Name Change & New Beer from Triple Voodoo

Triple Voodoo BrewingSix months into the launch of Cherry Voodoo Brewing the business partners have decided to drop “Cherry” from the name and have replaced it with “Triple.” According to representative Pete Brey, the name Triple Voodoo Brewing is more aligned with “the vision of our founding partners and our three unwavering principles: a passion for creating the extraordinary, a desire to share those creations with the world, and an ultimate goal to help make the world a better a better place for everyone.“

Along with the name change you can expect to see two new beer styles on tap around the Bay Area in limited quantities. Earlier this month at Rogue Public House in San Francisco they debuted a red IPA called Triple Voodoo Vermillion and Triple Voodoo Whit Dream, a Belgian Whitbier brewed with orange peel and coriander.

The Mission Craft Beer & Food Guide

Clarion Alley / Photographs by Brian Stechschulte

San Francisco’s Mission District is easily one of the best neighborhoods in the Bay Area to find great craft beer and food. A diverse range of bars, cafes and restaurants reside within a walkable mile, appealing to all personalities and palates. Some locales offer overflowing beer menus with sophisticated food, or you can grab a simple slice of pizza with a pint. There are plenty of options and this eclectic guide is designed to help the uninitiated or be the playbook for your next big bar crawl.

It features seven of the most unique venues this cultural nexus has to offer. Locations were chosen for their focus on craft beer and food pairing options, atmosphere and proximity to one another. You could hit them all on a single day or visit just a handful of stops while browsing book stores and vintage furniture shops along the way.

We suggest exploring the neighborhood on foot via the 16th or 24th Street BART stations and most importantly, be adventurous.

 

Bender’s Bar & Grill

806 South Van Ness Avenue (map), Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10:30pm, (415) 824-1800

Sometimes an evening calls for a classic grungy bar with a good tap list and head thrashing live music. You can find this at Bender’s Bar & Grill along with a biker friendly crowd and a few other quirks, like the “adult” gumball machine serving surprises best used in the privacy of their photo booth. Bottom line, this place is filled with personality, a couple pool tables, a nice range of beer, and if you’re hungry, wrap your hands around the Bender’s burger with bacon and whiskey folded into the patty. Oh, and you can store your bike right inside the bar.

 

Mission Cheese

Mission Cheese San Francisco

736 Valencia Street (map), 11am-8pm daily, (415) 553-8667

Sorry wine lovers, beer is far superior pairing with cheese. Don’t believe me? Then go to Mission Cheese and nibble on some Bohemian Blue while sipping Brother Thelonious from North Coast Brewing. Yes, they only offer six beers to choose from, but the varied selection will allow you to explore a range of flavor harmonies. You can pair your beer with a flight of cheese, have it served on a sandwich, or try their decadent mac and cheese. Want to create your own pairings at home? No problem, all the cheese is available for retail sales.

 

Monk’s Kettle

Monks Kettle Braised Beef Cheeks

3141 16th Street (map), 12pm-2am daily, (415) 865-9523

It’s safe to say that Monk’s Kettle is at the top of the heap when it comes to beer selection and delicious food. Twenty-five taps round out the draught selection and you can choose from a new and vintage bottle menu that’s several pages long. Once you’ve chosen a beer consider pairing it with a Bone Marrow Canoe, Braised Beef Cheeks or the Pan Roasted Halibut. If you feel a little bit lost, don’t hesitate to ask the well educated staff or in-house cicerone for advice. This place is very popular, so plan on waiting for a dinner table and your wallet will be much lighter when you leave, but it’s totally worth it.

 

Pi Bar

Pi Bar San Francisco

1432 Valencia St (map), 3:14pm-12am daily, (415) 970-9670

At 3:14pm every day the doors open at this family friendly pizza joint offering twelve beers on tap and an extensive list of mostly Belgian bottles. Pizza is available by the slice with any number of toppings or you can order a large pie to enjoy with friends. Forgo the traditional red sauce on your pizza and order the White Pi covered with Mozzarella, Ricotta and Reggiano Parmesan cheese.

 

Rosamunde Sausage Grill

Rosamunde Sausage Grill

2832 Mission Street (map), 11:30am-10pm daily, (415) 970-9015

Beer and sausage is a classic pairing and Rosamunde serves traditional and exotic options with over twenty-five different draught beers. Long wooden tables and benches occupy the indoor and patio spaces where you can sit in large groups and enjoy a game on the big screen. Consider trying the Merguez (spicy lamb & beef), the Mission Street (beef wrapped in bacon) or Chicken Habanero sausage.

 

Shotwell’s

Shotwell's Bar San Francisco

3349 20th Street (map), Mon-Sat 4:30pm-2pm; Sun 4pm-1pm, (415) 648-4104

History oozes out of the dark paneling, chandeliers and antique bar that makes Shotwell’s so inviting. A watering hole has existed at this location in various forms for over one hundred years. The current owners wrestled it back to life in 2006 and offer a menu that’s focused on local and Belgian beer. The atmosphere more then makes up for the lack of food (yes, we broke the guide criteria), but if you do get hungry, ask the bartender for the menu from Schmidt’s. The German restaurant around the corner is happy to deliver their fare.

 

The Sycamore

The-Sycamore-Back-Porch

2140 Mission Street (map), 12pm-12am daily, (415) 252-7704

If you’re looking for a solid craft beer selection and simple comfort food, then consider heading to The Sycamore. This rustic and cozy spot serves up sandwiches and sliders alongside seven taps and a small but diverse bottle list. On Saturday and Sunday the place is hopping during brunch and if it’s sunny and warm, grab a beer and head to the graffitied oasis in the backyard. When it comes to food, order the secret menu burger stuffed between two slabs of grilled cheese. It’s so dangerous it doesn’t have a name. Big groups are encouraged to linger, chat and play one of the available board games, so don’t feel rushed.

The History of Lagunitas Brewing Company

 

Lagunitas Brewing LogoEver wonder who designs the Lagunitas beer labels and writes the wacky stories on the side of the bottles? That answer, along with other details about the company, are featured in an excellent video and story produced by the North Bay Business Journal. They awarded a 2011 Manufacturing Award to the brewery and recently sat down with the personality behind the brand, owner Tony Magee.

Magee discusses the brewery’s early history, brewing philosophy and provides some hard numbers behind the company’s skyrocketing growth and current expansion plans. Check it out.

Pacific Brewing Laboratory Poised to Sell Beer

 

Occasionally big news arrives in small packages. In this case, three words and a single photo via Twitter, courtesy of Pacific Brewing Laboratory co-founder Patrick Horn. The tweet was simple and to the point, “Here we go!,” with an image of Horn standing alongside a notice of application to sell alcoholic beverages.

With little explanation the message left some avid followers with more questions then answers, but it’s clear they’re moving forward with business plans.

Pacific Brewing Laboratory Patrick Horn

Patrick Horn. Photo provided by Pacific Brewing Laboratory.

As it turns out, Horn and brewing partner Bryan Hermannsson have begun the stressful licensing process and signed a contract brewing agreement with Devil’s Canyon Brewery in Belmont, which is where the photo was taken. This method will allow Horn and Hermannsson to establish their brand in the marketplace without having to build their own brewery from the ground up at tremendous cost. “If everything goes well, we hope to be selling kegs in October,” according to Horn.

Since March of 2010 they’ve been hosting bi-weekly brewing parties in their SOMA garage that have become increasingly popular. Guests come for free beer and get up close and personal with the brewing process. In recent months the crowds have swelled making it hard to keep the beer flowing. It’s a good problem and a source of confidence they’ll need for this big leap.

So what beer can we expect if everything goes as planned? At the moment they’ve decided to brew their popular Hibiscus Saison and Squid Ink Black IPA.

Pyramid Breweries Announce Major Change in Branding & Packaging

Photo: Brian Stechschulte

In a surprising display of humility Pyramid Breweries said they “Hefe’d Up” at a press conference yesterday at the Berkeley brewery. The playful innuendo refers to the company’s decision to drop the word “Haywire” from their flagship Hefeweizen brand. The term was tacked onto the repackaged beer in 2009, one year after being acquired by Magic Hat Brewing, to distinguish it from competition and draw a new audience.

Reverting back to the straightforward Hefeweizen moniker was a decision due in large part to negative customer feedback and a slump in sales. According to brand manager Ryan Daley, the company is “returning to its roots. Moving away from the tradition that made us great was a mistake.” Sale of the beer, especially in the Southern California has been soft. “Our consumers connected with our Pacific Northwest heritage and tradition and after the changes viewed us differently”

Pyramid has spent the last two months engaging beer drinkers in major markets and received both good and bad feedback about their entire beer lineup. A full redesign of all their packaging is in the works and should appear in stores later this year. Unfortunately, no examples were presented.

As for the beer itself, don’t expect a big shakeup in Pyramid’s selection just yet. They’ll be concentrating on core products with the same recipes, but head brewer Simon Pesch did allude to some future experiments. New seasonal releases are being considered, they plan on expanding draft only selections and may even produce a Hefeweizen variety pack.

In the end Daley said, “Our consumers are at the heart of everything we do and we intend on listening moving forward.”