Posts Tagged ‘magnolia’

lagunitas brewers’ tapas dinner

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

jeremy pouring one up

ahh, lagunitas.

  • for my birthday, AP and I managed to score some tickets to the inaugural brewer’s tapas dinner at lagunitas brewing.
  • I had been to the beer sanctuary and taproom a little while back, but it was AP’s maiden voyage.  after a lunch full of cask ales and british fare at magnolia, we headed out to petaluma for some more debauchery.
  • as anyone who knows me is well aware, I am definitely biased towards lagunitas.  I love their beers, packaging, and overall mentality, and I got a healthy dose of all three at their dinner.
  • their five-course tapas/small plate style dinner was tasty and well-prepared, and was accompanied by lagunitas’ deep lineup, including their IPA, imperial stout, hop stoopid, pils, and hairy eyeball.
  • during the dinner, brewmaster Jeremy Marshal fielded questions from the crowd, while the rest of the brew staff worked the tables and topped off everyone’s glasses.
  • after dinner, everyone headed over to their skybox-style bar overlooking the brewery for some aged brews and beer talk.
  • the highlight of the night for me was talking to one of the owners and the brewers while they doled out generous pours of ’06 gnarlywine, ’06 hairy eyeball, ’08 brown shugga, and many others.
  • topics of conversation ranged from yeast strains to hop extract to the story behind a little sumpin’ sumpin’, and everyone at the brewery was friendly, well-spoken, and informative.
  • I was definitely bummed out when I realized it was time for us to take off, but I was grateful to be a part of this awesome event and was already anticipating my next trip over to the beer sanctuary.  thanks for the great time guys!

aged bottles getting cracked

another pour from one of the brewers

havin a good time

kicking us out

quick glance at the floor

handy delicatessen outer sunset

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

handy deli

heh, I wrote “outer sunset” like it was a different city.

this MLK weekend I managed to fit in a few beer-related events, including a bevmo run and a trip to magnolia with AP for some great eats and a kalifornia kolsch, oysterhead stout, proving ground IPA, and sara’s ruby mild.

however, the highlight of my weekend was discovering a great liquor store/sandwich shop in the outer sunsethandy delicatessen.

  • handy delicatessen is a little liquor store with a big local and european beer selection.  they stock the standard lineup but had plenty of hard to find beers (check out the pics!)
  • to top it off, they have a deli sandwich counter where you can order up some pretty decent, fat sandwiches on the cheap (I don’t think any were over $4).  just remember to ask if you want your sandwich hot (I didn’t think they made cold pastrami sandwiches, go figure…).
  • plus, they’re open till 2am – perfect if you’re in the area and want some late-night specialty brews and a good sandwich to finish off the night.
  • overall, handy deli is a good store to add to your city-wide beer hunt lineup, and a must-visit if you’re over on irving street near 19th.

lineup at handy deli

deli counter at handy

coolers at handy

more coolers at handy

wet hop harvest beer night at toronado

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

the perfect combination - toronado and rosamunde

yesterday I remembered that it was wet hop night at toronado, so AP and I met up with CB, TB, and DW over there to enjoy some great brews.

  • toronado really needs no introduction – it is an SF classic, a long-standing beer bar that has supported the craft beer scene for decades.
  • the place was definitely crowded, but not at capacity (unlike their signature event, the annual barleywine festival).  the lone bartender was grinding through over half a dozen patrons at the bar, but it didn’t take long before I had a pint in my hands.
  • we also managed to score a table not too soon thereafter, and when I saw AP enter the room with an armful of heaping plastic trays from rosamunde, I knew the planets were in alignment.
  • between our group, we managed to try a significant number of the available wet hop varieties.  CB and DW had started with moonlight’s greenbud, and from there we moved on to port’s high tide harvest, speakeasy’s wet hop big daddy IPA, dempsey’s 707 harvest, and sierra nevada’s wet hop harvest.
  • all of them were great – port’s offering was the crowd favorite, but I personally preferred the big daddy, it had a little more malt backbone, but the wet hop aroma and mild bitterness held up to it.
  • the kicker? taking a cue from magnolia’s wet hop event, toronado had all wet hop pints at $3.  I felt like I had just popped out of a time machine.
  • I love toronado, especially during events like this, but for a casual visit I recommend going during the early afternoon on a weekend to avoid the crowds.  I also recommend giving memphis minnie’s a shot if you’re not feeling sausages for take out.

the wet hop tap list at toronado

enjoying some brews and sausages

crowded toronado front

a table at toronado - priceless

view from the back room

magnolia pub and brewery, fresh hops galore

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

hand pumps at magnolia

yesterday CB alerted me that there were some special beers on draft at magnolia, so last night we rolled over to check it out.

  • turns out there were quite a few special beers available – I counted 5 in addition to their regular rotation.
  • the first one I had to try was a pint of their “wet-hop-dry-hopped” prescription pale.  it was described in their mail update as follows: “We tried to see how many pounds of wet hops (Chinook) we could fit into a firkin and then topped it up with Prescription. There might be more hops than beer in it.” this was my favorite of the night by far – it had a great hop aroma and flavor that thoroughly enveloped the beer but was not harsh or overwhelming.
  • CB and I also tasted both varieties of their high time harvest ale – #1 was brewed with 120 pounds of fresh centennial hops, and #2 was brewed with 120 pounds of fresh chinook hops.  both were great, but completely different – CB preferred the centennial, while I enjoyed the chinook.  fresh/wet hop beers are some of my favorites, and magnolia definitely went the extra mile with the style this year.
  • we also tried the other one that was aged for 8 months in a buffalo trace bourbon barrel – once it warmed up a little the aroma on it was awesome, and the barrel gave the beer a ton of complexity.  it was my second favorite of the night.
  • I also had a taste of rosebud, an anniversary beer that “is built loosely around our beloved Maris Otter malt but then goes out on a long, strange trip through a Belgian fermentation, the addition of dried rosebuds, and the juice of 100 pounds of syrah grapes from Amador County.”  the rose-petal aroma was definitely interesting, as was the rest of the beer, but I’m not sure I would order it up again.
  • the place was full but not crowded, and everyone there (both staff and patrons) was very friendly and in a good mood.  the service was awesome as well. to top it off, most pints were only $3 through their tuesday special.  it reminded me of my trip up to portland earlier this year, where this kind of environment was commonplace.  it was definitely my best trip to magnolia – I have to start going over there on tuesdays more often!

wet hopped prescription pale and barrel aged the other one

taps at magnolia

prescription pale, high times, the other one

mobile tap/bottle list updates

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

taplister

I doubt I’m the only guy who walks into a beer bar in the city and wishes he had a tap/bottle list available on his cell phone.  I always manage to block traffic or invade someone’s personal space as I scan the taps/chalkboard/etc. for the right brew. Sometimes I panic and go for a safe bet, then kick myself when I see something interesting that I overlooked.

  • city beer store has the occasional email update, and dave over at healthy spirits updates his blog on a regular basis, but I think we still have a way to go in this area.
  • the thing is, the idea of a mobile tap broadcast isn’t new. check out taplister, a user-updated bar database that is accessible via SMS and twitter and is optimized for mobile access.  they even have a live video feed of a bar’s chalkboard.  only thing is, it’s available only in Portland at the moment, and I don’t think it gets updated that often (Higgins has zero beers on tap? hmmm…).  a basic rundown can be found here.
  • on top of that, there’s this affiliated program called beer signal that enables you to tell your friends where you are imbibing real-time so they can meet up.  this could be a great way to organize a city beer store session after work or to promote a happy hour.
  • I figure some beer lover in SF could easily throw together a mobile web app (and maybe an accompanying iphone app) for the city in the same vein as taplister, but with even more features.  individuals could update and view existing tap lists using their phones, and the app could even link existing taps to style descriptions or even beeradvocate ratings to allow for more informed beer selections.
  • i had also read somewhere that one or two individual bars in portland have released proprietary mobile programs where they update their beer selection.  I would definitley prefer a more universal application, but I wonder how long it will take before toronado, magnolia, or 21st amendment jump on board and start offering similar services…
  • for other somewhat interesting phone beer apps, check out here and here.