Calendar of Events

The holidays are around the corner and winter warmers are piling up on the bottle store shelf. Other then Turkey Day, November brings several events of note outside the usual brewery nights and beer dinners. You can toast Belgian beer from coast to coast with Vanberg & DeWulf, go to school with Master Cicerone Rich Higgins to learn about beer from around the world, or celebrate International Stout Day. Keep in touch with our main calendar throughout the month for late breaking events at breweries, bars and stores.

All Month

The BRU/SFO Project
Magnolia Pub & Brewery, 1398 Haight Street, San Francisco. (map)
21st Amendment Brewery, 563 2nd Street, San Francisco. (map)

It’s Belgian Beer Month at Magnolia and 21st Amendment and they’ve each created six brews you can try throughout the month. If you drink all 12 then you get to keep the commemorative glass. Just ask a server at each venue for a Boarding Pass. The beers are released as the month goes on (dates listed below). Here’s what you can expect:

Saison de Lily (11/1)
Sunburst – Belgian Pale Ale (11/1)
Chocolate George Stout (11/1)
Deep Ellum Dubbel (11/7)
Paint it Black – Belgian Dark Ale (11/14)
Bear’s Choice – Haight Ashbury Wild Ale (11/21)

21st Amendment
Via – Belgian Single (11/1)
Leuven Life – Belgian Pale Ale (11/1)
In Cat Dubh – Black Saison (11/1)
Baby Horse – Belgian Quad (11/7)
Double Tripel – Belgian-American IPA (11/14)
Drunken Monk – Strong Dark Abbey Ale (11/21)

Chocolate Beer Month
Iron Springs Pub & Brewery. 765 Center Boulevard, Fairfax. (map)

Iron Springs partnered with TCHO chocolate of San Francisco to produce a Chocolate Porter (11/1 to 11/6), Chocolate Oatmeal Stout (11/7 to 11/13), Chocolate Chazz Cat Rye (11/14 to 11/20), Mocha Porter (11/21 to 11/27) & Cocoa Brown (11/28 to 12/4). Note dates of availability.

November 1, Tuesday

Day of the Dead Party
6:00pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (map)

November 2, Wednesday

Meet the Brewers: Anderson Valley
6:00pm – 10:00pm,  Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland. (map)

“Join us as we welcome craft beer pioneers Anderson Valley! Fal Allen and the gang will be in house and bringing down such deliciousness as MendoMellow Estate wethop beer, Port Barrel Stout, MowKeef saison, as well as faves as Boont amber, Poleeko and much more! Bahl Hornin’”

November 3, Thursday

International Stout Day Party
4:00 – 10:00pm, Public House, 24 Willie Mays Plaza at AT&T Park, San Francisco. (map)

“What is International Stout Day you ask? Simply put, it is a worldwide celebration of the iconic beer style, Stout. Taking place in homes, pubs, breweries and restaurants; it’s all about celebrating the craft beer revolution, relishing in this beloved beer style, sharing your photos, tasting notes and events with the world. This event is open to the public. All you have to do is show up, order a tasty stout of your choice and enjoy yourself.”

Anderson Valley Bahl Hornin’ Night
6:00pm, Petaluma Taps, 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. (map)

November 4, Friday

“Allies Win the War” Beer Release Parties

“Allies Win the War is a collaboration between 21st Amendment and Ninkasi. It’s a Strong Ale with dates and dry hopped massively with Flaconor’s Flightr Hop Blend. We will make many stops so please join us for one or all of the events.

1st Stop: 21st Amendment at 4 pm to tap the first keg with Shaun O’Sullivan.
2nd Stop: City Beer Store at 6pm.
3rd Stop: Zeitgeist at 8pm. Meet the brewers from both breweries
4th Stop: Toronado at 10pm.”

November 5, Saturday

Sierra Nevada hosts Guy Fawkes day Hopsplosion!
12:00 pm – 11:30 pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland. (map)

“Hoppy Guy Fawkes Day! Join us as sierra Nevada hosts an explosive day of hoppy goodness!”

SF Ski, Snowboard Festival & Brew Expo
11:00am to 8:00pm, Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion, 38 Fort Mason, San Francisco. (map)

Also takes place on Sunday, November 6 from 11:00am to 6:00pm.

“Regardless if you prefer a pilsner, stout or an amber ale, the Brew Expo component of the festival has you covered. Sample micro-brews from around Northern California and talk to brew masters about how different seasonals are created. $40 per person for beer tasting. See link for event times.

Participating Breweries:

21st Amendment Brewery
Anderson Valley Brewing Co.
Anheuser-Busch – Landshark, Shocktop
Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant
Bison Brew
Black Diamond Brewing Company
Black Star Beer
Blanco Basura
DBI Beverage
Deschutes Brewery
Drakes Brewing Co.
Drink Four
E & J Brandy
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Full Sail Brewing Company
Hoppy Brewing Co.
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Mad River Brewing Company
Magners Irish Cider
Mendocino Brewing Co.
Nectar Ales
Ninkasi Brewing Co.
North Coast Brewing
Pyramid Brewers
Ruth McGowan’s BrewPub
Santa Cruz Ale Works
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co
Spaten West, Inc.
Speakeasy Ale & Lagers
Sudwerk Brewey
Trumer Brauerei Berkeley
Bridgeport Brewery
Spoetzl Brewery
Uncommon Brewers”

November 6, 2011, Sunday

World Beer Traditions Series with Master Cicerone Rich Higgins: UK Class
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts, 1161 Mission St., Suite 120, San Francisco. (map)

“This class in the World Beer Traditions Series will cover beer from the United Kingdom and will include lecture, discussion, and lots of sampling of great beers. Rich will cover the basics of beer styles and flavors, how to evaluate a beer, and how technology, taxation, taste, and terroir have affected the flavors of the beers and the evolution of the beer traditions.”

$55 per person

November 9, Wednesday 

Drake’s Brewing Jolly Rodger Release Party
6:00pm, The Trappist, 460 8th Street, Oakland. (map)

“Be the first to try this years Jolly Rodger incarnation: an Imperial Dark IPA. Yo Ho.”

November 10, Thursday

Bastard Day
6:00pm, Petaluma Taps, 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. (map)

“A flight of Stone’s Bastard beers including but not limited to Arrogant, Lucky and Double.”

November 12, Saturday

6th Annual West Coast Barrel Aged Beer Festival
The Bistro, 1001 B Street, Hayward. (map)

November 13, 2011, Sunday

World Beer Traditions Series with Master Cicerone Rich Higgins: German Class
5:00 – 7:00pm, Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts, 1161 Mission St., Suite 120, San Francisco. (map)

“This class in the World Beer Traditions Series covers German beer and will include lecture, discussion, and lots of sampling of great beers. Rich will cover the basics of beer styles and flavors, how to evaluate a beer, and how technology, taxation, taste, and terroir have affected the flavors of the beers and the evolution of the beer traditions.”

$55 per person

November 15, Tuesday

Vanberg & DeWulf’s 30th Anniversary Coast to Coast Toast

“Many of you know us but for those who don’t, we are Vanberg & DeWulf…the experts in Belgian beers since 1982, and the husband and wife team who co-founded Ommegang. We are throwing what we believe will be the largest celebration of Belgian beer held on one day in the USA in this century. No kidding. Hundreds of bars, restaurants and stores – the places that have made beer culture in America so stupendous – are hosting Coast to Coast Toasts to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of our company. Thirty of our beers from independent family run breweries will be the stars of the show (Saison Dupont, Scaldis, Lambrucha, Witkap anyone?).”
San Francisco participating venues include:
Monks Kettle
City Beer Store
Slanted Door”

Monk’s Stout Release Party
6:00pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (map)

Part of the Vanberg & DeWulf Coast to Coast Toast with Brasserie Dupont.

November 16, Wednesday

SF Brewer’s Guild Meet the Brewers
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, 21st Amendment Brewery, 563 2nd 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.”

Drake’s Meet the Brewer Night
7:00pm, Rogue Public House,673 Union Street, San Francisco. (map)

“Come enjoy a great selection of Drake’s Beers and meet the brewers themselves.”

November 17, Thursday

Vertical Tasting of “Special Holiday Ale”
The Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th Street, San Francisco. (map)

“We will offer a vertical tasting of “Special Holiday Ale” a collaboration between Nogne-O and Stone Brewing and Jolly Pumpkin. *Expect a few other vintage Christmas offerings to be on draft that night as well.”

Brewery Night: Sierra Nevada
6:00pm, Petaluma Taps, 205 Kentucky St., Petaluma. (map)

November 19, Saturday

Northern California Brewery Beer Tour
9:30am, San Francisco Civic Center, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco. (map)

7 hours — 3 breweries!! Listed address is pickup location. See link for more details or call (800) 230 – BEER.

BevMo! Holiday Beer Festival

5:30pm to 9:00pm. Fort Mason Center Herbst Pavilion,38 Fort Mason, San Francisco. (map)

“Experience 200+ of the Greatest Holiday, Seasonal & Special Beers-Ciders from 100+ of the best Breweries in the World!” $40 for general admission or $60 VIP for early entrance.

November 20, Sunday

Beer & Food Pairing Series with Master Cicerone Rich Higgins: Thanksgiving
5:00 to 7:00pm, Boothby Center for the Beverage Arts,1161 Mission St., Suite 120, San Francisco. (map)

“This class in the Beer & Food Pairing Series will delve into the pairing of beer with Thanksgiving food and will include a lecture, discussion, and lots of sampling great beers and foods. Rich will cover the basics of beer and food flavors, how to evaluate a beer, and how to pair beer with food. Students will learn how great pairings of beer and food are better than the sum of their parts, and they will learn when to order which beers while eating at restaurants.”

$65 per person

November 22, Tuesday

Brewery Night: Bear Republic
6:00pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (map)

November 29, Tuesday

Brewery Night: Sierra Nevada
6:00pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa. (map)

Freaks, Monsters & Sour Beer this Halloween Weekend

Have you spent months creating a costume, but still need a place to go this Halloween weekend? Here’s a selection of parties at Bay Area breweries and bars that include freaks, costume contests and most importantly, craft beer.

Friday, October 28

MONSTERS OF ROCK Halloween Festival
4:00pm – 9:00pm, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers,1195 Evans, San Francisco. (map)

Costume contest, food from the Fogcutter food truck, $3 beers and live music from Midnight Chaser, Hell Ship and Fear the Fiasco. Free entry.

Beer Friday Costume Contest & Kid’s Parade
6pm, Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company,111 Industrial Road #7, Belmont. (map)

Beer Friday is a Devil’s Canyon monthly event, but for Halloween they turn it up a notch. The Kid’s Parade starts at 7:15pm and includes candy stations. Costume judging for adults begins at 9:15pm. $10 entry includes a souvenir pint glass and one beer. Additional drinks are $6. Expect live music and they’re serving up the last bit of Weizenbock.

Sour Beer Tasting
6:30pm – 8:30pm, Jug Shop Wine & Spirits, 1590 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco. (map)

They may not be scary creepy crawlers, but brettanomyces yeast will be on full display at the Jug Shop. $35 gets you 20 different samples of  beer from Jolly Pumpkin, Hanssen, Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes, Russian River, Panil, Ommegang, Birra del Borgo, Strubbe and Cantillon just to name a few. This event is limited to 40 people so act fast.

Movie Night: The Shining
9:00pm, Park Chalet, 1000 Great Hwy. San Francisco. (map)

No cover, late night happy hour prices and free popcorn.

Saturday, October 29

Iron Springs 7th Anniversary Party & Halloween Costume Contest
12:00pm – 11:00pm, Iron Springs Pub & Brewery, 765 Center Blvd, Fairfax. (map)

Help Iron Springs celebrate all day with prize giveaways, free raffles and costume contest prizes. Music all day and night, which includes a rare Moonalice acoustic performance.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Halloween Party
7:00pm – 10:00pm, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, 390 Capistrano Rd., Half Moon Bay. (map)

The 11th annual Halloween Party with rock music from the Megatones. All ages are welcome to enter the costume contest. Prizes will be awarded by the following categories: Most Scary, Most Original and Best Group Costume. Free Entry.

Sunday, October 30

2nd Annual Freaktoberfest Boutique Beer & Music Festival
12:00pm – 5:00pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland. (map)

60 beers from 25 different breweries will accompany live music from Sex with No Hands, Pit Bull Rodeo, Deep Cover and burlesque acts. Street food will be served up by Guerilla Grub and beer will be poured using a ticketing system. No entry fee.

Monday, October 31 (Halloween)

17th Annual Halloween Costume Contest
8:00pm, Moylan’s Brewery & Restaurant , 15 Rowland Way, Novato. (map)

Walnut Creek Welcomes the ØL Beercafe & Bottle Shop

Photos © Brian Stechschulte

“Walnut Creek has been screaming for a place like this.” – Anonymous ØL Beercafe Patron

Chuck Stilphen must have heard that sentiment echoing through the East Bay hills when he set out to open the ØL Beercafe & Bottle Shop in Walnut Creek. As co-owner of the successful Trappist bar in Oakland, he already has a pulse on craft beer’s surging popularity. His five-week-old venue fills a void in a thirsty and growing community.

According to Stilphen “the Walnut Creek area seemed to be lacking in any quality beer places. Created with the spirit of The Trappist, we developed a plan to create a hybrid bottle shop and beer cafe, roughly using the business model of a few places in Portland and City Beer Store in San Francisco, but taken up a notch in design and comfort.

ØL Beercafe is located on a quiet downtown street just a half mile from the Walnut Creek BART station. In case you’re wondering, ØL is Danish for beer and there’s plenty to choose from. Eighteen taps sit behind the bar located in the back of the establishment. Nearby, a six door cooler and small room enclosed by windows offers over 100 bottles to choose from that are priced to go, or you can pay a corkage fee ranging between $1 to $5 to drink them on-site.

Stilphen plans on extending the beer options to over 300 and explained that “whenever possible we try to duplicate our bottle selection to match the draft choices, so if you taste something you like you can bring some bottles home as well.“

At first glance the selection appears primarily Belgian oriented, but a healthy dose of craft beer styles from around the country are also available. Don’t worry hopheads, you’ll feel right at home with Sculpin and Pliny at your fingertips. You’ll also be happy to know they serve each beer in appropriate glassware and the staff is knowledgeable, polite and helpful with suggestions. They won’t hesitate to offer you a sample if you’re torn between two options.

Other then six bar stools, seating is primarily located just inside the entrance where brewery photos line the walls of the lofty yet cozy interior.  Every design element was thoughtfully considered from the vintage lighting to the rustic wooden tables, chairs, bar and doors that give the space an old European feel. Capacity is set at 50, which has been maxed out so far on Friday and Saturday evenings.

If you get hungry while your there a small snack menu is available, which includes a rotating selection of artisan cheeses, Fatted Calf sausage, jerky, olives and almonds. Need something a little more substantial? No worries, you’re allowed to bring in food from the outside. Stilphen is also negotiating with nearby Skipolini’s Pizza to make their pies easily available to customers.

ØL Beercafe is currently open from noon to 11pm daily and expect them to host a steady stream of special events. On Saturday, October 29th, it’s Meet the Brewer night with Ale Industries, who will be featuring their new Pumpkin Ale, East Bay IPA and a rare barrel aged beer.

Craft Beer Finds a Home at Ford Point in Richmond

Craft beer is finding a foothold in just about every corner of the Bay Area, even in cities that are normally considered a beer desert. A case in point is the city of Richmond, where the Boilerhouse restaurant is now featuring Rosie’s Shipyard Ale.

The Boilerhouse is part of Ford Point, a former Model A assembly plant built in 1931 on the edge of San Francisco Bay, which is part of the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Homefront National Historic Park. Thousands of women worked at the facility to support their families and the war effort. Now, where jeeps and tanks once rolled down the line, several businesses operate alongside an entertainment complex called the Craneway Pavilion.

Rosie’s Shipyard Ale was named after this historical pedigree and Richmond’s other major wartime contribution, the nearby Kaiser Shipyard, where Liberty Ships were once built and christened at a rate of one every two weeks.

This “house craft beer” was brewed for the Boilerhouse by Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro. It’s on the lighter end of the Pale Ale spectrum with a malt bill composed of American 2-Row, Caramalt and Crystal 45L. Magnum hops were employed for bittering, while Styrian Golgings and Cascade hops round out the aromatic character of the beer.

While the Boilerhouse may be too far off the beaten track for some folks, if you’re riding the Bay Trail or happen to be in the neighborhood, it’s worth stopping in to try the beer and take in the historic setting. The restaurant is situated amongst the plant’s old powerhouse equipment and offers modern American cuisine. If that’s not enough, the panoramic views of San Francisco and the surrounding topography are stunning.

Craneway Pavilion / Photo © Brian Stechschulte