

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Mountain View’s Tied House Celebrates 25th Year, Plus Q & A with Owner Lou Jemison

Tied House Microbrewery founder and owner Lou Jemison (r) chatting with Hermitage Brewing brewmaster Peter Licht (l), May 2012
Tied House Microbrewery founder and owner Lou Jemison (r) chatting with Hermitage Brewing brewmaster Peter Licht (l), May 2012

Downtown Mountain View’s Tied House Microbrewery opened their doors back in January 1988. To celebrate their 25th anniversary year, Tied House is hosting the next South Bay Beerwalk on Sat., June 1 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This event marks the first time that the popular Beerwalk series will be held in Mountain View, as previous Beerwalks have taken place in Japantown San Jose, downtown Campbell, and Willow Glen.

The complete list of participating breweries (including Tied House, Strike, Faultline, Gordon Biersch, Hermitage, and the new San Jose brewing company Santa Clara Valley Brewing) and tasting locations (including Tied House, Steak Out Burgers and Beer Garden, Jane’s Beer Store, and the recently opened Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant) is available on The Beerwalk Mountain View website.

Tickets are $30 if purchased in advance, and check-in for the Beerwalk starts at noon at Tied House.

Director of marketing for Tied House Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez says, “Tied House has been fortunate to be a part of this amazing community for 25 years. To celebrate, we are excited to work with Beerwalk to show off the vibrant, local business scene on and around Castro Street, and to introduce Mountain View to some of the best regional craft beer.”

Hopkins-Vasquez began working at Tied House eight years ago as a server prior to overseeing the marketing functions. She credits the successful run of Tied House to its founder and owner Lou Jemison, a Santa Cruz native.

After graduating from UC Berkeley with a history degree, Jemison opened one of the first “fern bars” in the Los Angeles area, calling it The San Francisco Saloon Company. During this time, Jemison acquired Ford’s Fountain in Watsonville, a coffee shop and bakery, which he managed after selling his share of The San Francisco Saloon Company and moving back to the Bay Area. He began a catering company from Ford’s and then in 1986, planted the seeds for Tied House.

Hopkins-Vasquez shares, “Lou is not one for many words. He is passionate about his company, and also about keeping talent and fostering employee talent. For example, he allowed me to create my own job, essentially as a cheerleader for the company. That speaks to the nature of his leadership style.

His quiet but supportive leadership is what keeps the company prosperous and maintains a healthy work environment. I like to think his style is right on par with the whole of Silicon Valley’s entrepreneurial spirit and creative nature.”

Jemison recently took the time to answer some questions, including how the idea for starting Tied House Microbrewery came about.

How does it feel reaching this milestone number of 25 years? What does it mean for you?

Our parent company, a family owned farm and land company in Watsonville, just turned 84, so 25 seems like yesterday.

How did the idea for Tied House come about?

In 1986, I traveled to Baden Baden, in what was then West Germany, to visit a friend. While there, I went to several brewery-restaurants and was impressed with the concept. I also loved the idea of having a view of the brewery machinery and the brewing process; something about the ambiance struck me.

When I returned to California, I found out a recent law had been passed making it legal to manufacture and sell beer at the same site. The idea for the name, as well as the concept, of Tied House was born.

We brought in Cheuck H. Tom as our Brewmaster, who previously worked as Chief Chemist and Brewer/Assistant Brewmaster at San Miguel Brewery in Hong Kong and Assistant Brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch in Los Angeles. Under his leadership, Tied House quickly earned multiple GABF and World Beer Cup medals.

The recipes he developed are still made today, and held to the highest standards of brewing, by Brewmaster Ron Manabe and his team.

Why did you select downtown Mountain View as the location to open Tied House?

The Mountain View City Manager called me up and convinced me to open in Mountain View instead of a neighboring town. The city owned the building we are in and sold it to us.

What Tied House achievement are you proudest of?

Being part of creating a quality locally-produced and locally-consumed product in a friendly, open setting is what I am most proud of.

What are your hopes for the next 25 years?

World peace… and I can stay healthy for most of those 25 years.

Anything else to add?

Go Sharks! Go Giants! What about those 49ers?!

——

In reaching the 25-year milestone, Tied House shows no signs of slowing down, no doubt buoyed by a strong management team, solid food, good beer, a fun and open environment, and friendly customer service.

Indeed, several recent mid-afternoon lunch visits to Tied House consisted of great food, tasty beers, and excellent service, prompting immediate planning for return visits. That the establishment is guided by such a respected owner, and an avid Bay Area sports fan to boot, makes it all the better.

About Tied House Microbrewery: Tied House was founded in 1987 and poured its first pint in January of 1988. Twenty-Five years later, Tied House continues its loyalty to the community and provides a dynamic, fun space where guest can continue to enjoy their favorite Tied House beer. In 2010 and 2011, Tied House acquired over ten awards, including back-to-back Gold Medals for its Ironwood Dark from the California State Commercial Craft Brewers Competition.

About Beerwalk: The Beerwalk is an event that engages the community and presents a great opportunity for them to get to know their neighborhood better, all while enjoying craft beer. Jordan Trigg and Charlie Mann, who own several small businesses in San Jose and Campbell, founded Beerwalk. The Beerwalk’s mission is to provide a social outlet for local communities and neighborhoods, while highlighting small businesses and raising funds for their business associations. Beerwalks give “Beerwalkers” the opportunity to visit new stores and restaurants while tasting local and imported beers.

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June 2012: Highlights of Two South Bay Beer Launches – Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau and Hermitage Brewing Company Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde

South Bay beer launch at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Imperial Pilsner Brau Launch Party at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose

Last month, there were two special beer launch parties in San Jose and Mountain View. The first took place on Friday, June 15, 2012 along East Taylor Street at the Gordon Biersch brewery and bottling facility in San Jose.

Owner Dan Gordon was on hand to introduce the Imperial Pilsner Brau (IPB), the first in a series of specialty beers with a limited production of 4,000 cases or less to be released throughout the year. The IPB comes in 750 ml. bottles with German swing-top enclosures.

Dan Gordon and friends at the Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau launch party at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Dan Gordon and friends at the Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau launch party at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose

The Imperial Pilsner Brau (6.5% ABV/50 IBU) poured a golden yellow and provided a unique and refreshing aroma and taste of a hoppy pilsner. It is an “intensely hopped, robust pilsner that emphasizes the noble hops from Central Europe, including Hallertau, Tettnang, Spalt and Saaz… and brewed in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516.”

Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau
Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau

With a live jazz band, food catered by Sino and Straits Cafe, and plenty of the Imperial Pilsner Brau, the launch party for the Imperial Pilsner Brau was an elegant and memorable event.

Celebrating the launch of Gordon Biersch Imperial Pilsner Brau at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Celebrating the launch of Imperial Pilsner Brau at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose

The second beer release and tasting party took place on Friday, June 22, 2012 at Tied House Cafe & Brewery in Mountain View by invitation only. The occasion also served as an informal party to welcome multiple award-winning Steve Donohue to the brewing team.

South Bay beer launch at Tied House in Mountain View
Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde beer launch at Tied House in Mountain View

The featured beer was the Hermitage Brewing Company Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde, a traditional farmhouse ale popular in the northern French countryside. It is “the brainchild of our brewer Peter Licht. He fell in love with this beer style while studying abroad in northern France almost 30 years ago and has wanted to re-create that memory ever since.”

Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Pours of Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde at Tied House in Mountain View

The Ale de Dieux (9.2% ABV/26 IBU) poured a dark amber color, and the description for this beer is spot on: “It is complex and warming with subtle notes of spice and oak, while still being exceptionally smooth.” Look for the Ale de Dieux either on tap at Tied House for a limited time or in 750 ml bottles at select California retail locations (just 300 cases distributed).

Peter Licht recalls the inspiration behind the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde
Peter Licht (left) recalls the inspiration behind the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde with Hermitage/Tied House Marketing Director Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, Mike Pitsker of Celebrator Beer News, brewer Steve Donohue and Hermitage lead brewer Greg Filippi carrying his baby boy

Director of Marketing Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez introduced the brewing team of Tied House and Hermitage Brewing – brewmasters Ron Manabe and Peter Licht, along with brewers Greg Filippi and the newest team member Steve Donohue, reuniting him with Peter Licht from their days at Coast Range Brewing.

Ron Manabe and Peter Licht at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Ron Manabe and Peter Licht at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View

Along with a pour of the limited-release Biere de Garde, there were other Tied House and Hermitage beers as well as appetizers, all of which helped to make for a fun – and tasty – evening.

Steve Donohue (left) and Peter Licht (right) at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Steve Donohue (left) and Peter Licht (right) at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Greg Filippi at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Greg Filippi at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Mike Pitsker of Celebrator Beer News at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux biere de garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View
Mike Pitsker of Celebrator Beer News at the Hermitage Brewing Ale de Dieux Biere de Garde release party at Tied House in Mountain View

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