Fresh off last month’s four-year anniversary celebration, Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant (895 Villa St., Mountain View) is set to host a five-course Spring Fling Pairing Dinner featuring a number of Hitachino Nest Beer offerings from Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery.
The dinner takes place Wednesday, April 26 from 6pm-8pm, and the recently announced menu is below.
Poached Oyster paired with Mumm sparkling wine
Japanese-Style Egg Custard paired with a sake cocktail
Apple and Pear Salad paired with Hitachino Nest Red Rice (Pale Ale)
Main Entree of your CHOICE:
Monterey Spot Prawn paired with Hitachino Nest Saison Du Japon
– OR –
Kurobuta Pork Belly paired with Hitachino Nest Extra High XH (Belgian Strong Dark Ale)
Chocolate Cherry Black Forest Cake paired with Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout
Tickets are $75 (not including tax and gratuity), and reservations are required. Click here to make your reservation.
The dinner represents executive chef Colby Reade’s last big event at the Mountain View restaurant. He’ll be at the Cupertino location which is set to open in the coming months.
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain is celebrating its four-year anniversary with a BBQ celebration – featuring a pig roast and a slew of special draft beers – on Saturday, March 25.
The BBQ will be available beginning at 11am (Steins opens at 10am with their regular menu as well).
BBQ Menu for Outdoor Patio Guests
There’ll be a walk-up window for guests sitting outside.
Choices of meat: Ribs, roast pig, spicy pork sausage
Choices of sides: Baked beans, mac & cheese, cole slaw.
Pricing for outside:
$8: Your choice of one protein and one side
$14: Choice of 2 proteins and two sides
$20: All proteins and all sides
Note: Extra sauces will be available outside only
Pre-Fixed BBQ Menu for Guests Dining Inside
For guests dining inside the restaurant, there’ll be pre-fixed BBQ plates available for $16.
Pig and ribs with cole slaw and baked beans OR mac & cheese
Pig and sausage with cole slaw and baked beans OR mac & cheese
Ribs and sausage with cole slaw & baked beans OR mac & cheese
All with housemade Maker’s Mark BBQ Sauce
Steins manager Lynna Nguyen has provided a sneak peek to some of the beers to be tapped:
Allagash Hibernal Fluxus 2016 Belgian-Style Stout
Avery Oak-Aged Samael’s Barley Wine
Cascade Cranberry Sour Ale
Clown Shoes Hammer of the Beast Imperial Stout and Barleywine Ale
Elkhorn Slough Vierra Golden Ale
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout 2015 Imperial Stout
Lagunitas WTFarmhouse Sour Farmhouse IPA
Logsdon Oak-Aged Bretta Farmhouse Ale
The Bruery Poterie Anniversary Ale (Old Ale)
Included on the tap list will be the winner of last year’s annual Steins homebrew competition – Lower Ground American Stout brewed by Scott Wilson. All proceeds from this beer will go to a local charity of Scott’s choice.
Lynna – who’s been with Steins since the beginning – shares:
“We have come so far and worked so hard to make this restaurant what it is today. I am so proud of everyone and all that we have accomplished together. There is actually still a handful of us that have been here since the beginning, too.
“To watch this place develop into what Ted envisioned is amazing. I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this company. This year is a big year for us. As you know, we are opening our Cupertino location soon, hopefully in Summer 2017! We are so excited for this expansion of our company and are looking forward to the journey.”
Q & A with Ted Kim and Colby Reade
Steins owner Ted Kim and executive chef Colby Reade graciously took time out of their very busy schedules to share some thoughts about reaching the 4-year milestone.
How does it feel to reach the 4-year mark?
Ted Kim: It’s a very humbling experience. We started this endeavor hoping for the best but being realistic about the crushing odds that all new restaurants face.
Four years later, to see the success and impact we’ve been able to have as a business and on the community is nothing short of amazing.
Chef Reade: It’s great! You know, Ted and I always joke about it, how it sometimes seems like we just started. It’s funny like that, but then we think about certain experiences and memories, and we realize that it was a while ago.
For us, we know that there’s always room for improvement, and that’s the key that keeps us young and looking forward.
What have been your greatest highlights?
Ted Kim: Steins marriages and babies! Four years in we’ve seen our first marriages and babies being born from staffers who met and fell in love at Steins. Very, very cool stuff.
Chef Reade: We strive for consistency with our dishes, and one of the things I’m proudest of is the kitchen crew we’ve built. We have two amazing sous chefs – brothers Paco Guzman and Cheke Guzman. Paco worked at Johnston’s Saltbox in San Carlos, and both have worked at Pixar and Google. They’ve been with us the last couple years, and now they have chefs under them. I couldn’t take on our new Cupertino restaurant without them.
I’m constantly amazed by how many dinner items we sell other than burgers and sandwiches. We have a really good spread. Our lamb trio – we go through 3-4 whole lambs a week – steaks, seafood… there’s really nothing I want to push more. The burgers are still most popular, but we’ve tweaked the menu and fine-tuned it enough to sell everything according to our expectations.
What’s the latest on Steins Cupertino?
Ted Kim: Coming Summer of 2017. We are hiring key management positions, so interested parties can visit our Facebook page for more info.
Aesthetically, Cupertino will be have an updated modern look. The food menu will be the same but with differing specials.
The beer list will be different as well. Same 30 taps of beer, but the selection will ride heavily on the respective bar manager’s preferences. Both are fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing the varying directions they decide to go. You can definitely count on a great list either way!
Chef Reade: It’s coming faster than you think. From a kitchen perspective, we’ll open and start with the same menu as the Mountain View restaurant. We’ll let that run while taking a look at what the community wants.
Two pigs again for this year’s anniversary BBQ celebration?
Chef Reade: Yes, we’ll have two 80-pound pigs.
Anything else to add?
Ted Kim: We’ve officially launched our catering program. We received a lot of requests for it and finally decided to formalize our offerings. The reception has been great so far.
The Mountain View Oktoberfest was another stunning success. Every year seems to grow exponentially, and we’re already gearing up for 2017.
We also expanded and offered more hosted events throughout the year – the summer beer series, various pop-up dinners and pairings as well as showcasing some amazing new breweries. We even had a champagne brunch, flower-arranging class!
Chef Reade: Look out for a special spring Asian-French fusion dinner featuring Hitachino. It’s set for Wednesday, April 26 at 5:30pm. It’ll be our most formal dinner to date with six courses.
The first two courses will feature an unfiltered cold sake followed by a scotch distilled from the well-known Hitachino Nest White Ale. Four Hitachino beers will round out the rest of the dinner.
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant will be hosting three beer events during the coming week, and Steins manager Lynna Nguyen invites one and all to come out and enjoy good food, service, atmosphere and – of course – tasty beer.
Cascade Brewing Tap Takeover, Saturday, Feb. 11 at 5pm
The beer list featuring Oregon’s Cascade Brewing:
Cranberry, ABV: 7%. This NW style sour wheat ale was barrel aged for up to 12 months with cranberries, orange peel and cinnamon. Soft aromas of cranberries and light floral notes start this beer off. Tart, dry notes of sweet cranberries with hints of wild strawberries on the palate give way to a pronounced dryness and a lingering finish of cranberries and spice.
Strawberry, ABV: 7.1%. This NW style sour ale is a blend of wheat and blond ales aged oak wine barrels with strawberries and vanilla beans for up to twelve months. Bright and crisp, the 2015 Strawberry captures the essence of fresh strawberries with subtle notes of oak, vanilla, and fruit preserves.
Pumpkin, ABV: 11.4%. This NW style sour old ale is no trick, it’s all treat. We smashed and triple roasted 50 lbs of pumpkin down to 6 lbs, then aged the beer for 11 months on the roasted pumpkin in rum barrels. The aromas of spiced rum, mingled with the soft notes of roasted pumpkin, are notice up front. Spice, roasted pumpkin and rum is followed by a soft warming from within.
Blueberry, ABV: 7.33%. This NW style sour ale blends wheat & blond ales that were oak aged in barrels for 6 mths, then additionally aged 4 mths on fresh blueberries. Huge herbal notes of dense blueberries in the nose give way to hints of oak & a dusty floral note. Rich earthy notes of dark fruit on the palate lead to a tart finish that dries out to a base note of blueberry skins.
Noyaux, ABV: 8.94%. This NW style sour ale features blonds and triples aged on oak for 18 to 24 months, then additionally aged for 12 months on raspberries and apricot noyaux.
Sang Royal, ABV: 10.12%. This NW style sour ale was made with various red ales that were aged in oak with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, then blended with red ales that were aged in Port and Pinot Noir barrels.
Along with individual pours, flights will be available.
‘My Bitter Valentine’ Featuring Fort Point Beer Company, Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 5pm
Steins will be offering up a special ‘Crispy Sweet, Salty Pork’ appetizer along with the following offerings from SF’s Fort Point Beer Company:
SFBW Collaboration Beer (Kölsch style, ABV 5.3%). This year’s annual collaboration beer – New Frontier – was brewed at Fort Point Beer Company. Japanese satsuma provides notes of zesty citrus, while Pacific Northwest Douglas Fir lends a light pine aroma to the finish. It’s a balance of old-world tradition and modern technique.
Standard American Pale Ale, ABV 5.5%. A moderate, refreshing ale with noticeable hop aroma balanced by supporting malt flavors.
Animal Tropical Modern IPA, ABV 7%. This is a big, wild and aromatic IPA. Amarillo and Meridian hops give the beer a sticky orange mid-palate that’s balanced with a classic IPA bitterness from an early addition of Centennial. All of this wild hop action sits on top of a fairly simple malt bill. We use a blend of winter-grown Pearl and Pilsner malts to create a light and delicately sweet foundation.
Moonphase Bourbon Barrel-Aged Quadruple Ale, ABV: 13.0%. A unique reflection of old-world Belgian Quadrupel ales, Moon Phase shines brightly full of bourbon and charred oak. Notes of gingersnap, toasted almond and toffee elevate Moon Phase’s smooth alcohol warmth and fade into a gentle, sustained finish. A delicate blend of smoky Buffalo Trace and Smooth Ambler Rye bourbon flavors, Moon Phase’s complexity rises with every sip.
Look for flights of the four beers to be available as well.
The following four-course, beer-pairing menu features offerings from Watsonville’s Elkhorn Slough Brewing. Brewmaster Michael Enos specializes in small batch specialty beers – with a focus on barrel-aged wild ales – crafted from locally sourced ingredients.
Amuse (a bite-sized appetizer served to prepare your palate for the meal):
Chef Selection Amuse
Paired with Starlight (mixed-culture wild rye ale with brett, ABV 6.8%)
Winter Squash Soup
Paired with Goose Blind (juicy central coast IPA, ABV 6.9%)
Manager Lynna Nguyen shares, “We had such a great turnout the first time, we thought why not ring in the New Year with another taco & beer pairing event… This time we will be doing seafood.”
Made with house-made tortillas, the event features three prix-fixe pairings of tacos and beers (including beer cocktails) selected by bar manager Ryan Hummel:
Shrimp Ceviche Tostada paired with Steins’ Michalada
Veracruz Seabass Taco paired with Paloma Cocktail
Fried Rockcod with Chipotle Salsa paired with Moody Tongue Applewood Gold (smoked pilsner)
There’ll be a salsa bar as well: Guacamole (mild), Roasted Tomato (medium), Tomatillo (hot).
Simply visit the restaurant and let the host know that you are looking to join the taco event.
SF Beer Week Events at Steins
SF Beer Week is coming up quickly, and Steins has a couple of events scheduled:
Tues., Feb. 14: Fort Point Beer Company “My Bitter Valentine” – Featuring an IPA with Satsuma mandarin and fir tips, Steins will be offering up a salty pork dish to pair with the beer for Valentine’s Day. Other Fort Point beers will be on tap as well.
Thurs., Feb. 16: Look for a collaboration beer dinner with Elkhorn Slough Brewery Co.
Steins’ 3rd Annual Home Brew Competition and 4th Anniversary Party
For their 3rd annual home brew competition, Steins is inviting homebrewers to craft any beer style within the 2015 BJCP guidelines with the caveat that the beer will be called “Nägar The Destroyer,” named after one of their employees.
The drop-off period for home brews is March 11 – 16, and the winner will be announced at the 4th anniversary party to be held on Sat., March 25. Check out the Facebook event page for additional info. regarding the home brew competition.
The 4th annual Mountain View Oktoberfest celebration is set for this coming weekend, Saturday and Sunday (October 1st and 2nd). It’ll take place both days from 11am-7pm in the open-air parking lot located at Bryant Street at Dana Street, directly behind Steins and one block west of Castro Street. Each day will kick off with a ceremonial cask ale tapping at 11am.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – the Mountain View Oktoberfest – in my humble opinion – is the biggest and best of the local Oktoberfest-themed celebrations.
The celebration is Steins Beer Garden’s take on the traditional German beer festival, with a 7,000 sq. ft. beer tent, traditional German fare, live entertainment and plenty of German beer.
Steins owner Ted Kim says about this year’s festival:
“This year at the Mountain View Oktoberfest, guests will be able to choose from 8 different beer offerings: five authentic styles from German beer houses and three special brews from local breweries.
“Unlike years past, this year each beer house will be pouring from its own tent with proper signage. This way guests won’t be confused as to which line to stand in, and it will help speed up the lines. Come out and join us for another fun-filled Oktoberfest!”
Tied House director of marketing Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez adds:
“Mountain View Oktoberfest encompasses the true spirit of German Oktoberfest festivities with traditional German bands, food, beer and people from all walks of life enjoying the raucous celebration.
“We are proud to partner with Steins Beer Garden and Restaurant and the Chamber of Commerce Mountain View to bring this celebration to Silicon Valley for a fourth year.”
Beer and Food
The following beers will be on tap:
Steigl Grapefruit Radler
South Bay Church Lemon Basil Hef
South Bay Church Apricot Hef
Tied House Oktoberfest Lager
A variety of food options will be available for purchase from different vendors, including Aroma Concessions, Gourmet Faire and traditional German dishes from Teske’s Germania.
Commemorative steins with Mountain View Oktoberfest logo
$10 for 0.5-liter stein
$15 for 1-liter stein
$8 for 1 ticket
$30 for 4 tickets
1 ticket fills a 0.5-liter stein. 2 tickets fill a 1-liter stein. Attendees can bring their steins from past Mountain View Oktoberfest celebrations.
$6-$15 (depending on the dish)
Entertainment and Family Fun
There will be plenty of fun, family-friendly entertainment. Throughout the weekend, there will be live German music with performances by Big Lou’s Accordion, The SF German Band and Alpiners USA. There will also be kid-friendly activities, including bounce houses, face painting and games, pretzel eating contest, chicken dance and more.
A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Community Services Agency, located in Mountain View, and SOAR, a partner charity with Chamber of Commerce Mountain View. Student Outreach Award Resource (SOAR) is known throughout the community for its financial help and scholarship awards for high school and community college students looking to advance their education. Community Services Agency is a non-profit serving low income individuals and families.
About Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant
Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant is the vision of Bay Area native Ted Kim. Kim has more than 20 years of small business experience, including his tremendous success with Northern California’s Paris Baguette stores. Steins is a salute to the traditional European beer hall and garden, infusing rustic elements of nature with brilliant contemporary architecture. The Beer Garden will offer the perfect escape for guests to drink and socialize, and the Beer Hall will offer an ideal environment for guests to “eat, drink, and be merry.” Steins is open every day, Sundays 11am-10pm, Monday-Thursdays 11am-11pm (patio closes at 10pm), Friday-Saturdays 11am-11:30pm (patio closes at 11pm). Steins is located at 895 Villa St., Mountain View, CA 94041. For more information, visit www.steinsbeergarden.com and visit the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
About Tied House Microbrewery
Tied House was founded in 1987, and poured its first pint in January of 1988. Nearly 30 years later, Tied House continues its loyalty to the community and provides a dynamic, fun space where guests continue to enjoy their favorite Tied House beer, and a handcrafted, laidback menu. Since 2010, Tied House acquired over fifteen awards for their beer, including back-to-back Gold Medals for Ironwood Dark from the California State Commercial Craft Brewers Competition. In 2015, Tied House earned a prestigious Great American Beer Festival Bronze Medal for its Alpine Gold Ale.
Additional photos below courtesy of Mountain View Oktoberfest:
Oktoberfest in Munich takes place from September 17 to October 3 this year, and I’m sure there are many like me who wish they were going but won’t be.
Fortunately, there are a number of local, Oktoberfest-inspired events and celebrations taking 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 will also feature live entertainment and family-friendly activities.
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. Please let me know if I’m missing any. Prost!
Fri., Sep. 9 – Sun., Sep. 11: Redwood City Oktoberfest
What: For 3 days, downtown Redwood City will celebrate their 3rd annual Oktoberfest. There’ll be a huge tent with lots of seating, music (AlpinersUSA), dancing, contests and lots of beer, beverages, food and more. An entrance fee ($18-$20 and $10-$12 for kids & designated drivers) includes a commemorative stein and 1 drink ticket.
What: 4th annual Oktoberfest from 4pm-9pm with live music from The Family Gruber Band plus German food and German beer. Admission to the beer garden is $10 for ages 21 and over, $5 for ages 13-20 and free for 12 and under. Feel free to come dressed in your best Lederhosen or Dirndl.
What: Annual Oktoberfest from Sep. 16-18. They’ll be serving German beers plus a special German menu and be hosting musical guests all weekend. Come casual or dressed in your most authentic German outfits and celebrate.
Sat., Sep. 17 and Sat., Sep. 24: Ludwig’s German Table
What: Get out your Lederhosen and Dirndl and join Ludwig’s for Oktoberfest on Sep. 17 and Sep. 24 from 2pm-10pm. They’ll be turning their restaurant into a traditional Munich style festival ground with live music and special Beer Garden & Restaurant ($28) and Hall ($35) tickets.
What: The Tech Museum of Innovation presents Geektoberfest 2016, an annual event where brewers and scientists will explore the biology of beer with talks, demos and tastings. In conjuction with Geektoberfest, Content Magazine will host a Beer LAB event on The Tech’s private rooftop terrace, featuring music, food and beer tastings available only to Beer LAB guests. Ticket prices vary from $18 to $100. Local participating brewers include DasBrew, FireHouse Grill & Brewery, Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company and Santa Clara Valley Brewing.
What: 4th Annual Oktoberfest – taking place Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 – presented by Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant, Tied House and the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. They’ll be taking over a part of Mountain View’s Dana St. and Bryant St. with the parking lot, promising to be bigger and better than the previous years. There’ll be German beer, good food and family friendly entertainment.
Where: Parking lot at Dana St. and Bryant St., Mountain View
More info.: TBA
Sun., Oct. 2: OktoBRAfest
What: The 3rd Annual OktoBrafest takes places at the San Jose Woman’s Club from 3-6 pm. $25 tickets include a buffet of sausage, potato salad, sauerkraut, bread, dessert and one beer, cider or wine. Additional beverages are available for a suggested donation of $5.
What: Their 4th annual Oktoberfest celebration – their longest running event – returns with a new name – Oktober Beer & Music Fest – and promises to take things to a new level, featuring 3 bands this year and activating the entire Market instead of only the Sidewalk Cafe. The event will have games in different areas throughout the Market. Early bird tickets are $30 and will score you 3 beers instead of 2, but tickets do go up the longer you wait. From 2pm-8pm.
What: From 11am-4pm, enjoy the annual Peninsula Oktoberfest at Hiller Aviation Museum. There’ll be music (San Mateo Elks Band and Bayern Maiden), German beer and food trucks. There’ll also be beers from Devil’s Canyon, Voodoo Brewing and Anchor Steam.
What: Campbell Oktoberfest is hosted by the Campbell Chamber of Commerce, and it’s an entire weekend of live music, tasty food, arts & crafts, a kids zone and – of course – beer. Featuring 4 stages of live music and dozens of food vendors. Oktoberfest dress encouraged.
For anyone wanting to learn more about wild or sour beers, then consider signing up for the “Jeffers Drops Acid… Knowledge” seminar coming up at Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant in downtown Mountain View on Thursday, September 8, 6pm-8pm.
“Jeffers” – for those unfamiliar with the name – refers to Jeffers Richardson, the director of Barrelworks in Buellton and an expert on wild beer. Barrelworks is the home to Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s much heralded wild beer program.
Jeffers is an excellent speaker – knowledgeable, engaging and articulate. He’s also very down-to-earth. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing him speak at several past events, including the Firestone Walker Roots of Anniversary Ale XVI event held several years ago at Harry’s Hofbrau in San Jose.
The “Jeffers Drops Acid… Knowledge” series started earlier last year at Barrelworks, and has since been conducted at various locations throughout the country.
Firestone Walker senior sales manager Tony Riffis, a San Jose native and resident, confirms that the upcoming seminar at Steins is the first such event to take place in the South Bay.
Here are some additional details of this unique beer seminar courtesy of Firestone Walker:
Jeffers Richardson—director of Firestone Walker’s Barrelworks wild beer facility—is taking his trailblazing educational show on the road… under the banner of “Jeffers Drops Acid…Knowledge,” inviting you to explore how acidity shapes your sensory perception of wild beers.
“When it comes to wild or sour beers, acidity plays more of a role in the taste experience compared to traditional beers, which are more defined by their hop and malt profiles,” Richardson said. “This seminar is designed to explore the role of acidity, and to reveal not only what you are tasting in the beer, but also why.”
Perception vs. Reality
The seminars delve into the differences between pH and total (or titratable) acidity as well as the sensory relationship between smell and taste. Different concentrations of acetic, citric and lactic acids are tasted, enabling you to discover the signature characteristics of each. Along the way, you learn how each of these acids shapes flavor, mouthfeel and overall perception.
Each seminar then ends on a sour note with a special tasting of limited releases from Barrelworks to test your newfound knowledge and reinforce the lesson.
The “Jeffers Drops Acid…Knowledge” seminar series originated at the brewery earlier [last] year and was met with enthusiasm, prompting Richardson to take it on the road. A recent similar event in collaboration with The Rare Barrel in Berkeley sold out in two minutes.
“The response has been phenomenal,” Richardson said. “Many people are new to wild beers, and this is a really fun way to take a crash course.”
Jeffers’ upcoming talk will include a tasting of 3 Barrelworks beers:
Agrestic (American Wild Red Ale)
Bretta Rosé (Wild Ale Fermented with Raspberries)
Lil’ Opal (Barrel Aged Saison)
Steins will be providing appetizers for participants during the class.
Tickets to the event are $50 per person and available for purchase online. Tickets are required for attendance and include the aforementioned tastings and appetizers.