Posts Tagged ‘Rodger Davis’

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.

So Push Eject was up in the Bay Area, briefly….

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Push with 21st amendment and linden street
It is very easy to say that the great thing about beer is beer itself. Very true but what really adds life to that statement is the great people you meet through beer. This is talked about all the time amongst beer people. Yesterday was a good example.
So I learn about Push Eject through the Brewing Network. Then I find out down the road that we have a lot in common with our day jobs and other things. Then I officially met Push at NHC this last year. Then last week I get a note from him asking for information on upgrading a bunch of their systems at work. After little thought, it made sense to just fly Push up here and have him go straight to the source for his answers and have some fun in the process. So a day or two after I received his note, he had a boarding pass and was on his way up here for a whirlwind work visit. Ok, but this blog isn’t called work obsessed. So let’s move on.Shaun watermelon funk
Even though I could get Push up here on the company’s dime, it is still my duty to show a beer brother a good time. 21st Amendment is quite easily accessible from work so off we went there with some other work folks. Push brought homebrew that we all sampled at the table including his last bottle of a 5 year old barleywine that was damn good and smooth(thank you for that one!). Also a couple versions of his Mrs. P’s porter that were excellent as well(one with hazelnut extract and the other with chocolate nibs…both blended well with the porter). Since Brewmaster Shaun O Sullivan was there, he brought out what I believe was the last can of Watermelon Funk on the planet. We were all honored by this and it was a great beer. Yep Watermelon Wheat covered in horseblanket. A slice of heaven.
Time was already getting tight at this point and I wanted to try and get Push to Beer Revolution in Oakland since neither of us had been there. We went back to the office and finished up our actual business. Time was tight, I brought a 4 year vertical of Bigfoot to try and we only had time for two of them (we liked the ’10 better that the ’07…less bitter if you can believe it and we enjoyed the freshness). So off on BART we went and made to Beer Revolution. Great place, you need to go if you haven’t been there. We walk in and there was Roger and George from Triple Rock, Adam and Carey from Linden St., and Shaun O (Shaun was planned actually). Well heck, if the brewers are hanging out here then you gotta love that! Push got to sample Odonata’s Water Witch and Moonlight’s Misspent Youth. Somehow we talked Shaun into driving him to Oakland airport and that was it. Push made his flight in the nick of time.
So back to my earlier point. I have met a lot of great people and continue to meet new ones through beer. In Push’s case, we were able to help each other out business-wise but we took it one step better and made a fun day out of it as well. That doesn’t happen with your typical client. Leave it to good beers and the friends that come out of them! So to Push and the rest of you. I look forward to sharing more beers with you again in the  in the future.
watermelon funk
push eject watermelon funk

Quick shot: Rodger Davis of Triple Rock and Yuseff Cherney of Ballast Point

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Last week, Brewmaster Yuseff Cherney (Ballast Point) came up to spend a day brewing with Rodger Davis at Triple Rock as part of SF Beer Week. The brew was a Belgian IPA that will go on tap soon at Triple Rock. It looks like the brewers got a late start as they were still cleaning out the kettle when I showed up. I was a able to catch a quick half dozen shots before I had to let them get back to work. The bottom two were the better ones. Before anyone accuses Yuseff of making eyes at Rodger (in the second photo), just beware that I did catch him off guard. Yuseff is a great guy, very professional, and a bit reserved so I wanted to (hopefully) capture something different out of him. It was a pleasure to meet him as I am a big fan of his beers. Always great to see Rodger as well. It was a couple of my favorite brewers in one shot!
The last shot is Mitch and Dave (Brewer and Distributor) of Stone Brewing Co. They showed up at the bar and it looked like it was going to be a great night at Triple Rock but alas I had to go. It was great to meet Mitch and Dave as well.

rodger davis and yuseff cherney

rodger davis and yuseff cherney

Mitch and Dave from Stone Brewing Co.

SF Beer Week: Pro Brewers hang with the Bay Area Mashers at Oak Barrel on Thursday

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Last night, Pro Brewers Adam Lamoreaux (Linden St.), Christian Kazakoff (Iron Spring), and Rodger Davis (Triple Rock) came down to The Oak Barrel homebrew shop in Berkely to hang out at the home of the Bay Area Mashers. The public was invited as part of SF Beer Week and in Oak Barrel style, Homer Smith was BBQing. I believe the event topped out at about 150 folks….way more than both Homer and Bernie expected. While they were happy by the entusiastic attendance, they unfortunately ran out of Homer’s famous BBQ.
I myself didn’t get there till about 8pm (the event started at 5pm) since I had to get the kids to bed. Fortunately for me, Oak Barrel is about a 4 minute car ride from my house.  I was greeted by old faces and new and I had a great time. In homebrew fashion, I brought some of my homebrew. In this case, a 14% spiced mead fermented with oranges and raisins. Folks enjoyed it and I got to enjoy some of Nathan Smith’s Imperial Stout (smooth and tasty, it was about 9%). Thirsty Bear Witbier was the only beer left on tap so I enjoyed a pint of it.
Of folks I know, it was a pleasure to shake hands and talk with Nathan, Roger Davis, Ed Ledger, and Homer. It was also a pleasure to officially meet Christian of Iron Springs. Of the Bay Area Mashers, I finally met both Lee Shepard and Jon Sheehan who I have seen around on Facebook.
It was great to see yet another SF Beer Week event so well attended. Bernie (Oak Barrel) is already figuring out how he is going to work next year. Hopefully more BBQ! The best news for me is I am now officially a Bay Area Masher. I paid my dues and bought the shirt of which I will wear proudly around town and certainly to Minneapolis for this year National Homebrewer Conference.
OK, on to some shots. Please click on them for a full res version as PHP code has a way of munging phots when it auto-shrinks them. Cheers!

Nathan Smith and Homer Smith
Homebrewer extroadinare Nathan Smith with Homer, Bay Area Homebrewing and Winemaking icon.

Ed Ledger and Paul

Ed Ledger, owner of Ledger’s liqours. Ed runs one of the best stocked bottle shops in the East Bay. Paul (on the right) of the Bay Area Mashers.

Lee Shepard and Nathan Smith

Bay Area Mashers Lee Shepard and Nathan Smith

Bay Area Masher brewed a beer
Bay Area Mashers brewed a beer during the entire event. Brew time was 4 hours and 20 minutes which is fast for an all grain brew! The shot was taken while the wort was going into the fermenter.

Big flame for brewing

Oak barrel’s brew setup. This very high BTU burner is capable of bringing 12 gallons of liquid to boil in 15 minutes!

SF Beer Week: Triple Rock’s Sour Monday

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Like Pliny the Younger, I fear that Triple Rock’s annual sour day is on its way to becoming “legendary”, meaning big huge crowds due to the hype. Rodger Davis mentioned yesterday that it is possible they may have to move the event next year. Triple Rock was packed until the end of the night with sour beer lover’s and if that hype does take hold then you could expect anywhere from double that crowd or greater for next year.
Don’t get me wrong, the event was worth it for being able to try not only Duck Duck Gooze (Lost Abbey) but then walking up to Tomme Arthur and telling him how much you enjoy it. Odonata had their other version of Rosa there. The first version having the Russian River Beatification yeast strain and this version having the Drie Fonteinen yeast strain. Triple Rock had the Drie Fonteinen beer there too so you could compare both. All of this was poured into a tasteful snifter that came with your purchase at the door. The glass with labeled with the Barrel Aged Beer Night but I can see it being too  expensive silk screening glasses for both nights. Not a problem for me….just don’t be confused by the photo below that contains a wonderful sour in the glass.
My personal favorite style is Flanders Red and there where a couple new ones for me (one being Ichtegems) plus three versions of Rodenbach (regular, regular from ’07, and grand cru). 
Some didn’t know but there were sours also being poured at Jupiter down the street and your tokens were good there as well. Jupe had only a small corner devoted to it and there a couple few people around. This is where the Rodenbach was and also a couple by Moonlight Brewing. The Moonlight “60 to life” and Bear Republic’s Belgian Brown with fruit (11% ABV) where definitely worth the two block trip south.
OK now to text between the pics below, follow me (and please click on the photos for a higher res version….PHP does horrible things when shrinking pics):

John Tucci - Brewmaster for GB-SF

Above is John Tucci, trained at Paulaner in Munich and the Brewmaster for Gordon Biersch – SF. What most people don’t know is that John has a barrel of Hefeweizen in his cellar that have brett and bugs pitched into it. He brought a keg. Can you say Hefe with horse blanket? Works for me!

Triple Rock's Sour/Barrel glassware with a sour

Same glass for both Triple Rock festivals. Don’t be fooled, this glass has a beautiful sour beer in it.

Peter Hoey and Rick Sellers from Odonata

The Odonata boys: Peter Hoey and Rick Sellers. They brought their second version of Rosa (the first version was poured at the BN Winterfest). I do have to mention that my favorite Odonata beer so far (and they have all been great, BTW) was their Water Witch Belgian Quad aged in Malbec wine barrels. Oh baby!

Ichtegem's Flanders Red

This beer above was right up my alley. A very nice Flanders Red that I may not have had an opportunity to try otherwise.

Lost Abbey's Duck Duck Gooze

…and the much hyped Duck Duck Gooze. Worth the wait and was very happy I got to try it. A wonderful sour that is not too overly dry (read thin). This was probably the first beer to run out.

SF Beer Week opening gala event

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

SF Beer Week Opening Gala Toast

I’m finally getting caught up here and already I have to get ready to leave for Sour monday at Triple Rock(ed note: um that was yesterday and was fun, more on it in a later post). So here we go:
First of all thank you to Jay Brooks for being classy enough to invite the Bay Area Beer Blogging faithful. We all work for free and do it on the side because we love it. Inviting us to the event helps validate everything we do and makes us feel more part of the scene.
Also to Rich Higgins. Great to witness his rise up not only directing SF Beer Week but his new business ventures as well. Rich is a great guy and he will be successful.

Jay Brooks

I have been wanting to start taking more pictures of beer people as opposed to actual beer…which I have been doing a lot of. Shooting a picture of a beer is easy, it poses the way you want it to and doesn’t complain. I just feel the need to branch out more. So with the Opening Gala, I felt a little self serving (or not since I plan to post the pics at various spots around the web) in wanting to capture a lot of folks in a short time. If I stuck a camera in your face, I might need to apologize but the good news is that I probably have a great photo of you and I’m working on them now (along with writing this).
There was a lot of beer people to see and beers to drink (many high octane ones ). BTW, the classiest detail for me was providing actual stemware for the event. Nice touch. It’s probably easier for me to write what I missed so here we go in no particular order:

  • Jesse Friedman – my camera toting brother. I know you were there but I seemed to pass you by.
  • Stephen Beaumont - Next to Jay Brooks here is someone all of us bloggers look up to. I know he is in town and I know he will be at Sour Monday so I’ll catch him then(ed note…..I didn’t)
  • Colin Kaminski - Colin and I are in the extreme verge of hooking up. It didn’t happen at the Gala so we stay extreme.
  • Ted Vivitson - It is admittedly tough to see Eel River taps and no Ted. If you haven’t shared a few beers with Ted, you need to.
  • No BN army - OK, Justin Crossley was there but he was undercover. Even more weird I was wearing my BN army shirt and I was an army of one that night (ed note….Sean Paxton had his BN hat on, that counts)

I have more photos to come including ones shot at Sour Monday at Triple Rock…look out for them soon and here’s a couple more shots from the night:

Rodger and Jesse - Triple RockSF Beer Week opening gala toast

Storms over the Bay Area means cozy pubs. Plus other news & events

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

bay area stormWe have been getting our version of winter in the Bay Area lately. Meaning, one rainstorm after another. Outside of some flooding, trees falling, and apartment buildings dropping into the ocean, we actually do  need the water. I think we are still only about 80% of normal. But we can’t suffer anymore because, as you may know, we don’t deal well with “weather” here.

It does make your local pub more cozy and I did want to get a couple of shots up. Bitter Birthday at Triple RockPrior to the storms, Rodger Davis the Brewmaster for Triple Rock celebrated the 20th anniversary of his 20th Birthday. On tap was “Bitter Birthday”, a recipe that originally came from 21st Amendment (Bitter American). I do like this beer but it took some getting used to. Now I feel there should be more beers like it. I suppose you could call it a “session-able west coast IPA”. It is a point or so under 5% ABV and has beautiful hop aroma and flavor. The getting used to part is that you don’t get the body you normally associate with IPA, which actually isn’t a problem and you could drink several as opposed to maybe two full strength IPAs. More session beers please.
Another beer that is wonderful on tap is Blind Pig. Pretty much a Bay Area IPA tradition, I tend to gravitate towards it whenever I see it on the menu. While it is called a DIPA by some the ABV is lighter for that style at about 6.x ABV. I am happy that it is available in bottle as well so I can have it at home.

Other NewsBlind Pig at barclays in Oakland
This Saturday is the Brewing Network’s Winterfest at Linden Street Brewing Company in Oakland. It is their first beer festival but I do expect a couple things to come out of it: This will become an established event right up there with the other big west coast beer events and it will raise the bar on what a beer festival could/should be. Food will be preapared on site by Beer Chef Sean Paxton. The menu is amazing. The event itself is 25 bucks for entrance, a glass, and five drink tokens (more tokens can be purchased). Just remember that that the pours will be 9 ounces and most beers will be high octane. You will get your money’s worth. I would pack up to 50 dollars just in case since Sean’s food I believe will run you 10 dollars for the plate. Visit for more info.
I look forward to meeting new faces and old. Please hit me up for a taste of my mead as I plan on packing some, low key style.

The day before the festival, Cicerone Nicole Erny will debut with her first beer dinner. Cicerone Nicole ErnyThe location is the Lafayette Hotel in Lafayette, CA. Please call the hotel for reservations.
The menu is first class and I believe is five courses total. The beers are all Belgian, culminating with St. Bernardus 12 being served with the main course. I know Nicole worked hard on the menu and if you have ever been to one of her beer schools, you know the depth of her knowledge. It kills me that I won’t be able to make the event but I wish her well and to a very successful event. Mark my words, Nicole is a name to watch in the industry.

SF Beer Week is Feb. 5 – 14
Reminder that SF Beer Week is coming. There are two many events to list. Please go their website: to see the list. I will be at the Opening event on Friday at the Yerba Buena Gardens plus I will also be checking out sour monday at Triple Rock. Hoping to meet folks at both events. I may be at others but have no strong commitments yet.

Triple Rock goes open source again with another homebrewer’s beer on tap

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Julian Shrago's Laurel IPA

triple rock festivus miracALEOver the past couple of weeks I have been able to sneak into Triple Rock a couple of times. There is always something new on tap that complements their regular lineup so I find it necesarry to get down there when I can.
I recently enjoyed Festivus MiracALE  which was released during their Festivus celebration a week ago. The beer is a pale ale of straight up 2 row malt with molasses. It has a light mouthfeel with a slight note (hmmmm…) that can only be attributed to the molasses. Hops are subdued but balance the beer nicely.
I also recently tried their Laurel IPA, brewed by Oakland homebrewer, Julian Shrago. The beer was named after the district he grew up in and if you don’t know, I have a soft spot for the people that show the east bay pride so I had to try this one. Wow, big hit of hops through and through. Lots of citrus. A beautiful golden color as well. This is probably another beer that won’t last once the word gets out. It packs a punch as well at 7.7%.
Triple Rock has had a fantastic year with quite a range of beers being offered. Many homebrewers have been through to help add to the menu and I am sure there will be plenty more of that next year. Major props to the folks that run the pub and to Rodger Davis as well.
Cheers all and happy new year!

Hop Soup: wow…Rodger Davis’s latest creation

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

The name Hop Soup made sense after drinking this beer. You think of soup and you know that there is a base broth that makes up the majority. Well, Hop Soup is definitely based around a hop broth.
As Rodger Davis says in the Triple Rock description below: “it is the hoppiest beer he has ever brewed”. It is worth a try if you are a hop head visiting the North Berkeley area.

hop soup from Triple Rock

from Triple Rock’s description:
Hop Soup – (9.0% a.b.v)
By Head Brewers Rodger Davis’s accounts, this is the hoppiest beer he has ever brewed. A medley of the biggest Pacific Northwest hops are packed in with a distinct emphasis on additions for aroma. Backed by a sturdy malt base, it runs wild with hop flavor. As we head into the holiday season, we will be inroducing a new, strong ale every other week as part of our ‘Feats of Strength’ holiday series, all leading up to the celebration of Festivus on December 23rd, and the release of the 2009 Festivus “MiracALE”

chronicles of beer obsessed: return to work…

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

rodger davisAlas, my one month paternity is over and I am back at work. Did manage to do a couple fun beer related things to ‘celebrate’ my return.

Enjoying Triple Rock Ales
Had lunch at Triple Rock on Tuesday and enjoyed their excellent Amarillo Single Hop beer and one of their award winning Red Rock Ales. Brewmaster Rodger Davis was there and we had a conversation about his upcoming trip to England, Amsterdam, and of course Belgium. I sampled his double IPA that still has to carbonate but tasted fantastic and I had no problem drinking it flat (er, cask-like). I believe that one should be on tap today or tomorrow. General Manager Extraordinaire, Jesse, was there and he brought a bottle of Deschutes XXI out to taste. I’ve only had the tap version so far and the ‘word’ I’ve getting is that the bottled version is better. I really enjoyed the bottle version, more so than I recall with the tap version…but it has been a couple weeks since I had it on tap. 

510 mead nutrient addition

adding nutrients to the fermentation

510 ‘estate’ mead
I’m now fermenting a mead with honey that was produced by bees from Oakland. I have a friend in West Oakland who happens to be in the landscaping and horticulture business. At her house, she has the bees in her backyard. I caught up with her this last weekend and she had tried to make a mead from her honey with no success. I encouraged her to bring 10 pounds over to my place and we’ll get something going. She did just that last Monday. We put together a batch that was about 80% her honey (very clover like) and about 20% Orange Blossom that I happened to have on hand. We mixed up about 3.25 gallons with a gravity of 1.110. The yeast we chose was D47.

510 mead stir to release CO2

stirring to release CO2

Fermentation had taken off by the next morning and we are looking forward to trying an Oakland 510 ‘estate’ mead in a few months.