San Francisco during Beer Week 2012
Planning a San Francisco Beer trip soon? Check out Joe’s review, which took place in February, during SFBW 2012.
As I boarded my Bombardier Q400 from LAX to San Jose for my 2nd time to San Francisco Beer Week, I knew my day was going to be filled with many surprises. After a woman with a screaming baby figured out she was on the wrong plane and delayed the flight for 20 minutes, I knew I was ready for a beer.
Much to my surprise, Alaska Airlines provides a complimentary beer or wine listed on the beverage menu located in seat pouch. When they mentioned the beverage choices over the intercom, they failed to mention the complimentary alcohol. They opened a fresh bottle of Alaskan IPA just for me since it was 9am, no one else was drinking. When I was finished with half the glass, the flight attendant brought me a refill without asking. They offer a different craft beer on board each month. Next month features the Ninkasi Believer Double Red.
As soon as my friends picked me up from San Jose airport, we headed straight over to the Double IPA festival at The Bistro in Hayward, CA. Tickets were $45 for 4 tasters, with each ticket being an additional $2. Everyone’s first beer was of course “Pliny The Younger”. This year’s batch was incredible, even more so than last year in my opinion. It seemed a bit drier and less sweet, with a tad more bitterness.
They had a whole section set aside for Triple IPAs, many poured solely for the festival. Other brews I indulged in were: Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA, Moylan’s Hop Craic XXXXIPA, Kern River Citra, Green Flash Pallet Wrecker, Pyramid Outburst, Port Mongo, Midnight Sun Obliteration VIII, and Auburn ZZ Hop. Thanks to the help of Untappd Android App for helping remember those amazing brews. As I pushed myself through the hundreds of people to obtain refills, I met some really nice people. There were lots of really fun beer shirts, which are to be expected at events like these, but this one really stood out from the rest.
Since we didn’t consume enough beer at the Double IPA festival, we headed down to Drakes Brewing Taproom & Barrel House to try the much-anticipated Hopocolypse Triple IPA (Black Label) that tapped out at the festival early in the day. It was really balanced for such a strong triple IPA and had such a great aroma. Too bad all of the bottles sold out the day of the release last week as they only made about 700 available at the barrelhouse only.
The next morning we drove up to Berkley for the Triple Rock Sour Sunday festival. We got there about an hour early and were first in line. One of the employees let us in a tad early to look at all of the bottles up for pours when they opened. I went straight for the Cantillon Mamouche.
After about an hour there was a bit of ruckus happening upstairs were the taps were. Rumor was they tapped a keg of Cantillon Saint Lamvinus and quickly made my way over to partake in this amazing beer. Joe Tucker, the head man behind Ratebeer was even at the festival talking beer and offering pours to fellow patrons.
My last day up in the bay area ended with a bang as we made our way to Santa Rosa to visit good ‘ole Russian River for some more Pliny The Younger. We arrived about 30 minutes after they opened and got in within 10 minutes. The Line was forming quick as we walked in and I called this “Liney The Longer”.
After Russian River we stopped by Whole Foods in Santa Rosa, and too much surprise they had a taproom inside! Who would have thought? Have a beer before you shop. I tried the 3 Floyds/Mikkeller Boo Goop Collaboration and the High Water Aphotic barrel aged Baltic porter. They honored my AHA membership discount, which was a plus.
After Whole Foods we tried to stop by Lagunitas since I’d never been, but love their beers and unfortunately they were closed on Monday and Tuesday. The gift shop was the only thing open, so I picked up some stickers and some bottle cap magnets.
2012 proved to be another amazing time for San Francisco beer week. It was much better than last year, with even more events than ever before there is something for everyone to drink.
Joe Stewart VI