Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beer Calendar: What To Do in March 2013

Late March sees the annual Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) coming to DC, which means many of our local brewers will be heading to the nation's capital to mix, mingle, and learn. One thing they won't need much education for is getting their beers out for public consumption at never-end beer event listings like this March one that begins on Friday.

The Craft Beer Express is sure to dominate the day of Saturday, March 9. Check out the full calendar here, or the individual events below. Eleven quality beer destinations in Philly are participating with a $10 bus ride linking them all up. With another few events scattered around the region, the 9th appears to be a big day for craft beer lovers around Philadelphia.

As always, if I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, let me know.

$20 and under, down to and including FREE...Pay As You Go (PAYG) also included here

throughout March 2013 - Northern Exposure @9 Taverns around Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 3/1-Sun. 3/31 - Brewery Of The Month (Smuttynose) @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
every Saturday and Thursday in March - Starkbierzeit @Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/1 - Friday Night Sampling (Great Divide, with Joe Sixpack) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/1 - Beer Samples (Sam Adams) @The Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/2 - Pliny The Younger @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/2 - Saturday Beer Sampling (River Horse) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $15)
Sun. 3/3 - Chili Cook-Off @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (1 p.m.-6 p.m.; $5 PAWS donation)
Mon. 3/4 - Bottle Shop Happy Hour (Sixpoint) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 3/6 - Beer School @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 3/6 - Bell's Tap Takeover @The Cambridge, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/7 - Victory Swing Session Saison Launch @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG.)
Thu. 3/7 - Night Of The Great Hop @Bainbridge Street Barrel House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/7 - Beer Sampling (Flying Fish) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/8 - Friday Night Sampling (Bock Beers, with Joe Sixpack) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/8 - Beer Samples (Neshaminy Creek) @The Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/8 - HopSlam @City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - The Return of Two Brothers Brewing (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Kraftwork, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Fifth Annual Stout Brunch (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Big Banging Barleywine Bonanza (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - The Great Gazoo (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Bishop's Collar, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Featuring Firestone Walker (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - The Dual Birthday Party for Chuck Norris & Webster (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Jose Pistola's, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - IPA's Greatest Hits (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @The Sidecar Bar & Grille, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Lock, Stock, and 12 Oaken Barrels (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Pub On Passyunk East (the P.O.P.E.), Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Mid-Atlantic Brewery Tour (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Starkbierfest (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Brauhaus Schmitz, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Lights Out At Race Street (a stop on the Craft Beer Express) @Race Street Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Of Belgian Inspiration @Nodding Head, Philadelphia, Pa. (3 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Beer Samples (Evolution) @The Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/9 - Saturday Beer Sampling (Three Heads) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Sun. 3/10 - Bullfrog Brunch @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa. (10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 3/10 - Beer Sampling (Otter Creek & Wolavers) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $Free)
Mon. 3/11 - Mad Monday: Pliny the Younger @Monk's Café, Philadelphia, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 3/11 - Bottle Shop Happy Hour (TBD) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Tue. 3/12 - Hitchcockian Dinner Beer & a Movie @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/13 - Beer School @Resurrection Ale House, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 3/13 - Illuminator is Bock @Dock Street, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/13 - Stoudt's Suds & Sliders Tap Takeover @For Pete's Sake, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/13 - Stoudt's U Buy The Glass @The Abbaye, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $10)
Thu. 3/14 - MOA Tasting @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Thu. 3/14 - Pi(e) Day with Yards Brewing @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/14 - Evolution Sampling @Bottle Bar East, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Evolution.)
Fri. 3/15 - Friday Night Sampling (Great Lakes) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/15 - Beer Samples (Stoudt's) @The Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/15 - Philly Painting Lager Beer Release @Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/15 - Beer Sampling (Yuengling) @The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/16 - Moa Brunch @Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa. (10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/16 - Malt House Homebrew Contest @Earth Bread + Brewery, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/16 - Sampling @Stone's Beverage Center, Philadelphia, Pa. (2 p.m.-4 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Evolution.)
Sun. 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day Brunch @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (10 a.m.-3 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day Irish Brunch @Iron Hill, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-2 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 3/18 - Bottle Shop Happy Hour (Left Hand) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Tue. 3/19 - Free Tasting @The Foodery (10th/Pine), Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 3/20 - Beer School @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 3/20 - Crabbie's Ginger Beer Tasting @Growlers, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/20 - RedFish Firkin @Standard Tap, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/20 - Evolution Tap Takeover @Eulogy, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG Menagerie 8, Wandering Monk, Prelude Black, Prelude Gold, Winter Migration, Lot 3, and Lot 6. Owner Tom Knorr and Brewmaster Geoff Debisschop will be in attendance.)
Thu. 3/21 - Beer and Cheese Sampling @Fair Food Farmstead at the Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Thu. 3/21 - Beer 101: Become One With Your Beer @Drink Philly HQ, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $20)
Thu. 3/21 - Smuttynose Night @Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/22 - Friday Night Sampling (Spring Beers) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/22 - Beer Samples (Sixpoint) @The Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/22 - Weyerbacher Woody Weekend @Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/23 - Voodoo Brewing & Pin-Ups @The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa. (2 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 3/25 - Clown Shoes Brewing Night @Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 3/25 - Bottle Shop Happy Hour (Stoudt's) @Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Mon. 3/25 - Round Guys Night @The Trestle Inn, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Tue. 3/26 - Cheese and Beer Pairing @Bottle Bar East, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $25 Smuttynose's Finestkind IPA, Shoals Pale Ale, Gravitation Quad, Homunculus, and Vintage Really Old Brown Dog each paired with two cheeses, one that’s fit for pairing and another that doesn’t work. You be the judge.)
Fri. 3/29 - Friday Night Sampling (Full Sail) @Bell Beverage, Philadelphia, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/29 - Beer Samples (Guinness) @The Craft Beer Outlet, Philadelphia, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/30 - Split Thy Skull @Tattooed Mom, Philadelphia, Pa. (1 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG)

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Fri. 3/1 - Friday Night Sampling (Founders) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/1 - Irish Dry Stout Beer Release @Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/2 - IPA Draft War @Capone's, Norristown, Pa. (10 a.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/2 - Barrels, Bourbon, & Bugs @Iron Hill, Maple Shade, NJ (12 p.m.-4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/2 - Keep The Pint Night @Bertucci's, Bryn Mawr, Pa. (4 p.m.; $PAYG)
Tue. 3/5 - Tasty Tuesday: Tröegs Brings in the Good Stuff @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. ($PAYG)
Wed. 3/6 - Weyerbacher Wednesday @UNO, Maple Shade, NJ (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/6 - Craft After Dark @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. (7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/7 - First Thursday Beer Tasting @Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/8 - Friday Night Sampling (Atwater Block) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/9 - Release the Hounds @Iron Hill, North Wales, Pa. (1 p.m.-5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Meet the Owner/Brewer @Capone's, Norristown, Pa. (3 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 3/10 - Two Brothers Returns @Pinocchio's, Media, Pa. (10 a.m.; $PAYG)
Tue. 3/12 - Tasty Tuesday: Two Brothers Brewing is Back with Vengeance @Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa. ($PAYG)
Wed. 3/13 - Craft After Dark @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. (7 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/14 - Flying Fish Trivia and F.U. Sandy Tapping @High Street Grill, Mt. Holly, NJ (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/15 - Friday Night Sampling (Irish Stouts) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/22 - Beer Sampling Event (Susquehanna Brewing Co.) @Capone's, Norristown, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/22 - Friday Night Sampling (Goose Island Vintage Beers) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)
Wed. 3/27 - Yards Night @Jamison Pour House, Philadelphia, Pa. ($PAYG)
Fri. 3/29 - Friday Night Sampling (Victory) @Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa. (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free)

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
every Wednesday from 1/9 through 3/17 - Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. ($PAYG; See website for all the details.)
every Thursday from 1/10 through 3/17 - Boot Camp @Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa. ($PAYG; See website for all the details.)
Fri. 3/1 - Incubus Friday @Sly Fox, both Phoenixville & Pottstown, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/1 - Beer Tasting (Celtic Beers) @Washington House, Sellersville, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/1 - Free Samples (Killians Stout, Batch 19) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/2 - In Like A Monkey @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (9 a.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/6 - Charity Cask Night (to benefit Paper Bag Child) @Fegley's Brew Works, Allentown, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/7 - Charity Cask Night (to benefit The Center for Animal Health and Welfare) @Fegley's Brew Works, Bethlehem, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/7 - Killer Craft Night @Pearly Baker's, Easton, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/7 - Free Tasting (Budweiser Black Crown) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/8 - Beer & Chocolate Pairing @Iron Hill, Lancaster, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Weihenstephan Tap Takeover @The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Official Grand Opening Celebration @Round Guys Brewery, Lansdale, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Phoenixville Pub Crawl @Downtown Phoenixville, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - Dogfish Head Tap Takeover @Railroad Street Bar & Grill, Linfield, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/9 - River Horse Cask Festival @River Horse Brewing Company, Lambertville, NJ (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $12)
Sun. 3/10 - Pliny The Younger @Blue Dog, Chalfont, Pa. (11 a.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/14 - Sampling and Tap Night @Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/15 - Third Friday Firkin Fest @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/15 - Free Tasting (Sierra Nevada) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/16 - Free Tasting (Victory) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (1 p.m.-3 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/16 - Green Beer Boycott @Iron Hill, Newark, Del. (1 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sat. 3/16 - St. Patrick’s Day Celebration of Stouts @Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del. (1 p.m.; $PAYG)
Sun. 3/17 - St. Patrick's Day Boot Camp Finale @Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa. (6 p.m.; $PAYG)
Mon. 3/18 - Special Beer Event @Side Bar, West Chester, Pa. (11 a.m.; $PAYG for great beers from Dogfish Head, Goose Island, Firestone Walker, Avery, Lost Abbey, The Bruery, and a couple of extra special ones from Russian River, you may have heard of one of them.)
Mon. 3/18 - March Madness @Rino's Restaurant, Exton, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for several rounds of great beer facing off against each other.)
Wed. 3/20 - Long Trail Night @Rino's Restaurant, Exton, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/21 - Kong is Back…King Kong Double IPA that is @Iron Hill, Newark, Del. (5 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/21 - Sampling and Tap Night @Whole Foods, Devon, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/21 - Victory Cooks Showdown @Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/21 - Free Sampling @Wegmans, Malvern, Pa. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beer from Evolution.)
Fri. 3/22 - Free Tasting (Prism) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/23 - East vs. West Showdown @The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa. (12 p.m.; $PAYG)
Wed. 3/27 - Full Moon Firkin @Tröegs Brewery, Hershey, Pa. (5 p.m.; $PAYG)
Thu. 3/28 - Free Sampling @Wegmans, King of Prussia, Pa. (5 p.m.; $Free)
Thu. 3/28 - Tröegs Pint Night @Brother Paul's, Eagleville, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG)
Fri. 3/29 - Free Tasting (Evolution) @Exton Beverage, Exton, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free)
Fri. 3/29 - Free Samples (Victory) @Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa. (4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $Free)
Sat. 3/30 - Easter HopFest @Union Jack's On The Manatawny, Boyertown, Pa. (12:05 p.m.; $PAYG)

Events Over $20

Sat. 3/2 - P-B-P (Pork-Brooklyn-Pints) Pig Roast @The Institute, Philadelphia, Pa. (11 a.m.-7 p.m.; $45)
Sat. 3/2 - Philly Craft Beer Festival @Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa. (12:30 p.m.-5 p.m.; $10-$75)
Tue. 3/5 - Yards Beer-Barrel-Cocktail and Cocktail-Barrel-Beer Dinner @Lemon Hill and Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $75)
Wed. 3/6 - Beer 101 @Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $25)
Wed. 3/6 - Dogfish Head "A Hop Eclipse Now" Beer Dinner @Memphis Taproom, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $65)
Sun. 3/10 - The Brewer's Plate @National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Pa. (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $70-$140)
Thu. 3/14 - Avery Beer Dinner @JG Domestic, Philadelphia, Pa. (7 p.m.; $65)
Tue. 3/19 - Allagash Beer Dinner @Han Dynasty, Philadelphia, Pa. (Details and Price TBD)
Wed. 3/20 - Cellaring Beer @Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pa. (6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; $25)
Sun. 3/24 - Philadelphia Real Ale Invitational @Yards Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa. (12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $10-$65)
Tue. 3/26 - A Hop Eclipse Now! Beer Dinner @Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pa. (all night; $60)

Philadelphia's close suburbs (within 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Wed. 3/20 - Vertical Beer Dinner @Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa. (7 p.m.; $70)

Greater Philadelphia Metro / Eastern Pennsylvania / Other (beyond 20 mile radius of Philadelphia)
Sun. 3/3 - Breakfast of Champions @Iron Hill, Phoenixville, Pa. (1 p.m.-3 p.m.; $55)
Mon. 3/4-Sun. 3/10 - Weeklong Round Guys Beer Dinner @Cantina Feliz, Fort Washington, Pa. ($40)
Tue. 3/5 - Charcoal/Vault Collaborative Beer Dinner @Charcoal BYOB, Yardley, Pa. ($85)
Wed. 3/6 - Beer & Chocolate Pairing @Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del. (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $35)
Thu. 3/7 - Regal Wines versus Weyerbacher Breweries @Lake House, Newfield, NJ (7 p.m.; $75)
Sat. 3/9 - Sam Adams Beer & Decadent Chocolate Tasting @Sam Adams Grille, Breinigsville, Pa. (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $49)
Sat. 3/16 - The Great Allentown Brew Works Cask Beer Festival @Fegley's Brew Works, Allentown, Pa. (3 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $40-$45)
Wed. 3/20 - Spring Fling Beer Dinner @Uno Chicago Grill, Deptford, NJ (7 p.m.; $55)
Thu. 3/21 - River Horse Beer Dinner @The Yardley Inn, Yardley, Pa. (7 p.m.; $55)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 2/23/13

A little bit of this 'n' that for these weekly newsy notes. Nothing too salicious. Just some good Saturday morning reading with your coffee (or breakfast stout, if you like).

~ Pizza. Beer. Joe Beddia.

~ PE6 is coming.

~ Curious talk of the business of Yuengling beer.

~ Jack Curtin takes a look at the industry, growth, and bad beer.

~ Exactly, Jay. What's not to like? I walked right past this site just last week. Very exciting news indeed.

~ Speaking of construction in San Francisco (and I know the city very well), this proposed site still has me scratching my head.

~ One more from Jay Brooks.

~ One last from Brooks and the continuing love for Russian River

~ Ah, the old beer/new wine analogy. In some ways, definitely (and worrisomely) yes.

~ An inside look at brewing-related salaries.

~ Quite a few interesting insights at year-end from Beer Business Daily.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: February 21 - February 28

Really? Do I really correctly count 55 events over the remaining eight days of February? At least one per day. They cover the gamut of beer event styles, so no excuse to get out there and support your local breweries, restaurants, and bars.

Check out the entire February 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

Events with Tap Lists via
@Barcade, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Cisco Brewing Night (4 p.m.; $PAYG for this event tap list brought to you by

@Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Founders Day & Night (11 a.m.; $PAYG for this event tap list brought to you by

@the P.O.P.E., Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Bell's Tap Takeover ($PAYG for this event tap list brought to you by

Brewery Promos and Samplings
@Beer Yard, Wayne, Pa.--- Fri. 2/22 - Friday Night Sampling (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beer from Sly Fox)

@Bishop's Collar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 2/22 - Four Play For Your Palate (8 p.m.; $PAYG for Four Play IPA, American Pale Ale, Karnival Kölsch, and Pilsner)

@Blue Dog, Lansdale, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Funky Buddha (5 p.m.; $PAYG for very rare and incredible beers from Funky Buddha brewery in Florida.)

@Capone's, Norristown, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Evolution Tap Takeover (6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $PAYG for a lineup of beers from Evolution and a guest appearance by brewery owner Tom Knorr)

@City Tap House, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Stoudt's new IPA series (5 p.m.; $PAYG to enjoy six different Stoudt’s beers on tap along with Four Play IPA. Drink Four Play for prizes.)

@Goshen Beverage, West Chester, Pa.--- Fri. 2/22 - Friday Night Sampling (4 p.m.-6:30 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beer from Long Trail)

@Growlers Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Trubbel (6 p.m.; $PAYG for a Trubbel de Yards on the beer engine.)
@Growlers Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Vertical Tasting ($PAYG for a vertical tasting of Olde Bart.)

@Hulmeville Inn, Hulmeville, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Great Divide ($PAYG for 2010 Chocolate Oaked Yeti, 2010 Old Ruffian Barleywine, 2012 Belgian Yeti, 2013 Titan IPA, 2013 Hercules DIPA, and 2013 Colette Saison.)

@Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa.--- Fri. 2/22 - First President's birthday ($PAYG to celebrate our first President's birthday with Yards Brewing and the presidential brew series.)

@Iron Hill, Media, Pa.--- Fri. 2/22 - Firkin Friday (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a celebration of cask-conditioned real ales. This Friday's special cask is Russillcious, an American-style double IPA mixed with our full-bodied Russian Imperial Stout.)
@Iron Hill, Wilmington, Del.--- Fri. 2/22 - The Dark Side (6 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for Allagash Black, Dogfish Head Bitches Brew, Dogfish Head cask-conditioned bourbon-aged World Wide Stout, and Iron Hill's The Dark Side, Luco Brazzi Coffee Stout, Schwarzbier, Tom Selleck’s Mustache, Russian Imperial Stout, Grizzly IPA, Dark Helmet.)
@Iron Hill, Newark, Del.--- Sat. 2/23 - Hopapalooza (2 p.m.-7 p.m.; $PAYG for ten hoppy beers including Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA, Stone Ruination IPA Dogfish 120 Minute IPA, Elysian Immortal IPA, Green Flash West Coast IPA, and Iron Hill's Alpha Tripel, Boulder Bank IPA, English IPA, India Black Ale, and cask-conditioned Big Red One. We will be raffling off prizes on the hour from 3 p.m.–7 p.m.)

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.--- Wed. 2/27 - Wednesday Special Tapping (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG for New Holland Dragon's Milk, a Bourbon Barrel Stout)
@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Stoudt's 5025 Night (7 p.m.; $PAYG for the last keg of this great Sour Quad in the Philly area. Drink Stoudt’s for prizes.)

@Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 2/24 - Beer and Movie Night (6 p.m.; $PAYG for the movie Ted on the big screen and specials on Bear Republic's XP.)
@Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Lancaster Movie, Beer, and Glass Night (7 p.m.; $PAYG for Lancaster Brewing drink specials, Kingpin movie showing, and special keep-the-pint offer.)

@PJ Whelihan's, Blue Bell, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - pretzALE Happy Hour (5 p.m.; $PAYG for homemade soft pretzel and dipping sauces recipes with Smuttynose beer incorporated into them.)

@The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Saturday Beer Sampling (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Sixpoint beers)

@The Foodery (Northern Liberties), Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Evolution Sampling (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Evolution)
@The Foodery (Roxborough), Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Smuttynose Sampling (5 p.m.-7 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Smuttynose beers)

@Trolley Car Diner, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 2/22 - Friday Night Tasting (5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beer from Oskar Blues.)

@Victory Bar & Grill, Berlin, NJ--- Fri. 2/22 - V is for Weyerbacher (6 p.m.; $PAYG draft night including Quad, Imperial Pumpkin, Last Chance IPA, and Verboten. Merry Monks in bottles. Pint Glass giveaways too.)

"Takeovers", Debuts, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Cactus Restaurant and Bar, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sun. 2/24 - Smuttynose Beer Fest (2 p.m.-5 p.m.; $35 for a Smuttynose-only event that includes beer, delicious Mexican cuisine, raffles, and giveaways.)

@Capone's, Norristown, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - B. United Night ($PAYG as Brendan from the importer shows up with 25.4oz bottles of 2010 Stille Nacht Reserva's and limited drafts)

@Craft Ale House, Limerick, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Ten Fidy Vertical (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a vertical flight of Oskar Blues Ten Fidy with kegs that we have been sitting on from way back in 2008, all the way to 2012. Caitlin Bursack, the brewery rep will be on hand to help us take care of quality control of these beers and several other offering from Oskar Blues.)

@downtown Kennett Square, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Kennett Winterfest (12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.; $15-$65 to bundle up and enjoy winter brews from at least 25 unique craft breweries.)

@Fingers Wings and Other Things, Conshohocken, Pa.--- Wed. 2/27 - Dogfish Head Tap Attack ($PAYG for at least Bitches Brew, Robert Johnson’s Hell Hound on My Ale, Noble Rot, and Chicory Stout from Dogfish Head)

@Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 2/22 - Boaks 5th Anniversary Party (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG as they celebrate by putting on tap all the Boaks beer they can find. Brewer/owner Brian Boak will be on hand. We should have three years of Monster Mash, plus Two Blind Monks, Wooden Beanie, Abbey Brown, and Double BW.)

@Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa.--- every Saturday and Thursday from 2/16 through 3/30 - Starkbierzeit (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG as they feature a different doppelbock each night. We will have traditional Bavarian doppelbocks, American versions that are traditional to the style, and one or two that are non-traditional.)

@Iron Abbey, Horsham, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Launch of Abbatia Decum 10 ($PAYG for the third collaboration in the brew series by the Iron Abbey & Manayunk Brewery, a Belgian-style Tripel brewed with coriander.)

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Tap Take-over with Bell's Brewery (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for an array of Bell's beers including Special Double Cream Stout, Smitten Golden Rye Ale, Best Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Two Hearted Ale, and the highly coveted Hopslam Ale. Each Bell's draft you purchase provides a chance to win a growler full of the Bell's of your choice, excluding HopSlam.)

@Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Brews Aweigh! (7 p.m.; $PAYG as Ballast Point will be joining us with a lineup of tasty beers.)

@Kite & Key, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Nugget Nectar Release Party (All day ‘til closing; $PAYG to stop by and sip on a few of our favorites from Tröegs.)

@Kutztown Fairgrounds-Beltzner Hall, Kutztown, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Friend Fest (1 p.m.-3:30 p.m., 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m., 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $10-$50 as many local breweries and wineries mainly in Pennsylvania will showcase their products. All proceeds go to ending poverty in rural Northeastern Berks County.)

@Pickering Creek Inn, Phoenixville, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Old Forge Brewing Company (8 p.m.; $PAYG for Loadmaster ESB, Bourbon Barrel-aged Bellows Brown, Ol' Smithy Spiced Winter Ale, Belgian IPA, Eleven, Montour Common, Overbite IPA, and T-Rail Pale Ale)

@Stoudt's, Adamstown, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Winter Brew Fest (6 p.m.-10 p.m.; $TBD as a dozen local breweries from the region will be pouring and The Octavia Blues Band will be entertaining with live music.)

@Tröegs Brewery, Hershey, Pa.--- Mon. 2/25 - Full Moon Firkin Throwdown (11 a.m.; $PAYG for an encore presentation of Nugget Nectar versus Perpetual IPA, both flowing from firkins. Guaranteed to be enough firkins to go around to satisfy the masses of hopheads.)

Food and Beer events
@Dawson Street Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Stoudt's Four Play IPA Beer & Cheese Pairing ($PAYG for cheese paired with some Stoudt’s beers, including Four Play on cask. Drink Four Play for prizes.)

@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 2/27 - B. United Food and Draft Pairing (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for draft beers from B. United Importers that are brewed with unusual ingredients (such as salt, fruits, mustard seeds, spice) & our kitchen will be preparing tapas plates that highlight the ingredients.)

@Fair Food Farmstand at Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/21 - Third Thursdays (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $Free beer and cheese pairings in conjunction with the Philly Beer Scene magazine. Try the pairings featured in each issue of the magazine.)

@German Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - German Society Bierfest (12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $20-$60 to celebrate Pennsylvania's German brewing heritage with the Philly Roller Girls and Brauhaus Schmitz. Visit with PA's leading brewers of Lagers, Bocks, and Weizens. Sample a diverse array of imports from Germany.)

@Manayunk Brewing Company, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Winter Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $55 for a five-course dinner paired with Manayunk Brewery’s finest craft brews. As an added bonus for attending, each guest will receive a $10 Voucher for our 15th Annual Brew Fest on April 27.)

@Sam Adams Grille, Breinigsville, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Sam Adams Beer & Decadent Chocolate Tasting (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $49 for a 2-hour tasting adventure where a knowledgeable food & beer pro will introduce you to eight craft beers and five chocolates.)

@Teresa's Next Door, Wayne, Pa.--- Tue. 2/26 - Taste the Bees with Stonekeep Meadery ($PAYG as we will be pouring flights of great local meads paired with a special food menu.)

@The Churchville Inn, Churchville, Pa.--- Thu. 2/28 - Allagash Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $60 for a five-course meal paired with Tripel, Yakuza, Grand Cru, Interlude, and Bourbon Black.)

@Uno Chicago Grill, Maple Shade, NJ--- Thu. 2/21 - Yards Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $TBD for a six-course meal paired with ESA, Trubbel de Yards, Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale, Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce, General Washington's Tavern Porter (cask), and Chocolate Stout.)

@World Café Live, Wilmington, Del.--- Fri. 2/22 - Grilled Cheese & Craft Beer Tasting (6 p.m.; $35 for two of the best things on Earth paired in unexpected and delicious ways.)
@World Café Live, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Beats, Brews, and BBQ (12 p.m.-5 p.m.; $45-$60 to sample the offerings of about 30 local and regional breweries. Well-paired savory offerings. Live music by Bob Lowery. Complimentary 6 oz. World Café Live logo pilsner glass.)

Boot Camp to keep you in shape
@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- every Wednesday from 1/9 through 3/17 - Boot Camp ($PAYG for ten weeks of chances to win a trip to Ireland, culminating on St. Patrick's Day. See website for all the details.)
@Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa.--- every Thursday from 1/10 through 3/17 - Boot Camp ($PAYG for ten weeks of chances to win a trip to Ireland, culminating on St. Patrick's Day. See website for all the details.)

Other physical and mental exercise
@Bulls Head Public House, Lititz, Pa.--- Mon. 2/25 - Beer School 101 (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $19.99 to expand your horizons with four courses of food paired with Sixpoint's The Crisp Lager, Righteous Rye, Brownstone, and Diesel Stout.)

@Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa.--- Sat. 2/23 - Beer and Yoga (9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; $25 for a class that will start promptly at 10 a.m. After class we will have a selection of light appetizers paired with Victory beers.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

San Francisco Beer Week 2013: The rest of it

SF Beer Week 2013, Day 4-8
(click above for a full gallery of pictures)

SFBW knows how to do it right when it comes to the weather and Beer Weeks. February is beginning to come out of the wet, winter season and temperature, while perhaps still a bit chilly for locals, is a pleasant change of pace for a visiting beer guy like me from the northeast where the night time temps are still dipping into the teens and twenties.

The first few days of the week continued high temperatures in the high 50s/low 60s which makes for great walking weather around the City. By the end of the week, the mercury was touching 70.

While I logged over 30 miles of walking and running in 48 hours during the weekend (and eleven beer events/stops), there was no way, particularly with more limits on my available beer time, that I would keep up that type of activity through the week. So the typically reliable BART and Muni trains and an occasional taxi got me around town just fine.

After hitting the ground in the Bay Area last Friday at a fast and furious pace with the Opening Celebration and numerous other San Francisco Beer Week events, my week and pace looked a lot different once the work week began. Of course, that wouldn't deter my off-hours attempts at getting around town to experience as much of the SFBW frivolity as possible.

I've attempted to take the rest of my week in San Francisco and summarize it for you below the best that something as special as SFBW can be summarized.

New Discoveries
I've found and long maintained that Beer Weeks of the Philly, SF, New York, etc. magnitude present the perfect opportunity to make new discoveries. It can be plenty easy to simply hang with your friends at the most popular spots and events. But, finding something new and undiscovered can sometimes add to and make for the most memorable Beer Week.

With my participation in the five Philly Beer Weeks and three of the five San Francisco Beer Weeks, I think I practiced what I preached better than ever in the past. Cases in point:

      — Slider Bar does pretty much what their name implies: serve up a variety of sliders along with a bar full of liquid libations. They'd been advertising a daily event with sliders specially-paired with beers from Auburn Alehouse. I've had some beers from the Auburn, Calif. brewery before (particularly the awesome PU240 Imperial IPA) and been duly impressed. Here, at Slider Bar, customers must have been well-informed given that by only day four of SFBW, all but two of the kegs that were allocated for the full week were already drained. Nonetheless, I only needed one and the one was Fool's Gold Ale and a 3-Alarm Slider. Friendly bartender with a decent knowledge of beer as well. Perfect post-work beginning to a night of beer events.

      — Conveniently across the street from Slider Bar is Starbelly, which I've heard of in the past, particularly with the work that Almanac Brewery has done with them. It was a barrel-aged event with Damien Fagan, Jesse Friedman, and their Almanac crew as well as the Upright Brewing Company from Portland, Oregon. A plate of brussels sprouts (is there any menu these once-downtrodden vegetables are not on?) went nicely with the Fatali Four and Billy The Mountain from Upright. The open kitchen, communal seating, and the comfortable restaurant made for a pleasant beer event. Pleasant conversation with some locals, including a small area hop farmer, added to the experience.

      — Working in the East Bay one day, I took the opportunity (thinking I was waiting out Bay Bridge rush hour traffic; silly, in fact) to stop in Lafayette at Pizza Antica for its daily event called Crafts and Cotechino. Knowing the target demographic of the area, it shouldn't have surprised me that a 375mL bottle of Russian River Sanctification cost $20. They were also presenting Damnation, Blind Pig, and Pliny The Elder along with a special pork sausage plate. Decent job with the pairing, nice place, solid-looking regular menu.

      — The home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park, has had a year-round bar called Public House open for a few years. I've had a couple of close calls with the place in the past, but it was the Ballast Point event that finally drew me out to the bar that obviously focuses on good beer all year long. In fact, it should come as no surprise that given its location to "beer country" of northern California, the ballpark's concession stands have always been stocked with great beer to accompany your garlic fries. Hard to believe I wrote about it all the way back in 2006. The Ballast Point event gave me the chance to try the not-so-Foreign-Export-Stout, called Indra Kunindra, a try. Mouthful of interesting spices from cumin to cayenne to coconut make for an interesting, yet curiously drinkable, beer.

      — After checking out the Russian River extravaganza (22 taps? 23? I lost count) at Toronado, I joined some of the key folks from RR, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, and Toronado up the road at Maven for some beers and light bites. Nice and relaxing. Not necessarily a beer bar, but a couple glasses of Allagash White and Ommegang Hennepin were consumed without complaint. There was also enough wine floating around the table to annoy any hard-core beer geek that thinks only beer should be the only beverage consumed by "beer people".

      — Let's get your chiding and snickering out of the way first: I'd never been to Zeigeist. How did I finally find myself there during this trip? Well, it was on my short list (though, really, it's always been), but the cincher was hearing Sierra Nevada's Terence Sullivan and Terrell Lowe tell me while meeting up with them at City Beer Store that it would be the proper way to end my SFBW visit. They were not wrong. Beer By BART's Steve Shapiro and Gail Williams joined the party and along with the Hops Harmony and French Saison from the Chico, Calif. brewery, it truly was an appropriate and fine sendoff party for me. Meeting and chatting a while with Fal Allen (Anderson Valley Brewing Company) was the icing.

      — This could almost fit in the Mission category below, but I suppose the neighborhood is more like Dolores Park. I couldn't help but notice an event called Rodenbach On Nitro at Cerveceria Mateveza. After leaving Zeitgeist (not an easy thing to do, mind you), Mateveza was like a closet compared to the spacious Zeitgeist. While I'm not a super-huge Rodenbach fan, I was curious to see what the nitrogen pour would do the texture and, more importantly, the flavor. Verdict? There was a somewhat typical nitro-creamy head to the beer, but the gas did not permeate the beer all that much, leaving the style and taste profile virtually the same as you might expect on CO2. Oh, and walking to/from Mateveza, I discovered that Bi-Rite Creamery is as crazy-popular as I've been told. The line of over thirty people after 11 p.m. was testimony.

The Mission neighborhood
I continue to get to know the Mission neighborhood more with each visit to the City. And, the overwhelmingly colorful visual and aromatic palette of the Mission (usually, all good, but can't promise you won't see a few eye-opening shocking displays to the contrary along the way) never disappoints. A few of these are returns to old favorites and a few are new discoveries.

      — Tartine has nothing to do with beer. After all, it's a bakery in the Mission. But as a morning treat, the Croque Monsieur or any of the numerous delectable-looking pastries would be a highly recommended way to go along with a well-made cup of coffee to help return some morning-after balance to your life. I've been told, though, that for coffee, next time I need to check out Four Barrel.

      — At La Tacqueria, the most interesting beer you might find is Negra Modelo. But it's really about the food. The excellent, bursting burritos, tacos, and chips/salsa/guacamole provide an excellent base for a night of SFBW drinking. Try the pork taco and the beef tongue taco; they did not disappoint at all.

      — Pi Bar is a year-round friend of Russian River and again put on its RR Night which included two kegs of the famed Pliny The Younger. I figured heading in more than three hours after the opening and tapping of PtY, I would be able to cruise relatively quickly to the bar and get my Erudition and Mortification. That all sounds well and good plan until the owner, Jen Garris, waves a tap handle and proclaims "we're tapping another Pliny The Younger!!!!" And, with that, madness again ensued. Still amazes me after all these years the continued pursuit of this beer, even in northern California, is as crazed as ever. Pi Bar's a cool place and makes some decent pizza; I've just never been there on a slow night to see what business-as-usual is like.

      — When Southpaw BBQ was closed for a private Stone beer dinner event, I turned to walk in the other direction where I happened upon The Sycamore and its southern California event featuring Ballast Point, Alesmith, Green Flash, Cismontane, and Coronado. Nice place, small, and friendly. And, the Hamilton's 6th Anniversary from Green Flash was out-of-this-world good like a southern California IPA would be expected.

      — Amnesia was a completely accidental discovery as I was walking up Valencia and talking on the phone. The word "beer" on a chalkboard somehow caught my eye. I stopped, looked up, hung up, and went in for one beer. More than two hours later, I decided that I'd finally had enough of the typically Shmaltzy event (not the usual "sideshow event" that they do) featuring their beers, a Vaudeville-like variety show of hilarity and went along my way. But, that wasn't before enjoying the company of the friendly staff and fellow customers as well as Shmaltz beers and the SFBW collaboration beer.

Sour beers
It's probably not a stretch to say that sour beers have been fully embraced by northern California beer drinkers. If the five or more sour beer events from first weekend were not enough, a few more during the week attempted to give everyone their mouth-puckering fix.

Cask-conditioned beers
I talked with a longtime bartender at Thirsty Bear about how I attended the inaugural Cask and Queso event that they held back in 2009 (I wrote about it here). If fifty people attended, that would probably be a generous estimate on my part. He said that this year's event sold out at approximately 180 attendees, proof that northern California beer drinkers, while initially a bit behind the curve in this regard, have fully embraced the beauty of well-made cask-conditioned beers. While at Thirsty Bear, I had the pleasure of a run-in with yet another very good beer from Pacific Laboratories Brewery, a guest tap handle on the firkin of Squid Ink, an India Black Ale.

You'll see food call-outs mentioned in other categories here, but one that didn't seem to fit a category was my return visit to The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen. Located across from 21st Amendment near the AT&T Ballpark, the small restaurant gives a great chance to sit outside, have a creatively assembled grilled cheese sandwich — I highly recommend the Foghorn Leghorn (with Point Reyes blue cheese), and drink from a few well-selected taps — one of which is almost always a Firestone Walker brand.

Regrettable Trade-offs?
As is the case with any Beer Week, it's impossible to get to everything, or even everything on the slimmed-down list that you probably put a lot of time into organizing. Too many things come up along the way that can take you off track. But, that's the beauty of Beer Weeks, no? Not always knowing who you might run into, what beers you might have, or which direction you may go off in to without plans. Plans that are too detailed can often result in missed opportunities. We soldier on and try to make the best decisions possible. But, that won't stop us from regretting what we might have missed along the way. Here are some personal examples.

      — The annual Double IPA fest at The Bistro in the East Bay's town of Hayward is a wonderful celebration of Double IPAs and Triple IPAs, something California brewers and beer drinkers are all too familiar with. I've been to this event three times in the past, though it doesn't stop me from being disappointed at skipping this year's, opting instead for a day-long trek around the City which was great in its own right.

      — I could've done a solid brunch, Sour Sunday at Triple Rock, and numerous other events on the first Sunday, but I did the SFBW Run in Los Gatos and wouldn't have traded that for anything.

      — Speakeasy just opened a fun new tasting room and "speakeasy". Or, I should say, I've been told it's fun. Getting there from downtown without a car is a bit more of an endeavor than I had time for. Would've loved to be reporting back to you with my early impressions of the new digs, but it will have to wait for next time.

      — Speaking of next time, it's been eight or nine years since my last visit to Anchor. I feel like I should put it high on my list for my next trip. Especially now that word is out of their planned expansion in the City.

      — This was the one rare trip to San Francisco where I broke a golden rule and did not go to Magnolia Pub on Haight Street. The two events that I would have loved to attended was the Oysters event and the Cask event.

      — And, down the road closer to the Golden Gate Park is Alembic whose dinner with Jester King I called about, but ultimately skipped, and likely will regret this decision for quite some time. This Austin, Texas brewery is making waves with its Farmhouse Ales.

      — I ran into the men from Almanac three times during SFBW. This was second only to Sierra Nevada and my run-ins with the good folks from Chico. There should have been a fourth if I had stayed true to my original intention of going to their Brewer and Butcher event where a whole pig butchering demo was taking place. I feel like I missed something pretty special. I'm sure pictures will surface somewhere online and I'll link to them here when they do.

      — The decision to attend the first weekend instead of the second meant that I wouldn't be attending the Celebrator anniversary party. I was last there in 2006 (and wrote about it here) when it was last held at the overly-spacious Oakland Convention Center. It returned there this year for the first time since then and I would have loved to attend again at this 25th anniversary of the publication.

Other random observations of people, places,  and new developments
      — Everyone was hustling during the imperial 10-day week of SF Beer Week. No one did I see more than the Sierra Nevada crew of Terrell Lowe, Katie Sullivan, Mark Gatti, Brian Kracht, Steve Grossman, Terence Sullivan, and Tai Brandon. I probably missed a name or two or ten. These guys had their act together and blanketed SF Beer Week as well as anyone. Plus, they sent me home with the very brand new Sierra/Dogfish "IPA glass", so how couldn't I say something nice about them. Don't get the wrong idea, sure it would take more than that :)

      — While it's difficult to name a favorite event, while some of you have talked me into naming a favorite beer (see below), it might not take much to convince me that my totally unplanned, almost three hour, stop at Amnesia during its Shmaltz event. Neil Diamond cover guy with Lenny's R.I.P.A. on tap? That's good enough for starters.

      — Pliny The Younger. The buzz continues without interruption or recession.

      — What I experienced at The Press Club in the price per glass of Tilquin Gueuze seems to represent the price "creep/abuse" that many fear (and have already seen) in the coming years of continued explosive growth within the "craft" segment.

      — The city has a more than average level of social ills to contend with and the area in which Mikkeller chose to located its future cafe seems quite suspect to say the least.

      — But, on the topic of incredible and exciting development, is there any neighborhood going through more transformational development than the Dogpatch community? Afterall, what was it before the UCSF Cancer Research center came in and businesses and residential began to follow. Now, Magnolia is building a brand new production brewery right in the heart of it (at 3rd and 22nd) and news just yesterday was broken that Anchor would be building a huge new production brewery just across the bridge from the home ballpark to the SF Giants at the top of the Dogpatch neighborhood (or more technically, Mission Bay).

Favorite Beer of the Week
I'd been asked numerous times during the week about the best beer I'd had during the week. I realized I was never really keeping score along the way. But, now in retrospect, let me think about this for a few minutes.

In a week of very strong competition across the board, coming to the top of the list (in alphabetical order) are
      — 21st Amendment Bitter American- not a new beer discovery, but still one of the best low-alcohol beers out there. Having it fresh at the pub adds to the experience.
      — Anchor Zymaster Flying Cloud Stout- one of my most accidental, yet memorable stops, was for this one beer at The Homestead in the Mission. Smooth and rich and wonderful, wonder if I might find any of this Back East?
      — Ballast Point Indra Kunindra- described as a Foreign Export Stout, the mouthful of spices ranging from curry to cayenne to coconut to kaffir lime to cumin may leave you thinking "it's anything but", though it goes down easily, cleans up remarkably well, and leaves you wanting more.
      — Bear Republic Tartare- deliciously tart was perfectly refreshing at Rose & Crown in Palo Alto along my trip back to the City from Los Gatos.
      — Drake's Denogginizer- been so long since I've had this beer, I forgot how much I really like this double IPA. Jasper's in the Tenderloin neighborhood helped remind me.
      — Fifty Fifty Totality- this rich imperial stout made for a perfect nightcap at Monk's Kettle one night.
      — Golden Road Brewery- it's a Los Angeles-based brewery, but I list the excellent Get Up Offa That Brown Ale here because of owner Meg Gill's previous role in coordinating SFBW.
      — Green Flash Hamilton's 6th Anniversary- a superb IPA brewed in honor of a superb pub in San Diego. Helped me discover The Sycamore bar in The Mission.
      — Magnolia Cole Porter- had this at the food truck event. Have had this beer probably at least a dozen times in the past and it still holds up as an excellent low-alcohol porter from one of the City's finest.
      — Mikkeller Yeast Series- okay, technically not one beer — or are they? They certainly start as one beer and then the work of different yeast strains result in six very good and different beers.
      — SFBW Collaboration Green Death- at 7.5% ABV, you can't quite drink it all night long, but it's definitely a tasty beer that was the product of local San Francisco Brewers Guild members.
      — Shmaltz Lenny's Bittersweeet IPA- I've had this great beer too many times in the past to think that this was a new discovery. But having it during the raucous Shmaltz event at Amnesia made it one of the most memorable times.
      — Sierra Nevada Barrel-aged Ovila Dubbel- numerous beers from SN that I never had before could have made this list as a result of my numerous meet ups with these guys along the way. This was probably the most interesting and complex of any that I encountered during SFBW.

But, without further ado, since I've been asked to name names, it became clear during the week that no beer was going to be more memorable than the Strike Blonde. Here are some guys (or three friends, two guys/one woman) that are focusing exclusively on session/low-alcohol beers. I was impressed by the 4.5% ABV Blonde on tap during the night-time Opening Celebration, again during the post-SFBW Beer Run during the afternoon in Los Gatos, and once more from the bottle in my hotel room prior to heading out one evening. I'll be looking forward to finding more from these San Jose-based guys during future visits to northern California.

Cheers San Francisco Beer Week! Once again, you've outdone yourselves and put on a fabulous show.

If you didn't catch the link above, be sure to head over to the photo gallery and check out the pictures of the people, places, and beers of SF Beer Week 2013.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Second-Hand Brews News Update: 2/16/13

I may have recently been off the East Coast grid spending eight of ten SFBW days in northern California. That won't stop me from getting the weekend news wrap out to you. See you soon.

~ Always fun to check in with what James Spencer is doing at Basic Brewing Radio. On Feb. 7 episode, he focused the state of the industry/hobby and on Philly as the host of this year's NHC.

~ Interesting concept coming to Chestnut Street.

~ Interesting, if not puzzling, scuffle with Yuengling apparently initiated by the City of Philadelphia. And a small piece of follow-up.

~ Band of Brewers appeared to be a great success. Fun times to from a review of the videos out there. Seems if you hit this one link, it'll take you to a playlist that includes most or all of the videos of the band performances and awards.

~ And, if you feel like thumbing through 555 (!) pictures, well you could do that as well.

~ Flying Fish has a message for Sandy...FU. Help them spread the message.

~ This here is a fine piece of work by the esteemed Lew Bryson.

~ Lew Bryson, as we'd hope and expect, takes on the latest round of likely proposed legislation to come out of Harrisburg's and the Governor's office. And, then some follow-up from

~ Victory's progress appears to be coming along nicely according to a new YouTube video from them. They've also put up a nice retrospective on their time in Downingtown.

~ A bit of booze news that involves Harrisburg, but not the type you might think.

~ Some moving news from Iron Hill.

~ If it's February, it must be time for Pliny.

~ Drink if you've heard this somewhere before.

~ Thought-provoking stuff from Stan.

~ Business as usual at the taps in Toronto?

~ Alan would like us to have a better balanced perspective.

~ Nice piece about Allagash's continued growth.

~ With my recent stop in Los Angeles and a run-in with the rather new Golden Road Brewing at LAX, it seems a good time to link to Jay's review of the beer as well as the Golden Road blog with owner Meg Gill featured on Steve Harvey Show.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Weekly Beer Calendar Update: February 14 - February 20

If you need any more reason to address your love for beer — I mean, love for your significant other — you can start tonight when a handful of local establishments are playing up the holiday theme where your favorite love-making elixir will be on display.

Don't forget that Lehigh Valley Beer Week continues through Sunday.

Check out the entire February 2013 calendar over here. If I'm missing any that you feel should be on here, don't hesitate to let me know.

Events with Tap Lists via
@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Anti-Valentine's Day (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for this event tap list brought to you by

Brewery Promos and Samplings
@Capone's, Norristown, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Cisco Brewery ($PAYG for some special limited releases from Cisco Brewery)

@Chestnut 7, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Love Stinks, Let's Drink ($PAYG for a night of great food, great local drafts from Yards, specialty cocktails, and some really good music.)

@Cocco's, Aston, Pa.--- Sat. 2/16 - Evolution Beer Tasting (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for a lineup of beers from Evolution.)

@Devil's Den, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Fourplay with Stoudt's (7 p.m.-10 p.m.; $PAYG for a cask of Stoudt's new IPA Fourplay. We will also be pouring Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout, Amber 25, and Gold. There will be glassware for the first 24 people to order a pint of Fourplay, along with other Stoudt's giveaways.)

@Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Stoudt's Fourplay IPA International Debut (6 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for Fourplay IPA which will be a four part series that uses the same malt, but a different single hop in each of the four releases. This one, Batch # 1, will use Apollo hops. We will have three other Stoudt's beers on tap too. For extra fun, play Connect Four against Kevin Romer for prizes.)

@Iron Hill, Media, Pa.--- Fri. 2/15 - Firkin Friday (5 p.m.; $PAYG for a celebration of cask-conditioned real ales. This Friday's special cask is Bourbon Chocolate Porter, our award-winning Pig Iron Porter aged in bourbon barrels with whole vanilla beans.)

@Isaac Newton's, Newtown, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Wednesday Special Tapping (11:30 a.m.; $PAYG for Avery Samaels, a super-caramelly, oak-aged English-style strong ale with a ABV of 15-17%)

@Kunda Beverage, King of Prussia, Pa.--- Sat. 2/16 - Saturday Sampling (3 p.m.-5 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of beers from Evolution.)

@Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 2/18 - Bottle Shop Happy Hour (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Allagash beer)

@Old Eagle Tavern, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 2/1-Thu. 2/28 - Brewery Of The Month ($PAYG for month-long specials on beer from Lancaster Brewing)

@The Abbaye, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Yards U Buy The Glass (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG for a tap list still TBD)

@The Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 2/15 - Friday Beer Sampling (6 p.m.-8 p.m.; $Free tasting samples of Philadelphia Brewing beers)

"Takeovers", Debuts, Festivals, and other noteworthy events
@Hop Angel Brauhaus, Philadelphia, Pa.--- every Saturday and Thursday from 2/16 through 3/30 - Starkbierzeit (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG as they feature a different doppelbock each night. We will have traditional Bavarian doppelbocks, American versions that are traditional to the style, and one or two that are non-traditional.)

@Johnny Brenda's, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Fri. 2/15 - Dogfish Head Friday (4 p.m.-6 p.m.; $PAYG for Burton Baton, 120 min IPA, 90 min IPA, and 60 min IPA.)

@Khyber Pass Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Mon. 2/18 - HopScotch (11 a.m.; $PAYG as they showcase rare hoppy India Pale Ales, American Pale Ales, and Double India Pale Ales alongside highly sought-after Scotch Ales and Wee Heavies.)

@Pinocchio's, Media, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Dogfish Head with Dr. Pat (7 p.m.-9 p.m.; $PAYG as Dr. Pat McGovern's wisdom in the building with Dogfish Head's Birra Etrusca bronze, Hellhound, Immort Ale, 60 Minute, Midas Touch, Bitches Brew, Old School, Namaste, and Chicory Stout on tap.)

@PJ Whelihan's, Bethlehem, Pa.--- Sat. 2/16 - Tap Takeover (11 a.m.; $PAYG for Mad King Weiss, Ranch DIPA, Biere De Garden, Dampf, HopDevil Nitro, Golden Monkey, Headwaters Pale Ale, Prima Pils, Storm King, and so much more. Come get your first taste of some of these beers you have never seen before in the Lehigh Valley. We will be having raffles and giveaways all day so stop in anytime.)

@The Drafting Room, Exton, Pa.--- Sat. 2/16 - Barrel-aged Stout Take Over (12 p.m.; $PAYG for some rare and internationally-acclaimed stouts including Fifty Fifty 2012 Eclipse Series (Elijah Craig 12-year Bourbon, Old Fitzgerald Bourbon, Evan Williams Bourbon, Bernheim Wheat Whiskey, American Mellow Corn Whiskey, Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey), Goose Island Bourbon County, Great Divide Chocolate Yeti, Firestone Walker Parabola, and Victory Dark Intrigue)

@The Trapp Door Gastropub, Emmaus, Pa.--- Fri. 2/15 - Free Will Tap Takeover (6 p.m.; $PAYG for small plates paired by Chef Nathan Thatcher with the following Free Will beers on tap Citra Pale Ale (hand pump), 7 Course Red, 10w Porter, C.O.B., and the unveiling of the Quad.)

Food and Beer events
@Fegley's Brew Works, Allentown, Pa.--- Sat. 2/16 - Beer Lovers Dinner (7 p.m.; $63 for a five-course meal paired with nine beers from both Fegley's Brew Works and Victory Brewing Company.)

@Grey Lodge Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Valentine's Day (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $25 for a four-course dinner special. We'll have a couple of chocolate beers on tap.)

@Hawthornes, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Valentines Beer Dinner (8 p.m.-10 p.m.; $75 for a four-course meal paired with six beers. Live music.)

@National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Moonshine and Valentines (5 p.m.-10 p.m.; $30-$35 for food, drinks, and access to the exhibit: American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Yards will be pouring three different beers including Love Stout.)

@Perch Pub, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Love Bites & Beer Flights ($55 per couple for five plates of food paired with two individual flights of four draft beers.)

@Spinnerstown Hotel, Spinnerstown, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Beer Dinner with Duvel Moortgat (7 p.m.; $55 for a five-course meal paired with Duvel Ale, Biere D' Hougoumont, Biere Du Soleil, Gnomegang, Goudenband, Belgian Indpendence Day, N'ice Chouffe, and Art of Darkness.)

@The Happy Rooster, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Firkin Beer Dinner (7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; $35 for a four-course meal and a firkin of Victory Ranch DIPA.)

@The Trapp Door Gastropub, Emmaus, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - Valentine's Day Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $75 for a four-course meal paired with Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus, The Bruery Mischief, Bockor Bellegems Bruin, and Arcadia Cocoa.)

@Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, Pa.--- Thu. 2/14 - 17th Anniversary Beer Dinner (6:30 p.m.; $65 for a five-course meal paired with Schwarz Pils, Biere de Garden, Hop Wallop Ale, Hundred Horse Ale, and Storm King Stout.)

@Whole Foods, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Beer Dinner (7 p.m.; $TBD for a four-course, five-beer dinner (including the rare Winter Migration) with brewery owner, Tom Knorr, in attendance.)

Beer for Charity
@Fegley's Brew Works, Allentown, Pa.--- Fri. 2/15 - Charity Cask Night (5 p.m.; $PAYG where 100% of cask-conditioned sales will go to PBS39.)

Education and Homebrew
@Local 44 Bottle Shop, Philadelphia, Pa.--- Wed. 2/20 - Beer School (5 p.m.; $Free to get some in-depth beer training right along side our staff.)

Boot Camp to keep you in shape
@Sly Fox, Phoenixville, Pa.--- every Wednesday from 1/9 through 3/17 - Boot Camp ($PAYG for ten weeks of chances to win a trip to Ireland, culminating on St. Patrick's Day. See website for all the details.)
@Sly Fox, Pottstown, Pa.--- every Thursday from 1/10 through 3/17 - Boot Camp ($PAYG for ten weeks of chances to win a trip to Ireland, culminating on St. Patrick's Day. See website for all the details.)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

San Francisco Beer Week 2013 is underway

SF Beer Week 2013 Opening Celebration
(click above for a gallery of pictures)

If you follow me on Twitter, you've likely picked up on my whereabouts in the vicinity of San Francisco Beer Week.

Turns out that I was (t)here in 2009 (the first SFBW) and 2011. Wonder if that means I'll miss next year?

Also was here prior to the "official" incarnation of Bay Area beer celebrations labeled as Beer Weeks in 2008 and joined in the Celebrator Magazine's 20th anniversary party in Oakland.

You can read about 2008 about 2009 about 2011 here. Seriously, read it. Interesting stuff. At least interesting to me as I jump in the way-back machine to see what the SF beer scene looked like through my eyes back then.

Before I begin my SFBW opening weekend review, I should point you to the local and longtime observer of all things Bay Area Beer, Jay Brooks, for his look at Pliny The Younger Day, the SFBW '13 Opening Celebration, a fun video of the Opening Gala, and the annual Double IPA fest at The Bistro.


This year I made it to the Opening Gala a bit worse off than I should have been. Waking up 5 a.m. eastern time, flying cross-country, then embarking on a 13.5 mile run across the city before quickly guzzling a gallon of water and showering (you're welcome, but of course), would not be a recommended approach for the SFBW Opening Celebration.

But, there I was enjoying the Green Death collaboration beer for SFBW '13. Great beer to start off the festival with, where many big IPAs and "big" versions of other beers abounded.

Ran into "old-timers" like Sierra Nevada and its Narwhal and its Two Headed Ruthless Rye. Too bad I missed their Celebrator 25th Anniversary brew. Anchor, complete with its "new guys" and new beers to complement the tried and true. Bear Republic and its excellent Tartare. Lagunitas with it's nonsuck version of Sucks. North Coast and its decadent Old Rasputin. Speakeasy and its Daddy (Big, Double, etc.) beers. Magnolia and its never-disappointing lineup of well-made beers. 21st Amendment shaking things up with their recent canned versions of saison, oyster stout, and recent news of Lower De Boom barleywine coming also to cans. And, many more that have been around for getting-to-be-too-many-years-to-count. And still doing it well as the next generation comes aboard.

Russian River had its Pliny The Younger, which I enjoyed in a line of three people before the masses crushed the event floor in a stampede to the Russian River table. I still hold to this day that while it's a pretty fine beer, waiting crazy amounts of time in line for it (or for any beer, for that matter) is just, well, crazy.

I finally met The Beer Wench in person. The avatar came to life and did not disappoint.

Most of the luminaries were in attendance...the brewers, owners, and reps. I really appreciate how SF Beer Week does not list any other beer events for the first day, focusing all attention on the Opening Celebration.

2,800+ attendees. 70 breweries. Did I mention, no I did not, the fantastic music of El Radio Fantastique.

But then there were the new breweries. As in nearly every corner of this country, new breweries are popping up left and right. San Jose's new-ish Strike Brewing Company impressed me with one of the most memorable beers of the evening, it's Blonde Ale. They're quite enthusiastic about producing great tasting "session" beers. As you'll see in my comments about Sunday's Beer Run, there could be nothing finer.

Speaking of low-alcohol beers, there were quite a few that stole the show, in my opinion during Friday's festivities. Amongst all of the malt/hop/ABV bombs (some quite tasty, mind you), none were more memorable than Drake's/Stone 4.8% collaboration beer called Quarter Century of Issues, the subtly floral and fruity 4.7% Santa Cruz Love Potion, someone's excellent German Pilsner (still searching pictures and documentation high and low for which brewer this was), and the aforementioned Strike Blond. See, you can go to a California-based festival and drink some excellent low alcohol beers.

Then, I crashed.


I made the extremely tough decision on Saturday to stay in the city in lieu of hopping a train to Hayward for the annual Double IPA Fest at The Bistro, now including a separate judging category for Triple IPAs.

I'd been to it three times before and I really just felt more like exploring what the city had to offer on such a gorgeous weather day.

It did not disappoint.

The Press Club for Mikkeller Yeast Series. The education in six identical beers fermented with different yeast strains was indeed fascinating. I'd return later for a few sours before bed. Somewhat swanky place with a strong focus on wine, but with a smartly focused eye on beer as well. Though, how you get away with charging $21 for a glass of Tiquin Gueuze still has me a bit baffled.

The baffling continued at the SOMA StrEat Food Park, where they definitely know how to run a parking lot of excellent food trucks. The managing of beer distribution within the park, though, was a different story and made for a stop that lasted probably twice as long as it should have.

Still, a beautiful day to be in the outdoors drinking great beer from Magnolia and Pacific Brewing Laboratory with a overflowing sandwich of meat and spices from a Peruvian food truck.

Then it was on in to the Mission for some ice cream. Or, it was until I tripped across what sounded like a good stop at The Homestead. Great stop indeed. I'd missed the new Zymaster Flying Cloud at the Opening Celebration, so I quickly found my way into a glass of it at this 100+ year old bar with an interesting set of characters, comfortable old bar feel, and murals of naked women on the walls. A little something for almost everyone, as a good pub should be.

Since I was so close, I opted to make one more pit stop along my journey through the Mission at the Southern Pacific Brewing Company's location. I'd been there before but had not been struck by a beer quite as happily as I was this time with their Blonde. Well-made, tasty, and weighing in at a very drinkable 5.5% ABV.

Onward to Humphrey Slocumbe, home to some incredible flavors and every year they incorporate some local brew into a few flavors to feature during the week. They were not yet available, so I opted for the solid and old-reliable, Secret Breakfast and new one to me, Smoked Chocolate Sea Salt.

Refreshed and ready for a long stretch of my walk, I headed up through Hayes Valley and on to Amsterdam Cafe where they were beginning a wild night of Deschutes beers. I was fortunate to grab a rare and coveted seat at the bar and wandered no farther than the Abyss and the Dissident before moving on.

After discovering all seats taken at my favorite sushi spot in the downtown area, I decided to cap off the 9.5 mile walk around town with a few sours and dinner back at The Press Club, where the day began ten hours earlier.


Most of you know all about my beer thing, my running thing, and the happy intersection of the two. Once upon four years ago, Derrick Peterman, Brian Yaeger, and I kicked off the concept of an SFBW run. After a few years of holding it in the City, Peterman has done a great job in continuing on the tradition, this year holding it in the South Bay community of Los Gatos and working with local pub C.B. Hannegan's and brewer (from San Jose) Strike Brewing.

Before heading south to Los Gatos, I figured a quick stop-off for some "fuel" at Dynamo Donuts would help to kick-start my day as I headed out of the city. They worked with Almanac Brewing and the brewery's Biere de Chocolat to create a donut available every day of SFBW. What a tasty and wonderful treat of chocolate goodness.

Then, for the run.......What a great time. Coming from the east coast, there was nothing like going for a scenic run along the Los Gatos Trail in nothing but a short sleeve shirt, shoes, and shorts in 60 degree weather. Nothing like returning to the pub's comfortable atmosphere. Nothing like camaraderie of a post-run crowd of beer-loving runners. Nothing like raising some funds for Autism Speaks and the 2nd Harvest Food Bank (a Bill Brand tie-in). Nothing like refreshing and rehydrating with some excellent beers from Strike Brewing, who makes some real nice session beers perfect for post-exercising. A blonde, a brown, and an IPA. If you're in northern California, be on the lookout for these guys.

Heading back north to San Francisco, it would have been irresponsible not to stop in Palo Alto at the English-style cozy pub, Rose and Crown. They were doing a sour day, so a Bear Republic Tartare and Palo Alto Brewing Company barrel-aged porter made for a perfect way to break up the drive back to the city and check out a new place (to me, at least) along the way.

On the topic of responsibility, one could certainly argue that heading to Beer Revolution in Oakland may not have ranked too high on the responsibility scale after the weekend that I'd already been through in addition to what awaited at the destination beer bar on the outskirts of downtown Oakland. But, after seeing the impressive wall of 48 taps of nothing but beers from Chico, Calif., I wasn't going to argue with anyone. Check out my pictures, you'll see what I mean.

Since I was on limited time and making decisions on a list of 48 Sierra Nevada is nearly impossible to begin with, I quickly ruled out any names I was familiar with. Help from Terrell Lowe, Brian Kracht, and Tai Brandon - who was chiefly responsible for organizing the event - was gladly welcomed. Unfortunately, head brewer Terence Sullivan was still stuck in the northeast unable to return to the Bay Area after he found (Winter Storm) Nemo and couldn't fly back in time for the event.

Imperial Red Ale, called Blood Shot (Beer Camp #95 apparently). Excellent. I don't really talk much about how I seem to have a real liking for this "style" of beer. A Gose, called Anything Gose. Not too bad, but not popping with flavor as much as I would have hoped/liked. And trying to knock me out was the imperial porter Super Rocket V-8. First to kick were the Beer Camp 86'ed beer and the 20th Street Citra IPA.

What else can I tell you about the first weekend of SFBW 2013? Not much, I suppose. I could tell you about the wonderful sushi and sake dinner I had later Sunday evening. But, that may be straying too far off topic. Plus, you've probably already heard too much. I'll be back later in the week with more updates.

'Til then, be sure to follow my Twitter Feed for more in-the-event type of updates and the occasional status update on The Brew Lounge's Facebook Page.