Beer 511

Exploring Craft Beer and Homebrew in Peru (Country Code 51) and the USA (Country Code 1)

Category: Events Page 1 of 3

Fort Point Beer Co.’s new beer hall on Valencia

On Monday, Oct 7th, Fort Point Beer Company will open the doors to its brand new beer hall at 742 Valencia St., in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Fort Point Beer Co. was founded five years ago by Tyler and Justin Catalana, who had previously operated the Mill Valley Beer Works. Today it is San Francisco’s largest independent brewer.

However, despite its beers being found in bars and retailers throughout the city and beyond, and having a toehold in the Ferry Building market hall, Fort Point remained a production brewery and not open to the public. The company was thus wanting of a space in which to show off its beers the way it wanted, while having the opportunity to interact directly with the public. Enter: Fort Point Valencia.

Export Dortmunder-style lager (5.2% abv)

As founder Justin Catalana explained at a media preview soft opening event on Friday evening, opening a place such as Fort Point Valencia had been kind of a dream for them, and that they’ve striven to make it a space which invites customers to feel free to move about the hall, meeting people and enjoying its different areas.

A lot of care and thought went into designing Fort Point Valencia. It certainly does not have the semi-industrial look that is somewhat typical of brewery taprooms these days. While keeping the open ceiling and exposed beam timbers, they’ve eschewed the all-too-common black paint in favor of a pleasant tan or off-white base with vibrant accent walls.

Near the entry is a sort of front room, painted blue, which houses a low, sit-down bar with its own line of beer taps. The main space is populated with round tables of varying sizes with bar-height chairs. There follows a cozier space at the back with tables for two and booths for groups, with red accents and dimmer, more intimate lighting. The anchor for it all is the 40-ft standing bar.

The bar has recesses which accommodate the taps and leaves the bar top uncluttered, freeing customers and servers to interact without having to duck around a forest of towers and tap handles.

Westphalia Nuremberg Red Ale (5.6% abv)

According to head of brewing, Mike Schnebeck, all of Fort Point’s regular lineup of beers will be available full-time, along with seasonal offerings and a few guest beers from other craft breweries. Beers from the Black Sands brewpub, which Fort Point purchased last year, will also be available, as well as experimental brews and one-offs which will be served exclusively at Valencia. (A selection of wines and cider is also available.)

As for food, of course one cannot aim to be a proper beer hall without some food on offer. In this regard, the menu at Fort Point Valencia does not disappoint. It is certainly a cut above typical pub grub fare.

Chef Eric Ehler -who was pulled in from Black Sands- explained that he drew on his Korean heritage and on having grown up in Illinois (I’m pretty sure he said Illinois; maybe it was Indiana?) to create the range of flavors and dishes -from the cheeseburger to the dungeness crab rangoon, to the #00 on Rye open-faced egg salad and corned beef tongue sandwich. One of my favorites was the”pork chop bun” (think schnitzel sandwich) which, by the way, pairs really well with Westphalia red ale.

There are also plenty of genuinely tasty vegetarian options, from a crudités plate, to a luxed-up artichoke, to a lovely “hand salad” of endive, quinoa, pickled cauliflower, and black garlic.

Clockwise from top left: Hand Salad, Cheeseburger, Crudités, #00 on Rye

As of now, the menu doesn’t have anything very sweet on it, but if you’re in the mood for a dessert, I’d recommend ordering the “party bread”, which is a really tasty sweet-and-savory fry bread (it was a crowd favorite at the event on Friday).

Fort Point Valencia
742 Valencia St
San Francisco, CA

4th Peruvian Beer Cup

From the 19th through the 21st of June, Lima was host to the 4th installment of the Copa Peruana de Cervezas (Peruvian Beer Cup).

The competition is organized by the Unión de Cerveceros Artesanales del Perú and is open to commercial brewer and homebrewers, but is restricted to beers brewed within Peru’s borders.

This year the judging pool was made up of 21 BJCP-certified judges from Peru, Brazil, and Argentina, who together evaluated 200 entries.

I had been invited to observe but I was unable to attend due to conflicting travel plans. Thus, I have no idea of how the flights were organized, but here are the winners, organized according to the BJCP styles, as they were announced (thanks to UCAP and tomandoaltura.com for the info!)


COMMERCIAL BREWERS

2A. International Pale Lager
Bronze medal to Barranco Beer Company (Lima) for their Fifti Lager

3A. Czech Premium Pale Lager
Gold medal to Cerveceria Barbarian (Lima) for their Magic Quinua Pils

3C. Czech Amber Lager
Bronze medal to Barranco Beer Company (Lima) for Don Mau

6A. Märzen
Bronze medal to Curaka (Lima)

12A. British Golden Ale
Silver medal to Oveja Negra (Lima) for their Golden Spirit

14C. Scottish Export
Gold medal to Cumbres (Lima) for Roja Scottish Ale

15A. Irish Red Ale
Bronze medal to Besser Bier (Lima) for La Primera

16A. Sweet Stout
Bronze medal to Tempo (Lima) for their Magic Stout

17A. British Strong Ale
Silver medal to Cerveceria Antes de Cristo (Lima) for ¿Cómo Quedas?

20C. Imperial Stout
Gold medal to Cerveceria Barbarian (Lima) for Apagón Imperial Stout

21A. American IPA
Silver medal for 2 Brothers for Capitán 2

22B. American Strong Ale
Bronze medal to Melkim (Arequipa) for their Contigo Perú
Silver Medal to  Sierra Andina (Áncash) for Pachacútec Imperial Ale

24A. Witbier
Bronze medal to Beer Stache (Lima) for Blanche

25B. Saison
Bronze medal to Cervecería del Valle (Cusco) for their Saison de Pachar

26C. Belgian Tripel
Silver medal to Lemaire (Lima) for Premium Triple

28C. Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer
Bronze medal to Psycho Brewery (Lima) for EsquizSourFrenia American Wild Ale

29A. Fruit Beer
Gold medal to Melkim (Arequipa) for Caperucita
Gold medal to Lemaire and Cumbres (Lima) for their collab beer, Inka Champ

31B. Alternative Sugar Beer
Gold medal  to 7 Vidas (Tacna) for their Oxapampa Honey Ale


HOMEBREWERS

1D. American Wheat Beer
Bronze medal to Frank Ponce Vela

20B. American Stout
Bronze medal Ángel Herrera Armas

21B. American IPA
Bronze medal to Juan Carlos Ydrogo


BEST OF SHOW

Inka Champ, a collaboration brew between Lemaire and Cumbres, was voted Best of Show Beer. Inka Champ is a fruited beer made with agaymanto (kapulí), raspberries and blueberries. It is also Peru’s first commercially-released Berliner weisse.

Cerveceria Barbarian was named BOS Brewery, having earned two gold medals.

“Sara’s Boots are Pink” -Fundraiser for Pink Boots Perú

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the launch of “Las botas de Sara son rosadas” (Sara’s boots are pink), the newest beer from Barranco Beer Company in Lima.

Las botas de Sara son rosadas is a 25 IBU, 5.6% abv, schwartzbier. It has a dark, coffee color, light hop aroma with a caramelish background. Flavourwise, it is smooth, with a nice malt backbone, and mild bitterness. Very easy to drink.

Las botas de Sara son rosadas was designed by Barranco Beer Co.’s new brewer, Joe Fort (of the Red Cervecera), and co-brewed by him and Barranco Beer Co.’s founder and ambassador, Sara Lefevre.

Part of the proceeds from the sale of Las botas de Sara son rosadas will go to defray the cost of sending Sara and other members of Pink Boots Perú to the upcoming Meeting of Latin American Women in Brewing in Quito, Ecuador.

Las botas de Sara son rosadas is available on draft at Barranco Beer Company, at 308 Ave. Almirante Grau, in Barranco, and, I presume, soon at their taprooms in the Mall del Sur and Plaza Norte shopping malls.

I’ve just received news of this worthy event to benefit the public libraries in Sonoma County:

The Sonoma County Public Library Foundation invites you to a fundraiser for our library system. Get a chance to experience the Santa Rosa Central Library at night with a beer in hand. The new Director of the Sonoma County Library, Ann Hammond, will give her vision of the future of the library system. We will share exciting projects the Foundation is funding and innovative new ideas from Library staff, including an electric piano, blender bike, and more! Come play the piano; ride the bike; enjoy drinks from Lagunitas, Bear Republic, Russian River, and Golden State Cider; nibble some delicious appetizers from A La Heart Catering, and enjoy your local public library. We’ll see you there!

San Francisco Beer Week Opening Gala

On Friday night I attended the San Francisco Beer Week Opening Gala for the first time, courtesy of the Bay Area Craft Brewers Guild, and the first descriptor that comes to mind is “Wow!”

With nearly 130 breweries represented, and almost 400 beers on offer, the Gala is an amazing experience. As very brewery brings their best beers, many of them brewed specially for Beer Week, the event is truly a showcase not only of the breadth of the Bay Area’s craft brewing community, but of the quality and skills that make it a leading force in craft brewing nationally.

I was, of course, happy to find my friends Luis Castro, owner and brewer at Del Cielo Brewing Company, and Matt Sager, head brewer at Danville Brewing Company, pouring their beers side by side. Another friend, Craig Danielson, head brewer at Shadow Puppet Brewing Company, was also nearby.

Luis was pouring one of the IPAs that he makes so well, along with Guava Dreams, a kettle sour, and Coffee State, a coffee-infused blonde stout.

Matt was pouring three beers that I really like a lot: his GABF medal-winning Chux double IPA, Tres Diablos, a triple IPA brewed specifically for Beer Week, and his amazing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. I swear that that one tastes just like the oatmeal raisin cookies my mom used to make!

Craig, for his part, shared Livermorium, a really nice collaboration IPA produced at Shadow Puppet by brewers from all the breweries in Livermore.

Although all the big-name players in Northern California craft brewing were, of course, represented, and I did sample some very tasty beers from them, after a while I opted for hitting the booths of smaller breweries and ones I was unfamiliar with.

That strategy led to some pleasant highlights.

One such was finding Blue Oak Brewing Co., from San Carlos, present and serving their excellent Cordilleras Kriek.

A nice discovery was Ocean View Brew Works in Albany. They’re a fairly new brewery, and were having a great time at the Gala. They poured me a very tasty brut IPA, Mosaic Fizz. The brewery’s first anniversary will be celebrated with an event on Feb. 10th.

Another pleasant discovery was Woodfour Brewing Company, from Sebastopol. Woodfour was pouring bottles of their Sour Farmhouse Ale. John Roberts, the brewery’s Bay Area sales manager, explained that the beer is produced via spontaneous fermentation in oak barrels that are not isolated from the external environment, and then blended in what he described as a “reverse solera” method. He also pointed out that they are producing other beers in open-topped wood foeders, and are the only brewery in the region that practices spontaneous open fermentation year-round.

All in all, having attended, it amply clear why the Gala is one of the most anticipated beer events in the local beer calendar and why people come in from all over the country to attend it and SF Beer Week.


Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén