Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

Beer of the Week: Linden Street Brewing, Oakland, CA.

Note: This is an updated version of my Beer of the Week column that ran in the Oakland Tribune/Contra Costa Times in April. Since I wrote the column, there is some news.

1. Adam Lamoreaux, the principal partner at Linden Street and the head brewer, has a new beer. It’s Black Bottom Lager and it has just been brewed at Drake’s while the final installation of the brewery at Linden Street is completed. It will be on tap this afternoon at Linden Street’s regular Friday afternoon open house barbecue, that begins today at 4 p.m. and runs for about four hours.

2. Next Friday Aug. 1, will be the last weekly open house and barbecue. The crowds have gotten too large; we’ve gone through a lot of beer, Adam says. So beginning next week, the open house will be held only on the first Friday of each month. After next Friday, the next open house will be Friday, Sept. 5, 2008. Hint: Go there today and try the beer.

And finally, the bureaucratic update is that Linden Street is still waiting for the city of Oakland and PG&E to sign off on expanded natural gas service to power the boiler in the brewery. Adam told me PG&E was dragging out the process. I called Tamar Sarkissian in PG&E’s media department, who checked. She said PG&E was waiting for the city of Oakland to sign off…”There were certain steps that needed to be taken….” she said.

So I talked to Adam again. The city inspection is scheduled next week and he’s pleased that PG&E is ready to roll. He said he didn’t know that until I made the call. In the meantime, he’s still brewing his beer at Drake’s in San Leandro.

And now, the Beer of the Week:

By William Brand
MediaNews Group Staff Writer

WHEN I VISIT the Trappist, the new Belgian beer pub in downtown Oakland – a place famous, of course, for Belgian ales – I often order a lager. No kidding. The beer is Linden Street Common Lager *** from Linden Street Brewery, the first new brewery in Oakland since Pacific Coast Brewing Co. opened in 1988.

It’s a hybrid, made like Anchor Steam, brewed with a lager yeast, but fermented at warm temperatures like ale, which gives it a great nose with hints of ripe fruit and mild hop aroma. Made primarily with Northern Brewer hops and pale Pilsner malted barley, it’s quite different from Anchor. Served in a chalice at the Trappist, it provides a crisp, tasty finish to a long day, and it’s our Beer of the Week.

The brewery at 95 Linden St., just north of Jack London Square, isn’t functioning quite yet. But Adam Lamoreaux, the brewer, who co-founded Linden Street with his wife, Alice Chen, and Carey Peterson, has made an early batch at Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro.

Right now, it’s possible to find it three places: The Trappist (460 8th St.); the Fireside Lounge (1453 Webster St., Alameda); and each Friday afternoon at an open house and barbecue at the brewery.

In a few days, as soon as PG&E brings in electric power and city inspectors OK the installation, Lamoreaux says he’ll be ready to begin brewing at Linden Street. “I’m smiling a lot these days,” he says. “We’re very close to making beer.” The brewery is in a brick facade warehouse built in 1890. It’s going to be a draft-only brewery, and Lamoreaux hopes his beer will soon be everywhere around the East Bay.

There are more beers on the way, Lamoreaux adds. There are plans for a summer beer, which he hopes to give the same name as the last beer made in Oakland before Pacific Coast launched the modern era.

“I’ve been told it was Golden Glow Lager, and I want to name my beer Golden Glow Ale. There are a lot of old-timers still in Oakland, and I want to make it in a low-alcohol style closer to what they drank back then,” he says.

Another beer that Lamoreaux will be selling soon is a black lager. “We have a lot of people really eager for that black lager – it might end up becoming our flagship beer.”

Adam bought the brew plant from Daniel Del Grande at Bison Brewing in Berkeley. Dan closed the brewery and is now brewing his beer at Butte Creek, the organic brewery in Chico, CA.