Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Archive for September, 2012

Oktoberfest 2012 Begins Today

Today at noon the mayor of Munich tapped the ceremonial keg to kick off Oktoberfest. The My Destination travel blog has created an interesting infographic (I confess I love these type of things) with the statistics of just how much food and drink was consumed at last year’s folk festival.


Posted on Saturday, September 22nd, 2012
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Bistro 18th Anniversary Tomorrow in Hayward

The Bistro, in Hayward, California, has been an institution for … well, eighteen years. They put on four niche festivals each year — Double IPA, IPA, Wet Hop and Wood Aged — plus a hops rhizome event. Tomorrow they’re celebrating their 18th anniversary, not with a whimper, but a bang.

On tap, they’ll have some classic beers, such as Anchor Christmas Ale 1999 and in bottles, such rarities as a vertical tasting of North Coast Old Stock from 2000 until the present vintage, Unibroue’s anniversary ale, from 2004 to 2007. They’ll also have bottles of Russian River Brewing’s first bottling of batch 23 — circa 2007 — and Avery The Beast 2008 to name just a few.

There will be live music at the pub, beginning at 4:30, with The Hipbones, who first played here in 1997, The Travis Larson Band, along with special guest from Canada, Dave Martone.

The festivities start when they open at 10:30. Should be a great time. Happy 18th Vic and Cynthia!

Bistro owners Cynthia and Vic Kralj announcing the winners of the 2009 Double IPA Festival.

Posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2012
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How Booze Built America Premieres Tonight

Peter Rowe, the man behind the television show Dirty Jobs, has a new three-part series that debuts tonight: How Booze Built America. I suspect they’ll be playing fast and loose with much of beer’s history, but it should be at least an entertaining show. Check out the first episode on the Discovery channel. Check your local listings for times and channels. Click this link for a trailer to get a flavor of the show.

Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
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White House Releases Homebrew Recipe

I bet it must be nice for President Obama’s people to be inundated by something positive for a change. When the White House announced that the kitchen was going to be homebrewing, even using honey made by White House bees, people wanted to know what the recipe was for the two beers they were brewing. After a petition to release the recipes garnered over 12,000 signatures, the White House did release the recipes on the White House Blog and their We the People page, a Honey Ale and a Honey Porter. Here was the White House response:

Inspired by home brewers from across the country, last year President Obama bought a home brewing kit for the kitchen. After the few first drafts we landed on some great recipes that came from a local brew shop. We received some tips from a couple of home brewers who work in the White House who helped us amend it and make it our own. To be honest, we were surprised that the beer turned out so well since none of us had brewed beer before.

As far as we know the White House Honey Brown Ale is the first alcohol brewed or distilled on the White House grounds. George Washington brewed beer and distilled whiskey at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson made wine but there’s no evidence that any beer has been brewed in the White House. (Although we do know there was some drinking during prohibition…)

Since our first batch of White House Honey Brown Ale we’ve added the Honey Porter and have gone even further to add a Honey Blonde this past summer. Like many home brewers who add secret ingredients to make their beer unique, all of our brews have honey that we tapped from the first ever bee-hive on the South Lawn. The honey gives the beer a rich aroma and a nice finish but it doesn’t sweeten it.

And here’s the recipe for the Honey Ale:


The White House also created a short video about the homebrew project, which you can see at YouTube.

And here’s the recipe for the Honey Porter:


Wondering how the recipe might work out? Garrett Oliver, brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewing expressed his opinion in the New York Times, in White House Beer: A Brewer Weighs In.

Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2012
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