There’ll be 30+ breweries, all within 150 miles of San Jose, plus live music and mobile eats.
I’ve had the good fortune of attending most of the previous Meet the Brewers beer fests and have greatly enjoyed each of them thanks to the good beers, good food, excellent organization and great people and vibe.
I’ll post again with additional info., including the names of the participating breweries, as such information becomes available.
The Department of Hospitality Management at San Jose State University (SJSU) presented an excellent beer event last week – the “Beers Around the World” Trade Show – replete with educational beer tastings, tasty food pairings, live entertainment and dancing.
The semi-annual event, now in its third year, took place a few blocks from campus at The GlassHouse on Market St. It’s put on just for SJSU faculty, staff, administrators and a limited number of their guests.
The trade show is coordinated by the students of two Hospitality Management classes – Beer Appreciation and Meeting, Convention and Event Industry. The trade show provides students the real world opportunity to put into practice many of the learning objectives from both classes, including being able to explain to guests about different beer styles and beer’s versatility when paired with food, as well as coordinate all aspects of hosting a big, sponsored beer event.
Group photo: Dr. Kate Sullivan (Professor and Internship Coordinator), Kerry Feinstein, Dr. Andy Feinstein (Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs), Dr. Tsu Hong Yen (Department Chair).
Almanac Saison De Brettaville.
Students in teams set up booths throughout the venue representing 15 different brewing regions. Each booth had at least two different beers to sample and corresponding food pairings to taste.
Group photo: Greg Filippi (Hermitage Brewing Company Cellarmaster and Head Brewer), Joel Wind (Hermitage Brewing Company Tasting Room Manager), Dr. Stef Frazier (Professor, Linguistics and Language Development).
Awards were given in five categories – Best Booth, Most Creative, Best Pairing, Best Beer, Best Overall – as determined by a judging panel of local beer professionals. There was also a people’s choice awards for the same five categories.
Ticket options included $20 for 12 3-oz. tastings, $10 for 5 3-oz. tastings and $5 for general ticket admission (no tastings). Additional food and beverages were available for purchase.
Alaska booth food pairing items.
SoCal booth: Ballast Point Barmy Apricot Ale and ceviche.
Mexico booth: Manos De Calaca Guladon Bock and pork taco.
Group photo: Dr. Dennis Papazian, Dr. Mary Papazian (SJSU President), Dr. Stef Frazier.
Left Hand Nitro Milk Stout.
Hawaii booth: students and Dr. Kate.
Sweet, milk chocolaty treat (amazing!) with Smithwick’s Irish Red Ale.
Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout.
Australia booth: student and Dr. Stef Frazier.
Some of the SJSU students who helped organize the event.
List of Judges’ Award Winners
Best Booth: Hawaii (1st), Belgium (2nd)
Most Creative: Australia (1st), Mexico (2nd)
Best Pairing: NorCal (1st), England (2nd)
Best Beer: Denmark (1st), Colorado (2nd)
Best Overall: Belgium (1st), Ireland (2nd)
List of People’s Choice Award Winners
Best Booth: Hawaii (1st)
Most Creative: Iceland (1st)
Best Pairing: Alaska (1st)
Best Beer: Iceland (1st)
Best Overall: Iceland (1st)
Group photo: The students from the Iceland booth.
A second tasting of the Mikkeller Black Hole Imperial Stout to end a fantastic evening.
Again, the event was excellent – well organized, great venue, tasty beers and food, warm vibe, friendly and knowledgeable service, and I could go on…
Having earned two degrees from SJSU, having worked at the campus for five years and most importantly, having met my wife at SJSU, it was great to circle back and attend this SJSU-connected event.
The event takes place on two days – Friday evening, Oct. 28 (8pm-11pm) and Saturday afternoon, Oct. 29 (1pm – 4pm) – at San Jose’s Municipal Stadium (588 E. Alma Ave.).
Municipal Stadium was also the setting for two of the three previous Bacon and Beer Classics held in the South Bay (the most recent being Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara).
Kate Levenstien, founder of Cannonball Productions and the Bacon and Beer Classic, says of the Broofest launch in San Jose. “What better way to celebrate Halloween than with craft beer? We will have something for everyone: refreshing brews, delicious food, games, music, costumes, and more. I can’t wait to be back in San Jose…”
San Jose Broofest will feature 80+ craft beers, including offerings from local breweries Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Strike Brewing Company.
General Admission (event entry for the 3 hours of beer tasting)
Early Access (half-hour earlier entry)
VIP (one-hour earlier entry plus exclusive treats)
All ticket holders receive a complimentary souvenir tasting glass good for unlimited beer tasting and have access to a game area, photo booth, and to myriads of contests and activities, including bobbing for apples, face painting, hunting for hidden treats, costume contest (naturally) and more.
Food options – sold separately – include deep-fried PBJs, pulled pork sliders, carne asada tacos, garlic fries, Italian sausages, corn dogs and more.
For more information about San Jose Broofest and to purchase tickets, visit www.sjbroofest.com.
Cannonball Productions is committed to fostering a sense of community in every host city and will donate a portion of proceeds to the local non-profit organization One Brick.
The folks of Beerwalk are hosting their first Sake Walk in San Jose’s Japantown. Sake Walk will take place Thursday, September 15 from 6pm to 9pm.
According to Beerwalk co-founder Jordan Trigg, “Our goal with Sake Walk is to continue the long lasting tradition of Sake San Jose hosted by Yu-Ai Kai for so many years in Japantown.
“We want to continue to raise money for their organization while at the same time encouraging people to explore San Jose’s hidden gem, Japantown, one of three remaining Japantowns in the United States.”
Attendees will be able to taste up to 20 sakes at 20 Japantown shops and business.
Exact tasting locations are yet to be announced, but you can enjoy a free drip coffee at Roy’s Station during the event, and H&R Block will provide complimentary snacks.
Check-in starts at 5pm at 7 Bamboo Lounge (162 Jackson St.).
Tickets should be purchased in advance as they go up closer to the event date. “Early bird” bird tickets are $35 if purchased before the week of the event and go up to $40 if purchased during the week of the event. There will be a limited number of tickets available for $45 on the day of at the event.
Tickets are available at www.sakewalk.com and include sake samples, custom glass and a passport.
A portion of the proceeds benefit the Japantown Business Association (JBA) and Yu-Ai Kai.
50% Off Ticket Price
For a limited time through Labor Day, take 50% off ticket prices at www.sakewalk.com with promotional code: “ciderwalk”
About Sake Walk in Japantown, San Jose
Tucked minutes away from Downtown San Jose sits the historical Japantown business district. Explore the unique boutique shops, art studios and great restaurants within the community, all while sipping on sake and enjoying the social enthusiasm of shopkeepers and fellow sake walkers!
The Sake Walk was created beyond the idea of sampling sake, but rather to provide an outlet for the local community to come together to explore the neighborhoods and small businesses that help keep the Bay Area great.
The second annual Pints for Pups fundraising event takes place Sat., April 16 from 2pm-6:30pm at Strike Brewing Company (2099 S. 10th St.).
Presented once again by the popular Facebook group Southbay Beer Hounds with Clay Planet, Pints for Pups combines local beer, art, food trucks and prizes to benefit the Silicon Valley Pet Project (SVPP), “a 501(c)3 non-profit organization made up of volunteers committed to saving local at-risk shelter pets through rescue, community involvement and education.”
A Pint Glass and Growler Art Show will feature 20 tables of local artists selling one-of-a-kind functional art items – including steins, mugs, chalices and growlers – and competing for the Pint Glass- and Growler-of-the-Year awards.
Food trucks Waffle Amore and Los Jarochos Grill will be present, and there will be a silent auction and raffle.
Tickets are necessary to attend but are free and available at the Pints for Pups Eventbrite page. Donations are welcome – and tax deductible – and can be made through Eventbrite or at the event.
I recently caught up with fellow Southbay Beer Hounds Lance Boyle and Deb Anderson. They graciously took the time to answer questions about how the idea for Pints for Pups came about and about the Southbay Beer Hounds, including how the Facebook group came about.
How did the idea for Pints for Pup come about?
Deb: When we first started talking about Pints for Pups, I was the one who suggested that SVPP be our beneficiary because I had witnessed first-hand the passion this group has for helping dogs (and cats) at our local shelter find loving homes.
Our youngest dog, Molly Beans, was a parvo survivor who we fostered at eight weeks old and ended up adopting. She was the poster girl for the first Pints for Pups, showing what rescue is all about.
With my project management and event planning knowledge I took his idea of Pints for Pups and added a bit of structure (like an Eventbrite registration page) so we could have an idea of how many people to expect and help coordinate volunteers that first year to make sure the day flowed smoothly.
Lance: This is a funny place. Everyone who owns a house is a millionaire, but there is so much missing – humanities, fun, hijinx, whimsy…
I have long thought things like this just needed to be done. People don’t know that art is made by artists and does not come from the mall. I thought an opportunity to knit segments of folks together would be fun and exciting. And who does not want one more glass… something special and different from anything on earth?
Rooting through tables of wonderful pieces of beautiful things and finding one that speaks to you… it’s exciting. It’s a treasure hunt.
The wonderful part is, you find your piece and feel it, and see how it was made by human hands. You meet the person who made it, chat with them. You learn the process of how your piece was made… maybe it’s fired at cone 10 (super damn hot, total fusion, tap with your nail and it rings like crystal) or maybe it was wood fired, an ancient technique, which makes each piece drastically different.
It’s just fun to do, especially at an event where others look and admire your mug or piece. It’s like for a brief moment in a way, we all become title millionaires, collectors, patrons.
And the beneficiaries are pets who need a bit of help.
All of this was a chasm that needed to be crossed. I just happened to see the materials to create the bridge.
And Jenny Lewis at Strike has been incredibly easy to work with.
Care to share a bit of your backgrounds?
Deb: I’ve been involved in local theater for 40 years and am currently on the Board of Directors at City Lights Theater. My other passion is animal rescue, mostly dogs. :) I got involved in dog rescue several years ago, and all of our dogs have been rescues.
Lance: Deb won a Theatre Bay Area award in 2014, which is quite impressive.
I have an elaborate art background in illustration, cartooning and sculpture.
More importantly, I have long enjoyed going to the zoo in a gorilla suit, walking through a crowded church in a devil costume waving or wrapping myself in toilet paper and sneeking up behind people at the Rosicrucian museum.
I got mixed up with the Cacophony Society in the ’90s when they were pilfering my cartoons for newsletters… decades of pranks and fun. I suppose the Beerhounds is just all my own extension of things like that.
Speaking of the Beer Hounds, could you share with me again how the Southbay Beer Hounds group started?
Lance: The Beerhounds got started kind of on a whim, originally because I thought it was an easy way to communicate about expensive Imperial Stouts released around Christmas which were not sold and then marked down in price by Groundhog’s Day (the end of the holiday season) when in fact they were actually better (aged).
I also met folks who I thought should be friends. Often they had quirky things in common… love of odd beer was often one.
There were like 30 of us for years. Nobody posted much. Then one day my friend Eric had a lengthy rant about a beer he loved. Folks started chatting, and it seems like that spark made it jump from 35 or so to 700.
Getting close to 800 group members in fact. By the way, I know some folks who are a bit bummed that they never received those special Lance Boyle introductions.
Lance: It’s a bit odd. The side of it nobody but me sees is who I don’t let in, which is more than half the people who ask to be added. I block more people than I let in.
After a couple of scammers and sales clowns got in, I started screening their profiles a bit, perusing photos, seeing if the people even liked beer before I let them in. Lots of Nigerian royalty.
It felt a bit sinister, so to make it clear to people that I went through their profiles and looked them over, I started using a photo from their pages – which are all based on solid facts, as you know – for the introductions.
It also seems like a friendly touch, and I hope it lets new folks feel like they can jump right in.
What are some of the highlights from running the Southbay Beer Hounds group?
Lance: I suppose seeing that something silly and fun can be planned and can make a difference. That having a happy hour at a brewery or a sticker release or a fundraiser can, at this point, really create notice or business.
The original idea of Beerhounds loosely is to refine one’s views to the period of one’s life when we knew more, between nine and eleven I think… being unencumbered by life’s drudgery and not yet driven by our loins.
It seems like the time in life when choices were the most sound. Things like a love of pranks, a disregard for spelling, the love of dogs as company and role models for etiquette, stickers, goofy images, nicknames…
I think our group is like a big bucket of that. At least I hope so.
This place is so stressful and serious. There needs to be a place where jackassery (our theme) is run up the flag pole and saluted.
Many of the people who are in Beerhounds, even some who don’t drink beer (if you can imagine such a person), are people who have some vision and have risked a lot to create something… Folks like Fouad Eilian (Bibo’s Pizza), Alex Hult (Hult’s Restaurant), Lisa Mallette (City Lights Theatre), Matt Hartenstein (Taplands), Seth and Stephanie Hendrickson (Golden State Brewery), and the women from the Silicon Valley Pet Project who from nothing started this incredible life-saving group.
They are all risking their savings to create something concrete based on their vision and incredible hard work. It’s truly a pleasure to help them, in any small way.
Any “Aha!” beer moments?
Lance: I spent much of my young life with an eccentric uncle who liked unusual beers. He was well traveled, always interested in odd libations from the far corners of the world. He was a surgeon and my aunt a nuclear chemist. We always had some experiment going on around the house, with fruits and grains. Later I had friends in the Peace Corps, who had to make their own hooch under difficult circumstances.
I’ve always loved the idea of making beer from different perspectives and wacky methods. It just happens to have become popular with others now.
Anything else to add?
Deb: Pints for Pups and its popularity and the fact that the first event was put together in less than three months and raised over $7,000 for SVPP… well, that’s all due to Lance.
He has a way with people that’s a bit like the Pied Piper (he’s also way too humble to say or think that himself), but I see it everyday – his unbridled delight that the group has become something more than an FB page where people talk about beer.
From his intros of new members, to his sticker designs that are always eagerly awaited, the local businesses he’s promoted through the page, and the fact that so many people have met through this group and become friends, he is infectious.
I often joke that he needs a bodyguard or an entourage when we go out as so many people are excited to see him. At Meet the Brewers, I can’t count how many people were awestruck and giddy at meeting THE Lance Boyle.
It’s so much fun to watch and yet it often makes him uncomfortable. I think he likes to create chaos and watch it, rather than be in the middle of it.
That may be why I’ve been married to him for 20 years. :) He’s quite a catch.
Local breweries Hermitage Brewing Company, Santa Clara Valley Brewing and Strike Brewing Company announced last week the formation of the San Jose Small Brewers Association (SJSBA). The three founding brewery members are all located about a mile from each other and just south of downtown San Jose, next to Spartan Stadium, Sharks Ice and Municipal Stadium, home of the San Jose Giants.
There are other breweries in the works nearby, and the hope is to grow the association as other small San Jose breweries open. According to Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, director of marketing for Hermitage Brewing, the SJSBA was formed to promote the neighborhood as a brewery district and destination.
To celebrate the formation of the association, the three breweries have teamed up for their inaugural event – Super Bowl Brewery Crawl. Through Sunday, Feb. 14, visitors to any of the brewery taprooms can purchase a $20 ticket, good for one beer flight at each brewery. Once your ticket has been stamped by each brewery, guests will receive a commemorative tulip beer glass.
Brewery Taproom Hours
Hermitage Brewing Company
1627 South 7th St.
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
101 E. Alma Ave.
Strike Brewing Company
2099 S. 10th St., #30
Carolyn adds, “There’s no need to look beyond the city limits to find great, locally made beer, and that’s what we want people to know.”
To help celebrate Super Bowl 50, The Beerwalk and Santana Row (377 Santana Row, San Jose) have teamed up to host the Beer Blitz beer festival, to be held on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 6pm-9pm.
Santana Row – a mere seven miles from Super Bowl site Levi’s Stadium – is a regular Beerwalk location, but unlike a typical Beerwalk, this event features unlimited tastings.
Local breweries include:
Santa Clara Valley Brewing, San Jose
Red Branch Cider Company, Sunnyvale
Golden State Brewery, Santa Clara
New Bohemia Brewing Co., Santa Cruz
Altamont Beer Works, Livermore
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, SF
Anchor Brewing Company, SF
Tasting locations include:
Santana Row Park
lululemon athletica San Jose
Kit and Ace
Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant
Orvis San Jose
Roots & Rye
Sino – Santana Row
Tickets are $50 with the discount code “LOYAL.” For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Beer Blitz Eventbrite page. In addition to unlimited tastings, tickets include a souvenir pint glass and swag bags filled with Super Bowl giveaways.
Check-in, beginning at 5pm, takes place at Santana Row Park.
Event sponsors include Budweiser, Bud Light and Shock Top. Additional participating breweries include Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe, as well as Elysian Brewing, Golden Road Brewing, Goose Island and 10 Barrel Brewing Company.
Santa Clara Valley Brewing will host their first ever beer-and-food pairing dinner at their brewery (101 East Alma Ave., San Jose) on Wed., Jan. 27, 6:30pm-9:30pm.
Guests will dine inside the brewery area, next to the stainless steel tanks, kegs and barrels. In addition to the views inside the brewery, co-founder Tom Clark adds that the brewery aroma will be amazing thanks to a fresh brewed batch of the popular Electric Tower IPA.
Brewmaster Steve Donohue shares that the idea for the dinner – an official SF Beer Week event – came about on a whim during a visit from friend Ryan McTighe, chef and owner of Handheld Catering. Ensuing discussions eventually led to the carefully constructed dinner menu.
Beef Slider with Caramelized Onions and Sauteed Mushrooms
Paired with Dry Creek Blonde Ale
Electric Tower Beer Cheese Soup
Paired with Electric Tower IPA
Seared Local Halibut with Cardamom and Coriander Scents, Wilted Spinach, Butter Braised Baby Carrots, Meyer Lemon Oil
Paired with Saison
Pot De Creme
Paired with Peralta Porter
Tickets are $70 and limited to 40 guests. Tickets are available for purchase at the beer dinner’s Eventbrite page. Event sponsor Maps & Taps will also be on hand to discuss their new social media platform for beer enthusiasts.
According to Clark, the dinner will be the first of many to take place at the brewery: “We have a great space, and we fully anticipate doing more of these.”
The annual Meet the Brewers beer festival – held at San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Company (1627 S. 7th St.) – is a marquee SF Beer Week event that showcases and celebrates the local brewing community. This year’s Meet the Brewers beer fest marks its seventh year and takes place Sat., Jan. 30 from 1pm-5pm. With more available space, this year’s festival will be the biggest one yet, with over 30 participating breweries.
For those new to craft beer, Meet the Brewers provides a festive environment to enjoy and learn about different beer styles, meet the brewers who make them and experience the vibe of the South Bay beer scene. There will be live music, SJ Made artisan vendors and mobile eats courtesy of Brother Baby’s BBQ, Gow Chow and Hoshi on the Go.
The festival is family friendly and has consistently run smoothly thanks to the coordination efforts of Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez, marketing director for Hermitage and Tied House, and her event team. In a previous Q&A post from 2012, Carolyn and Peter Estaniel discussed the origins of the Meet the Brewers beer festival.
Meet the Brewers also welcomes select breweries from neighboring communities like the Peninsula, Monterey, Santa Cruz and the East Bay. The following breweries have confirmed their participation at this year’s event:
Almanac Beer Co.
Alvarado Street Brewing
Craft Artisan Ales
Half Moon Bay
Palo Alto Brewing
Rabbit’s Foot/ Red Branch
Rock Bottom, Campbell
San Jose Cooperative Brewery
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
South City Cider
Tickets are $40 and as in past years, proceeds benefit Can Do MS and The Bay Brewers Guild. This year’s sponsors include Caliva, Eureka! Restaurant Group, Beer Snobiety, Yelp and LYFT. In addition to their own booth, the affable folks from Beer Snobiety will be in charge of raffles and prizes to take place throughout the afternoon.
The upcoming Beerwalk – taking place Sat., Jan. 23, 2pm-6pm in San Jose’s Japantown – marks the five-year anniversary for this popular beer-tasting community event. It is also the 20th Beerwalk according to co-founder Charlie Mann. Each Beerwalk features shops and restaurants that serve as tasting locations for beers from mostly Bay Area – and many South Bay – breweries. Past Beerwalks have taken place in Downtown Campbell, Willow Glen, Downtown Mountain View and Santana Row.Participating breweries in Saturday’s Beerwalk – an official SF Beer Week event – include the following:
10 Barrel Brewing Boise
Anchor Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Elysian Brewing Company
Faultline Brewing Company
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Golden Road Brewing
Golden State Brewery
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Hermitage Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Mavericks Brewing Company
New Bohemia Brewing Co
Santa Clara Valley Brewing
Strike Brewing Co.
The Dudes’ Brewing Co.
Tasting locations include the following Japantown businesses:
Jack’s Bar & Lounge
7 Bamboo Lounge
Nichi Bei Bussan
Cielito Lindo Restaurant
The Esplanade Apartments
San Jose Autoworks
East Taylor Barbershop
Aristocrats San Jose
Tickets are $35. For more information, including to purchase tickets, visit the event’s Eventbrite link. A very limited number of tickets will be available on the day of the event for $38. Check-in starts at noon at Jack’s Bar & Lounge (167 E. Taylor St.).