Meet the Beer Revolution Curling Team

Photos © Brian Stechschulte

On a recent Friday night, as Beer Revolution was just starting to defuse the work week tension, a handful of patrons were preparing to face-off in a epic match. They talked a little trash, emptied a few pints, and then traveled to downtown Oakland where they spent two hours on a sheet of ice sliding rocks and swinging brooms to score points. Team Beer Revolution squared off against Team Mosswood. The winner would be crowned champion of the San Francisco Bay Area Curling Club’s (SFBACC) Friday night league.

After work league sports are an American tradition. They divert our attention from crappy jobs, help us revisit our glorious youth, and might be considered exercise. If you don’t make a post game visit to the bar sponsoring your team.

Bar sponsorship of softball league teams is fairly ubiquitous. For curling it’s comparatively obscure. Americans are slowly gravitating to the game thanks to the Winter Olympics and outreach by curling clubs, but it’s pretty low on the sporting food chain. The SFBACC has been around since 1958 and regularly hosts learn to curl nights.

Curling’s first historical reference dates back to Scotland in 1541, when the game was played on frozen ponds. Game play is fairly straightforward. Four players constitute a team, who take turns sliding eight granite stones down a sheet of ice toward a circular target. Accumulating the most stones near the center of the target scores points.

Curling stones

Sounds simple right? Well, there’s a lot of strategy and technique. Stones can be placed as guards in front of the target to prevent opponents from scoring. They can be delivered with a slight rotation, or “curl,” so they curve around guards, and players use brooms to reduce ice friction so the shot travels further then it normally would.

Curling brooms

The complexity of the game is what attracted John Heylin, who learned to play during the SFBACC’s Friday night practice sessions. After he honed his skills for a few weeks, fellow-curling newbs Melissa Buck and Amy Cohen approached him about forming a team. Heylin agreed and they rounded out the group with Sean Owens, who also started playing at the same time.

From left to right: Sean Owens, Amy Cohen, John Heylin & Melissa Buck

Once the group was formed, the next task was a team name and sponsorship. The Trappist bar in Oakland already sponsored one team, so Heylin, an avid craft beer fan and fellow contributor to this website, thought another bar or brewery might be interested. That’s when nearby Beer Revolution came to mind.

Heylin was a regular customer and decided to approach Beer Revolution co-owner Rebecca Boyles. He said, “She loved the idea of sponsoring a curling team and I don’t think it’s because she’s Canadian, but because it’s such a weird sport for the Bay Area and it seemed like a silly thing to do.”

Boyles allowed the team to modify the Beer Revolution logo, which includes a hand holding a curling stone instead of a beer. It appears on the team’s monogrammed black hooded sweatshirts. She also threw them a fundraiser at the bar to help pay league fees. Each team pays around a $1000 per 10 game season.

The team has now played together for several seasons at the Oakland Ice Center, in the city’s downtown corridor. Two weeks ago they were in the championship match. After a typical warm up session at Beer Revolution, they proceeded to dominate Team Mosswood. The final score was 7 to 1.

You might think such a lopsided score would yield animosity, but the Friday night league is pretty loose and lighthearted. Any disappointment is diluted by two of the most important league rules enforced after a match. The first rule is the winners buy the losers their first beer, and the second rule requires the losers to buy the next round.

If you would like to learn more about curling or participate in one the SFBACC’s learn to curl sessions (there’s one scheduled this coming weekend), head over to their website or contact John Heylin at jheylin (at) gmail.com

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)

Craft Brewers Conference Public Events

Are you feeling left out during this weeks Craft Brewer’s Conference? No worries, although the conference is only for industry professionals there are special public events happening every night this week around the Bay. If your looking to rub elbows with the pros or get your hands on great beer here’s a list of things to do:

Tuesday, March 22

Brewery Night: Deschutes Brewing
5:00pm, Hop Yard, 3015 Hopyard Rd., Pleasanton, CA.

Deschutes Brewing will have an arsenal of brew on hand along with Woody their barrel shaped beer dispenser on wheels.

Saison & Cheese Pairing
6:00pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd St., Oakland, CA.

Features the finest selection of Belgian & Belgian Inspired Saison & some very fancy stinky cheeses!

Deschutes Beer Pairing Dinner
6:00-9:00pm,  Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th Street, San Francisco, CA.

“Deschutes Brewery Chef Matt Neltner and Monk’s Kettle Chef Adam Dulye collaborate to deliver a menu made for beer. The special menu, from which anyone visiting the restaurant can order, takes the expertise of these two chefs to create food and beer pairings that will kick off the week just right. On tap will be a large variety of Deschutes beers including: The Abyss 2010, The Abyss, 2009, Black Butte XXI, Hop Henge Experimental IPA, Red Chair NWPA, Mirror Mirror, Jubel 2010, Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Green Lakes Organic Ale. Visitors will also have a chance to discuss the beers and brewing processes with Deschutes Brewery brewer Robin Johnson.”

Wednesday, March 23

Drake’s Brewing Barrel Aged Beer Tasting
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, Porky’s Pizza Palace, 1221 Manor Blvd, San Leandro, CA

“Join us at “The Palace” for an Exclusive Tasting of 8 different beers from San Leandro’s local brewery Drake’s Brewing Co., celebrating the Craft Brewers Conference Week in SF.
Some Limited, Barrel Aged & some of our favorite Drake offerings from
the past & present with a twist added!
1.2009 Jolly Roger-Imperial Brown Ale
2.Bourbon Barrel Aged 2009 Jolly Roger
3.Bourbon Barrel Aged Drakonic Imperial Stout
4.Exclusive CBC I.P.A.1/2 Brewed for CBC attendees and in limited
release-we have just 1 keg! Not quite a double IPA with a just right
balance of malt and hops!
5.1500 Dry Hopped Pale Ale(Nitro-Dispensed)adds a creamy body to one
of our favorite beers from Drake’s!(think hoppy Boddingtons)
6.Hop Salad-8% Agressively Hopped Limited Double IPA, a limited
release from mid-January, saved for this event, Cheers!
7.Hopocalypse Imperial IPA – Bronze Medal Winner at this years “The
Bistro” Double IPA Fest, 3rd out of a field of 56 other professional
judged Double IPA’s!
8.Alpha Sessions-American Session Ale-Lighter session ale with a big
hop character just 3.8% & 75IBU’s.
Serving Great Pizza, Chicken & Beer since 1963.”

Deschutes & Old Woody
6:00pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd St., Oakland, CA.

20 different beers from Deschutes Brewing will be on tap along with their beer barrel on wheels called Woody.

Deschutes Brewing Black Butte XXII CA Debut
8-11pm, The Republic, 3213 Scott Street, San Francisco, CA.

“This imperial bourbon-aged version of our popular Black Butte Porter, brewed in 2010 with chilies, dark chocolate and orange peel, is well worth a taste during its California debut. You may be familiar with Black Butte XX and XXI which were released to celebrate the Brewery’s past anniversaries, but because XXII was not available outside of our brew pubs, most have not had the pleasure of tasting this spectacular beer.”

Thursday, March 24

Northeast Night
Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th St., San Francisco, CA.

“Two breweries not usually found in the Bay Area, Pretty Things Ales and Cambridge Brewing Company. Pretty Things, from the East Coast, will soon be available in this area; we will be pouring the first keg of their saison Jack d’Or to be found on this coast. We will also be pouring two drafts from Cambridge Brewing, Project Venus and Blunderbuss. Dann and Martha, owners of Pretty Things, and Will Myers, brewmaster of Cambridge, will be on hand for the evening.”

Craft Brewers Council Sierra Nevada, Russian River Collaboration Event
4:00pm, Public House, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA.

Come down to Public House for your chance to try Sierra Nevada and Russian River Brewing’s 2011 Collaboration Beer.

Brewery Night: Deschutes Brewing
4:00-8:00pm, The Englander, 101 Parrott St., San Leandro, CA.

Deschutes Brewing continues its invasion of the Bay Area this time in San Leandro. Deschutes beers will take over the taps along with Woody, their mobile beer dispensing wooden keg on wheels.

TCHO Chocolate & Brewers Supply Group Tasting
6:00-9:00pm, TCHO Factory, Pier 17, San Francisco, CA.

$25 entrance fee CASH ONLY includes tasting of brews and chocolate. Tickets may only be purchased at the door the night of the event. A portion of the event proceeds will be donated to the ALS Associaton. This event will be held at the TCHO factory on Pier 17. 6-9pm. 21 years and older ONLY.

Brewer’s Dinner
7:00-10:00pm, Pyramid Brewery, 901 Gilman St, Berkeley, CA.

Come enjoy an evening with the Pyramid Brewers & Chef! We’ll be serving up a savory 4-course meal paired with our deliciously crafted summer seasonal Curve Ball. Here are the details: Cost is $45 (all inclusive) and tickets must be purchased IN ADVANCE by calling (510) 527-9090 x223 -Limited to 20 seats
Menu:
PIGS IN A BLANKET
Pork Tenderloin wrapped in filo dough on baby mustard greens and Dijon apple sauce
HONEY FIG & GOAT CHEESE SALAD
Fig vinaigrette drizzled on frisee salad greens with honey candied figs and hand rolled almond covered goat cheese
ALMOND CRUSTED MAHI-MAHI
Crisp and buttery almonds coat Hawaii’s native mahi-mahi Served with julienne tropical relish of pineapple, mango, and apple
BOMBSHELL PARFAIT
Sugar covered green apples crown a creamy blend of caramelized blond apple parfait with sweet vanilla crème and crunchy granola

Deschutes Beer Tasting
8:00pm, Toronado, 547 Haight, San Francisco, CA 94122-2767

Join four Deschutes brewers for some beer and sausage. Rosamunde will be grilling up some of their best to wash down with a bit of any of the following beers: The Abyss, The Dissident, Mirror Mirror, Nitro The Abyss, Hop Henge Experimental IPA, Red Chair NWPA, Green Lakes Organic Ale and Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

Upright Brewing at The Trappist
8:00pm, The Trappist, 460 8th Street, Oakland, CA.

Upright Brewing brewers and representatives Ezra Johnson-Greenough and Ben Edmunds are in town for the Craft Brewers Conference and will be making a stop at the great beer bar The Trappist to pour some of their special brand of Farmhouse ales with a Pacific NW twist and will be bringing along some rare barrel-aged bottled treats.

Black Star’s Craft Brewers After Party
9:00pm, Boom Boom Room, 1601 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA.

“You’re invited to attend Black Star’s Craft Brewers After Party on Thursday, March 24th at The Boom Boom Room in San Francisco! Join us from 9pm until the bands stop at 2:15am! Meet Marcus Duffey from the Great Northern Brewing Company and Minott Wessinger, founder ofBlack Star while you enjoy live music, dancing and of course, some cold Black Star beers. If you are attending the Craft Brewers Conference or are a member of the beer/bar industry, present badge/industry ID for complementary VIP admission.

Friday, March 25

Dogfish Head Happy Hour
Urban Tavern, 333 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA.

Dogfish Head is hosting a tasting in Urban Tavern and will be pouring Aprihop, Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron and 90 Minute IPA. Come join the Dogfish crew! Note: Urban Tavern is located inside the Hilton Hotel and specific event hours have not been listed. It will take place sometime Friday afternoon.

East Bay & North Bay Total Takeover!
4:00pm,  Beer Revolution, 464 3rd St., Oakland, CA.

Breweries from the East & North Bay will takeover the taps at Beer Revolution.

Firkin Friday
4:00-9:00pm, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, 1195 Evans, San Francisco, CA.

In celebration of the Craft Brewer’s Conference (CBC) landing in San Francisco, we have pulled out all the stops for this week’s party – including some new beers, live bands and delicious food. All pints are only $3.

Live music will kick off at 6:00.  Starting with the guitar jammin’ duo Andrew Blair and Ross Warner. The night will be closed out with a grass land stomp set from the The Easy Leaves. San Francisco’s Good Foods BBQ will serve delicious barbecue.  We’ll round that off with tasty Mexican food from local favorite La Laguna Taqueria.

In addition to featuring our regular line of beers, Friday will be the public debut of our new beer brewed special for the CBC called Snatch Racket India Pale Lager. Snatch Racket – named for the surge of kidnappings and ransoms in 1920’s during prohibition – is a unique blend of styles, a 6.5% full bodied lager dry-hopped like an IPA with all German hops. We’ll also be pulling a few rare aged beers from the cellar just for the night.

A Brewers Gathering
6:00pm, The Trappist, 460 8th Street, Oakland, CA.

“In attendance will be Jean Van Roy from Cantillon, Yvan de Baets from De La Senne, Jens from Haand Bryggeriet, Kjetil from Nogne-O, and Stephane, JP, and Luc from Dieu du Ciel! Your chance to meet some of the top brewers, innovators from five of the best breweries in the world! We will have several selections from each brewer on tap.”

Deschutes Beer Tasting
6:00pm, City Beer Store, 1168 Folsom St Suite 101, San Francisco, CA.

Deschutes will be serving appetizers and bringing down some favorites and specials such as The Abyss, Jubel 2010, Mirror Mirror, Hop Henge Experimental IPA and Red Chair NWPA. Meet brewmaster, Larry Sidor, along with three other Deschutes brewers as they discuss this wide variety of beers.

Marrón Acidifié Kick-Off
7:00pm, Rosamunde Sausage Grill – Mission, 2832 Mission, San Francisco, CA.

The Bruery and Cigar City Brewing are psyched to release the fruit of their collaborative efforts during the Craft Brewer’s Conference. Join the brewers at Rosamunde Sausage Grill’s Mission location for the first public tapping of Marrón Acidifié. Over a year in barrels has left this 8.5% ABV “imperial oud bruin” layered with notes of cranberries, tropical fruits, leather and aged balsamic vinegar, balanced by wood tannins and roasted malt.

Saturday, March 26

Brewing up Cocktails with Ninkasi
5:00-9:00pm, 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA.

Ninkasi owner/brewer and figurehead Jamie Floyd will be on hand, while Brewing up Cocktails mixologists Ezra Johnson-Greenough, Jacob Grier, and Yetta Vorobik will be behind the bar making a variety of beer cocktails. There will be one for each of Ninkasi’s year-round beers, including Wired Magazine’s Most Wired Beer Believer Double Red, Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Oatis Oatmeal Stout, and seasonal release Spring Reign.

Calendar of Events

February was a blur. SF Beer Week has come and gone leaving many people depressed and yearning for more. Don’t worry, great stuff happens year round. The March calendar is just starting to take shape. More events are rolling in and will be included on the CALENDER portion of the BACB website. Check there for the latest and greatest events throughout the month.

March 1

Real Ale Night: Telegraph Brewing
7:00pm, Toad in the Hole, 116 5th St., Santa Rosa, CA. (map)

Telegraph Brewing will be pouring their California Ale and Brown Ale on draft, a hoppy Amber in a firkin and Rhinoceros Rye Wine from 22 oz bottles.

March 2

Pizza & Beer Night: Telegraph Brewing
Call for time, Vinyl Wine Bar, 359 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA. (map)

Brewery Night: Ballast Point
6:00pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland, CA. (map)

March 4

Drake’s First Friday
4:00pm, Drake’s Brewing, 1933 Davis Street, San Leandro, CA. (map)

Drake’s First Friday Events are fundraisers for local schools & non-profits, and are held at Drake’s the first Friday of every month. This Friday will benefit San Leandro’s James Madison Elementary School. $5 per person voluntary donation and $15 for a Drake’s tasting glass with 3 drink tokens.

March 19

16th Annual Fairfax Brewfest
12-6pm, Fairfax Pavilion, Fairfax, CA. (map)

17 of the finest breweries in the Bay Area together for one of the first, funnest, festive beer festivals of the season. Tickets: $25 advance, $30 day of event.

March 22

Deschutes Beer Pairing
6:00-9:00pm, Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th Street, San Francisco, CA. (map)

Deschutes Brewery Chef Matt Neltner and Monk’s Kettle Chef Adam Dulye collaborate to deliver a menu made for beer. The special menu will be available to anyone visiting the restaurant. On tap will be a large variety of Deschutes beers including: The Abyss 2010, The Abyss, 2009, Black Butte XXI, Hop Henge Experimental IPA, Red Chair NWPA, Mirror Mirror, Jubel 2010, Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Green Lakes Organic Ale. Visitors will also have a chance to discuss the beers and brewing processes with Deschutes Brewery brewer Robin Johnson.

March 23

Brewery Night: Deschutes Brewing
6:00pm, Beer Revolution, 464 3rd Street, Oakland, CA. (map)

March 23-26

Craft Brewer’s Conference
Hilton Union Square, 333 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA. (map)

For professional brewers, CBC is the number one environment in North America for concentrated, affordable brewing education and idea sharing to improve brewery quality and performance. The conference is also a great social event with over 2,600 brewing industry professionals enjoying craft brews together.

March 25

15th Annual Battle of the Brews
5:00-9:30pm, Grace Pavilion, Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa, CA. (map)

30 breweries and 20 different food vendors setup shop for this beer tasting for charity. Proceeds benefit the Youth Benevolent Fund. $40.


Beer Revolution Celebrates 1st Anniversary

On the eve of Super Bowl Sunday Beer Revolution in Oakland celebrated its first anniversary. Owners Rebecca and Fraggle opened the bottle shop and taproom in the midst of a sluggish economy, but a steady schedule of special events and the great selection have solidified the stores reputation. The venue has become a destination for the entire craft beer community.

The festivities got off to a slow start when the doors remained closed a half hour past opening. Early arrivals twitched and paced with anticipation pondering the delay. Little did they know, Rebecca and Fraggle were still putting the final touches on the expanded tap list and spanking new chalkboards containing forty-two draft beers. Once the doors opened they bounced between customers until reinforcements arrived at 4:00pm, which allowed them to relax and toast their success.

The new chalkboards contain a ton of draft options.

A glass of Chairman’s Little Red from Iron Springs Brewery served from a firkin.

A magnum of St. Feullien Triple being poured for the toast.

Rebecca & Fraggle (center) toast success.