Beer 511

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

Category: Taprooms (Page 1 of 2)

Alvarado Street Brewery tap room in Salinas (CA)

Here’s a collage of some images from a visit I made yesterday to Alvarado Street Brewery’s production facility and tap room in Salinas.

The brewery and tap room had been on my list for a while but, somehow or another, I never managed to get there whenever I was in Salinas.  Yesterday, however, I was in town and I had a few spare moments before leaving, so I decided to give it a shot.

The brewery is in an industrial area of town, and if you know Salinas you know that that means mainly agriculture-related businesses.  They start their days early, and so things shut down early as well.  As I drove to the brewery a little after 5:30 in the afternoon, the area was pretty much deserted except for a couple of guys at a food truck and some straggler semis pulling out of some of the plants.  I thought, “Man, this place is dead.”

The tasting room, however, was hopping. Alvarado Street has managed to create a really nice, almost intimate, space in the midst of fermentation tanks and what could’ve been a kind of cold industrial warehouse. Consequently, the place was packed with people –a lot them clearly just off work from the surrounding plants– having a good time and enjoying some quite tasty beers.

After sampling a few of Alvarado Street’s brews, I asked my server to point me to one that I really should not leave without trying. He steered me toward Minesweeper IPA.

Minesweeper is very pleasant 55 IBU, 7% ABV, hazy IPA.  It is not as “juicy” nor as bitter as some examples that have come into prominence lately, but that actually enhances its drinkability.   My server pointed out that Minesweeper was “the one that really put us on the map.”

 

 

Alvarado Street Brewery  & Tasting Room
1315 Dayton Street, Suite E
Salinas, CA 93901

www.alvaradostreetbrewery.com

 

 

Watch these spaces…

2115 Pacheco St, Concord, future home of Hop Heavy Brewing Co.

Recent surveys by the Brewer’s Association indicate that in the US new craft breweries open at about one every two weeks.  Our area is certainly part of that trend, with several breweries opening or due to open in the near future.
Calicraft just opened its taproom in Walnut Creel last week, after a four year effort, and the much-awaited Farm Creek Brewing’s brewery and taproom is set to open to the public on August 6th, under the direction of founder/owner Randy Janinda and new head brewer Winn Whisenhnut (formerly of Bartlett Hall in San Francisco).
Danville Brewing Co., meanwhile, is in the final stages of preparation, with estimates of an end-of-summer or early fall opening of its taproom on Railroad Ave, in Danville, with Matt Sager as head brewer. Matt is an award-wining homebrewer and until recently head brewer at Rock Steady Brewing in Martinez.
Also nearing final stages is Livermore’s Shadow Puppet Brewing‘s brewery and taproom with Craig Danielson at the helm, in his first foray as a professional brewer. Craig is also an award-wining homebrewer with years of experience under his belt.
Another accomplished homebrewer going pro is Max Brown, who is steadily working away at getting his taproom ready to open in downtown Concord. Hop Heavy Brewing will be located on Pachecho Street, just a block from Todos Santos Plaza.  Max is expecting to open within the next six months.

Calicraft opens taproom in Walnut Creek (CA)

After a four-year wait, as a work-in-progress, Calicraft Brewing Company has finally opened the doors to its taproom in Walnut Creek.

The taproom was opened to the general public with a soft opening on July 29th.

When I got there, half an hour after opening, the line snaked through the room, and when I left a couple of hours later it was still to the door, with a steady stream of new visitors coming in.

Throughout it all, owner and head brewer, Blaine Landberg, circulated, greeting guests, distributing samples, and helping everyone feel welcome.

The beer was certainly very good, as was to be expected from a brewer with so strong a presence in the local market and beyond.

Of course, Calicraft’s flagship brews -Buzzerkley, Oaktown, The City, Cali Coast– were well-represented on the tap list. However, there were also a number of other treats, including a fruit-infused version of Buzzerkley, and a whiskey barrel-aged edition of Oaktown.

Particularly nice were a special sour beer fermented in a zinfandel barrel, and Zero Anniversary, a pale ale brewed specially for opening weekend.

According to Blaine’s parents, who were also on hand, there are long-range plans of adding a deck out front, with maybe a bocce ball court. Food options are still under evaluation.

Calicraft Brewing Co.
2700-B Mitchell Dr
Walnut Creek, CA

 

 

BarBarian (Lima, Peru)

Lima’s newest addition to the growing Peruvian craft beer scene is Cerveceria Barbarian’s taproom in Miraflores: BarBarian.
Located half a block from Miraflores’ main park, on Calle Bonilla, BarBarian taproom has been open only since March, and already it is a popular, standing-room-only, joint late into a Friday night.  It has a friendly, open atmosphere, and the back portion is dominated by a colorful mural and a wall display of several hundred beer bottles collected over seven years by the owners.

The twety-three taps offer a mix of Barbarian’s own brews and guest beers from other Peruvian craft brewers such as Nuevo Mundo, La Magdalena, Cumbres, and Sierra Andina.  All are available in 100-ml tasters, or in 200-ml and 400-ml pours.  
In addition, there is a selection of bottled Peruvian craft and import beers available for consumption on the spot or to go (currently at a 30% discount relative to the in-house price!).
There is also a kitchen, offering burgers, chicken wings, and other pub-type fare, making  this a good place for lunch, dinner, or a late night snack, washed down with quality beer.

BarBarian
Calle Manuel Bonilla 108
Miraflores, Lima
Peru
 

Raleigh, NC: Raleigh Beer Garden

One of my destinations in North Carolina –a recommendation from Susana– was the Raleigh Beer Garden, on Glenwood Avenue in downtown Raleigh.

The Beer Garden, rather than a garden, is actually a three-story affair, with three regular bars, which are expanded on weekends with a draft setup on the rooftop patio.

 

One of the bars is the liquor and cocktail bar near the entrance. It is a pretty cool affair in its own right, dominated by a sculpture made out of a real tree which towers into the second floor.

Toward the back of the first and second floors are the beer taprooms. The Raleigh Beer Garden claims to offer the world’s largest selection of draft beer, and they have the Guinness World Record certificates to prove it.

 

Even without the certificates the claim is easy to believe. Altogether there are 378 taps, of which the 144 on the first floor are all North Carolina beers, while the second floor bar serves beers from elsewhere in the country and imports. If you’re in the Raleigh area and don’t have time for a local beer crawl, then definitely hit the Raleigh Beer Garden.

With a beer selection so vast, actually pretty good food, patio seating and a rooftop bar and patio, it is easy to understand why the Raleigh Beer Garden is a very popular spot. We went on a weekday afternoon, and I recommend that. As I understand it, from 4 pm on on Thursday and Friday evenings, and on the weekends, the place is gets packed with the college crowd (which, of course, can be a totally fun scene in its own right!) and it can be hard to get in without a reservation.

 

Raleigh Beer Garden
614 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27603

www.theraleighbeergarden.com

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