I’m sure there are many like me who wish they were going to the official Oktoberfest in Munich.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
SF Beer Week is nearly upon us, and there are many, many events taking place throughout the greater Bay Area. Below are the 30 or so events, including the event descriptions (or parts thereof), that are taking place in San Jose.
Join us for our FOURTH Annual Double Blind Double IPA Tasting! 8 fresh and hoppy Double or Imperial West-Coast-Style IPAs on draft.
Why Double Blind? We want to make it less of a guessing game and more about the flavors, aromas, and over-all finished product of each beer. Once the results are revealed you may be shocked at your favorites!
Why Double IPA? With so many delicious styles of IPA we decided to even the playing field by featuring only Double or Imperial West-Coast-Style IPAs.
Tasting available from 4pm-8pm and results will be revealed as soon as scores are calculated after 8:30pm.
Known simply as the Lion, David Walker is Co-Founder of the infamous Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles, CA.
David brings the British elegance and Old World authenticity to their wonderful California inspired beers.
Come join us for a lunch and Q&A session with Mr. Walker and Jeffers, head of their Barrelworks program.
We will be tapping Velvet Merkin (2013), Lil’ Opal as well as other stand outs and surprises from their extremely diverse portfolio on draft. We will also be releasing a very limited quantity of XVI Anniversary and 2012 Double Double Barrel Ale in bottles for on site consumption that day as well.
Come join us for the only stop in the South Bay for Walker’s Wild Ride!
Are you… a homebrewer interested in starting your own brewery, … a beer geek that has thought about opening their own taproom, … interested in participating in a democratically run business? Come hear about the newest generation of local brewers to join the local craft beer scene.
The San Jose Cooperative Brewery & Pub, Inc., as a guest of and partnering with Hermitage Brewing Company, invites you to beer tasting and panel discussion of brewery entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.
Panelists include representatives from Hermitage Brewing Company, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Clandestine Brewing, Lincoln Court Brewing, and the San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub. The event will end with a brief discussion of San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub’s efforts to open California’s first cooperatively owned brewery (membership shares available on site).
Your $25 ”tuition” includes drink tickets good for two beers or a paddle of four six oz. tastings, a brewery tour, live music, one complimentary taco, and food available for purchase from the No Way Jose food truck.
Attendees who become a member who join the co-op on site will be entered into a raffle for a selection of awesome beer swag!
Showcase Chimay’s Red, White, and Blue with Trappist Cheese brewed/made by Trappist Monks in Belgium.
Back in 1862, those monks developed the production of Belgian beers and Trappist cheese in order to provide for their needs and those of their foundations, as well as to support employment in their region. Today monastic tradition of natural brewing still is part of those monks’ life and Chimay beers are sold only for financial support of the monastery, community needs and good causes.
Showcase three Chimay Trappist Cheeses each washed with different Chimay beers (the RED, WHITE, and BLUE).
Join us to have a taste of those fantastic Chimay Ales and Cheese! $18pp
We’re honored the folks from Prairie will be around this year to team up with what we believe to be the BEST brewery in the Bay Area, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales!
Rumors of West Ashley, Cask 200, BA Cellarman, BOMB!
Variations and more are likely to bless the palates of beer lovers who make the journey to downtown San Jose for an unforgettable evening of incredibly authentic farmhouse ales- a light tapas menu will support the tap list, incorporating the artistry of many of the brews.
Come meet Tomme Arthur the award winning Co-Founder & Director of Brewery Operations and David Johnson Director of Distribution for The Lost Abbey!
We will be pouring some exceptional beers for this event including the infamous Cuvee de Tomme! Here is the lineup, we are excited to see you there!
Pouring from Lost Abbey: Deliverance, Cuvee de Tomme, Red Barn, Devotion, Judgment Day, Serpents Stout
Pouring from Port Brewing: Mongo, Wipe Out, Board Meeting, Midnight Expression
The Table: Brewmaster Dinner: Los Gatos Meets Santa Clara, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
$65 (excluding tax & gratuity)
Join The Table at 6:30pm on Monday, February 10th when the Los Gatos Brewing Company’s Kent Wheat and Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Steve Donohue host an exclusive dinner for 50 guests featuring 4 courses of unique micro brews paired with a seasonal, farm-to-table menu as local as these two breweries. Reservations are required: www.thetablesj.com/the-menu/. Limited Seating.
First course: Los Gatos Brewing Company ‘coquettish blond’ kolsch, potato terrine, pickled spring onions
Second course: Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company ‘electric tower’ ipa, mustard green dumplings, mandarin butter
Third course: Los Gatos Brewing Company seasonal firkin, braised veal belly, stinging nettle velouté
Fourth course: Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company ‘peralta’ porter, chocolate pot du crème, coffee bean saltine
The Bay Area’s biggest Lagunitas Tap Takeover for SF Beer Week!
Showcasing the release of SF Fusion 20 (we can’t wait to try it, we helped make it!) as well as High-West Bourbon Barrel Aged Cap-Stout, 2013 So-Co Sour Stout, 2012 Brown Shugga, 2013 Hairy Eyeball, Fresh Fresh Fresh Maximus, Sucks, and IPA!!!
Can beer age just like the wines? Find out yourself with Fuller Vintage Ale from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
2010, 2011, 2012 Tasting notes from Fuller:
2010 – An initial fruit aroma with notes of Pears and Orange giving through to some more floral notes is followed by a clean, full, almost liquored initial palate. The finish is dark orange, satisfying and alcohol warming.
2011- Early tasting of the beer as recently bottled has been most encouraging; an opening fruit aroma of Maraschino cherries is underlaid with some Mandarin Orange notes. These are carried through to the initial palate before being enhanced with a fruit malt and alcohol warming after palate. Already this beer could be drunk but we expect it will continue to develop into another Classic Fuller’s Vintage.
2012-The early initial tasting notes for this rich brew are already revealing what we hope will be another truly Vintage beer. An initial aroma of ripe autumnal fruits with slight notes of Rosehips leads on to a smooth almost lush middle palate with just a hint of spice. There is a pleasant hop bitterness which is then finished with a satisfying alcohol warming on the after palate.
Join us for a night of beer and pizza with home-grown head brewer Steve Donohue from Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
Only blocks from the Peralta Adobe and the original site of San Jose’s famous electric tower…
We’ll have Electric Tower IPA, Peralta Porter, Little Orchard Saison, and New Almaden Imperial Red, with a [special] appearance by Steve’s new Oyster Stout and a super-secret one-off 8-gallon Woodinville Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Peralta Porter spiked with who-knows-what.
Grapevine: Beer, Wine, Cheese, Fruit and Chocolate Pairing, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Join us for a golorious evening of beer, wine, cheese, fruit and chocolate from Mariette – Premium Chocolates.
THURSDAY, FEB. 13
SmokeEaters: Double IPA Tap Takeover, 12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Smoke Eaters will be featuring some of the best Nor Cal and So Cal Double IPAs. Tapping with “Keep the Glass,” Hopocalypse, Pliny the Elder, Palate Wrecker, Denogginizer, Ruination, Double Jack.
Back by popular demand it is our biannual Sour Fest at Original Gravity! Grab your sweetheart and come indulge yourself in 15 diverse and rare offerings from around the world.
Whether it’s the fruity funk of brett to the dry and citrusy lacto we will have whatever your sour little heart desires.
If you are in the mood for sweet as well, be sure to head across the street that day to our good friends at Good Karma for their Sweet Beer Fest and the ultimate sweet and sour experience!
Pouring: Allagash – Midnight Brett, Anderson Valley – Featherleggy Bulrusher, BFM – SQRT 225th Anniversary Sour Historical Saison, The Bruery – Sour in the Rye (2013), Heretic – Miscreant, Freigeist – Rhubarb Gose, Mikkeller – SpontanSeabuckthorn, Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. – St. Louis Gueze Fond Tradition, Struise – Weltfreude (2011), Trois Dames – Oud Bruin
Specialty Timed Tappings: Almanac – Valley of the Hearts Delight (5pm), The Rare Barrel – Shadows of Their Eyes (5:45pm), Specialty TBA – (6:30pm), Russian River – Temptation (2013) (7:15pm), Extremely Rare/Specialty TBA (8pm)
**Proceeds benefit Can Do MS, a non-profit dedicated to empowering those living with Multiple Sclerosis.**
Breweries Attending (Updated November 21, 2013): 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
By now you know the event, 28 IPA, DIPA, and 3XIPAs on draft all day long! It’s a hop head’s paradise.
Pliny the Younger tapping, Black Label Hopocalypse, Boneyard, local IPAs, we promise a full out palate attack of hops. Check our facebook for Younger and Black Label tapping details.
Given the plethora of interesting, one-of-a-kind options taking place not only in San Jose but throughout the South Bay and the nearby regions, who else wishes for the ability to be at two (or more) places at the same time?
A growing number of folks are seeking out better beer by returning to their favorite spots or trying out new places, eager to enjoy a glass—or more—depending on the occasion. And in a continuing nod to the burgeoning craft beer landscape, respectable beer hubs are taking shape throughout the South Bay.
In downtown San Jose, the number of establishments offering good beer is helping to raise Silicon Valley’s profile among the state’s notable beer regions. There are currently a dozen or so downtown locations that serve better beer, with more places set to open.
The San Pedro Square neighborhood is turning into quite a beer hub on its own, with a block of distinct establishments serving craft beer. We’re talking about San Pedro Square Market Bar, the Garage Bar, Market Beer Co., O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub, Los Gatos Brewing Company, Britannia Arms, and the recently opened Farmers Union.
Along with the Market and Garage bars inside San Pedro Square Market, there’s also Market Beer Co. which opened this past March, becoming San Jose’s first craft beer bottle shop.
Since then, they have added eight taps and have more than 200 craft beer bottles. Market Beer Co. has quickly gained a following due in large part to the efforts of general manager Jake McCluskey and his knowledgeable and friendly team of beertenders, all of whom help to create a fun and relaxed vibe.
“We stock only bomber-sized (22 oz.) bottles to encourage sharing among our customers. For our taps, we try to get smaller-sized kegs so we can rotate our draft beers quickly,” McCluskey says. “It’s a place where you see seasoned beer connoisseurs talking beer with the greenest newbies. It’s cool to be a beer geek but not a beer snob.”
Of its 50+ beer taps, O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub dedicates 38 of them to craft. General manager David Mulvehill says he values the link between craft breweries and O’Flaherty’s, viewing both as small businesses helping to support one another.
O’Flaherty’s main goal, according to Mulvehill, is to make everyone feel welcome, referring to their motto, “You’re a stranger here but once.” He says, “We need to keep the integrity of an Irish bar – customers can enjoy a Coors Light, Stella, Guinness and feel welcome. We believe everyone is a beer drinker and that we can provide a stepping stone for them, from Stella to a craft beer. And we always have something to offer the beer geeks.”
For beer and food pairings, Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub and Los Gatos Brewing Company fit the bill. Firehouse is currently San Jose’s only gastropub and serves mostly craft beer from its eight taps. Los Gatos Brewing Company has three rotating guest taps, plus five of their own offerings crafted by brewmaster Kent Wheat. Currently, there’s a cask-conditioned porter as well.
Britannia Arms serves more traditional pub fare, along with pints poured from a combined 42 taps—24 inside the bar and 18 more out in the 3,000 square-foot, heated patio. Most of the 42 taps are craft selections.
The Farmers Union, which opened this past Thursday, rounds out the current crop of beer-centric places within San Pedro Square. A large square bar is the focal point of the establishment, and general manager Aaron Williams says that they will have at least 25 of their 60 taps dedicated to craft beer.
Williams says, “We are targeting a diverse clientele that likes great food paired with our great selection of craft beer. We will always have at least 25 taps dedicated to craft beers with flight options available. We want to support the local brewers as well as serve the highest quality craft beers possible.”
Original Gravity Public House became San Jose’s first establishment focused 100 percent on beer from the get go thanks to the efforts of owners Johnny Wang and Dan Phan. They celebrated their one-year anniversary on Saturday and have already made concrete plans for expanding the current location.
“We take craft beer very seriously but always aim to have a fun and informative conversation about it,” bar manager and events coordinator Rob Monroe says. “We hope to teach without the snobbery and find something new and exciting for you each and every time. No question is a dumb one, and we understand everyone’s palate is as diverse as our beer list.”
Original Gravity rotates beers in and out of its 25 taps so often that Monroe says the best way to keep up with what’s on tap is to check the website, where patrons can find live updates of the latest offerings.
Numerous customers throughout the recent decades have enjoyed the food, beers and the outdoor patio of Gordon Biersch. “We offer eight handcrafted traditional German lagers,” head brewer Jeff Liles says. “I would recommend starting off with a sampler of our beers. This way our guests get a chance to try some of our unique styles and flavors.”
Some people are still surprised when first noticing the extensive draft selection at SmokeEaters, which specializes in hot wings. ““SmokeEaters is the place to meet up with friends to eat great food, drink some cold beer and catch a game,” general partner Mike Burke says. “We rotate our craft beers frequently; do not hesitate to ask to sample a style of beer. With the expansion of the craft market, there are some great styles and brewers out there popping up almost every week. We want the customer to love the beer they are drinking.”
When it comes to Good Karma Vegan Café, many people quickly become hooked on not only the beer menu but the place’s carefree vibe. Owner Ryan Summers and the Good Karma staff simply know their beers. Summers embraces the downtown beer scene: “There’s just too much rad beer to be had, and we deserve the awesome beers right here.”
Live music is a wonderful accompaniment to good beer, and this combination is prevalent among several previously mentioned locations. Café Stritch—with nearly ten craft beer taps—and the recently opened Blackbird Tavern—with eight mostly craft beer taps—join the ranks of these establishments that feature live music.
Blackbird co-owners Chris Esparza and Brendan Rawson seek to provide a full sensory experience, matching food and beer to their live music. For example, when New Orleans jazz is playing, don’t be surprised to see featured beers from Louisiana’s Abita Brewing.
Folks passing by ISO: Beers can see that a lot of progress has been made at the yet-to-open beer bar and tasting lounge. The wait is nearly over. According to co-owner Dee Singh, what is left is painting, putting in floors, and installing fixtures. He plans to have 37 taps for beer and hopes for a mid-August opening. Customers will also be able to purchase bottles to go.
Rounding out the members of the downtown San Jose beer hub are longstanding establishments Trials Pub and Teske’s Germania. Trial’s offers an authentic British pub vibe and traditional English ales on tap, on cask, or in bottles. At Teske’s, it’s about experiencing German fare in a rustic Bavarian setting that includes a beer garden.
All of Teske’s beers are from Germany co-owner Greg Baumann says, and he invites visitors to come and enjoy the casual setting with a lager, pilsner, dopplebock or hefeweizen. Their current offerings include Spaten Premium Lager, Höfbrau Dunkel, Franziskaner Hefe Weizen, Bitburger Pilsner, Köstritzer Schwarzbier and Stiegl Lager on tap, with many more bottled German beers.
As Original Gravity’s Monroe put it, everyone’s palate is different. So it’s very fortunate to see the growing diversity reflected in the downtown San Jose beer scene. Ultimately, our personal preferences determine not only which beers we like, but also which places we return to over and over again.
With the plethora of beer-related events set to take place this month, punctuated with the First Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week starting on Sun., July 28, July is certainly one for the South Bay record books in terms of both quantity and quality. Some might think of July as Silicon Valley Beer Month.
The festivities include brewery nights and other special events taking place throughout the region, like the Santa Clara Valley Brewing Peralta Porter Release Party at Market Beer Co. (Tues., July 9), Original Gravity Public House’s One-Year Anniversary Party (Sat., July 20), the 2nd Annual Los Gatos Brewing Company Firkin Fest (Sat., July 27), and the aforementioned First Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week (Sun., July 28 to Sat., Aug. 3), which currently has 80 scheduled events with still more to come. A number of South Bay establishments will host beer events every day during Silicon Valley Beer Week.
Onwards to the event listings. Most if not all of these dates and events have been culled from Facebook, Twitter, and emails.
MONDAY, JULY 8
6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Wine Affairs Weekly Beer Tasting: This week’s weekly beer tasting features German styles. “While it’s not Oktoberfest yet, we do love the lighter side of German beers as a great escape from this heat! Both classic and unusual styles from the traditional lager to the super-sour Berliner-Weisse. $10 per person or free for members!”
TUESDAY, JULY 9
5 p.m. – 7 p.m., Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Blonde Bock Tapping Party: It is another tapping party, this time the Blonde Bock in honor of their 25th anniversary – a smooth malty lager with balanced bitterness from Hallertau hops and a kick from its 7% ABV. This event features a silver anniversary national toast, complimentary cake, live music, passed appetizers, and a raffle benefit. Join Gordon Biersch for $2.50 Tuesdays on July 9, 16, and 23, to enjoy fresh pours of their handcrafted beer at a throwback price.
6 p.m. – 8 p.m., Santa Clara Valley Brewing Release Party – Peralta Porter – at Market Beer Co.: “Brewer and all around nice guy Steve Donohue will be at Market Beer to release Santa Clara Valley Brewing latest beer, Peralta Porter. We will have draft and bottles on hand that are being kegged and bottled on the same day as the event. Also former San Jose mayor and local historian Tom McEnery will be there to give a brief history of the Peralta Adobe (the oldest building in San Jose). Hope to see you all there!”
8 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., 54 Tap Launch Party at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub: – O’Flaherty’s celebrates having both the largest craft beer selection in downtown San Jose and winning “Best Irish Pub” 10 years in a row in Metro Newspaper’s annual Best of Silicon Valley survey. “Be sure to join us for $1 beers (all taps) Tuesday, July 9th from 8-9:30 pm for our 54 tap launch party! And here is your chance to win a one month Beer Club membership and an O’Flaherty’s gift basket filled with Jameson, Guinness, O’Flaherty’s gift card, and much more!”
THURSDAY, JULY 11
Starting 5 p.m., Jolly Pumpkin Tap Takeover at Original Gravity Public House: “Featuring seven incredible offerings from Dexter, Michigan’s very own Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, this night will be an absolute delight for lovers of truly hand crafted beer. Come on out and taste the difference oak aging and bottle conditioning can do to the complexity of a beer. Starts at 5pm, see you then!”
Set to be poured: Calabaza Blanca, Bam, Bam Noire, Madrugada Obscura, Oro de Calabaza, IO, and Maracaibo Especial.
FRIDAY, JULY 12
4 p.m. – 7 p.m., Hermitage Brewing Company Tap Room Grand Opening: San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing (1627 S. 7th Street) will be opening their own tasting center on site. “You’ve waited and the day has finally come – the Tap Room Grand Opening is here! Come join us as we celebrate the newest addition to our brewery. As a part of the Grand Opening, the Firkin Friday event normally held at Tied House will be tapped at the Tap Room at 5pm.” And “The Tap Room will feature HBC’s award winning beers along with rotating local guest beers.”
SATURDAY, JULY 13
Santa Clara’s Wicked Chicken Wings (2565 The Alameda) has been offering up good beer and they will host a Stone Tap Take Over event on this day: $6 and keep the glass plus $5 refills.
9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club Brew Day at MoreBeer (991 N. San Antonio Rd., Los Altos): “For the MoreBeer summer sale, the Sudzers will be doing a brewing demonstration on the ‘Death Star’ brewing system. Good beer, good food, good fun!”
SATURDAY, JULY 20
12:30 p.m. – 11 45 p.m., Original Gravity Public House One Year Anniversary Party: It is time to celebrate San Jose’s first establishment to open with craft beer as its focus. “We can’t believe it either, but I guess time flies when you’re pouring beer. Come out and celebrate this special day with us starting at 12:30pm. We just updated the [Facebook] event page with the anniversary beer list (which in our humble opinion is something to behold). Commemorative T-Shirts, food specials, a panel with Jeffers from Firestone Walker, patio firkin pours and On The Corner Music spinning all vinyl on the back patio, this is going to be one for the ages. Hope to see you there!
Specialty tapping times:
1pm (music starts on the patio): Drake’s – Aroma Coma/Prieta
2pm: Very special TBA
3pm: Stone – French/American Oak Smoked Guardian
4pm: Evil Twin – Imperial Biscotti Break
5pm: Panel and Q&A w/ Jeffers from Firestone Walker
6pm (music resumes): North Coast – Barrel Aged Old Rasputin
7pm: Russian River – Supplication
8pm: Firestone Walker – Parabola
SATURDAY, JULY 27
2 p.m. – 6 p.m., 2nd Annual Los Gatos Brewing Company Firkin Fest: “Come check out our 2nd Annual Firkin Fest being held at the Los Gatos Brewing Company at San Pedro Square in Downtown San Jose. Come out, support and drink some firkin beer! Hope to see you all there! For more info. and to purchase tickets: http://lgbcfirkinfest2013.eventbrite.com/.”
“A firkin is a cask which holds nine imperial gallons. Firkins hold cask-conditioned beer. Cask is the container and this was the original method of storing and serving beer. The beer’s ingredients are allowed to mature naturally in the firkin, leaving the beer unfiltered and containing live yeast. The living yeast conditions the beer through a process called secondary fermentation and produces the CO2 naturally. No artificial carbonation allows you to taste the true flavor of the beer. The beer is dispensed either by gravity or by a beer engine/hand pump.
Firkin Fest celebrates this method and allows you to try unique, one-of-a-kind beers from your favorite local breweries!”
Participating breweries include: LGBC, Seabright Brewery, Rock Bottom Brewery, Faultline Brewery, Firehouse Brewery, Strike Brewing Co, Hermitage Brewing Co, Tied House Brewery, Magnolia Brewery, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Boulder Creek Brewing Co., Drake’s Brewing, Peter B’s, Two Rivers Cider, Lagunitas, and more.
SUNDAY, JULY 28
Sun., July 28 – Sat., Aug. 3, First Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week: The week-long Silicon Valley Beer Week will see many events and activities where good beer will be the focus. It is set up to really be “the region’s ultimate beer-lovers event,” highlighting “all venues, restaurants and breweries that are passionate about craft beer.” At last check, there are currently 80 events listed on the Silicon Valley Beer Week website.
“The week will kick off with an exclusive opening party on July 28, feature five days of hosted events throughout the valley and close with the very popular Summer KraftBrew Beer Fest on August 3.
During the five days, beer-lovers can experience a variety of activities featuring their favorite craft beers including tap takeovers, food pairings, seminars, demonstrations, brewmaster’s dinners, new release nights and other exclusive events.
Silicon Valley Beer Week is a celebration of all the vibrant brewing and culinary traditions that the region has to offer. You’re invited to join in the celebration and spread the word about this exciting event to your friends, family and co-workers.”
Keep in mind that there are other South Bay establishments that host ongoing events and specials; the information just is not in the public sphere yet. And keep in mind the many South Bay brewpubs, beer bars and stores that sell good beer.
American Craft Beer Week is upon us and runs from Monday, May 13 to Sunday, May 19, 2013. To help celebrate, a number of South Bay beer spots will host special events and offer special deals during this week.
To celebrate spring, Gordon Biersch is releasing their Maibock, a traditional spring time beer, with tapping parties throughout their many locations. The tapping party at the San Jose brewery restaurant (33 East Fernando St.) is open to the public and takes place on April 2, 2013, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
According to a recent newsletter and press release, the Gordon Biersch Maibock is considered a traditional “Rite of Spring.” Maibock is a strong Einbeck-style lager with a warming caramel malt balanced with noble Hersbrucker hops.
The Maibock tapping party also introduces a special, limited-time spring menu from April 2 through May 12 featuring new menu items: a starter, dessert, and four new entrées.
Starter: Asian Ribs (slow-cooked pork ribs with 5-spice rub and crackling ground peanuts for dipping).
Dessert: White Chocolate Mousse Lemon Cake (housemade lemon cake layered with white chocolate mousse, drizzled with lemon glaze and topped with fresh blueberries and a warm blueberry sauce).
Grilled Swordfish: Swordfish steak drizzled with lemon vinaigrette, served with quinoa kale pilaf.
Crunchy Tilapia: Tilapia coated with a smoked almond crust topped with baby arugula salad tossed in lemon vinaigrette and served with quinoa kale pilaf.
Parmesan Encrusted Chicken: Panko and parmesan encrusted chicken breast topped with tomato-basil relish served with garlic spinach.
Superfood Salad: Fresh kale with blueberries, toasted smoked almonds, Craisins and feta cheese tossed in lemon vinaigrette.
There will be passed appetizers, live music, and a charity raffle, with partial proceeds to benefit Pacific Autism Center for Education.
South Bay. Greater South Bay. Silicon Valley. Santa Clara County. The San Jose area and its neighbors. Whatever the geographic label, there is a growing number of media outlets filing reports and articles dedicated to beer-related news and events taking place locally.
From newspaper articles and radio reports to blogs and vlogs, coverage of the South Bay craft beer scene is at an all-time high. The extensive coverage is positive as more folks can learn about the various ways to go about enjoying good beer, such as checking out local brewing companies and brewpubs, beer bars, restaurants, stores that sell quality beer, homebrew shops, and homebrew clubs.
On the business side, cheers to the founding entrepreneurs behind Tied House (1988), Gordon Biersch Palo Alto (1988), Gordon Biersch San Jose (1990), Los Gatos Brewing (1991), El Toro Brewing (1992), Stoddard’s Sunnyvale (1993 – now FireHouse Grill & Brewery), Faultline (1994), and Stoddard’s Campbell (2002 – now Campbell Brewing). For the past twenty to twenty-five years, these local establishments have provided customers a chance to enjoy fresh, quality beer throughout the South Bay and its neighboring areas.
And cheers to the relatively newer folks (e.g., brewing companies, beer bars, gastropubs, beer stores, individuals coordinating community-wide beer events, etc.) who are taking up the good beer cause throughout the local South Bay communities and beyond. The early players included places like Rose & Crown (2006), Good Karma (2006), and Wine Affairs (2007) among others. Then came enterprises like Hermitage Brewing, Strike Brewing, Harry’s Hofbrau, Kelly’s Liquors, Bobby’s Liquors, Jane’s Beer Store, Original Gravity, Liquid Bread, Beer Walk, KraftBrew, O’Flaherty’s, SmokeEaters, and more.
These businesses all have a common bond – at least one person in their midst, if not many more, who is passionate and knowledgeable about, and appreciative of, good beer and diligently endeavors to share good beer with others.
On the media front, kudos to the one-and-only Better Beer Blog for modeling the way and providing consistent South Bay coverage since March 2007.
The following are some of the latest examples of the recent coverage spike of the local, South Bay craft beer scene. Expect more coverage in the year ahead as new beer-related developments take place and the public’s appetite for such coverage continues to grow.
The following is a collection of craft beer news and events in San Jose and the greater South Bay for the upcoming week and beyond. As event details may change from time to time, please do check with the establishment directly, especially if you are extra excited about a particular event.
Recent beer news
Check out the recent article on a co-op brewpub in San Jose in its initial planning stages with a Q&A with one of the principle organizers.
Beer events this upcoming week
Mon., Nov. 12, 2012: San Jose’s Wine Affairs hosts a Ballast Point keg tapping event. 1435 The Alameda, 408-977-0111. The following is from their recent newsletter: “We will be featuring Ballast Point beers with a special keg tapping of Indra Kunindra (stout brewed with madras curry, cayanne pepper, cumin, toasted coconut, and kaffir lime leaf). Keg tapping at 5 p.m. plus some other delicious treats from Ballast Point will be available all day on draft and in bottle.”
Tues., Nov. 13, 2012, starting at 4:20 p.m.: Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose hosts a Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ tapping event. 66 S. First St. Per their Facebook event page: “October 2012 marks the return of the feared and revered Brown Shugga after a painful year of drought! Come hang with Rudy of Lagunitas and warm your insides with this incredible beer.”
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.: There is a tapping party featuring WinterBock at Gordon Biersch San Jose. 33 East San Fernando St., 408-294-6785. Per their recent newsletter: “WinterBock beer is a dark, full-bodied lager with overtones of caramel and toffee maltiness with a hint of holiday spirit.” There will be live music and complimentary passed appetizers. Folks who bring an unwrapped toy to be donated for Toys for Tots will receive 2 complimentary WinterBock beer tickets.
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.: A tapping party featuring Winter Tartan Scottish Ale takes place at Rock Bottom Campbell. 1875 S. Bascom Ave. #700, 408-377-0707. Per their recent newsletter: Winter Tartan is “a traditional Scottish ale with a smooth, malty flavor and a hint of vanilla.” Folks can also meet brewer Russell Clements at this tapping event.
Wed., Nov. 14, 2012, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Catch live music and good beer at Poor House Bistro with “Blues & $2 Brews” featuring 21st Amendment Brewery. 91 South Autumn Street, San Jose, 408-292-5837.
Thurs., Nov. 15, 2012, starting at 6:00 p.m.: Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose hosts their weekly Pint Night. Check the Harry’s Hofbrau Facebook page for updates. 390 Saratoga Ave., 408-243-0434.
Thurs., Nov. 15, 2012, starting at 6 p.m.: Jack’s Bar & Lounge in Japantown offers up their weekly $2 Pint Night. Check the Jack’s Bar & Lounge Facebook page for updates. 167 East Taylor St., 408-287-5225.
Fri., Nov. 16, 2012: BevMo! stores host weekly Beer Tasting events on Fridays. Check your local BevMo! store for details.
Sat., Nov. 17, 2012, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.: The fourth SJ Beerwalk (previous SJ Beerwalks took place in Japantown and downtown Campbell) takes place in downtown Willow Glen. For details, including ticket purchasing, click here. The following is from their recent media release: “SJ Beerwalk will be bringing the same thoughtfulness in beer selection and strong emphasis on community to Willow Glen. The focus of the first Willow Glen Beerwalk will be seasonal/winter brews… ‘Beerwalkers’ will be invited to discover and explore twenty-five charming venues, from exclusive boutiques to unique restaurants.”
Tues., Nov. 27, 2012, starting at 6:30 p.m.: Winter Wonderland Brewer’s Dinner takes place at Rock Bottom Campbell. 1875 S. Bascom Ave. #700, 408-377-0707. Beer pairings to be announced. Call the restaurant to make reservations. For the Facebook event page, click here.
Thurs., Nov. 29, 2012: Pint Night at Santa Clara’s Wicked Chicken featuring Strike Brewing Company takes place. 2565 The Alameda, 408-246-9464.
Sat., Dec. 8, 2012, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., KraftBrew Winter Ball 2012. Seasonal beer tasting and holiday ball at the San Jose’s Woman’s Club – 75 S. 11th St. Per their recently posted Facebook event page: “Featuring newly released holiday ales and specialty brews, the KraftBrew Winter Ball will be a festive event in which guests are encouraged to dress in their holiday finery, dance, drink, and be merry. And now, for the first time ever, the KraftBrew WinterBall will feature a ticketed price which includes all food and beer tasting. Tickets are limited and will go on presale for $35.00 each. Light Appetizers will be provided by the Naglee Park Garage. Other highlights of the night include two live bands that will be sure to get your toes tapping and best beer purveyors from around the Bay Area. More info on bands, brews, and special menu to come, so stay tuned!”