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.

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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.

Need Something Fun to do on New Year’s Eve?

I’ve got you covered. I hunted down the 3 breweries in Sonoma County that are hosting an epic New Year’s Eve bash: comedy, music, games, food, pairings… what could be better?! Not much 🙂

Stay close to home and visit Cooperage Brewing for music and food, Barrel Brothers for comedy, and Fogbelt Brewing for comedy and a beer and food pairing!

Read more and find out all of the details on Sonoma Magazine. 

See you at one of them! I’ll most likely be at Cooperage and Fogbelt! I’m going to try to squeeze in two! Not sure if that will happen! Either way, it’ll be fun and a super awesome way to ring in the new year with my hubby!

Fogbelt Brewing. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Fogbelt Brewing. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

St. Florian’s rainy day fun!!

Get fishy with St. Florian’s Brewery today and tomorrow (November 19th and 20th) from 4-8pm. 

Viva la Baja will be there serving up some great tacos, burritos, and enchiladas. This delicious fare is made up of all kinds of fresh fishy goodness: shrimp, shrimp, and more shrimp, plus a little salmon and other types of fish. YUM!!

There is something for everyone here! Pair these tasty treats with any of the St. Florian’s beers: Fresh Hop on the Engine, Flashover IPA, Cali-Common, and more! I can’t think of a better thing to do on this rainy day!! Bring your friends or bring your kiddos, there is plenty of fun for the whole crew- they’ve got fuse ball, cards, and games to play.

(Photo from St. Florian's Brewery Facebook)

(Photo from St. Florian’s Brewery Facebook)

St. Florian's hops from "Fresh Hop on the Engine" beer. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

St. Florian’s hops from “Fresh Hop on the Engine” beer. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

See ya there!

St. Florians’s Brewery | 7704 Bell Rd, Windsor, CA 95492 | 707.838.2739 | stfloriansbrewery.com | @Stfloriansbrewery 

5 Beers to Have at Your Thanksgiving Table

On the hunt for new beers to enjoy with my classic Thanksgiving dinner, I asked Matt Fenn, local beer expert and co-owner of Beercraft bottle shop and taproom in Rohnert Park, what beers he recommends for Thanksgiving.

Check out the full article and what Matt recommends here on SonomaMag.com.

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I hope you enjoy these beers as much as I do!!

Cheers and Happy Thanksgiving!!

NORCAL BEER GEEKS FESTIVAL TOMORROW!

NORCAL BEER GEEKS FESTIVAL TOMORROW!

 

St. Florian's hops from "Fresh Hop on the Engine" beer. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

St. Florian’s hops from “Fresh Hop on the Engine” beer. (Photo by Tim Vallery)

Don’t miss the 3rd annual NorCal Beer Geeks Festival TOMORROW at the Petaluma veterans building. A fun beer event with a great cause. Here are the details on Sonoma Magazine. 

Hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Jess

It Takes a lot of Great Beer to make Sonoma County Wine!

A topic that is near and dear to my heart- with my new gig at Sonoma Magazine I was able to incorporate my passion for wine and beer all in the same feature. It’s harvest time for wineries and we all know that beer plays a huge role in the wine-making world; after a long, hard days, winemakers, crew, and everyone who works in the business likes to sit back with a cold one.

Here is the full article.

http://jessposhepny.com/category/beer-2/

Vineyard crews loading up grapes to bring to Trione Winery