Archive for the 'Grumpy Beer Geek' Category
It was quietly announced this week that the Anchor Brewing, the brewery that started the craft brewing movement and is responsible for bringing back to life so many of the popular craft beer styles that we enjoy everyday, has been sold to a conglomerate. Anchor Brewing, as close to a national treasure as the brewing industry in the United States will ever know, has been sold to the company that makes Skyy Vodka.
It had been rumored in the past few years that a member of the Maytag family was being groomed to take over the brewery when Fritz retired. But that obviously didn’t work out for someone. While we don’t really know what changes this will mean for the brewery, it can’t be good. And as we are want to do, our minds wander to the worst case scenario. Here are the things that I, if I were a grumpy pessimist, and I most certainly am, would believe will be coming.
Anchor Distilling, the makers of fantastic Old Potrero whiskey and rye, and Junipero gin will be split off and combined with the distilling facilities that make Skyy Vodka.
The portfolio of beer brands made by Anchor will drop to only the most profitable ones. Gone will be just about everything but the Steam beer.
And the big one, the one that I dread the most, the Potrero Hill home of Anchor Brewing for over 30 years will be closed.
I hope so much that I am wrong about all of the above.
Fritz Maytag, you broke my heart.No comments
All of the SF Beer Week events and we hope you too, where ever you are, will raise a toast to Bill Brand tonight at 7pm. Bill Brand, the Bottoms Up columnist for the Oakland Tribune and an all around great guy, was hit by a MUNI train last night on the way home from an SF Beer Week event. He is currently in critical condition. Check out the column over at the Brookston Beer Bulletin for more information and to keep up to date on his condition.
Our thoughts are with you Bill, and we will certainly raise a glass in your honor tonight. Here’s to a speedy recovery, sir!
Toronado sent out an email to it’s minions today recapping all of the fantastic events coming to this most hallowed bar during SF Beer Week (2/6 – 2/15/2009).
SF Beer Week Kickoff – Friday, February 6th, 12:00PM
Join Napa Smith brewer Don Barkley as he taps the first keg of “Original Albion Ale” at High Noon. This beer is based on the recipe from the pioneering New Albion brewery, which was founded by Jack McAuliff in 1976. When New Albion closed in 1983, Don moved on to Mendocino Brewing company where he brewed Red Tail Ale, and one of the first “reputation” beers, Eye of the Hawk.
Port Brewing/Lost Abbey Night – Sunday, February 8th, 6PM+
Join Port Brewing’s Tomme Arthur for draft and bottle specials.
Lost and Found
Cable Car (on premise only)
Allagash Brewing Night – Monday, February 9th, 6PM+
Join Rob Tod of Allagash.
Russian River ‘Tion Night – Tuesday, February 10th, 6PM+
Join Vinnie Cilurzo for a night of draft and bottle specials.
Redemption- “Single” Blonde Ale
Perdition- Biere de Sonoma
Damnation- Strong Golden Ale
Salvation- Strong Dark Ale
Rejection- Black Beer
Defenestration- Hoppy Belgian Ale
Benediction- Abbey Double
Sanctification- 100% Brettanomyces Fermented
Temptation- Sour Blonde Ale Aged in Chardonnay Barrels (batch 3)
Supplication- Sour Red/Brown Ale Aged in Pinot Noir Barrels (batch 3)
Consecration- Sour Dark Ale Aged in Cabernet Sauvignon Barrels (batch 1)
Beatification- 100% Spontaneously Fermented Ale (batch 2)
Bottle specials including Toronado 20th Anniversary (on premise only)
Ommegang Beer and Cheese Night – Wednesday, February 11th, 6PM+
Ommegang Beers paired with a fine selection of cheeses.
Grand Cru Rouge
Cheese pairings TBD
A Night of Ales – Thursday, February 12th, 6PM-9PM
Toronado, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, and the Homebrew Chef present A Night of Ales. Special beer pairings from the Firestone Walker cellar, commentary from brewmaster Matt Brynildson, and a six course tasting menu from chef Sean Paxton. Tickets are $95, available at the Toronado.
Check out the menu at www.homebrewchef.com.
And then, the king, the biggest, the best, and the craziest event of the week. Honestly the reason the SF Beer Week even exists, the Barleywine Festival!
16th Annual Barleywine Festival – Saturday, February 14th, All Day – Friday February 20th
Over 50 barlywines from around the country. Judging on Saturday, February 14th.
My liver already hurts.
My mantra for the week — stay hydrated, stay hydrated, stay hydrated.
Good luck, I’ll see you on the other side.
In case you have been living under a rock, or just don’t know, SF Beer Week is just a few days away from kickoff. There are over a hundred events already scheduled over the 10 days starting this Saturday with the Bistro Double IPA Festival. The main event will be, as it should, the Barleywine Festival at Toronado starting 2/14 and going through the following week.
SF BEER WEEK will be a ten-day celebration of that legacy, showcasing the Bay Area’s brewing heritage with as many as 150 events. The week will be anchored by the Bistro Double IPA Festival, the Toronado Barleywine Festival and will end with a bang at the Celebrator’s Best of the West Beer Fest. In between there will be beer dinners, cheese and beer pairing events, other gourmet food events savoring our world-class cuisine, meet the brewer evenings, homebrewing demonstrations, music, films, and even a museum exhibition exploring the history of Bay Area brewing, from Monterey to Sacramento and beyond.
For a full list of the events, head on over to the SF Beer Week site and start planning out your week. Remember, keep hydrated. It’s a long week!
David Keene, owner of Toronado, made an interesting discovery in the basement of the Toronado recently while doing a little clean up. A few assorted kegs close to 20 years old. Some of the original 60 Corny kegs that he bought to transport beer to and from breweries, way back in the beer stone ages, before microbreweries had any sort of distribution. One of those kegs, with a label withered but still readable might have been the first ever keg of Boont Amber.
Hopefully David will be able to find an empty spot on a wall somewhere to display this keg. Any who know what else he might find in that basement?
The greatest bar in the country, hell the greatest bar in the world turns 20 years old this weekend.
Toronado 20th Anniversary Celebration
Come help us celebrate our 20th Anniversary, Saturday
August 11th at the Toronado at 5:00PM.
Some of the Beers:
1. The Toronado 20th Anniversary Beer, brewed by
Russian River Brewing Company, on draught and for sale
in cork finished 750ml bottles.
I approached Vinnie two years ago about making a
beer for the Toronado Anniversary, my guidelines were
wood aged, big, and barnyard. We toyed with the idea of
making six beers and blending them into one, but agreed
this was too time consuming as Vinnie has a lot on his
plate. I was surprised when it came to light that he had
come up with 5, 1 year old, wood aged beers to blend.
Vinnie mixed 5 different blends and we tasted them
together, all were fine beers , blend #1 was so good that
we filled 1 keg with it calling it 50-50. After removing this
quantity of beer from the over all blend ,we decided on a
new blend halfway between blend #4 and blend #5. The
result, Vinnie says, is a 10.43 percent alcohol by volume
beer that is smooth and soft with a faint sourness — a
beer that hides its alcohol well. “It drinks like a 6-percent
beer.” I say thank you Vinnie, for an outstanding beer,
beyond my expectations. Awesome! The bottles will be
available for $20 each at the Toronado and Russian River
Brewing Co only.
2. Anchor Cask Conditioned Porter
Anchor Steam was the first draught beer at the
Toronado,so I think it only fitting to have something from
them for our 20th, Fritz Maytag answered the call, with a
cask conditioned Porter, to be served on handpump.
Thanks to Mark Carpenter for crafting this special product
and to Fritz for taking the time to recognize our
3. Lost Abbey/Pizza Port Cable Car on draught and in
Tomme Arthur scoured his wood casks and blended a
beer for our Anniversary, we have 1 keg and a limited
number of bottles. I have not sampled this beer yet, but
have it on the authority of John Hansel, of the Malt
Advocate, that it in his opinion it is the best beer he has
had from Lost Abbey and perhaps in the entire USA. Can’t
wait to try it.
At last count there were 13 other rare beers that brewers
have made or are releasing from their cellars for this
event. I will get a complete list together when possible,
Hope to see you there.
NBC 17 – News – Beer Festival Turns Durham Bulls Baseball Field Into Nightmarish Field 8000 beer drinkers + baseball field = trashed.
Beer For Dogs! Share a beer with your best friend! — if you really love your dog you’d give it a cat smoothie instead.
Researchers: Hops in Beer May Be Healthy – Yahoo! News — who knew? — no information on if that beer gut is healthy or not. I think I’ll keep mine just to make sure.
“As a longtime cheese aficionado, The Chronicle’s weekly cheese columnist and a nightly wine drinker, I’ve reluctantly concluded that many cheeses give wine, especially dry wine, a rough time. But after several weeks of “research, ” including two marathon tastings, I’m convinced that beer as a partner for cheese rarely stumbles. It takes some knowledge of beer and cheese to engineer the most harmonious marriages, but intolerable mismatches are rare.” — Janet Fletcher from “BEER & CHEESE – Forget wine and cheese parties — the true soul mate for fromage isn’t made from grape juice”