Tag Archives: Stuft Pizza Milipitas

Q & A with Ravi Takhar of Stuft Pizza Milpitas, Plus the Latest on the Soon-to-Open IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop

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The Stuft Pizza location in Milpitas has been making quite an impact on the local beer scene in recent years.

They’ve been hosting creative and very customer-friendly beer events – especially during the San Francisco and Silicon Valley beer weeks – and have well-regarded beers regularly on tap.

Along with a great tap list, the environment is fun and welcoming, and there’s a variety of hearty food options available.

The good folks behind Stuft Pizza Milpitas are general manager Ladi Musafar and assistant manager and beer buyer Ravi Takhar. Both have local ties – Ladi grew up in Yuba City and has been a Milpitas resident for the past 15 years, while Ravi was born and raised in San Jose and still lives in San Jose.

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Stuft Pizza Milpitas assistant manager/beer buyer Ravi Takhar (left) and general manager Ladi Musafar (right)

Through their social media accounts, Stuft Pizza Milpitas recently announced that they will be opening a new taproom and bottle shop right next door to be called IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop.

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Ravi recently took the time to answer some (mostly) beercentric questions about Stuft Pizza and to provide the latest details on the soon-to-open IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop.

Can you share a bit about the history of Stuft Pizza Milpitas? How long as it been around, and when did you first start offering craft beer?

Stuft Pizza Milpitas is a franchise of Stuft Pizza. Our location has been here since 1990 in Milpitas, and we are one of only two remaining in Northern California.

We started offering craft beer in 2013 when we decided to revamp our beer program by bringing in beers that you would never see at your local pizza place.

Our experiences in the world of craft beer have been really awesome because we have new people we get to meet each week when they find out about us on social media. New and regular patrons are always happy to try what is new on tap, and they are always fascinated with what we have to offer.

How many taps and bottled options does Stuft Pizza Milpitas have? What kinds of beers do you have on tap?

We have 40 taps and about 20 bottle selections.  Our bottle selection is going to go through the roof pretty soon once we get our bottle shop opened next door.

We like to keep our tap list with something from each style of beer we can find, like IPA, stout, porter, saison, sour, etc. I personally love IPAs, barrel aged porters and stouts.

What’s been your own experience with craft beer?

I have been a craft beer fan for about 6 years now, and I became a fan by going to places where I would try new beers based on the logo of tap handles. The more a logo would look interesting, the more likely it was that I would try the beer. I slowly started to learn more about beer by doing research.

I also met Jake McCluskey around 2014. He taught me more about beer styles and served me my first Pliny.

I fell in love with IPAs, Double IPAs, Triple IPAs, Imperial Stouts and barrel-aged variants.

Can you talk a bit about your extensive food menu? Which items are customer favorites?

Our food menu is definitely a highlight of coming here (our beer is awesome, too!) because our dough is made fresh daily here in our kitchen. The crust of our pizza pies are a very thick crust (we have thin crust and medium crust options, too) which is very tasty.

Crowd favorites include our Stuft Special, Meatball Pie, Chicken Bacon Ranch and Cool Ranch Luke. Our hot wings are also a favorite among patrons, which you can order sauced up with our sauces or without the sauce on them.

Anything else to add?

Our mission here at Stuft Pizza Milpitas is to provide a place and atmosphere that is simply for everyone to enjoy. We like to cater to everybody, which is why our dining room is set up for families or big parties. We have every major sports package on DirecTV for the sports fans, and we have a tap list of beer that has something for everyone to enjoy.

It feels really good to hear patrons say great things about our beer list, and it’s humbling when people say it is their favorite spot to come and hang out.

Seeing new people, meeting them and getting to know them is always amazing because this industry is all about bringing people together.

Switching gears a bit, how did the idea for IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop come about?

The idea for IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop came about one day when we realized how underserved our area of Milpitas is.

Everyone goes downtown to San Jose to drink great beer and we wanted to fill the void with offering great beers in bottles and on tap right here in Milpitas. So we decided to make a destination for beer drinkers by starting this taproom-bottle shop project.

Please share some of the details of the space, including any special features.

Our space is about 1,700 square feet. We plan to have 10 cooler doors of bottles and packaged beer for on-site and to-go with about 30-40 more taps of beer.

How did you come up with the name IBU Taproom & Bottle Shop? I assume IBU refers to the International Bittering Units scale, generally speaking the measurement of a beer’s bitterness?

The name IBU came about when we were drinking a Mega Fortunate Islands Double IPA by Modern Times Beer one night (shoutout to the other Andy Lee who gave us the bottle).

We were brainstorming what to name the new place, and when we turned the bottle around to read the caption (Modern Times and Lagunitas have the best beer label captions), Ladi saw IBU and the light bulb just clicked on.

The same bottle of Mega Fortunate Islands is on display at Stuft Pizza Milpitas above our taps as the motivation behind the new venture.

Do you have a tentative opening date yet?

We are hoping to be open mid-October, but that may change. Once all inspections are passed we will be able to set soft opening and/or grand opening dates. We will definitely keep you posted!

Additional photos from a recent visit to Stuft Pizza Milpitas below:

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Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America 2016 Collaborations, Local Tap Takeovers and Festival Tour

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has collaborated with 30 breweries – grouped into six regional teams – to create six different, one-time-only beers for 2016’s Beer Camp Across America (BCAA), a follow-up to their popular inaugural BCAA endeavor in 2014.

The six offerings come in mix 12-packs (two of each beer) and have been arriving on store shelves this month.

Look for the variety packs at your local craft beer store, including Spread Deli & Bottles, Royal Liquors, Cask n’ Flask, Maple Leaf Liquors, Gateway Food & Liquor, Coach House Wine & Spirits, Bobby’s Liquors and Santa Clara Liquors, and the bigger stores like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Safeway and Costco.

The Six Beers

The six beer styles – along with ABV info., tasting notes and regional brewing teams – include:

  • West Latitude—Session Rye with Hibiscus, 5.5%: West Latitude combines our Californian Left Coast love of fruity hops with a touch of Hawaiian “aloha” from the addition of hibiscus flowers, all anchored by robust malts and spicy rye. This session beer is light in body but looms large, like the long shadows of a westward setting sun. Brewed by the Norcal region: Bear Republic Brewing, Maui Brewing, Faction Brewing, Magnolia Brewing and Mad River Brewing.
  • Stout of the Union—Robust Stout, 7.3%: This stout hails from the land of sun, sand, and surf and proves that beach beer doesn’t have to be light colored and delicate. Stout of the Union is rich, roasty and full of deep malt flavor, creating a union of like-minded brewers together through beer. Brewed by the Southwest region: Beachwood BBQ & Brewing, Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey, Bagby Beer, Societe Brewing and Smog City Brewing.
  • Moxee-Moron—Imperial Session IPA, 7.5%: The city of Moxee, WA, is in the heart of the Yakima Valley hop growing region and this Imperial Session IPA—a style contradiction—honors the Pacific Northwest’s hop-bomb heritage. Moxee-Moron features hops in the mash, the kettle, the Hop Torpedo, and the fermenter for ultra-complex hop aromas and flavors in an ironically named package. Brewed by the Pacific Northwest region: Bale Breaker Brewing, Barley Brown’s Beer, Melvin Brewing, Black Raven Brewing and Odell Brewing.
  • Family Values—Imperial Brown Ale with Cocoa, 8.5%: Family Values showcases the cooperation and kinship of Midwestern brewers. It features largely Midwestern-grown ingredients: Minnesota wild rice, Indiana honey, Missouri oats, Michigan hops, and cocoa nibs from Illinois as well as Sierra Nevada’s estate-grown malt. This is our centrally located collaboration celebrating the best of the Midwest. Brewed by the Midwest region: August Schell Brewing, Dark Horse Brewing, Sun King Brewery, Perennial Artisan Ales and Half Acre Beer.
  • Pat-Rye-Ot—Revolutionary Pale Ale, 5.6%: Pat-Rye-Ot is an “old-meets-new” take on a pale ale by brewers all located in the original 13 colonies. It features rye and apples, which were among the first ingredients used by American brewers in the colonies, alongside bold American hops—hallmarks of our modern craft beer “revolution.” Brewed by the Northeast & Mid-Atlantic region: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Devils Backbone Brewing, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Stoudts Brewing and Trillium Brewing.
  • Sweet Sunny South—Southern Table Beer, 4.9%: The south holds strong to its traditional flavors—tea, honey-sweet peaches and corn grits—so we looked at those culinary cues for this southern-inspired table beer. With a golden grainy malt body and complex tangy finish from the fruit, tea and herbs, Sweet Sunny South is perfect for sultry summer sipping. Brewed by the Southeast region collaboration group: Funky Buddha Brewery, Wicked Weed Brewing, Austin Beerworks, Bayou Teche Brewing and Creature Comforts Brewing.

Local Beer Camp Across America Tap Takeovers

A couple South Bay draft locations have already announced events taking place this week featuring the BCAA collaboration beers on tap.

  • Thursday, May 12, Starting at 2pm: Stuft Pizza in Milpitas (1426 Dempsey Rd.)

Look for additional BCAA tap takeovers at SmokeEaters in Santa Clara and Cupertino, Fibbar Magee’s in Sunnyvale and O’Malley’s in Mountain View.

Beer Camp Across America Festival Tour in San Francisco

Sierra Nevada is celebrating Beer Camp Across America with a six-city festival tour, including a Bay Area stop at Pier 35 in San Francisco (1454 The Embarcadero) on Saturday, June 18 from 1pm-5pm. The beer festival features a commemorative tasting glass, 100+ beers from local and regional breweries and live entertainment.

Local breweries currently scheduled include:

  • Camino Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Campbell Brewing Company
  • Faultline Brewing Company (Sunnyvale)
  • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Hermitage Brewing Company (San Jose)
  • Red Branch Cider Company (Sunnyvale)
  • Santa Clara Valley Brewing (San Jose)
  • Strike Brewing Company (San Jose)

Tickets are $50 for General Admission and $70 for Early Access and available at the BCAA SF festival site.

Video of Sierra Nevada BCAA 2016

ABOUT BEER CAMP ACROSS AMERICA 2016

Presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Beer Camp Across America (BCAA) is the largest craft beer celebration, bringing together brewers from every corner of the country to create one-time-only collaboration beers and to stage huge beer festivals in craft-centric cities. BCAA showcases the creativity and camaraderie that make American craft beer extraordinary, and everyone’s invited—brewers and beer fans alike. Six beers created by 31 visionary breweries, it’s an experience craft beer fans won’t want to miss.

San Francisco’s Beer Camp Across America festival is presented by the San Francisco Brewers Guild. All proceeds from the ticket sales of this festival will benefit this organization, find more information at: http://sfbrewersguild.org/.

ABOUT SIERRA NEVADA BREWING CO.

Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is one of America’s premier craft breweries, highly regarded for using only the finest quality ingredients. The pioneering spirit that launched Sierra Nevada now spans both coasts with breweries in Chico, California and Mills River, North Carolina. Sierra Nevada has set the standard for craft brewers worldwide with innovations in the brewhouse as well as advances in sustainability. It is famous for its extensive line of beers including Pale Ale, Torpedo®, Hop Hunter® IPA, Nooner® Pilsner, Otra Vez™, Kellerweis®, Porter, Stout and a host of seasonal, specialty and limited release beers.

December Beer Events in and around San Jose

Beer events in and around San Jose

Simply visiting your local brewery (five at last count in San Jose) or other favorite beer place for a drink or two can be a fun, tasty event in and of itself, especially if you go with others and/or visit during peak business hours. That said, below is a roundup of some of the planned and organized local beer events taking place the rest of December, providing additional training opportunities in advance of next month’s SF Beer Week (Jan. 22–31, 2016) and the hundreds of beer-related events that will eventually take place throughout the South Bay region.

Wed., Dec. 9

Hermitage Brewing Company (1627 S. 7th St., San Jose), starting at 4pm: Hermitage will release their newest Single Hop Series IPA – Green Bullet, coming in at 7%ABV and 70 IBUs. Below are the Brewer’s Notes:

Green Bullet hops come to us from New Zealand and are the result of open cross-pollination of the New Zealand “Smoothcone” variety. They are typically used as a bittering hop in lagers and stouts, but we have never let such labels get in the way of the Single Hop Series. The aroma is slightly sweet and very green, displaying a pleasant “hoppiness” that reminds us of European Noble varieties. Those characteristics carry over strongly to the flavor with a huge grassy, spicy, classic “hoppy” profile that takes you back to the days before hop flowers tasted like tropical fruit. The finish is smooth and dry, and leaves just a hint of that hoppy character on the palate. This hop definitely lives up to its name. Pair with spicy Thai curry or grilled seafood.

Thurs., Dec. 10

Harry’s Hofbrau (390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose), starting at 6pm: “8 Bridges Russian Hill Release” – Once a year, Eight Bridges Brewery from Livermore releases their 10% Russian Imperial Stout aged in Jack Daniels barrels. Also on tap will be Belgian IPA (loads of Citra hops melded with light Belgian character), Big Citrusy DIPA, award-winning Stout and more.

Fri., Dec. 11

Original Gravity Public House (66 S. 1st St., San Jose), 6pm-11:45pm: “Calicraft Grizz, Buzzerkeley Red and Harvest Sparkling Ale Release” – Join Original Gravity as Calicraft owner/head brewer Blaine Landberg will be in house to talk you through these three new offerings. Buzzerkeley, Cali Coast, The City and Oaktown Brown will also be on tap.

Sat., Dec. 12

Beer Snobiety Toy Drive at Stuft Pizza (1426 Dempsey Rd., Milpitas), 4:30pm-9pm: Join Beer Snobiety for their Holiday Toy Drive at Stuft Pizza, home to 30 plus dedicated craft beer taps and 24 flat screens. Beer Snobiety will give away one free glass (while supplies last) for every toy donated and a raffle ticket for giveaways generously donated by local businesses. Beer Snobiety will also unveil their winter collection with a new hoodie, long sleeve shirt and a new beanie.

Sun., Dec. 13

San Pedro Square Market (87 N. San Pedro St., San Jose), 11am-4pm: “The Ultimate Ballast Point Takeover” is the last beer bash this year at San Pedro Square Market and will feature over 20 Ballast Point beers, including Sculpin IPA and its many variants and two “dueling” casks, as well as Ballast Point spirits. The two casks include Victory at Sea Oreo Cask (brewed with Oreo cookies) and Victory at Sea Samoa Cask (brewed with Samoa girl scout cookies). Market Beer Company will pour Boob Check Awareness Ale, Dorado DIPA with Watermelon, Barmy Ale, Navigator Dopplebock, Homework Series Batch #6, Sour Wench Blackberry Ale, Creamsicle Fathom and Rum Barrel Aged Victory at Sea.

Thurs., Dec. 17

Harry’s Hofbrau (390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose), starting at 6pm: “Clown Shoes Barrel-Aged Beer Night” – Featured beers include Flight of the Angry Beast (a blend of three barrel-aged beers), Rexx Imperial Red aged in Four Roses and Heaven Hill barrels and more.

Original Gravity Public House (66 S. 1st St., San Jose), 6pm-11:45pm: “Uinta Crooked Line and More” – Original Gravity welcomes back Uinta Brewing Company and will feature ten offerings focused on their Crooked Line as well as other seasonal offerings.

Sat., Dec. 19

ISO:beers (75 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose) and The Beer Heads Toy Drive, 5pm-9pm: Each unwrapped toy earns a raffle ticket towards giveways (beer, gift cards, glassware, etc.). Raffle winners will be announced at 9:30pm. Show your raffle ticket throughout the night for $1 off draft beers.

Trail Dust BBQ (17240 Monterey St., Morgan Hill), starting at 2pm: Trail Dust BBQ hosts a “Funk N Dank X-Mas with The Rare Barrel and Sante Adairius” and welcomes the founders of The Rare Barrel (Alex Wallash and Jay Goodwin) and Sante Adairius (Adair Paterno). Trail Dust will pour five kegs each from The Rare Barrel and SARA, including the following beers:

 Dubious Nights – dark sour aged in tequila barrels (not yet released, only keg of this leaving the brewery); 
Map of the Sun – golden with apricots; 
Positive Valence – golden with orange peel and lemon peel; 
Sourtooth Tiger – golden with ginger
; Feed The Monster – golden with blueberries (last Ambassadors of Sour release of the year, only keg of this leaving the brewery); 
Saison Bernice – farmhouse ale
; Appreciation – barrel-aged farmhouse ale fermented with boysenberries and our resident funk
; 831 IPA; and more.

Each guest who purchases a commemorative glass will receive discounted pours for the day.

[This post was shared on Examiner.com.]