Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

E-mails: Wunder Brewing, Finding Old Viscosity, French beer

By William Brand
Friday, March 28th, 2008 at 6:59 am in Uncategorized.

Wunder BrewingHi Bill, Have you been out to Wunder Brewing in San Francisco ? Barry and I went to Wunder Brewing at 9th and Irving yesterday. Beer is much improved from the Old Eldos. Very clean, good session beers. The brewer John Wonder knows what he is doing, since he made an excellent Pilsner.

Food is good too, great garlic string beans It is easy to get to, just get off BART at Embarcadero and get on the MUNI undergroung and take the N Judah line. It will take you right to their doorstep. Get off at Ninth Ave stop at Irving. Got to love the place, they advertise on KPIG. Cheers, Paul

Hi Paul. No I haven’t been out there. But I talked to John Wonder on the phone and I got to try their beer at a Commonwealth Club beer event in San Francisco in February. I agree. It was excellent. I also wrote about Wunder Brewing late last year. Find that report here.

Bill-– Avery Mephistopheles’ Stout is out of season a bit (website says made in November) but I was just recently able to find it at Total Wine & More (this store in Roseville has a nice beer selection and they let you buy singles instead of a whole six pack).

Check out these stats… This is obviously a huge beer but it is truly great.
It also cost $8 for a single 12 ounce bottle but was worth it. Take it easy, Sean


Bill, I wrote you a while back about Port Brewing Co. Old ViscoscityOld Viscosity Ale. You gave me a copy of the Norcal Retail Beer Store List with a store in Pleasant Hill that may carry it. I will be in Pleasant Hill today and would like to walk in and look around. If you have a minute could you please re-send me the list and let me know which store that was. Neil

HI Neil. It’s Monument Wine & Spirits in Concord, CA. And they had Old Viscosity yesterday. Good hunting. They do have an impressive supply. I always spend too much when I visit, which I did yesterday.

Bill, That place was phenomenal. I had two other “non beer shoppers” with me, and we were late for a dinner party, so I had to get in and get out. But I am already planning a trip back to spend some serious time in there. The beer was just as good as I had remembered it! Cheers, Neil


Bill, I’ve only recently discovered your blog and beer column… There’s a great wine shop I visit periodically on my way from San Francisco to Palo Alto, Weimax. They’re in Burlingame. Anyway, they have a good range of really nice beers and I bought a couple of unusual ones from France the past two visits.

Northmaen french beerOne I called Goat Beer as it’s got a weird label with grain and goats on the bottle. Brasserie Lebbe. The other I just bought is from Normandy and it’s called Northmaen. Odd Viking-like label. Both are imported by Charles Neal Selections out of San Francisco, whose work I know more for good French wines.

If you see these beers in your travels, you might want to check them out. The Lebbe is nicely fruity and the Northmaen has a touch of a grain quality. I’m by no means a beer expert, but I enjoyed these. Dennis

Hi Dennis. Thanks for the note. I know about Weimax, haven’t visited, but lots of friends tell me it’s a great place to find interesting beer. There are a number of new craft breweries in France. I have a friend who lives in the south near Cannes who makes beer. The French beer I’m most familiar with is from the north, near the Belgian border; it’s in a style called Biere de Garde, usually bottled Champagne style: rich, fruity, malty, fairly strong.

Looked up Northmaen. It’s a small craft brewery in Normandy. The Web site is in French. They seem to make a usual assortment, a blonde, a brown etc. One sounded particularly interesting a red (rousse) with chestnuts added. Hmmm.

Which Northmaen did you get? wb

Bill, The Northmaen is a medium-bodied beer…I gather it’s a ‘blonde’. Chestnuts? Sounds curious! I’ll have to ask next time I’m at Weimax.

I’ve tasted some biere de garde and farmhouse brews. I bought a bottle of something called Deus a few months ago. It’s a Belgian beer in a champagne-like bottle. Quite good, but very costly. Oh well…

Dennis, The French beers tend to be somewhat cheaper, but not much, considering the state of the dollar. Look for Jen Lain or 3 Monts or Castelain.

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