Beer 511

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

Category: Taprooms (Page 2 of 3)

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

Raleigh, NC: House of Hops

Another nice beer spot I enjoyed in North Carolina is House of Hops Craft and Draft tap house and bottle shop in Raleigh.

I happened upon it purely by chance: as I was slowing for an intersection I noticed its streetside sign out of the corner of my eye.  Without a second thought, I turned around at the intersection and made my way to its door, and boy am I glad I did.

The place has a friendly, comfortable vibe, with a bar and multiple taps, along with couches and a welcoming attitude to both kids and dogs.  Ronna, who was on duty at the time, was really warm and welcoming, and gladly pointed us to local beer offerings on draft that we might like.

The bottle shop selection –both, refrigerated and on the shelves– can conservatively described as wide and varied. Everthing is clearly labeled with brewery, provenance and price, and for a traveler from the West Coast, such as me,offered many new discoveries, ranging from breweries I did not know to brews from known breweries which were not distributed out here.

Susana and I drooled over the selections and but were only able to enjoy a half pour of beer before moving on to downtown Raleigh and our ultimate destination at the Raleigh Beer Garden.

We did stop at House of Hops on the way back to load up on a few choice bottles to take home and enjoy later.

House of Hops
6909 Glenwood Ave #100
Raleigh, NC 27612

www.houseofhopsnc.com

1 step forward, 2 steps back

In a month’s time, Contra Costa County has gained a brewery, but lost another plus a tap room.

Ale Industries got its start in the county, with its original brewery having been located in wharehouse space next to the MoreBeer! showroom in Concord, where some of guys also worked.  After a few good years there, they felt the need to expand their facility, and to brew closer to the owners’ homes in Oakland.  The story is that in 2013 they moved the In a month’s time, Contra Costa County has gained a brewery, but lost another plus a tap room.

Ale Industries got its start in the county, with its original brewery having been located in wharehouse space next to the MoreBeer! showroom in Concord, where some of guys also worked. After a few good years there, they felt the need to expand their facility, and to brew closer to the owners’ homes in Oakland. The story is that in 2013 they moved the brewery piece by piece, in a pickup truck, to the new Oakland facility, which opened in 2014.

However, Ale industries did not abandon Contra Costa, and opened their Concord tap room, The Pig & The Pickle, even as they were opening the brewery in Oakland.

Unfortunately, on December 7th Ale Industries announced on the The Pig & The Pickle’s FaceBook page that, in order to “restructure and reinvent our retail presence” it was “temporarily” closing The Pig & The Pickle, inviting everyone to instead visit their brewery tap room in Oakland.

Then, on January 12th, Pyramid announced on FaceBook and on its webpage that the Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek was closed. Following the closure of the Berkeley alehouse, this move leaves Pyramid with no taprooms or brewpubs in California.

On the plus side, the county has had the opportunity to welcome a new face to the beer scene: Concord’s Epidemic Ales.

Epidemic held the grand opening of their brewery and tap room at 150 Mason Cir. on Jan. 2nd. They managed to get it all set up in time for SF Beer Week, which they are participating in.

I hope to get to their facility soon to sample some of their brews.

_______________________
Correction: I stated above that Pyramid has no taprooms left in California. They do in fact have at least one small one, in Terminal 2 of the Oakland International Airport. (5/28/16)

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