Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Archive for September, 2008

Oddbits: Fantome in the glass at the Trappist Saturday, a pizza parlo with Race 5 in Contra Costa, Firestone Walker’s Matt Brynildson to brew at Marton’s in the UK for a fest

Oddbits... Are you a fan of the unusual beers from Fantome, the tiny craft brewery in Soy, Belgium?  I am. Here’s a fun event at the Trappist Beer Cafe in downtown Oakland.

  • Saturday Sept. 27  (2008), 6 p.m. -10 p.m. Fantome Night. For the first time taste the world famous Saison by the Glass, If you are daring we will also be serving the Noel by the Glass. We have a newly acquired stock of Fantome Glasses (no one else has these) for your use. (No you can’t keep them) Also a tentative visit by Dan Shelton of Shelton Brothers Importing, If he shows up you can chat about the awesome selection of beer they import.

Here’s what the importer Dan Shelton has to say about Fantome Noel:

  • A very dark and entirely unique holiday seasonal beer, at a whopping 10% alc. by volume. Reportedly spiced with honey, caramel, coriander, black pepper, and other secret ingredients

And finally, my online Beer of the Week is Fantome Saison, which is posted here.

Photo: The Fantome glass. Photo by Chuck Stilphen, The Trappist.

Pizza notes…here are a couple of additions to our Pizza Restaurants With Good Beer List. If you’re in suburban Contra Costa and want to drink good beer along with your pizza, a poster to this blog says check out The Ascona Pizza Co. There are two:

  • 3414 Camino Tassajara Road, Danville, CA 94506, 925-736-4949
  • 1020 Bollinger Canyon Road ,Suite A, San Ramon, CA 94582 925-736-0606

I called the  Danville restaurant and learned there are 26 beers on tap. Highlights included Bear Republic Racer 5 and Red Rocket Ale, also Lagunitas IPA and Gordon Biersch Marzen, Alaskan Amber and Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale.

In an e-mail, a regular poster, Matt summed up Ascona this way:

Bottom line: if I run into someone in S.F. looking for pizza and beer, I wouldn’t recommend they drive all the way out to the San Ramon Valley for Ascona.  But if you’re close enough to the area, in my humble opinion, it’s definitely worth a visit.

Matt Brynildson, the brewing wizard behind the fine beers of Firestone Walker, Paso Robles, CA,  is going to brew  at Marston’s Brewery , the real ale brewer in the United Kingdom.  He’s taking part in an International Beer Festival sponsored by the JD Wetherspoon pub chain in the UK. Brewers from Japan, Australia and Denmark  and Matt, representing the U.S. ,will brew beers for the fest.

Matt plans to brew a California style pale ale. Guess that means hops and more hops, huh?  Firestone Walker’s Pale Ale, their Double  Barrel Ale and DBA are all prizewinners.

What’s interesting is Firestone Walker’s original brewing system was based on the Burton Union system used at Marston. Fermenting begins in open fermenters, then moves into a series of linked wooden barrels. As the fermenting  becomes active, the overflow is caught in troughs and recirculated back into the barrels. It’s an ancient system and the late English beer critic Michael Jackson has a good explanation.

All the beer  produced for the fest, including Matt’s, will be served on handpumps at  650 JD Wetherspoon pubs, Oct. 30 – Nov 16.

Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
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Uncommon Brewers poppy seed ale in conflict with the feds? Not true, brewer says

Here’s a note I got from Alec Stefansky, proprietor of Uncommon Brewers in Santa Cruz. They make Golden State Ale,  a wonderful Belgian-style golden ale, spiced with poppy seeds. A poster noted in a comment on the story earlier this week about a Santa Cruz homebrewer being busted for making “morphine beer” that Uncommon Brewers had trouble with the feds on their label application because the beer contained poppy seeds. Poppies, of course, are the source of morphine.

Never happened; no trouble with the feds, Alec says:

William: Fortunately it’s not correct that we’ve ever had any licensing or formula problems with the Golden State Ale.

I’m really not sure what the Santa Cruz police are up to there. There are no federal restrictions that I’ve come across on the use of whole poppy seeds in beer. I have a TTB-approved formula for the Golden State Ale. I’m that El Toro does for their Poppy Jasper Ale, too. There were never any regulatory issues with the Golden State Ale. It is a fully legal beer brewed with poppy seeds.

In reading the article it seems as if they may have been making a poppy seed extract. This could have somehow produced narcotic opiates in illegal levels? I really doubt it. The levels of opiates in the seeds themselves are vanishingly small. That’s why commercial opium producers aren’t out there harvesting the seeds; and why you can buy bagels over the counter. The opiates are mainly present in the plant’s sap, as a deterrent to predators, or an encouragement for certain humans to cultivate them.

The note about police tearing out poppy plants is odd, too. You can of course buy poppy seeds in any garden shop. As far as I know there’s nothing illegal about owning poppies, other than three specific varietals used in Afghanistan and SE Asia for opium production. I’d be awfully surprised if the young home brewer being charged in the case happened to be growing Afghan poppies.

This looks to me like the local police getting very excited about something that they didn’t fully understand.

Thanks for getting in touch with me about this. I’m happy to try and keep the facts straight.

alec
Uncommon Brewers
www.uncommonbrewers.com

Photo: Field or Corn Poppy from Wikipedia.

Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
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Q & A with Robin Goldstein, “The Wine Trials”

If you read my Sept. 24 cover story on Bargain Reds you know I had the pleasure of interviewing wine author Robin Goldstein of the Fearless Critic Series, and the latest incarnation, “The Wine Trials,” where 100 wines under $15 outscored $50 to $150 bottles.  In the book, Goldstein talks about the taste of money, a fashion industry esque shift to behavioral lifestyle marketing and a magazine scoring system that is becoming increasingly iffy and unethical. Here’s what didn’t make it into today’s piece:

Corkheads: I understand the taste of money — that the pleasure of expensive wine is coming from the experience and not necessarily from its own taste. But I still don’t understand why your blind tasters prefered the inexpensive wines. Can you explain?

Goldstein: It was a weak preference. The easiest explanation is that everyday wine drinkers favor wines with slightly higher residual sugars.

Corkheads: What is your observation of the value category $6-$15 and why are there so many options?

Goldstein: If you look the past 100 years of history with the exception of inflation, that’s traditionally been most wine in Europe. Except for the past decade or two. By far most wine produced and sold has been in the $10-$15 range. That’s the natural price point for wine. When you look at the price of production and a reasonable mark up (30 percent or under). When you have the prestige wines where the producers are trying to get 500 percent markup that’s problematic. Burgundy and Bordeaux has acquired a certain cache. They become more valuable and we’ve come to expect a higher markup but what you have now is different. They’re thinking, ‘Let’s just see if we can make a wine and woo the critics and market the wine the right way and hire a wine consultant who’s in bed with the critics. The consumer is the loser in that transaction.

Wine is starting to be marketed in a way that fashion is. A cosmetic and handbag company is starting to buy these producers and apply the technology of behavioral marketing to wine. Consumers in China and Russia are buying up top producers when they don’t even know what they’re drinking, or why.

Corkheads: Explain to me how the “placebo effect” could be guiding magazine critics to consistently overrate expensive wines.

Goldstein: This is about magazine critics tasting wines nonblind. Nobody, including me, is immune to the knowledge of the experience of expensive wines. If someone told me I was about to taste a $5,000 bottle I’d have an impression going in. There’s stuff in the brain that results in fundamental changes based on our expectations. Spectator tastes blind. Enthusiast does not all the time.

Corkheads: Is there any reason for everyday wine drinkers to pay attention to ratings?
Goldstein: Well, taste blind yourself. Take critics opinions and see if you agree with the opinions of any given critic. Stick with that critic. People shouldn’t buy wine to show off to yourself and others but rather you should buy it for its inherent qualities. This system will crash at some point. Ultimately wine drinkers are going to realize what’s happening. They’re going to rise up against the gouging and say, ‘This is ridiculous.’ And we’re going to arrive at a goal of having more reasonable prices and enjoy a good wine at a fair price instead of focusing on the show-off qualtities.

Posted on Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
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Great pubs in Santa Cruz (CA), here are three, are there more?

I promised in my column today in the San Jose Mercury News , I’d post my notes on good pubs in Santa Cruz. So, here we go…

Santa Cruz is a wild mix of UC Santa Cruz students, high tech workers from Silicon Valley  and refugees from the more urban parts of the Bay Area, among others. So there are lots and lots of bars and in the last couple of years, I’ve visited a lot of them. Many are very welcoming, cozy interesting, well-run places.

But the problem with many is their beer lists are unimaginative and tend toward corporate. Bud/Miller/Coors and their light derivatives,   InBev’s Stella Artois, Guinness Stout (nothing wrong with Guinness, but it’s very common and far from unusual.

These are bars whose idea of  a craft beer lineup is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and maybe New Belgium Fat Tire. Nothing wrong with either. I love Sierra Nevada. But again, they’re common.

Anyway, I’ve found three really good spots, pubs with owners who are interested in good beer, stock a great selection of craft beer and imports and tend to stock seasonals as they come in and new beers.

One caution. This definitely is a starter list. The greater Santa Cruz area is fairly large. What have I missed? Let me know. Post a comment here; let’s talk.

  • The Red Room,  1003 Cedar St., Santa Cruz 95060, 831-426-2994.  There are two bars, one downstairs is small, has a modest beer list and is loved by regulars. My son, Zach, a UC Santa Cruz graduate, loves the place. Upstairs, on the other hand, is quite posh, lots of red velvet and looks like a modern idea of a Victorian house of ill repute. It’s dimly lit and comfortable and apparently fills up late in the evening.

But ahh, the beer; there are 30 beers on tap, hard-to-find brews like Allagash Curieux Rodenbach Grand Cru, Brother Thelonious from North Coast, La Choffe (Belgium), Drake’s Imperial Stout.

They also have local Santa Cruz beers including Siamese Twin Belgian-Style Double and Golden State Ale, a Belgian-style spiced golden ale with poppy seeds from Uncommon Brewers.  Also a large, bottled beer list.

  • 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall Restaurant & Pub, 110 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz, 95060, 831-459-9999.  They usually have 46 beers on tap, including beer from Santa Cruz Ale Works, little seen beers from Sierra Nevada like the S.N. hefe, Trumer Pils, Bear Republic Racer 5. The owner, Jahan Jaferian opened the pub-restaurant in 1991 and it has many fans. I’m one.

The beer list may not be as impressive as the Red Room, but it’s a pleasant place with a few outside tables, perfect for an hour on a sunny, autumn afternoon.

  • 515 Kitchen & Cocktails, 515 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 831-425-5051.  The speciality in this place is wine and fancy cocktails.  But the beer list is interesting and changes a lot; there are nearly 20 taps and another 20 or so beers in bottles. Consider the taps: Santa Barbara Golden Wheat, Brooklyn Brewing Summer Ale, Avery Mephistopheles Stout, Moonlight Brewing Bombay by Boat and Death By Taxes.

There’s an upstairs, outside patio and emphasis is on good food. It can be expensive.

OK posters, it’s your turn. Let’s list some pubs.

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
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Oddbits…Oompah night at the Toronado, Duvel Green and Pilsner Urquell from Russia and Poland

This opium poppy thing is spreading…Yesterday a Santa Cruz homebrewer was busted for making what they claimed was “morphine beer.”  Earlier this summer,  police uncovered opium poppy fields south of Morgan Hill…No brewers involved, thank gawd… (That’s south of San Jose for those of you outside the er-Golden State.)

EVENTS…The Toronado (547 Haight St., San Francisco) is doing an Oktoberfest party Thursday, (Sept. 25, 2008). Beginning at 6 p.m. they’re going to have a string of German and German-style beers on tap. It’s sponsored by Spaten, the big Munich brewer, which is providing bratwurst and oompah music by the Internationals. No admission; pay for your beer.

Beers on tap will include…Spaten Oktoberfest, Spaten Premium Lager , Spaten Optimator Doppelbock, Spaten Franziskaner Hefeweizen, Schneider Weiss, Schneider Edelweiss (organic wheat), Schneider Aventinus, Weizenbock (double wheat), Bitburger Pils, Raderberger Pils, Aecht Scherlenka Rauchbier (smoked beer), Weinhenstephan Weizenbock , Gordon Biersch Weizenbock, Bayrischer Bahnhof Leipzeiger Gose (spiced and soured wheat), Kulmacher Monchshof Kellerbier (unfiltered lager)

Special Bottles: Altenmunster Doppelbock, Fritz Briem’s 1809 Berlinerweiss (sour wheat).

Let’s see, the Berliner Weiss and Gose are fairly rare here in the Bay Area. Worth a try.

The fourth anniversary of Iron Springs Brewery
in Fairfax in Marin County is coming up Oct. 10 and properietor Michael Altman and brewer Christian Kazakoff are going full bore. That is, they’re even roasting a pig. They’re also releasing Grand Cru, a hopped up copper ale… Great poster too…

Event update: The  Dimond District Oktoberfest in Oakland on Saturday, Oct. 4, 11 am. – 6 p.m, MacArthur and Fruitvale,  is looking like a real beer blast. Sponsors tell me they’ve lined up a string of local breweries including Linden Street, Trumer Berkeley and others.

Want a chance to taste Budweiser American Ale? It’s apparenlty gonna’ be on tap Sunday, Oct 5, 1-5 p.m. at the Pleasanton (CA,) Downtown Association’s Hop & Vine Fest.  It’s going to be held in the parking lot behind the Cheese Factory building at 830 Main Street.  Admission is free. The new Sierra Nevada Harvest will also be on tap and Pleasanton Main Street Brewery will have their beer on tap, including Strawberry Blonde Hefe, Train Wreck IPA and Pleasanton Pale Ale (6.1%) – Dry hopped with their Estate  hops (cluster and Ken Goldings) and more.

While we’re talking about beer, the latest hot beer on the East Coast, in Philadelphia, at least is Duvel Green. It’s the first Duvel on draft. Duvel, the classic Belgian beer from Moortgat is bottle conditioned: fresh yeast is added to each bottle for a slow secondary fermentation in the bottle. The draft version is unfiltered, but there’s no secondary fermentation, so it has a somewhat different taste.  When is it coming here? Only God and Moortgat know that.  Get all the scoop in Philadelphia beer writer Lew Bryson’s blog.

And by the way, if you’re into bourbon, Lew just returned from a big annual bourbon tasting in Kentucky.

Did you know that Pilsner Urquell, the classic original pils from the Czech Republic is also brewed in Poland and Russia? Truth.  Evan Rail, who writes the Prague Monitor blog wonders how it can still be called Pilsner Urquell, since Urquell translates as original source…and no the three beers didn’t taste exactly alike…Read his post here. The Pilsner Urquell here come from the Czech Republic, by the way.

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
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L.A. sommelier practices stem priming, or avinare

Heard of the term? It’s a practice where stems arrive at the table with a hint of wine already in them. No, Jared Heber, the wine director at Mozza, is not that green, and I’m sure he was tickled by that joke the first 150 times he heard it.

It’s something Mario Batali, the owner of Mozza, picked up in Italy, and Heber is continuing the tradition. He pours one ounce of the wine to be served into the first glass. He gives it a swirl to cover the sides and then pours it into another glass. After rinsing all the glasses that are going to the table, the final and reduced pour ends up in a tasting glass for Heber.

The purpose of this priming is to rid the glasses of off-odors or other impurities, so that all you smell and taste is the wine you ordered. Detergents and rinsing agents can leave residues as well. Also, the process allows him to taste the wine and check for cork taint or other flaws.

Pretty cool. Anyone heard of San Francisco restaurants or wine bars doing this?

Posted on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
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Hopmonk Dinner: The beers of Russian River – Pliny with a Temptation chaser

How about this? A glass of Russian River Pliny the Elder, with a Russian River Temptation chaser? Two of Russian River’s most famous beers, Pliny,  one of the world’s first double IPAs and Russian River’s first “tion” beer fermented with brettanomyces (wild yeast.) Wow.

Did that the other night at a beer dinner featuring Russian River’s beers at Hopmonk in Sebastopol. It was the second in what promises to be a long series of excellent dinners featuring the cuisine of Hopmonk chef Lynn McCarthy and the beers of great craft breweries. Next will be tonight (Tuesday, Sept. 23) at 6:30 p.m. featuring Lagunitas. Call 707-829-7300 for a reservation.

The Russian River dinner was an interesting, intimate dinner.  This is the first restaurant Hopmonk proprietor and Gordon Biersch co-founder  Dean Biersch has opened in years and he’s done a bang-up job on the site of the former Sebastopol Brewing Co. There’s a main dining room, a beer garden and a cozy music hall, where the dinners are held. The hall, carved out of a cavernous storeroom is wclcoming:  dark beam ceilings, candlelight, long community tables.

Most of the diners were folks from Sonoma County, many of whom had followed every nuance of Russian River since Vinnie first opened shop in 1992 in a specially-built brewhouse at the Korbel Champagne Cellars on the Russian River.

The rest is history: In 2003, Korbel decided to give up the beer business, sold the name to Vinnie and his wife, Natalie. They built their brewpub in Santa Rosa and reopened a year later.

In opening remarks, Vinnie saluted Lagunitas. He said that when he closed the Korbel brewery he had 40 to 50 pub cuistomers in the Bay Area. “I asked Ron Lindenbusch (of Lagunitas) if they would take care of his customers. He said, ‘Sure.’ And when we opened in 2004, we got all our beer customers back.

“That never happens in the beer business. Yes it does., Lagunitas really helped us,” he said.

Vinnie shared a number of anecdotes, some I’d never heard, like how he and Natalie got the brewing equipment for their first brewery, Blind Pig, in Temecula  in San Diego County where they grew up.

“I bought the equipment from a guy who was in jail in Arizona for selling marijuana,” Vinnie said,. “They called him “Electric Dave” and he sold me his whole plant. It turned out the brewery was a side business, a cover for his marijuana business (in Bisbee, AZ.)”

Under federal law, the government had the right to all Dave’sproperty. But through an error, they had the wrong address for his brewery. Vinnie bought  the plant, took it away, depositing as Dave’s girlfriend requested, the money in a sink in the brewery. “When we left there was nothing in the place but the sink and $20,000.  The feds never found it,” Vinnie said.

About Pliny, Vinnie explained that he got a call from Vic Kralj, proprietor of the Bistro in Hayward, CA, who was planning his first Double IPA Festival.   He asked if Vinnie could do one. He could. But what about a name?

“I was thinking of “Gargantuan,” but that was not quite right,” Vinnie said. “Finally, Natalie brought out a beer dictionary. We looked up hops and found the Latin,  “humulus lupulus.” Then we found Pliny (the Roman author of the first encyclopedia, which included a section on beer and who, with his contemporaries, named hops). Voila! ” Pliny the Elder.

The beer currently accounts for 50 percent of Russian River’s sales and Vinnie estimated they’ll produce 10,000 barrels of beer this year, 7,000 barrels at the new production facility and 3,000 barrels at the brewpub.

The beer itself is 8 percent, 100 International Bitterness Unit (Bud is 13 IBU, 5 percent). It;s a blend of two row pale barley malt, acidulated malt from Weyermann in Germany, – malt which is treated with lactic acid to lend a tart and slightly sour note to beer.  In this case, it helps balance Pliny’s malt sweetness. Pliny also includes Carapils malt, a crystal which gives the beer  color and more body.

“I always use the small amount of crystal,” Vinnie said. “I don’t reallylike crystal. Crystalk malts and American hops are like a train wreck.” The flavors collide, he said. “Most of my beers are about the same color,” he said.

And Pliny is indeed a tribute to American hops. The signature hop is Simcoe, which gives it lots of pine, pineapple, citrus and floral notes. Whew.

Follow that with Temptation. Oh my. Temptation is a  7.25 percent, Belgian-style blonde. It’s fermented with brett and aged in French oak Chardonnay wine barrels treated with bacteria. Taste is dry, then a rush of sourness. And this was for starters.

Chef McCarthy served a number of appetizers and a plate of herbed bread with cranberry and crab apple jam and artesian cheese. It all worked.

Here’s the rest of the menu:

  • Second Course: Scallops with tomato creampaired with two different years of Damnation, Belgian-style Strong Golden Ale.
  • Entree’  Course: Rabbit Pappardelle w/cream sauce paired with Salvation Belgian Style Dark Ale.
  • Dessert/Appertif Course: Key Lime Pie paired with Supplication, Barrel-Aged American Wild Ale.

Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008
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Oddbits…Morphine beer? Homebrewer busted in Santa Cruz, Oktoberfest in Oakland, Bistro Wet Hop Fest…

OK, now I’ve seen everything… check out this story by Jennifer Squires in the Santa Cruz Sentinel: Homebrewer in Santa Cruz busted for making “morphine beer.” Damn, homebrewers are a creative lot, aren’t they.

SANTA CRUZ — Police raided a Westside house Friday morning where they suspected people were producing opiates and arrested a UC Santa Cruz doctoral candidate who said he used dried poppy pods to flavor home-brewed beer a month ago.

“All I did was make a poppy beer,” said Chad Renzelman, 28, who was arrested at his Bay Street home Friday. “I spent all morning in jail for brewing beer. I had no idea what I was doing was illegal.”

But police reported that Renzelman, who studies chemistry, allegedly had used a chemical process to extract opium from poppy plant pods, then converted the opium to morphine.

Morphine is the active opiate in heroin.

Police reported finding a pressurized canister of homemade beer laced with morphine in Renzelman’s garage, as well as lab equipment contaminated with opium alkaloids and other hazardous chemicals….READ THE REST OF THE STORY

EVENTS:

  • Oktoberfest in Oakland? Yes. Julie Johnson, a member of the Dimond Improvement Association, says the association is sponsoring its first annual Oktoberfest celebration Oct 4., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. at MacArthur and Fruitvale in the heart of the historic Dimond District. Julie points out that the area has a big German heritage and at one point early in the 20th Century  boasted four beer gardens. Here’s an historical link.

She wasn’t sure what beers will be served, but is checking. I recommended Linden Street Brewery, of course.  There’s also going to be a homebrew contest.

  • Oct. 4, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., annual Wet Hop Beer Fest, Bistro, 1001 B. St., Hayward. This is a beauty of a festival; beers are made with just-harvested hops. Some brewers go to elaborate lengths, trucking in hops from the Washington hop fields minutes after harvest. Others, like the esteemed curmudgeon-brewer Brian Hunt, Moonlight Brewing, grow hops in front of their brewery.

OOPS,  wrong castle. Don’t know if Queen Elizabeth is a real ale lover like her son, Prince Charles, but the royal family was less than pleased the other day when 12 barrels of lager arrived at Windsor Castle.  They were destined for The Windsor Castle Pub, a few miles ago. The pub was stocking up for England’s football match with Croatia

Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008
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Trappist Beer Cafe in Oakland plans an expansion

If you’re a fan of the Trappist Beer Cafe in downtown Oakland (CA.), and you ought to be – Here’s some great news. They’re expanding.

Chuck Stilphen, who co-founded this very authentic, Belgian-style pub with Aaron Porter, says they’ve leased the adjacent 1,000 square feet of the  turn-of-the-century building they occupy at 460 8th St..

Plans are to create a bottle shop at the rear selling mostly  Belgian beer and American craft beer. The front will be a pub, specializing in craft beer. We’re talking Pliny the Elder and maybe Dogfish Head. There will be 10 or more taps, all pouring American craft beer.

They’re also adding a small kitchen so there will be food service both in the present pub and the adjacent new one.

Chuck and Aaron just returned from a trip around Belgium scouting pubs to get ideas for their expansion project. Chuck showed me some of the pubs on his iPhone. (Damn I’m envious. I’m stuck with Verizon and my imitation iPhone. Basically, it sucks.)

They’ve settled on mahogany wainscoting with a kind of metallic, tarnished silver paint above, copied from a Belgium pub or restaurant.

ETA six months.

Photo: Chuck Stilphen pouring Green Flash Le Freak at the Trappist.

Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2008
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A tasting this afternoon (Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008) at Draeger’s in Danville,CA.

Readership of this blog drops precipitously on Saturday, but if any of the few hundred who look at the blog this morning are in the mood to for a decent beer tasting at rock bottom prices in Danville (CA), check this out:

I welcome you to a Beer tasting at Draegers Market in Blackhawk Plaza. It will be held Sat, Sep 20th from 2-5pm in the wine tasting bar. Chrissa Imports will have some of the finest beers from around the world, in which I carry at the store. I also carry some of the fine beers that you have mention in recent articles. The beer tasting charge is $1.00 to try over 9 different types of imported beers! Hope to see you there! Albert Williams, Beer Buyer, Draegers Market Blackhawk

By the way I e-mailed Albert early yesterday, asking him which beers will be poured, but he hasn’t replied.  I know Chrissa Imports handles a wide variety of Belgian breweries, Bavik, which makes Petrus, Van Steenberg: Augustijn, Gulden Drak. Germany: Augustiner, Franzikaner and many more…

Posted on Saturday, September 20th, 2008
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