Tag Archives: High Water Brewing

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

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

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

Petes Sake 01

Peter Cogan.

Peter Cogan

Mark Fazzio of Hermitage Brewing Company.

Petes Sake 03

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

Petes Sake 04

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

Petes Sake 05

Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Coleen Clark.

Petes Sake 06

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

Petes Sake 07

El Toro Brewing Company’s Geno Acevedo.

Petes Sake 08

Petes Sake 09

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

Petes Sake 10

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

Petes Sake 11

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

Petes Sake 12

FireHouse Grill & Brewery’s Larry Hoang.

Petes Sake 13

Petes Sake 14

Beer enthusiasts Anita Arguello and Mike Condie.

Petes Sake 15

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

Petes Sake 16

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

Petes Sake 17

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

Petes Sake 18

Peter Cogan with his mum.

Petes Sake 19

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

Petes Sake 20

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

Petes Sake 21

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

Petes Sake 22

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

Petes Sake 23

Palo Alto Brewing’s Sikandar Syed.

Petes Sake 24

Local stalwarts Jake McCluskey and Jim Helvie.

Petes Sake 25

Selfie with Jim.

Petes Sake 26

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

Petes Sake 27

Selfie with Steve.

Petes Sake 28

Beer fan Tim Haggerty.

Petes Sake 29

Campbell Brewing Company’s John Paine and Dan Doherty.

Petes Sake 30

Peter and Dan.

Petes Sake 02

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

Petes Sake 31

Performance by the Spartan Marching Band.

Petes Sake 32

Petes Sake 33

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



Scenes from the High Water Brewing Barrel Aged Campfire Stout Event at Wicked Chicken

What a treat – we decided at the last minute to head out to Wicked Chicken in Santa Clara last night for a quick dinner and to enjoy a glass of the Barrel Aged Campfire Stout from Highwater Brewing. But we ended up running into a bunch of folks – including many Southbay Beer Hounds – and stayed much longer than planned.

Some pics below:

Wicked Chicken - Steve Altimari

High Water Brewing brewmaster Steve Altimari.



From left and clockwise: Hiromi, Kregg, Jim, Javier, Matt, Andy, little kid, Andrea.


Wicked Chicken’s Matt McClean and Jim.


Second most popular beer during our visit: Alvarado Street Contains No Juice (North-east Style Double IPA).


Javier, Matt, ?, Steve, Kregg, Andy, Terry, Matt, Amanda.


Lance, Kevin, Jim.




Scenes from the Soon-to-Open Steins Beer Garden Rehearsal Dinner

Wifey and I both had the chance to attend a rehearsal dinner for Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain View yesterday. I think the set of pictures below can help show why we think Steins is a wonderful addition to the Silicon Valley beer scene.

We definitely owe my brother a lot for his childsitting services, which allowed for both of us to make it to this great dinner.

SteinsRD01 (520x390)

SteinsRD02 (520x390)

SteinsRD03 (520x390)

SteinsRD04 (520x390)

SteinsRD05 (520x390)

SteinsRD06 (520x390)

SteinsRD07 (520x382)

Wifey and Casey, who guided us on a tour of the patio and restaurant before dinner.

SteinsRD08 (520x390)

SteinsRD09 (520x390)

SteinsRD10 (520x390)

SteinsRD11 (520x390)

SteinsRD12 (520x390)

SteinsRD13 (520x390)

SteinsRD14 (520x390)

SteinsRD15 (520x390)

SteinsRD16 (520x390)

Executive chef Colby Reade.

SteinsRD17 (520x390)

Me and chef.

SteinsRD18 (520x459)

Pickled vegetables.

SteinsRD19 (520x390)

2 Fresh Baked Pretzels with caraway beer mustard.

SteinsRD20 (520x390)

Menu parts.

SteinsRD21 (520x390)

SteinsRD22 (520x390)

Beer flight menu.

SteinsRD23 (520x390)

Steins coaster.

SteinsRD24 (520x390)

The Steins Beer Runner Program.

SteinsRD25 (520x390)

Tap-to-table deliver beer service.

SteinsRD26 (520x390)

SteinsRD27 (520x390)

SteinsRD28 (520x390)

Beers, consisting of:

Dark Flight (top row of picture): Krusovice Cerne Dark Czech Dark Lager, Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre Belgium Strong Dark Ale, Band of Gypsies Collaboration Belgian Tramp Belgium Quad, and The Lost Abbey Serpent’s Stout Imperial Stout.

IPA Flight (bottom of picture): New Belgium Rampant Double IPA, High Water Retribution Double IPA, Sam Adams Grumpy Monk Belgium IPA, and Hangar 24 DIPA.

Beer Runner Ticket #1 (top left): Hangar 24 IPA.

Beer Runner Ticket #2 (bottom left): Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter.

SteinsRD29 (520x390)

SteinsRD30 (520x390)

Pork Belly Poutine: Kennebec fries, fromage blanc, beef gravy, and fresh herbs.

SteinsRD31 (520x390)

SteinsRD32 (520x390)

Owner Ted Kim.

SteinsRD33 (520x390)

SteinsRD34 (520x390)

Ted asked whether wifey and I ever tasted Brouwerij Huyghe Fruli Strawberry fruit beer or the Brouwerij Huyghe Floris Apple Ale fruit beer. We had not, and Ted enthusiastically suggested that we try some. Sweet, and very, very yummy. Super glad to have tasted them as it was quite difficult for Ted to get his hands on these particular beers.

SteinsRD35 (520x390)

SteinsRD36 (520x390)

SteinsRD37 (520x390)

SteinsRD38 (520x390)

SteinsRD39 (520x390)


SteinsRD40 (520x390)

The keg room – a focal point of the restaurant, at least according to me. :)

SteinsRD41 (520x390)

SteinsRD42 (520x390)

SteinsRD43 (520x390)

SteinsRD44 (520x390)

SteinsRD45 (520x390)

SteinsRD46 (520x390)

Breakfast for Dinner: Smoked pork belly, poached egg, frisée, maple dijon vinaigrette, and toast points.

SteinsRD47 (520x390)

Seared Mahi Mahi and Herbed Lentils with smoked tomato confit, preserved lemon, and herb salad. The mahi mahi was a substitute for sea bass this evening.

SteinsRD48 (520x390)

SteinsRD49 (520x390)

SteinsRD50 (520x390)

Braised Lamb Shoulder with parsnip puree, au jus, and lollipop kale.

SteinsRD51 (520x390)

SteinsRD52 (520x390)

A special dessert table.

SteinsRD53 (520x390)

SteinsRD54 (520x372)

SteinsRD55 (520x411)

The beers and the food were all tasty as heck, but I’m someone who feels that things are even that much better if the folks behind a particular place are good people. Chef Colby and Ted are two such folks.

For more behind-the-scenes peeks into Steins’ beginnings, check out the past several articles that I’ve written about them.

March 26, 2013 in Metro Silicon Valley Newspaper: Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant: The Better-Beer Scene Continues its Ascent in the South Bay (also reposted on this site)

Jan. 18, 2013: Hard Hat Tour of Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

Dec. 14, 2013: An Early Article on Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

And finally, Steins’ grand opening will take place tomorrow, Thursday, March 28, 2013, as they will open for lunch service immediately following a private ribbon-cutting ceremony.



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,


Scenes from the 2013 Meet the Brewers Festival at Hermitage Brewing Company

Here are some pics from the 4th annual Meet the Brewers festival that took place this past Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company.





Sunnyvale’s Faultline Brewing Company Doppel Bock and Brown Ale.




Sunnyvale’s Rabbit’s Food Meadery owner Mike Faul (in the black tee) and his Red Branch Hard Raspberry Cider and Hard Black Cherry.


San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company brewmaster Peter Licht.


Los Gatos Brewing Company brewmaster Kent Wheat and assistant Kyle Wheat.


Los Gatos Brewing Company Dunkelweizen and Coquettish Blonde.


Sunnyvale’s FireHouse Grill & Brewery.


FireHouse Porter and IPA.


San Jose’s Gordon Biersch Brewery Company brewer Lars (standing directly behind Czech Style Pilsner barrel).


San Leandro’s High Water Brewing Company brewmaster Steve Altimari (center) and Morgan Hill’s El Toro Brewing Company brewmaster Geno Acevedo (right).



El Toro Brewing Company Poppy Jasper and Negro.


The South Bay’s Strike Brewing Company CEO Jenny Lewis and brewmaster Drew Ehrlich.


Strike Brewing Company Blonde and Stout.


Campbell’s Rock Bottom Brewery and Restaurant brewmaster Russell Clements (right).



Rock Bottom Brewery Raccoon Revival and Brown Bear.


Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company of Belmont.


We were able to get to the beer fest at around the starting time. Here’s what the crowds looked like less than an hour in, which was more crowded than last year’s crowd at about the same time.


The Bay Brewers Guild president Dan Satterthwaite, brewer at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company and founder of hopefully soon-to-open Cedar Street Brewing Company.




Bulgogi burrito with Rock Bottom Raccoon Revival.



Hermitage Brewing Company Special Bitter with Mandarina Bavaria and Simcoe – both on cask.


Hermitage Brewing Company lead brewer Greg Filippi (right).


Drake’s Brewing Company of San Leandro and brewer and production manager John Gillooly.


Santa Cruz’s Uncommon Brewers founder and brewermaster Alec Stefansky (right).


Uncommon Brewers Golden State Ale.


Santa Cruz’s Seabright Brewery assistant brewer Matt.


Seabright Brewery Saison Dumas and Sacrilicious.


High Water Brewing Campfire Stout.


High Water Brewing’s Steve Altimari, Drake Brewing Company’s John Martin, and Hermitage Brewing’s Peter Licht.



Monterey’s Peter B’s Brewpub Chardonnay Stout.


The folks from San Jose’s Jack’s Bar & Lounge arriving – Charlie Mann (left) and Jordan Trigg (right).


Alas, time for us to leave.



Yes, as the pictures suggest, a great time seemed to be had by all. This was the third year in a row that I attended the Meet the Brewers festival. I still remember our first one in 2011 – wifey, the toddler, and I had originally attended because we were really into food trucks at the time, but wifey and I quickly appreciated the various offerings from the local breweries, and we’ve been doing our best to buy local beers ever since then.

Regarding this year’s event, what an extra special treat for me to take the young adult (formerly known as the older kid) – I even think he’s slowly beginning to like IPAs. :)

Always Grateful,