Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

On Beer Kicks Off

By Jay Brooks
Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 at 6:00 am in On Beer.

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.


    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.)


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 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

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  • Kevin

    Glad to see that the torch that Bill carried is being passed to someone that is certainly capable of continuing the greatness that Bill started with his column and this blog. Looking forward to reading what you have to say Jay!

  • Chris

    Welcome. Glad I can keeping checking this site for dedicated beer writing!

  • Lew Bryson

    Fantastic, Jay, congratulations! Very glad to see you picking up the thread.

  • Brent Jensen

    Hooray! Thank you, Jay, for picking up our education about good beer. I can’t wait.
    I hope you cover beer that’s available to us here in the bay area, so please let us know where we can buy your favorites.
    Now, if you really want to follow in Bill Brand’s shoes, how about a big mustache?

  • Mike Pierce

    I felt from the beginning that you were the heir apparent; this is great news. Congrats and best of luck!

    Hope the BBB is maintained too; it’s top notch.

  • Maureen Ogle

    Bay Area Beer Folk: You’re in good hands with Jay. Great writer; truly exceptional human being.

    Jay: good luck. Onward!

  • Bryan

    Like everyone, I’ll miss insights from the west coast that Bill used to provide. If anyone was meant for the job, it is you Jay. Congratulations; I’m sure you’ll carry on accordingly. cheers

  • Jim Smith

    And so it begins…

    What they all said above.

    Congrats Jay. Looking forward to a long great run. As Bill always managed to squeeze in his column: Salud!

  • The Duke Of Dunkel

    As I left for work early Wednesday morning I picked up a sprinkler-soaked newspaper and casually tossed it into the garage. No biggie; other than the crossword there hasn’t been much else of interest in the paper since February, and I carry a crossword book with me on the train for such occasions.

    So now it’s Sunday, and I’m just about to take a stack of newspapers out to the recycle bin when something tells me I ought to at least *look* at Wednesday’s food & wine section.

    Yay! Jay!

    Now I need to talk to my neighbor about not watering on Wednesdays.

  • Steve Altimari

    Hi Jay,
    It was a great pleasure to click at one of my favorite bookmarks and see it up and running again with fresh and juicy beer tidbits. The format description sounds great. See you around soon.

    Prost, Cheers and Mahalo…