Posts Tagged ‘petaluma’

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

taps petaluma

Monday, November 9th, 2009

the bar at taps

after doing some biking and meeting up with my cousin TF up at sonoma state, AP and I dropped by petaluma on our way back to the city.

  • AP had done some research and told me that taps in petaluma looked like a good place to stop by for a brew.
  • I was a little hesitant at first, since we only had time for one stop, and lagunitas was right around the corner.
  • however, as soon as we sided up the the bar, I knew there weren’t going to be any regrets.
  • with a name like taps, you would expect at least a few good offerings on draft here.  true to its name, taps offered an outstanding tap selection, ranging from numerous local kegs to plenty of belgians.  the even had a cask of bourbon ruben and the jets from lagunitas on hand pump!
  • in fact, I was so torn over what to choose first that Ana, the bartender, took it for confusion and quickly poured me up a couple samples she recommended.
  • I finally settled on (surprise!) moonlight’s 40 to life.  Eric, one of the owners (along with his wife, Wendy), told me that it was a one-off keg that Brian made by blending 20 to life and 60 to life to get an appropriate amount of sourness that he felt was appropriate for the crowd.  the beer was outstanding – very drinkable, tart and sour, but well balanced.
  • AP had an anchor small beer on my recommendation.  although this beer doesn’t get much love, I think it’s because it’s not categorized as a small beer and appreciated for what it is.  personally, I love it’s grainy bite and sessionability.  it’s like a modern-day table beer.
  • to finish off, AP and I shared a black xantus, an imperial stout from nectar ales.  I heard hype about this beer for over a month, and it definitely lived up to it – it was very complex, and had great subtle notes of oak, coffee, and roasted malt that all blended perfectly.  in a world of boozy, high gravity imperial stouts, black xantus was a smooth, drinkable alternative (although it still clocked in at 11%!).
  • on a non-beer note, the sausages and dogs at taps are great as well.  my chicago dog was definitely the best I’ve had outside of illinois, probably because, as Eric mentioned, all the ingredients (down to the buns) are brought over from the windy city.
  • overall, taps turned out to be an impreessive establishment with outstanding beers, friendly staff, and good eats.  it is definitely on my must-visit list every time I come near petaluma from now on.
  • more info on taps can be found on this blog post.

ruben and the jets hand pump

40 to life

the beer list and some empty samplers

anchor small beer

black xantus

one of the tap lineups

lagunitas taproom and beer sanctuary

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

inside the taproom at lagunitas

after leaving russian river brewing the weekend before last, TM, JVG, JC and I cruised down to petaluma to check out the new taproom and beer sanctuary at lagunitas.

  • I had high expectations for this place, and as soon as I walked in I knew they were going to be met.
  • the taproom was great – it had funky (3-D) local artwork on the walls and a laid-back bartender pouring one of lagunitas‘ many offerings into ball jars.

3D artwork in the taproom

pouring a brew at the taproom

  • the outside beer sanctuary was just as nice – a ton of people were hanging out at enormous picnic tables under canopies and umbrellas beating the heat and enjoying a local brew.

at the beer sanctuary at lagunitas

  • to top it off, a local BBQ joint was serving up food outside, and a band was jamming on a stage in the corner – it was awesome.

one of the bands at the beer sanctuary

digging in to some BBQ

  • I scanned the tap list and immediately ordered up a bourbon barrel-aged hairy eyeball, which I wish I could have on a weekly basis.  it was malty and strong, with a boozy bourbon note infused throughout.  in hindsight, I should have ordered this up as a finisher, but I got antsy and scared that the keg would kick before I had ordered up my glass.

bourbon barrel hairy eyeball

  • everyone else ordered up a variety of brews, from ruben and the jets to brown shugga.  I tasted the brown shugga and it was was the best I’ve ever had – it had an intense hoppy finish that blew my mind.  I wonder if they tweaked the recipe or if it was just a young batch, either way I need to get my hands on some more.

brown shugga

  • I finished up the day with a classic lagunitas IPA fresh from the source, and with that, we took off toward novato, but not before I looked back longingly towards lagunitas and vowed I would return ASAP.

one charity raffle hopeful at lagunitas

the big red conical at the taproom

true multitasking

one side of the lineup in the taproom