AboutVictoria Pratt – PorchDrinking.com
Brian Sheehy and Doug Dalton own three Cask Store locations: the flagship downtown on 3rd and Market, and another spot in the old Rincon Postal Building near the Embarcadero, and Cask on College in Rockridge. Sheehy and Dalton own a handful of other great bars in the Bay Area, including Bourbon and Branch, Pagan Idol and Local Edition. They have been influential to the cocktail scene in this area for the past decade and many great bartenders who have gone on to open their own establishments came up through the ranks of this company. Cask Taproom and Wine Bar is the name of the new drinking establishment within the Cask on College Shop. I spoke with taproom manager and beer buyer Josha Baker about the history of Cask, herself, and the Grand Opening on March 23, 2018.
San Francisco Beer Week kicks off its 10th Anniversary on February 9, 2018. Like last year, this beer week runs a full 10 days, packed with events all across the Bay Area, ending on February 18, 2018. Get your livers and drinking boots ready. Make sure to check back for the PorchDrinking list of Can’t Miss Events for each day! Below you will find the 10 beers we’re most excited for, along with the full pour list (subject to change).
The holidays are upon us and that means it is time to bring out the spiced beers, porters and stouts! It also means it’s gifting season. If you’e stumped and looking to find the perfect gift for that craft beer lover on you list, than look no further than our Beer-Themed Holiday Gift Guide! In this special guide you will find something for everyone, including the dog. If you’ve already finished your holiday shopping, good on you. But maybe that means it is time to treat yo self to some sweet holiday beer gifts!
You’ve probably heard of an extravaganza, but have you ever experienced an Extrava-CAN-za? Sacramento’s Track 7 Brewing releases limited run cans twice a month. These beers rotate and can only be purchased on-site at the brewery. Your first introduction to Track 7 Brewing may have been their bottles, but now they’re killing it with a whole slew of new recipes debuting in cans.
Can’t always make it up to Sacramento? Well our friends at The Good Hop have trekked up to Track 7 Brewing for you and picked up a carload of the special release cans to be sold in Oakland at The Good Hop store as part of today’s Extrava-CAN-za release. Ain’t that some Bay Area love?!
*Cover Photo courtesy of San Francisco Brewers Guild (Gama Nine Photography)
The final days of San Francisco Beer Week take us to the weekend. It’s hard to believe 895 events were packed into 10 days. The final three days presently have 108, 98, and 53 events happening, respectively, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Still plenty of beer to be imbibed these last few days. Here are the events that we are looking forward to.
Cover photo courtesy of San Francisco Brewers Guild (Gama Nine Photography)
Friday, February 10 is the only day where it is an easy decision on which San Francisco Beer Week (SFBW) event to go to, as there is only one event. The Opening Gala is an event not to be missed with over 135 breweries pouring incredible first time beers like G & T Gose and rare beers including Pliny the Younger. Day Two, Three, and Four of San Francisco Beer Week aren’t as easy with 129, 90, 75 events happening respectively. Here are the events that we are looking forward to for Saturday, Sunday and Monday of SFBW.
San Francisco Beer Week kicks off their 9th year starting Friday, February 10 and running through Sunday, February 19. The festivities are packed with over 800 events and span the entire Bay Area from Half Moon Bay in the south to Santa Rosa in the north. We will highlight our top picks for each day. The first event is the Opening Gala at Pier 48 in San Francisco from 5 – 10 PM for VIP ticket holders and 6 – 10 PM for General Admission. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by clicking here. Be sure to check back for our list of featured events!
Cover photo by Simon Offord
ABV: 7.6% | IBU: 35
Dankota Fanning, Barbarian Steissand and Wicked Juicy are a few of the names of beers made by one of the best breweries in the Bay Area: Cellarmaker Brewing Company. Conveniently located in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood of San Francisco, anytime you find yourself nearby is a great time to enjoy some of the finest brews around. Their motto is “Beer Without Limits” and they live by the creed that they are a “neighborhood brewery making fresh beer for the Bay Area. Hoppy, dark, Belgian, barrel aged, etc. We enjoy making a wide variety of brews.” Their attention to detail and expertise at their craft really shows through their beer.
ABV: 6.9% | IBU: 24
Jim Furman used to work at a nuclear safety test facility for the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) in Chengdu in the Szechuan Province. Now Jim is the proud owner and head brewer of Black Hammer Brewing (BHB). True story. While Jim is brewing, you will often find Growler, Jim’s dog, hanging out in the tap room greeting customers. BHB opened just over a year ago in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco and is having great success. Their mission is twofold: Lager without limits! and Malt Forward! Sparkle Pony is one beer so popular that it pays the rent.
Downtown Monterey, not the famous Cannery Row with the tourist shops and refurbished sardine-packing factories, was in need of a revitalization.
Monterey, California is a beautiful town on the coast about 100 miles south of San Francisco. The most famous area of Monterey is Cannery Row, a refurbished factory district full of tourist gift shops, sea food restaurants and bars. However there has been a recent revitalization of the downtown district of Monterey, led by Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill. Alvarado Street Brewery and Grill, opened by J.C. Hill and his father John Hill, had a plan for downtown. The father and son duo, together with the Head Chef Jeremiah Tydeman, created a brew pub that brings phenomenal food and great beer together to give guests “the ultimate sensory experience.” ASBG should be on your list of breweries to follow, visit and enjoy. Their canned sours are extremely sought after, each release is a huge success. They typically sell out quickly so if you see them on the shelf at your local craft beer store, don’t hesitate. J.C. Hill, the head brewer, was kind enough to speak with me about their newest release called: Super Rad.
ABV: 10% | IBU: 75
Imagine yourself in San Diego 20 years ago. The craft beer scene was in its infancy, in fact there were only five craft breweries in all of San Diego! Flash forward to today and there are over 115. As San Diego has grown over the years, so too have the number of craft beer breweries. One of the originals, Coronado Brewing Company is still producing fantastic beer. Started by brothers Ron and Rick Chapman, they are part of the OG original five! Their award winning beers are currently distributed in 19 states and 10 countries. Coronado was crowned as the 2014 World Beer Cup Champs for mid-sized brewery. They created an amazing 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA that is sure to grab your attention.
Some folks of cider make a rout
And cider’s well enough no doubt
When better liquors fail;
But wine, that’s richer, better still,
Ev’n wine itself (deny’t who will)
Must yield to nappy ale.
-John Gay (1685-1732), “Ballad on Ale” from Songs and Ballads
I couldn’t let Northern California have all the fun. Check out my California Summer Sixer list with the best of what Southern California breweries have to offer this summer season. All beers listed are currently available with an ABV of 5.5% or lower. The average ABV for this sixer is also 4.7% – perfect planning, if we say so ourselves.
Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away.
What care I how time advances;
I am drinking ale today.
-Lines on Ale (1848), by Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)
Two words in the beer world that are instantly recognizable: Grapefruit Sculpin. Alex Tweet, head brewer and co-founder of Fieldwork Brewing Co in Berkeley, CA, decided to “take that idea in a different, but complementary direction” then the original Grapefruit Sculpin he created for Ballast Point. The different, but complementary direction resulted in Fieldwork’s Sea Farmer Sea Salt Grapefruit IPA (say that 10 times fast!). This grapefruit IPA is absolutely delicious and refreshing, making Sea Farmer the quintessential summertime fruit IPA.
Golden Road Brewery is named as a tribute to the Grateful Dead’s song The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion.” If they had a motto, I believe they would take inspiration from a quote by the great Jerry Garcia said: “our strong suit is what we do…” Golden Road opened their newest tasting location in the wonderfully eclectic and diverse Grand Central Market. Join them for a pint and a pierogi, and you will certainly know that their strong suit is everything they do.
I found myself in Los Angeles on a rainy Friday afternoon and I was lucky enough to experience the sights, sounds and experience of Golden Road and their newest location in the Grand Central Market.
Fieldwork Brewing is a Berkeley-based brewery committed to quality and freshness, that has taken the Bay Area by storm. Their beers are some of the most aromatic and balanced hoppy beers that you will ever have. The vast beer array of beers Fieldwork offers are truly unique and forever changing. The draft list may be completely different a week later.
Having been open for a year and exponentially growing in popularity, Fieldwork Brewing has reason to celebrate for three days. Co-founder and head brewer Alex Tweet stated, “in my eyes the anniversary is to celebrate our customers. We honest to god have the best customers I have ever seen in this industry, and the anniversary is hopefully going to be a fun weekend for them to celebrate what they helped build. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be in business.”
Tucked away in a historic part of Oakland, Ale Industries carefully crafts their wonderfully fun and inventive beers. The brewery, which happens to be the oldest and largest Oakland has to offer, has a taproom named: the Jingletown Jazz Room. If the Jazz Room had a day job, it would obviously be a brewery, but it does have another occupation. On the second Friday of every month, the Jingletown Jazz Room really lets its hair down and hosts local artists and musicians.
Valentines Day sneaks up on everyone. You’ve just finished recovering from the holiday season and now you’re scrambling to find a gift for your Valentine. There are the standard gifts that are often bought: last minute flowers and a cheesy chocolate box from a CVS. To avoid getting that eye roll from your craft beer-lovin’ special someone, check out our 14 Valentine’s Day Beers To Try This FeBREWary.
Beer + Food = Love. This is the motto for San Francisco Beer Week. Every year SFBW surprises me with more and more great events and beer. In its eighth year running, there is no shortage of fun to partake in for San Francisco Beer Week. For starters, this San Francisco Brewers Guild hosted week is actually ten days long. There are over 700 events scheduled and the list is still growing. It would be near impossible and detrimental to your liver to even try to visit all or most of the events. Here is a spotlight of some can’t miss events for San Francisco Beer Week.
ABV 7.5% | IBU 75
I moved to the Bay Area in the fall of 2011 and I soon discovered my love of good, local, craft beer. Most bars in the Bay Area offer Northern California staples even if their beer selection is not very diverse or “crafty.” The drafts typically include an IPA from at least one of the following: Anchor, Bear Republic, Drakes, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada or Speak Easy. My interest and intrigue with the hop flavor and IPAs was piqued as I experienced more and more of these local favorites. Through my trials and tribulations, a clear favorite emerged. The Racer 5 IPA from Bear Republic Brewing Company quickly became my go-to beer.