It’s Strong Beer Month Again – San Francisco is Saved from the Cold!

It’s hear once again, Magnolia and 21st Amendment’s Strong Beer Month. This month long celebration of all types of Strong Beer is a great way to stay warm in the long cold winter of San Francisco. Who am I kidding? It’s 75 and sunny on the first day of Strong Beer Month. Oh well, it’s still a great way to sample some of the great stronger beers these two breweries make. All the way from Imperial Stouts to Barleywines… All of the beers, six in total from each pub, are over 9.0% ABV. So stay hydrated and be careful. Each…

Beergeek in London: Crisps, Nuts, Cracklins, and other Pub Snacks

Snacks are ubiquitous in pubs in the UK. And rarely is a round bought that doesn’t include a pack or two of snacks. Crisps (potato chips) are the most common with great flavors like Cheese and Onion, Ready Salted (just salted in the US), Salt and Vinegar, and Sweet Chilli (as best as I can guess an Thai influenced savory flavor). Other snacks include various forms of peanuts, pork rinds, and the ever famous Bacon Fries. Another interesting note, snacks are almost always shared among those you are with. The containers are split open on table like you see in…

An American Beergeek in London

Beer in the UK in general, and in London in particular has seen big changes in the past few years. CAMRA members may not be too happy about it, but beer lovers are seeing an ever expanding renaissance when it comes to beer styles available. Traditionally London has seen the standard selection of beer that came in two broad segments. Lagers (cheap Bud-like yellow fizzy crap) and traditional ales / real ales. There has always been a large variety in these ales — ranging from gentle milds to deep dark stouts to barleywines. With the rare exception, these beers were…

Mikkeller Bar

10 Years On The Web

After 10 years, it’s time to clean this place up.

Great Reason To Subscribe To Amazon Prime – Skyline Chili For $2/can, Delivered

The best reason yet to subscribe to Amazon Prime, Skyline Chili delivered. And not just delivered in two days, free, but really cheap. I just bought an 8 pack for $2.33 per can. Now when I go back to Amazon it’s showing it to me for $2.03 per can. Amazon really knows how market to their customers. So I bought 32 more cans…. Check it out here.

Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

We were missing Indiana, so made a homemade pork tenderloin. Yummy.

Perfect Pint


Fritz, you broke my heart.

Old Potrero Rye = Skyy Rye? Anchor Steam by Skyy? Skyy Gin?

2008 Toronado Barleywine Festival Judging

And so starts the judging for the 2008 barleywine festival. Russ Wigglesworth has the honor of herding all of the judges and stewards into a never attainable timeline. Starting with 50+ barleywines for mostly the US in the first round, the second round of double blind judging will trim the list down to a more manageable 7-9 beers for the third and final judging. Judges, by definition are judgemental. It’s what they are here for, and some take it very seriously. Thus is the case here as well. In the 8 years I’ve been a judge at the barleywine festival,…

A Toast to Bill Brand, Tonight at 7PM PST

Bill Brand, great guy and great reporter for the Oakland Tribune’s Bottoms Up column was hit by a MUNI train last night.

You Will Find Me at Toronado For The Next Week

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…

SF Beer Week 2009

SF Beer Week kicks off Saturday. Are you ready?

Strong Beer Month starts off… Uhm.. Strong?

Here I am, sitting in Magnolia Gastropub, 4 beers deep into their excellent strong beer menu. Only 2 to go, listening to Grateful Dead. oh how I hate the Grateful Dead, but I love this place. It’s, the beer… Gose To Heaven – imperial hefewiezen? Strong banana flavor, but in a good way. Nice, strong, an sweet. Man, it’s tough to blog during Strong Beer Month. Drunk wife sitting next to me, making fun of me. iPhone spell correction making a mockery of my prose. Damn hard knock life. Promised Land Imperial IPA – damn nice double IPA. Old Magnolia…

Toronado Winter Solstice Holiday Celebration Ruined By Football Game

This just in… Beergeeks celebrating the winter solstice had their celebration ruined by annoying football fans. I wa knee deep in 20+ holiday beers when all of a sudden the Bears / Packers game appeared on the TVs here at Toronado. Instantly a rowdy group of swill drinking (overheard: can I get a Bud?) dorks descended on the bar. As I ordered my first Anchor Christmas ale of the evening, these football fanatics start yelling an shouting a the TVs like the players could hear them. In other news, football watchers tend to refer to their favorite team as ‘we’…

Some Notes on Developing a Skyline Clone Recipe

I occasionally get email from people asking about Cincinnati and Skyline chili — various things. But this email was from someone who has put a lot of really good thinking into developing a Skyline clone recipe. I’ll be using some of these discoveries in my next batch. Thanks for the great insights, Alexander. ——- FDA requirements about allergen ingredients are not actually laws. Companies are not required to list ingredients that are known allergens. However, product liability torte law has persuaded most manufacturers to list ingredients that are known allergens. Failure to list allergen ingredients frequently leads to losses from…

Cincinnati Style Chili Batch 16

It’s finally here. After a 2 year break, hosting a homebrew club meeting at our place seemed like the perfect time to post the next version of my Cincinnati Chili recipe. Changes this time include increase in the amount of meat, more cayenne (perhaps a little too much), pureeing the onion and garlic, switching to dark cocoa powder, and a further refining of the spices. I think the results are fantastic. Perhaps the best ever! Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Cincinnati Style Chili Batch 16 3 lbs lean ground beef (extra fine grind if…

The First Keg of Boont Amber Ever?

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…