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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

18th Annual Sausage and Suds Music Festival Hits San Leandro

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 12:00 PM

The Spazmatics - PAUL JACKMAN
  • Paul Jackman
  • The Spazmatics

In keeping with this season of Oktoberfests everywhere, what better place to enjoy a beer festival than San Leandro, the new craft-brewing capital of the East Bay? The 18th Annual Sausage and Suds Music Festival features over forty varieties of beer, 70 lbs. of sausages (is that really enough for a crowd of 8,000?), a kid-friendly zone and the return of everyone’s favorite '80s cover band The Spazmatics.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sours and the City: All About the Latest Beer Craze

Posted By on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Central Valley Breakfast Sour from High Water Brewing - KEVIN REID
  • Kevin Reid
  • Central Valley Breakfast Sour from High Water Brewing

Ever ahead of the curve, San Francisco was thirsty for sour beers long before they became cool. A landscape defined by adventurous drinkers allowed daring brewers to pursue a style often intimidating to the casual consumer. As a result, in just the past three years, sours have transcended beyond the dominion of the geeks and into the common sphere. Have a glimpse at what local breweries and brewmasters are doing to cement the Bay Area's status as sour central. 

To Jesse Friedman of Almanac Beer, expanding the style meant spreading the gospel.

"Sours have come a really, really long way," he said. "When Almanac was starting [in early 2011], there was a lot more education we had to do for most people about what a sour beer is."

And what is that, exactly?

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Come Fly with Me: Longbranch Saloon Offers a Crash Course in Selecting Spirits

Posted By on Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM

A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll

On approaching the bar of the Longbranch Saloon, I immediately pull out a chair and take a seat alongside the stretching smooth slab of wood. The shelves and shelves of bottles and long row of taps in front of me have my head swimming with options. And that’s before I open the spirits menu, which is clipped in a three-ring binder bound in soft worn leather.

“The guys here are great,” says the woman to my right. “Really, they were wonderful.” She tells me she’s from out in the suburbs, visiting a friend that lives in Berkeley and this is the latest great thing in the neighborhood. She tasted three or four beers before settling on her lager and couldn’t be happier with the selection she’s made.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

SATURDAY: 21st Amendment's "Toaster Pastry" Launch Party

Posted By on Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 3:45 PM

21ST AMENDMENT BREWERY (VIA INSTAGRAM)
  • 21st Amendment Brewery (via Instagram)


Not long after openings its 95,000-square-foot brewery in San Leandro, 21st Amendment is set to release the facility's inaugural beer. Toaster Pastry sounds like a Pop Tart but it's an India-Style Red Ale that comes in a tall boy. (The name alludes to the brewery's former use, as a Kellogg's factory, and it's grrrrr-eat!) 

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

All-Day Par-tay at Drake’s Dealership in Oakland

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Togarashi fries with Sriracha mayo, Hella Hellie's lager, crispy green chickpeas, chimichuri cashews. - A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll
  • Togarashi fries with Sriracha mayo, Hella Hellie's lager, crispy green chickpeas, chimichuri cashews.

I attended a media preview for Drake’s Dealership several weeks back. A new beer and bites establishment in Uptown’s mixed-use Hive space off of 23rd and Broadway, the former Dodge dealership now serves as a taproom for Drake’s San Leandro brewery. Drake’s pays homage to their locale on Oakland’s Auto Row, from salvaged dealership signage to pinstripe and bandana-clad servers.

Though half of the 32 taps were off at the time of my visit (the place being new and the beer being free and all), there were still plenty of sips and snacks for a party, which is what Drake’s seems to be after when it comes to creating an atmosphere.

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Beer Finder: Two Restaurants to Quench Your Thirst

Posted By on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 at 2:00 PM

HOG & ROCKS/INSTAGRAM
  • Hog & Rocks/Instagram

For some, summer is beach dates and camping trips; for me, it is a season of increased beer cravings. There’s just something about languidly enjoying an ice-cold pint of the good stuff that makes it feel like summer. For my fellow beer lovers, here are two local restaurants have announced brew-based events that will make you very thirsty.

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Monday, August 17, 2015

Talking Steam Week With Anchor Brewing's Brewmaster and CEO

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 6:00 PM

ANCHOR BREWING
  • Anchor Brewing

When Fritz Maytag purchased Anchor Brewing 50 years ago this month, he had no intention of starting the craft beer revolution. But in August 1965, there were only 100 businesses in the country that fit the definitions of a microbrewery; today, there are over 3800.

“The rest of the world is now making American-style beer,” Anchor’s brewmaster, Mark Carpenter, told SF Weekly. “It’s turned upside-down, and this is the beer that did it.

Maytag’s in his 70s now, and, having handed off the company to President and CEO Keith Greggor, his role is increasingly ceremonial.

“We recently shared the stage at a conference in Sonoma,” Greggor said. “We stay in touch, I can call him anytime. We’ve become good friends over the years, but he’s not looking to pound the street selling beer.”

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

ThirstyBear Celebrates Brews, Ewes and BBQs with Nose-to-Tail Lamb

Posted By on Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 11:00 AM

ThirstyBear - CHEF ROBERT MCCARTHY
  • Chef Robert McCarthy
  • ThirstyBear

Precious, little lambs. They are so cuddly and adorable. And delicious! But as one of the world's most heavily consumed meats, lamb is surprisingly underrepresented on American dinner plates. Seeking to change that, the American Lamb Board (yes, that's a thing), launches a national event next week, entitled Brews, Ewes & BBQs. Four chefs, one each from S.F., Seattle, Boston, and D.C., will tear down a whole lamb for the sole purpose of crafting a lamb-centric menu to pair alongside craft beer. Representing our city is chef Robert McCarthy of ThirstyBear. Here's an exclusive sneak peak of what he plans to shepherd into the SOMA next week.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Definitive Outside Lands Drinking Guide

Posted By on Wed, Aug 5, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Ye Ol' Beer Lands - OUTSIDE LANDS
  • Outside Lands
  • Ye Ol' Beer Lands

There's that age-old adage about moderation: the whole "marathon, not a sprint" thing. While most clichés induce eye-rolling dismissal, it will behoove you to hold this one to heart as you navigate the id-filled excesses populating the Outside Lands Festival in Golden Gate Park this weekend. Beginning Friday afternoon, attendees have access to more craft beer, cocktails, and boutique wine than ever before. It's enough to make grown adults as giddy as a Christmas-morning child. But remember, there's only so much time in the day, and only so many port-a-potties on site. Fill your bladder with the beverages worth peeing for, people. Here's a helpful way to sip, rather than chug, your way thru San Francisco's largest annual playground. 

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Monday, August 3, 2015

A Dive That's Also a Garage: Ernie's Tin Bar in Petaluma

Posted By on Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 3:00 PM

PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane

If you’ve ever gone a-wine tasting north of here and quickly reached your fill of unctuous recitations of obscure tasting notes or replica chateaus, consider driving a little out of the  way for a bracing dose of reality at Ernie’s Tin Bar.

It is a bar, made of galvanized tin, with a really good beer selection, that just so happens to be a working auto garage.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"