Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

About What’s On Tap

About this photo: I’m seated, fourth from left. Taken in Molenbeek on the edge of Brussels, Belgium after a tour of the Belle-Vue Lambic aging and blending facility. We’re sampling Selecion, a beer rarely seen in public. God what a wonderful beer that was. Here’s a link to, whose tasters agree with me. Of course Belle-Vue’s owned by InBev and I’ve never seen this beer in the U.S. Has anyone? let me know. Best info is, it’s no longer made.

William Brand: Native of Nebraska, Journalism degree from University of Nebraska, four years in U.S. Navy, among other assignments, I served in a strategic targeting group in the Vietnam era. I was NOT in Nam. I’m a reporter at the Oakland (CA) Tribune, covering science, technology and mayhem, i.e. Unabomber to Columbine to Laci Peterson.

I love beer and have been writing a beer column for the Trib since 1988.

My first articles on beer were published in (long defunct) San Francisco magazine in the early 1980s. One story, for example, featured interviews with founders of the first two brewpubs in California: Mendocino Brewing in Hopland, and Buffalo Bill’s in Hayward.

Currently, I write a weekly column in the Oakland Tribune and the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA.) and associated Bay Area New Group papers. I wite a monthly column in San Jose Mercury News. I’ve been writing this blog and another one at since September, 2004.

I live with my wife and daughter in Walnut Creek, CA.

When not pursuing news or stories about beer or rare and exotic beer, I often can be found on my horse on Mt. Diablo. I can always be reached (even on the horse, usually) at: (510) 915-1180. My non-Tribune e-mail address is:

My favorite beer? I bow to the estimable Portland,OR beer expert Fred Eckhardt who says his favorite beer is the one close at hand (bland American lagers excluded, of course.)