Tag Archives: #porter

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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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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