Tag Archives: San Jose Co-op Brewpub

San Jose Events during SF Beer Week 2014

Photo from the previous Beerwalk in Willow Glen (2013). The upcoming Beerwalk in Japantown kickstarts the many SF Beer Week events taking place in San Jose.
Photo from the previous Beerwalk in Willow Glen (2013). The upcoming Beerwalk in Japantown kickstarts the many SF Beer Week events taking place in San Jose.

SF Beer Week is nearly upon us, and there are many, many events taking place throughout the greater Bay Area. Below are the 30 or so events, including the event descriptions (or parts thereof), that are taking place in San Jose.

SATURDAY, FEB. 8

The Beerwalk in Japantown San Jose, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

  • $30 in advance at www.thebeerwalk.com or $35 at the door.
  • The Beerwalk is hitting the streets of Japantown San Jose again for SF Beer Week!
  • Tucked away minutes from Downtown San Jose, sits the charming Japantown business district.
  • Stroll the streets and discover all the unique boutique shops, art studios, and great restaurants you cannot find anywhere else in San Jose.
  • All while sipping on great beers and enjoying the social enthusiasm of shopkeepers and beer lovers alike…
  • Ticket includes beer samples, custom glass, and passport.
  • Plus first 60 to check in the day of the event receive a complimentary tour at the Gordon Biersch Bottling Plant.

Wine Affairs: Double Blind Double IPA Tasting, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m.

  • Join us for our FOURTH Annual Double Blind Double IPA Tasting! 8 fresh and hoppy Double or Imperial West-Coast-Style IPAs on draft.
  • Why Double Blind? We want to make it less of a guessing game and more about the flavors, aromas, and over-all finished product of each beer. Once the results are revealed you may be shocked at your favorites!
  • Why Double IPA? With so many delicious styles of IPA we decided to even the playing field by featuring only Double or Imperial West-Coast-Style IPAs.
  • Tasting available from 4pm-8pm and results will be revealed as soon as scores are calculated after 8:30pm.

Original Gravity Public House: An Evening with The Bruery, 4 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

  • Orange County’s The Bruery is one of our favorite producers of extremely diverse and complex craft beer.
  • Come explore some of the most exquisite brews around as we let The Bruery take over 10 of our taps.
  • From sour to strong, sweet to spiced you will definitely find something to ponder and appreciate this evening.
  • Pouring: Breyian Batch 1000, White Oak (2013), Six Geese-A-Layin, Oude Tart, Oude Tart w/ Cherries, Rueuze, Tout Mais Le Coller, Melange 3, Tart of Darkness (2013), Humulus Lager

SUNDAY, FEB. 9

Original Gravity Public House: Walker Wild Ride, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

  • Known simply as the Lion, David Walker is Co-Founder of the infamous Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles, CA.
  • David brings the British elegance and Old World authenticity to their wonderful California inspired beers.
  • Come join us for a lunch and Q&A session with Mr. Walker and Jeffers, head of their Barrelworks program.
  • We will be tapping Velvet Merkin (2013), Lil’ Opal as well as other stand outs and surprises from their extremely diverse portfolio on draft. We will also be releasing a very limited quantity of XVI Anniversary and 2012 Double Double Barrel Ale in bottles for on site consumption that day as well.
  • Come join us for the only stop in the South Bay for Walker’s Wild Ride!
  • Pouring: Lil Opal, Velvet Merkin (2013), Velvet Merlin, Double Jack, DBA, Pivo

Wine Affairs: Dogfish Head: Fresh Hops & Fresh Beats, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

  • ***Vintage: A Vinyl Swap***
  • Presented by Fat Headphones & On The Corner records. Come dig for records: everything from Funk, Soul, Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop, Latin, and Afro-Funk!
  • Featuring Dogfish Head musically inspired brews! Tapping kegs of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew Imperial Stout and Robert Johnson’s Hellhound and much more!
  • DJ Jeff Jagged and DJ Fat Headphones will be spinning worldwide rare grooves and all that is strange, funky, and soulful.

[Update 2/7/14: Unfortunately, it was announced earlier today that the following San Jose Co-op Brewpub event has been canceled.]

Hermitage Brewing Company (location) and San Jose Co-op Brewpub (host): Brewing Startups in Silicon Valey: Incubation, Entrepreneurship and the Cooperative Movement, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Are you… a homebrewer interested in starting your own brewery, … a beer geek that has thought about opening their own taproom, … interested in participating in a democratically run business? Come hear about the newest generation of local brewers to join the local craft beer scene.
  • The San Jose Cooperative Brewery & Pub, Inc., as a guest of and partnering with Hermitage Brewing Company, invites you to beer tasting and panel discussion of brewery entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley.
  • Panelists include representatives from Hermitage Brewing Company, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Clandestine Brewing, Lincoln Court Brewing, and the San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub. The event will end with a brief discussion of San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub’s efforts to open California’s first cooperatively owned brewery (membership shares available on site).
  • Your $25 ”tuition” includes drink tickets good for two beers or a paddle of four six oz. tastings, a brewery tour, live music, one complimentary taco, and food available for purchase from the No Way Jose food truck.
  • Attendees who become a member who join the co-op on site will be entered into a raffle for a selection of awesome beer swag!

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose: Getting Vertical with Deschutes, 2 p.m. – 11 p.m.

  • Tapping some special kegs for this event with Deschutes.
  • Starting with a vertical of Abyss 2013, Abyss 2012, Black Butte XXV, Black Butte XXIV, class of ’88 Goose Island collab, and much more!

MONDAY, FEB. 10

Wine Affairs: Chimay Red White & Blue, 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.

  • Showcase Chimay’s Red, White, and Blue with Trappist Cheese brewed/made by Trappist Monks in Belgium.
  • Back in 1862, those monks developed the production of Belgian beers and Trappist cheese in order to provide for their needs and those of their foundations, as well as to support employment in their region. Today monastic tradition of natural brewing still is part of those monks’ life and Chimay beers are sold only for financial support of the monastery, community needs and good causes.
  • Showcase three Chimay Trappist Cheeses each washed with different Chimay beers (the RED, WHITE, and BLUE).
  • Join us to have a taste of those fantastic Chimay Ales and Cheese! $18pp

Good Karma Vegan Café: Sante Adairius and Prairie Artisan Bet the Farm!, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • We’re honored the folks from Prairie will be around this year to team up with what we believe to be the BEST brewery in the Bay Area, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales!
  • Rumors of West Ashley, Cask 200, BA Cellarman, BOMB!
  • Variations and more are likely to bless the palates of beer lovers who make the journey to downtown San Jose for an unforgettable evening of incredibly authentic farmhouse ales- a light tapas menu will support the tap list, incorporating the artistry of many of the brews.

Original Gravity Public House: Port/The Lost Abbey Night with Tomme Arthur and David Johnson

  • Come meet Tomme Arthur the award winning Co-Founder & Director of Brewery Operations and David Johnson Director of Distribution for The Lost Abbey!
  • We will be pouring some exceptional beers for this event including the infamous Cuvee de Tomme! Here is the lineup, we are excited to see you there!
  • Pouring from Lost Abbey: Deliverance, Cuvee de Tomme, Red Barn, Devotion, Judgment Day, Serpents Stout
  • Pouring from Port Brewing: Mongo, Wipe Out, Board Meeting, Midnight Expression

The Table: Brewmaster Dinner: Los Gatos Meets Santa Clara, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

  • $65 (excluding tax & gratuity)
  • Join The Table at 6:30pm on Monday, February 10th when the Los Gatos Brewing Company’s Kent Wheat and Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Steve Donohue host an exclusive dinner for 50 guests featuring 4 courses of unique micro brews paired with a seasonal, farm-to-table menu as local as these two breweries. Reservations are required: www.thetablesj.com/the-menu/. Limited Seating.
  • First course: Los Gatos Brewing Company ‘coquettish blond’ kolsch, potato terrine, pickled spring onions
  • Second course: Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company ‘electric tower’ ipa, mustard green dumplings, mandarin butter
  • Third course: Los Gatos Brewing Company seasonal firkin, braised veal belly, stinging nettle velouté
  • Fourth course: Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company ‘peralta’ porter, chocolate pot du crème, coffee bean saltine

TUESDAY, FEB. 11

Wine Affairs: 21st Amendment Presidential Debate, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • What’s more American than Chicken & Waffles and a good ol’ fashioned Presidential Debate?!
  • In honor of President Washington born 2/22/1732 and President Lincoln born 2/12/1809 we are featuring 21st Amendment’s Sneak Attack Saison and Brew Free or Die! IPA.
  • And for those who can’t stand politics, we’ll have Bitter American Pale Ale. Come vote for your fave prez by drinking beer!
  • PLUS the Waffle Roost food truck will be parked outside from 5pm-9pm.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant: Gordon Biersch Pale Ale Tapping Party, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

  • Come celebrate the tapping of the Brewers Select Pale Ale.
  • First ever pale ale done at GBSJ there will be live music, donations for local charity, raffle prizes, and meet the brewers.

Good Karma Vegan Café: Get High-Westified & SF Fusion 20 Release Party!, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • The Bay Area’s biggest Lagunitas Tap Takeover for SF Beer Week!
  • Showcasing the release of SF Fusion 20 (we can’t wait to try it, we helped make it!) as well as High-West Bourbon Barrel Aged Cap-Stout, 2013 So-Co Sour Stout, 2012 Brown Shugga, 2013 Hairy Eyeball, Fresh Fresh Fresh Maximus, Sucks, and IPA!!!
  • Steal the glass and make merry!!!

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 12

Original Gravity Public House: Ballast Point 25 Tap Takeover, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • Ballast Point is doing the honors of taking over all 25 of our taps for SF Beer Week 2014! This is the first time we have let anyone have all of us and we couldn’t be happier to host them.
  • Variations on Sculpin and the infamous Barrel Aged Victory at Sea are here as well as staples and other rarities from their amazing liquid catalog!
  • Raffles for glassware and brewery swag, food specials and a meet and greet with the ever so charming guys from the brewery Sam Loeffler and Matt Wilson!
  • Pouring: Sculpin, Habanero Sculpin, Sculpin w/ Grapefruit, Sculpin (Nitro)
  • Pouring: Victory at Sea, Victory at Sea (Barrel Aged)
  • Pouring: Sextant (Nitro)
  • Pouring: Big Eye, Big Eye w/ Ginger
  • Pouring: Calico, Calico w/ Guajillo
  • Pouring: 3 Sheets (2012), Sea Monster (2012)
  • Pouring: Wahoo, Black Marlin, Fathom, Longfin Lager, Pescadero Pils, Reef Rye, Tongue Buckler, Pale Ale, Dorado, Piper Down, Black Steamboat, Even Keel

Wine Affairs: Vintage! Vintage! Vintage!, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • Can beer age just like the wines? Find out yourself with Fuller Vintage Ale from 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.
  • 2010, 2011, 2012 Tasting notes from Fuller:
  • 2010 – An initial fruit aroma with notes of Pears and Orange giving through to some more floral notes is followed by a clean, full, almost liquored initial palate. The finish is dark orange, satisfying and alcohol warming.
  • 2011- Early tasting of the beer as recently bottled has been most encouraging; an opening fruit aroma of Maraschino cherries is underlaid with some Mandarin Orange notes. These are carried through to the initial palate before being enhanced with a fruit malt and alcohol warming after palate. Already this beer could be drunk but we expect it will continue to develop into another Classic Fuller’s Vintage.
  • 2012-The early initial tasting notes for this rich brew are already revealing what we hope will be another truly Vintage beer. An initial aroma of ripe autumnal fruits with slight notes of Rosehips leads on to a smooth almost lush middle palate with just a hint of spice. There is a pleasant hop bitterness which is then finished with a satisfying alcohol warming on the after palate.

Good Karma Vegan Café: Almanac Farm to Barrel – South Bay Home Turf Tap Takeover!, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • We are proud to showcase San Jose’s best brewery and barrel program, from sweet to sour!
  • Almanac will be sharing their extensive Farm to Barrel projects from early numbered sours, to fresh releases through 10 taps!
  • Fruited sours, spiced barley wines, and aged stout come together under one roof to blow minds!

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose: Knee Deep Showcase, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m.

  • Meet Jeremy and the crew from multi GABF award winning Knee Deep Brewery in Auburn CA.
  • We will be showcasing the entire lineup of great hoppy beers, some darks, and maybe some new favorites.

Kukar’s House of Pizza: Santa Clara Valley Brewing Tap Takeover and Secret Barrel, 6 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

  • Join us for a night of beer and pizza with home-grown head brewer Steve Donohue from Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
  • Only blocks from the Peralta Adobe and the original site of San Jose’s famous electric tower…
  • We’ll have Electric Tower IPA, Peralta Porter, Little Orchard Saison, and New Almaden Imperial Red, with a [special] appearance by Steve’s new Oyster Stout and a super-secret one-off 8-gallon Woodinville Rye Whiskey Barrel-Aged Peralta Porter spiked with who-knows-what.

Grapevine: Beer, Wine, Cheese, Fruit and Chocolate Pairing, 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

  • Join us for a golorious evening of beer, wine, cheese, fruit and chocolate from Mariette – Premium Chocolates.

THURSDAY, FEB. 13

SmokeEaters: Double IPA Tap Takeover, 12 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

  • Smoke Eaters will be featuring some of the best Nor Cal and So Cal Double IPAs. Tapping with “Keep the Glass,” Hopocalypse, Pliny the Elder, Palate Wrecker, Denogginizer, Ruination, Double Jack.

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose: Roots of XVII Anniversary with Matt Brynildson, 5 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

  • Beer nerds rejoice!!! Firestone Walker is bringing back its wildly successful “roots of” Festival at Harry’s Hofbrau.
  • We will be deconstructing Firestone Walker’s Anniversary beer, with all the components on draft. That’s right Stickee Monkey, Parabola, Helldorado, and several other rare beers will be on draft.
  • This year in addition to the mind numbing line up of beers from Firestone Walker, the Wizard himself Brew Master Matt Brynildson (AKA Merlin) will be in attendance.
  • Matt will be holding a seminar during the event where he will be going over Firestone Walker’s coveted Barrel Aging Program, the blending of XVII, which will then be followed by a Q&A session.
  • Only the first 150 people will be admitted to this seminar.
  • So be sure to join us for an epic night of beers, live music, information, and fun!!!!
  • Beers will start pouring at 6pm and the seminar will start at 7pm.

Jack’s Bar: Specialty Beer Cocktails, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.

  • Join us for a night of merriment! 3 signature beer cocktails crafted by Jack’s amazingly talented bar tenders.

Wine Affairs: Allagash and Tapa Pairing, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

  • The day before Valentine! Beat the crowds and treat that special someone or stir up a new romance. Featuring a four course Prix Fixe Tapas and specialty Allagash pairing.
  • Now taking Reservations: 408-977-0111
  • $55/person includes four courses each with Allagash pairing

FRIDAY, FEB. 14

Original Gravity Public House: Pucker Up! Valentine’s Day Sour Fest 3.0, 4 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

  • Back by popular demand it is our biannual Sour Fest at Original Gravity! Grab your sweetheart and come indulge yourself in 15 diverse and rare offerings from around the world.
  • Whether it’s the fruity funk of brett to the dry and citrusy lacto we will have whatever your sour little heart desires.
  • If you are in the mood for sweet as well, be sure to head across the street that day to our good friends at Good Karma for their Sweet Beer Fest and the ultimate sweet and sour experience!
  • Pouring: Allagash – Midnight Brett, Anderson Valley – Featherleggy Bulrusher, BFM – SQRT 225th Anniversary Sour Historical Saison, The Bruery – Sour in the Rye (2013), Heretic – Miscreant, Freigeist – Rhubarb Gose, Mikkeller – SpontanSeabuckthorn, Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck N.V. – St. Louis Gueze Fond Tradition, Struise – Weltfreude (2011), Trois Dames – Oud Bruin
  • Specialty Timed Tappings: Almanac – Valley of the Hearts Delight (5pm), The Rare Barrel – Shadows of Their Eyes (5:45pm), Specialty TBA – (6:30pm), Russian River – Temptation (2013) (7:15pm), Extremely Rare/Specialty TBA (8pm)

Good Karma Vegan Café: St. Valentine’s Barrel Aged Sweeties!, 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

  • On Valentine’s Day, we pull out ALL the stops! Big, sweet, burly barrel aged beers are on parade!
  • Across the street, OG will rock the sours, and we rock the sweet- it’s the best way to experience both profiles!
  • We’ll have a host of yummy desserts to pair with such sugary concoctions, and we guarantee, you WON’T be disappointed!
  • Pours of Grey Monday, Black Tuesday, Mocha Wednesday, ECLIPSE Variants, as well as a host of Aged Firestone Barrel Projects, Deschutes, Lost Abbey and MORE!

SATURDAY, FEB. 15

Hermitage Brewing Company: Meet the Brewers, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Our 5th Annual Meet the Brewers beer festival is upon us. Join us for the best local breweries from Silicon Valley to the Monterey Bay, as well as San Jose’s best food trucks.
  • $35 in advance, $40 at the door. Tickets at www.meetthebrewers2014.eventbrite.com
  • Tickets get you unlimited beer tasting.
  • All ages welcome.
  • Dogs allowed on lease, outside of brewery only.
  • Designated Driver (NO tasting): $5
  • **Proceeds benefit Can Do MS, a non-profit dedicated to empowering those living with Multiple Sclerosis.**
  • Breweries Attending (Updated November 21, 2013): Discretion Brewing, Uncommon Brewers, Strike, Campbell Brewing, Faultline, Rabbits Foot Meadery / Red Branch Cider, Los Gatos Brewing Company, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, The Rare Barrel, Peter B’s, Seabright Brewing, El Toro, Hermitage Brewing, Tied House

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose: 2nd Annual Stone Tap Takeover, 3 p.m. – 11 p.m.

  • Last year we had a KILLER taplist for this event and this year it is looking even better!
  • Come enjoy some never before released Stone brews and meet the Stone crew.
  • It’s an all day event so grab a spot and hangout a while!

SUNDAY, FEB. 16

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose: Annual IPA Day with Younger and Black Label, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

  • By now you know the event, 28 IPA, DIPA, and 3XIPAs on draft all day long! It’s a hop head’s paradise.
  • Pliny the Younger tapping, Black Label Hopocalypse, Boneyard, local IPAs, we promise a full out palate attack of hops. Check our facebook for Younger and Black Label tapping details.

Given the plethora of interesting, one-of-a-kind options taking place not only in San Jose but throughout the South Bay and the nearby regions, who else wishes for the ability to be at two (or more) places at the same time?

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

South Bay Beer Events for Sat., July 27, 2013

Harry's Hofbrau San Jose
Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose

Today, Sat., July 27 – one day before the start of the inaugural Silicon Valley Beer Week – the following South Bay beer establishments are hosting the following events:

Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose (390 Saratoga Ave.) hosts San Jose’s first ever tappings of Green Flash Brewing Co.’s Serrano Chili Stout and Silva Stout starting at 5 p.m. According to a recent email, the keg of Silva Stout is the only keg of this beer to grace Northern California. There will also be other rare IPAs and stout flights.

Speaking of Harry’s Hofbrau, there will be a board meeting of the San Jose Co-op Brewpub taking place there from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. After checking out the Board meeting, new members can sign up and join the Co-op.

The second annual Los Gatos Brewing Company Firkin Fest takes place from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m at the San Jose location (163 W. Santa Clara St.). A previous article provided the details of this event.

Steins Beer Garden in downtown Mountain View (895 Villa St.) is hosting a tap takeover event featuring Widmer Brothers Brewing. More from their Facebook event page:

Complete tap takeover (31 taps inside, 4 taps outside). Also be doing 3 different types of flights (hefe, IPA, Barrel-aged). Special Widmer glassware available for $2 with your beer.

1. Hefeweizen
2. Alchemy Ale
3. O’ryely IPA
4. Hopside Down IPL
5. Red Ale
6. Citra Summer Blonde
7. Nelson Imperial IPA
8. Pitch Black IPA
9. Milk Stout
10. KGB Russian Imperial Stout
11. Marionberry Hibiscus Gose
12. Old Embalmer Barleywine ’12
13. Kill Devil Brown Ale
14. Brrrbon ’10
15. Brrrbon ’12
16. ALT
17. Brotha From Anotha Motha
18. X-114 IPA
19. Aussie IPA
20. Cherry Orange Hefe
21. Black Forest Hefe
22. Pomegranate Hefe
23. Millenium Falconer’s IPA
24. Bitter Abbott IPA
25. Irish Stout (Nitro)
26. Columbia Common Ale
27. SXNW
28. Cigar City Collaboration – Gentlemen’s Club Bourbon
29. Cigar City Collaboration – Gentlemen’s Club Rye Whiskey
30. Cigar City Collaboration – Gentlemen’s Club New Oak
31. Bier de Table
32. Sasquatch
33. Eins Eins Vier
34. English IPA
35. Portander Weisse

For those not attending the aforementioned events, there are numerous other ways to enjoy a good beer or more today – or any other day for that matter – in the South Bay.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Silicon Valley Beer Events for June 2013 and Beyond

Enjoying good beer in Silicon Valley
Enjoying good beer in Silicon Valley

The following is a quick listing of upcoming South Bay beer events, including brewery nights and other special happenings taking place throughout the valley at places like Wine Affairs, Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose, Jack’s Bar & Lounge, Original Gravity Public House, Tied House Microbrewery, O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub, and Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant.

There is also the Third Annual Better Brew Tasting Garden (last year’s event was a resounding success) taking place at this Friday’s SubZERO Festival, this month’s membership drive for the San Jose Co-op Brewpub this Saturday, and the schedule for this year’s remaining three Beerwalks.

Most if not all of these dates and events have been culled from the respective Facebook event pages.

Thur., June 6, 6pm: Fifty-Fifty Brewing Co. Night at Harry’s Hofbrau San Jose

Thur., June 6, 6pm-close: Anchor Steam Fort Ross Farmhouse Ale & OBA Night at Jack’s Bar & Lounge

Thur., June 6, 5-8pm: Heretic Brewing Tap Room Opening Celebration at Original Gravity Public House

Fri., June 7, 5pm: Firkin Friday featuring Super Hoptopia with Centennial and Cascade hops at Tied House Microbrewery

Fri., June 7, 6pm: Better Brew Beer Garden at SubZERO Festival, SoFA District

Sat., June 8, 2-4pm: Drake’s Beer Club Event at O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

Sat., June 8, 2-5pm: San Jose Co-op Brewpub Membership Drive at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant

Mon., June 10, 6pm-8pm: Ommegang and A’Chouffe Beer Tasting at Wine Affairs (kegs to be tapped at 5pm and flights available all day)

Thur., June 13, 6pm-close: Hermitage Brewing Company Hoptopia and Citra Night at Jack’s Bar & Lounge

Thur., June 13, 5-11pm: Port/Lost Abbey Tap Takeover at Original Gravity Public House

Thur., June 20, 6pm-close: Goose Island Honkers and IPA at Jack’s Bar & Lounge

Thur., June 20, 5-11pm: Allagash Tap Takeover at Original Gravity Public House

Thur., June 27, 6pm-close: Firestone Walker Union Jack and Wookie Jack at Jack’s Bar & Lounge

Thur., June 27, 5-11pm: Uinta Tap Takeover at Original Gravity Public House

July 28-Aug. 3: Silicon Valley Beer Week

Sat., Aug. 3: Summer KraftBrew Beer Fest

Wed., July 31, 6-9pm: 2nd Annual Campbell Beerwalk

Wed., Aug. 28, 6-9pm: Santana Row Beerwalk

Sat., Oct 26, 2-6pm: Willow Glen Beerwalk, Halloween Edition

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 and stores that sell good beer.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub Organizes Second Public Event at Original Gravity

The line to sign up to become a member during the San Jose Co-op Brewpub's first information session and membership drive
The line to sign up to become a member during the San Jose Co-op Brewpub’s first information session and membership drive

The growing group charging forward to create California’s first cooperative brewpub are hosting their second public event and membership drive on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

According to the Facebook event page, the event will take place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose and will coincide with special releases from Calicraft Brewing Company as well as the opportunity to meet Calicraft’s founder and brewer Blaine Landberg.

There is no doubt that the San Jose Co-op Brewpub would like to replicate as much of the success of their first public informational event and membership drive back in early February, where the turnout and sign ups of those pledging to become members surpassed the expectations of many of the existing members.

Admission for this Saturday’s event is free, and folks attending the event will be able to find out more about the San Jose Co-op Brewpub directly from the current member-owners who will be available throughout the event to present information and answer any questions.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

Roundup of South Bay Beer News and Events for March 2013 and Beyond

Silicon Valley beer fans increasingly thirsty for good beer (photo taken at the recent Meet the Brewers fest at Hermitage Brewing Company)
Silicon Valley beer fans increasingly thirsty for good beer (photo taken at the recent Meet the Brewers fest at Hermitage Brewing Company)

Compelling news and developments concerning the Silicon Valley craft beer landscape are making the rounds at a relatively high rate it seems.

The San Jose Co-op Brewery has been in the media spotlight lately and the Market Beer Company recently opened in San Pedro Square Market. More establishments with a beer focus are hosting noteworthy events along with new beer-centric establishments expected to open soon, or later this year.

Added to all this good news is that more media outlets are covering such news and events, providing updates for the local, beer-thirsty public.

Here’s a quick look at some upcoming news and events in the South Bay beer scene:

St. Patrick’s Day specials – A number of local brewpubs have been advertising their specials celebrating St. Patrick, including Faultline Brewing Company, Tied House, and FireHouse Grill & Brewery. Check out their respective Facebook pages for the details.

Grand opening of Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant – Many interested parties have been eagerly anticipating the announcement of the grand opening date for Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant. Per a recent media release, the date for the official grand opening is set for Thursday, March 28, 2013. Among the 30 beers on tap personally selected by owner Ted Kim will be: Hangar 24 Chocolate Porter, Linden Street Urban People’s Common Lager, Lost Abbey Avant Garde, Kiuichi Hitachino Next White Ale, Krusovice Cerne Dark, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier, New Belgium Rampant, and North Coast Old Rasputin. Expect the beers to complement the offerings from executive chef Colby Reade, who has prepared a 25-item menu focused on modern American comfort food.

Opening of ISO: Beers – Excited readers have been asking about the opening date for ISO: Beers craft beer bar and tasting lounge located in downtown San Jose, especially after initial hopes for a fall opening as mentioned in a previous article. After receiving the last series of approvals from the city, expect an opening date for some time in April and an announcement soon.

Opening of Hermitage Brewing Company tasting room – Some South Bay beer fans may have heard directly from Hermitage Brewing Company about a tasting room that was to be built in time for last month’s SF Beer Week at their San Jose brewing facility on 7th Street past Spartan Stadium. Unexpected circumstances delayed the opening of the tasting room, but according to Hermitage brewmaster Peter Licht, the construction and opening of the South Bay’s first brewery tasting room will certainly happen.

Opening of SpreadFrom the folks behind Jack’s Bar & Lounge in Japantown San Jose and the South Bay-based Beerwalks comes Spread bottle and small deli shop in downtown Campbell to open no later than May. Announced via social media, Charlie Mann shares, “We will have 300 – 400 different beers by the bottle and an amazing wine selection, charcuterie with great cheeses, beers on tap, incredible sandwiches at lunch with some fondues at night mixed with fresh baked bread and a neighborhood feel…”

Gordon Biersch 25th anniversary celebration – A recent Facebook event page announced the Big Bands & BBQ 25th Anniversary Bash to be held Sat., May 18, 2013 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Gordon Biersch brewery in Japantown San Jose (357 E. Taylor St.). Admission is $10 and tickets can be purchased now.

Tied House 25th anniversary celebration – Mountain View’s Tied House is celebrating their quarter-century mark as well. Look for them to share their celebration plans soon.

Opening of Blackbird Tavern – Situated at 200 S. 1st St. next to the Camera 12 Cinema in downtown San Jose, Blackbird Tavern seeks to bring good food, live music, and good drinks, including choice craft beers to downtown San Jose later this spring.

Dates for Silicon Valley Beer Week officially set – In an email last Sunday, Metro newspaper and Naglee Park Garage / KraftBrew Beer Fest jointly announced the official dates for the first annual Silicon Valley Beer Week. The kickoff to SVBW begins with a special beer event on Sunday, July 28, 2013 followed by five days of hosted events throughout the valley, closing with the Kraftbrew Summer Fest on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. There is a gathering of the Silicon Valley beer community, including brewers, restaurants, cafés, and other venue owners scheduled for later this month.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company inaugural beers – For many Bay Area beer enthusiasts, their South Bay highlights for 2013 might very well revolve around Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company and its brewmaster Steve Donohue, a four-time, consecutive medaling winner of the prestigious Great American Beer Festival. With a likeable personality, sharp wit, and his track record of well-crafted brews, Donohue has a strong support base among beer fans. Like him, they eagerly await for all the approvals and formal permission to be granted so that brewing and selling can begin.

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The San Jose Co-operative Brewpub

PLANNING AHEAD - Peter Smith (right) and Nathan Johns discuss brewpub ideas
PLANNING AHEAD – Peter Smith (right) and Nathan Johns discuss brewpub ideas

Since this past fall, a group of volunteers has been meeting regularly at various local beer spots to help create California’s first cooperatively owned brewpub, right here in San Jose. The San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub (Co-op Brewpub) foresees a time when its co-op members will help elected board members make major decisions, such as where to locate the brewpub, what beers to make and what food to serve.

Hence, the main goal for the next couple of years is to grow a membership of 2,000 to 3,000 in order to raise capital. Fortunately, there are a number of working models of co-op breweries and brewpubs around the United States operating or in the planning stages, including the successful Black Star Co-op in Austin, Texas, which has more than 3,000 members.

The current San Jose Co-op Brewpub members have come together as a result of a Meetup.com page started by San Jose resident Peter Smith. While living in Austin, Smith learned about Black Star Co-op and became an invested member for $100. According to Peter, people get involved for several reasons: a love of craft beer (“About half the members so far are self-declared ‘beer geeks,’ so that’s great”); a love of locally grown, owned and managed businesses; and a love of the idea of co-ops and democratic governance of businesses.

Joining Peter in the San Jose Co-op Brewpub is fellow San Jose resident Joe Silva, who, along with his wife, hails from Austin. They are Black Star Co-op members and have also directly experienced the success of a cooperatively run brewpub. Peter, Joe and the dedicated volunteers have been busily coordinating the Co-op Brewpub’s first information session and beer-tasting event at which they will officially kick off a membership drive.

On Sat., Feb. 2, from 2 to 5pm at the Drying Shed Restaurant in San Jose, folks can learn about the benefits of being a member and how to become one. Current members will be at this event, and you can talk with them about the concept of co-ops and what it might be like to own a piece of your neighborhood brewpub. The event costs $20 if tickets are purchased online in advance ($30 at the door). There will be live music and beers from about a half-dozen breweries, including the South Bay’s Strike and Faultline brewing companies. For information, see www.sjcoopbrewpub.com.

Beer Event Sat., Feb. 2; 2-5pm; the Drying Shed Restaurant, 402 Toyon Ave., San Jose

[This post was shared on SanJose.com.]

San Jose and South Bay Beer Events for Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 2013

Enjoying good beer in San Jose
Enjoying good beer in San Jose

It is becoming more common to have great beer events each day of the week throughout San Jose and the greater South Bay. Below is a quick round up of some of the South Bay beer events taking place Thurs., Jan 31 to Sat., Feb. 2.

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013

The weekly Pint Night at Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose, starting at 6 p.m., features beers from Karl Strauss Brewing Company. The following is from yesterday’s Facebook update: “It’s here! It’s here! Karl Strauss Barrel-Aged Wreck Alley. This imperial stout is brewed with cocoa nibs, Ethiopian coffee beans, espresso, and toffee aged in a combination of dry bourbon and brandy barrels! Specifically brewed for SF beer week, exceptions were made to debut it at Harry Hofbrau for this Thursday’s Pint Night. Red Trolley and Tower 10 will also be on draft. Pint glasses and other brewery swag will be available to take home! Cheers!

Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose hosts De Struise Night starting at 5 p.m. Here is the information from their Facebook event page:

Original Gravity Public House is extremely excited to feature this brewery at the pub for an event on January 31st! A relatively new brewery when compared to the many ancient breweries in Belgium, De Struise Brouwers reputation has been growing at an exponential pace over these last few years. Ratebeer has them as the best Belgian brewery second only to the venerable Trappist brewers of Westvleteren.

De Struise has collaborated with some of the best breweries in the world including: Mikkeller, Cigar City, 3 Floyds, 21st Amendment, Allagash, Hair of The Dog and many others. Their own beers are considered some of the best in the world and we are happy to say that we will have 5 different beers on draft from this exceptional brewery!

The lineup will include:

Pannepot – In the early 1900s, the village of De Panne, close to the French border, was famous for two things — the ‘Pannepots,’ or fishing boats, that could be seen along the coast, and the unique dark ale enjoyed by the local fishermen. This Old Fisherman’s Ale is a tribute to these hardy sailors and their rich, flavorful brew. Unfiltered. Unpasteurized. Keg Conditioned. A perfect 100/100 on ratebeer!

Black Albert – This Belgian Royal Stout was brewed as a tribute to one of America’s best beer bars, Ebenezer’s Pub. Black Albert was brewed and crafted with a 100% Belgian ingredients. Pours a blacker than black beer with an inch of dark tan head that lingers as it cascades into itself. Nice aroma of bitter-sweet chocolate, fresh torrified coffee beans, barley, candy sugar, complex fruits, and floral hops. At the front, there is spiced baker’s chocolate, fresh mocha, caramel like barley touches, and underlying hints of dried fruits which marries the back of your palate and features a Top, and well integrated but not overbearing hop flavor. The after-taste is well balanced and shows a panorama of extreme sensations like chocolate and coffee bitters, a plum cake richness that covers the palate, and a crisp impression of hop bitters that brings elegance and freshness into this massive brew. 100 RateBeer Score!

Cuvee Delphine (Black Albert aged in Four Roses Bourbon Barrels!) – Black Albert was used in a new barrel aging project. More than a year ago, Carlo was able to get his hands on a stock of Four Roses Bourbon barrels, and happily filled them up with Batch “0″. This unique creation was originally to be named 4 Black Roses in honor of its heritage, but our friends in Kentucky strongly advised us not to do so! What to do? As the disowned offspring of Black Albert, the name Cuvée Delphine imposed itself. Savoring the Belgian irony, we are most honored to have artwork by Delphine Boël shining on this label. This beer is extremely rare and exceptional. 100 RateBeer score!

Struise Westoek XXX Rogge Tripel – This Tripel gets it’s untraditional amber hue from specialty rye malt. Aroma is moderate malty, caramel, riped fruit, dried fruit. Flavor is moderate to heavy sweet. Hop bitterness is moderate an average to long duration, candy sweet, riped fruit. Body is medium, texture is oily, carbonation is soft.

Struise Westoek XXXX Quadrupel – A medium-sized light beige head sits on top of an unclear, golden-orange body. Aroma is a sugary, syrupy backdrop with notes of pine cones and some canned peaches. Sweet/sticky on the palate, full-bodied and decently carbonated. White sugar, piney hops and some peaches in the flavor. Fruity and bitter finish with some sweetness.

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

Downtown Mountain View’s Tied House hosts their First Firkin Friday event for the month of February, where a special cask of Hermitage Brewing 2 Tun Imperial Stout will be tapped at 5 p.m. Head brewer Greg Filippi shares on Facebook: “Just in time for Valentine’s Day, February’s Firkin is 2 Tuns of chocolate. We took our 2 Tun Imperial Stout, already boasting the rich flavor of dark chocolate, and infused it with over a pound of Ghirardelli sweet ground chocolate and cocoa. The result is a rich, complex, sinfully delicious beer, bursting with roasted chocolate flavor. At about 8% abv, its plenty strong enough to keep you and your sweetie warm on a cool February evening!

Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013

The San Jose Co-op Brewpub hosts their first public event – a beer tasting and information session to kick off a membership drive. The event takes place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Drying Shed Restaurant in San Jose (402 Toyon Ave.). It is recommended to purchase tickets online in advance.

O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub in downtown San Jose hosts their end-of-the-month Beer Club event “Porters vs. Stouts” starting at 4 p.m. Rescheduled from Jan. 26, Jake from Kelly’s Liquors will be on hand to host the event, which costs $20 (free for Platinum Members).

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

San Jose Co-op Brewpub to Host First Public Event on Feb. 2, 2013

Recent San Jose Co-op Brewpub Meeting
Recent San Jose Co-op Brewpub Meeting

Following up a previous article about a co-op brewpub in San Jose in the initial planning stages, the growing group behind this endeavor has been busily coordinating their first public event – an information session and beer tasting to kick off a membership drive.

This event takes place Sat., Feb. 2, 2013, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at The Drying Shed Restaurant (402 Toyon Ave.) in San Jose and is for folks 21 and older. Attendees will learn about the benefits of becoming a co-op brewpub member and how to become one.

Admission is $20 to help cover expenses and features live music and craft beers, including offerings from six or so breweries like the South Bay’s own Strike and Faultline brewing companies.

It is recommended to purchase tickets online in advance.

The following is more information from their Facebook event page:

San Jose Cooperative Brewery & Pub (Coop Brewpub), California’s first cooperative brewery and pub, is currently made up of a small group of individuals who have spent the last five months laying the ground work for the Coop Brewpub and are kicking off the membership drive with a beer tasting. The Coop Brewpub is looking for more members to help build the coop from the ground up. Members will elect Co-op Board Members and help the Board make major decisions such as what beers to brew, what foods to serve, where to locate it, and defining the culture of the coop.

The Coop Brewpub will follow the values and principles of the International Cooperative Alliance and will be owned and democratically controlled by its members—the people who buy their goods or use their services—not by investors. It will operate on the principle of “one member, one vote.” That is, unlike investor owned businesses where voting rights are based on ownership share, each member of a cooperative has the same voting power. In addition, it will return profits to their members proportionate to their use of the cooperative.

The goal is to increase membership to 2–3,000 members in approximately 18 months, to open soon after, and have a lot of fun until then.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]

San Jose Area Beer Events and a Look Ahead for Nov. 12-18, 2012: Beerwalk Willow Glen, Left Bank Beer Dinner and More

Wine Affairs in San Jose
Wine Affairs in San Jose

The following is a collection of craft beer news and events in San Jose and the greater South Bay for the upcoming week and beyond. As event details may change from time to time, please do check with the establishment directly, especially if you are extra excited about a particular event.

Recent beer news

Check out the recent article on a co-op brewpub in San Jose in its initial planning stages with a Q&A with one of the principle organizers.

Beer events this upcoming week

Mon., Nov. 12, 2012: San Jose’s Wine Affairs hosts a Ballast Point keg tapping event. 1435 The Alameda, 408-977-0111. The following is from their recent newsletter: “We will be featuring Ballast Point beers with a special keg tapping of Indra Kunindra (stout brewed with madras curry, cayanne pepper, cumin, toasted coconut, and kaffir lime leaf). Keg tapping at 5 p.m. plus some other delicious treats from Ballast Point will be available all day on draft and in bottle.”

Tues., Nov. 13, 2012, starting at 4:20 p.m.: Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose hosts a Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ tapping event. 66 S. First St. Per their Facebook event page: “October 2012 marks the return of the feared and revered Brown Shugga after a painful year of drought! Come hang with Rudy of Lagunitas and warm your insides with this incredible beer.”

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.: There is a tapping party featuring WinterBock at Gordon Biersch San Jose. 33 East San Fernando St., 408-294-6785. Per their recent newsletter: “WinterBock beer is a dark, full-bodied lager with overtones of caramel and toffee maltiness with a hint of holiday spirit.” There will be live music and complimentary passed appetizers. Folks who bring an unwrapped toy to be donated for Toys for Tots will receive 2 complimentary WinterBock beer tickets.

Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.: A tapping party featuring Winter Tartan Scottish Ale takes place at Rock Bottom Campbell. 1875 S. Bascom Ave. #700, 408-377-0707. Per their recent newsletter: Winter Tartan is “a traditional Scottish ale with a smooth, malty flavor and a hint of vanilla.” Folks can also meet brewer Russell Clements at this tapping event.

Wed., Nov. 14, 2012, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Catch live music and good beer at Poor House Bistro with “Blues & $2 Brews” featuring 21st Amendment Brewery. 91 South Autumn Street, San Jose, 408-292-5837.

Thurs., Nov. 15, 2012, starting at 6:00 p.m.: Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose hosts their weekly Pint Night. Check the Harry’s Hofbrau Facebook page for updates. 390 Saratoga Ave., 408-243-0434.

Thurs., Nov. 15, 2012, starting at 6 p.m.: Jack’s Bar & Lounge in Japantown offers up their weekly $2 Pint Night. Check the Jack’s Bar & Lounge Facebook page for updates. 167 East Taylor St., 408-287-5225.

Fri., Nov. 16, 2012: BevMo! stores host weekly Beer Tasting events on Fridays. Check your local BevMo! store for details.

Sat., Nov. 17, 2012, 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.: The fourth SJ Beerwalk (previous SJ Beerwalks took place in Japantown and downtown Campbell) takes place in downtown Willow Glen. For details, including ticket purchasing, click here. The following is from their recent media release: “SJ Beerwalk will be bringing the same thoughtfulness in beer selection and strong emphasis on community to Willow Glen. The focus of the first Willow Glen Beerwalk will be seasonal/winter brews… ‘Beerwalkers’ will be invited to discover and explore twenty-five charming venues, from exclusive boutiques to unique restaurants.”

Sat.-Sun., Nov. 17-18, 2012: Left Bank Brasserie Santana Row hosts a prix fixe meal paired with beers from Drake’s Brewing Company as part of their Left Bank Santana Row Summer Beer Pairing Series, La Fête de la Bière. 377 Santana Row, Suite 1100, 408-984-3500.

Looking ahead: Save the date

Tues., Nov. 27, 2012, starting at 6:30 p.m.: Winter Wonderland Brewer’s Dinner takes place at Rock Bottom Campbell. 1875 S. Bascom Ave. #700, 408-377-0707. Beer pairings to be announced. Call the restaurant to make reservations. For the Facebook event page, click here.

Thurs., Nov. 29, 2012: Pint Night at Santa Clara’s Wicked Chicken featuring Strike Brewing Company takes place. 2565 The Alameda, 408-246-9464.

Sat., Dec. 8, 2012, 6 p.m. – 11 p.m., KraftBrew Winter Ball 2012. Seasonal beer tasting and holiday ball at the San Jose’s Woman’s Club – 75 S. 11th St. Per their recently posted Facebook event page: Featuring newly released holiday ales and specialty brews, the KraftBrew Winter Ball will be a festive event in which guests are encouraged to dress in their holiday finery, dance, drink, and be merry. And now, for the first time ever, the KraftBrew WinterBall will feature a ticketed price which includes all food and beer tasting. Tickets are limited and will go on presale for $35.00 each. Light Appetizers will be provided by the Naglee Park Garage. Other highlights of the night include two live bands that will be sure to get your toes tapping and best beer purveyors from around the Bay Area. More info on bands, brews, and special menu to come, so stay tuned!”

Sun., Dec. 9, 2012, starting at 6:30 p.m.: Morocco’s Restaurant in Mountain View hosts a beer dinner featuring beers from Strike Brewing Company.

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Co-op Brewpub in San Jose in Initial Planning Stages, Plus Q & A with Driving Force Peter Smith

Peter Smith, driving force behind a new San Jose co-op brewpub that is in the beginning planning stages (photo courtesy of Peter Smith/Maria Fameron)
Peter Smith, driving force behind a new San Jose co-op brewpub that is in the beginning planning stages (photo courtesy of Peter Smith/Maria Fameron)

Since September, there has been a movement brewing to create California’s first cooperatively-owned brewpub in San Jose. All the initial efforts are currently channeled through the San Jose Co-op Brewpub Meetup page, which lists the following information:

“We will look at establishing San Jose’s first cooperatively-owned brewpub. Maybe even California’s first cooperatively-owned brewpub. This process could take 2 to 4 years or more. We will aim to achieve 1,200 member-owners, and possibly more.

“There are now several working models for breweries and brewpubs around the United States – some of which are now operating and some of which are still forming:

“More reading:

The driving force behind this endeavor is Peter Smith, who by day is an IT professional. He recently took the time to share more about this San Jose co-op brewpub that is in the beginning stages of being formed.

What initial activities have there been?

We’ve had 4 meetings now and are organizing our first “awareness” event – to basically put word out on the street about what we’re trying to build, why, how, etc. We’re about to start forming a formal legal structure, etc., too.

Tell us more about the awareness event.

The underlying purpose of the event is for us to do a real work project together. We talked to an org called NoBAWC (Network of Bay Area Workers Cooperatives) – their very strong advice to us was to do some real work projects together since we were all strangers to one another when we met at the first meeting. NoBAWC suggested we needed to know how we work together, whether we were able to work through issues, make compromises, and whether we actually enjoyed it or not. That is why we’re organizing our first event without so much as having chosen a name.

Tentatively, we’re looking at hosting an event some time in December. We’ll see if we can stick to that. We’re looking at several different options for how to carry it out – the space/place we choose seems to be the key driver for all the other decisions about the event – how much to charge, how many people can we have, what will the beer selection/hosting/drinking process actually look like, etc. So at least three of us are looking at various options, from hosting a gathering at the San Pedro Square Market space, to having a corporate host – as in an after-work team-building/enjoyment-type thing, to just hosting at a bar.

What are the initial plans?

Big goals we’ll start to work on as we work towards this “work together/cooperate” event are 1) start working on the co-op bylaws (How will our co-op actually function? What is structure of the board? etc.) and 2) build out the business plan.

Members buy in for $150 for a lifetime membership, no annual dues, etc. The total amount we need to raise may be $700K+, the remainder of which we will raise from the membership through “investment shares” – annual interest from 3% to 6% (give or take), depending on investment level.

Who would be a typical co-op brewpub member/owner?

I would say people get involved in this type of enterprise for one of three reasons, primarily; that is, what do folks really care about:

1) They love beer. About half the members so far are self-declared “beer snobs” – so that’s great.
2) They love locally-grown and owned and managed businesses.
3) They love the idea of co-ops, and democratic governance of businesses, etc.

I fall into 3) most, but love 1) and 2) as well.

One of my side projects (maybe?) is to get us scalable. That is, if Black Star in Austin did this, and we are doing this, and co-ops in Grand Rapids and Columbus and Seattle and other places are doing similar things, then can we make the process easier/repeatable by building guidelines, infrastructure, HOWTOs, etc.? Whatever we do, it will probably be guided at least in part by the 7 Principles of Co-ops. I don’t want to bite off more than we can chew, but this is a personal interest of mine.

This happens to be the International Year of Cooperatives as declared by the UN: http://social.un.org/coopsyear/

What do members/owners get?

You get to say you own a bar, a vote on important brewpub decisions, a free beer on your co-op birthday, patronage refunds (i.e., a bar tab discount at the end of the year), and actively participate in the important and growing movement for democratically owned and managed businesses.

How did you get involved with all this?

I lived in Austin for a few months a few years ago, moved from Palo Alto down there, then back to SF when I couldn’t find a job I really liked, and stumbled upon Black Star. Became a member and volunteer, thought it was the best idea ever – super-excited about it then and still am today – and finally decided I had to at least float the idea here, even if it wasn’t a perfect time for me personally. I figured it was like having a baby – there’s never going to be a perfect time. Fortunately, Meetup.com has pretty good reach and we found some folks interested in the idea.

One of the groups new members, Joe, moved from Austin to San Jose last year. He and his wife are Black Star members. They joined because their house was very close to Black Star, and Joe was very into the idea of locally-owned businesses, reason 2) above.

All of us will keep our day jobs. There may at some point be a part-time paid position to do all sorts of things, especially on the bookkeeping/financial side.

I confirmed with the California Center for Cooperative Development that there are no existing co-op brewpubs in California. The only one they knew about was Black Star in Texas.

Do you have a website?

We don’t have a website yet, but that is coming – right now our public face is the Meetup page. If anyone is interested, feel free to join the San Jose Co-op Brewpub Meetup group – there is no obligation when you join, and we have at least a few lurkers. I guess we can have someone start to work on an FAQ ASAP. We don’t even have a name yet, so we need to start working on that, too. :)

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]