Tag Archives: San Francisco

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers Reopens Taproom, Celebrates ‘Grand Opening’

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers officially celebrates their return with a grand opening event on Saturday, Jan. 27, 1-5pm at its San Francisco brewery and taproom (1195 Evans Ave.).

Speakeasy recently reopened the doors to their remodeled Hunters Point taproom and resurrected its bottle production for retail distribution throughout California and select markets across the country.

The grand opening celebration will take place outdoors and inside the taproom and will feature 17 draft beers along with food by Native Sons BBQ and music by The Dirty Downtown Jazz Syndicate. The event is free with a cash bar for beer and food.

Speakeasy will release their hoppiest beer ever brewed at the grand opening, the taproom-only exclusive Blind Tiger Triple IPA, an aromatic blend of hops and resinous citrus fruit flavors at over 100 IBUs. With an addition of over 10 pounds of hops per barrel – including Huell Melon, El Dorado, Columbus, and Centennial hops – and clocking in at 10.6% ABV, Blind Tiger aims to deliver ample flavors of freshly cut melon, citrus peel, and ripe passionfruit.

Below are some photos from a media preview event held last month at the Speakeasy brewery and taproom:

Pop Gun Pilsner and Pop Gun Pilsner Oak-Aged and Unfiltered

Session Dark Lager and Bootlegger’s Cut Bourbon Barrel Aged Stout
Speakeasy taproom manager Nick Martinez provided expert beer tasting guidance.
Payback Coffee Porter (Philz Coffee) and Holdout Stout

Old Godfather Barleywine and Scarface Imperial Stout
Delicious bites from Memphis Minnie’s BBQ Joint
Syndicate No. 3 Bourbon Barrel Aged Vintage Ale

Speakeasy’s Ces Butner and Steve Shapiro of Beer by Bart

Speakeasy’s Clay Jordan

Clay getting set to lead a brewery tour

Prohibition Ale straight from the tank

The event was a memorable one – very tasty beers at a very cool spot. It was great getting to know some of the folks behind Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, and we look forward to visiting again soon.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!


ps: Much more information below from a recent press release:

Hunters Point, Calif.Thursday, December 14, 2017 — The birthplace of craft brewing, San Francisco welcomes back one of its iconic brands Speakeasy Ales & Lagers following a nine-month hiatus during a change of ownership to Hunters Point Brewery LLC. Preserving the two-decade history and tradition of one of San Francisco’s stalwart production breweries, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers reopens its remodeled Hunters Point taproom with an expanded 17-line draft system, new copper-top tables and ambient lighting on December 15. Speakeasy features their acclaimed flagship beers such as Prohibition Ale and Big Daddy IPA alongside an array of exclusive taproom-only experimental small batch beers. Brand new crowlers as well as growlers will now be available at the Speakeasy taproom located at 1195 Evans Avenue in San Francisco, Calif.. Speakeasy officially celebrates its return with a Grand Opening event at the brewery on Saturday, January 27, 2018.

With a three-decade long career in the craft beer industry, prominent Bay Area business entrepreneur Ces Butner (CEO, Hunters Point Brewery LLC) bought Speakeasy Ales & Lagers to uphold one of San Francisco’s most renowned independent breweries. Butner’s expertise as a former award-winning beer distributor offers a healthy competitive edge in a growing national market with 6,000 craft breweries. The purchase of Speakeasy Ales & Lagers by a local African-American businessperson is a success story for craft beer in a day and age when big beer acquisitions of small craft businesses are all too common.

“As a company, we do more than just sell quality craft beer,” says Ces Butner. “We’re part of the community that we owe a lot to with all of their incredible past support for Speakeasy. It’s now time that we can once again embrace the craft community and let them know we are jumping in with both feet to strengthen our ties with craft beer drinkers across California and nationwide. We further want to help our colleagues at other craft breweries in any way we can. We have a 60,000 barrel facility and we’re looking forward to inviting brands in need of a brewing facility to collaborate with us in 2018.”

Only a handful of production breweries exist in San Francisco and Butner sets forth an innovative platform for Hunters Point Brewery LLC. While Speakeasy’s flagship beers and new seasonal releases maintain the majority of the 60,000 barrels capacity, Butner will open up the brewery to additional regional brands in need of a local facility looking to enhance their production numbers. Hunters Point Brewery LLC serves as a community partner working with Bay Area brewers to bolster the Northern California craft scene as a whole.

Located on the southeastern corner of San Francisco, Hunters Point is in the midst of a major comeback with the adoration of southern neighborhoods such as the adjacent Dogpatch at an all-time peak. Artisanal distillers, breweries, bakeries, restaurants, and redevelopment projects are blossoming within the southeastern region. Speakeasy Ales & Lagers churns out exceptional craft beers and is currently operated by many Speakeasy employees who’ve stayed the course during the brewery’s receivership to new ownership with Ces Butner now at the helm. The Speakeasy taproom offers a unique experience for beer aficionados to step inside their 1920’s underground watering hole to enjoy 17 draft beers always available on tap.

Speakeasy’s Clay Jordan (Director of Brewing Operations) is among the standout employees who persisted through the change of ownership. Collectively with his brewing team, they conceived and brewed a new beer in true Speakeasy fashion, Holdout Stout. Jordan comments, “During the recent uncertain times with the company, we developed a beer from scratch — completely off the record. We used ingredients we had on hand to specifically design a beer to be able to age well through an unpredictable future. We knew that if we came through on the other side of the receivership, we’d want a beer to celebrate with. Like the eight company holdouts that the beer is named after, it is a hearty, strong stout that’s built to last with a very roasty aroma and flavor, creamy mouthfeel, and smooth finish.”

Statewide throughout California and select markets nationwide including New York City will see Speakeasy’s acclaimed beers on retail shelves and on draft, including Prohibition Ale, Big Daddy IPA, Double Daddy Imperial IPA, Baby Daddy Session IPA, Pop Gun Pilsner, Metropolis Lager, and Payback Porter. At the Speakeasy Taproom, consumers will have access to a rotating lineup of experimental beers such as new releases Holdout Stout, Speakeasy Dark Lager, Speakeasy Saison, Bourbon Session Stout, Big Daddy’s Humidor, Oak Aged Pop Gun Pilsner, and Coffee Payback Porter. The brewery’s limited-edition bottle series will continue to be available for purchase in the taproom (Limited Series, Infamous Series, Syndicate Series, Perfect Crime Series).

About Speakeasy Ales & Lagers

Speakeasy Ales & Lagers has been defiantly brewing small batch beers in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood since 1997. The brewery started with a single iconic beer, still made today, Prohibition Ale. The hoppy amber beer embodies the spirit of bootleggers and gangsters who persevered when America’s taps ran dry. Speakeasy quickly gained a loyal following with its bold, complex beers, and striking 1920s imagery. Speakeasy’s kingpin Big Daddy IPA is the brewery’s highest seller among its wide array of celebrated beers, from session ales to bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts. In 2013, the Speakeasy Taproom opened serving thousands of local craft beer lovers with fresh draft beer to be enjoyed onsite or to-go in growlers and crowlers.

Speakeasy’s original 15 barrel brewing system was replaced in 2015 during a major expansion, which included a 60 barrel brewhouse, centrifuge, malt handling system, canning line, and an additional 1,200 barrels of fermentation capacity.

Hunters Point Brewery LLC, a company founded by former owner of Horizon Beverage Company, Ces Butner, acquired the Speakeasy beer brands and brewing equipment in 2017. Under new ownership, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers will grow by leaps and bounds. The brewery’s trademark eyes, ubiquitous and cryptic, beckon you to join our mob, no password required.

4th Annual Cider Summit SF Cider Lineup

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The lineup of cider producers at this year’s Cider Summit SF – taking place this Saturday, April 22 in the Presidio in SF – was released last week and now available at their event website. Listed below is the lineup, which also includes the ciders and cider cocktails to be poured.

2017 Lineup

Table 1
2 Towns Cider House – Corvallis, OR  Est. 2010
Bad Apple
Made Marion

Table 2
Ace Cider – Sebastopol, CA, Est. 1993
BlackJack 21 Vintage 2015
Pineapple Cider
Joker Cider

Table 3
Atlas Cider – Bend, OR  Est. 2013
Apricot Cider
Blackberry Cider
Dragonfruit Cider

Table 4
101 Cider House – Westlake Village, CA  Est. 2015
Cactus Red
Black Dog

Table 5
Cider Riot – Portland, OR  Est. 2013
Everybody Pogo
Never Give an Inch

Table 6
Brooks Dry Cider – San Francisco, CA  Est. 2015

Table 7
Common Cider – Auburn, CA, Est. 2013
Blood Orange Tangerine
Pineapple Guava
Blackberry Sangria

Table 8
Crooked City Cider – Oakland, CA  Est. 2015
Straight-Up Oakland Dry Session
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Yes Please!
Sour Patch (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 9
Dragon’s Head Cider – Vashon, WA  Est. 2010
Wild Fermented Cider
Traditional Cider

Table 10
Aspall Cyder House – Suffolk, England  Est. 1728
Aspall Dry
Aspall Imperial
Aspall Peronelle’s Blush

Table 11
E.Z. Orchards – Salem, OR  Est. 2005
Hawk Haus
Roman Beauty
Semi Dry

Craigie’s Ballyhook Flyer – Wicklow, Ireland  Est. 2011

Table 12
Eden Specialty Ciders – Newport, VT  Est. 2007
Imperial 11° Rose
Orleans Herbal Aperitif
Eden Heirloom Blend

Table 13
Ethic Ciders – Petaluma, CA  Est. 2015
Golden Rule

Table 14
The Good Cider – San Sebastian, Spain  Est. 1918
Apple Cider

Table 15
Hemly Cider – Courtland, CA  Est. 2015
Hemly Pear Cider
Hemly Dry Pear Cider
Sloughhouse Jalapeno Pear Cider

Table 16
The Far West Cider Co. – Richmond, CA  Est. 2016
Pink Cascade
Crimson Gold Crab
Orchard Blend No. 1
You’re Guava Be Kidding Me (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 17
Lassen Traditional Cider – Chico, CA  Est. 2016
Newtown Pippin
Farmhouse Dry

Table 18
Horse & Plow – Sebastopol, CA  Est. 2008
Farmhouse Cider
Heirloom Cider
Hops and Honey

Table 19
Hidden Star Orchards – San Leandro, CA 94577
Treeo Hard Cider
Sour Hard Cider
Pink Lady Hard Cider

Table 20
Humboldt Cider – Eureka, CA  Est. 2014
Friends w/Benefits Hopped
Gravenstein Single Vareital
Pink Guava Hopped (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 21
Indigeny Reserve – Sonora, CA  Est 2012
2016 Organic Harvest Blend
Extra Crisp
Apricot (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 22
Gowan’s Estate Heirloom Cider – Philo, CA  Est. 1876
1876 Heirloom
Sierra Beauty

Table 23
Leaky Barrel Cider Co. – Sonoma, CA Est. 2017
SASH Cider
Old Baldy Cider

Table 24
Golden State Cider – Sebastopol, CA  Est. 2012
Bay Brut Cider
Gingergrass Cider
Mighty Dry

Table 25
Finnriver Farm & Cidery – Chimacum, WA  Est. 2008
Dry Hopped Cider
Habanero Cider
Black Currant Cider
Cider Summit Saison Collaboration

Table 26
Mission Trail Cider Co. – Bradley, CA  Est. 2014
Plum Jerkum
Peach Coast
Ron Tropico (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 27
Newton Court Cider – Leominster, England  Est. 2000
Gasping Goose
Panting Partridge

Table 28
Pitsnogled Cider – Folsom, CA  Est. 2015
Original Hard Cider

Table 29
Redwood Coast Cider – San Carlos, CA  Est. 2015
Bikers “Chardonnay”
Kosmic Lighthouse Ride
Strawberry Bobber
Gooseberry (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 30
Red Branch Cider – Sunnyvale, CA Est. 1995
Black Cherry Cider
Pear Cider
Mead Barrel-Aged Apple Cyser

Table 31
Santa Cruz Scrumpy – Felton, CA  Est. 2009
Purposely Pimp’N Pippin
Original Hard Cider
Toast & Jam (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 32
Specific Gravity Cider – Sebastopol, CA Est. 2013
Sour Farmhouse Scrumpy

Table 33
Seattle Cider Co. – Seattle, WA Est. 2013
Semi Sweet
Basil Mint

Table 34
See Canyon Hard Cider – San Luis Obispo, CA, Est. 2013
Triple Threat
Classic Cider

Table 35
Santa Cruz Cider Co. – Santa Cruz, CA  Est. 2013
The Hopped Apple
Lot 16 (Luz Del Valle)
Blueberry(Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 36
Sea Cider Farm & Cider House – Saanichton, BC  Est. 1996
Bramble Bubbly
Kings and Spies
Worley’s Cider – Somerset, England  Est. 2001
Red Hen
Premium Vintage
Mendip Hills

————–Cider Cocktails—————
Table 37
Incline Cider Co. – Incline Village, NV  Est. 1995
The Explorer Hopped Cider
The Scout Marionberry Cider
The Legend Lemongrass Cider
The Rendle’s Lemongrass Legend – Gin & Cider

Table 38
Jim Beam Distillery – Clermont, KY
Jim Beam Apple
Jim Beam Apple & Soda Cocktail

Table 39
Niche Import Co. – Cedar Knolls, NJ
Calvados Coquerel Fine
Calvados Coquerel VSOP
CalvadosPomme d’Eve
Schonauer Apfel Liqueur

Table 40
J. Seeds – Fairfield, CA
J. Seeds Cider Whiskey
J. Seeds Apple Press Cocktail
———-End of Cider Cocktails—————

Table 41
Sierra Cider Co. – Mariposa, CA  Est. 2010
Dry Summer Blend
Farm House Style
Early Harvest

Table 42
Tag + Jug Cider – San Francisco, CA  Est. 2014
Brut Cider
Cherry Champ (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 43
Tieton Cider Works – Yakima, WA 2008
Rambling Route Apple
Tieton Dry Hopped
Tieton Apricot

Table 44
Two Rivers Cider Company – Sacramento, CA Est. 1996
Passionfruit (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 45
Wandering Aengus – Salem, OR  Est. 2005
Wandering Aengus Bloom
Wandering Aengus Bittersweet
Anthem Pear
Anthem Peach Brett (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 46
Tilted Shed Ciderworks – Windsor, CA  Est. 2011
Inclinado Sidra
2015/16 Topwork
2015 Graviva

Table 47
Schilling Hard Cider – Seattle, WA  Est. 2012
Emerald City Blackberry Pear
Lumberjack Rhubarb
Mischief Maker Pomegranate
Passport Passion Fruit
Strawberry Sour Cider (Fruit Cider Challenge)

Table 48
Sonoma Cider – Healdsburg, CA  Est. 2013
The Jax – Breakfast Cereal
The Imperial
The Pitchfork Pear
Apple Brandy

Table 49
South City Ciderworks – San Bruno, CA  Est. 2015
Dry Me a River
All The Good Hopped Names Were Taken
South City Cider
Yerba Buena Citrus Mint – 2pm tapping!

Table 50
Winesellers, Ltd. – France & Spain
Le Brun Cidre de Bretagne Brut
Le Brun Organic Cidre
Manoir de Grandouet Cidre Fermier Brut
Mayador Sidra Natural
Mayado Sidra Sparkling

Table 51
Dunkertons Cider – Herefordshire, England  Est. 1980
Dry Organic Cider
Black Fox Medium Organic Cider
Organic Perry

Table 52
Maeloc Cider – Galicia, Spain  Est. 2008
Maeloc Dry
Maeloc Blackberry
Maeloc Strawberry

Table 53
Wildcraft Cider Works – Eugene,OR  Est.  2014
Farmhouse Scrumpy
Wild Mirabelle Plum
Wild Rose

Table 54
William’s Orchards – Herefordshire, England  Est. 2000
William’s Sir Perry
William’s Excalibur Apple
William’s Dragons Breath Ginger

Table 55
Wrangletown Cider Co. – Eureka, CA  Est. 2015
Wrangletown Original
Monument Apples Orchard
Oak Barrel-Aged

Table 56
Tin City Cider Co. – Paso Robles, CA  Est. 2015
Original Dry-Hopped Cider

Table 57
WildCide Hard Cider – San Jose, CA  Est. 2015
WildCide Hard Cider
WildMule Ginger & Lime

Table 58
William Tell Cider – Lodi, CA  Est. 2014
Blueberry Zinfandel (Sweet/Tart) Cider
Bone Dry
Pinot Grigio Apple

Cider Summit SF Returns to the Presidio for 4th Annual Bay Area Event

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Photo from last year’s Cider Summit SF in the Presidio

The region’s largest cider festival – Cider Summit SF – is returning to the Civil War Parade Ground in the Presidio on Saturday, April 22 from 1pm-5pm for its fourth annual Bay Area event.

The festival will feature nearly 200 ciders – plus cider cocktails and apple spirits – from local, regional and international cider companies, and opportunities to meet with many of the cidermakers.

Representing the South Bay will once again be Sunnyvale’s Red Branch Cider Company, whose sister company Rabbit’s Foot Meadery, incidentally, made for another impressive showing at the recent Mazer Cup International 2017, winning gold for their Hel (Aged Barrel Saison) and bronze for Biere de Miel (Honey Kolsch) – congrats to owner and brewmaster Mike Faul and his team!

New this year at Cider Summit SF is a collaboration cider between Cider Summit festivals and Washington’s Finnriver Farm & Cidery, resulting in a limited edition Saison/Farmhouse style cider. It’s made from a select blend of Washington-certified organic apples fermented with a Saison ale yeast at high temperatures to bring out the tropical and spice notes of the yeast.

Food will be available for purchase from Slow Hand BBQ and Whole Foods Market Truck. Whole Foods will also host a cider and food-pairing pavilion featuring Sebastopol’s Golden State Cider and local food purveyors.

Tickets are $35 for general admission and $45 for VIP tickets if purchased in advance before April 1. Beginning April 1, tickets go up by $5 ($40 and $50, respectively).

General admissions tickets get you a souvenir tasting glass and 8 tasting tickets. VIP tickets get you early access to the event from 12pm-1pm, a souvenir tasting glass and 10 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets will be available onsite for $2 each.

Designated driver tickets will be available for $5, and accompanied minors will be admitted at no charge. A percentage of tickets sales from the event will support charities including The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, Berkeley Humane and the California Association of Cidermakers.

For additional information and to purchase tickets, visit the Cider Summit SF website.

Check out some of my pictures from two of the previous Cider Summit SF festivals to get a sense of why the event is one of our favorites.

Scenes from the 3rd Annual Cider Summit SF 2016

It was another excellent Cider Summit SF.

Cider Summit 2016 01

Cider Summit 2016 02

Cider Summit co-founder Alan Shapiro and PR extraordinaire Yasemin Sussman.

Cider Summit 2016 03

Cider Summit 2016 04

Common Cider Company Blackberry Sangria.

Cider Summit 2016 05

Finnriver Black Currant.

Cider Summit 2016 06

Finnriver Oak & Apple.

Cider Summit 2016 07

The San Francisco Meadery Blackberry.

Cider Summit 2016 08

The San Francisco Meadery Apple Pie.

Cider Summit 2016 09

See Canyon Hard Cider Premium Dry.

Cider Summit 2016 10

South City Ciderworks Dry Me a River.

Cider Summit 2016 11

South City Ciderworks All the Good Hopped Names Were Taken.

Cider Summit 2016 12

Nana Mae’s Hard Cider.

Cider Summit 2016 13

Tag + Jug Strawberry Hill Gang.

Cider Summit 2016 14

Tag + Tug Brut Cider.

Cider Summit 2016 15

Redstone Meadery Passion Fruit Nectar.

Cider Summit 2016 16

Red Branch Cider Company’s Jon Siddoway and Siobhan Faul pouring their Hard Peach, Johnny Jump-Up and Hard Blackberry.

Cider Summit 2016 17

Cider Summit 2016 18

Cider Summit 2016 19

Cider Summit 2016 20

Cider Summit 2016 21

Cider Summit 2016 22

Cider Summit 2016 23

Embark Craft Ciderworks American Hopped.

Cider Summit 2016 24

Embark Craft Ciderworks American Heirloom.

Cider Summit 2016 25

Cider Summit 2016 26

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Cider Summit 2016 30

Cider Summit 2016 31

Tilted Shed Ciderworks.

Cider Summit 2016 32

Tiled Shed Ciderworks Txotx.

Cider Summit 2016 33

Millestone Cellars Gingeroot.

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Wifey and Dan Gordon of Wildcide Hard Cider and Gordon Biersch.

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We also made sure to roam around the Presidio and soak in the beautiful sights and refreshing air.

Definitely an event highlight of the year.

Cheers! Prost! Gunbae!


P.S.: Click here for my pictures from last year’s event.

3rd Annual Cider Summit SF Announces Final Programming and Lineup of Cider Producers

Enjoying ciders at last year's Cider Summit SF
Enjoying ciders at last year’s Cider Summit SF

Cider Summit SF is just around the corner, coming to the Presidio’s Civil War Parade Ground on April 23 for the Bay Area’s third annual event. It’s this region’s largest hard cider tasting festival taking place from 1pm to 5pm, with a new VIP tasting available from noon to 1pm. The festival features over 150 different ciders from around the world, including local and regional favorites, innovative cider cocktails and bites from various local vendors. Below are details from a recent email on final programming and the final lineup of cider producers.

Participating cideries include:

Featured local California cideries: Ace Cider, Bite Hard Cider, Brooks Dry Cider, Cider Brothers, Crooked City Cider, Crispin Cider Co., Common Cider, Golden State Cider, Gowan Orchards, Hemly Cider, Horse & Plow, Humboldt Cider, Indigeny Reserve, Mission Trail Cider Co., 101 Cider House, Troy Cider, Tilted Shed Ciderworks, Pitsnogled Cider, Red Branch Cider, Redwood Coast Cider, Reef Points, San Francisco Mead, See Canyon Hard Cider, South City Ciderworks, Specific Gravity Cider, Surf City Cider, Tag + Jug Cider, Tin City Cider Co., Sonoma Cider, Two Rivers Cider Company, WildCide Hard Cider, Wrangletown Cider Co.

Featured Northwest cideries: Apple Outlaw, E.Z. Orchards, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Atlas Cider Co., Dragon’s Head Cider, Finnriver Farm & Cidery, Seattle Cider Co., Schilling Hard Cider, Tieton Cider Works, Wandering Aengus/Anthem.

Featured Midwest & East Coast cideries: B. Nektar, Eden Specialty Ciders, Embark Craft Ciderworks, Millstone Cellars, Redstone Meadery.

Featured International cideries: Aspall Cyder House, Cidres de France/Winesellers, Ltd., Ciders of Spain, Maeloc Cider, Sea Cider Farm & Cider House, Worley’s Cider, Williams Orchards.

Final Programming and Event Highlights:

  • Choose from over 150 ciders from around the world to sip on and meet and mingle with the cidermakers.
  • Enjoy specially paired food selections from the Whole Foods Market Truck, Slow Hand BBQ and others.
  • Taste a variety of cider cocktails from J. Seeds Cider Whiskey.
  • Sip on specially produced batches of cider as part of the first-annual Fruit Cider Challenge sponsored by Oregon Fruit Products. Guests will vote for their favorite and the winner will be announced at the conclusion of the event.
  • Hang out in the “Dog Lounge” hosted by Berkeley Humane & Wag Hotels.
  • Shop in the event store featuring Cider Summit SF t-shirts and other merchandise.

Tickets are $40 in advance (also available at SF area Whole Foods Markets) and $45 at the door, cash only. New this year, VIP tickets are available for $50. VIP ticketholders will have exclusive early access to the event from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. and two additional tasting tickets. Designated driver tickets will be available for $5, and include Boxed Water. Accompanied minors will be admitted at no charge. Purchase tickets here.

For those seeking to utilize public transportation, the complimentary PresidiGo shuttle runs throughout the day from several locations in San Francisco, including the Embarcadero BART stop. SF MUNI also operates multiple bus routes to The Presidio. There is also ample onsite parking.

Cider Summit is committed to working with the community and various non-profit organizations. A percentage of tickets sales from the event will support the following charities: The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, Berkeley Humane, and the California Cider & Perry Association. Cider Summit SF is presented by Whole Foods Market, along with supporting sponsors including Upcider Gastropub, KRAVE Jerky, Oregon Fruit Products Co., Hood River Juice Co., J. Seeds Cider Whiskey, Wag Hotels, BART, and Morris Distributing.

For the full lineup of cidermakers and ciders available for tastings at the event, visit: cidersummit.com and stay up to date on additional details on Facebook and Twitter #CiderSummitSF.

Cider Summit SF Returns for 3rd Annual Bay Area Event

Great crowd - and weather! - at the 2015 Cider Summit SF
Great crowd – and weather! – at the 2015 Cider Summit SF

Cider Summit SF returns for its third year in the Bay Area on Sat., April 23 from 1pm-5pm at the Civil War Parade Ground in the Presidio in San Francisco.

“This year, we’re expecting over 3,000 people to attend Cider Summit SF and are excited to bring together even more popular and unique artisanal ciders,” commented Alan Shapiro, co-founder of Cider Summit. “Consumer interest in artisanal cider is growing at a phenomenal rate, and we look forward to providing the region’s largest-ever tasting opportunity for both cider lovers and the cider curious.”

The one-day event features over 150 leading ciders, including local and regional favorites, in addition to cider cocktails.

As in past years, Cider Summit SF features dozens of cideries from California and ciders from over five different countries and over five different states. Many of the cidermakers will be on hand to inform and guide guests through the tastings.

Local cidery Red Branch Cider Company (sister brand to Rabbit’s Foot Meadery) from Sunnyvale will be pouring their Hard Black Cherry Cider and Johnny Jump Up, a dry hopped cider that won a silver medal this past weekend at the Mazer Cup, the world’s largest mead competition held annually in Colorado.

Specially paired food selections at the festival will be available for purchase from vendors including Slow Hand BBQ, Whole Foods Market Truck and other assorted small bites. The event will also feature a “Dog Lounge” hosted by Berkeley Humane & Wag Hotels.

For the first time in the Bay Area, the festival will include cider cocktails prepared by Upcider, other selected cideries and a guest appearance from a prominent distiller. Another new feature will be the Fruit Cider Challenge sponsored by Oregon Fruit Products. Several participating cideries will produce pilot batches specifically for the event, and the winner will be chosen by popular vote and announced at the end of the festival.

Early bird tickets are on sale online through the end of March for $35 and will increase to $40 beginning April 1. Tickets will be $45 at the door and cash only. Tickets include a souvenir tasting glass and eight tasting tickets. Additional tickets are $2 per ticket.

New this year, VIP tickets are available for $50 and includes early access to the event from 12pm-1pm and two additional tasting tickets. Designated driver tickets will be available for $5 and includes Boxed Water. Accompanied minors will be admitted at no charge.

Visit the event website to purchase tickets and for additional information.

About Cider Summit SF

Brought to you by SBS Imports and the Seattle Beer Collective, Cider Summit SF celebrates local, regional and international artisanal ciders and cider makers. Cider Summit SF is presented by Whole Foods Market, along with supporting sponsors including, Upcider Gastropub, KRAVE Jerky, Oregon Fruit Products Co., Wag Hotels, KIND Snacks, BART and Morris Distributing.

Cider Summit is committed to working with the community and various non-profit organizations. A percentage of tickets sales from the event will support the following charities: The Institute for Myeloma & Bone Cancer Research, Berkeley Humane, and the California Cider & Perry Association.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

SF Beer Week 2016, Jan. 22-31, to Feature Hundreds of South Bay Beer Events

Photo from SF Beer Week Opening Gala, Feb. 2015
Photo from SF Beer Week Opening Gala, Feb. 2015

The main benefit – as I see it – of Santa Clara hosting the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 is that local beer fans will have the opportunity to experience SF Beer Week earlier than usual, Jan. 22-31.

Eager folks can start planning their calendar now as the San Francisco Brewers Guild recently launched the first round of beer-related events on sfbeerweek.org. Website visitors can create an account, browse the Schedule for the list of events and create an itinerary. Note that hundreds of events will be added between now and the start of beer week.

South Bay Region

A quick check of the Schedule’s South Bay region already shows a number of local events scheduled to take place, including events featuring Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Hermitage Brewing, Harry’s Hofbrau (both the San Jose and Redwood City locations), Original Gravity Public House, Wine Affairs, The Beerwalk, Stuft Pizza Milpitas, Fibbar MaGees, Devil’s Canyon Brewing, Ale Arsenal and Armadillo Willy’s.

A few early event highlights include annual mainstays, like The Beerwalk in San Jose’s Japantown (Sat., Jan. 23, 2pm-6pm), Wine Affairs’ Double Blind Double IPA (Sat., Jan. 23, 5pm-9:30pm), DIPA Festival at The Standby (Tues., Jan. 26, 5pm-11pm), Firestone Walker Roots of Anniversary Ale with the Brewmaster at Harry’s Hofbrau (Thurs., Jan. 28, 3pm-11:30pm), Sour Fest at Original Gravity (Sat., Jan. 30, 12pm-11:30pm) and the South Bay’s annual crown jewel Meet the Brewers Beer Festival at Hermitage (Sat., Jan. 30, 1pm-5pm).

Santa Clara Valley Brewing (SCVB), in particular, has embraced this year’s beer week with a whole host of unique events, including, among others, SCVB Collaboration Release at Original Gravity (Sat., Jan. 23, 12pm-11:30pm), SCVB Beer Tasting and Homebrew Info. Session with Peter at Wine Affairs (Mon., Jan. 25, 5pm-9pm) and SCVB Beer Dinner (Wed., Jan. 27, 7pm-9pm).

SF Beer Week Opening Gala

The Opening Gala officially kicks off SF Beer Week each year and is a highlight for many. The Gala is a beer festival that features the latest releases, rare selections and classics from Northern California’s brewing community. This year’s Opening Gala takes place at Pier 35 (1454 Embarcadero, SF) on Jan. 22, 6pm-10pm. The lineup of the more than 100 breweries confirmed to participate was announced earlier this week.

San Francisco:
21st Amendment Brewery, Almanac Beer, Anchor Brewing, Barrel Head Brewhouse, Bartlett Hall, Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant, Black Hammer Brewing, Black Sands Brewery, Cellarmaker Brewing, Fort Point Beer, Harmonic Brewing, Holy Craft Brewery, Laughing Monk, Local Brewing, Magnolia Brewing, Old Bus Tavern, Pine Street Brewery, Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing, San Francisco Brewing, Social Kitchen & Brewery, Southern Pacific Brewing, Southpaw BBQ, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Sunset Reservoir Brewing, ThirstyBear Organic Brewery, Triple Voodoo Brewing & Tap Room and Woods Beer.

East Bay:
Alameda Island Brewing, Ale Industries, Altamont Beer Works, Auburn Alehouse, Benoit-Casper Brewing, Berryessa Brewing, Bison Brewing, Buffalo Bills Brewery, Calicraft Brewing, Cleophus Quealy Beer, DasBrew, Inc., Diving Dog Brewhouse, Drake’s Brewing, Dust Bowl Brewing, Eight Bridges Brewing, Elevation 66 Brewing, Epidemic Ales, Federation Brewing, Ghost Town Brewing, Heretic Brewing, High Water Brewing, Hoppy Brewing, Knee Deep Brewing, Hew Helvetia Brewing, Ol’ Republic Brewing, Pacific Coast Brewing, Rubicon Brewing, Ruhstaller Brewery & Taproom, Schubros Brewery, Tahoe Mountain Brewing, The Rare Barrel, Track 7 Brewing, Triple Rock Brewing, Trumer Brauerei and Working Man Brewing.

North Bay:
101 North Brewing, Anderson Valley Brewing, Baeltane Brewing, Bear Republic Brewing, Cooperage Brewing, Eel River Brewing, Fogbelt Brewing, HenHouse Brewing, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, Lost Coast Brewery, Mad River Brewing, Marin Brewing, Mendocino Brewing, Moonlight Brewing, Moylan’s Brewing, Napa Smith Brewery, North Coast Brewing, Petaluma Hills Brewing, Russian River Brewing, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Sonoma Springs Brewing, St. Florian’s Brewery, Third Street Aleworks and Woodfour Brewing.

South Bay:
Alpha Acid Brewing, Armstrong Brewing, Devil’s Canyon Brewing, Discretion Brewing, El Toro Brewing, Faultline Brewing, Firestone Walker Brewing, Freewheel Brewing, Gordon Biersch Brewing, Half Moon Bay Brewing, Hermitage Brewing, Highway 1 Brewing, Hop Dogma Brewing, Palo Alto Brewing, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Strike Brewing, Tied House Brewery & Cafe and Uncommon Brewers.

Local food vendors include Alicia’s Tamales, Bacon Bacon, The Boneyard, The Chairman, Del Popolo, El Sur, Good Foods Catering, Rosemunde and Whole Foods Market.

Consider purchasing tickets sooner than later, as tickets to the Opening Gala have sold out quickly in recent years. Visit the Opening Gala Eventbrite page for additional information and to purchase tickets ($80).

About SF Beer Week

Every year since the San Francisco Brewers Guild launched one of the country’s first beer weeks (2009), the celebrated Bay Area institution has upped the ante in curating standout Northern California craft beer events featuring the 25 Guild breweries and additional Northern California-based breweries. SF Beer Week has evolved into a top international destination with hundreds of events hosted by renowned breweries, acclaimed restaurants, bars, and retailers spanning the greater San Francisco Bay Area from Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa.

About San Francisco Brewers Guild

The San Francisco Brewers Guild formed in 2004 as a non-profit 501 (c)(6) during a renaissance in American craft brewing. Our mission is to restore and preserve San Francisco’s brewing heritage and unite those who make local beer with those who love it. The Guild achieves this by educating the public about craft beer, organizing and hosting events such as SF Beer Week, Brews on the Bay and Meet the Brewers, advocating for the craft beer industry in city government, donating services and product to local charities, and partnering with artisan producers in the food, beverage, hospitality and agricultural industries.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

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.

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When in Rome… Excitedly headed right over to Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing Company for some Pliny the Younger.

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Pliny the Younger.

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Russian River Brewing co-owner and president Natalie Cilurzo holding court.

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A pic of Russian River Brewing co-owner and brewmaster Vinnie Cilurzo.

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Jack Van Stone, Eureka’s Lost Coast Brewery Northern CA sales manager.

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Time for some Drake’s Brewing Company of San Leandro.

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And their Hopocalypse Black Label.

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Who’s this funny guy?

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It’s Palo Alto Brewing Company founder and brewer Kasim Syed (middle) with siblings Sikandar (left) and Alia (right).

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San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company brand manager Peter Estaniel.

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South Bay’s Strike Brewing Company co-founder and brewmaster Drew Ehrlich (right).

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Morgan Hill’s El Toro Brewing Company and founders Geno and Cindy Acevedo.

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Enjoying El Toro Brewing India Pale Ale.

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Snapped a pic of Pittsburg’s Heretic Brewing Company crew with founder and brewmaster Jamil Zainasheff (second from left).

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Lincoln’s Knee Deep Brewing Company.

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Knee Deep Brewing Hoptologist on cask.

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Trumer Pils.

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Rob Monroe, bar manager and events coordinator for downtown San Jose’s Original Gravity Public House.

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Rosamunde Sausage Grill.

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Berkeley’s Bison Brewing owner and brewer Dan Del Grande.

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Rudy Kuhn, Lagunitas market manager for the Santa Clara County, Central Coast, and Central Valley areas.

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Jake McCluskey, manager of Kelly’s Liquors in San Jose.

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Antoine Riffis – Firestone Walker Silicon Valley and East Bay regional sales manager, Rudy, and Rob.

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High Water Brewing president and brewmaster Steve Altimari.

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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.

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This event marked the public debut of the beers of Mavericks Beer, created in partnership with Half Moon Bay Brewing.

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Pete Slosberg of Mavericks Beer (and of Pete’s Wicked Ales fame) drew a crowd most of the entire time we were there.

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Pete is a craft beer pioneer and Bay Area guy.

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What a “worthy” highlight from that evening!

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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.

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Always Grateful,