Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

SF Beer Week ’09 Open Thread for Wednesday

By Jessica Yadegaran
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009 at 10:11 am in what's on tap.

S.F. Beer Week is well under way. Anyone meet Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River Brewing last night?

Tonight’s all about the cheese. I look forward to hearing about that cheddar and ale pairing at Rogue Ales Public House in North Beach. Which event are you going to tonight? What are you looking forward to tasting?

Please post your comments and treat the thread like a community blog.

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  • http:/// Mario (Brewed For Thought)

    Toasted William at the Sonoma Springs event at the Toad in the Hole. We’re all pulling for you Bill.

  • Andrew Alden

    Wish I could get out and see some of this. But Sierra Nevada ESB is a fine consolation, a real English whiff to it.

    Get better, Bill.

  • Darian

    Was at Toronado last night – did not get to meet Vinnie, though. The place was mobbed but the Russian River beers were worth the wait. There were even a few bottles of Toronado’s 20th Anniversary Ale floating around. I have to say Mortification – the RR quad – is my new favorite. Consecration running a close second. We raised a toast in Bill’s honor last night.

  • Jesse

    It was a great time – including a very nice toast for Bill. Pictures and a few tasting notes here:

    For me, the real winner was Erudition, an aged Saison with Brett.

    – Jesse

  • Shail

    I have to agree with Darian 100%. The Mortification was excellent and the Consecration may be my new favorite RR brett beer. I got a chance to speak to Vinnie and his wife Natalie, both are just really nice people. I asked Vinnie about any plans to bottle Pliny the Younger, he said probably not. The production time and the concern that bars may serve PTY past expiration were the 2 main reasons why he doesn’t plan to bottle PTY. I respect a brewer who respects the quality of his/her product more than his/her sales. Cheers!

  • Scott B.

    I didn’t get around to trying the Mortification. Now I wish that I had. It took forever to order a round last night. I really enjoyed the Damnation Batch 23 though.

  • Gail Williams

    Thanks for suggesting the community blog, Andrew. Maybe we can keep Bill’s spot all warm and welcoming for him.

    Jessica, you will just love the cheese and beer event. I met Bill there for the first time a few years ago, actually, and had a lovely conversation with him. Some of the Sonoma cheese we had were totally awesome, and Rogue does some of their own cheeses too.

    I was at Toronado for ‘tion night, too. (Russion River beers are named with words that end in ‘tion, from Damnation to Rejection (the annual black Belgian Valentine’s day beer!) The newest one, Mortification, is about the sneakiest beer I have ever had. It is 11% but tastes more like a lower-alcohol Belgian dubbel than a Quad. Though I suppose Quad is be definition a double dubbel, so I should not be surprised. It goes down scary-easy, and is sure to be a grand success.

    However, sour beers fascinate me, so a retasting of the 20th Anniversary — aging gloriously with that wonderful touch of brown sugar malt in all that sour woodsy complexity — and the cherry finish of Supplication, which is all kinds of “rustic” sour until that fruit peaks out in the first part of the finish — plus the new Beatification which is either the Best Ever or I’m just falling in love more with the local micro organisms — OK, it was terrific. (I know Bill always writes for both fanatics and casual beer readsers, so if this “sour” talk seems really esoteric, looking up LAMBIC in Wikipedia can be helpful.)

    As Darian has posted, we toasted Bill’s health. Thinking of him all the time.

    I was expecting to taste with him Sunday at the Beer Judging 101 event. Jessica, perhaps you’d be able to take his spot? I’ll email you. Thanks for doing this.

  • Jim Smith

    Really wish I coulda been at either event last night but it’s sure tough on school nights…Told Vinnie on Saturday that Beatification 003 is absolutely extraordinary and perhaps even – THE BEST EVER (reflecting Gail’s comments in the post above) and I anxiously await the 004 batch down the road. Consecration is killer too. Still thinking positive thoughts about Bill and his road to recovery. To all of my fellow beer aficionados who all wish his presence for a toast again – Salud Bill!

  • Jessica Yadegaran

    I know what you mean. The first time I experienced that rustic sour berry flavor was with a golden raspberry colored lambic I had at the Trappist when they first opened. It was the first time I’d tried a beer like that, and I had to do a double take (or sip). Really opened my palate.

    I may be a grape girl, but I know I speak for all wine lovers (especially those that participate in large format tastings) when I say that I would not survive without the mouth-cleansing brightness of lower alcohol Belgian beauties. After a day at Premiere, the annual Napa Valley auction and schmooze fest, I would seriously turn down Screaming Eagle for a Stella. You look around and all these fancy pants winemakers are drinking Coronas. If they can’t find that, they’ll go for crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

    Oh and Gail, thanks so much for the offer. What an honor to represent Bill! Unfortunately, that time for the beer judging on Sunday conflicts with another event. Hang in there everyone. I know he feels your energy and he’s going to recover!!!