Steve Altimari of High Water Brewing and Drew Ehrlich of Strike Brewing Co.
Strike Brewing Co.’s Tyler Rusten and a pour of Strike’s tasty Winter Camp (Winter Warmer Olde Ale). Tyler later shared that he had accepted a brewer position at Fearless Brewing Company in Oregon. Best wishes, Tyler!
Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Coleen Clark.
Michael Barker of Sactown Union Brewery and Peter Licht of Hermitage Brewing Company share a laugh.
El Toro Brewing Company’s Geno Acevedo.
Almanac Beer Co.’s Brian Sneed, Fernando Tovar and Fernando’s wife Sandra.
Hermitage Brewing Company’s Mark Fazzio, Nicole Marquez and Joel Wind.
Enjoying a pour of Luponic Distortion No. 004 from Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Mark and Corey.
FireHouse Grill & Brewery’s Larry Hoang.
Beer enthusiasts Anita Arguello and Mike Condie.
Santa Clara Valley Brewing’s Coleen Clark and Hermitage Brewing’s Carolyn Hopkins-Vasquez. Carolyn later shared that the end of the year would be her last day as marketing director of Hermitage Brewing Company and Tied House. With her family moving to Sacramento, her departure (which I’ve mentioned previously) is a big blow to the local beer scene (for instance, Carolyn coordinated this event). We’ll miss you, Carolyn!
Jon Siddoway and Siobhan Faul of Red Branch Cider Company and Rabbit’s Foot Meadery.
The next Hops & Harvest beer dinner event at Michael Mina’s Bourbon Pub – located at Levi’s Stadium (4900 Marie P. DeBartolo Way, Santa Clara) – is set for Thursday, October 13 beginning at 6pm.
The 6-course beer dinner will showcase offerings from San Jose’s Strike Brewing Company. Strike represents the second local brewery in a row to be featured in Bourbon Pub’s beer dinner series.
Executive chef Steven Gotham has crafted an intriguing menu that highlights the various aspects of beer that make it such a versatile beverage when used to pair with food. Below is a sneak peek of the beer dinner menu:
First Course Hamachi Crudo Tostadawith Classic Dot Blonde Ale
Sixth Course Mango Upside Down Cake, Crème Fraiche Sherbetwith Screaming Hand Imperial Amber Ale
Tickets for the beer dinner are $65 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Seating is limited, and reservations can be made by calling 408-579-4460 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Representatives from Strike will be on hand to answer any questions about the brewery and their beers. There’ll also be raffles held throughout the dinner with chances to win prizes courtesy of Strike and the 49ers.
The beer dinner is the fourth such dinner in Bourbon Pub’s ongoing Hops & Harvest beer dinner series, which started earlier this year. The upcoming beer dinner follows a very successful beer dinner held in August featuring Santa Clara’s Golden State Brewery, which I had the good fortune to attend and write about.
San Jose’s Strike Brewing Company recently tapped the latest offering from their Bullpen Series – Cherry Bonds, a kettle soured blonde ale conditioned on tart cherries.
Cherry Bonds – their 14th Bullpen release for those keeping count – was tart (naturally), crisp, refreshing and very tasty.
Previous Bullpen Series beers from earlier this year have included – to name a few – Berliner Weisse with blueberries and pomegranate, Rained Out Pale Ale with pineapple and toasted coconut, Bergamot Breakfast Pale Ale with local lemon zest and Earl Grey tea, Milk Stout and Big Wall Imperial Stout with Madagascar Vanilla Beans.
Because of the growing popularity of the Bullpen Series and the consistently positive feedback on these beers – combined with the fact that they’re brewed in micro-batch quantities – a Bullpen beer is consumed quickly and then, in most cases, gone forever.
Indeed, Strike co-founder and brewmaster Drew Ehrlich confirmed that the Bullpen beers – released periodically throughout the year and available only at the taproom – rarely last past a couple days.
The Bullpen Series is an excellent complement to their regular beer lineup and is the brainchild of Strike brewer Ryan Bridge. A South Bay native, he joined Strike about two years ago and has been quickly making his mark as a professional brewer.
Ryan recently took the time to share a bit about his background, how the Bullpen Series came about and upcoming beers to look forward to from the Series.
Can you share a bit about your background? Where are you from/where did you grow up? College/major?
I grew up in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, so I’m originally from the South Bay. After high school I moved down to San Diego to study History and Literature/Writing at UCSD. In August 2014, I moved back up to the Bay Area and started working at Strike.
What’s been your experience with brewing?
I began brewing in college, experimenting first with mead and wine until eventually my dad bought me a homebrew starter kit for one of my birthdays. From that point on I homebrewed regularly.
I spent a lot of time visiting local breweries and usually attempted to clone the recipes of beers that I liked.
How did you go about joining the Strike team? When did you start at Strike?
When I moved back up to the Bay Area in 2014, I knew I wanted to commit to becoming a part of the beer industry. I got in touch with [Strike co-founder and CEO] Jenny [Lewis] and began helping out by pouring beer at events and in the taproom.
Eventually I worked my way into the production side, learning to work the bottling line as well as the cellar. After assisting Drew in the brewhouse for a while, I began brewing full time in early 2015.
How has it been working at Strike?
Working at Strike has been an awesome experience. Since we are such a small operation, we all wear many hats and inevitably learn something new every day.
I’ve grown tremendously as a brewer, and it has been really fun to see Strike expand and become a bigger part of the San Jose community.
Can you share how the Bullpen Series started? What were the goals?
We began the Bullpen Series beers with a couple of goals in mind. First, we wanted to bring a wider variety of styles into the taproom for our regulars and those visiting the brewery.
We also needed an outlet to develop new recipes in the hopes of eventually scaling them up into full production (Shoeless Joe Imperial Coffee Brown, for example).
Ultimately, brewing the Bullpen beers has been a great way for me to practice with fun, new ingredients, as well as brewing techniques.
Can you share more about the brewing system for the Bullpen Series?
When we first started the Bullpen Series, we were brewing on a 10 gallon homebrew system – our mashtun was an Igloo cooler and our kettle was a 15.5 gallon keg with the top cut off.
Once we realized all of the benefits of a dedicated pilot system, we upgraded to a two-tiered K-RIMS system that allows us to brew up to 20 gallons at a time.
How often do you try to release a new Bullpen Series beer?
Our goal is to release two Bullpen beers a month, but it is really dependent on our production schedule.
Just curious – what’s been your favorite one so far?
My favorite so far was probably the barleywine we brewed for our first anniversary party. I think I still have a couple of bottles of that one stashed away somewhere…
Any beers and/or beer ideas coming up for the Bullpen Series?
We have a long list of beer styles ready to be brewed. There is a cucumber/lime Kolsch conditioning in our walk-in cooler currently, and we have some experimental single-hop pale ales in the works as well.
I plan on brewing at least one (hopefully two) for our Second Anniversary party on October 8th at Strike.
Cheers to 2 Years!
The Second Anniversary party on Saturday, Oct. 8 – from 1pm to 9pm – commemorates the 2-year mark for Strike’s South 10th Street brewery and taproom location.
And as demand for Strike beers continues to climb – both Jenny and Drew recently confirmed that Strike’s never been busier – the party will also be an occasion to celebrate their accomplishments to date.
$20 gets you a special glass that’s yours to keep and 3 pints of your choosing. Everything is a pint that day.
There will be a band, a raffle, a Sports Gallery Silent Auction and more.
On hand will be food trucks Gow Chow (1pm-5pm) and Kushi Yaki (5pm-9pm).
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.”
The year has been one of major growth for San Jose’s Strike Brewing Company (2099 S. 10th St.). Next month, Strike celebrates a major milestone – the one-year anniversary of the opening of their production brewery and warehouse taproom. The anniversary bash takes place Sat., Oct. 3 from 1-9pm and features special food and brewery releases. There will also be brewery tours at 2pm and 4pm. Tickets to the bash can be pre-ordered: $20 for three pints and a Strike pint glass to take home.
Another highlight takes place later this evening when Strike brewmaster Drew Ehrlich throws the ceremonial first pitch during the Oakland A’s vs. Seattle Mariners game at O.co Coliseum. Below is the press release issued earlier this morning:
Oakland, CA, September 4, 2015 – Strike Brewing Co. Brewmaster Drew Ehrlich will be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch prior to today’s game when the Oakland A’s take on the Seattle Mariners at 7:05 PM. An Oakland A’s marketing partner at O.co, Strike Brewing Co. is also participating in the Oktoberfest Brewmaster Event prior to tonight’s game.
“The sponsorship has been an amazing opportunity for us to share our beers with the East Bay,” shared CEO and co-founder Jenny Lewis, “and it’s only natural that Drew is on the mound once again here in the Bay Area”.
The return to the mound is in reference to the Former Stanford baseball pitcher and graduate, Drew Ehrlich, who also pitched in the Boston Red Sox organization. Drew immersed himself in the brewing industry after baseball, and became co-founder of Strike Brewing Co. in San Jose, CA.
Strike Brewing Co.’s current lineup features Hunt for Oktoberfest, Horn Rounder IPA, Double IPA, Lucky Bullet Belgian Style Wheat, Lumber Buster Brown Ale, and the Colossus of Clout Irish Red Ale. Strike Brewing Co. beer is also available at several other locations throughout the ballpark.
Strike Brewing Co. is a craft brewery and warehouse taproom located in San Jose, CA. Strike makes thirst-quenching “session” beers, as well as seasonal and specialty brews. Founded by Los Altos native and startup veteran Jenny Lewis and brewmaster Drew Ehrlich, Strike beers are distributed throughout the Bay Area. Ehrlich played college baseball at Stanford University and within the Boston Red Sox organization, which led to the company’s name Strike Brewing Co.
San Jose’s Strike Brewing Co. has opened a beer garage (concession stand) at O.co Coliseum, and fans attending the Oakland A’s home opener earlier this evening had first crack at purchasing draft and bottled Strike beers offered for the first time inside the stadium.
The initial draft lineup features Wit, Brown and Opening Pitch Pale Ale, plus three bottled selections – Blonde, IPA and Irish Red Ale. Strike beers will also be available at several other locations throughout the ballpark.
“We’re thrilled to be able to offer A’s fans more choice when it comes to the beer they enjoy during the game,” said Strike co-founder and CEO Jenny Lewis in a recent press release. “This expansion is just one piece of our larger effort to make the world aware of the great craft beer being brewed right here in the Bay Area.”
Speaking of expansion, the Strike team has added a number of key personnel in recent months. The brewery has also added new equipment. All of which to help keep up with both the demand for their beer – Strike is on pace to produce 5,000 barrels this year – as well as spur continued growth.
Strike chose a particularly good home game this evening to debut their beers – an exciting win punctuated by plenty of offense, solid defense, and shut-out ball with a no-hitter into the eighth inning by A’s ace Sonny Gray. Certainly an impressive win. May there be many more wins this season, to be celebrated with a Strike beer – or two – in hand when at the stadium.
Strike Brewing Co. is a craft brewery and warehouse taproom located in San Jose, CA. Strike makes thirst-quenching “session” beers, as well as seasonal and specialty brews. Founded by Los Altos native and startup veteran Jenny Lewis and brewmaster Drew Ehrlich, Strike beers are distributed throughout the Bay Area and parts of Southern California. Ehrlich played college baseball at Stanford University and within the Boston Red Sox organization which led to the company’s name Strike Brewing Co.
SF Beer Week kicks off this Fri., Feb. 6 with the Opening Gala at SF’s Fort Mason Center, Herbst Pavilion, where over 80 Bay Area breweries will be pouring their finest offerings. As a testament to the Opening Gala’s popularity, tickets sold out in just twelve days back in December. Participating South Bay breweries include:
Campbell Brewing Company
El Toro Brewing Company (Morgan Hill)
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company (San Jose)
Hermitage Brewing Company (San Jose)
Palo Alto Brewing Company
Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company (San Jose)
Strike Brewing Company (San Jose)
SF Beer Week runs through Sun., Feb. 15 and features hundreds of beer-related events, over 700 at last count. As in years past, there is a plethora of beer-related events taking place in the South Bay.
The following is a list of some of the standout, predominantly South Bay-centric events scheduled throughout this opening weekend. These are the events that I would love to attend if I could clone myself.
Note: Some of the events will require tickets to be purchased ahead of time. Visit the SF Beer Week website for the complete schedule of events.
SATURDAY, FEB. 7
Fibbar Magees, 156 South Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale: Lagunitas Extravaganza, 11am-11:30pm. A tap takeover features 15 Lagunitas offerings, including a vintage Imperial Stout (2013) and the release of their annual special SFBW Fusion beer (Fusion 27).
Market Beer Company, 100 N. Almaden Ave., San Jose: Walker’s Wild Ride, 11:30am-1:30pm. Market Beer Company, located inside the San Pedro Square Market, is the first Bay Area stop for Firestone Walker co-proprietor David Walker and barrelmeister Jeffers Richardson. They are bringing their collection of specialty Barrelworks sour beers.
Rose & Crown, 547 Emerson St., Palo Alto: Sour Sunday in PA (Part 1), 11:30am-11:30pm. Get pucker faced with Rose & Crown yet again at their annual sour beer event, with offerings from Russian River, Bear Republic, Palo Alto Brewing, The Bruery, plus more on tap and in bottles.
Beerwalk: Japantown, Jackson St., San Jose: Japantown Beerwalk, 2-6pm. The award-winning Beerwalk series returns triumphantly to Japantown, the site of the first ever Beerwalk three years ago, and will feature offerings from a number of local breweries, including Hermitage, Santa Clara Valley Brewing, Strike, Gordon Biersch, Faultline, FireHouse and more. The first 60 to check in the day of the event will receive a complimentary tour of the nearby Gordon Biersch bottling and production facility. Tickets are $30 if purchased in advance at Jack’s Bar & Lounge or online.
Wine Affairs, 1435 The Alameda, San Jose: 6th Annual Double Blind Double IPA, 2-8pm. Always a fun event, come out and blind taste 8 Double IPAs and help determine the best in show. Admission is $15 per person.
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company, 935 Washington St., San Carlos: Mavericks Brewing Tunnel Vision IPA Release, 2-5pm. Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company hosts the 2nd Annual West Coast Craft Can Invitational (16 confirmed breweries) which will showcase some of the Bay Area’s finest canned beers. A special beer launch features Half Moon Bay’s Mavericks Brewing and their newest canned beer Tunnel Vision IPA in 16-oz. cans. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased online.
Harry’s Hofbrau, 390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose: Annual Stone Tap Takeover with Secret Ruination Firkin! 5-11:30pm. A special tap list of Stone beers will include a cask of Ruination conditioned with secret ingredients for which you will have to come out to find out.
SUNDAY, FEB. 8
Mission Creek Brewing Company, 777 The Alameda, San Jose: Bangers and Beer: An Ode to the Perfect Pair, 12-4pm. Mission Creek Brewing, California’s first Whole Foods store with in-store brewery, looks to honor the perfect pairing that is sausage and beer by pouring their own Mission Creek beers, along with other local beers, to be paired with items from an exclusive menu highlighting their made-in-house sausages.
Oak & Rye, 303 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos: Pizza & Beer Pairing, 12-3pm. The popular and well-regarded restaurant Oak & Rye will be making special pies (all you can eat) to pair with offerings from Firestone Walker, Oskar Blues and Ballast Point. Tickets are $30 and gets you unlimited food and 8-oz. pours of up to 9 beers. Tickets can be purchased online.
Bierhaus, 383 Castro St., Mountain View: Meet the Brewers: Clandestine Brewing, 1-5pm. Meet the founders of Clandestine Brewing and enjoy an afternoon of their beers. Plus there will be raffle prizes.
San Pedro Square Market, 87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose: Lagunitas Beer Parade, 1-4:30pm. Enjoy offerings from Lagunitas inside the Market or out in the patio as you roll through the Market Bar (1-2pm), Garage Bar (2-3pm) and Market Beer Company (3-4:20pm) for special releases that are typically available only at the brewery. There will be live music and giveaways.
The Brew Hub inside Whole Foods Market Cupertino, 2099 Stevens Creek Blvd.: Sierra Nevada Off-Flavor Tasting Panel, 1:30-6pm. Expand your skills towards understanding beer flavors and aromatics by participating in this sensory training event. Registration is $35 and includes beer for the flavor tasting and two Sierra Nevada beers: barrel-aged Torpedo and barrel-aged Narwhal (6 oz.). Tickets can be purchased online.
Santa Teresa Golf Club, 260 Bernal Road, San Jose: Meet Strike Brewing – A Talk and Tasting, 3-5pm. Come learn more about Strike Brewing Company, including how they built their business and what the future holds. A $5 tasting fee includes 4-oz. samples of 5 of their beers. There will be $4 pints and bottles of their beers as well.
Several establishments are celebrating SF Beer Week with week-long specials. Highlights include:
Mixx, 420 Castro St., Mountain View: Mixxing with Firestone: 4 Course Pairing Menu. Chef Joel Whitaker will prepare four courses to pair with four of Firestone Walker beers, including Pale 31 baby crab cake with Pale 31, butter lettuce wedge with mustard vinaigrette with Double Barrel Ale, salmon with Thai curry with Union Jack IPA and a scoop of housemade Wookie Jack sorbet with spiced cake bite with Wookie Jack. $40.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, 390 Capistrano Rd.: Beer and Dessert Pairing. Each dessert bite created by chef Gaston Alfaro has been paired with one of brewmaster James Costa’s seasonal beers (4-oz.), including Mavericks gingersnap mascarpone tart paired with Brown Ale, mini bleu cheese cheesecake with candied bacon and a maple bourbon reduction paired with Double Bore IPA, spiced poached pears paired with PaPa Juice Barleywine and beeramisu paired with Calf-eine Coffee Milk Stout. $20.
Psycho Donuts, 2006 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell: A Psycho Donut Walks into a Firestone… Firestone Walker, Hella Hot Hot Sauce and Psycho Donuts are teaming up to create an 805 Apricot Blonde Ghost, Union Jack Glazed and Chocolate Merkin.
As you can see, there are options galore. What SF Beer Week events do you plan to attend this weekend?
San Francisco Beer Week 2015 kicks off with the Opening Gala, the Bay Area’s premier beer event taking place Fri., Feb. 6 from 6-10pm at the spacious Fort Mason Center – Herbst Pavilion in San Francisco.
The SF Beer Week Opening Gala cannot come quickly enough for beer fans, and many have already purchased their tickets which recently became available online.
The Opening Gala welcomes over 80 Bay Area breweries and features many of their finest offerings. South Bay breweries include:
Campbell Brewing Company
El Toro Brewing Company (Morgan Hill)
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company (San Jose)
Hermitage Brewing Company (San Jose)
Palo Alto Brewing Company
Santa Clara Valley Brewing Company (San Jose)
Strike Brewing Company (San Jose)
Campbell Brewing will participate in the Opening Gala for the first time, providing those new to the brewery the opportunity to sample beers from brewmaster Jim Turturici, winner of recent, consecutive medals from the prestigious Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and the World Beer Cup.
Opening Gala tickets are $75 and include a commemorative glass with which to enjoy unlimited four-oz. samples of brewery offerings. Local food will be available for purchase from Alicia’s Tamales, Belly Burgers, Good Foods Catering, Kung Fu Tacos, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Soul Groove and Curry Up Now.
Visit the Opening Gala Eventbrite page to purchase tickets and for event details, including ticket policies and notices and the current list of participating breweries. As in recent years, expect tickets to sell out quickly.
SF Beer Week, presented by the SF Brewers Guild, runs through Sun., Feb. 17. Visitors to the SF Beer Week website will see the just-released schedules for the first wave of beer-related events taking place throughout the Bay Area and can conduct searches for events by regions – San Francisco, East Bay, North Bay and South Bay. South Bay beer fans need not worry; many more events will show up in the coming days and weeks.
A significant milestone in the San Jose and South Bay beer scene takes place Sat., Oct. 4 as San Jose’s Strike Brewing Company (2099 S. 10th St., #30) celebrates the grand opening of their warehouse taproom and brewery from 2-8pm.
After a two-and-half month soft opening period, the grand opening marks the first time that all 8 taps will be in full use, featuring the following lineup of seasonal and year-round beers:
Oktoberfest (seasonal and making its debut) – IBU: 28, ABV: 7%
Porter (seasonal) – IBU: 23, ABV: 5%
Double IPA (seasonal) – IBU: 93, ABV: 8%
Chin Music Extra Pale Ale (seasonal) – IBU: 42, ABV: 7%
Co-founder and CEO Jenny Lewis recently provided me the following details regarding the grand opening:
“Please bring your own chairs! We expect to be tight on seating. Food vendors will include Fusion Jerky and the awesome food truck – Melts My Heart.
“We’ll have a band – Alec Lytle & Them Rounders – and games like corn hole set up. New merchandise apparel will be available, and a portion of the proceeds will support the US Pain Foundation.
“We won’t be doing flights that day, just pints. Pints of all beer will be $4 during the grand opening, and [co-founder and brewmaster] Drew [Ehrlich] will provide brewery tours at 3, 4, 5 and 6pm.”
Strike Brewing Company makes thirst-quenching, “session” beers as well as seasonal and specialty brews. On pace to produce 1,000 barrels this year, they are distributed all over the Bay Area and various parts of Southern California. The warehouse taproom and brewery is located in San Jose, California.