Tag Archives: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company

2017 Oktoberfest Celebrations in and around San Jose

Yours truly at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, July 2016

I’m sure there are many like me who wish they were going to the official Oktoberfest in Munich.

The Hofbräuhaus in Munich, July 2016

Fortunately, local Oktoberfest-inspired events and celebrations are set to take place throughout San Jose and nearby, providing plenty of opportunities to enjoy German and German-style beer and food in a festive atmosphere. Many of the Oktoberfest celebrations are family friendly and will feature live entertainment.

Below is a roundup of this year’s local Oktoberfest events listed by date. I’ll add to it as new ones come to my attention. Prost!

Sat., Sep. 9: Gourmet Haus Staudt

What: It’s their annual outdoor Oktoberfest celebration, taking place from 12pm to 7:30pm. Six German beers on tap, lots of bratwurst and live music featuring The Internationals (starting at 2pm). $7 entry fee.

Where: 2615 Broadway St., Redwood City

More Info.: Facebook event page

Wed., Sep 13: Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

What: Gordon Biersch in downtown San Jose celebrates Oktoberfest with the tapping of their seasonal Festbier accompanied by games and live music.

Where: 33 E. San Fernando St., San Jose

More Info.: FB event page

Fri., Sep. 15: Golden State Brewery

What: Folks are invited to don their Lederhosen and Dirndl as Golden State Brewery releases their new Ein Prosit Oktoberfest beer. There’ll be music, decorations, sausages courtesy of Arlington Brothers and a limited supply of 32-oz. Das Boots good for a fill of Ein Prosit for $16. Festivities take place from 5pm to 9pm.

Where: 1252 Memorex Dr., Santa Clara

More Info: goldenstate.beer

Fri., Sep. 15 – Sat., Oct. 28: Teske’s Germania

What: German fare and beers with music from The Internationals on select Friday and Saturday evenings from Sep. 15 to Oct. 29.

Where: 255 N. 1st St., San Jose

More Info.: Teske’s Entertainment page

Sat., Sep. 16 & Sat., Sep. 23: Ludwig’s German Table

What: Join Ludwig’s for Oktoberfest on Sep. 16 and Sep. 23 from 12pm to 8pm. There’ll be live music, plenty of German beers and a Schmankerl plate. $28.

Where: 261 N. 2nd St., San Jose

More Info.: ludwigssj.com

Mon., Sep. 18 – Sat., Oct. 21: Faultline Oktoberfest

What: Faultline Brewing Company pays homage to Oktoberfest with a month-long special German-inspired menu available lunch and dinner, plus Oktoberfest specialty beers.

Where: 1235 Oakmead Pkwy., Sunnyvale

More Info.: FB event page

Thurs., Sep. 21 – Sat., Sep. 23: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company

Update: Gordon Biersch announced on Sep. 15 that this event has been cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

What: The ongoing Taylor Street Night Market outdoor summer series continues to take place Thursday evenings at the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company brewing and packaging facility in Japantown. To celebrate Oktoberfest, the Night Market folks – Gordon Biersch and Moveable Feast – are throwing a three-day, family friendly bash featuring German-inspired food truck dishes and beers along with live music, games for kids and SJMADE artisans.

Where: 357 E. Taylor St., San Jose

More Info.: FB event page

Thurs., Sep. 21 – Sat., Sep. 23: Park Station Hashery

What: Caltobrefest! Enjoy local and German beers with classic Bavarian fare done California style. Live music and DJ sets on the patio. 5pm to closing.

Where: 1701 Park Ave., San Jose

More Info.: Instagram post

Thurs., Sep. 21 – Sun., Sep. 24: Redwood City Oktoberfest

What: The 4th annual Oktoberfest in downtown Redwood City takes place over four days on the Courthouse Square and encompasses a whole lot of everything one can ask for to celebrate Oktoberfest.

Where: 2200 Broadway, Redwood City

More Info.: Website

Thurs., Sep. 28: Geektoberfest

What: The Tech Museum of Innovation presents the 3rd annual Geektoberfest. Explore the biology of beer, with talks, demos and tastings. 7pm to 10:30pm. $25.

Where: 201 S. Market St., San Jose

More Info.: thetech.org/geektoberfest

Sat., Sep. 30 – Sun., Oct. 1: Mountain View Oktoberfest

What: The 5th Annual Oktoberfest takes place the weekend of Sep. 30 and Oct. 1 (11am to 7pm both days) and is presented by Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. There’ll be plenty of German beer, good food and family friendly entertainment.

Where: Parking lot at Dana St. and Bryant St., Mountain View

More Info.: FB event page

Sat., Oct. 14: Peninsula Oktoberfest

What: Enjoy the annual Peninsula Oktoberfest at Hiller Aviation Museum, held for the first time at night from 5pm to 10pm. There’ll be live music as well as German beers and food available for purchase.

Where: 601 Skyway Rd., San Carlos

More Info.: hiller.org/event/oktoberfest

Sat., Oct. 21 to Sun., Oct. 22: Campbell Oktoberfest

What: Downtown Campbell hosts an entire weekend of live music, tasty food, arts and crafts, a kids zone and – of course – beer. Sponsored by Gordon Biersch Brewing Company.

Where: E. Campbell Ave., Campbell

More Info.: FB event page

Inaugural Gordon Biersch Oktoberfest in San Jose

Photo from 25th anniversary celebration at Gordon Biersch Brewery in San Jose
Photo from 25th anniversary celebration at Gordon Biersch Brewery in San Jose

Gordon Biersch will celebrate its inaugural Oktoberfest this Sat., Oct. 10 directly outside its brewing facilities in San Jose’s Japantown (357 E. Taylor St.). The event takes place from 12pm to 9pm and includes a selection of the brewery’s signature German-style beers, traditional and contemporary food options, live music, stein-holding contest, free brewery tours and a five-story tall Ferris wheel.

Gordon Biersch will feature three of its traditional, unfiltered German-style beers – Märzen, Czech Style Pilsner and Festbier. Märzen, Gordon Biersch’s original Oktoberfest beer, highlights the flavors of imported German, dark-roasted Munich and caramelized Munich malts. The Czech-style Pilsner utilizes Bavarian Hallertau and Tettnang aroma hops to produce fine bitterness and a floral aroma. The unique flavor and bouquet combine for a crisp, highly drinkable beer. Festbier emphasizes rich malty undertones with a moderately hoppy finish. The maltiness is created via a combination of dark-roasted Munich style malt, Pilsner malt and both light-roasted and dark-roasted caramel malt.

Look for WildCide Hard Cider – the first offering from Gordon Biersch’s new cider venture – to make its public debut after the stealthily creative “No Name Cider” social media marketing campaign held earlier this year.

Gordon Biersch’s signature garlic fries will be available in addition to offerings from Capelo’s Barbecue, German-style soft pretzels from Wolfgang’s Bavarian Pretzels, Bratwurst, other sausages and roasted pig and chicken. Seating will be housed under a sperry tent with hall-style seating for 500.

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is scheduled to make a special appearance at 2pm to take part in the traditional tapping of the keg with Gordon Biersch brewmaster Dan Gordon.

Free brewery tours will be held at intervals throughout the day. Live music will include Santa Cruz soul band Pawn Shop Soul and San Francisco collective Jazz Mafia. Both groups focus on contemporary funk, soul and jazz.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available at gboktoberfest.brownpapertickets.com.


12 and under free
$15 13+ or designated driver
$20 entrance and 1 drink ticket
$25 entrance, 1 drink ticket, and .4 Litre (13oz) Gordon Biersch Willibecher glass
$30 entrance, 2 drink tickets, and 1 Litre (33oz) Gordon Biersch stein mug
$50 entrance, 4 drink tickets, and Gordon Biersch stein mug

Drink Tickets:

1 ticket fills a Willibecher or half a Stein
2 tickets fills a Stein
Additional drink tickets = $5

Given the past Gordon Biersch events I’ve been to, I expect this one to quickly become a local favorite. More information is below for those unfamiliar with the history of Gordon Biersch.

Beers from Gordon Biersch

All of Gordon Biersch’s beer is brewed in strict adherence to the German Purity Law, a traditional German brewing philosophy that dates to 1487. In the declaration issued by Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria, it was stated that the only ingredients used in the production of beer should be water, barley, and hops. This traditional approach has been a cornerstone of Gordon Biersch’s brewing philosophy since brewmaster Dan Gordon established the company’s first brewery restaurant with restauranteur Dean Biersch in Palo Alto in 1988. Gordon was the first American in 40 years to graduate from the five-year brewing program at Technical University of Munich, the most prestigious brewing program in the world.

About Gordon Biersch

Dan Gordon first met Dean Biersch in 1987 through a mutual friend. Gordon was one of the most sought-after brewers in the country, while restaurateur and beer lover Biersch was looking for a partner to open a brewery restaurant.

Their mutual vision was clear from the start: a monument to beer, where people could come drink freshly-brewed beer and have a great meal. They would serve authentic, German-style beers in the tradition of the blends Gordon brewed while attending the Technical University of Munich, considered the world’s most renowned brewing school. Their beer has always been brewed according to the age-old German Purity Law of beer known as Reinheitsgebot, utilizing only the finest ingredients: Hallertauer hops, two-row malted barley, and a special yeast strain imported directly from Germany.

In 1988, they opened their first brewery restaurant in Palo Alto. Since then, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants have opened across the United States and world to include locations from California to Florida and even Taiwan.

The organization took its next major step in 1997 when it opened a state-of-the-art brewery and bottling facility in San Jose’s Japantown neighborhood.

Since 1998, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company has more than doubled its production, increasing its capacity to 3.1 million gallons of beer annually, making the company the largest brewery in the San Francisco Bay Area.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Roundup of Top South Bay Beer Events for SF Beer Week 2015, Part 1

Japantown beerwalkers in 2012
Japantown beerwalkers in 2012

SF Beer Week kicks off this Fri., Feb. 6 with the Opening Gala at SF’s Fort Mason Center, Herbst Pavilion, where over 80 Bay Area breweries will be pouring their finest offerings. As a testament to the Opening Gala’s popularity, tickets sold out in just twelve days back in December. Participating South Bay breweries include:

  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • El Toro Brewing Company (Morgan Hill)
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Hermitage Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Palo Alto Brewing Company
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Strike Brewing Company (San Jose)

SF Beer Week runs through Sun., Feb. 15 and features hundreds of beer-related events, over 700 at last count. As in years past, there is a plethora of beer-related events taking place in the South Bay.

The following is a list of some of the standout, predominantly South Bay-centric events scheduled throughout this opening weekend. These are the events that I would love to attend if I could clone myself.

Note: Some of the events will require tickets to be purchased ahead of time. Visit the SF Beer Week website for the complete schedule of events.


Fibbar Magees, 156 South Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale: Lagunitas Extravaganza, 11am-11:30pm. A tap takeover features 15 Lagunitas offerings, including a vintage Imperial Stout (2013) and the release of their annual special SFBW Fusion beer (Fusion 27).

Market Beer Company, 100 N. Almaden Ave., San Jose: Walker’s Wild Ride, 11:30am-1:30pm. Market Beer Company, located inside the San Pedro Square Market, is the first Bay Area stop for Firestone Walker co-proprietor David Walker and barrelmeister Jeffers Richardson. They are bringing their collection of specialty Barrelworks sour beers.

Rose & Crown, 547 Emerson St., Palo Alto: Sour Sunday in PA (Part 1), 11:30am-11:30pm. Get pucker faced with Rose & Crown yet again at their annual sour beer event, with offerings from Russian River, Bear Republic, Palo Alto Brewing, The Bruery, plus more on tap and in bottles.

Beerwalk: Japantown, Jackson St., San Jose: Japantown Beerwalk, 2-6pm. The award-winning Beerwalk series returns triumphantly to Japantown, the site of the first ever Beerwalk three years ago, and will feature offerings from a number of local breweries, including Hermitage, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Strike, Gordon Biersch, Faultline, FireHouse and more. The first 60 to check in the day of the event will receive a complimentary tour of the nearby Gordon Biersch bottling and production facility. Tickets are $30 if purchased in advance at Jack’s Bar & Lounge or online.

Wine Affairs, 1435 The Alameda, San Jose: 6th Annual Double Blind Double IPA, 2-8pm. Always a fun event, come out and blind taste 8 Double IPAs and help determine the best in show. Admission is $15 per person.

Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company, 935 Washington St., San Carlos: Mavericks Brewing Tunnel Vision IPA Release, 2-5pm. Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company hosts the 2nd Annual West Coast Craft Can Invitational (16 confirmed breweries) which will showcase some of the Bay Area’s finest canned beers. A special beer launch features Half Moon Bay’s Mavericks Brewing and their newest canned beer Tunnel Vision IPA in 16-oz. cans. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online.

Harry’s Hofbrau, 390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose: Annual Stone Tap Takeover with Secret Ruination Firkin! 5-11:30pm. A special tap list of Stone beers will include a cask of Ruination conditioned with secret ingredients for which you will have to come out to find out.


Mission Creek Brewing Company, 777 The Alameda, San Jose: Bangers and Beer: An Ode to the Perfect Pair, 12-4pm. Mission Creek Brewing, California’s first Whole Foods store with in-store brewery, looks to honor the perfect pairing that is sausage and beer by pouring their own Mission Creek beers, along with other local beers, to be paired with items from an exclusive menu highlighting their made-in-house sausages.

Oak & Rye, 303 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos: Pizza & Beer Pairing, 12-3pm. The popular and well-regarded restaurant Oak & Rye will be making special pies (all you can eat) to pair with offerings from Firestone Walker, Oskar Blues and Ballast Point. Tickets are $30 and gets you unlimited food and 8-oz. pours of up to 9 beers. Tickets can be purchased online.

Bierhaus, 383 Castro St., Mountain View: Meet the Brewers: Clandestine Brewing, 1-5pm. Meet the founders of Clandestine Brewing and enjoy an afternoon of their beers. Plus there will be raffle prizes.

San Pedro Square Market, 87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose: Lagunitas Beer Parade, 1-4:30pm. Enjoy offerings from Lagunitas inside the Market or out in the patio as you roll through the Market Bar (1-2pm), Garage Bar (2-3pm) and Market Beer Company (3-4:20pm) for special releases that are typically available only at the brewery. There will be live music and giveaways.

The Brew Hub inside Whole Foods Market Cupertino, 2099 Stevens Creek Blvd.: Sierra Nevada Off-Flavor Tasting Panel, 1:30-6pm. Expand your skills towards understanding beer flavors and aromatics by participating in this sensory training event. Registration is $35 and includes beer for the flavor tasting and two Sierra Nevada beers: barrel-aged Torpedo and barrel-aged Narwhal (6 oz.). Tickets can be purchased online.

Santa Teresa Golf Club, 260 Bernal Road, San Jose: Meet Strike Brewing – A Talk and Tasting, 3-5pm. Come learn more about Strike Brewing Company, including how they built their business and what the future holds. A $5 tasting fee includes 4-oz. samples of 5 of their beers. There will be $4 pints and bottles of their beers as well.


Several establishments are celebrating SF Beer Week with week-long specials. Highlights include:

Mixx, 420 Castro St., Mountain View: Mixxing with Firestone: 4 Course Pairing Menu. Chef Joel Whitaker will prepare four courses to pair with four of Firestone Walker beers, including Pale 31 baby crab cake with Pale 31, butter lettuce wedge with mustard vinaigrette with Double Barrel Ale, salmon with Thai curry with Union Jack IPA and a scoop of housemade Wookie Jack sorbet with spiced cake bite with Wookie Jack. $40.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, 390 Capistrano Rd.: Beer and Dessert Pairing. Each dessert bite created by chef Gaston Alfaro has been paired with one of brewmaster James Costa’s seasonal beers (4-oz.), including Mavericks gingersnap mascarpone tart paired with Brown Ale, mini bleu cheese cheesecake with candied bacon and a maple bourbon reduction paired with Double Bore IPA, spiced poached pears paired with PaPa Juice Barleywine and beeramisu paired with Calf-eine Coffee Milk Stout. $20.

Psycho Donuts, 2006 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell: A Psycho Donut Walks into a Firestone… Firestone Walker, Hella Hot Hot Sauce and Psycho Donuts are teaming up to create an 805 Apricot Blonde Ghost, Union Jack Glazed and Chocolate Merkin.

As you can see, there are options galore. What SF Beer Week events do you plan to attend this weekend?

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

SF Beer Week 2015 Opening Gala Tickets Now Available, Selling Quickly

SF Beer Week Opening Gala 2014
SF Beer Week Opening Gala 2014

San Francisco Beer Week 2015 kicks off with the Opening Gala, the Bay Area’s premier beer event taking place Fri., Feb. 6 from 6-10pm at the spacious Fort Mason Center – Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco.

The SF Beer Week Opening Gala cannot come quickly enough for beer fans, and many have already purchased their tickets which recently became available online.

The Opening Gala welcomes over 80 Bay Area breweries and features many of their finest offerings. South Bay breweries include:

  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • El Toro Brewing Company (Morgan Hill)
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Hermitage Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Palo Alto Brewing Company
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Strike Brewing Company (San Jose)

Campbell Brewing will participate in the Opening Gala for the first time, providing those new to the brewery the opportunity to sample beers from brewmaster Jim Turturici, winner of recent, consecutive medals from the prestigious Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and the World Beer Cup.

Opening Gala tickets are $75 and include a commemorative glass with which to enjoy unlimited four-oz. samples of brewery offerings. Local food will be available for purchase from Alicia’s Tamales, Belly Burgers, Good Foods Catering, Kung Fu Tacos, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Soul Groove and Curry Up Now.

Visit the Opening Gala Eventbrite page to purchase tickets and for event details, including ticket policies and notices and the current list of participating breweries. As in recent years, expect tickets to sell out quickly.

SF Beer Week, presented by the SF Brewers Guild, runs through Sun., Feb. 17. Visitors to the SF Beer Week website will see the just-released schedules for the first wave of beer-related events taking place throughout the Bay Area and can conduct searches for events by regions – San Francisco, East Bay, North Bay and South Bay. South Bay beer fans need not worry; many more events will show up in the coming days and weeks.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Silicon Valley Beer Week 2014 Expands to Nine Days

Silicon Valley Beer Week 2014

The 2nd annual Silicon Valley Beer Week (SVBW) will take place Fri., July 25 to Sat., August 2, 2014, as restaurants and venues throughout the region will offer specials and host a wide variety of events all devoted to beer.

Last year in its inaugural year, over 80 South Bay and Peninsula establishments participated by hosting nearly 185 beer-related events. SVBW looks to build on last year’s overall success by expanding to nine days this year.

Kicking off SVBW is a beer-inspired culinary event on Fri., July 25 from 6pm-10pm at Blackbird Tavern in downtown San Jose (200 South 1st Street).

From Sat., July 26 to Fri., Aug. 1, there will be multiple events taking place each day, providing both beer enthusiasts and those new to the beer world with plenty of event options.

On Sat., Aug. 2 from 1pm-7pm, the closing event features the KraftBrew Summer Beer Fest taking place at the Gordon Biersch Brewery in Japantown (357 East Taylor).

For more information on the SVBW kickoff event and the KraftBrew Summer Beer Fest, including the “Z Pass” that provides entrance to both events, visit their ticket page.

All the events are listed on the Silicon Valley Beer Week website and will also appear in the program guide that will be distributed in the July 23 issue of Metro Newspaper. Stay up-to-date on announcements, news and giveaways by following SVBW on Facebook, Twitter (@svbeerweek) and Instagram (@svbeerweek).

Expect the current number of events – about 110 or so – to increase as more establishments sign up to host events in the ensuing days.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Gordon Biersch 25th Anniversary, Plus Interview with Co-Founder Dan Gordon

Gordon Biersch celebrates 25 years of authentic German-style brewing
Gordon Biersch celebrates 25 years of authentic German-style brewing

Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch founded Gordon Biersch in 1988 with the goal of making the most authentic German-style lagers outside of Germany.

Twenty-five years later, Gordon reflects, “I can’t believe it, actually. When Dean and I started, we never thought 25 years. Being here, having the brewery in San Jose where I was born in an area where I had my college job working in the canneries located around it, it’s so hard to believe that this actually happened.”

When asked about his proudest achievement, Gordon says, “I think it’s our dedication to authenticity and not compromising on how we brew our beer. … Our focal point has always been to brew authentic German-style beers and make them balanced and drinkable, and to maintain the highest levels of standards for brewing according to German purity law. It’s going to be how we continue to brew our beers, and we’re hoping people continue to accept that.”

To celebrate its silver anniversary, Gordon Biersch will host a “Big Bands, Brews & BBQ” event this Saturday, 2-7pm, at its state-of-the-art brewing and bottling facility in San Jose’s Japantown. The theme represents Gordon’s two passions—jazz and, of course, making beer. Tickets are $10 and available online at gbanniversary.brownpapertickets.com or payable by cash at the door.

Two glasses or six tastes of Gordon Biersch beers as well as a commemorative glass are included. Additional glasses and tastes can be purchased, along with food designed to pair with the beers, including 18-hour Texas smoked-beef brisket, pulled-pork sliders and other fare. Gordon Biersch will also serve its trademark garlic fries.

The musical lineup features the San Jose Jazz Festival All-Star Big Band, Pacific Mambo Orchestra, and Carlos Reyes and his Super Group. The beer lineup includes the Czech Style Pilsner, SommerBrau, Marzen, Blonde Bock, Hefeweizen and the limited release Weizen Eisbock, a recent medal winner in the German-style wheat-beer category at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival. There will be guided tours of the brewery—and look for Gordon to play his trombone. Folks can watch him literally tooting his own horn (his joke, not mine).

What are Gordon’s hopes for the next 25 years? “It would be nice to be around, you know. I don’t plan on going anywhere. We want to be San Jose’s brewery representing the amazing San Jose brand, expanding throughout the country, and hopefully exporting abroad, too. We’re not going to stop.”

He adds, “I hope everyone comes out on Saturday. It would be nice to have a full house of people enjoying beer, the bands and the BBQ. It’s all affordable, too. … The event is for the community, to let people know what we’re all about.”

Gordon Biersch 25th Anniversary
Saturday, May 18; 2-7pm; $10 357 E. Taylor St., San Jose.

[This post was shared in Metro Silicon Valley.]

South Bay Beer Happenings for May 2013 and Beyond

Enjoying good beer in the South Bay
Enjoying good beer in the South Bay

Below is a list of craft beer and related events taking place throughout Silicon Valley in the near future and beyond.

Friday, May 3, 2013: At 5 p.m., a cask of El Dorado Single Hop IPA from San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company will be tapped at Tied House Brewery and Café in Mountain View as part of their monthly Firkin Fridays. The El Dorado IPA is the latest addition to the Hermitage Brewing Single Hop Series.

Saturday, May 4, 2013, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.: As part of the American Homebrewers Association “Big Brew” event celebrating National Homebrew Day, the Silicon Valley Sudzers homebrew club will do a brewing demonstration at the MoreBeer! homebrew supply shop in Los Altos. Club members will brew a clone of Russian River Brewing’s Pliny the Younger Triple IPA.

Saturday, May 4, 2013: O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in San Jose hosts their monthly beer club event. This month’s featured brewery is Hangar 24.

Monday, May 6, 2013, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Wine Affairs in San Jose hosts their weekly beer tastings with “Cinco de Mayo spicy beers” featuring Ballast Point Thai Chili Wahoo Wheat, scheduled to be tapped at 4 pm. There will also be spicy treats from Rogue, Mikkeller, and Cambridge Brewing. $10 per person or free for beer club members.

Friday, May 10, 2013: San Jose’s Santa Clara Valley Brewing debuts their inaugural beer, Electric Tower IPA, on tap at Rose and Crown English Pub and Restaurant in Palo Alto.

Saturday, May 11, 2013, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Following their second public event held last month, the group behind the San Jose Co-operative Brewpub initiative, up to 179 member-owners at last count, hosts their third ongoing information and membership drive. This time, the SJ Co-op Brewpub group has selected Café Stritch in downtown San Jose for the event location.

Saturday, May 11, 2013: Starting at 1 p.m., Wine Affairs in San Jose hosts an “Undercover Shutdown Party.”

Monday, May 13, 2013 – Sunday, May 19, 2013: This week has been designated American Craft Beer Week, also known as “the mother of all beer weeks.” A number of South Bay brewpubs and bars will offer specials and host events to commemorate this week.

Saturday, May 18, 2013, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Gordon Biersch celebrates their 25th anniversary with a “Gordon Biersch Big Bands and BBQ 25th Anniversary Bash.” An all-ages event that the whole family can enjoy, admission is $10 and includes a commemorative glass and six tastes of Gordon Biersch brews. There will be live music and plenty of food, root beer floats, and more Gordon Biersch beers to purchase.

[Update received May 3, 2013: The following Brew Benefit event has been indefinitely postponed.] Sunday, May 19, 2013. The South Bay debut of Brew Benefit takes place. Presented by Dishcrawl, this event will feature local breweries and restaurants with proceeds helping a local non-profit. Brew Benefit participants will explore downtown San Jose through beer at six different restaurants and bars, sampling 12 different locally made beers. Stay tuned for more information.

Saturday, June 1, 2013, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.: The next installment of the popular and well-coordinated Beerwalk series takes place in downtown Mountain View. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $30 online.

Sunday, July 28, 2013 – Saturday, August 3, 2013: The First Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week will take place this week and will feature five days of hosted events throughout the valley.

Saturday, August 3, 2013: The Summer KraftBrew Beer Fest serves as the closing event to the inaugural Silicon Valley Beer Week.

Keep in mind that there are other South Bay establishments that host ongoing events and specials, namely Harry’s Hofbrau, Poor House Bistro, Jack’s Bar & Lounge, Original Gravity Public House, SmokeEaters, and Wicked Chicken, as well as the many South Bay breweries and stores that sell good beer.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Roundup of South Bay Beer News and Events for March 2013 and Beyond

Silicon Valley beer fans increasingly thirsty for good beer (photo taken at the recent Meet the Brewers fest at Hermitage Brewing Company)
Silicon Valley beer fans increasingly thirsty for good beer (photo taken at the recent Meet the Brewers fest at Hermitage Brewing Company)

Compelling news and developments concerning the Silicon Valley craft beer landscape are making the rounds at a relatively high rate it seems.

The San Jose Co-op Brewery has been in the media spotlight lately and the Market Beer Company recently opened in San Pedro Square Market. More establishments with a beer focus are hosting noteworthy events along with new beer-centric establishments expected to open soon, or later this year.

Added to all this good news is that more media outlets are covering such news and events, providing updates for the local, beer-thirsty public.

Here’s a quick look at some upcoming news and events in the South Bay beer scene:

St. Patrick’s Day specials – A number of local brewpubs have been advertising their specials celebrating St. Patrick, including Faultline Brewing Company, Tied House, and FireHouse Grill & Brewery. Check out their respective Facebook pages for the details.

Grand opening of Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – Many interested parties have been eagerly anticipating the announcement of the grand opening date for Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant. Per a recent media release, the date for the official grand opening is set for Thursday, March 28, 2013. Among the 30 beers on tap personally selected by owner Ted Kim will be: Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter, Linden Street Urban People’s Common Lager, Lost Abbey Avant Garde, Kiuichi Hitachino Next White Ale, Krusovice Cerne Dark, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, New Belgium Rampant, and North Coast Old Rasputin. Expect the beers to complement the offerings from executive chef Colby Reade, who has prepared a 25-item menu focused on modern American comfort food.

Opening of ISO: Beers – Excited readers have been asking about the opening date for ISO: Beers craft beer bar and tasting lounge located in downtown San Jose, especially after initial hopes for a fall opening as mentioned in a previous article. After receiving the last series of approvals from the city, expect an opening date for some time in April and an announcement soon.

Opening of Hermitage Brewing Company tasting room – Some South Bay beer fans may have heard directly from Hermitage Brewing Company about a tasting room that was to be built in time for last month’s SF Beer Week at their San Jose brewing facility on 7th Street past Spartan Stadium. Unexpected circumstances delayed the opening of the tasting room, but according to Hermitage brewmaster Peter Licht, the construction and opening of the South Bay’s first brewery tasting room will certainly happen.

Opening of SpreadFrom the folks behind Jack’s Bar & Lounge in Japantown San Jose and the South Bay-based Beerwalks comes Spread bottle and small deli shop in downtown Campbell to open no later than May. Announced via social media, Charlie Mann shares, “We will have 300 – 400 different beers by the bottle and an amazing wine selection, charcuterie with great cheeses, beers on tap, incredible sandwiches at lunch with some fondues at night mixed with fresh baked bread and a neighborhood feel…”

Gordon Biersch 25th anniversary celebration – A recent Facebook event page announced the Big Bands & BBQ 25th Anniversary Bash to be held Sat., May 18, 2013 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gordon Biersch brewery in Japantown San Jose (357 E. Taylor St.). Admission is $10 and tickets can be purchased now.

Tied House 25th anniversary celebration – Mountain View’s Tied House is celebrating their quarter-century mark as well. Look for them to share their celebration plans soon.

Opening of Blackbird Tavern – Situated at 200 S. 1st St. next to the Camera 12 Cinema in downtown San Jose, Blackbird Tavern seeks to bring good food, live music, and good drinks, including choice craft beers to downtown San Jose later this spring.

Dates for Silicon Valley Beer Week officially set – In an email last Sunday, Metro newspaper and Naglee Park Garage / KraftBrew Beer Fest jointly announced the official dates for the first annual Silicon Valley Beer Week. The kickoff to SVBW begins with a special beer event on Sunday, July 28, 2013 followed by five days of hosted events throughout the valley, closing with the Kraftbrew Summer Fest on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. There is a gathering of the Silicon Valley beer community, including brewers, restaurants, cafés, and other venue owners scheduled for later this month.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company inaugural beers – For many Bay Area beer enthusiasts, their South Bay highlights for 2013 might very well revolve around Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company and its brewmaster Steve Donohue, a four-time, consecutive medaling winner of the prestigious Great American Beer Festival. With a likeable personality, sharp wit, and his track record of well-crafted brews, Donohue has a strong support base among beer fans. Like him, they eagerly await for all the approvals and formal permission to be granted so that brewing and selling can begin.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Scenes from the 2013 SF Beer Week Opening Celebration

The first San Francisco Beer Week took place in 2009, and was reportedly the first of its kind in the country. Now, there are well over 100 beer weeks taking place in various cities and regions throughout the world.

For this year’s Fifth Annual SF Beer Week, there were over 500 craft beer-related events taking place over ten days throughout the Bay Area, including the South Bay, East Bay, San Francisco, and North Bay regions. These 500+ events were 35% greater than last year’s record numbers.

There was only one event that I attended outside of the South Bay, and that was the amazing Opening Celebration that took place on the first day of SF Beer Week, Friday Feb. 8, 2013, at San Francisco’s Concourse Exhibition Center presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild and their partners.

Here are some pics from the event.

OC01 (520x390)

OC02 (520x390)

OC03 (520x390)

OC04 (520x390)

OC05 (520x390)

When in Rome… Excitedly headed right over to Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Company for some Pliny the Younger.

OC06 (520x390)

OC07 (520x390)

Pliny the Younger.

OC08 (520x390)

Russian River Brewing co-owner and president Natalie Cilurzo holding court.

OC09 (520x390)

A pic of Russian River Brewing co-owner and brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo.

OC10 (520x390)

Jack Van Stone, Eureka’s Lost Coast Brewery Northern CA sales manager.

OC11 (520x390)

OC12 (520x390)

OC13 (520x390)

Time for some Drake’s Brewing Company of San Leandro.

OC14 (520x390)

And their Hopocalypse Black Label.

OC15 (520x390)

Who’s this funny guy?

OC16 (520x390)

It’s Palo Alto Brewing Company founder and brewer Kasim Syed (middle) with siblings Sikandar (left) and Alia (right).

OC17 (520x390)

OC18 (520x390)

San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company brand manager Peter Estaniel.

OC19 (520x390)

South Bay’s Strike Brewing Company co-founder and brewmaster Drew Ehrlich (right).

OC20 (520x390)

Morgan Hill’s El Toro Brewing Company and founders Geno and Cindy Acevedo.

OC21 (520x390)

Enjoying El Toro Brewing India Pale Ale.

OC22 (520x390)

Snapped a pic of Pittsburg’s Heretic Brewing Company crew with founder and brewmaster Jamil Zainasheff (second from left).

OC23 (520x390)

OC24 (520x390)

Lincoln’s Knee Deep Brewing Company.

OC25 (520x390)

Knee Deep Brewing Hoptologist on cask.

OC26 (520x390)

Trumer Pils.

OC27 (520x390)

Rob Monroe, bar manager and events coordinator for downtown San Jose’s Original Gravity Public House.

OC28 (520x390)

Rosamunde Sausage Grill.

OC29 (520x390)

Berkeley’s Bison Brewing owner and brewer Dan Del Grande.

OC30 (520x390)

Rudy Kuhn, Lagunitas market manager for the Santa Clara County, Central Coast, and Central Valley areas.

OC31 (520x390)

Jake McCluskey, manager of Kelly’s Liquors in San Jose.

OC32 (520x390)

Antoine Riffis – Firestone Walker Silicon Valley and East Bay regional sales manager, Rudy, and Rob.

OC33 (520x390)

High Water Brewing president and brewmaster Steve Altimari.

OC34 (520x390)

A pic of the entrance area with folks continuing to roll in.

Jay Brooks – veteran beer writer and Bay Area guy.

Just checking the line for Russian River Brewing. Not surprisingly, I heard that they had run out of their Pliny the Younger rather quickly.

Chico’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Celebrator Beer News 25th Anniversary Double Pale Ale.

San Jose’s Gordon Biersch Brewing Company.

Gordon Biersch Zwickel Bock.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company brewmaster James Costa and San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company lead brewer Greg Filippi.

Palo Alto Brewing Cool Beanz Coffee Porter.

Alex Slosberg and Will Shelton of Mavericks Beer and brewmaster James of Half Moon Bay Brewing.

OC47 (520x390)

This event marked the public debut of the beers of Mavericks Beer, created in partnership with Half Moon Bay Brewing.

OC48 (520x390)

Pete Slosberg of Mavericks Beer (and of Pete’s Wicked Ales fame) drew a crowd most of the entire time we were there.

OC49 (520x390)

Pete is a craft beer pioneer and Bay Area guy.

OC50 (520x390)

What a “worthy” highlight from that evening!

OC51 (520x390)

OC52 (520x390)

There were over 65 Northern California breweries, ranging from new nanobrewers to the craft brewing pioneers. I heard that last year’s Opening Celebration was really great, but I’m sure that this year’s was even better. The dozens of folks I’ve spoken to have had nothing but praise for this year’s event.

Pliny the Younger and Hopocalypse Black Label were certainly memorable, and I had the good fortune of enjoying all the beers I tasted. Catching up with all the South Bay folks was fun as usual. Experiencing the debut of Mavericks beers and hanging a bit with the premier Bay Area beer scribes (can’t believe I forgot to take a picture with Celebrator’s Mike Pitzker – got too caught up in talking with him) were also treats. But without a doubt, the highlight of the evening was the chance to spend some quality time with wifey – a big thanks to my bro’ for childsitting that evening.

OC53 (520x400)

Always Grateful,


Gordon Biersch Braumeister Selekt Series

Gordon Biersch Brewing Company—not the brewpub but the brewing and bottling facility located on Taylor Street in San Jose—has started offering limited-release, big-bottle beers with special flip-tops as part of the Braumeister Selekt series. The first issue is the Imperial Pilsner Brau, which was released last summer and has garnered much acclaim, enchanting those who’ve been curious to taste a hoppy Gordon Biersch beer.

The Weizen Eisbock, a dark wheat beer released this past fall, has already proven just as popular and well made; in October, it won a bronze medal in the German-style wheat ale category at the Great American Beer Festival. This particular kind of beer is based on a technique accidentally developed by a brewer in Kulmbach, Germany. Water molecules are frozen out of the brew and removed, resulting in a higher alcohol content with a stronger flavor.

“The idea of the big-bottle series was to produce some old school and one-of-a-kind, hard-to-get German beers that were unfiltered and dedicated to authenticity,” shares founder Dan Gordon, a South Bay native—“Born in San Jose. Raised in Los Altos. Went to Homestead High.”

After graduating from UC-Berkeley, Gordon moved to Germany to study at the Technical University of Munich’s prestigious beer-brewing program in Weihenstephan. He learned to brew according to the Reinheitsgebot, a purity law dating back to 1516 that states that beer can only be made with four ingredients: water, hops, malted barley and yeast. Returning home, Dan brought back this beer-making tradition.

Gordon and Dean Biersch opened their first brewery restaurant in Palo Alto in 1988, with the downtown San Jose location opening a couple years later. The brewery and bottling facility opened in 1997. The restaurant side has since been sold, but the two businesses remain “tied at the hip.”

Gordon Biersch’s regular and seasonal lineup of beer styles includes Hefeweizen, Marzen, Blonde Bock, Czech Style Pilsner, Maibock, SommerBrau, WinterBock and FestBier. There is also a special Ÿberbier series, featuring Zwickel Bock, an unfiltered blonde bock, and Zwickel Pils, an unfiltered pilsner to be released in the spring.

The next Braumeister Selekt beer will be the 25th Anniversary Dunkles. Dan says, “It’s the one and only style we brewed at the opening of the original Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Palo Alto.” A special celebration to commemorate Gordon Biersch’s 25th anniversary is scheduled for May 18 at the Taylor Street brewery. As for the current Braumeister Selekt offerings, they are available in local beer stores, but I’ve noticed that they’re disappearing quickly from the shops that I go to.

[This post was shared on SanJose.com.]