Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Archive for April, 2009

Weekend Update 5.1

One of the best Bay Area beer events is coming up this weekend and many more are in the near future. See you there!

THIS WEEKEND

Saturday, May 2

The 13th annual Boonville Beer Festival will be held again at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville. Camping is recommended and available at the fairgrounds for just $12 per night. The festival begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. $40 in advance/$50 at the gate gets you “admittance to the festival, a snazzy wristband, a sampling glass, music and all the samples you care to enjoy during the four hours the taps are open.” As the website promises, it’s “The bahlest steinber hornin’, chiggrul gormin’, tidrick in the heelch of the Boont Region!”

IN THE COMING WEEKS

Thursday, May 7

The Trappist in Oakland will be hosting a Chouffe Night next Thursday from 6:00 p.m. until midnight. The event will feature the Belgian beers of La Chouffe on draft on the back bar, including la Chouffe, Mc Chouffe, N’ice Chouffe and Houblon Chouffe. According to their website, the “first 50 people get a stupid chouffe hat” and BBQ will be served. You can either buy 4 beer tokens for $22 or pay as you go.

Saturday, May 9

The Raley Field Brewfest in Sacramento will return May 9 for its third year, put on by the Northern California Brewers’ Guild. Over 30 local and regional craft brewers will be pouring their beers, beginning at 1:00 p.m. and continuing until 4:30. Tickets, which can be purchased online, are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the festival. Admission includes 10 five ounce tastings. There are also V.I.P. tickets available for $40, and these include an exclusive early tasting (one hour earlier) and 18 five ounce tastings.

Raley Field Beerfest 2009

Tuesday, May 12

Lagunitas Brewing will host a tasting of their beers Tuesday night at The Toronado in San Francisco. The event and the Sierra Nevada event the next night will celebrate American Craft Beer Week and will include draft specials all night. 6-9 p.m.

Wednesday, May 13

Sierra Nevada Artisan Ale Experience at The Toronado in San Francisco. Five Sierra Nevada beers will be served, including their Limited Release Chico IPA, Brown Saison, Bigfoot Barleywine-style Ale, Summerfest and their new Kellerweis Bavarian Hefeweizen. 6-9 p.m.

If you know of an upcoming beer event, please let me know about it so I can share it here. Let me know at BrooksOnBeer@yahoo.com.

Posted on Thursday, April 30th, 2009
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Beermann’s To Close

I just confirmed that the rumor is true. Beermann’s Beerwerks, in Roseville, CA, will be closing its doors and liquidating its brewing equipment. Apparently the last public day will be today and then tomorrow and Friday they’ll still be open but just as a last hurrah for people to stop by and have a last drink. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and say so long to Beermann’s ten-year run.

Beermann's

Beermann’s Beerwerks opened in 1999 and at one time operated two locations, the other one on Lincoln. Their original brewer, Brian Ford, who designed their flagship Rip Roarin’ Red, now owns and brews at the nearby Auburn Alehouse. It’s always a sad day to see a brewery close, especially one here in the Bay Area.

Posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
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Mirror, Mirror On the Bay

The first tapping of Deschutes Brewery‘s new Mirror, Mirror will take place tonight at San Francisco’s City Beer Store, beginning at 5:30 (and going until 7:30).

According to City Beer Store:

Inspired by the fairest of them all, the Mirror Pond Pale Ale, the richly oak aged barelywine Mirror/Mirror 2009 will be poured alongside Deschutes hop vehicle Hop Henge and Black Butte Porter. Visit their traveling mobile “Woody” parked outside and sample complimentary snacks to pair with the robust ales.

I’ve seen the Deschutes Woody, and it’s one seriously cool beer truck.

The Mirror, Mirror is “an oak-aged barley wine that has been in production at the brewery for more than a year. Mirror Mirror is an inspired version of the brewery’s flagship, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, which has been doubled up to barley wine strength – yielding a rich malt base with hints of raisin and oak tinged with the slightest citrus hop aroma.”

Later this week, on Thursday, City Beer Store will also be hosting Rob Tod, the owner and brewmaster from Allagash in Portland, Maine. They’ll be pouring Allagash’s Confluence and Interlude on draft. If you miss Rob Tod there, later in the evening, from 7-10 p.m., he’ll be at the Toronado on Haight Street for a special Allagash Night.

Posted on Tuesday, April 28th, 2009
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Rose Nose Wins By A Nose

As I indicated last week with the reboot of On Beer, my goal is to make this blog a true community effort. In that spirit, I present our first guest blogger, Gail Ann Williams who, along with Steve Shapiro, runs Beer by Bart, one of the most useful beer blogs covering the Bay Area.

Rose Nose Wins By A Nose

by Gail Ann Williams

The non-brewing staff at Triple Rock in Berkeley got an unusual challenge recently. Tasked to create a superior original recipe in a professional sized seven barrel proportion, then name the beer and design a bottle label and tap handle, members of the staff competed to create an exceptional brew. Test batches were made up and staff and regulars voted, casting over 500 votes in the short time before the samples ran dry. The winner, edging out another fine brew by a single vote, was a wit beer created by server and aspiring brewer Emma Rose Meade. 

Her prize will be to pour her own beer, “Rose Nose,” along with other fine Triple Rock beers, at the legendary Boonville Beer Festival Saturday May 2nd. Her beer is a Belgian Wit, a light wheat beer style often brewed with bitter orange peel and coriander. Emma’s recipe includes sweet blood orange peel, bitter curacao orange peel, rosehips and coriander. Rosehips are the dried bottom of actual roses and are a traditional herb for making a citrusy tea. She got to participate in the creation of her commercial brew with Triple Rock’s brewmaster Rodger Davis, and will be the first to tap a keg of it using the tap handle she designed on the weekend.

Emma says that she has been “messing around helping make homebrew with friends” for a while, but that she has just started to get serious and do some reading about brewing.  Her independent studies have paid off, and if you go to Boonville you can toast her first success with Rose Nose. 

Triple Rock’s manager Jesse Sarinana says he was was inspired by Boston Brewing Company’s national Longshot competition, which selects one Sam Adams employee recipe along with two award-winning home brews for production each year. He knew everybody wanted to go to the Boonville festival, so he concocted a serious competition.  Jesse says to keep an eye on Triple Rock’s bartenders, servers and cooks, many of whom have the drive, talent and knowledge of fine beer to become future brewmasters.  Here’s to someday seeing Emma Rose Meade in pink boots, the honorary uniform of professional women brewers.

Contest winner Emma Rose Meade (photo by Gail Ann Williams)

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2009
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Deschutes Tasting Tonight

I just heard about a last minute event going on tonight at the Jug Shop on Polk & Pacific in San Francisco. They’ll be hosting a sampling session of beers from Deschutes Brewing in Bend, Oregon. The price is $10. [Thanks to Scott B. for sending that one in.]

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
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I Am A Craft Brewer

As I write this, I’m in Boston, Massachusetts attending the annual Craft Brewers Conference. CBC, as it’s usually referred to, is in a different city every year. Last year it was in San Diego and next year it will be in Chicago. It’s an opportunity for brewers and brewery owners to get together and learn how to be better at their respective jobs. Tomorrow I’ll be part of a panel discussing beer on the web, to help breweries reach their customers using Facebook, Twitter and blogs like this one.

But so far, the highlight of the conference came at the very beginning. Greg Koch, one of the co-founders of Stone Brewing, which is in Escondido, CA (which is near San Diego), gave a stirring and inspiring keynote speech where he talked about how craft brewers bring something special to the table, something big brewers can’t; which is their passion and craft. At the end of his speech, he showed the video below and we each raised a toast at the end, as you’ll see. The video is made up of numerous brewers from around the country, including a number from the Bay Area. The local brewers in the video, in case you don’t recognize them, are Brian Hunt (Moonlight Brewing), Shaun O’Sullivan (21st Amendment), Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Rich Norgrove (Bear Republic), Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada), Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing) and Brendan Moylan and Denise Jones (both from Moylan’s).

I Am A Craft Brewer from I Am A Craft Brewer on Vimeo.

If the video doesn’t show in your browser, you can view it directly on Vimeo.

Posted on Friday, April 24th, 2009
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Weekend Update 4.24

Festival season is just underway, but there’s already a number of good beer events coming up this weekend and in the near future.

THIS WEEKEND

Saturday, April 25

San Francisco Beer Festival at Fort Mason. Only 100 tickets will be sold for $60, first come, first served, which includes unlimited samples of beer and food. These tickets will be sold on Friday, April 24 beginning at 12:30 p.m. Regular tickets can be purchased online. Over 130 breweries and cideries will be pouring 300 beers and hard ciders, from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday. “The money raised for this event will go to fund the teaching and learning programs at the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School for an entire year!”

Women in Brewing at Rubicon in Sacramento. Stop by throughout the day and sample a dozen beers brewed by various women brewers from around Northern California to celebrate the 3rd annual Women in Brewing Appreciation Day. The event will benefit W.E.A.V.E (Women Escaping A Violent Environment). According to their website, they “provide crisis intervention services to women, men and children in Sacramento County who have experienced domestic violence or have been sexually assaulted.

IN THE COMING WEEKS

Thursday, April 30

Sierra Nevada Artisan Ale Experience at The Bistro in Hayward. Five Sierra Nevada beers will be served, including their Limited Release Chico IPA, Brown Saison, Bigfoot Barleywine-style Ale, Summerfest and their new Kellerweis Bavarian Hefeweizen. 6-9 p.m.

Koninginnedag or “Queen’s Day” at The Trappist in Oakland will feature four Dutch Beers on Tap: Koningshoven Trappist Quadrupel, Tilburg Dutch Brown Ale, Christoffel Bok, Christoffel Bier, along with a special Dutch Brown Ale brewed By Adam from Linden Street Brewing & Nate Smith. $3 Pints. Herring & Onions. The event will begin at 6 p.m. until closing at both the front and back bar.

Saturday, May 2

The 13th annual Boonville Beer Festival will be held again at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville. Camping is recommended and available at the fairgrounds for just $12 per night. The festival begins at 1 p.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. $40 in advance/$50 at the gate gets you “admittance to the festival, a snazzy wristband, a sampling glass, music and all the samples you care to enjoy during the four hours the taps are open.” As the website promises, it’s “The bahlest steinber hornin’, chiggrul gormin’, tidrick in the heelch of the Boont Region!”

Wednesday, May 13

Sierra Nevada Artisan Ale Experience at The Toronado in San Francisco. Five Sierra Nevada beers will be served, including their Limited Release Chico IPA, Brown Saison, Bigfoot Barleywine-style Ale, Summerfest and their new Kellerweis Bavarian Hefeweizen. 6-9 p.m.

If you know of an upcoming beer event, please let me know about it so I can share it here. Let me know at BrooksOnBeer@yahoo.com.

Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2009
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On Beer Kicks Off

You may have noticed a new face next to Jessica Yadegaran above here. Or perhaps you read the first “Brooks On Beer” column in your newspaper today and wondered what was going on. As you probably know, Bill Brand used to write about beer here and in your newspaper. Unfortunately, in February he was struck by a Muni Train in San Francisco and passed away several days later. Many of you expressed how much Bill’s writing meant to you and how much you enjoyed reading his columns and his work here on Bottoms Up. And so I’m both honored and proud to announce that Bottoms Up will continue to cover beer.

Beginning today, What’s On Tap will continue as “On Beer” here on the blog and in your newspaper as “Brooks On Beer,” every two weeks, on Wednesdays. The Brooks in “Brooks On Beer” is me, Jay R. Brooks, and I’ve been writing about beer for nearly 20 years for a variety of publications. I used to be the GM of the locally published Celebrator Beer News and for several years was the beer buyer for BevMo. I’m regularly a beer judge at the Great American Beer Festival, as well as many other beer festivals and competitions. I was also one of the organizers of SF Beer Week. To read more about my background in beer, check out About Bottoms Up.

While I’ll be writing here about beer, I won’t be the only one. I’ve invited additional local beer bloggers, writers and even brewers to add their voices to the chorus. In the years since Fritz Maytag resurrected Anchor Brewery and Jack McAuliffe founded the first microbrewery in America, New Albion Brewing, the San Francisco Bay Area has grown into the one of the most vibrant beer communities in the country. Quite frankly, as far as beer goes, in the Bay Area there’s an awful lot going on and it just made sense to make taking about it and reporting on it a true community effort. So you’ll see my name here quite a lot, but also many other names coming and going. We’ll be covering news of beer, breweries and the beer world as they happen, but we’ll also give you some regular features you can count on, on specific days throughout each week and month. As least as we start out, we’ll be following this schedule.

Weekly:

    Mondays: Sampler Pack (Each Monday we’ll let you in on the big and not so big stories fermenting around the beer world. Tune in to see what people are talking about.)
    Wednesday: Beer(s) of the Week (each week we’ll tell you about the newest beers from your favorite breweries, and also tell you which ones we like best.)
    Thursday: Upcoming Events (to plan your weekend, each Thursday, we’ll let you know what beer festivals or other beer events will be taking place during the upcoming weekend and beyond.)
    Friday: Fun (to remind ourselves that beer is also about having a good time, on Friday’s we’ll give you something fun to start your weekend.)

Monthy:

Beginning in May, on Tuesdays throughout each month, we’ll be featuring a specific beer topic and points of view from different prominent members of the Bay Area beer community.

    1st Tuesday: Food & Beer with Bruce Paton, the Beer Chef
    2nd Tuesday: Celebrating Beer with Tom Dalldorf, publisher of the Celebrator Beer News
    3rd Tuesday: Homebrewing, Food and Flavors with Sean Paxton, the Homebrew Chef
    4th Tuesday: Brewery Profiles with Jay R. Brooks

Happy Earth Day, everybody. It’s a brand new world of beer. Join us as we navigate the sudsy shores of beer.

Any questions about “On Beer” or about beer in general? Reach Jay R. Brooks at BrooksOnBeer@yahoo.com or follow On Beer on Twitter. If you know of an upcoming beer event, please let me know about it so I can share it here, by contacting me at BrooksOnBeer@yahoo.com.

Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
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Gary Vaynerchuk’s seven figure book deal

If you haven’t heard yet,  web marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk of Wine Library TV has signed a seven-figure, 10 book deal with HarperStudio. His first title, “Crush It! Turn Your Passion into Profits in a Digital World,” is scheduled for released in October.

Gary Vaynerchuk

I also heard at a recent trade tasting that after Gary V rated a certain Sonoma wine a 93 on one of his vlogcasts, the winery received 400 phone calls from people seeking a bottle. A few weeks before, when Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate, had given one of their wines a 93, they received approximately 14 calls.

Oh the wine times are changing. And I love it.

While I’m not sure a bunch of Web 2.0 types are going to pay $25 for a hardcover business book – they’d be more likely to read it on their Kindles – I am thrilled for Gary, who I interviewed last year when his first and only wine book, “Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines,” came out. He’s a nice guy and his passion for wine is infectious.

Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2009
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1928 Krug breaks record for most expensive Champagne

Check this out. A 1928 Krug has broken the world record for the most expensive bottle of Champagne sold at auction. The auction, Acker Merrall & Condit, took place on March 28  in Hong Kong.

champagne

After several rounds of bidding, Krug collection 1928 went HK$164,560 (US$21,200) above the highest estimate of HK$120,000.

The record was previously held by a Methuselah of Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut 1990, Millenium 2000 that sold in the US for US$17,625 in 2005.

Here are the tasting notes of the wine in 1999 from Serena Sutcliffe MW, Champagne expert: “Medium gold colour. Fabulous bouquet of vanilla ice (remember the first fermentation in wood). Deep dimensioned with bready notes, “sweet” and ripe on the palate, soft yet big.”

Posted on Friday, April 10th, 2009
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