Posts Tagged ‘ale’

A new brewery on the big island of Hawaii

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Big Island sunsetAnother beautiful sunset on the big island.

A great trip to the big island of Hawaii is now in the books. Love the weather there and unfortunately it’s not so great here right now in the Bay Area. Oh well, I still have NHC to look forward to.
The other great news about the trip is that the big island now has a third brewery. Armed with only my trusty point and shoot this trip, we went up to Waimea to check it out. The temps are about 10 degrees cooler or so up there in the high country (as in the low 70′s and windy). Actually a little better weather for a variety of beer styles as opposed to only wanting to only slam pilsners on the 85 degree beaches.
The Big Island Brewhaus is hard to miss since it is right on the highway. They mix guest taps with their own beer and mexican food is on the menu.  The beer menu was impressive. Outside of a variety of standard styles, it looks like they also plan to venture into a range of belgian beers and DIPAs. Works for me.
With a plate of tacos, I tried the paniolo pale, the big red, and the IPA. All good beers that I would try again if I had the opportunity, very drinkable. But alas, with tired kids and more things to see, we were out of there and onto others things. I did notice that the brewing equipment was located in a building behind the actual pub. Looked to be standard pub size equipment with a standard amount of fermentors. Two folks were working back there on the latest batch. This place is worth the drive if you are on the big island.

Also, Kona brewpub is still terrific and is worth a stop or two. The lavaman red is fantastic and the IPA is very drinkable as well. Plenty of others on their beer menu including a barleywine. Now if only I could get those guys to can their beers. Would be better for the beach.
I Didn’t make it to Mehana/Hawaii Nui this trip but always a worth it stop as well if you are in Hilo.

See you in San Diego. I’ll be pouring beer at the Bay Area Mashers booth on club night. Come by and say hi and try some of my smoked porter.

big island brewhaus frontThis is what you are looking for in Waimea. Right on the side of the highway in town.

beers on tap at the brewhausGood range of styles along with some home brewed soda and guest taps. I like how the “coming soon” beers have checkboxes for what stage they are at.

the brewing equipment behind the pubThe actual brewery behind the pub.

Beer and Cheese from the British Isles at the Commonwealth in Oakland

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Commonwealth Pub sign
Last Sunday at the Commmonwealth Cafe and Pub in Oakland, Cicerone Nicole Erny held her British Isles beer and cheese pairing event. After a day at Triple Rock sampling sour beers amongst the crowds I was quite happy to get to this event. Seating was limited here and the ambiance was terrific, a great way to relax and get some focus towards pairings. Outside of this, it was also great to see some Bay Area Mashers there (AJ, Lee Shepard, and others) along with Nate Smith (part time masher!) and Chaz Lakip (traveled down Beer and Cheese with Nicole Erny at the Commonwealth Pubfrom Juneau, AK).
After settling up on cost and enjoying some conversation with a pint of 21st Amendment’s very excellent Bitter American (way better than I imagined, can’t wait till it comes out in cans). We were promptly seated and the event began. I won’t go into too much detail but Nicole really does her homework for her events. Along with some history of both the beers and cheese we were tasting, she presented pairings that I wouldn’t have thought doable. You would think some of these cheeses would just overpower the beer but they didn’t. Amazing what the odiferous washed rind cheese brought out in the milk stout or how the stilton treated the Scotch Ale. None of the beers (and one cider) I’ve had before, certainly not the cheese. While I came to learn something, I also had a door opened up in terms of possibilities of what you can come up with. There is a lot going on with pairing beer and cheese, more so than I imagined. Thanks for the head start.
Trust me, you are doing a disservice by missing a Nicole event. Check out the few shots below and clicky on them for a bigger version.
Cheers and don’t forget the cheese with your next beer.

Cicerone Nicole ErnyNicole holding court. She keeps her events on track and gets your attention for every course so you will learn something.

Great cheese and Cider at the Commonwealth Cafe and PubI’m going to take a shot and say that this one was the raw milk cave aged cheese paired with a naturally fermented cider. Makes my mouth water just looking at it again.

Stilton in front of Meantime Scotch AleI’m not much for Meantime but this was an exception. Went very well with the out of focus piece of stilton in front of it.

The lone pint Commonwealth Cafe and Pub in OaklandTill next time…..

GABF Pro Am brewday at Triple Rock with Nathan Smith

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

nate rodger george

Yesterday I made it over to Triple Rock Brewery in time to watch Nathan Smith finish up his Pro Am brewday there. Participating along with him were Brewmaster Rodger Davis and Brewer George Kumparak.
If any of you caught Nate’s facebook posting about this, you know he gave a clue about the beer. He mentioned bringing over some specialty malt and that’s it. So Triple Rock house yeast? Maybe probably. Hopefully we’ll get Nate to comment back with the details since I didn’t exactly ask if I should post the beer. I think folks will be pleasantly surprised as the beer is different than what he has done the past two years (read: session beer). I would suspect it will go on tap at Triple rock in about a month or around the GABF time frame. Look for “Nostalgiaholic Pale Ale” during that time frame.
Hanging with this group is always a pleasure and coincidentally, this is the second year in a row that they brewed their beer on my birthday. That is either luck or a jinx…I guess we’ll find out. During our beer and conversation, Nate the guy that he is, offered to climb in the boil kettle and scrub it down. Rodger offered lots of pointers to him while he was down there…..
Please have a look at the pics and click on any of them for a larger version. I did promise Rodger that I wouldn’t publish any more dumb photos of him so instead I included a dumb photo of myself with them.
Good luck you guys this year at GABF. You deserve a medal!
nate cleaning the boil kettle

Nathan not afraid of hard work….the kettle looked pretty darn clean in the end.

rodger davis and nathan smith
Post clean up…..

nathan smith rodger davis and george kumparak

My apologies to Nate and Rodger for this photo but it is pretty classic. George seems to questions this. Thank you to Nikon for your excellent continuous shoot mode.

nate jon and rodger
That’s all for this year’s brew. Cheers gentlemen. Good luck from the dumb guy in the middle. Nice T shirt BTW.

I’ve landed at the National Homebrew Conference. Oh baby!

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Bloomington, MN looking back towards the airportWith what was really quite a smooth trip from San Francisco to Minneapolis, I have now landed in the middle of the National Homebrew Conference.
I’ve hooked up with a few friends that I have met over time and I have tried some really tasty beers. The Brewing Network put on a show from the hospitality suite and I attended the meadmaker of the Year Seminar.
The one thing I was really looking forward to in a Homebrew Conference in this area is mead, and I have not been dissapointed. The mead panel had what is probably the 5 most knowledgable meadmakers on the planet. The meads poured during the seminar were great and the standouts have been the chipotle meads. I have tried a couple and being fruit meads (melomels) they have fruit on the top with a very gentle heat on the finish from the chipotle. Absolutely fantastic.
The seminar was very well attended which shows how much mead is appreciated in this area. The atmosphere was relaxed and light hearted as the panel pretty much just took questions from the audience. The entire time, delicious meads were being poured that the panel had produced earlier in the year.
I’m writing this up prior to club night which starts at 8pm tonight. Clubs from throughout the midwest and beyond will be represented. This is basically the largest homebrew party in the world.
I need a little rest before I go but please enjoy the photos (clicky for a higher res version)

Meadmaker of the year panel at NHC 2010
The meadmaker of the year panel.

got mead?
Mead being served thorughout the panel discussion

NHC 2010 mead panel
The panel was well attended showing the interest in mead in this part of the country.

The Brewing Network: Can you brew it?
The Brewing Network doing their thing up in the hospitality suite. The forum was “can you brew it” and it was basically an open mic for questions with plenty of entertaining stories between, Jamil and Tasty style.

pic of the week: Sierra Nevada’s new Southern Hemisphere Ale

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale

Quality, clean beer and I love the label. I don’t get as much aroma as I do off of the oringinal versions of southern hemisphere. The taste exhibits some fresh hop chracter that goes right to bitterness. A nice beer but I think I prefer the last version. To cut Sierra Nevada some slack, they are flying in fresh hops from halfway around the world so they get huge props for their efforts and they have produced a beer that has maintained some fresh hop quality.

Other news:
Looking forward to spending time with homebrewers at the National Homebrew Conference in Minnesota next month. I will be arriving on the Friday so please come say hey to me if you can. From there, I fly to Boston for work and plan to hit some great brewpubs and will haul back as much beer as I can. Unfortunately, my work trip to Kiev has been cancelled. I was looking forward to it but Boston should be fun as well.
Tomorrow, the family and I leave for the big island of Hawaii for some much needed relaxation. I’ll get to the Kona brewpub and check it out but other than that, don’t intend on doing much besides drinking the local beer, sitting on the beach, and swimming with the kids.
Cheers and happy weekend.

The Session #17 – Drinking Anti-Seasonally

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Well, where I live epitomizes anti-seasonal drinking. You see, I live in the north side of Berkeley, CA. Locals are already going “yeah, I get it….”, but for the others: The fog that comes pouring through the Golden Gate bridge in the late Spring and Summer (let this be a warning to you tourists…Summer is not the season for SF, the fall is) on its way to the Central Valley, literally being sucked in there by the rising heat of central California, this fog goes right over my house. A cold blanket that hides the heat of the sun. Yes, I have come home and I look to the north, I see blue sky. I look to the south, I see blue sky. I look overhead and I see fog. Literally one “finger” of fog on its way east travels right over my house. Sigh. Heavy sigh if you are my wife. We both do like the heat of summer….

What’s the benefit? Well, last month I tore through a fit of Oatmeal and Sweet stouts (Anderson Vally, Sam Smiths, and Youngs for the former, Mackesons for the latter). This could not have happened (naturally) in most other places. Yes, I did try Coconut Porter once while I was on Maui but I was more into the Bikini Lager. So maybe I am not a natural fit for this session….more of a fit by location.

So what else have I enjoyed in the “warmth” of Spring and Summer? Plenty of my Irish Red and Nut Brown Homebrew…other commercial Nut Brown’s as well. The stouts mentioned above. Scottish ales and Porters. Boy I love a good porter. Anchor Brewing’s Porter or how about one of those Alaskan smoked jobs that I have in my basement? No, I got it….Speakeasy’s Hunters Point Porter. Perfect for a Summer night in Berkeley….the crickets are chirping elsewhere and I have jacket on. Crickets….who needs them? Well, I do actually. I would have had a much harder time resonding to this session if I didn’t live here. My taste for Lager (Bo Pils specifically) is huge in hot weather and I demand quite a few. Enough, that is too seasonal.

Tonight we will be camping with friends. We will be wearing jackets and sitting around a fire. I am packing Strong Darks (bro thelonious) and Stone smoked porter to keep us warm. There will be homebrew….ambers and english browns… wheat in case it does warm up…during the day. Sadly my lager (pilsner urquell in the can) will have to stay in my basement. Only to come out during a rare heat wave or after Summer has gone, when the fog goes away and we finally get some consistently warm weather. I’ll keep it brown to dark to keep me warm in the height of Summer.


On a side note:

Happy Fourth of July to you all.


Thank you Rob @ Pfiff! for hosting the session. Please go to there for a summary of this month plus his write up.