Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Letters: Open Dating, Bigfoot, Grimbergen, Ace Cider

By William Brand
Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 at 4:22 pm in Uncategorized.

Bill, About Bigfoot, do you know any place around the Bay Area that may have 2006 BigFoot left in stock? Could you also send me your retailer list that you have mentioned in your blog?

David, Bigfoot is coming out in a week. And you can most likely still find last year’s at stores with good beer stocks. Sometimes, there’s even 2005 and 2004 around. Depends on the store. One thing about Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale from Sierra Nevada, it’s so strong that even if it’s been sitting on a warm shelf for a year or two, it might be OK.

It’s easy to tell the year, it’s on the bottle cap like the one above. (By the way, Danielle Ash took the photo of the Bigfoot bottle cap. She has a website devoted to beer bottle caps, fascinating stuff:

William, A friend of my told me about this beer – Grimbergen Optimo Bruno – that he had while he was stationed in England. Do you know if it’s available in the Bay Area?

Hi Ann. I’ve e-mailed the importer, but it doesn’t look like he brings it in. He does bring in Grimbergen Double and Tripel, but they’re apparently only a pale shadow of the 10 percent Optimo Bruno. Something similar and perhaps even better, which is available here is Abbaye Des Rocs, a strong, 9 percent beer, and Abbaye Des Rocs Speciale Noel, which is 10 percent.

Also, several of the beers made in Belgium at Trappist monasteries are similar. In fact, Grimbergen, made by Alken Maes,is a copy of a Trappist beer. The most easily obtainable in California is Rochefort 10. I believe it’s sold at Beverages and More stores. Also, you have two great shops on the Peninsula: Draeger’s and Beltramos. Best.b.

Hi Bill, Scottish and Newcastle now own Alken Maes Brewery and import Grimbergen Double and Triple but I don’t believe that they import the Optimo Bruno. Jeffrey House, Ace Cider, Sebastopol, CA.

Note: Jeffrey operates the only cider pub in California, if not America. He serves all his Ace ciders, including my fav, Ace Pear. The pub’s at 3100 Gravenstein Hwy North. The phone number is (707) 829-1101. He’s long been an importer of good beer, English and Belgian. All his beers are on tap including two new Belgians, which I haven’t had a chance to try yet: Abbey D’Aulne Belgin Double and Triples.

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  • Chuck Bostrom

    Hi Bill,
    Please send me your microbrew retailer list for the San Jose area. I am looking for Sierra Nevada Bigfoot but haven’t seen it yet. Nob Hill carried it in previous years, but they don’t seem to know if they will have it this year.