SF Beer Week Day 2 – Beer Revolution & The Jug Shop

The Bruery's beer selection at Beer Revolution

And beer week continues. Saturday we headed to Beer Revolution, a relatively new beer establishment (they just had their one year anniversary!) near Jack London Square in Oakland. They were hosting The Bruery’s “Meet the Brewer” event all day so we made sure to stop by there for a few hours prior to our next event.

The Bruery's Oude Tart with Cherries & 7 Grain Saison

Andrei started out with the Oude Tart with Cherries while I opted for the 7 Grain Saison. Both of them we felt were at the lower end of the ABV spectrum (at 7.5% and 5.5% respectively) of the choices we were interested in, as well as not normally being available outside of the brewery. The Oude Tart (Flanders Red) was pretty damn impressive and a big hit showing in the fact that the keg was kicked about an hour after us arriving.  The 7 Grain Saison was refreshing as a saison should be, but with a bit more hop flavor to the finish. Both were very enjoyable.

Special Release - Too Limited To Have Its Own Sticker

We were lucky enough to snag seats at the bar which made getting service quite easy. Both outside and inside were packed with patrons, and Fraggle and Rebecca were working very hard but with so much patience. It was quite impressive. Luckily they had some help in getting everyone their beverages in a timely manner. We also had time to chat with Jonas from The Bruery. We chatted about Orange County being a bit of a lonely place for beer (I went to University down there) and he agreed with our next choices of beer, The Old Richland Barleywine and The Dark Agave Quad. I must admit we didn’t care for these two as much as the first two but they were both still drinkable. After that we moved on to a couple beers from Moylan’s: 2011 Apple Brandy Barrel-Aged Kiltlifter and their Heaven Hill Barleywine. Both of these were super impressive and even though they were not from The Bruery, needed a mention.

Later that evening we headed over to The Jug Shop for their, “It Came From the Wood” Barrel-Aged beer event. We had come here back in August for a Sour Beer tasting and really enjoyed the selection of beers. This night was no different with some stellar choices from Eric Cripe, the local Cicerone.

The 12 Barrel-Aged Beers lined up, ready to be tasted!

We arrived shortly before the event started, and a good thing too! I was shocked with how many people showed up for this event. I think by the end of the evening, there were at least 60 people, which is a lot for this shop to handle. But Eric did a fine job, somehow remembering where people had left off. The highlights of the event for me were North Coast’s Old Stock Reserve, Firestone Walker 14 and Port Brewing’s Barrel-Aged Santa’s Little Helper. We tried three different versions of Fifty Fifty’s Eclipse Imperial Stout, two from 2010 (Evan Williams and Four Roses) and one from 2009 (Heaven Hill). For as expensive as these guys are, I wasn’t too impressed. The Heaven Hill was the only one that I felt really had a good flavor to it and warranted the cost.

Post Mortem....a lot of beer was tasted.

This was a fun way to end our second day of SF Beer Week. Both events we went to today were well planned and had great brews.  For you locals, The Jug Shop and Beer Revolution do tastings/events pretty regularly, so check out their calendars for upcoming events.

North Coast Brewery

This past weekend Andrei, Terry, Marie and I headed to Mendocino to take in the amazing selection of beer and wine they have in the area.  One of our first stops was North Coast Brewery in Ft. Bragg.  I have tried several of North Coast’s beers before, but was looking forward to getting an “overview” of what they had to offer.

We arrived at 11:30 am and there were already six or seven people waiting for them to open! (Note to potential visitors: If you’re going on a weekend, getting there earlier is better.  When we left two hours later it was packed and there was quite a wait).  We chose to sit in the bar (which was open seating) rather than the restaurant.  The first thing we ordered was their sampler.  They had twelve beers on tap and were served in 4 ounce tastes (perfect for 2-4 people to share).  Out of the twelve beers on tap, I’d say about half were worth drinking again (remember, my opinion!).  The Blue Star Wheat and Scrimshaw Pilsner were too light for my taste.  However, the others seemed to like the pilsner enough.  The next ones were the Acme Pale Ale and IPA.  Again, passes for me but I don’t particularly like those styles either.  The first one I felt like I could drink more of was the Cask Conditioned Red Seal Ale.  Strangely enough, I preferred this style to the straight up Red Seal Ale.  Why I find it strange is that I rarely enjoy cask conditioned ales which tend to be flat to my taste buds.  Next up was the Old No. 38 Stout.  This was a solid stout and one I could definitely drink again, although I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it in a bar.  Very roasty with a strong coffee flavor.  From here on out, I really loved all of them (getting into the higher alcohol and belgian styles).  Brother Thelonious (named after Thelonious Monk) is similar to a belgian dark strong ale, with a high ABV of 9.3%.  I’ve found this in San Francisco a few times, most notably at The Page.  This beer is tasty, tasty, tasty… yes, that is a technical term. 😉  Pranqster is North Coast’s attempt at a Belgian Style Golden Ale.  I really enjoyed this and more to follow in a post just about this beer.  La Merle was up next on the list…I’ve had this at Kennedy’s here in San Francisco but I believe it’s easy enough to find in good beer bars and beer stores.  This is a very good saison style beer, tasty and light with hints of fruit.  Old Stock Ale was up next and I was most excited to try this beer.   At 12.5% ABV, this is one beer you should sip rather than gulp.  The style is listed as Old Ale which I’ve not done a lot of research on, but I know that every time I have one I usually like it!  This beer has a beautiful mahogany color and malty flavor.  I left with a four pack of this and plan on letting it age a bit.  I’ve never seen this at any store or bar around here so if you make it up to the brewery, make sure to try it.  Last but not least was Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout.  Having tried this several times at The Monk’s Kettle, I already knew I would enjoy revisiting this one again.  This is a big, bold beer and worth delving into for a later blog post.  Needless to say, I left with an Old Rasputin XI and XII to take home.

Definitely look forward to my next trip up to North Coast.  They have a solid selection of great beers and at $4/glass, definitely worth spending a few hours here if you’re in the area.  Next time we’ll try to hit up the tour!

Pranqster, Acme IPA & La Merle

North Coast Brewery old kettle

Until next time, North Coast! Keep the great beers coming!