Tag Archives: Lagunitas Brewing Company

Lagunitas Founder Tony Magee to Perform at Downtown San Jose’s Cafe Stritch

Just a quick post to announce the performance of the band Alice Drinks the Kool Aid in downtown San Jose at Cafe Stritch (374 S. 1st St.) later today, Wed., June 21 from 6pm-7pm.

Lagunitas Brewing Company founder Tony Magee helped form the band –  a “Blues Based Chicago Indie Rock band” – several years ago as a creative outlet with two other lifelong musician friends.

And having just listened to several songs available on their website, the band is very good in my humble opinion, reflecting the accomplished, musical experiences of each member.

There’ll be Lagunitas IPA and Aunt Sally Sour Ale on tap – plus cans of 12th of Never Pale Ale – but the focus will be on the music, with – preferably – a good beer in hand.

Where to Find Waldos’ Special Ale in the South Bay

waldoposter_2017It’s that time of the year when those of us into ultra dank and hoppy IPAs go looking for Waldos’ Special Ale. Brewed by Lagunitas Brewing Company, Waldos will be featured at a number of upcoming events, including a bunch on Thursday, 4/20. FYI, this year’s batch comes in at 11.5% ABV.

Saturday, April 1

Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose looks to be the first of the local beer spots to feature Waldos on Saturday, April 1 at 12pm. They’ll have other Lagunitas offerings on tap, including PILS, Dark Swan Wild Ale, Davey Murray’s Best Scotch Ale and High West-ified Imperial Coffee Stout (2016).

Thursday, April 6

IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop in Milpitas is hosting “The Waldos Get Westified” on Thursday, April 6 at 3pm. The event features 2017 Waldos’ Special Ale, 2016 High Westified Coffee Stout Batch 2, 2016 High Westified Coffee Stout Batch 3, 2016 Willet Whiskey Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and Lagunitas IPA.

Thursday, April 20

I just received word that there’ll be a “very disorganized pub crawl in downtown San Jose starting at high noon” with stops at Market Beer Company, ISO: Beers, Original Gravity Public House and finishing at Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe at 4:20pm. Look for Waldos and other Lagunitas goodies at these stops.

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose will tap Waldos at 4:20pm alongside other Lagunitas offerings.

Finally, a Waldos’ Pub Crawl in downtown Campbell kicks off at Spread Deli & Bottles at 4:20pm with Waldo’s Special Ale on draft at every stop, along with other Lagunitas beers and beer cocktails:

  • 4:20pm – Spread Deli & Bottles
  • 5:30pm – Liquid Bread Gastropub
  • 6:30pm – The Vesper
  • 7:30pm – Khartoum

Don’t forget that you can also pick up Waldos’ Special Ale in bottles in the coming weeks at many of the local shops that carry craft beer.

Beers in Hell Fest 2016


Heavy San Jose recently reached out regarding their upcoming Beers in Hell Fest taking place on Saturday, September 24, 5pm to 2am in downtown San Jose at Johnny V’s Bar (31 E. Santa Clara St.).

Beers in Hell Fest is presented by Heavy San Jose, Ripple Music and Doomed and Stoned, with participating breweries Firestone Walker, Lagunitas, Ballast Point and Santa Clara Valley Brewing.

As Heavy San Jose’s JD Norton puts it, Beers in Hell Fest is the “first event of its kind in the Bay Area, at least according to [their] not-so-exhaustive research.” :)

The event combines craft beer and heavy music. A 12-tap takeover features the aforementioned breweries – brewery representatives will be on hand – along with 11 underground bands that all fall in the genre of metal and heavy rock.

The band lineup features: Blackwülf (Oakland), Zed (San Jose), Crimson Eye (Sacramento), Great Electric Quest (Oceanside), KOOK (San Jose), Mesmer (Oakland), Red Wizard (San Diego), Smoke (Santa Cruz), Supernaut (Santa Cruz), TVSK (Oakland), and War Cloud (Oakland).

Tickets ($20) can be purchased at the event, but presale tickets purchased via the Beers in Hell Heavy Music Fest Indiegogo campaign – which ends Friday, Sep. 16 – include tickets plus a variety of special merchandise options and add-on perks to enhance the festival experience.

These Indiegogo presale ticket and merchandise campaign deals are only available on the website, and 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the bands.

At last check, the Dark Lord’s Cellar presale package was still available at the Indiegogo page. That package ($150) is good for tickets, event poster, shirt, pint glass and the following 6 beers:

  • 2002 Rogue XS Old Crustacean Barleywine (are you brave enough to drink a 14 year old beer?)
  • 2009 Alaskan Barley Wine Ale (one of the best ever made)
  • 2012 Deschutes The Abyss Imperial Stout (the standard by which all are measured)
  • 2013 Fifty Fifty Eclipse Black Wax (Evan Williams Bourbon Barrel aged… made by one of the pioneers of modern barrel-aged beer)
  • 2014 The Bruery Black Tuesday Imperial Stout (at almost 20% alcohol, this is the gnarliest of the bunch)
  • 2015 The Bruery/Three Floyds Collaboration-Floyd D’Rue Imperial Porter (Three Floyds is the original heavy metal brewery… and originator of Dark Lord Day)

The beers listed above, including the parenthetical beer notes, are courtesy of Jeff Wilson, the other half of Heavy San Jose. In addition to being the bass player for the band KOOK, he’s a craft beer enthusiast. Jeff’s the craft beer buyer at Kukar’s House of Pizza and for a few of Johnny V’s taps as well. He’s the reason Kukar’s started getting 5-6 rotating taps of great craft choices in the past couple years.

Look for the “Hell Brew” firkin from Santa Clara Valley Brewing – 10 gallons of their Electric Tower IPA with blood orange, mixed with locally grown hot peppers and dry hopped with citra and cascade hops.

JD adds: “Our hope is that this first event will be a huge success and will turn into something we continue to do right here in San Jose year after year going forward.”

Lagunitas 2016 Waldos’ Special Ale at Good Karma, Harry’s Hofbrau and More

2016 Waldos' Special Ale, courtesy of Lagunitas
2016 Waldos’ Special Ale, courtesy of Lagunitas

It’s that time of year when many beer fans will satiate their thirst for a tasty double IPA by enjoying Waldos’ Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company.

Word is already out regarding this year’s batch, the latest release from the Onehitter Series of highly limited, experimental offerings. Spoiler alert: This year’s Waldos is as hoppy and dank as last year’s batch and perhaps even more delicious.

Lagunitas NorCal Specialty Specialist – and South Bay native – Rudy Kuhn chimes in, “It’s a refreshing, dank-ilicious hop bomb featuring a full-blown Perrault Assault,” adding that Jason Perrault is the mastermind, fourth generation hop grower at Hop Breeding Company responsible for the development of Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic, Equinox and other well-regarded hop varietals.

Official tapping events for the South Bay will take place at venerable craft beer locations Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café in downtown San Jose (37 S. 1st St.) and Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose (390 Saratoga Ave.). From their respective Facebook event pages:

Wed., 4/20, starting at 4:20pm: Good Karma presents Double Dank, Double Down 420 Tapping of Waldos’ Special: “It’s always an honor to be the official South Bay 4/20 Tapping Party for Lagunitas Waldos’ Special! This year’s is as sticky and dank as we can remember! 11.5% and hand selected hops by the Waldos themselves – Great vibe, fun takeaways and the greatest gathering of mellow beer heads to share such an awesome beer in the South Bay.”

Thurs., 4/21, starting at 4:20pm: Harry’s Hofbrau hosts It’s Waldos’ Time with Lagunitas 4/21 at 4:20: “Brewed every year for 4/20, Waldo is a huge, resiny, dank DIPA! We will be tapping ours for our Thursday event the 21st at 4:20pm along with some other rare and fun kegs from Lagunitas.”

Look for Waldos’ Special Ale at select establishments throughout the South Bay (currently on tap at Wicked Chicken in Santa Clara).

Check out the entertaining Lagunitas video below to learn about the connection between 420 and the Waldos.

Enjoy 2015 Waldos’ Special Ale in the South Bay

2015 Waldos' Special Ale (Photo courtesy of Lagunitas)
2015 Waldos’ Special Ale (Photo courtesy of Lagunitas)

It is that time of the year for Waldos’ Special Ale from Lagunitas Brewing Company to make an appearance, and kegs will be arriving this week at over 40 South Bay spots to be tapped over the weekend. Many locations pouring Waldo will also feature the new 10-oz. Lagunitas mason jars.

Waldos’ Special Ale is the dankest and hoppiest offering from Lagunitas. Silicon Valley market manager – and South Bay native – Rudy Kuhn shares, “I got a sneak peak of it last week, and it tastes amazing! Coming in hot at 11.1%, it’s not ‘boozy.’ Just deliciously dank.”

San Jose beer mavens Harry’s Hofbrau, Original Gravity Public House and Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe will be hosting special events around the Waldo release, while many local bars and tap rooms will experience Waldo for the very first time this year.

The first keg of Waldo will be tapped at Harry’s this Thursday at 4:20pm. There will also be a number of other Lagunitas beers on tap, including Lagunitas Sucks, Daytime, High Westified Imperial Coffee Stout, Rye Cocoa Porter, Equinox, Cappucino Stout and more.

On Friday, again at 4:20pm, Original Gravity will pour Waldo, Pils, New Dogtown Pale, Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, IPA, Lagunitas Sucks, Night Time, Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, The Hairy Eyeball and Cappuccino Stout. The festivities will continue on Saturday at Original Gravity, with Equinox Pale Ale added to the mix as well as a firkin tapping of Mosaic Double Dry-Hopped New Dogtown at – you guessed it – 4:20pm.

Good Karma will be adding their own unique twists to the Waldo release this weekend. And look for the “Where’s Waldo finder” app on the Lagunitas website, where you will be able to see all the accounts that will be pouring it.

So who are the Waldos? Last year on April 20, Lagunitas created a video titled “Waldo Origin” to introduce the Waldos – the originators of 420 and friends of the brewery.

The following is what Kuhn shared on Facebook yesterday regarding the upcoming Waldo Weekend:

“What a crazy year it’s been. If you looked HIGH and low for some Waldo’s Special Ale last year and struck out, you weren’t alone. We still hadn’t opened up our new brewery in Chicago, and pints of your favorite 4/20 ale were hard to find. Well fast forward to today and Chicago is humming along, and Petaluma was able to pump out some extra kegs of Waldo this year.

“We will tap the first keg of Waldo 2015 at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose this Thursday 4/16 at 4:20pm (why wait???), and then on Friday at 4:20pm the madness begins with simultaneous tappings of Waldo throughout all of Santa Clara County.

“Waldo will be introduced to some new friends this year and will be poured for the very first time in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Milpitas, Campbell, Los Gatos and Mountain View. And of course you’ll also find it scattered around your favorite watering holes in San Jose, Santa Clara and Palo Alto.

“For those true treasure hunters who want to experience Waldo in its most natural South Bay setting, then come out to Original Gravity Public House and Good Karma Artisan Ales & Cafe this weekend. These bars always make Waldo feel at home with a bunch of other friends in the lineup from the Lagunitas Brewing Co. family of beers and get HIGH-ly excited about its 4/20-ish release date.

“Friday and Saturday at OG will be a Weekend at Waldo’s party featuring Chicago Dogs on the menu to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of our South Side Chicago Brew House brewing its first batch of IPA and will be tapping a firkin of DogTown double dry-hopped with Mosaic hops.

“And all weekend at Good Karma you can be sure to find some vegan munchie snacks, some of the stoniest tunes pumping through the speakers, and on Sunday there might just be a very special “pairing” of Waldo and some other stuff that looks like Hops.

“Puff, Puff, Pass….”

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Growth of San Jose and South Bay Beer Scene is No Joke

The latest San Jose brewery - Mission Creek Brewing Company, located inside Whole Foods on The Alameda
The latest San Jose brewery – Mission Creek Brewing Company, located inside Whole Foods on The Alameda

It is a great time to be a beer fan in the South Bay, as the local beer scene continues its dramatic rise thanks in large part to the region’s demand for good beer.

Just this past year, the number of brewery tap rooms in San Jose jumped from two (Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant and Hermitage Brewing Company) to five (Clandestine BrewingStrike Brewing Company and Mission Creek Brewing Company at the Whole Foods store on The Alameda). Another (Santa Clara Valley Brewing) is set to open in the coming months.

When Lagunitas Brewing Company released their well-received Born Yesterday Pale Ale in late October, they also shared a list of many of the South Bay establishments that carried craft beer on tap, in bottles or both.

  • 38 Degrees
  • 55 South
  • The 6740
  • Antipastos
  • BBQ 152
  • Beach Hut Deli
  • Blind Donkey
  • Blue Palms
  • Brittania Arms
  • Cinebar
  • City Tavern
  • Double D’s
  • Fahrenheit
  • Fibbar Magees
  • Firehouse No. 1
  • Good Karma
  • Harry’s Hofbrau
  • ISO Beers
  • Liquid Bread
  • Mohawk Bend
  • Old Wagon
  • Original Gravity
  • Original Nicks Pizzeria and Pub, San Mateo
  • Paper Plane
  • Rose & Crown
  • San Pedro Square
  • Slaters 50/50
  • Smoke Eaters Cupertino
  • Smoke Eaters San Jose
  • Smoke Eaters Santa Clara
  • Spread
  • St. Johns
  • Steins
  • Stuft Pizza
  • Trail Dust BBQ
  • Verdugo
  • Whole Foods Los Altos
  • Wicked Chicken
  • Wine Affairs
  • Ava’s Market
  • BevMo #6, #133, #7, #105, #9, #41 & #49
  • Bobby’s Liquors
  • Cask n Flask
  • Gene’s Fine Foods
  • Kelly’s Liquors
  • Lunardi’s Meridian
  • Royal Liquors
  • Santa Clara Liquors
  • Southgate Liquors
  • Whole Foods Campbell
  • Whole Foods Cupertino
  • Whole Foods Los Altos
  • Whole Foods Los Gatos
  • Whole Foods Palo Alto
  • Whole Foods San Jose
  • Zanotto’s Foxworthy

It was possible in the not-so-distant past for a local beer enthusiast to keep track of most, if not all, of the local businesses that carried craft beer, but that task is now likely too cumbersome for even the most hardcore of beer fans among us.

On a related note, the following is a quick look at some upcoming, local beer events taking place this month:

  • Wed., April 1, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm: Brewery Tour, Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant
  • Thur., April 2, 2015, 6pm: Golden Road South Bay Launch, Original Gravity Public House
  • Thur., April 2, 2015, 6pm: Coronado Brewing Night, Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose
  • Thur., April 2, 2015, 5pm: Knee Deep Brewing Company Tap Takeover, Market Beer Company
  • Fri., April 3, 2015, 5-9pm: Firestone Walker Tap Takeover, Whole Foods Market San Jose
  • Sat., April 4, 2015, 12pm: 21st Amendment Evolution of Bitter American, Original Gravity Public House
  • Sat., April 4, 2015, 11am: South Bay Beerhounds Tweed Stagger in downtown San Jose
  • Tues., April 7, 2015, 5-6pm: Brewer’s Happy Hour, Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant Campbell
  • Wed., April 8, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm: Stammtisch – Comparative Beer Tasting, Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant
  • Tues., April 14, 2015, Three Pepper Ale Tapping Party, Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant Campbell
  • Wed., April 15, 2015, 5:30-7:30pm: Maibock Tapping Party, Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant
  • Thur., April 16, 2015, 4:20pm: Lagunitas Waldo Tapping and Tap Takeover, Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose
  • Mon., April 20, 2015, 5:30pm: ShakesBEERience: Richard III, Cafe Stritch
  • Wed., April 22, 2015, 6pm-9pm: Beerwalk in Downtown Campbell
  • Wed., April 22, 2015, 4-6pm: Beer & Such, Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant
  • Thur., April 23, 2015, 12:30-4pm: Giants vs. Dodgers Tailgate Party, Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant Campbell
  • Thur., April 23, 2015, 6pm: Ballast Point Night with East to West and More, Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose
  • Fri., April 24, 2015, 6pm: Firkin Friday!, Original Gravity Public House
  • Sat., April 25, 2015, 12pm: Pints for Non Profits, Original Gravity Public House
  • Sat., April 25, 2015, 12pm-6pm: Cider Summit Festival, The Presidio in SF
  • Sat., April 25, 2015, 11am-11pm (Movies) and 1pm-5pm (Local Beer Tasting and Artisan Food Showcase): The CineBrew Mart 2015, Camera 12 Cinemas
  • Tues., April 28, 2015, 5-6pm: Bag in the Hole with the Brewer, Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant Campbell
  • Wed., April 29, 2015, 4:30-6:30pm: Learn to Pair Beer and Food, Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant

It is as if someone had declared April 2015 to be South Bay Beer Month. Yet, this events list is incomplete – a number of places that host ongoing events have yet to provide specifics, and there are sure to be already announced events that have inadvertently escaped my radar. And just as important are the many other ways – and places – for local beer fans to enjoy a good beer.

The plethora of choices throughout the South Bay and the greater Silicon Valley is, indeed, no joke, and – as stated previously – is what makes this the best of times to be a local beer fan.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Roundup of Top South Bay Beer Events for SF Beer Week 2015, Part 2

South Bay banners at SF Beer Week 2015 Opening Gala
South Bay banners at SF Beer Week 2015 Opening Gala

Let us get right to it. SF Beer Week runs through Sun., Feb. 15, and as the opening weekend comes to a close, below is a list of some of the standout, predominantly South Bay-centric events scheduled from Monday through Wednesday.

Note: Some of the events will likely be crowded and have long lines. Some of them will require tickets to be purchased ahead of time. Visit the SF Beer Week website for the complete schedule of events.


Mission Creek Brewing Company, 777 The Alameda, San Jose: Lagunitas Huge Tap Takeover and SF Beer Week Fusion Beer Release Party, 4:20-11pm. It is a CouchTrippin’ party as Lagunitas takes over all 19 taps with a special cask release of SF Beer Week Fusion. Replete with food pop-ups.

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café, 37 S. First St., San Jose: To Feel Dank & Rustic After a Good Meal, 6-11:30pm. Good Karma is proud to showcase a number of offerings from Sante Adairius and Cellarmaker, including, among others, Saison Bernice, West Ashley, Christopher Riwaka, Bangerang and their collaboration beer I See a Dankness.

The Table, 1110 Willow St., San Jose: Brewmaster Dinner: David Walker of Firestone Walker, 6-9pm. David Walker, co-founder of Firestone Walker Brewing Company, hosts a 4-course tasting menu featuring Pivo Pilsner, Opal Dry-Hopped Saison, Wookey Jack Unfiltered Black Rye IPA, Velvet Merlin Oatmeal Stout and Lil’ Opal Barrel-Aged Saison. Seating is limited and by reservation only. $75 (excluding tax & gratuity).


Brew Hub (inside Whole Foods Market Cupertino), 20955 Stevens Creek Blvd.: Faction Brewing Take Over, 11am-10pm. An all-day tap event with 5 rotating taps from Alameda-based brewery Faction Brewing open to close.

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant, 895 Villa St., Mountain View: Tap It Event, 5-9pm. Steins hosts San Luis Obispo’s Tap It Brewing Company with a lineup of their IPA, 3 on the Tree Triple IPA, Rimfire Red, a specialty cask beer plus their new pilsner.

Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City, 1909 El Camino Real: Hangar 24 Takeover with Pugachev’s Cobra!, 5-11pm. Hangar 24 will be bring special beers, including their 19% ABV beer Pugachev’s Cobra.

Fibbar Magees, 156 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale: Trivia Night with Karl Strauss. It is trivia night and Karl Strauss Day with the opportunity to meet the owner Chris Cramer! There will be special kegs as well as a Karl Strauss question round for prizes.

O’Malley’s Sports Pub & Grub, 2135 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View: Heretic Tap Takeover Night, 5-11:30pm. O’Malley’s will present a whole roster of Heretic beers, including Evil Cousin, Evil Twin, Chocolate Porter, Petite Rouge, Tafelbully, Shallow Grave, Torment and Evil Bee. Beer flights will be available.

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café (37 S. 1st. St., San Jose) and Original Gravity Public House (66 S. 1st. St., San Jose). Almanac Sour Pub Crawl, approx. 5-11pm. Join Good Karma, Original Gravity and ISO: Beers (75 E. Santa Clara St.) for a downtown San Jose beer crawl featuring Almanac Beer Company. Good Karma will pour Devil’s Advocate, Cerise Sour Blonde and Dogpatch Strawberry. OG is set to pour Farmer’s Reserve: Pluot, Farmer’s Reserve: Citrus and Farmer’s Reserve: Blueberry, while ISO will pour Valley of the Heart’s Delight, Farmer’s Reserve: Blackberry and Dogpatch Sour. Each stop is offering 3-oz. individual samples as well as flights of all three for $3 and $9, respectively.

Kukar’s House of Pizza, 257 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose. Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company Tap Takeover, 6-11pm. Enjoy offerings from Tahoe Mountain Brewing, including Passion Pale Ale, Hop Song IPA (Amarillo Dry-Hopped), Party Boy Farmhouse Style IPA (fermented entirely with a Brettanomyces), Viejo Rojo American Wild Ale and Ms. Coco and Delicate Oatsters Oatmeal Stout.


Wicked Chicken, 2565 The Alameda, Santa Clara: Altamont Beer Works, 11am-11pm. Wicked Chicken routinely features South Bay and nearby local breweries. Up next will be Livermore’s Altamont Beer Works.

Rose & Crown Pub, 547 Emerson St., Palo Ato: Pliny the Younger/IPA Day, 11:30am-11:30pm. Rose & Crown has been celebrating SF Beer Week longer than most local establishments. They host their 6th annual Pliny the Younger event, which will also feature IPAs from Russian River, Palo Alto Brewing, Drake’s, Auburn Alehouse, Bear Republic, Faction and others. Follow them on Twitter (@PaloAloBrewing) for additional information.

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, 25 N. San Pedro St., San Jose: Stone Cold Trivia Night, 6-11:30pm. Trivia Night will consist of 12 Stone beers on tap and 12 beer-centric trivia questions. Beers on tap will include: Arrogant Bastard Ale, Stone IPA, Stone Pale Ale, Stone Delicious IPA, Passion Project, Baird/Ishii/Stone Japanese Green Tea IPA, Enjoy by 2.14.15, 2013 Barrel Aged Old Guardian Barley Wine, 10 Barrel/Blue Jacket/Stone Suede Imperial Porter, Bang Bang and 2016 Double Bastard Ale.

Original Gravity Public House, 66 S. 1st St. California Craft Throw Down and Blind Double IPA Contest!, 6-10:30pm. Original Gravity will host a contest to determine which of the 11 participating breweries will be voted to having the best Double IPA. Doors open at 6pm. The contest begins at 7:30pm, and results will be announced at 9pm. Tickets are $30 and available online, and include one full draft beer of your choice and bar snacks, including house-made BBQ meat balls, baked panko mac and cheese and duck fat blanched green beans with bacon and roasted garlic. Additional beers and food can be purchased at the bar.

Brewery representatives will bring brewery swag, including glassware and other beer-related packages. In addition to the Double IPAs, most breweries will bring two other offerings: one core beer and one specialty or seasonal offering.

Greg Robles (Owner), Altamont Beer Works, Livermore
– Hella Lite
– Hella Revolutionary (Beer Revolution Anniversary Collab.)

John Gillooly (BrewMaster), Drake’s, San Leandro
– Dry Stout (Nitro)
– Hopocalypse (Green Label)
– Special TBA

Steve Donohue (Owner/BrewMaster), Santa Clara Valley Brewing, San Jose
– Electric Tower
– Heart’s Delight

Antoine Riffis (Senior Sales Manager), Firestone Walker, Paso Robles
– Pivo Pils
– Double DBA (2014)

Jamil Zainasheff (Owner/BrewMaster), Heretic Brewing, Fairfield
– Evil3
– Evil Bee

Kim Lutz (BrewMaster), St. Archer, San Diego
– White Ale
– Coffee Brown

David Johnson (Director of Distribution), Port Brewing, San Diego
– Shark Attack
– Barrel Aged Santa’s Little Helper (2014)

Gordon Brown (Brewery Rep.), Coronado Brewing, Coronado,
– Orange Ave Wit
– German Chocolate Cake

Jeb Taylor (Pilot Brewer), Knee Deep, Auburn
– Citra Pale Ale
– Hella Deep (Altamont Collab)

Aaron Justus (Brewing Manager), Ballast Point, San Diego
– Grunion
– Sculpin (Nitro)

Jeremy Marshall (BrewMaster), Lagunitas, Petaluma
– Day Time
– Fusion 27
– Special TBA

Week-Long Specials

Little Wine Counter, 1875 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 560: Little Local Beer Contest. Little Wine Counter has teamed with South Bay breweries Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Strike and Hermitage to provide opportunities to win prizes by earning points. Visit the contest website for the details.

SmokeEaters Cupertino, 10650 S. De Anza Blvd.: 36 IPA Tap Takeover. On tap all week will be IPAs of the single, double, triple and quad varieties, including Altamont Scarcity (Triple), Knee Deep Hop-De-Ranged, (Quad), Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin, Ballast Point Sculpin Nitro, Drake’s Hopocalypse, Lagunitas Fusion 27, Altamont Hella Deep and Stone Delicious IPA.

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.

[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.]

Scott’s Seafood San Jose Presents Rooftop Beer Dinner with Lagunitas Brewing Co.

Scott's Seafood San Jose Rooftop Beer Dinner
Scott’s Seafood San Jose Rooftop Beer Dinner

Scott’s Seafood restaurant in downtown San Jose has quickly emerged as a bona fide South Bay beer dinner destination and will host their second beer-and-food pairing event on Oct. 23, 6-9pm, featuring beers from Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewing Company.

Scott’s inaugural beer dinner took place earlier this summer and featured offerings from Firestone Walker. Each course paired successfully with the selected beer, and the excellent service included informative introductions of each course and beer by Scott’s management and a brewery representative, respectively. The picturesque sixth-floor rooftop offered up a perfect dinner backdrop, providing arguably the best views of the downtown skyline from atop any restaurant.

The upcoming beer dinner is scheduled to take place once again on the rooftop patio and with a special five-course menu created by Chef Alfonso Tamayo.

Check-In: Smoked salmon crostini and calamari with lemongrass beurre blanc. Paired with Lagunitas Daytime Session IPA.

Getting Started: Marscapone stuffed dates. Paired with Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Double IPA.

Round Two: Spinach salad with Mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, goat cheese tossed with a poppy seed dressing. Paired with Lagunitas Censored Copper Ale.

Main Course: Mahi Mahi with pineapple relish served with coconut rice and bok choy. Paired with Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Pale Wheat Ale.

Sweet Finale: Pumpkin cheesecake. Paired with Lagunitas Imperial Red Ale.

The always affable, South Bay native Rudy Kuhn – Silicon Valley market manager for Lagunitas – will be in attendance to introduce each beer and answer any beer and brewery-related questions.

Space is limited, so consider purchasing tickets sooner than later; I have a feeling that many of the folks from the first dinner will be returning for this one. Tickets are $45 and available online.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Lagunitas Night at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose

Harry's Hofbrau in San Jose

The ongoing Thursday beer nights at Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose (390 Saratoga Ave.) remain a popular activity for many. Tonight’s beer night will feature Petaluma’s Lagunitas Brewing Company beginning at 6pm.

Further details of tonight’s event have just been received.

  • Imperial Pilsner (the first release in the new Scare City series)
  • Czech-Style Pils (can compare against the new, aforementioned Imperial version)
  • Hairy Eyeball (an American strong ale that has been cellared for 12 months)
  • Lagunitas Sucks Double IPA (very fresh)
  • A Little Sumpin’ Extra! Double IPA (it has been four years since Lagunitas last made this)

There will also be new Lagunitas glassware making its debut in San Jose. They will be yours to take home while supplies last.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]