Whole Foods Market has partnered with Headlands Brewing Company to create a holiday beer – Cloudview White Ale.
Cloudview White Ale is a blend of a Belgian Wit style with generous West Coast hopping and provides a change of pace from the more traditional porter and stout holiday offerings.
I very much enjoyed the beer during a recent sneak peek tasting and was struck by its citrus aromas and flavors combined with the more traditional Belgian Wit flavor characteristics of orange peel and spices.
To celebrate its release, keg tapping events will be held Friday, Nov. 3 from 5pm-7pm at five locations throughout the Bay Area:
Whole Foods Market Santa Clara
Whole Foods Market Dublin
Whole Foods Market SoMa
Whole Foods Market Potrero Hill
Whole Foods Market Coddington Mall
RSVP for a chance to win a beer cooler, pint glass and a Whole Foods Market gift card. Prize valued at $99. Purchase of a pint of Cloudview White Ale comes with a free holiday cheese pairing.
Cloudview White Ale will be available on tap and in 4-packs exclusively at Whole Foods Market.
Headlands Brewing was born when two brewers and athletes decided to embark on an adventure combining their passion for great beer with their love of land and sea. If we’re not at the brewery we’re likely running a trail, swimming off the coast, or just hanging out and drinking a beer.
We were very fortunate to be invited by Whole Foods Market to a festive sneak peek this past Wednesday of their holiday offerings for the upcoming season.
We sampled a variety of delicious foods, dishes and drinks from the Whole Foods Market holiday menu, including creations from William-Sonoma’s Amanda Haas, Nom Nom Paleo’s Michelle Tam, Top Chef finalist Melissa King and Whole Foods Markets’ Trent Page.
The event took place at Tank18 in San Francisco.
Taylor from Whole Foods Market and Patrick and Austin of Headlands Brewing Company.
Taylor and Headlands teamed up to create Cloudview White Ale, which made its debut at this event. It’s their take on a holiday beer and will be sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market.
We tasted a number of delicious cheeses, expertly guided by Nicholas, a certified cheese professional.
Also making its debut was the Golden Milk & Gingerbread Ice Cream, launched by Humphrey Slocombe and chef Melissa King and exclusive to Whole Foods Market as well.
We really appreciated the wonderfully warm hospitality provided throughout the evening. And it was great to have the opportunities to catch up with Greg (second from left), Melanie and Jen.
PR extraordinaire Erika.
As regular shoppers at Whole Foods Market – and having enjoyed the convenience of ordering fully-cooked turkeys and sides for past Thanksgivings – we fully appreciated seeing up close – and tasting! – the plethora of ways to help enhance the flavors of the holidays.
Brewmaster Guy Cameron was busy interacting with the first of many guests that evening.
The friendly bar staff.
On tap were four of Floodcraft Brewing’s own beers:
Curry for 3 Triple IPA
Solely Simcoe American Pale Ale
Nelmo American Pale Ale
Mindfulness American Amber Ale
Charcuterie, cheese and fruit platters galore. Plus cupcakes.
My bud Stef enjoying his flight of Floodcraft’s inaugural offerings.
All four Floodcraft beers were tasty, but I especially enjoyed Curry for 3 Triple IPA, a very well-balanced orange juice bomb with notes of tangerine, marmalade and papaya with a smoothness that belied its 10.5% ABV.
It was great – as always – catching up with Guy.
The Whole Foods team and guests expressed their appreciation for Guy’s leadership as well as for his consistently excellent creations.
Whole Foods also celebrated the occasion with their signature ‘breaking bread’ ceremony, which included pretzels that spelled out “FLOODCRAFT.”
Words of appreciation were given – again – to the Floodcraft Brewing Company brewing team, consisting of Guy and assistant brewer Ben Wright (right).
Ben and Guy.
I was grateful to have more than my fair share of the limited Curry for 3 Triple IPA.
In fact, it didn’t take long after the first initial sips to realize that Curry for 3 is one of my all-time favorites of any style.
What a memorable event – delicious food and beer, happy vibes and good times with good folks.
And look for Floodcraft offerings to start appearing at the other South Bay Whole Foods locations with taprooms.
The Whole Foods Market at 1146 Blossom Hill Rd. in San Jose has opened a new Tap Room inside its store, and news of the recent soft opening has been quickly spreading. An official grand opening gala will take place on Fri., Oct. 30 from 5pm-10pm.
Featuring eight beer taps, a cask ale beer engine – a second beer engine to come soon – and two wine taps, Tap Room hours are 11am-10pm daily with a weekday $1 off “happy hour” special on all draft beers and wines on tap from 4pm-6pm.
The Tap Room is spacious with plenty of indoor seating. Beer and wine – with plenty of bottled options as well – can also be enjoyed in the adjacent outdoor patio, with seating for up to 60-70. The Tap Room is well integrated within the front area of the store. The store itself is the first Whole Foods Market in San Jose, opening five years ago.
The Tap Room menu includes, among other items, artisan cheese plate, charcuterie plate, jalapeño popper mac and cheese, classic burger and fries, forest funghi personal pizza, spicy tuna crunch roll, tuna carpaccio and salmon carpaccio.
On a recent visit, Wesley Miller – Specialty Associate Coordinator for Northern CA – and Nate Kaufmann – South Bay Metro Marketing and Community Relations Lead – were on hand to talk more about the Tap Room and the grand opening celebration.
A major point of emphasis, according to Nate, is to foster a relaxed vibe where customers can enjoy learning about the varieties of beer styles from the knowledgeable, yet down-to-earth, staff. Wesley adds that the beer lineup – curated by tap specialist Brien Celestre – focuses on a variety of beer styles from mainly local Bay Area breweries. He recommends TapHunter as the beer lineup will rotate through quickly.
On my visit, the beer lineup included Lagunitas Born Yesterday Pale Ale, Almanac Pumpkin Sour, Faction Anomaly White Chocolate Milk Stout, Heretic Chocolate Hazelnut Porter, Lagunitas Fusion 32 IPA, Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale, Allagash Speciale Blonde and Dogfish Head Punkin Ale. Look for limited-release beers from San Francisco’s Fort Point Beer Company and San Jose’s Santa Clara Valley Brewing in the near future.
Additionally, cask ales will be featured on an ongoing basis at the Tap Room. Wesley says, “It’s something different and unique and allows us to work with the local brewers on seasonal, fresh offerings. Cask ales harken back to how beer was made centuries ago and provides an educational opportunity to teach more about the history of beer.”
As for the grand opening on Friday, look for giveaways and complimentary food – sliders, sushi, wings, cheese plates, and charcuterie board – while they last.
Tap specialist Brien has already scheduled the Tap Room’s first beer events – Oakland’s Ghost Town Brewing Tap Takeover on Fri., Nov. 6 from 6pm-10pm and San Diego’s Ballast Point Tap Takeover on Fri., Nov. 20 from 6pm-10pm to include a cask of Grunion Pale Ale with pineapple and passion fruit.
The opening of the Tap Room at the Blossom Hill store continues Whole Foods’ contributions to the local beer scene and follows the opening of the Brew Hub tap room in the Cupertino store last December and the Mission Creek Brewing Company and tap room at the Whole Foods on The Alameda in downtown San Jose.
The grand opening of San Jose’s second Whole Foods Market takes place on Tues., Dec. 9 at 777 The Alameda (at Stockton). The store houses Mission Creek Brewing Company, marking the first Whole Foods store in California with an on-site brewery and tap room. The company’s first brewery opened just a few weeks ago in Houston.
The opening day celebration starts at 9:45am with opening remarks and a bread-breaking ceremony. Doors open to the public at 10am, providing the first public access to the Mission Creek Brewing Company tap room.
There will be live, big-band music by Mark Russo and the Classy Cats, vendors sampling local foods and opportunities to meet regional and store leadership. Mix 106.5 (KEZR-FM) will host a live remote broadcast from 10:30am-12:30pm.
Mission Creek Brewing Company Brewery and Tap Room
The Mission Creek brewery and tap room are located on the second floor of a two-story, 5,600 square-foot “outbuilding” separate from the main store. The tap room has 22 total taps, featuring mostly beers and several taps for wine and sparkling water. On any given occasion, three to five of the taps will feature beers brewed by Mission Creek brewmaster Guy Cameron, who started just over a month ago.
The tap room has eight bar seats, a view of the brewery – which houses a seven-barrel system – and outdoor seating for about 75. The outdoor area also has a retractable roof and heating. Customers can also order cheese plates, pizzas and other pub foods from a restaurant-style menu.
Though the opening day tap list has yet to be finalized, specialty associate coordinator Wesley Miller, who oversees the store’s beer program, recently told me the following San Jose-brewed beers will be on tap for the grand opening:
Mission Creek Pale Ale
Mission Creek IPA
Santa Clara Valley Brewing Electric Tower IPA
Hermitage Brewing Company Cascade 45 Single Hop IPA
Hermitage Brewing Company Ale of the Imp Double IPA
Camino Brewing Company Nuberu Pale Ale
Miller further pointed out that the Nuberu Pale Ale serves as the first beer from Camino Brewing to make its public debut. Camino Brewing – whose focus is on organic, local ingredients – is seeking to open a brewery in downtown San Jose.
Mission Creek Brewing Company Brewmaster Guy Cameron
During a recent sneak-peek visit, Guy Cameron – a down-to-earth, likable good guy – told me of his local connection; he grew up in Fremont and lived in Los Gatos for about 10 years. Cameron attended UC Santa Barbara and completed a bachelors in business administration at CSU Hayward. He also has a technical writing certificate from De Anza College.
He was an avid homebrewer and remembers when his homebrew club Silicon Valley Sudzers – now a well-organized, thriving homebrew club – at times consisted of just him and a couple other folks.
His first commercial brewing job was as an assistant brewer at the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery in Campbell. He then accepted an offer to join Vinnie Cilurzo at the well-regarded Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa just as the production brewery was opening in 2008.
Starting off washing kegs, Cameron has been a fixture on the venerable Russian River Brewing team the past six years, where he has played a major role in brewing Russian River’s much-vaunted beers, including sour ales Supplication, Beatification and Consecration, as well as Blind Pig IPA, Pliny the Elder (Double IPA) and Pliny the Younger (Triple IPA).
The process of becoming Mission Creek’s brewmaster has been a whirlwind experience, and much has happened quickly. Cameron is thrilled to return to the South Bay and reconnect with people and the local scene, as well as be able to see his parents – who still reside in Fremont – more frequently.
The first two offerings from Mission Creek Brewing Company reflect Cameron’s affinity for hoppy beers – an IPA and a Pale Ale. Both are currently in the fermentation tanks but, thankfully, will be ready to enjoy by next week’s grand opening.
The much-anticipated Whole Foods Market on The Alameda in San Jose created quite a buzz last month with the announcement of its Dec. 9 grand opening date. Some highlights from the news release included:
42nd Whole Foods store in Northern California and the second Whole Foods in San Jose
35,000 square-foot space with a whole host of environmentally efficient features
Estimated to bring 150 jobs to San Jose
First store in California to have an on-site brewery and taproom and only the second store in the company with an on-site brewery (a Houston store will have a brewery up-and-running in early November)
Two-story, 5,600 square-foot brewery building to also house a coffee and fresh juice venue along with a restaurant-style menu
An in-house brewmaster who will create signature beers for the taproom
Like many San Jose residents, I have been keeping track of the store’s status ever since plans were first announced for the site in 2005. For me, the long wait has been justified thanks to the announcement made a couple summers ago that the site would have a brewery and restaurant.
And when construction finally began late last summer, I knew that it would be just a matter of time before folks throughout the area would flock to the store to check out the brewery, the taproom and, of course, the beers.
Overseeing the beer program for the new store is Wesley Miller, specialty associate coordinator for Northern CA and Reno. I had the opportunity to speak with him yesterday, and Miller shared some of his background as well as the latest updates on the brewery front, including an introduction to the recently selected brewmaster.
Can you tell us a bit of your background?
I grew up in San Jose and attended Foothill College and a couple other colleges in Humboldt. I’ve been with Whole Foods since 1999 and have worked primarily in the beer, wine and cheese specialty areas. Most of my positions have involved craft beer, from the store level to the regional level. I’ve opened up taprooms and have trained beer staff. I’ve taught proper pouring techniques and have procured new vendors.
How did you get into craft beer? Any “Aha!” moment?
After college I started working at the Whole Foods store in Campbell, and the search was continually on for the next great beer to enjoy. The South Bay didn’t have much beer culture at the time. There weren’t many beer stores. Teske’s stood out. Rose & Crown in Palo Alto had some cool beers. There was Sierra Nevada. Lagunitas was just getting big, and I was really into Belgian beers. My first Cantillon bottle was probably the “Aha!” moment.
I was also interested in making beer and wine and became a very avid homebrewer, attending homebrew club meetings.
The local beer culture started emerging in the mid to late 2000s, and I just really enjoyed the culture of craft beer. I wanted to be a part of the community and the industry. I appreciated the history of brewing, and I could taste the artistry in the beers.
I’ve enjoyed seeing the craft beer community grow first hand, and I’ve made great connections and relationships.
Who’s the brewmaster, and can you provide a brief background on him/her?
Guy Cameron. He starts today. Guy brewed with Russian River Brewing Company the last six years and before that was an award-winning homebrewer. He also previously brewed at the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery in Campbell.
He grew up in Los Gatos, so he’s a South Bay guy as well. He went to De Anza College and then to CSU, Hayward. He’s lived the last six years in Santa Rosa.
How is the buildout of the brewery coming along? When will the first beers be brewed?
We have a 7-barrel system, a couple fermenters. The tanks and equipment are in, and we’re installing a lot of it this week and next. We will start brewing in the next two weeks.
How much do you expect to brew in the first year?
Will the brewery have a separate name?
Yes. A distinct name will help differentiate the brewery. The name will pay homage to the local region.
How many taps will the taproom have, and which beers will you make first?
The taproom has 20 taps. We will start off with two taps of our own beers, and we’ll have a third tap for our seasonal beer. The rest of the taps will be dedicated to rotating guest taps.
In collaborating with Guy, we decided that the first style will be a nice, West Coast IPA. For the second beer, we’re still deciding, but it’s going to be something more sessionable, lower octane. Perhaps a saison or red ale.
Will you carry local beers on your guest taps?
We will look for local brewers to highlight them and help them grow. Each of our stores strives to do that.
I met with Camino Brewing Company last week, and I’ll be working on getting their kegs for the opening. Camino Brewing is based in San Jose, and we will be the first place to offer their beer on draft.
We will most likely have something from Santa Clara Valley Brewing on tap as well, hopefully a special beer for our opening.
We dedicate a lot of space in the stores for beer, really focusing on craft and local. We try to ensure that we’re up on the seasonal and limited-release beers by making relationships with breweries and helping to build their brands. We want each store to have the autonomy to bring in local beers.
Can you share more details of the taproom?
The taproom can fit 70 people comfortably. We’ll have bar seating and communal table seating, and all open to the outdoor elements on the rooftop deck. We want guests to have a beer or a glass of wine – we’ll have local wines on tap – and have a relaxing, enjoyable experience.
We will serve a pub menu to pair with the craft beers on tap, and that’s a big thing for us – to have a place that the community can come out to and find something new that can pair wonderfully with beer. We want to convert beer newbies to craft beer through such pairings and elevate the customer’s experiences with beer.
Why select San Jose as one of the first Whole Foods to have a brewery and taproom?
It made sense with our growth in the craft beer scene. We’ve built craft beer bars, and building a brewery was something we’ve wanted to do for a while. Brewing was simply the next logical step in the evolution.
And San Jose has a rich history of brewing. Very close to the store is the location of Fredericksburg Brewing Company, which was built in 1869. We want to bring back some of the history to the neighborhood.
Your take on the burgeoning San Jose beer scene?
Wine Affairs. Original Gravity. Good Karma. ISObeers. There’s more, and it’s great to be a part of that community. There may be something on tap at Good Karma that you’re excited about, but then afterwards you can go to Original Gravity for a different beer and experience a different atmosphere. And then check out San Pedro Square Market after that. There’s so much variety out there, and if you’re a craft beer drinker, you’re adventurous and seek out different things.
We will highlight the other beer bars and establishments. It’s about partnerships and creating that community.
Our opening is on Dec. 9, and we welcome folks to come on out and visit us.
Campbell Brewing Company. 200 East Campbell Ave., Campbell. 408-866-2699; www.facebook.com/CampbellBrewingCompany, Campbell. Note: Located inside the Sonoma Chicken restaurant, their beer offerings on tap (not listed on their website) include: Kolsch, Hefeweizen, Pale, ESB (Extra Special Bitter), Scottish Ale, and a seasonal Barleywine (10% ABV).
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant. 33 East San Fernando Street, San Jose. 408-294-6785; www.gordonbiersch.com. Note: There is also a location in Palo Alto.
Los Gatos Brewing Company. 163 W. Santa Clara Street, Downtown San Jose. 408-292-9928; www.lgbrewingco.com. Los Gatos location: 130 N. Santa Cruz Avenue. 408-395-9929.
These following locations make up the San Jose restaurants and bars that serve compelling beer:
Wine Affairs. 1435 The Alameda, San Jose. 408-977-0111; www.thewineaffairs.com. Notes: Craft beer fans of this place know not to be fooled by their name. There are special beer tastings that occur on Monday nights.
Harry’s Hofbrau. 390 Saratoga Ave., San Jose. 408-243-0434; www.facebook.com/pages/Harrys-Hofbrau-San-Jose/143417649033860. Note: Their “Thursday Pint Nights” featuring a particular craft beer/brewery have become increasingly popular, as this San Jose location has ramped up its craft beer offerings this past year.
Yard House. 300 Santana Row, San Jose. 408-241-9273; www.yardhouse.com/CA/san_jose. Note: With this location opening earlier this year in April in Santana Row, this place continues to be very popular, thanks in part to the over 130 beers on tap.
Teske’s Germania Restaurant and Beer Garden. 255 N. First Street (at Devine), San Jose. 408-292-0291; www.teskes-germania.com. Note: German dining featuring German draft and bottled beers.
The Naglee Park Garage. 505 East San Carlos Street (at 11th Street), San Jose. 408-286-1313; www.nagleeparkgarage.com. Note: A small, respectable craft beer selection on tap.
Tee Nee Thai Cuisine. 1423 The Alameda, San Jose. 408-947-7927. Note: Their Yelp page offers the best online source of information for this place, which offers a quality section of Belgian beers in bottles.
Lastly, there is a cluster of San Jose area bottle shops and stores that carry an array of top-notch craft beer selections: