This Saturday, Feb. 10 looks to be an especially opportune day to get out and visit the local San Jose breweries.
Hapa’s Brewing Company (460 Lincoln Ave., Ste. 90) starts the day from 11am to 9pm with their one-year anniversary party. Hapa’s will be pouring two new beers – Don’t Be Evil Kettle Sour aged on raspberries and Suite 90 Belgian Saison.
Santa Clara Valley Brewing (101 E. Alma Ave.) will be hosting a release party from 12-8pm of their Alum Rock Northeastern Double IPA, which will be available on draft and in 4-pack 16-oz. cans. Emergency BBQ Company will be on hand with plenty of good BBQ eats.
Clandestine Brewing (980 S. 1st St., Ste. B) celebrates their official grand opening from 12-10pm with prize giveaways throughout the day.
The festive day is no doubt sparked by the start of SF Beer Week, a popular week for many local beer enthusiasts.
Plus Hermitage Brewing Company (1627 S. 7th St.) and Uproar Brewing Company (439 S. 1st St.) are nearby as well. (Update: Hermitage Brewing just announced its tapping of the South Bay breweries collaboration beer – ‘Locally Grown’ India Pale Lager with citrus – brewed for SF Beer Week. Also available on tap at Taplands (1171 Homestead Rd., Santa Clara.)
Mark Fazzio of Santa Clara Valley Brewing shares, “The San Jose brew scene is still very young and not enough people know about all of the great spots they can check out for local craft beer.”
And this Saturday will also be one of those picture-perfect weather days in San Jose, providing an ideal backdrop for a tasty, refreshing locally-made beer.
San Jose’s Floodcraft Brewing Company – located at the Whole Foods Market on The Alameda (777 The Alameda, to be exact) – has just released ‘Inner Strength’ Hazy Double IPA.
According to brewmaster Guy Cameron, Inner Strength was brewed with a Vermont Ale yeast strain plus Citra, Mosaic and Azacca hops.
During my recent visit on its release day, a good crowd had formed before noon, and many looked to be enjoying the new beer.
Inner Strength Hazy Double IPA is flooded <ahem> with ripe citrus, pineapple and melon aromas and flavors, well balanced by a pleasant hop bitterness. It’s a super smooth beer that belies the 8.4% ABV.
Inner Strength Hazy Double IPA is the third ‘hazy’ offering from Floodcraft Brewing, with all three having been released within the past couple months.
‘Perspective Shift’ New England IPA, brewed with all Citra hops, comes in at 6.8% and showcases bright aromas and flavors of orange, peach, passionfruit and pine.
‘Forward Momentum’ Hazy Pale, 5.5% ABV, exhibits orange and stone fruit aromas and flavors with a slight hop bitterness.
Additionally, ‘Song for You’ Blonde Ale with Hallertau Blanc (5.6% ABV) is a bright, citrusy beer with floral and peppery notes.
It’s certainly a busy time for Guy and assistant brewer Ben Wright, as the current tap list features ten of their beers, marking the highest number of Floodcraft Brewing beers on tap at one time.
Inner Strength stands out as my current favorite of the Floodcraft Brewing offerings. I’m struck by its citrus, melon juiciness and smoothness, making for one delicious and memorable Double IPA.
Strike Brewing Company has released their latest collaboration effort this week – Four Bagger Hoppy Lager (6% ABV, 40 IBU) – brewed alongside Megan Parisi, head brewer of the innovative Samuel Adams Nano Brewery.
From Strike Brewing head brewer Ryan Bridge:
“We used German lager yeast and pale, wheat, oats, and light crystal malts. After a slow fermentation and cold conditioning process, we dry hopped it like an IPA using El Dorado, Citra, Simcoe, and Loral – some of my favorites. This is truly one of the best beers that we’ve made during my time at Strike, and I can’t wait to see the response in the taproom…”
I was fortunate to make it the taproom on its release day this past Tuesday.
The beer is super smooth and juicy with wonderful aromas and flavors of tropical, citrus fruits. I certainly agreed with the folks at the table next to me who described the Four Bagger Hoppy Lager to be one ‘crushable’ beer.
It’s a very limited offering and currently available on tap and in four-pack, 16-oz. cans.
Strike’s Collaboration Series is the brainchild of veteran brewer and consultant Ben Spencer, who joined Strike earlier this spring as director of brewing operations and brewmaster. Incidentally, this week’s release of Four Bagger Hoppy Lager also marks Ben’s last week at Strike, as he’ll be returning to his native state of Virginia.
The first release in the series was a collaboration with Marin Brewing Company brewmaster Arne Johnson (Winning Saison). Ensuing collaborations saw Strike team up with Half Moon Bay Brewing Company brewmaster James Costa (Hop Closet Double IPA), Social Kitchen & Brewery brewmaster Kim Sturdavant (Pop-Up Pilsner) and Magnolia Brewing Co. (Strong Arm English Strong Ale).
As Strike co-founder/brewmaster Drew Ehrlich puts it, “The Collaboration Series has been a great way to trade brewing tips and see first-hand how these brewers go about making their signature beers.”
Look for the series to continue in the near future with upcoming collaborations to feature fellow South Bay breweries.
The fall edition of the The Beers Around the World Tour is set for Thursday, Nov. 30 from 6pm-9:30pm, taking place at the Rotary Summit Center in downtown San Jose above Flame’s Restaurant (88 S. Fourth St.).
Presented by San Jose State University’s Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management – and a joint production of the department’s Meeting Planning and Beer Appreciation classes – the beer show will be similar in format as past events.
The Beers Around the World tour will feature 54 different beers from 27 countries and regions of the U.S.
Look for the following special release beers at the celebration:
Triple Play Triple IPA
Kettle Sour with Mango
Imperial Stout with Chocolate & Orange
Stone Finger Tart Saison
Cask Aged Two Seam IPA with Grapefruit
Triple Play Triple IPA, 11.8% ABV, 80 IBU – In celebration of our Third Aniversary at our 10th Street location, we decided it was only appropriate to brew a behemoth of a triple IPA. Massive whirlpool additions and a double dry hop with Simcoe, Azacca, Loral, and Mosaic hops dominate the aroma and flavor with notes of pineapple, mango, and melon.
Kettle Sour with Mango, 5.1% ABV, 10 IBU – Our latest kettle sour, fermented with a strain of lactic acid producing bacteria that creates a wonderful fruity tartness. After primary fermentation, we conditioned it on fresh mango puree to up the juciness to an extreme. Light, crisp, and wonderfully tart with bright mango flavor at the forefront.
Imperial Stout with Chocolate and Orange, 7.9% ABV, 35 IBU – An American style imperial stout that is bold yet smooth, boasting a chewy body and huge roasted malt character. The addition of cacao and fresh orange zest before packaging works in harmony with the sweet, full-bodied base, creating a winning combination of flavors for your palate.
Stone Finger Tart Saison, 4.7% ABV, 20 IBU – Stone Finger is back! Aged in red wine barrels for over a year now, this Belgian style saison was soured by an awesome blend of brettanomyces and lactobacillus. Complex funk and acidity mingle in this bright, refreshing tart Saison.
Cask: Two Seam IPA with Grapefruit , 6.5% ABV, 68 IBU – We’re also tapping a cask of Two Seam IPA infused with fresh grapefruit zest! Try a new take on one of your favorites.
I didn’t get to enjoy any tacos on National Taco Day today, but I’ll be sure to make up for it this Saturday, Oct. 7 at the Taco Takeover festival taking place at the home of the San Jose Earthquakes – Avaya Stadium (1123 Coleman Ave.).
Taco Takeover is presented by Cannonball Productions – the same folks behind the popular Bacon and Beer Classic events – and will feature cocktails, beer and tequila samples paired with tacos from local restaurants, including original recipes from Olla Cocina, Tacolicious, Tacomania, Tacos el Pelon, Araujo’s Mexican Grill and more.
A panel of judges - including yours truly – will be on hand to award the best tacos.
There’ll also be games and activities – bobbing for churros, nacho eating contest and more – and a live Mariachi band, not to mention the picture-perfect weather.
I’m sure there are many like me who wish they were going to the official Oktoberfest in Munich.
Fortunately, local Oktoberfest-inspired events and celebrations are set to take place throughout San Jose and nearby, providing plenty of opportunities to enjoy German and German-style beer and food in a festive atmosphere. Many of the Oktoberfest celebrations are family friendly and will feature live entertainment.
Below is a roundup of this year’s local Oktoberfest events listed by date. I’ll add to it as new ones come to my attention. Prost!
Sat., Sep. 9: Gourmet Haus Staudt
What: It’s their annual outdoor Oktoberfest celebration, taking place from 12pm to 7:30pm. Six German beers on tap, lots of bratwurst and live music featuring The Internationals (starting at 2pm). $7 entry fee.
What: Folks are invited to don their Lederhosen and Dirndl as Golden State Brewery releases their new Ein Prosit Oktoberfest beer. There’ll be music, decorations, sausages courtesy of Arlington Brothers and a limited supply of 32-oz. Das Boots good for a fill of Ein Prosit for $16. Festivities take place from 5pm to 9pm.
Thurs., Sep. 21 – Sat., Sep. 23: Gordon Biersch Brewing Company
Update: Gordon Biersch announced on Sep. 15 that this event has been cancelled “due to unforeseen circumstances.”
What: The ongoing Taylor Street Night Market outdoor summer series continues to take place Thursday evenings at the Gordon Biersch Brewing Company brewing and packaging facility in Japantown. To celebrate Oktoberfest, the Night Market folks – Gordon Biersch and Moveable Feast – are throwing a three-day, family friendly bash featuring German-inspired food truck dishes and beers along with live music, games for kids and SJMADE artisans.
What: The 5th Annual Oktoberfest takes place the weekend of Sep. 30 and Oct. 1 (11am to 7pm both days) and is presented by Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. There’ll be plenty of German beer, good food and family friendly entertainment.
Where: Parking lot at Dana St. and Bryant St., Mountain View
What: Enjoy the annual Peninsula Oktoberfest at Hiller Aviation Museum, held for the first time at night from 5pm to 10pm. There’ll be live music as well as German beers and food available for purchase.
The wait is over. Uproar Brewing Company (439 S. First St.) has finally announced their opening date via their Facebook page earlier this morning:
“Words we’ve been waiting to say for too long… We’re opening June 14. Drop by and say hello.”
It certainly has been a long wait, and after a series of delays and changes, Uproar’s low-key update is sure to excite many, including local beer fans as well as folks eager to see the continued growth of downtown San Jose and the SoFA district in particular.
I had the good fortune to attend a preview dinner earlier this spring, and the event indeed portended a positive outlook for the brewery and restaurant and the surrounding area.
In becoming the newest member of the South Bay brewing community, Uproar will look to enhance the local beer scene by offering more options for beer fans with an emphasis on good beer and good food.
Very happy for the Uproar team and look forward to visiting soon.
Update: Below is the opening menu shared by Uproar a handful of hours after their initial opening date announcement: