Posts Tagged ‘bear republic’

a russian river weekend

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

last thursday AP and I packed our bags and made our annual pilgrimage north for the russian river beer revival.

  • CB picked us up at SFO with a cooler full of surprises that we dug into as soon as we got our campsite set up and a fire going.  he really pulled out all the stops with rarities like the latest batch of russian river’s beatification, some ’08 dissident from deschutes, and the bruery’s tart of darkness, and I managed to bring along a bottle of the conflux/collage collaboration between hair of the dog and deschutes (which I highly recommend snapping up if you get the chance).
  • the next day we headed out to russian river brewing for some eats and more spectacular beers, like the great toronado 25th anniversary and the equally impressive compunction.  after zoning out on their front patio for a few hours we took off for occidental to visit our old friends at barley and hops tavern.  after perusing a fantastic farmer’s market downtown, we crossed the street to the busy tavern, where I grabbed a pint of an old favorite, moonlight’s death and taxes, and cooled off on their front balcony.  a round of intense hot wings merited some of bear republic’s berliner weiss, tartare, before we headed back to camp for some excellent homebrew selections.
  • the next day we crawled out of our tents, mentally prepared for the intense afternoon to follow.  after braving the line in the midday sun and setting up a base camp at stumptown brewery, our group split up and started tearing our way through some hot ribs and cold beers.  highlights included a steady stream of supplication from the russian river tent and the always awesome working for tips from moonlight.  as usual, the guys from bear republic were in great form, and were serving up a ton of hoppy selections. the tenth iteration of this great event was over in a heartbeat, and before long were were back by the fire, full to the brim and completely satisfied.
  • the next day everyone dusted themselves off before heading back down to the city, but not before a quick stop off at lagunitas for a sampler or two and a chance to check out their ever-expanding facility.  by the time AP and I made it on the plane we were borderline catatonic, and I can’t recall sleeping as soundly as I did that night, but fatigue is a small price to pay to revel in the glory of some of the finest events and locations northern california has to offer!

              

              

              

              

              

              

              

russian river beer revival 2011

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

it’s hard to believe two years have come and gone here at overcarbed, and what better way to celebrate than by covering the same topic as my first post – the epic russian river beer revival.

  • after missing last year’s festivities, AP and I were ready to rally, and met up with a couple dozen beer connoisseurs after camping out on the riverfront nearby.
  • arriving a little before noon, we endured a half hour line before finally being handed our tasting glass and plate.  the crowd seemed a little more dense than in years past, and after talking to a significant amount of socal visitors it seemed as though word had definitely gotten out about this once-local event.
  • despite the crowds, lines were short, and I never had to wait more than thirty seconds to grab a refill or a rib fresh out of the smoker.  speaking of smokers, many teams held nothing back this year – there were tents packed with big green eggs and webers, and even a massive fifth wheel smoker the size of a short bus.
  • the beer selection was nothing to sneeze at, either – russian river was pouring sanctification all day, moonlight had their killer gruit working for tips and twist of fate on cask, and bear republic killed the competition with offerings of hop bombs on draft every half-hour, including apex, mach 10, racer X, cafe racer 15, and ryevalry, as well as their super tasty cuvee de bubba, poured by none other than bubba himself.  granted, my palate was a little destroyed by the end of the day, but my favorite pour was the cuvee, so I recommend ignoring the mediocre ratings online for this one and grabbing it whenever possible.
  • the best part about the revival (aside from the mindblowing scenery, good friends, and riverfront location) was definitely the crowd – everyone was upbeat, kind, and conversational, and reflected the great local hospitality.  it’s gonna be a long wait until next year!

coastal bachelor beer tour

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

in celebration of AH’s remaining single days, over a dozen intrepid explorers ventured north of the bridge on a beer adventure of epic proportions.

  • our first stop was at lagunitas, where great live music accompanied a killer beer selection in their beer sanctuary.
  • I was excited to try their interestingly-titled farmhouse geuze (funky and sour, very drinkable, maybe my favorite of the trip) as well as their fusion VI (hoppy but sessionable), waldo’s 420 (huge hop aroma and flavor), and cask WTF (intensely malty and hoppy).
  • we headed north from petaluma to healdsburg, where bear republic greeted us with plenty of food and some great beers.
  • there’s nothing quite like racer 5 from the source, especially while washing down some crispy smothered wings.  the staff was friendly and accommodating, not an easy feat considering the state our posse was in as we walked through the door.
  • the next day we headed from our russian river campsite to boonville, where the staff at anderson valley treated us to an experience like no other.
  • after grabbing fistfuls of dirt-cheap samplers and pints of great beers like wee geech, winter solstice, gatlin damnosis, and V.S.O.B., we snagged some bombers and headed to the on-site 18-hole disc golf course, where high winds and water hazards kept our attention.
  • after hours of disc, we ended our stay with a killer brewery tour, where our guide showed off AVBC’s brewhouse, massive fermenters, bottling, canning, and kegging lines, barrels, and coldroom.  I couldn’t get over the brewery’s impressive pricing – for $3-3.50 you could get an 8-ounce pour of any of their beers and keep the glass for a buck more – not bad in an era of $8 10 oz. specialty pours…
  • after anderson valley we cranked out the longest leg of the trip to fort bragg and north coast brewing, where standards such as la merle and pranqster complemented a perfectly prepped bleu cheese burger.
  • we finished the night at van damme state park, knocking back pints of NP’s tasty homebrewed belgian IPA as well as indica, a brazilian IPA JC brought back from cervejaria colorado, on a picturesque beach.
  • the next morning, we heeded russian river brew co’s happy hour call and enjoyed pours of consecration, erudition, sanctification, and segal select while knocking down some pizza (which has vastly improved since my last visit) and playing dominoes.
  • we then staggered over to stumptown in guerneville, just in time to enjoy some rat bastard and death and taxes while watching elvis cover some modern day bieber hits.
  • the long weekend ended with some unreal views at wright’s beach on the sonoma coast, where a night under the stars revitalized the crew and got them ready for the impending work week.  congrats again heady!

lucky baldwins

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

last weekend AP and I got stuck in old town pasadena, with temps that felt close to triple digit.  luckily, we were only blocks from lucky baldwins.

  • with a shaded patio and old pub vibe, lucky baldwins allowed a welcome respite from the elements.  AP and I snagged a patio table and were served without delay by friendly staff.
  • our visit coincided with the bluntly named “high alcohol beer festival,” which sounded a little frat boy-esque, but yielded a great selection of rare beers.
  • I couldn’t pass up a draft pour of 2002 HOTD fred (which held up very well with a caramel, deep, warming sweetness), and had a sampler of bear republic’s ryevalry, which had a flavorful balance of rye spiciness and heavy hops.
  • I was looking forward to trying more hard-to-find gems as well as some of their food, but weekend errands took priority and AP and I were off in less than an hour.  next time!
  • here is a little trivia about lucky baldwin.  now if I could only figure out the connection with the cantillon logo

weekend in review 04/09 – 04/11

Monday, April 12th, 2010

after a long week of desk jockeying, the weekend couldn’t come up fast enough.

  • after getting a little more settled in our new spot, AP and I rolled over to naja’s to meet up with AP, PP, and DP.
  • I can’t overemphasize the great atmosphere at naja’s – no pretention and a laid back attitude, right on the water!
  • not to mention great selection – I grabbed  a pour of goose island’s matilda, which was very earthy and refreshing.  AP grabbed her staple – eric’s ale.
  • once everyone showed up, the really good stuff got cracked.  first, we pulled a great bottle of fantome saison for everyone to try.
  • I also ordered up a fantastic saison that (if I remember correctly) was from brasserie d’achouffe (the tap handle was complicated and it was listed as “saison” on the board – I’ll have to get back with the name since it was pretty great).
  • there was also a north/south tasting debate going on (if only in my head) as both carlsbad’s green flash west coast IPA and healdsburg’s bear republic racer 5 were poured.  such a tough call between those two…
  • later during the weekend I tended to my fresh hop plants – in addition to last years’ vojvodina and zeus, I picked up some chinook, cascade, mt hood, and sterling varieties.
  • I got the rhizomes from freshops, and couldn’t be happier – they came fast, had noticeable buds on arrival and sprouted within a week.  however, CB had different results, however, as state agricultural problems and questionable customer service almost ruined his (sizable) order.
  • also, it will be interesting to see the yield of my second-year established plants.  I kept all my hops potted due to limited time, but if the yield is low I might reconsider next year.  fingers crossed…

norton’s vault

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

the bar at norton's vault

last friday I met up with TM, MP, and UD for happy hour downtown at norton’s vault.

  • norton’s vault is a comfortable “tavern” with some interesting history, good bar food, and a pretty decent tap selection.
  • I mean, can I really say anything bad about a place that is relatively clean and has a couple TV’s, good service, and racer 5 and sierra nevada celebration ale on draft?
  • in short, this place isn’t a beer lover’s mecca, but it is a solid choice when meeting up with your financial district buddies for a brew after work.  it gets crowded during happy hour (4-6), so i recommend rolling over a little after 6.

a few pints at norton's vault

bear republic hop rod rye

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

hop rod rye in the glass

bear republic’s hop rod rye is a great example of a rye IPA.

  • the rye in this beer complements the IPA hoppiness perfectly, and the result is a brew that is even more drinkable than a straight IPA.
  • I am definitely a fan of rye IPAs, and will order them up whenever I get a chance.  another great examples of a rye IPAs is schmaltz’ bittersweet lenny’s R.I.P.A.
  • I have also brewed denny conn’s rye IPA recipe multiple times, and each batch has gotten rave reviews from everyone who has tried it.
  • in fact, one of my top 5 personal favorite homebrew recipes is based off of a rye bread/kvass and pale ale recipe adapted from a conversation with dave over at healthy spirits.  I will definitely be brewing that one again.
  • bear republic is a great brewery that I have noticed more and more at festivals.  their employees are always super friendly and generous with their pours.  plus, their racer 5 IPA is my go-to pint at many bars around town.  great job guys!

hop rod rye bottle

columbus cafe

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

at the window at columbus

I’ll never turn down a request for happy hour at columbus cafe in north beach.

  • they have 26 beers on tap, mostly usual suspects, but they have a great west coast IPA selection.
  • last friday I met up here with AP, AP, and TM.  I started off with a lagunitas IPA, then finished off with a bear republic racer 5 IPA – 2 of my favorite “session IPAs.”
  • all seats were taken when I got there about 6:30, but it wasn’t crowded.  however, I have been here after 9 or 10pm and the place was shoulder-to-shoulder, so proceed with caution.
  • columbus cafe’s happy hour runs from 4-8 (although I thought it stopped at 7 last friday – better double-check).
  • the happy hour is 2-for-1 beers, which they give you a token to redeem.  this is a great idea since you don’t have to use the token that day, and can redeem it another time.
  • another great element here is golden boy pizza down the street, which turns out awesome slices.  columbus and golden boy are the north beach equivalent of rosamunde and toronado - they were meant to be.
  • also, FYI, rogue, la trappe, and church key are also within walking distance of this place.

taps at columbus cafe

happy hour token and friends at columbus