Tag Archives: #ipa

Santa Clara Valley Brewing

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Steve Donahue and Tom Clark founded Santa Clara Valley Brewing in 2013 with the goal of “providing our friends and neighbors with a selection of fine handcrafted beers created with the highest quality ingredients.” We’d say they’re doing a pretty bang up job on that, which makes SCVB the first stop on our San Jose brewery tour!

SCVB’s Electric Tower IPA pays homage to the neighborhood’s historic San Jose Electric Light Tower of 1881, one of many so called ‘moontowers’ that illuminated nighttime cityscapes across Europe and the U.S. in the late 1800’s. It packs a heavy wallop of West Coast IPA+ness to remind you not only where you came from but where you’re going…for another beer!

Two other flagships – Peralta Porter and New Almaden Red -compliment a wide selection of experimental  and one off brewskis. Check them out at 101 E. Alma St. in San Jose! CHEERS!

Rock Bottom Brewery Chicago

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Rock Bottom Brewery is but one esteemed brand in the stable of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries – a brewing behemoth formed by the acquisition of Rock Bottom Brewery and Gordon Biersch by private equity investors Centerbridge Partners in 2010. Together they run more brewpubs than any other company in America – 70 in all around the country!

Rock Bottom is known historically for granting on site brewers independence and discretion to brew the beers they want to brew for local tastes. But the times, they are ‘a changin’! RB’s corporate overlords mandates half a dozen or so standard house beers that each location must produce in addition to honoring the long standing tradition of experimentation and localization.

So why are they called Rock Bottom? It has nothing to do with that feeling Monday morning after a weekend of willful liver augmentation. Rather, the brewery’s first location opened in the Denver, Colorado, Prudential Building (Prudential, a.k.a., “The Rock”) in 1991. The rest is beer history!

Beer flight ready for takeoff! On deck we have Lake Shore Drive Lager, Chicago Gold Ale (brewed with Cascade and Centennial hops), Red Line Express Red Ale, Liquid X Hefe, Autumn-atic IPA (Equinox hops), and Happy Camper Porter. CHEERS!

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Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse

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The Berkeley beer quest continues at one of America’s original brewpubs – Triple Rock Brewery, founded by legendary craft beer brothers John and Reid Martin in 1985. Fast forward 30 yeras and they own and operate Jupiter Beer (also in Berkeley, California), Drakes Beer (San Leandro) and Big Time Brewery (Seattle)…not too shabs! The Martins clearly have a recipe for success in the beer business, and this is where there remarkable beer story began!

Perhaps no other Berkeley brewery embodies the college spirit like Triple Rock, itself an institution of beer knowledge and the preferred public house of professors and pupils alike. Cheers!

Beer flight on deck at Triple Rock Brewing: Lead Belly (Ales for ALS), Rye Smile IPA, The Constable (made with Vermont yeast), Pinnacle English Pale Ale, SHE Idaho #7 (Single Hops Experience), Black Rock English Porter, Small Talk American Pale Ale and last but not least Red Rock American Red Ale. CHEERS!

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Berkeley Torpedo Room

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company crafts their ubiquitous beer in Chico, California, of course. But the Craft Beer Gods smiled upon Berkeley greatly when Ken & Co. launched the Torpedo Room on West Berkeley’s hipster/yupster-friendly Fourth Street.

We love Sierra for many reasons – innovation, consistency, freshness – but perhaps most importantly convenience (can you tell we’re from New York?!). You can find Sierra practically everywhere you turn, and for a fairly reasonable price! Similarly, if you happen upon the City of Berkeley, you know you’ll find the freshest and finest Sierra craft beer at the Torpedo Room each and every visit. Many of Sierra Nevada’s beers are available only in the Torpedo Room or up in Chico, so feel free to try a bunch! They offer generous tasters for as little as a couple-to-three bucks and change each. Pair a beer flight with a local artisanal cheese plate!

While there is no brewing performed on premises (yet), all of Sierra Nevada’s latest and greatest flow from the multitude of taps at this Beer Mecca extension. We topped off our latest trip with one of Sierra’s year round offerings – Hop Hunter IPA, brewed with hop oil distilled right in the fields of the brewer’s Chico farm. That’s farm-to-bottle freshness right in Berkeley! CHEERS!

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Hop Dogma Brewing Company

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El Grenada, California is a pretty relaxing and peaceful place all right. It’s located on the Pacific Coast just north of beautiful Half Moon Bay. Life seems pretty sweet here from the looks of it. There’s an old western post office across the street from the beach, a beachy gourmet sandwich shop and one of the best breweries on the Pacific Ocean – Hop Dogma Brewing Company.

Hop Dogma swung its doors open on the 4th of July in 2013 after founders Ethan Martini and Dan Littlefield took their “hobby business” into the San Francisco Peninsula brewery big leagues. They are known for brewing small batch, hop forward “adventurous” ales, and we couldn’t agree more with their reputation for brewing quality beers made with the freshest ingredients. Grab a sandwich from across the street and get comfy in this superb ocean view craft beer bar!

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We may be in a little over our heads at Hop Dogma! Beer flight on deck = Waddell Creek Saison, Kara’s Kolsch, Here’s You’re Hefe, Pyros Prost (American Rye with chili peppers), Cornshucker Cream Ale, Walk to Me Pale Ale, We All Grin for Lupin IPA and last but not least Fides in Fermento. CHEERS!

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Long Trail Brewing Company

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Long Trail Brewing Company was founded by Andy Pherson as Mountain Brewing in 1989 in the old Bridgewater Woolen Mill in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. In 1995 Long Trail moved down the road to their current production facility while blazing another trail…in green brewing, employing an ECO (Environmentally Conscious Operations) Brew process. Named after the 272-mile Long Trail which runs the length of the Green Mountain State, flagship Long Trail Ale (a German Altbier) is the number one selling craft beer in Vermont! Long Trail Brewing, owned by private equity investors since 2006, merged with Otter Creek Brewing / Wolavers Organic Brewing in 2010 and bought The Shed Brewery in 2011. We love LTB’s Vermont pride, farm fresh brewpub fare (try the hot wings!) and ridiculously good beer (especially after a few runs down the mountain!). And on a hot summer day, nothing beat wading into the Ottauquechee River with a nice cold one!

Beermaking (observation) in progress!

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Beer flight on deck = Harvest Ale, Summer Ale, Long Trail Ale, IPA, Double Bag IPA and Limbo IPA. Cheers!

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And because one beer flight is never enough at Long Trail, we are trying the Berliner Weisse, Mostly Cloudy Belgian Witbier, Imperial Pumpkin (8% ABV) and Pumpkin Ale – it’s that time of year again!

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Our trip to Long Trail would not be complete without a few roadies! Back up the truck…

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Back in the day, Long Trail used recycled Beck’s and St. Pauli Girl bottles in production. They’ve come a long way baby!

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This is where they ferment the beer at Long Trail!

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Take a hike in the Ottauquechee River at Long Trail!

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Fieldwork Brewing Company

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Welcome to Berkeley, Fieldwork Brewing! Fieldwork was founded by Barry Braden and Head Brewer Alex Tweet in February 2015 in emerging, post-industrial West Berkeley, California. Tweet brings Ballast Point and Modern Times brewing experience to Fieldwork “with a focus on exceptional, honest beermaking” – amen brother!

Every beerski we tried was truly exceptional, indeed, every one! Our first beer flight on deck = Morning Time Breakfast Stout, Hot Chocolate Stout and Coconut Milk Double IPA (brewed with 100 lbs. of coconuts!). We’ll be back soon!

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Alameda Island Brewing Company

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If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, hop in to Alameda Island Brewing Company for a refreshing beer flight! AIBC was founded by Matthew Fox after home brewing for eight years. If you are a fan of fresh craft beer and expert beer tending, this is your place!

Beer flight on deck = Cavanagh Kolsch, Control Alt Delete, Exiled (Kottbusser), Neptunes Pale Ale and Alameda’s IPA. CHEERS!

To go, we could not resist the most badass and car-safe growler ever invented at AIBC – that’s the Alameda Island flag in their logo!

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Chico

We have been looking forward to our pilgrimage to Sierra Nevada Brewing Company – Beer Mecca – in Chico, California, for many years! Sierra Nevada is of course one of our all time favorite craft beers. Sierra’s legendary American Pale Ale is often times our go-to at the bar, whether New York or San Francisco or somewheres between, when it’s found on tap.

Founded in 1979 by home brewers Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi (today independently owned by Ken & Family), Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has grown to be the largest craft beer producer in America behind Yuengling and Samuel Adams. We can see why – they make truly awesome beer!

Original beer art abounds at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico, California.

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Sierra Nevada Brewing Company purchased this shiny vessel and another just like it from a defunct German brewer for the price of scrap back in the day! It took them awhile to save up even more money to get them back in their original shape and brewing again, but they made it work!

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You may ask how does Sierra Nevada brew over 1 million barrels of beer per year?! Massive fermentation tanks like these come in handy, and they are just the tip of the brewing iceberg!

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Cases of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale coming down the bottling line at – what a beautiful sight!

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One of the best parts of the beer tour at Sierra Nevada is that you get to sample many of their offerings for free! You start off with the original Pale Ale to get you in the beer tour mood and finish off in their beautiful old world bar and sample another half dozen fresh beers each in their own glassware that optimizes the aroma and experience of each taste.

Of course, even after imbibing a few free beers from the brewery tour, we try a few additional beers at Sierra’s brewpub that are only available in Chico or the Berkeley Torpedo Room. Beer flight on deck! Bigfoot (barleywine aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels), Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale (made with New Zealand hops), Beer Camp #141 Blue Baltic Porter and Knightro! We’re in Beer Heaven. Cheers!

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Ninkasi Brewing Company

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Ninkasi Brewing Company – what an incredible experience! Ninkasi of course is the ancient Sumerian Goddess of Fermentation. We all knew that, right?!

Ninkasi Brewing was founded much later, in 2006, after Nikos Ridge and Jamie Floyd met at a local Eugene, Oregon bottle shop and pondered, “What would you do if you could open your own brewery?” How relatable! Thank you fine sirs for bringing such wonderful beer into the world and emphasizing the origin and symbiosis of beer and civilization! Ninkasi Brewing Company is a must stop on the Oregon Beer Trail!

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Beer time at Ninkasi Brewing! Total Domination IPA (their first brew and still a winner), Oatis (Oatmeal Stout), Quantum (Pale Ale), Tripel (Belgian Style Tripel Ale), Maiden the Shade (summer style IPA), Dawn of the Red (India Red Ale), Tricerahops (Double IPA), Wunderbier (Kolsch), Vanilla Oatis and last but not least Boss Hopp IPA. This. Is. Awesome.

Beer flight at Ninkasi Brewing – who could ask for anything more?

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Ninkasi Brewing produced these marvellous gates in their own on premise metal shop. They’re so awesome that Sierra Nevada Brewing Company commissioned Ninkasi to manufacture new gates for their brewery down in Chico, California!

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Here is one of the centrifuges at Ninkasi Brewing!

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We’ve always wondered how Ninkasi Brewing cleans all their old kegs – this here machine does just that all day long!

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We highly recommend the free brewery tour at Ninkasi Brewing!

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Ninkasi Brewing’s Eugene brewhouse is a true work of beer art in itself!

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