Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Weekend Update 5.22: Memorial Weekend

By Jay Brooks
Thursday, May 21st, 2009 at 1:10 pm in On Beer.

While many people will likely be heading for the hills for the three-day holiday weekend, if you’re staying in town or heading just a short distance from home, there are several fun events to keep your thirst at bay this weekend.


Thursday, May 21

Tonight in San Jose, you can try what most people consider rice wine, but which is really more properly considered rice beer, at Sake San Jose 2009. Sake San Jose combines sake tasting with a walk through historic Japantown in San Jose tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. It will begin at the Yu-Ai Kai Senior Community Center.

Friday, May 22

The Beer Chef, Bruce Paton, will host a beer dinner featuring the Classic and Contemporary Beers of Duvel Moortgart at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco. The dinner will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. and the cost per person is $80. Call 415.674.3406. You can see the menu for the four-course beer dinner online, and also make reservation there, as well.

Also, Friday night at the Jug Shop on Polk & Pacific in San Francisco, they’ll be hosting a sampling session of beers from Mateveza. Mateveza beers are all-organic and brewed with yerba mate, the source of the South American caffeinated herbal tea. Jim Woods, who created these beers and brews them at Mendocino Brewery, will be on hand to answer questions and host the tasting. The price is $5.

Saturday, May 23

The 23rd annual California Festival of Beers and Golf Tournament will take place at the Avila Beach Golf Resort near San Luis Obispo, on Saturday May 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tasting ends at 3:00 pm, but the entertainment continues until 4:00 pm. This year will feature an even larger selection of great beers (well over 100) not to mention an exciting concert and a wide array of food vendors!

Sudz in the City

The 15th annual Sudz in the City will be held in Fresno’s Chukchansi Park from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. The festival will feature “dozens of familiar and not so familiar craft brews, great live music from some of the Valley’s top bands on two stages, plus a wide range of food vendors from barbeque to tacos.” Advance tickets are $25 and $30 at the door (designated drivers are $10).

Saturday & Sunday, May 23-24

Across the Rubicon in Sacramento, they’ll be celebrating their 4th annual Maibock Festivakl on both Saturday and Sunday, beginning each day at 10:00 a.m. until closing. They’ll have multiple Maibock guest taps, along with Rubicon’s Purple, all accompanied by authentic German food as they celebrate the season… the only way they know how! Maibocks are similar to other Bocks, but tend to be lighter in both color and malt character. The name means literally “May Bock” and they are sometimes referred to as Spring Bocks, too, and are traditionally featured in Germany, where the style originated, during spring community festivals and throughout the month of May.


Tuesday, May 26

Come to the Rogue Ales Public House in San Francisco for the first of a series of weekly “Meet the Brewer” nights that will take every Tuesday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., showcasing brilliant brewers from across the nation. Each week, a new brewer will feature 3 of their brewing masterpieces while having the opportunity to socialize with San Francisco beer lovers. The first, on May 26th will feature Denise Jones from Moylans Brewery in Novato.

Saturday, May 30

At Sudwerk Brewery in Davis, the third annual Citizens Who Care BeerFest 2009 a.k.a. “A Celebration of All Things Beer” will take place on Saturday, May 30, 200 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are believed to be $25.

Tuesday, June 2

The second Meet the Brewer event at Rogue Ales Public House in San Francisco, on June 2nd will feature Lars Larson from Trumer Brauerei in Berkeley.

Saturday, June 6

The emphasis on food along with beer makes the Beerfest at Santa Rosa one of the best fests around. Beerfest is a festive microbrew and food tasting extravaganza with more than 35 of Northern California’s best microbreweries and a matching number of exceptional gourmet food purveyors. Your ticket includes all food and beverage tasting and a souvenir glass! Music provided by the THE THUGZ (Cosmic Americana style music) while you enjoy wonderful brews and outstanding food. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door.

Santa Rosa Beerfest

Also taking place on D-Day is the Monterey Beer Festival, on the opposite side of the Bay Area. The festival will take place at the Monterey Fairgrounds from 12:30 to 5:00 p.m. According to their website, it will include “the greatest assortment of Beer ever assembled on the Central Coast. Sample varied styles of Ales, Lagers & Ciders from over seventy breweries with hundreds of beers to taste. On hand will be the best of beer from around the world, including America, Belgium, Germany, England, France, Australia, Thailand, Italy, Asia, Ireland, Jamaica & California.” This year it will be hosted by Chris Nelson and Merideth Canham-Nelson, who write online at The Beer Geek. They’ll also be hosting several other events throughout the week leading up to the festival. In addition, this year’s theme will feature Tribute Bands including WEEZER (Little Bitches), STING & THE POLICE (Stung) and TOM PETTY (Petty Theft). Tickets are $30 and may be purchased online.

Sunday, June 7

Sunday morning beginning at 11:30 a.m. and running until at least 4:00 p.m., Peg returns to the Toronado for a Belgian Inspired Beer Dinner. The brunch will be five courses paired with American-made, Belgian-inspired beers, including Russian River Toronado 20th Anniversary, Lost Abbey Cable Car, and beers from Cascade Brewery, New Belgium, Allagash, Green Flash, Ommegang, and more. Tickets are $95, and are available at the bar at 547 Haight Street in an Francisco.

Tuesday, June 9

The third Meet the Brewer event at Rogue Ales Public House in San Francisco, on June 9th will feature Derek Smith from Black Diamond Brewery in Walnut Creek.


June 18: Downtown Hayward Street Party including beer specials at The Bistro

June 18-20: The American Homebrewers Association will be hosting the National Homebrewers Conference in Oakland.

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

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  • Scott B.

    I think the Jug Shop tasting of Mateveza only costs $5 because they’re only pouring a couple of beers.

  • Jay R. Brooks

    Thanks for the update, I couldn’t find a specific price for the Mateveza tasting.

  • Jim from MateVeza

    Thanks for getting the word out Jay. The price is $5 for two samples – MateVeza Yerba Mate Gold and MateVeza Yerba Mate IPA. – Jim