Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Oddbits: ‘Punkin’ beer from Dogfish comes to San Francisco, Chocolate stout from Ommegang, Jolly Pumpkin at City Beer…

By William Brand
Thursday, September 18th, 2008 at 11:40 pm in Uncategorized.

Oddbits and diverse happenings...I’ve been working my butt off on other projects for the last two days and for the first time in months haven’t posted anything new…well lots of catching up to do….

New spies and posters to this blog tell me that Dogfish Head has a new beer headed to San Francisco,  Marin, Sonoma and parts of the peninsula as far south as San Jose, but sadly not to the East Bay. It’s Punkin Ale and the two people I’ve talked to who have tried it said they love it.  One guy admits  the he, like me, hates pumpkin ales. “I liked it,” he said.

DBI  Brands, the San Francisco distributor, said it’s already at City Beer, 1168 Folsom St. in San Francisco,  and soon will be in four-packs  at the Whole Foods and Beverages & More stores in San Francisco.  A poster to the blog found it at  a Whole Foods in San Jose… Dogfish Head says this about the beer:

A full-bodied brown ale with smooth hints of pumpkin and brown sugar. Perfect to warm-up with, as the season cools. 7% abv, 24 ibu
Tasting Notes: Malty, pumpkin, caramel, brown sugar.
Food Pairing recommendations: Turkey, roasted duck, lamb, stuffing, dessert dumplings.

While we’re mentioning City Beer…This comes from proprietors Craig and Beth Wathen:

Riddle me this…what does a bottleshop do when they desire a beer previously unavailable in keg format outside of a festival? In our case, we buy a keg shell, employ one family member with a penchant for adventure, and start a traveling keg program.  Our story begins…….
I began my life like so many other keg shells, in a warehouse destined for a brewery somewhere in the vast United States.  One day, a small bottleshop in San Francisco picked me out of the masses, tattooed their name on my shell, and sent me on a journey.  I arrived shiny and new in Valparaiso, Indiana where I rode in a car bound for the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery in Michigan.  My driver, a woman with a love for the open road, delivered me straight away to the good folk of Jolly Pumpkin.
Filled with fine craft beer I traveled to my importer.  My horizon expanded as I was then shipped off to my distributor in Northern California, finally arriving “home” at City Beer Store.  I’m tapped and ready to taste.  I would simply love if you would stop in to say “hello”.
The best part of my new life is I will now be a part of a City Beer Store program, “The Roaming Keg”. I’ll roam around from town to town filled along the way with speciality beer previously unavailable.  Available now to you, because I was adopted by a good beer loving family.
The first Jolly on tap is the Calabaza Blanca.

My  comment…if you’ve never tried Jolly Pumpkin beers, you’re in for a treat.

Also coming our way soon…from Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY: 2008 Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence stout.  First person to see it in Northern California give me a shout or post something here… This was a wonderful beer and lasted about two hours around Thanksgiving in the Bay Area last year.

Found this accolade to Amarillo and Casacade hops from “Hokie Brewer”  on

As you land on my tongue with your friend Amarillo helping out, it’s a cascade of flavor. You are so friggin tasty. I mean, they should have named you deluge, because you’re just BURSTING with delicious citrusy yet mellow and awesome. mmmmmmm… I love you cascade. I’m so glad you’re in my pale ale

Events: Sunday, Sept. 21, 4 – 6 p.m., The Jug Shop, a fine wine store in San Francisco at 1590 Pacifica Ave. is hosting a tasting of the complete line up of Unibroue beers. Cost is $10 per person. There will be a brewery rep on hand to explain the complexity of these Chamby, Quebec craft beers, which will include Blanche de Chamblywhite ale, Chambly Noire black ale, Maudite amber-red ale, Don de Dieu triple wheat ale,  La Fin Du Monde strong triple-ale, Trois Pistoles dark ale, Ephemere- white ale brewed with apple must, Terrible, a strong dark brown ale, and their vintage 17th Anniversary.

Traveling on… I’d love to be on the Maryland shore on Saturday, the Zymurnauts, a homebrew club and  the Chesapeake Bay Branch of the Society for the Preservation of Beer from the Wood are holding their 2008 Crab Feast from noon – 6 p.m. at Goddard Space Flight Center. For $35 you can eat all the steamed  (Chesapeake Bay soft shell crabs) and cask ale you can consume. Tickets much be purchased online by 6 p.m. EDT (3 p.m. PDT) today at  What? You’re in Maryland right now, holy cow. Get those tickets dawg.  There are few things I relish about my four long years in Uncle Sam’s Navy, but eating clams and oysters from Chesapeake Bay was one of the highlights and with a cask conditioned ale to wash ’em down. Whew.

Live outside California and want to sample Russian River’s barrel-aged beers. You can order them now through Matt Maples at Liquid Solutions in Tigard, OR. Not cheap, but good things rarely are.  If you live in California, Russian River has a mail order service.

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  • Will

    Which San Jose Whole Foods location did the poster find the DFH Punkin Ale?

  • Shail

    Hey William – Just a quick correcttion, the Jug Shop is on 1590 Pacific Ave., I believe you wrote 1590 Pacifica Ave. just in case folks try to google map it.

  • William Brand

    Thanks Shail.

  • William Brand

    Hi Will he didn’t say..I shot him an e-mail, but he hasn’t replied. .But someone else posted this earlier on the blog:]

    The good news is that you can get Dogfish Beers at two BevMo locations in San Jose. (The corner of Cambrian and Union for sure, and I believe the new one a Santa Teresa Blvd., don’t know about the Willow Glen BevMo)

  • Arnas

    Just picked up some DFH Punkin at the Cupertino Whole Foods. I’m not a fan of pumpkin ales but the price (and brewery) was right.. and it’s pretty good. I get more pumpkin spice than actual pumpkin and it doesn’t transcend the style like other beers in the DFH lineup, but it’s one tasty beer. For some reason it reminds me of that gruit by Heather Ale – Grozet Gooseberry & Wheat.

  • William Brand

    Yeah, I treid it too. Got mine in San Francisco. A decent beer, 7 percent. easy drinking. The spice wasn’t objjectionable. Along with the Great Pumpkin from Elysian (Seattle) it’s easily the best I;ve tried.

  • Hooplehead

    Healthy Spirits at Castro and 15th in San Francisco has the Punkin Ale – as well as several other Dogfish Head brews. They’ve also had the Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence for several weeks. Moreover – Healthy Spirits is off the charts when it comes to Belgian imports (several hundred) and craft beers in general. They are a bit pricey but that comes with being in a high-rent neighborhood and essentially catering to serious beer freaks.

  • Joe

    Will DFH Punkin be on tap anywhere? Or can you get it at any bars? Got a bottle last night at Coit Liqor in SF and loved it. I think the secret is that it is built on a good brown ale and isn’t overwhelmed by the spices.

  • anon

    Monk’s Kettle’s draft list shows DFH Punkin to be on tap. The list is about 1 week out of date, so you might want to call first if you will be making a special trip just for that beer.

  • William Brand

    Called =, but got their answering machine. I know that DBI Distributing told me they were going to have it on tap. Most likely they do.