Monday, March 20, 2017

Just Call it The Beer Line

On Sunday, AC Transit debuts its new line 80. The line runs between El Cerrito Plaza BART station and the Claremont Hotel in the Berkeley Hills. For me, what makes this line interesting is the number of breweries and tap rooms this line services.
  1. elevation-66 - on San Pablo between Central and Fairmount, it's less than one block from the Central/San Pablo stop (southbound stop 52544, northbound stop 52066 .)
  2. Gilman Brewing Company - on Gilman between 7th and 8th, it's less than one block from the 8th/Gilman stop (southbound stop 51613, northbound stop 51791) or Gilman/7th stop (northbound stop 50404, no southbound stop)
  3. Fieldwork Brewing Co - at 6th St and Harrison, it's just over one block north from the 6th/Gilman stop (southbound stop 59688, no northbound stop) or two blocks (one block west and one block north) from the Gilman/7th stop (northbound stop 50404, no southbound stop)
  4. Trumer Brauerei - at 4th and Camelia, it's three blocks (one block north, two blocks west) from the 6th/Page stop (southbound stop 52310, northbound stop 56465). Until Trumer's rumored tasting room opens, you'll need to RSVP for a tour (offered weekdays at 3:15.)
  5. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room - on 4th between Addison and University, it's just over one block south from the 4th/University stop (southbound stop 52626, northbound stop 55146.)
  6. The Rare Barrel - on Parker between 8th and 9th St., it's one and a half blocks East from the 7th/Parker stop (southbound stop 55807, northbound stop 55738.)
  7. Novel Brewing - on San Pablo Ave between 66th and 65th St, it's four and a half blocks South from the Ashby/San Pablo stop (southbound stop 52300, northbound stop 52599.)
  8. Moxy Beer Garden - at Sacramento and 66th St, it's about three blocks south from the Ashby/Sacramento stop (southbound stop 52662, northbound stop 55919.)
  9. Hoi Polloi Brewing - on Alcatraz between Adeline and Ellis, it's five blocks south and less than one block west of the Ashby/Martin Luther King, Jr. Way stop (southbound stop 51171, northbound stop 55765.)
What's really nice about the line is that service runs until midnight seven days a week. So, if you're a beer drinker, this would be an interesting "crawl." Conveniently for me, I live within two blocks of a stop on line 80. I know I'll be taking advantage of this new line.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Celebrating SF Beer Week in Berkeley

(Banner courtesy of the San Francisco Brewers Guild)

It's SF Beer Week!

Berkeley breweries, taprooms and restaurants all have events going on. Here are the venues (please note that many are within walking distance of BART and that the others are reachable via AC Transit):

And here's the schedule:

All Week Long (Friday 2/10 - Sunday 2/19):
Friday 2/10
  • 9 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of 2017 Viking's Lament (Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Porter) and King Citra Double IPA (limit 8 cans per person for each.) They will also be tapping a keg each of both the 2017 and 2016 Viking's Lament.
Saturday 2/11
  • 10 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of 2017 Barrel Aged Eliza (New Orleans Iced Coffee Imperial Milk Stout) and Tundra Triple IPA (limit 8 cans per person for each.) They will also be tapping one keg of  2017 Barrel Aged Eliza.
  • 11:30 AM, Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse releases 2017 Mister Stout (Imperial Stout.) The release includes flights featuring the 2017 release, a blend of the 2016 and 2017 releases, and barrel aged versions of the 2016 and 2015 releases. In addition, they're re-releasing their 30th Anniversary Black Rock (a barrel-aged imperial version of their Black Rock porter.)
  • Noon, Pacific Standard Taproom releases I Need a Miracle DIPA (a collaboration between Half Moon Bay Brewing and Peter Hoey of BSG Craft Brewing) and taps other collaborations between Half Moon Bay Brewing with Benoit-Casper Brewing, E. J. Phair, Hop Dogma, Sacrilege Brewery, Moylan's Brewing, and Bartlett Hall.
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts their 3rd Annual Reunion with The Bruery and Societe Brewing Company. This is a reunion because Patrick Rue (from The Bruery,) Doug Constantiner (from Societe,) and Jay Goodwin (from The Rare Barrel) once worked at The Bruery together. They'll be here for this event. Each brewery will have 5 of their beers on tap. Inside, they will have 2 additional bars set-up so that you won't have a long wait to sample. In the parking lot, Real Smoked BBQ will be providing smoked meat goodness.
  • 7 PM, Pacific Standard Taproom hosts its Bottle Release Party featuring Half Moon Bay's Flanders Red Sour, aged with cherries and Papa Juice Old Ale, aged in Rye Whiskey Barrels
Sunday 2/12
  • 10 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of PULP IPA (limit 8) and Cocoanut German Chocolate Cake Imperial Stout (limit 4.)
  • 10 AM, Free House hosts Sierra Nevada Acoustic Sunrise, a beer brunch featuring 8 beers from Sierra Nevada Brewing.
  • 11 AM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room hosts the Poses to Pints yoga class -- a one-hour yoga class, followed by a pint in the tasting room. Tickets ($15) available here.
  • Noon, Jupiter and Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse host Sour Sunday featuring over 60 sour and barrel-aged brews. Click the link for details. Advanced tickets start at $30 and are available here.
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel releases 3 collaborations with Cellarmaker: Tangerang! (a golden sour beer aged in oak barrels and dry-hopped with Citra and Motueka,) Smashin’ Fruit (a blend of a hoppy pale ale and a golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with passion fruit,) and Wagon Trix (a blend of Cellarmaker porter with The Rare Barrel golden sour beer aged in oak barrels with blackberries.) As part of the event, The Rare Barrel will be selling fills of 32 and 64 growlers of the collaborations. You must provide a clean logo-free (or at least taped-over) growler with a closable lid in order to purchase a fill. In the parking lot, Real Smoked BBQ will be providing smoked meat goodness.
  • 5 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts the People’s Choice IPA Competition featuing IPAs from Berryessa, Barebottle, Calicraft, and Triple Voodoo. Your votes choose the winner. Poll closes at 8 PM.
Monday 2/13
Tuesday 2/14
  • Noon, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts “Find Your Angel” Valentine’s Day Special with Angel City Brewing, a special date night deal of two special Angel City beers, a small margherita pizza, and a unique “Lover’s Quarrel” dessert pizza for $40.
  • 4 PM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room offers a Beer + Chocolate Flight. $20 gets you a prescribed pairing of four 4 oz beers and 4 chocolates from Blues Chocolates.
  • 5 PM, Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse releases Dimmer Switch Chocolate Milk Stout which you can pair with a "death by chocolate" dessert.
Wednesday 2/15
  • 4 PM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room offers a Beer + Jerky Flight. For just $15 per flight you'll experience a flight of 4 very unique Righteous Felon jerky and paired with four 4 oz beers.
  • 5 PM, Moxy Beer Garden hosts Game Night with Sierra Nevada and Games of Berkeley. Games of Berkeley will provide board games, Frisbee Golf, and a scavenger hunt. Sierra Nevada will provide 4 beers on tap: 2017 Beer Camp Golden IPA, Otra Vez Gose-Style Ale, Tropical Torpedo IPA, and Hop Hunter IPA.
  • 7 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria holds Pizza Port Trivia Night. Pizza Port Brewing will host this installment of Bobby G's weekly trivia night. Food includes 2 pizzas specially designed to pair with 2 special Pizza Port beers. You can gave it all with a 2 slice 2 beer combo.
  • 7:30 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts a Jester King Brewing Guest Tap Takeover. Austin's Jester King Brewery will be in house for a guest tap takeover featuring farmhouse ales and sours. Brewers Jeffrey Stuffings and Averie Swanson will also be hanging out for a bit to chat about their philosophy behind producing mixed culture and spontaneous beer. Javi’s Cooking will be in the parking lot serving Argentine empanadas.
Thursday 2/16
  • 11 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of Galaxy Juice IPA (limit 12 cans per person.)
  • Noon, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room offers a Vertical Bigfoot Flight. They'll be serving flights of various vintages of Bigfoot Barleywine as well as vintage Bigfoot growler fills.
  • 3 PM, Mission: Heirloom hosts a Ground Breaker Beer Tasting. They'll be serving 7 gluten-free beers from Portland's Ground Breaker Brewery along with a menu of delicious beer garden specials. Beer tasting tickets are $10 and are available in advance or at the door.
  • 4 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts a Trillium Brewing Company Guest Tap Takeover. It will feature 6 different Trillium beers on the guest taps.  In addition, The Lumpia Company will be in the parking lot.
  • 5:30 PM, Whole Foods Market Gilman hosts the Fieldwork Beer and Bite Pairing. 3 beers from Fieldwork Brewing Company will each be paired with a delicious cheese bite. Whole Foods' expert cheese and beer specialists will talk about how best to pair your favorite beer with whatever you're dishing up. All participants will also receive a can of the 2017 Collaboration Beer. Tickets are $10 and available here.
  • 7 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts Dr Jekyll Talks Nano-encapsulation. Along with a tap take-over, Dr Jekyll’s Brewery will showcase their unique process of adding super food nutrients to their organic beer using nano-encapsulation.
  • 8 PM, Pacific Standard Taproom hosts Beer and Comedy Night featuring local comics, beer, and bar bites. No cover charge.
Friday 2/17
  • 11 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company releases cans of Party Cove Tropical Sour Ale (limit 6 cans per person) and Coconut Milk Double IPA (limit 12 cans per person.)
  • Noon, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room hosts a Barrel-Aged Night. The Torpedo Room set aside 5 gallons of each Barrel-Aged Beer they've put on draft for the last year. All 16 taps will be a Barrel-Aged Beer for the day.
  • 3 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria serves Pliny The Younger. They'll have 1 keg of the elusive triple IPA from Russian River Brewing Company. You must purchase your 10 oz pour in advance at the restaurant. Tickets for one pour are $9 each.
  • 4 PM, The Rare Barrel releases a collaboration funky sour with Wicked Weed Brewing -- Happy Blending, a barrel-aged American sour ale fermented with plum and nectarine. Enjoy Happy Blending on draft as well as in bottle for on-site consumption only. Other Wicked Weed beers will be available on the guest taps. Tacos El Rey will be in the parking lot from 5 - 9 PM dishing up tacos, burritos, and tortas.
  • 4:30 PM, Free House hosts a Magnolia Brewing and Ex Novo Brewing Tap Takeover.
  • 6 PM, Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse hosts Beards + Fruity Beer. The Beards portion is a facial hair competition in the categories of mustache, beard and full beard, and awards (judged by last year's winner and experts from People’s Barber & Shop) in design, thickness, upkeep and Best In Show. To partiticipate in the contest, register here (or sign-up at the door.) Judging commences at 7 PM. The Fruity Beer portion is a release of 5 fruity brews -- 2 from Triple Rock, 2 from Sierra Nevada, and 1 collaboration cask-conditioned ale "filled with as much fruit as these brave brewers can possibly imagine."
  • 7 PM, Pacific Standard Taproom takes over for (the currently dislocated) Barclay's and hosts the Bay Area IPA Challenge. This is a "blind challenge" in which you purchase a flight tasters and choose your favorite without knowing which IPA it is.
Saturday 2/18
  • 11 AM, Fieldwork Brewing Company hosts a second-chance release of cans of 2017 Barrel Aged Eliza (New Orleans Iced Coffee Imperial Milk Stout,) 2017 Viking's Lament (Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Porter,) and King Citra Double IPA (limit 4 cans per person for each.)
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts The Rare Barrel Cellar Day. The Rare Barrel is bringing back a few past releases for this one day. They'll have 18 sours on tap and 7 bottles to try in house. Some of the cellar releases include Dubious Nights, Afterlight, Feed The Monster, and Apropos of Nothing. In addition, they will offer a limited amount of flights of 3 barrel samples. These barrel samples will showcase the variety of beer that they are aging in their barrel cellar. Each barrel sample is served uncarbonated and at room temperature, just like how their blenders taste through barrels in production. Barrel sample flights include a tasting glass and a poster.
  • 3:30 PM, Bobby G's Pizzeria hosts Beer and Sake Night. Coedo Brewery from Saitama, Japan, will present a haiku and movie night with delicious Japanese craft beer and sake. Haiku read off begins at 8pm.
  • 4 PM, Trumer Brauerie hosts the Celebrator Beer News 29th Anniversary Party (a fundraiser for the California Craft Brewers Association.) Advanced tickets are $60 and include food and the opportunity to sample beers from over 30 breweries. They'll have shuttles from North Berkeley BART stating at 3:30 PM.
  • 7:30 PM, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room hosts Beer Science Night. Anders MacCarthy, Sierra Nevada's Ingredients Specialist, will discuss the process of hop selection and new product recipe design. He’ll even deconstruct how Sierra Nevada developed their Tropical Torpedo recipe. Plus, they’ll showcase three small batch beers (available only at this event): a Mosaic single hop, a Comet single hop, and a malt-focused ale. Tickets are $25 and are available here.
Sunday 2/19
  • 1 PM, The Rare Barrel hosts The Afterparty. Missed one of The Rare Barrel's SF Beer Week events? Enjoyed some special beer that you'd like to enjoy again? Here's your chance as they'll be serving beers from throughout the week all day.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Goals for The New Year

I don't call them "Resolutions" because once you fail to achieve a resolution, that's it. These are goals. I will strive to achieve them.
  1. Write more often. I used to write a lot more often... and it wasn't just because it was part of my job. I will be posting more often. Many posts will likely be short, but some may be longer. How they divide up will be up to time.
  2. Run. In 2016 I did a fare share of walking. It's time I picked up the pace to see how far I can run. I won't run every day (in fact, I'm not running today) but I will run some days.
  3. Cook from scratch more often. I already started on this in the morning by making the traditional New Year's Day "good luck" meal of collard greens and black-eyed peas from scratch. I did a simple stir-fry with onions and garlic for the collard greens and a variation of Hoppin' John with bacon, onions and brown rice for the black-eyed peas.
  4. Get rid of stuff I don't use. I know that I have too many items. I already have one small box of clothing that is too big for me. I have a storage locker full of many things that I have not used since we moved. There's no reason to keep it all. Time to start donating and selling.
  5. Go places I've never been. These can range from bars, brew pubs, restaurants, festivals, parks, cities, etc. There are three restaurants all within a short walk of home that I've not visited; Those may be a good start.
  6. Find time to get away from technology. That means putting away the iPhone/iPad, stepping away from the computer, turning off the TV and doing something else (and sleeping doesn't count.)
Six seems like a good number of goals.