North Bay Business Journals 40 Under 40 “to Watch”

I was recently nominated to be one of the North Bay Business Journals Young Professionals, 40 Under 40. My best friend nominated me of course, she thinks I am amazing, as all best friends should think about their besties. 🙂 Well I didn’t make the cut, but that’s okay. Today I saw that I was on the second best list, the “40 Under 40 to Watch”. That’s pretty exciting too, so goals for next year: be better, work more, do more things with the community, have no spare time. Maybe I will make the top list next year :).

 

Craft Beer in South Western Montana

Our Lady of the Rockies watches over the people of Butte Montana. This is the largest statue in the Western United States.   (Photo Montana Outdoor)

 

On a recent trip with a dear friend, I managed to visit all of the breweries in and around Butte, Montana. Just before that I had reached my 500th unique brewery with my husband. We enjoy  traveling around to the different breweries when we can and chatting with the owners and brewers. While we have met some incredibly hospitable folks in the last few years, nothing parallels the humbled hospitality of the people in South Western Montana.

The brewers of Butte Brewing Company brewing the famous IPA. (Photo Butte Facbook page)

We started out at Butte Brewing Company and enjoyed the Nelson, Gold Digger Blonde, and the Pale Ale. I was bummed that I was just missing the IPA, but I guess that means I will have to go back! We had a great little chat with the head brewer, owner, and brewers assistant. Butte Brewing Co. opened it’s doors in 2015 after the original Butte Brewing Co. had shuttered for more than fifty years.

My tour continued onto Muddy Creek where we tried their taster tray- the Crazy Beautiful Pale Ale was the fav. The taproom is located in the upstairs of an old building right in downtown Butte. They make it easy for beer travelers to take their favorite beers home in these small, plastic, recyclable bottles.

The brew house at the Vault (the taproom) at Philipsburg Brewery in Montana.

On day two of my tour we headed out to Philipsburg Brewery. The brewery and taproom are located right off the main drag in town. They opened the brewery in 2012. Up the road they have the main brewery and production facility where they brew and can (aluminum bottles) all of the beers for the wholesale market. The large brewery is a 50 barrel brew house and sits beside an old hop kiln that was built in the 1870’s. They plan to eventually turn the old hop kiln into their barrel room where they will house all of the wood barrel for their barrel aged and sour beer program.

The original hop kiln next to the 50 barrel brew house where Philipsburg brews most of their beers in Philipsburg, Montana.

The popular Tramway Ale in the aluminum bottles at Philipsburg Brewery in Montana.

The taproom has a cozy feel with tables and bar stools that sit right beside the small brew house allowing guests to feel like they are actually sitting inside the brewery while sipping their beers. Some folks even get to chat it up with Ben (lead brewer) while he is working on the beers.

I met one of the owners at the taproom along with head brewer, Mike, lead brewer, Ben, and sales and marketing gal, Maddy. They were all so kind, taking time out of their day to share the Philipsburg story with me and show me around both facilities. For being in such a country like setting, Philipsurg Brewery is very innovative in the technology they use and the way they package their products- they are the only craft brewery packaging their beers in aluminum bottles. It’s brilliant, they travel well just like cans, and it’s a great way to bring beer camping, boating, or to any other summer activity. The beers are all fantastic! They are all low in alcohol and loaded with flavors. Ben, the lead brewer names all of the beers, so not only does he brew his own line up and assist Mike, he gets to come up with all of the creative, fun names. The whole crew is small, like most successful family owned businesses, they all wear many hats. That aspect made the experience feel more genuine and charming.

Here are the brews I had:

  • Razzui – Oregon raspberries, raspberry wheat. 5.2% ABV
  • Otter water – hefe 4.5% ABV
  • Gonk Amber- amber hybrid 5.8% ABV
  • Corners porter- coffee porter brewed with a pound of coffee 6.6% ABV
  • Irish twins session red 3.7% ABV
  • Ginns Best Bitter – Named after a man who lived off the grid and was kind of scary when you’d first meet him, but was really a very nice guy – similar to a bitter beer, people see the word bitter and think it’s going to taste bitter when in fact it’s actually an older term for a sweeter style beer.
  • Rope Swing – A Saison aged in Chardonnay barrels from Sonoma County! That’s a pretty cool little fact. Their distributor has contacts and clients in Sonoma County so they were able to buy barrels from local wine producers right in my own backyard. Small world. Ben has always wanted to name a summer beer rope swing. Saison means “season” and during the summer season being in the water on rope swings is what people love to do so it made sense.

Philipsburg Brewery is worth the stop if you’re in the area! Great beer, great people.

 

Quarry Brewing – “We Dig Beer”.

The last beer stop of the trip was Quarry Brewing – “we dig beer” is their slogan. I met with Chuck and Lyza Schnabel, owners. Chuck, the brew master showed me through all of their beers on draft as well as a few special beers that he had in barrel. He was diligent with my friend who is not a beer fan, but she does enjoy wine, so he went over several beers with her until finding one that she fell in love with (it was the sour! Most wine people end up gravitating towards the sour beers, they’re more wine-like). 

Chuck is a veteran who ended up in Lakewood Washington working for Rams Restaurant and Brewery. He worked there for a number of years as the head brewer overseeing all of the restaurants beer programs. In 1998 he started the Washington Brewers Guild. Chuck and his wife later decided to move back to Montana to get away from the “rat race”. They settled back in Butte and opened Quarry Brewing in 2007 on Galena Street. When they quickly grew out of that location, they purchased the old Grand Hotel on Broadway in uptown Butte. There they have space for their brew house, the taproom, easy access from the street into the brew house for transporting malt and grain on brew days, a bakery, and a large room that is available for rent for large groups, parties, and special events. ​

The new brew house at Quarry Brewing.

The upstairs events room in Quarry Brewing. This room can be rented out for special events, parties, dinners, and music.

The building was originally built to be labor temple where masons, construction workers and plumbers would sleep and live, sharing one bed among three men who would switch every eight hours – while one man was sleeping the other two were working. The brewery (the bottom floor) was an old boxing ring: High Altitude Boxing Ring.

The couple cares about the buildings and towns history and has done everything in their power to preserve what they can from reusing heater pieces and old door knobs to create accents in the updated rooms to preserving most of the original tile flooring. The building is stunning, it’s evident that a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into fixing it up and now they can be proud of the brewery space they have built.

The street entrance into the Grand Hotel. The reception area where they kept the library card holder in the back and cut the heater arms and used them in the front of the desk as decor.

The beer is off the charts – and they are all gluten reduced. They use a clarifying agent that they purchase from White Labs in San Diego to create a clearer beer and it happens to be the same agent that is used to make brews that are gluten reduced ​(just 5 parts per million). Years ago when the mines were active, Butte was about 90% Irish, and the Irish and Italians who originally came to Butte were gluten intolerant – nobody knew it at the time and they couldn’t figure out why they were all getting so sick. In later years, it was discovered that those two heritages had an intolerance to gluten. Chuck and Lyza now brew their beers with little gluten to show homage to the original Butte settlers.

My favorite brews:

The sampler tray at Quarry Brewing in Butte, Montana.

Basalt India Black Ale, Galena Gold, Gneiss IPA, and the Ryolite Rye Pale Ale. They’re all amazing. I bought a growler and left it for my pal to fill up when they return in July :). I can’t wait to return to Butte and visit Quarry again to see what other cool new beers Chuck is working on.

Southern Montana is doing some great things in the craft beer realm, it was a pleasure meeting the people behind the great beers. I can’t wait to return and see all of the new things they are working on!

Cheers!

 

 

 

Local Food, Wine, and Craft Beer Events in Sonoma County

Just because the rain won’t let up doesn’t mean that should keep you inside! There are so many great events coming up in April and May in Sonoma, here are a few you should put on your radar.

http://moxielady.org/

Dennis Housman sips on cold suds at a local beer event in Petaluma. (Tim Vallery)

APRIL EVENTS

St. Florian’s Brewery hosts Trivia Nights: The third Thursday of each month at the brewery in Windsor.

Cooperage is combining Yoga and Beer: get your workout in and then enjoy a nice cold one! Every Sunday in Santa Rosa.

Ping Pong Palooza: Palooza Gastropub hosts weekly Ping Pong Tournaments outside at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday. Eat, drink, and play ping pong with friends and your whole family. All levels welcome. Prizes will be awarded. April 18th, 25th, and May 2nd from 6:30-8:30pm in Kenwood. There is no cost to play.

Damnation Returns to RRBC: The popular Belgian Strong Golden Ale from Russian River Brewery will once again make an appearance at the pub in Santa Rosa in April.

For more beer events in April visit Sonoma Magazine here. 

Passport to Dry Creek: Visit 45+ wineries around the beautiful Dry Creek Valley. Wineries will host vineyard tours, prelude lunches and dinners, and then the grand event is a two day wine event featuring the valley’s best wines paired with excellent food dishes created by local chefs. Visit Fritz Winery, Mill Creek, and Dry Creek Vineyards to try my favorite chefs food: Peloton Culinary & Catering. Tickets are still available, for more information or to purchase yours, click here. April 29th and 30th.

MAY EVENTS 

Ping Pong Palooza: Palooza Gastropub hosts weekly Ping Pong Tournaments outside at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday. Eat, drink, and play ping pong with friends and your whole family. All levels welcome. Prizes will be awarded. May 2nd from 6:30-8:30pm in Kenwood. There is no cost to play.

Food + Wine Dinner Series: Trione Vineyards & Winery welcomes food and wine lovers to an intimate dinner series held on May 13th and 14th from 6-8:30pm. The winery features estate library wines and new releases paired with a farm-to-table menu prepared by local chefs of Peloton Culinary & Catering. This is a 3-4 course meal presented in a beautiful setting in the Old Stone Building overlooking the stunning vineyards of Alexander Valley. This is the perfect gift for mom, grandma, wife, or special person. The dinner is limited to 30 guests, the cost is $100 per person all inclusive. To purchase tickets please call the tasting room at 707.814.8100.

Santa Rosa Downtown Market: Visit the Wednesday night market for artisan food items, delicious street food, artwork, fun, and a wine and beer garden! May 3rd, 10th, and 17th – 5-8:30pm in downtown Santa Rosa on 4th Street. Note: 4th Street will be closed early, park on 3rd or 5th and walk over.

Bombers, Crowlers & Growlers: How to Take Your Favorite Craft Brews Home

The crowlers from Crooked Goat Brewery in Sebastopol’s Barlow. (Tim Vallery)

Since the dawn of beer, there’s been many ways to serve and store the beloved brew. In historic descriptions of beer drinking, beer was served from communal bowls and ceramic pots. Medieval monks in Europe stored beer in barrels and, after years of trial and error and shattered glass, it was first bottled in glass in London, England, over 400 years ago.

In 1935, after the American Can Company finally managed to figure out how to develop a container that could prevent the fizzy drink from chemically reacting with tin, beer was canned for the first time. By the end of that year, other companies like Pabst and Anheuser-Busch had followed suit and over 200 million cans were produced and sold.

Fast forward some 80 years and larger vessels like growlers and crowlers are now used to package the craft beer of our time.

 

Find out the difference between each vessel and what local beer lovers and brewers think: READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE ON SONOMA MAGAZINE 

 

Cheers!

 

IPA 10K and Beer Mile Invitational – Running with Beer? Yep!

On April 15th (just before tax day!) forget about your tax wows and head to the Barlow for the inaugural IPA 10K and Beer Mile Invitational in Sebastopol. This event is put on by Destination Races, the half marathon race experts who started the Wine Country Half Marathon in the heart of Dry Creek and Alexander Valley’s as well as Oregon, Santa Barbara, Oregon, Washington, Virginia, and Canada. Destination Races decided to trade in the grapes (just for this event) for HOPS. After all, this is beer country too now.

Photo courtesy of Crooked Goat Brewery Facebook

Racers will begin their morning at the Crooked Goat Brewery with a sip of beer before they head off for a nice, scenic 6.2 mile run through the loops of the Barlow and the rural outer edge of Sebastopol. Runners will finish at the Barlow for a beer, music, and food festivities. While the IPA 10K is exciting for runners, it’s the post-race Beer & Music Festival and Beer Mile that generates the most buzz from beer enthusiasts.

The Beer and Music Festival will open for runners and their guests at 9:30AM and the general public at 11:30AM until 2:30PM. There will be fourteen craft breweries sharing their beers, The band stage, sponsored by Lagunitas will be open throughout the festival and the race awards will be announced at 11AM.

The Beer Mile Invitational is a race around one block of the Barlow with professional runners competing for prize money.  Each runner must consume a 12-ounce beer every ¼ mile lap in the “chug zone”, and keep it down. The world record in the beer mile is 4 minutes and 34 seconds by Canadian Corey Bellemore. Prior to the professional heat, participating breweries will sponsor a 4-person relay team in which each team member consumes a 12-ounce beer, then runs a quarter mile and consumes another beer, before his or her partner can proceed with the same routine. The winning team receives the Golden Growler award filled with their favorite beer.

Do you have what it takes to step into the “chug zone” and join a relay team?

The event is the brainchild of Matt Dockstader, founder of Destination Races, based in Sonoma, California.  “As a former partner in a brewery in Colorado, the IPA 10K is the type of event I wanted to bring to fruition… I see this event as a natural extension for Destination Races, as it reflects the incredible growth and ingenuity of the craft beer industry.”

Registration for the IPA 10K is open now, click here for information or to register. Registration is $70 and includes a participant running shirt, a bottle opener finishers medal, an event beer tasting glass, and beer tasting tickets. Registration to the Beer and Music Festival is just $30.

The Barlow, 6780 Depot St #110, Sebastopol, CA US 95472

SF Beer Week – A Huge Success!

The opening gala for SF beer week in San Francisco. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

The opening gala for SF beer week in San Francisco. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Brewers made the trek from all over Northern California to pour their beers at the opening gala for SF Beer Week in San Francisco. Mayor Ed Lee was there to lead media and bloggers in a toast with the SF Brewers Guild Collaboration Ale: New Frontier. Sonoma County breweries came in full force with new beers, brewers and owners pouring, and ambassadors educating the patrons.

Russian River Brewing Company brought Pliny the Younger, enough to last until about 8:30PM and the line never died down, much like the line outside of the brewpub in Santa Rosa.

The line for Pliny the Younger only got longer as the event went on, it wrapped around in circles and then was directed outside down the side of the pier. People LOVE their RRBC and this year Russian River brought a substantial amount of Younger so they would not run out. It didn't last all night, but it lasted until about 8:30PM. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

The line for Pliny the Younger only got longer as the event went on, it wrapped around in circles and then was directed outside down the side of the pier. People LOVE their RRBC and this year Russian River brought a substantial amount of Younger so they would not run out. It didn’t last all night, but it lasted until about 8:30PM. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

New England-Style IPA’s were all the rage with Bear Republic Brewing and Sonoma Springs bringing in two of the best, well made “Juicy IPA’s” of the night.

Derek from Sonoma Spring Brewing Company shows off his DIPA and Triple IPA at the SF Beer week gala in San Francisco. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Derek from Sonoma Spring Brewing Company shows off his DIPA and Triple IPA at the SF Beer week gala in San Francisco.
(Photo by Tim Vallery)

Head Brewer, Rob from Bear Republic enjoys a sip with San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee at the Sf Beer week opening gala. The Bear Republic crew poured their new, just tapped Kompronat DIPA special for the gala. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Head Brewer, Rob from Bear Republic enjoys a sip with San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee at the Sf Beer week opening gala. The Bear Republic crew poured their new, just tapped Kompronat DIPA special for the gala.
(Photo by Tim Vallery)

With brewers and beer geeks from Sonoma County coming down for the fun, the North Bay was hugely represented at this San Francisco event.

Nick Garson aka "Fridge" a local beer celebrity, hugs up on the Stumptown team as he assists them in pouring the brews at the Sf beer week opening gala. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Nick Garson aka “Fridge” a local beer celebrity, hugs up on the Stumptown team as he assists them in pouring the brews at the Sf beer week opening gala.
(Photo by Tim Vallery)

Third Street Aleworks shared their Cossack Imperial Stout as a special brew. This beer is now available at the taproom in 22 ounce bottles for a limited time, just for SF Beer week.

Brewer, Adam De la Montanya and his crew have fun pouring their beers from Third Street Aleworks.

Brewer, Adam De la Montanya and his crew have fun pouring their beers from Third Street Aleworks. Brewers and brewery workers make friends and reminisce with old ones at the Sf Beer week opening gala.

HenHouse Brewing brought their popular Saison and the IPA to share with beer lovers.

HenHouse Brewing brought their popular Saison and the IPA to share with beer lovers.

Sf BEer week is about creating relationships and sharing new innovative information among brewers. (Left: brewer from St. Florian's in Windsor and Right: brewer) from Anderson Valley Brewing in Boonville, CA

Sf Beer week is about creating relationships and sharing new innovative information among brewers.
(Left: brewer from St. Florian’s in Windsor and Right: brewer) from Anderson Valley Brewing in Boonville, CA

Rachel from Cooperage poured the Keg Slayer (her nicname) and Smelltron 3030 DIPA for beer geeks right as they came into the pier.

Rachel from Cooperage poured the Keg Slayer (her nickname) and Smelltron 3030 DIPA for beer geeks right as they came into the pier.

IMG_1626

The front entrance at the SF Beer week opening gala – North Bay breweries were the first ones to be seen. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Sf beer week

Lot’s of cheer going around at the SF Beer week gala.

The SF Beer Week sign at the opening gala was the perfect setting to pose for pictures. This is the crew from Cellarmaker Brewing in San Francisco. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

The SF Beer Week sign at the opening gala was the perfect setting to pose for pictures. This is the crew from Cellarmaker Brewing in San Francisco. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

SF Beer week is still in full swing for ONE more day, click here to find official beer week events in and around the Bay Area.

Sonoma County breweries have the following events and releases happening:

Third Street Aleworks – Cossack Imperial Stout available in 22 oz bottles until they last

HenHouse Brewing – BIG Chicken IPA available at select places throughout Sonoma County and beyond. Click here for more details on Sonoma Magazine.

Crooked Goat Brewing – Tap takeover at La Vera Pizza all week long.

Santa Rosa Beer Passport – A collaboration between Visit Santa Rosa and Santa Rosa breweries. Pickup your beer passport at any of the participating breweries, Brew, Wilibee’s, or the Welcome Center and receive a prize for visiting each brewery. For more details and a list of participating breweries, click here.

 

Here is a list of 7 beer events you shouldn’t miss this weekend, on SonomaMag.com. 

Cheers and enjoy all of the beer week fun while it lasts!

Good Ol’ Fashioned Guacamole Dip

No big bash is complete without a good guacamole dip! We all want to indulge but don’t necessarily want to pay the prince the next day after we have eaten EVERYTHING on the tables because all the sides and snacks just looked too good to pass up… this is great with healthy-style “chips: Serve with lettuce chips, carrots sticks, or celery instead of chips!

Use these healthy chips instead of salty tortillas to cut on calories, to save for more wine or craft beer!

Ingredients for Guacamole Dip( Photo by Jess Vallery)

Ingredients:

  • 6 ripe avocados, peeled and cubed
  • 2 ripe but firm tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 small red onion, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A dash of Cayenne Pepper

Method: 

Soak the onions in the lime juice and set aside. Mix avocado up and mash with a fork, add in tomatoes, cilantro, and onions and lime juice and mix well so flavors blend. Add season, stir and serve.

 

Fogbelt Celebrates Third Birthday!

Big Brewery Birthday Bash Coming Up in Santa Rosa

Fogbelt Brewing Company turns three this year, and the Santa Rosa brewery certainly have a lot to cheer to: a series of great events, an ever busy taproom, a phenomenal chef serving up seasonally inspired dishes and, of course, loads of fantastic beers. To celebrate their anniversary, Fogbelt is inviting all beer lovers to a big birthday bash on February 11th. 

(Photo by Tim Vallery)

For the full article on Sonoma Magazine, click here. 

Pliny the Younger – More Exciting than Santa Claus

It’s “Younger” Time!!

Pliny the Younger is to beer loving adults like Santa Claus is to children under 10.

We make our plans for the day or days we will wait in line, make lists of what we will bring to occupy our time, and tell all of our friends how excited we are for the time to finally come. Well it’s almost here, on February 3rd, a week before SF Beer Week, the amazing hoppy- Triple IPA will come back to us.

From February 3-16th the “Younger” will be on draft at the pub and select draft accounts that Russian River has been supporting over the years. That list isn’t available yet, but regardless, if you can make it out here, get out here, and if you are local then you are blessed, so get in line!

Last year RRBC implemented a new policy, they are only allowing customers 3 hours in the pub and a maximum of 3 “Youngers”. This beer is 10.25% so for most of us, 3 is plenty! Then of course they make sure to fill up their beer board with other amazing beers so take your pick after to have the “Younger”. I recommend the taster tray, it’s all 20 beers for $22, it’s such a great way to try all of the Russian River brews!

 

Some advice from a seasoned “Younger Experience” person:

  • Get in line super early in the morning.
  • Arrive with your entire group and stay until they check you in.
  • Don’t cut in front of others who have been waiting in line, it’s super uncool and very elementary. You will be booed worse than Yasiel Puig at AT&T Park.
  • Bring warm weather clothes and rain gear, a chair, umbrella, snacks, extra/external battery charger for your phone, and a game of some sort.
  • Eat a decent size, filling breakfast and start your day off right.
  • Buy snacks from the business you are standing in front of, get your hair cut, buy product, eat, buy coffee, make a good impression so RRBC looks better to their neighbors.
  • Chat it up with your neighbors, meet new people, have fun, it makes the time go by faster.
  • Wear comfy shoes.
  • Have your food picked out in your mind so that when you get in, you can order lunch or dinner right away. I recommend the wings, New Yorker, Mikey, Excel, grilled cheese, and the caesar salad.
  • Don’t be foolish, don’t drink in line, don’t make a “roadie” and get all buzzed before you get into the pub. Just DON’T do it. It’s actually illegal to drink in public and have an open container in the city of Santa Rosa, so just leave it at home and wait until you get in for the awesome beers. An open container ticket can just be bad news bears and totally embarrassing in front of everyone else in line. More than all of the dumb things Yasiel Puig says or does in front of the booing fans.
  • Drinks lots of water!!! Normally, you should be drinking 8-10 glasses per day, when you drink high alcohol beer you need more water. Use the 1 to 1 ol’ ratio: 1 glass of water for each glass of beer. You’ll thank me later.
  • Take pictures, for some of you, this may only happen once in your lifetime! For those that are lucky enough to come often for the release, help others have a more enjoyable time, offer to take their pictures, move out of their way so they can get a shot of the brewpub or whatever the shot may be.
  • Don’t smoke around the crowd of people. Don’t smoke in line. I don’t want cancer and neither does anyone else. You actually need to be at least 20 feet from the buildings according to Santa Rosa city ordinance, so after you get checked in, take a minute, if you must smoke, and walk to the parking lot and do your business.
  • Be polite.
  • Tip your server. GENEROUSLY. They are working extra hard and putting up with a lot over these two weeks. They’re all KICKASS , treat them well. 
  • If you do not drink your allotted “Youngers”, don’t give your tabs away to someone else, it’s not allowed, it’s frowned upon and you will be asked to leave if you are caught.

 

Pliny the Younger only comes out once a year, it’s well worth the plane ticket, the long wait in line, and the miles you’ll need to drive to get here. It’s heavily hopped, has lots of malts, and is high alcohol but it’s always smooth and hop-forward with hints of malt.

As a local, I wait in line every year, sometimes 3-4 times during the two week period. “Younger” comes out around my birthday so I personally feel like it’s a really great gift to me. It also holds a special spot in my heart because in 2013 my “Younger experience” dictated where I was going on my honeymoon. Vinnie and Natalie were mailed a case of Hop Slam and asked to slam one on opening day and after they did, they gave us one. We fell in love with that beer and headed to Kalamazoo, Michigan for a part of our honeymoon to visit Bell’s Brewery. If you see us at the pub, you may just hear my husband tell that story, it’s one of his favorites to tell!

Vinnie and Natalie at RRBC in 2013.

 

Cheers!

Moxie

Drink Up, it’s Time for SF Beer Week

SF Beer week is one of my favorite times of the year; it’s my birthday and I get to enjoy copious amounts of amazing beers from all across the Bay Area and beyond. Beer week is an action packed week filled with beer dinners, beer pairings, educational seminars with brewers and brewery owners, sensory seminars with hops, tap takeovers at various bars and gastropubs throughout the Bay Area, and many events at the source- at the breweries. There are hundreds of options with over 100 breweries in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and the North Bay, we have a lot to choose from.

Drink up, it’s Sf Beer Week!
(Photo courtesy of SF Beer Week media kit)

So how do you pick what to do? As a seasoned beer traveler and planner, I highly recommend you sign up for the itinerary on sfbeerweek.com first. This will allow you to look at each of the events that brewers chose to list and what the San Francisco Brewers Guild are promoting. Find something you like, you simple click, “add to my itinerary”. It’s a great way to be able to check out what you’re interested in each day.

 

Secondly, these events fill up fast so if there is a need for a reservation or to purchase tickets, do it now. There are over 100 breweries out there and even more restaurants who will be hosting dinners and tap takeovers, but there are even more beer lovers who wish to attend. Get in where you want to get in.

 

Buy your tickets for the SF Beer Week Opening Gala NOW. Friday, February 10th at 6PM is quite possibly the best beer event in Northern California and you want to be there. This event is well attended by all of the breweries and they have saved their special brews to be showcased that night, for you. Don’t let them down! Get your tickets.

 

My beer week recommendations:

 

Russian River Brewing Co. – February 3rd. Well if I didn’t mention this then you would think I didn’t know anything about beer because anyone who knows beer, knows that Russian River Brewing Company is releasing the long awaited triple IPA, Pliny the Younger. It’s released once a year for two weeks and they do it in conjunction with beer week. They will be releasing this delicious beer on February 3rd at the pub. The brewers will be bringing it to the opening gala as well, so there should be plenty of chances for you try it.

St. Florian’s Brewery 4 Year Anniversary – February 11th from 12-8PM, they’ll be serving up great eats from various food trucks and vendors, as well as pouring new beers, and there will be live music. More information to come, but this is a good one to get on your list if you find yourself in the North Bay.

Social Kitchen’s Friday Morning Beer Brunch – February 11th from 10:30AM-2:30PM. I LOVE this place, I love the atmosphere, I love the food, and I love the beer. I also really love brunch, it’s my favorite meal of the day and I feel like it does not get the chance to make an appearance as often as it should, so why not indulge on a Saturday?!

Monk’s Kettle: United Sours of America – February 11th from 11Am-11PM.

The Monk’s Kettle is a super cool beer bar and I couldn’t think of a better place to spend a little time sipping on one of craft beers latest favored beer style.

Swann’s Oyster Depot Collaboration with Woods Beer Co. – February 11th

12-5PM. Have you ever been to Swann’s? It’s AH-MAZ-ING! It’s a hole-in-the-wall little spot that you squeeze into, sit at the counter, and are served by all men who have worked there for generations. They serve fresh food daily and when they run out, it’s out. It’s so worth it, and paired with beer, well, duh.

Ale Arsenal’s Alvarado Street Tap Takeover – February 11th from 3-8PM.

Alvarado Street is putting out some incredible brews, this is surely not going to be a disappointing way to spend some time.

Almanac Beer Co.’s Stonefruit Night – February 11th from 3-11PM.

They will be hosting a series of events throughout the week, enjoy a walk down memory lane with the folks at Almanac as you taste through countless vintages of their special sours.

The Good Hop and Smog City’s Bay Invasion – February 11th from 5-11PM

I have enjoyed many Smog City beers down in the smoggy city of angels and I cannot wait to try this lineup!

WHAT’S ON DRAFT: Little Bo Pils, Hoptonic IPA, Sabre-Toothed Squirrel, Coffee Porter, My Tai Hop-T IPA with Coconut, Chip Shot Coffee Porter, Cuddlebug, Bourbon O.E., Buzz Worthy, Benny And The Bretts, The Nothing, Infinite Wishes, AND MORE!

Alpha Acid Brewing Company IPA Day – February 12th 1-6PM.

Because, well, duh. Single, double, and triple IPA’s will be flowing. Nuf said.

Cellarmaker and the Rare Barrel Collaboration Release – February 12th from 1-8PM.

Join in on the fun at the Rare Barrel in Berkeley. These two breweries blow my mind on their own, I cannot wait to see what they’ve come up for this!

Social Kitchen’s Brett Fest – February 13th from 4-11:30PM.

6 bretty beers tasted side-by-side. Yes, please!

Here are the beers:

  1. Day Day’s Tripel Double: Belgian Tripel, brewed with rye, aged in red wine barrels for 6 months with Brettanomyces Trois Vrai. Further aged in stainless for 10 more months.
  2. Raps on Brett: Our beloved Belgian golden ale, Rapscallion, conditioned in keg with the Brettanomyces Amalgamation blend from Yeast Bay laboratories.
  3. Cloud Cover: Belgian wheat ale conditioned in keg with the Brettanomyces Amalgamation blend from Yeast Bay Laboratories.
  4. (name still TBD): Belgian dark strong aged in red wine barrels for 13 months with Brett Claussenii.
  5. The Rice is Right, Beersel Blend: Jasmine rice Belgian Tripel keg conditioned with the Brettanomyces Beersel blend from Yeast Bay Laboratories.
  6. The Rice is Right, Lochristi Blend: Jasmine rice Belgian Tripel keg conditioned with the Brettanomyces Lochristi blend from Yeast Bay Laboratories.

 

Dear Mom I love Calicraft – February 15th from 4-9PM.

This just sounds intriguing and I have not been here before, so I’m gonna check it out. Sours, IPAs and secret stuff.

Rare Barrel Jester King Tap Takeover – February 15th from 7:30-10PM.

If you have not yet tried the beers from this brewery out of Texas, then get here to try them.

Fogbelt Brewing End of Beer Week Brunch – February 19th from 10Am-2PM.

Brunch will be served until 2PM for those who need a little help with the beer week hangover. I can’t wait, they do a great job in the kitchen and have some killer beers coming out, so I will be parking myself there for the afternoon!  
So you have some official SF Beer Week events and my recommendations. There are many unofficial events going on in Sonoma County, so check back with me and I’ll keep you up to date with deets.