Tag Archives: O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

Roundup of top South Bay SF Beer Week events, Part 3

Meet the Brewers Beer Festival at Hermitage Brewing Company (2013)
Meet the Brewers Beer Festival at Hermitage Brewing Company (2013)

SF Beer Week rages on, though it is more than half way over. Below is a list of some of the standout, predominantly South Bay-centric events remaining on the schedule.

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.


Brew Hub (Inside Whole Foods Market Cupertino), 20955 Stevens Creek Blvd.: Stone Brewing Old Guardian Barleywine 5-Year Vertical Tasting, 11am-10pm. This is an all-day event or until the beers run out.

Fibbar Magees, 156 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale: Dogfish Head Night!, 5-11:30pm. The lineup includes 120 Minute IPA and World Wide Stout, among others.

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café, 37 S. First St., San Jose: In Bugs & Barrels We Trust!, 5-11pm. Events at Good Karma are consistently special, and this event is no exception. Enjoy the well-regarded wild and barrel-aged beers from Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, including Spontaneous Cheer, Red Poppy, Cuvee de Tomme, Framboise de Amarosa, 2013 Deliverance, Angel’s Share, Track 8, Track 10, Avant Gourde, Older Viscosity, Agave Maria and more.

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant, 895 Villa St., Mountain View: Schubros Brewery Night & Meet the Brewer, 5-9pm. Schubros has prepared two special beers for SF Beer Week: Kirov Russian Imperial Stout, aged for 7-8 months in cab barrels and Aalbeke Golden Ale, aged in cab barrels since May. Steins will also feature Dante’s Door Belgian Dubbel, Rock City Amber Ale and Branch Line Double IPA.

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, 390 Saratoga Ave.: Firestone XVIII Deconstructed, 5-11pm. A marquee event, Brewmaster Matt Brynildson will, once again, be on hand to present a seminar on brewing and barrel aging. On tap will be Helldorado, Bravo, Stickee Money 2014, XVIII Anniversary, Parabola 2014, Sucaba 2015, Velvet Merkin 2014, Double DBA 2014 and Agrestic, as well as Double Jack, Union Jack, Pivo, Pale 31 and more.

Market Beer Company, 100 N. Almaden Ave., San Jose: Karl Strauss Brewing. Expect Mosaic Session Ale, Red Trolley, Big Barrel Double IPA, Queen of Tarts and more.

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, 25 N. San Pedro St., San Jose: For FIRK Sake, 6pm-11:30pm. It is no surprise that O’Flaherty’s has come up with another exciting beer event. Featured firkin casks include Stone Ruination with Dried Cranberries and Apple Blossoms, Sierra Nevada Scotch Ale, Knee Deep Hella Deep Wheat IPA, Strike Wit Firkin with Orange Peel, Coriander and Chamomile, Drake’s Oaked Denogginizer and Firestone Walker Double DBA. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online. Tickets include unlimited pours and all-you-can eat from the evening’s menu.


Mission Creek Brewing Company, 777 The Alameda, San Jose: Mission Creek’s Imperial Porter & Chocolate Pairing Party, 11am-10pm. Enjoy a special flight chocolates and craft beers, including a house-brewed Mission Creek Imperial Porter.

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, 390 Saratoga Ave.: Deschutes Abyss Vertical and Barrel Aged Madness, 5-11pm. Just as the event title indicates.

Harry’s Hofbrau Redwood City, 1909 El Camino Real: A Taste of San Francisco, the Breweries of the SF Brewers Guild Takeover! All 28 taps will be dedicated to SF Breweries 21st Amendment, Almanac, Magnolia, Fort Point, Triple Voodoo, Southern Pacific, Beach Chalet, Speakeasy, Social Kitchen, Southpaw, Cellarmaker and more. Plus opportunities to meet the brewers.


Original Gravity Public House, 66 S. 1st St., San Jose: Pucker Up! Valentine’s Day Sour Fest 4.0, 12-11:30pm. OG will pour 15 domestic and international sour, tart and funky beers on tap and release some very rare and specialty bottles for purchase. Draft sours include Allagash – Golden Brett (2014), Almanac – Cerise Sour Blonde, Brouwerij Hof Ten Dormaal – Zure Van Tildonk, Bruery – Sour in the Rye (2014), De Proef – Sour Barrel #1, Drakes Brewing – Brette Davis Eyes, Firestone Walker – Agrestic (2014), Freigeist – Sauer Porter Raspberry (2013), Gueuzerie Tilquin – Oude Gueuze (Draft Version), Hermitage – Boysenberry, Lost Abbey – Framboise De Amorosa (2014), Mikkeller – SpontanSourCherry, New Belgium – La Folie (2014), Prairie Artisan Ales – Cherry Funk! and Struise – WeltKrieg (2014).

Good Karma Artisan Ales & Café, 37 S. First St., San Jose: St. Valentine’s Barrel Aged Sweeties!, 5-11pm. This special barrel-aged beers event serves as a companion event to the aforementioned OG’s Pucker Up!

Hermitage Brewing Company, 1627 S. 7th St., San Jose: Meet the Brewers, 1-5pm. It is the sixth year for this quintessential South Bay beer event. Hermitage has recently acquired more space at their location, which means room for additional breweries and food trucks compared to past years. There will be live music and a special SJMADE pop-up mini market. Tickets are $40 and available for purchase online. Tickets will be $45 at the door if not sold out in advance. Participating breweries include:

  • 8 Bridges Brewing
  • Almanac Beer Co.
  • Alvarado Street Brewery
  • Calicraft
  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • Clandestine Brewing
  • Craft Artisan Ales
  • Drake’s
  • Discretion Brewing
  • El Toro Brewing Company
  • Faultline Brewing
  • Firehouse Brewery and Grill
  • FreeWheel Brewing
  • Gordon Biersch
  • Hermitage Brewing Company
  • High Water Brewing
  • Peter B’s Brewpub
  • Rabbits Foot Meadery/Red Branch Cider
  • Rock Bottom Campbell
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works
  • Seabright Brewery
  • Strike Brewing Company
  • Tied House
  • Uncommon Brewers


Rose & Crown Pub, 547 Emerson St., Palo Alto: Sour Sunday in PA (Part 2), 11:30am-11:30pm. Expect sour beers from Russian River Brewing, Bear Republic, Palo Alto Brewing, The Bruery plus many more on tap and in bottles.

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, 390 Saratoga Ave.: Annual IPA Day!, 11am-11pm. Harry’s first IPA Day back in 2012 invigorated the local beer community and helped to elevate the South Bay beer scene to newfound heights. Come experience the joys of hoppy beers as Harry’s will have 31 well-regarded IPAs, DIPAs and 3XIPAs on tap.

  • Black label
  • Younger
  • Scarcity
  • Evil3
  • Monstrous cabal (faction/gigantic)
  • Notorious
  • Hopocalypse
  • Fusion 27
  • Night time
  • Stoopid
  • Ruination
  • Enjoy by (3.14)
  • Hop soup
  • Hella deep
  • Dub red
  • Elder
  • 120 minute
  • Burton baton
  • Simtra
  • Hoptologist
  • Nitro sculpin
  • Pizza port poor man’s IIPA
  • Pizza port thruster IIIPA
  • Double jack
  • Mongo (kegged a week ago)
  • Dank and Sticky
  • Idiot
  • Dorado
  • Denog
  • Don’t act like you’re not impressed (alpine/mission)
  • Duet

What beer events, if any, will you be sure to attend?

[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.

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Downtown San Jose Bar Crawl Featuring Ninkasi Brewing Company

O'Flaherty's Irish Pub in San Pedro Square

Beer crawls throughout downtown San Jose seem to be a more common occurrence these days, given the abundance of both veteran and newer beer-centric establishments in the area plus the growing number of folks who are interested in exploring the style varieties of beer.

The Meetup.com group Bay Area Beer Socials has organized a downtown San Jose beer crawl set to take place on Tues., Sep. 2 beginning at 5:30pm at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub.

The beer crawl will feature beers from Ninkasi Brewing Company, based out of Eugene, Oregon, and brewery representatives from Ninkasi will be on hand throughout the beer crawl to answer any questions about their beers.

The following is the proposed schedule and Ninkasi beer lineup:

5:30pm – O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub – Lux Helles Lager, Tricerahops Double IPA

6:30pm – ISObeers – Wunderbier Kolsch, Coconut-Infused Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout (poured at the bar with a randal)

7:30pm – Original Gravity Public House – Maiden the Shade Summer IPA, Total Domination IPA, Wunderbier Kolsch

As the event page points out, there are food options aplenty: traditional pub fare and Irish classics at O’Flaherty’s and gourmet sausages at Original Gravity. Beer crawlers can grab something along to way to bring to ISObeers, which does not serve food.

For more information, visit the Meetup event page.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

O’Flaherty’s Hosts Barrel-Aged Beer Plus Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover Events

O'Flaherty's Irish Pub

Silicon Valley Beer Week is nearly upon us, and O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in downtown San Jose’s San Pedro Square (25 N. San Pedro Square) is looking to take full advantage of their 50+ taps, including hitting the record books.

The Big Woodie Barrel-Aged Beer event takes place from Sat., July 26 to Tues., June 29 and features an impressive lineup of 35 beers, just recently announced:

  • Mikkeller – Big Worster barrel-aged barleywine
  • Brouweriji Hof Ten Dormaal – barrel aged project brew no. 8
  • Almanac – Farmers Reserve Pluot Aged in wine barrels
  • Lost Abbey – The Angels Share Aged in bourbon barrels
  • The Bruery – Sour in the Rye Aged in oak barrels
  • Allagash – Odyssey Aged in oak barrels
  • Lost Abbey – Red Poppy Ale aged in oak barrels
  • Goose Island – Bourbon County Barleywine
  • Tap it – Cafe Noir aged in pinot noir barrels
  • Deschutes – Mirror Mirror 2014 oak aged
  • Lost Abbey – Agave Maria aged in tequila barrels
  • Anderson Valley – Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout
  • Stone – 2012 Bourbon barrel aged Double Bastard
  • Almanac – Farmers Reserve Citrus aged in wine barrels
  • Stone – Bourbon barrel aged Arrogant Bastard
  • Drake’s – Zinkonic/Drakonic imperial stout aged in red zin barrels
  • Shipyard – Bourbon barrel aged imperial stout
  • Russian River – Supplication aged in pinot noir barrels
  • The Bruery – Smoking wood rye barrel aged
  • Avery – 2014 Samael’s oak aged barleywine
  • Lost Abbey – Framboise de Amorosa aged in red wine barrels
  • Firestone – Stickee Monkee aged in spirits barrels
  • Hangar 24 – Barrel Roll No.4 Hammerhead
  • Lost Abbey – Track 8 aged in bourbon barrels
  • The Bruery – Sucre bourbon barrel aged
  • Flying Dog – Barrel aged Gonzo
  • North Coast – Grand Cru 2012
  • Allagash – Interlude aged in red wine barrels
  • Lost Abbey – Spontaneous Cheer
  • The Bruery – Oude Tart aged in oak barrels with cherries
  • Deschutes – Not the Stoic
  • Deschutes – Black Butte XXVI bourbon barrel aged
  • Boont Barl – Bourbon Barrel amber ale
  • North Coast – 2011 Cellar Release Old Stock ale
  • Goose island – Bourbon County barrel aged stout

From Wed., July 30 to Sat. Aug. 2, O’Flaherty’s hosts a Sierra Nevada tap takeover with 54 different beers on tap, likely setting the record for the biggest tap takeover event ever held locally.

Chiming in with a special message is O’Flaherty’s David Mulvehill:

“I’m really excited and looking forward to these events during Silicon Valley beer week. The lineups are impressive, and I invite everyone to come out, try a beer or two and have fun.”

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Upcoming Beer Events at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

O'Flaherty's Irish Pub

A growing number of beer fans have long since discovered that downtown San Jose’s O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub (25 North San Pedro St.) has become a bona fide South Bay beer spot, with great service along with a consistent lineup of stellar beers among their 50+ taps.

General manager David Mulvehill recently shared beer events taking place the coming week. He personally welcomes all those thirsty for good beer to come out to quench your thirst.

The following is a list of their scheduled events:

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6 p.m. – close: Belgium Inspired Ménage à Trois

Belgian inspired and American crafted, this evening features the multi-award winning breweries The Lost Abbey, The Bruery, and Allagash Brewing Company. Be sure to look for the tart and complex Cuvee de Tomme on tap.

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6 p.m. – close: Hangar 24 + 17 Tap Takeover

This evening features 17 of Hangar 24 Craft Brewery’s  finest beers, including four from their well-regarded Barrel Roll series. Northern California Regional Market Manager Mike McKee will be in attendance to answer any questions about the brewery and the beers. The weekly trivia night also takes place this evening.

Thursday, Feb. 13, 6 p.m. – close: Cismontane Heads North

Cismontane Brewing Company brings their unique selection of craft brews to San Jose with sales director Douglas Heine. There will be 8 great beers, including The Mesa—brewed with Riesling grapes—and Marea Roja Sour Red.

Sat., Feb. 15, 6 p.m. – close:  The Real Taste of the Rockies

Get a taste of Colorado done Irish style as O’Flaherty’s features Oskar Blues Brewery, Avery Brewing Company, and New Belgium Brewing Company. The event includes the highly rated Avery Maharaja Imperial IPA.

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South Bay’s First “Chub” Crawl Featuring Oskar Blues Brewery

O'Flaherty's Irish Pub
O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

To help celebrate the recent arrival of Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery beers to the South Bay, there will be an Oskar Blues “Chub” Crawl taking place in downtown San Jose on Thursday, Jan. 9 starting at 5 p.m.

The starting point is the Market Beer Store (100 North Almaden Ave.) in San Pedro Square Market.

The ensuing locations for the “Chub” Crawl include:

DBI Beverage’s craft/specialty brand manager Greg Sonick shares that there will be “swag to announce that you are part of the crawl,” and six brewery reps. in attendance who can answer questions about the Oskar Blues offerings, including Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Old Chub Scotch Ale, Ten FIDY Imperial Stout, the flagship Dale’s Pale Ale, and more.

Oskar Blues is one of Colorado’s largest craft breweries, having opened Oskar Blues Grill & Brew Restaurant in 1997. In 2002, they became the first craft brewery to offer beer in a can.

Sonick adds, “I invite everyone to come out, enjoy good beer, and help show support for the South Bay good beer scene.”

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Arthur Guinness Day at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in Downtown San Jose

Arthur Guinness Day at O'Flaherty's Irish Pub

Notable South Bay craft beer establishment O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in downtown San Jose is hosting an Arthur Guinness Day celebration on Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013.

General manager David Mulvehill shares that the first such celebration was held in Ireland four years ago in honor of Sir Arthur Guinness’s 250th anniversary, where bands from around the world were brought to small pubs all around the country.

David says, “The first Sir Arthur Guinness Day was a huge success in Ireland, and the tradition continued. Every year Sir Arthur Guinness is celebrated all around the country, and we wanted to bring a piece of that tradition to our little piece of Ireland in San Jose. My mother still raves about Tom Jones showing up at her local watering hole.

We will have the best Irish bands from the Bay Area playing from 4 p.m. until late. There will be etchings of people’s names on the new-style Guinness glasses, plus a grand prize of $1,000 for the best Guinness Irish Stew.”

Live music will feature The Shams and The Wild Rovers.

To register for the best Guinness Irish Stew competition for a shot at the $1,000 grand prize, email oflahertysirishpub@yahoo.com with your name and phone number. Bring your Guinness Irish Stew to the Pub by 6 p.m. on Saturday in a Tupperware container. Judging will begin from 6 to 8 p.m.

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Little Orchard Saison: Latest Release from Santa Clara Valley Brewing

Photo from Peralta Porter release party in early July 2013: Santa Clara Valley Brewing CEO Tom Clark (left), SCVB brewmaster Steve Donohue (third from right), Sal Pizarro of the Mercury News (second from right) & former San Jose mayor Tom McEnery (right)
Photo from Peralta Porter release party in early July 2013: Santa Clara Valley Brewing CEO Tom Clark (left), SCVB brewmaster Steve Donohue (third from right), Sal Pizarro of the Mercury News (second from right) & former San Jose mayor Tom McEnery (right)

The third beer offering from Santa Clara Valley Brewing will be Little Orchard Saison, joining Peralta Porter and Electric Tower IPA.

To commemorate its debut, there will be a Little Orchard Saison Release Party taking place Tues., Aug. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at O’Faherty’s Irish Pub in downtown San Jose, with brewmaster Steve Donohue scheduled to be there.

Those attending the release party can meet the friendly brewmaster and learn more about the brewing company. Those interested can also learn more about the significance of the name of the saison – Little Orchard. As with the previous beers, the name itself reflects an important piece of Santa Clara Valley history.

There aren’t plans to bottle the saison this go around, so expect to see this latest offering on tap at your local beer spot.

Little Orchard Saison Release Party
When: 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Tues., Aug. 27, 2013
Where: O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, 25 North San Pedro Street, San Jose
SCVB website: www.scvbrewing.com

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The Downtown San Jose Beer Scene

BOTTLED UP - Jake McCluskey, general manager of the Market Beer Co. at San Pedro Square Market, says that the shop stocks larger bottles of craft beer to encourage customers to share
BOTTLED UP – Jake McCluskey, general manager of the Market Beer Co. at San Pedro Square Market, says that the shop stocks larger bottles of craft beer to encourage customers to share

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.

Downtown San Jose Beer Hub

Blackbird Tavern
200 S. First St.

Britannia Arms (The Brit)
173 W. Santa Clara St.

Café Stritch
374 S. First St.

Firehouse No. 1 Gastropub
69 N. San Pedro St.

Good Karma Vegan Café
37 S. First Street

Gordon Biersch
33 East San Fernando St.

ISO: Beers
81 East Santa Clara St.

Los Gatos Brewing Company
163 W. Santa Clara St.

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub
25 N. San Pedro St.

Original Gravity
66 S. First St.

San Pedro Square Market
87 N. San Pedro St.

29 S. Third St.

Teske’s Germania
255 N. First St.

The Farmers Union
151 W. Santa Clara St.

Trials Pub
265 N. First St.

[An abridged version of this post was shared on SanJose.com.]

Silicon Valley Beer Events for July 2013: Mark your Calendars Now

Following an initial meeting back in March, the First Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week takes place later this month
Following an initial meeting back in March, the First Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week takes place later this month

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.


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!”


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!”


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.


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.”


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!”


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


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.


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.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]