Tag Archives: Jenny Merit

Wine Affairs in San Jose

HELP ON TAP - Sommelier and beer lover Jenny Merit of Wine Affairs stands ready to find the right beer for every customer
HELP ON TAP – Sommelier and beer lover Jenny Merit of Wine Affairs stands ready to find the right beer for every customer

It is an especially exciting time for South Bay beer fans as the craft-beer wave continues its ascent with recently opened and soon-to-open craft beer-related establishments. But one business has served as a steady anchor, starting off as a neighborhood wine bar that served locals in a welcoming, low-key setting: San Jose’s Wine Affairs on the Alameda.

Soon after opening, in November 2007, owner and sommelier Diane Chang-Laurent started receiving requests from her customers for various hard-to-get beers. Continual requests, stemming mostly from local homebrewers, pushed Wine Affairs to become one of the first South Bay spots to seek out and carry better beer.

With 12 changing and rotating taps plus 80-100 bottled beers that can be enjoyed onsite or purchased to go, you won’t find any macro beers here. In addition to good beer, Wine Affairs offers a tasty tapas menu and, of course, an extensive wine list.

Sommelier and longtime beer enthusiast Jenny Merit has been the general manager since last year and is responsible for running both the wine and beer operations. She says that increased demand for craft beer has provided better “access to super, ultra-awesome beers for the South Bay.”

For beer-savvy folks, Jenny recommends that they consider joining one of Wine Affair’s three beer clubs, with benefits of monthly or quarterly craft beer selections, free beer tastings, 10 percent off beers to go and first notice for special events.

Some of the current beer club selections include Freigeist Pimock (hefeweizen by Gasthaus-Brauerei Braustelle), Stone 16th Anniversary IPA (double IPA), Schmaltz and Terrapin Reunion Ale ‘12 (American brown ale), The Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale, HaandBryggeriet Sweet & Sour (sour ale) and Mikkeller Spontankoppi (American wild ale).

For craft beer neophytes, the staff will help in picking out a great beer to try. First-timers might opt for a beer sampler and enjoy a broader tasting experience of different beer styles. To avoid running into large crowds, particularly on beer- and wine-tasting nights (Mondays and Tuesdays, respectively), visiting Wine Affairs earlier in the day or late afternoon is a smart bet.

Wine Affairs
1435 The Alameda, San Jose; 408.977.0111

[This post was shared on SanJose.com.]

Original Gravity Public House Celebrates Memorable Official Grand Opening

Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose celebrates grand opening
Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose celebrates grand opening

Congratulations to Original Gravity Public House, which hosted their official grand opening last Saturday, Sep. 15, 2012. Beer fans turned out in droves to celebrate this notable South Bay craft beer establishment in downtown San Jose.

Original Gravity Public House celebrates their grand opening
Original Gravity Public House celebrates their grand opening

With plenty of sunshine and special access to neighboring outdoor patio space, Original Gravity owners Dan Phan and Johnny Wang were excited to be able to present their full food menu, featuring gourmet grilled cheeses and poutine to accompany the already well-received sausages and duck fat fries.

Original Gravity owners Dan Phan and Johnny Wang at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Original Gravity owners Dan Phan and Johnny Wang at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration

And, of course, there was the beer menu for the festive day that included hourly tappings of specialty and limited kegs and excellent offerings from the likes of Firestone Walker, Lagunitas, The Bruery, Drake’s, Evil Twin, Ninkasi, Calicraft, Alesmith, Uncommon Brewers, New Belgium, Port Brewing, Heretic, Stillwater, Midnight Sun, Deschutes, Flying Dog, Gouden  Carolus, Dogfish Head, and Sierra Nevada.

Outdoors at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration

Earlier this year, there was quite the anticipation for Original Gravity’s opening among South Bay beer fans, especially after learning about the Original Gravity owners and their plans. The wait has been worth it.

More pics from the grand opening:

Moonlynn Tsai of Original Gravity at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Moonlynn Tsai of Original Gravity at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Original Gravity's Rob Monroe at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Original Gravity’s Rob Monroe at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Tony Riffis of Firestone Walker and Rudy Kuhn of Lagunitas at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Tony Riffis of Firestone Walker and Rudy Kuhn of Lagunitas at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Jenny Merit of San Jose's Wine Affairs at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Jenny Merit of San Jose’s Wine Affairs at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
San Jose beer fans Stef and Andrea enjoying the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
San Jose beer fans Stef and Andrea enjoying the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration
Peter Estaniel of BetterBeerBlog_Hermitage Brewing, Tony Riffis of Firestone Walker, and yours truly at the Original Gravity grand opening celebration
Peter Estaniel of BetterBeerBlog_Hermitage Brewing, Tony Riffis of Firestone Walker, and yours truly at the Original Gravity grand opening celebration

Indoors at the Original Gravity Public House grand opening celebration

[This post was also shared on Examiner.com.]

San Jose Area Beer News and Events: July 2-8, 2012

Julia Cochran (left), Jenny Merit (center), & Diane Chang-Laurent of Wine Affairs
Julia Cochran (left), Jenny Merit (center), & Diane Chang-Laurent of Wine Affairs

The following is a collection of recent San Jose beer news and a list of craft beer events in San Jose and the greater South Bay for the upcoming week and beyond. As events 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 Q & A article with South Bay brewmaster Steve Donohue, currently with Hermitage Brewing Company and working on opening his own brewery, as he shares his thoughts on the South Bay beer scene as well as how he got into beer and brewing. He also confirms where he will open his brewery.
Steve Donohue at Hermitage Brewing Company
Steve Donohue at Hermitage Brewing Company

Beer events this upcoming week

  • Tues., July 3, 2012, 4 p.m. – closing: The Counter Santana Row, offers a “Mix-It-Up” 4 mini burger & beer pairings, including Devil’s Canyon Full Boar Scotch Ale and Lagunitas IPA. 3055 Olin Ave., 408-423-9200.
  • Wed., July 4, 2012, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Catch live music and good beer at Poor House Bistro with “Blues & $2 Brews.” 91 South Autumn Street, 408-292-5837.
Tony Riffis of Firestone Walker, Jonas Wilby of Stone & Rudy Kuhn of Lagunitas at the recent Stone 10th Anniversary Ruination IPA night at Harry's Hofbrau SJ
Tony Riffis of Firestone Walker, Jonas Wilby of Stone & Rudy Kuhn of Lagunitas at the recent Stone 10th Anniversary Ruination IPA night at Harry’s Hofbrau SJ
South Bay beer fans Noreen and Jim at a recent pint night at Harry's Hofbrau San Jose
South Bay beer fans Noreen and Jim at a recent pint night at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose
South Bay beer enthusiasts Antony and Joe at a recent pint night at Harry's Hofbrau San Jose
South Bay beer enthusiasts Antony and Joe at a recent pint night at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose
  • Fri., July 6, 2012: BevMo! stores host weekly Beer Tasting events on Fridays. Check your local BevMo! store for details.

Looking ahead: Save the date

  • Sat., July 21, 2012, 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.: The Summer KraftBrew Beer Fest 2012 will take place in downtown San Jose on Post Street between Market and South First Streets.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]