Local Brewing Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Fund Brewery

Want to play a role in building a brewery right in your own backyard? Regan and Sara from Local Brewing Company have launched a Kickstarter campaign and need your support to set up shop in San Francisco.

“The premise behind Local Brewing Co. is to encourage local involvement and feedback to create approachable, sessionable beer. A true brewery + tap room built by locals, for locals.

Local Brewing Co. beers have been tested and refined by local San Franciscans, and now our brewery will have the same input from supporters. Our goal is to open a brewery + tap room in San Francisco that supports the local community.

Your support will determine the size of Local Brewing Co.’s initial brewhouse. A brewhouse — the actual equipment used to brew beer — is the most critical part of a brewery; it’s also one of the most expensive purchases, and it dictates the volume of production for a brewery.”

The campaign is up and running for the next 40 days and the goal is to raise a minimum of $69,000. If they gather more funds then the brewery will get bigger and the beer will go farther.

During the campaign Regan and Sara are encouraging the community to come out and try their Glen Park Ale before donating. Bars and taprooms around the region will be hosting events in support of their efforts. The first event is tonight at Kilowatt in San Francisco starting at 6:30pm. As future events are announced they’ll be posted on the BACB calendar. Important note, Local Brewing cannot use the proceeds from beer sales during these events to fund the brewery (licensing, legalities, blah, blah, blah.)

Bay Area Craft Beer has a soft spot for up and coming breweries, so please show your support for Local Brewing Company. You can donate as little as $5 or more depending on the number of goodies you would like to receive in return; stickers, glasses, clothing and even beer!

Check out their inspiring campaign video.


21st Amendment Releases Hop Crisis

21st Amendment Brewery Hop Crisis

21st Amendment Brewery has announced the release of Hop Crisis, an oak-aged Imperial IPA that hits 94 IBU’s and 9.7% alcohol. Last year the beer won a silver medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival in the highly competitive Imperial IPA category. This years release promises to be just as tasty and hop numbing.

“21st Amendment co-founder and Brewmaster Shaun O’Sullivan says of the idea behind the beer, “We really wanted to do something different with an Imperial IPA. Aside from the higher alcohol and intense hop bitterness, we felt aging the beer on oak would add some additional layers of flavor. Because oak can overwhelm the hops, we chose a light, subtle oak character to accentuate the dry hop bitterness and add a unique character to the beer.”

“The graphics on our four-pack box tell the story of convicts Nico and Shaun’s adventure to Free the Hops,” noted co-founder Nico Freccia.  “A daring escape through the sewer pipe, surfing monster waves while being chased by a great white shark and a high speed getaway on the San Francisco cable car are all part of the adventure,” he adds. “We just really felt we had an opportunity to have some fun with this beer.”

The beer will be available on draft and in four-pack cans throughout the Bay Area on June 16.

Almanac Aims to Elevate the Status of Beer

Most homebrewers dream of running their own brewery, yet few draw up plans. Piles of licensing paperwork, gathering funds and placing beer into stores, bars and restaurants is no easy task. It took Damian Fagan and Jessie Friedman nearly three years to evolve from homebrewers to the proprietors of Almanac Beer. At the end of this month their long awaited Summer 2010 release will grace shelves and tables throughout the Bay Area.

Reaching this point has been a long and arduous process since they met during a local homebrew club meeting. Their friendship developed alongside a number of different business plans; homebrew shop, cafe, bar, restaurant and brewpub. Ultimately they decided to just make beer and had hoped to release their first creation in February 2009. Unfortunately, logistics, a steep learning curve and the bureaucracy of licensing slowed the process down.

Damian Fagan & Jessie Friedman (left to right).

Now that there up and running, one of Almanac’s primary goals is to elevate the status of beer. They believe beer “deserves a place at the dinner table next to wine with great food.” With this in mind they developed an ambitious recipe and barrel aging process for their first brew and placed equal emphasis on presentation.

Summer 2010 is a Belgian Pale made with 260 pounds of Cherokee blackberries that were stuffed into oak barrels for 11 months with a Duvel yeast strain. Last month they blended the contents of those barrels with some fresh Citra hopped beer and are in the process of bottle conditioning 309 cases. Once the bottles have reached optimum carbonation you’ll find them in in select San Francisco stores on June 30 for a suggested retail price of $19.99.

Spotting the beer on the shelf shouldn’t be a problem. Fagan employed his experience as a graphic designer to meld the aesthetics of wine and whiskey bottle labels, specifically 19th century scotch bottles. From the wine finished topper to the sparkling foil, the die cut label is just as lovingly crafted as the beer. It certainly evokes a bygone era, but still appears modern and elegant.

Fagan and Friedman recently hosted a party at Local Mission Eatery for friends, family and members of the thirsty blogosphere to celebrate the beer’s release. Before the event started I had a chance to ask Friedman a few questions about the beer, contract brewing and the future of Almanac Beer.

You first offered the public a taste of this beer during the SF Beer Week Gala in February. How much has it changed since then?

It’s totally different. It’s been blended and now has a fresh hop character. The variations between each aging barrel were phenomenal.  Three of the barrels had no fruit in them and it was amazing to see the difference. Some barrels had a lot of coriander flavor, some were more peppery, another was sweet and one was kind of silky smooth. When everything is blended it kind of homogenizes the flavor and you end up with a more generic oaky kind of character.

Where did you get the barrels?

From a barrel broker. We got mostly American Oak, a couple French Oak and we had a few of the barrels reconditioned. They actually pull the barrel apart, shave them and re-toast them so you get fresh wood. We mostly used Zinfandel barrels.

The beer was supposed to be a fall release correct?

Yeah, we weren’t going to age for as long. We had a lot of delays with licensing, but the extra time in the barrels worked out great. We wanted the barrel character to be present and noticeable, but we also didn’t want it to dominate. At the end of the day for us it has to taste good with dinner.

How was the experience contract brewing at Drake’s Brewery?

It was interesting. Drake’s isn’t really setup or designed for contract brewing, which is sort of good and bad. Since it was our first batch they worked closely with us. At the moment we’re looking for a new brewery. They’re expanding and kicked out all their contract brewers.

Where are you looking to brew next?

We’re looking at a couple places. We’re not really sure yet. We’re going to do a field trip to Hermitage and Tied House.

When we were first looking for a contract brewery they had lot of questions for us, which we now we have answers too. We have plans, off-site storage, all our licensing is done, we own some equipment and we have the recipes. So the experience of interviewing at each place is much different and nicer.

When you contract brew do you do all the brewing yourself?

I’m not a professional brewmaster and have no aspirations to be one. Professional brewmaster is code for being deft at handling a forklift. I look at our role in a similar manner to how I’ve worked with chefs for the dinners I’ve hosted. They bring expertise to the table like the contract brewery, which we rely on to help translate our homebrew-based ideas to a commercial product. Drake’s did a great job with that and as we look for a new brewery were up front with them about where our knowledge starts and stops.

What’s your plan for upcoming beer releases?

We’re trying to schedule out our next beer. We want to do a summer brew as quickly as possible and we’re hoping to bring that to the market at the end of summer. It may include stone fruit and we’re not going to oak age this release. It will be fresh. We’re shooting for about four releases per year.

Your first chance to taste Summer 2010, along with a special sour version, will be at City Beer Store in San Francisco on June 30. Hapa Ramen will be pairing some delicious food with the beer as well.

Craft Beer on Wheels Giveaway


Amgen Tour of California. Photo by Mike Baird on flickr.

If you’ve traveled any of the Bay Area’s scenic byways you’ve passed your share of bikers climbing steep hills or coasting around narrow corners. Their often decked out in the latest gear from head to toe, which usually includes a colorful jersey and hat. I’ve seen many branded with team names, sponsors and countries, but never a craft beer brand.

That might change with the latest edition of jerseys and caps produced by the Portland based apparel companies Retro and Micro Beer Jerseys. They’ve partnered with nine different breweries, including Anchor and Schmaltz Brewing, so bikers can tell us whose calories they’re burning. Anchor Brewing offered up it’s classic Anchor Steam and Liberty labels, while Shmaltz chose it’s hypnotic Coney Island Lager and Mermaid Pilsner brands. Sorry ladies, only the last one is available in your size.

These jerseys won’t compliment my figure, but maybe a certain father you know would appreciate them on his special day. Hint, hint. Why not win one?

GIVEAWAY > BACB is happy to offer the Anchor Steam cap seen below to one of our readers courtesy of Micro Beer Jerseys. All you have to do is leave a comment below by Noon (PST) on Friday (6/10) that lets us know you want it. A winner will be selected at random and announced Friday afternoon. One catch, no international shipping. Good luck gear heads.

UPDATE (6/10): The contest is now closed. Congratulations to Cole for winning the bike cap!

Calendar of Events

Summer is upon us and that means sunshine, warm weather and more craft beer events popping up all over the Bay Area. The June calendar already has thirty-three events to keep you busy so plan wisely. As always, be sure to check our main calendar throughout the month so you don’t miss what the procrastinating breweries, bars and stores have planned at the last moment.

June 1

Speakeasy Betrayal Bottle Release
5:30pm, City Beer Store, 1168 Folsom St Suite 101, San Francisco. (Map)

June 2

Brewery Night: Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Amsterdam Cafe,  937 Geary St., San Francisco. (Map)

Parabola Release in San Francisco
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Public House, 24 Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park, San Francisco. (Map)

“Firestone Walker is more than happy to release to you one our favorite (and limited) beers, Parabola. Come and join us for Parabola vintage 2011 and 2010 on tap as well as 14, our anniversary ale, which uses Parabola as one of the components. We will also have a Firkin of Unfiltered DBA, something that you can normally only get at the brewery. Get there early and get it while it lasts!”

Firestone Walker Parabola Release
6:00pm, Petaluma Taps, 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. (Map)

June 3

Drake’s First Friday
4:00pm, Drake’s Brewing , 1933 Davis Street, Building 177, San Leandro. (Map)

General Info:
-$5 per person voluntary donation, to the non-profit organization we are supporting, at the gate. (Children with their parents free).
-$15 for a Drake’s tasting glass and 3 tokens for 3 full pours. Additional tokens can be purchased separately ($3.50 each, with net proceeds going to the non-profit).
-Great food available for purchase.
-Please park in the main West Gate Center lot, in front of Walmart & Sports Authority, and walk back to the brewery. There is no parking at the brewery.
-Eight (or more!) Drake’s Beers will be available, including our present seasonal (when available).
-21 and over please, except children with their parents.
-Please, leave you pets at home. And kindly respect our neighbors and their customers in the West Gate Center.
-OK to use Drake’s tasting glasses from previous Friday events. Other glassware not accepted.
-We can no longer accept Friday tasting tokens from 2008, or any other past year. Thank you.

“Drake’s First Friday Events are fundraisers for local schools & non-profits, and are held at Drake’s the first Friday of every month, from 4pm-8pm.

Better Brew Tasting
6:00 pm, SOFA District, San Jose. (Map)

Part of the 4th Annual subZERO Festival, sponsored by Lagunitas Brewing Company. Drink tickets, cash only. The event is taking place in the SoFA district in downtown San Jose (on South First Street between San Carlos & Reed Streets).

Participating Breweries:
Ale Industries
Campbell Brewing
El Toro Brewing Company
Hermitage Brewing/ Tied House Café & Brewery
Lagunitas Brewing
Uncommon Brewers
more to be announced

June 3, 10, 17, 24

Speakeasy’s Firkin Fridays Open House
4:00pm – 9:00pm, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers,  1195 Evans Avenue, San Francisco. (Map)

“Fresh pints and free tours at 4:00pm sharp.”

June 4

The BeerFest: A Benefit for Face to Face
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. (Map)

“Beerfest is a festive microbrew and food tasting extravaganza with more than 40 of Northern California’s best microbreweries and wonderful Sonoma County gourmet food purveyors. Proceeds will benefit Face to Face, the Sonoma County Aids Network.” See website for participating breweries and vendors.

Meet the Brewer: Oude Beersel
6:00 pm, Gourmet Haus Staudt, 2615 Broadway St., Redwood City. (Map)

“GHS will be transformed from a German beer garden into a Belgium beer bar. Flemish bar cuisine, lambics and meet the brewer from Oud Beersel.

June 6

Hail the Pale Ale
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Wine Affairs, 1435 The Alameda, San Jose. (Map)

Tasting. $10 per person.

June 7

Real Ale Night: Brasserie d’Achouffe
4:00 pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (Map)

June 8

Bay Area Beer Bloggers Meetup
7:00pm, Gordon Biersch Brewery, 2 Harrison Street, San Francisco. (Map)

“Come say hello to the regions beer writers and photographers. We’re always welcoming new members.”

Meet The Brewer: Peter Hoey of Sutter Butte
6:00 pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland. (Map)

June 9

Bridgeport Sipping Session w/ guest butcher Morgan Maki
5:00 pm, City Beer Store, 1168 Folsom St Suite 101, San Francisco. (Map)

“Taste selections from Bridgeport Brewing Company with selections from Bi-Rite’s butcher Morgan Maki.”

Brewery Night: Stone Brewing
6:00 pm, Petaluma Taps, 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. (Map)

Algonquin’s Free Beer Tour
7:00 pm, Diesel Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue, Oakland. (Map)

“Algonquin Books kicks off summer with a refreshingly smooth literary series that blends choice hops and literary chops with a stop in Oakland. The Free Beer Tour showcases three Algonquin authors introducing their incredibly entertaining new works which are perfect (especially for the dudes) for summer reading. Complementing the literary entertainment, there will be beer tastings featuring the esteemed Lagunitas Brewing Company of Petaluma, California. It’s an evening of pairing great books with great beer—and it sure as hell beats cutting the grass after work.

Algonquin’s Free Beer Tour Introduces:

Josh Wilker, author of the memoir Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale
“A baseball-loving loner’ deciphers his complicated childhood through his old box of trading cards . . . Wilker’s book is as nostalgically intoxicating as the gum that sweetened his card-collecting youth.[Grade:] A.” –Entertainment Weekly

Pete Nelson, author of the novel I Thought You Were Dead
“I Thought You Were Dead, a novel about the bonds between dogs and humans, is heartfelt and nostalgic in tone . . . Stella’s wisdom set the luckless Paul on a brighter life path. It’s her nobility . . .
that gives the story its power.” –USA Today

David Anthony, author of the debut novel Something for Nothing
“A clever and surprisingly heartfelt debut . . . [Anthony’s] depiction of Martin as an
antihero succeeds because his ridiculous antics are laced with a yearning to belong that’s so intense it borders on deranged innocence, rendering him the most lovable drug smuggler in ages.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review”

June 11

Women’s Brew Day
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, The Beverage People, 840 Piner Road #14, Santa Rosa. (Map)

“The Sonoma Beerocrats Homebrewing Club invites you to Women’s Brew Day. Watch live homebrewing demos by women homebrewers, talk to local homebrew experts, taste a variety of homebrewed beer and learn about supplies, techniques and ingredients.”

Monterey Beer Festival
12:30 pm – 5:00 pm, Monterey County Fairgrounds, Monterey. (Map)

“Come to the Monterey Fairgrounds for the greatest assortment of Beer ever assembled on the Central Coast. Sample varied styles of Ales, Lagers & Ciders from over eighty (80+) breweries with hundreds of beers to taste. On hand will be the best of beer from around the world, including America, Belgium, Germany, England, France, Australia, Thailand, Italy, Asia, Ireland, Russia, Mexico, Jamaica & California.”

Bay Area Brew Fest
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Festival Pavilion – Fort Mason, San Francisco. (Map)

“The 2nd Annual Bay Area Brew Festival follows last year’s sold out event and this year’s promises to be even bigger and better.
The event will feature dozens of international and domestic beers, SF’s best food trucks (food sold separately) and will take place at Fort Mason. Admission is $40 for general admission (2pm to 5pm) and $50 for VIP (1pm to 5pm) and includes unlimited beer.”

June 12

Mostly Python 3
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (Map)

“Monty Python sketches performed by the ‘Toad in the Hole Playas’. 5th street in front of the bar is closed down for the stage, seating and beer station set up outside.” Rumor has it a BrewDog Paradox firkin will be in hand but it’s not confirmed.

June 14

Real Ale Night: Rubicon
4:00 pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (Map)

June 15

Meet the Brewery: Stone Brewing
6:00 pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland. (Map)

Tap takeover.

SF Brewer’s Guild Meet the Brewers
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Gordon Biersch Brewery, 2 Harrison Street, San Francisco. (Map)

“It’s always nice to put faces to names, especially those that craft the beer you drink. Raise a pint or two with local artisan brewers and learn more about San Francisco craft beer.”

June 18

Who’s your Daddy Nor Cal Brew Tour
9:30 am – 4:30 pm

“All-inclusive Northern California brewery tour. Tour lasts seven hours and includes beer samples from three breweries, round-trip transportation, lunch, two tour guides, and a handy souvenir. Bring your Dad as an early Father’s day present. Show your dad you care and spend seven hours drinking great beer in Northern California!
$95 (includes all beer, lunch and more!) and pickup is at the Civic Center in San Francisco.
See link for more details or call 1 (800) 230-Beer.”

June 20

Samuel Adams 2011 Utopias Tasting
6:00 pm, Wine Affairs, 1435 The Alameda, San Jose. (Map)

“I’m excited to announce that Wine Affairs will be hosting a very special tasting of Samuel Adams 2011 Utopias on Monday June 20th! For those of you unfamiliar with this beer here’s what you need to know. It’s only made every other year from liquids aged in barrels over 18 years. Also, it’s one of the most exclusive and expensive beers in the world at 27% ABV.
Tickets are $30 per person (1 ticket limit per buyer) which includes samplings of fine blue cheeses with your pour. This is a RSVP only event (credit card needed in advance, tickets will be charged before event) with a select number of slots open so call soon to reserve tickets before we are sold out! We will start the pouring at 6:00PM and we recommend arriving early as we expect a good turnout.”

June 21

Real Ale Night: Sierra Nevada
4:00 pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (Map)

June 23

Post Street Micro Beer & Wine Summer Solstice Festival
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm, Postrio Restaurant, 545 Post St., San Francisco. (Map)

“You are cordially invited to a very special event for a very special cause and purpose: to raise awareness and funds to further CASA of Contra Costa County and its devotion to abused and neglected children. The event is $75 per person and will feature Local Artisans:

Drakes Brewery
Sunce Winery
Ispiri Wines
Laura Zahtila Vineyards
with Postrio’s wood fired pizzas
and jazz by the Rudy Simone quartet
Auction of Large Format bottles, Private Dinners, Wine Tours and more
provided by VinUnderground.com”

Brewery Night: Goose Island
6:00 pm, Petaluma Taps, 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. (Map)

June 28

US vs UK Showdown
4:00 pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (Map)

June 30

Almanac Beer Summer 2010 Bottle Release

San Francisco release. “Details for launch parties & events coming soon!”