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Limited Release Brew at City Beer Store

If you’ve been looking for a good excuse to visit the recently expanded and re-opened City Beer store, your search is over. Next Friday, November 18 at 6 p.m., Almanac Beer Company is holding the bottle release event for their second and latest seasonal ale.

Almanac’s co-founders, Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan, settled on a Belgian Farmhouse style ale to create this limited release brew: Almanac Autumn 2011 Farmhouse Pale with Organic Plums.

Checking In On City Beer Store's Expansion

A crisp spring wind was blowing down Folsom at 5:30 last Sunday afternoon. The mid-May weekend was winding down and the street was so empty of pedestrians, parked cars and even traffic that I began to wonder if I'd missed Saturday's scheduled Rapture.  The quiet of the street changed at the doorway to City Beer though; all the tables and stools were occupied and there was a steady but manageable stream of patrons with their personal selections of bottled craft brews waiting to be checked out. Splitting his time between the half dozen beer taps and the cash register, Craig Wathen quietly let each customer know that since they close at 6:00 on Sundays, this was last call. 

Move Over Wine, The Beer Bomber Is Here

If you’re looking for something to have with a tri tip, you might want to try this,” suggested Craig Wathen, the owner of City Beer Store in SoMa, as he handed me a .75-liter bottle of Sierra Nevada’s Ovila Abbey Dubbel off the shelf—a specimen big enough to contend with a bottle of wine. “It’s a hearty dubbel, almost chewy, but it’s got enough tartness from the hops to cut through the juice of a steak.”

Bay Area Power Couples: City Beer Store's Craig & Beth Wathen

It's hard to start a business in the Bay Area. And even harder to make it successful. We're inspired by the couples who have done it together and have decided to highlight them every week in our "Bay Area Power Couples" blog series.

For beer geeks, City Beer Store is like Oz. Here, they stock some of the best beers in the world (you can even mix and match six packs) and offer pairing sessions and tastings (they're holding a chocolate truffle and beer tasting event on October 21).  Every Thursday is also flight night, where they feature a selection of beers to taste alongside one another for comparison. The folks behind this mecca are Craig and Beth Wathen, who, it goes without saying, are beer gurus and geniuses. They're this week's Power Couple. 

Labor Day Beer Picks from City Beer Store and Monk's Kettle

With Labor Day fast approaching (although not fast enough), we’ve got our minds on something that quite honestly does not pair well with labor: beer. And in a city where there’s about as many brews as there are foggy days, there’s no excuse to be caught drinking a Bud. This year, use the holiday as an excuse to celebrate your taste buds and kick back with a cool one.

We talked to local beer experts, City Beer Store and Monk’s Kettle and got the lowdown on what we should be stocking our coolers with. 

Respect your Elder

With all this talk of Pliny the Younger coming out, I had to put a word in for Pliny the Elder, Russian River Brewing's famous Double IPA. This beer is year-round, so you don't have to get stressed out if you forget to seek it out. It's an exorbitantly hopped beer that expresses bright, fresh flavors of pine, grapefruit, white flowers and lemon zest.

Pliny the Younger Hits City Beer Store Friday

Although Santa Rosa's Russian River Brewing Co. may look like any other pub, it's somewhat of a mecca and home to some of California's finest craft beers, including the cult favorite, Pliny the Younger. Released every February, (Growlers only, no bottles) for a brief one-time brewing, it's why many beer lovers (including myself) make an annual trek from SF up 101 N. I liken its taste to a sloppy kiss from a Redwood mixed with a fresh bitterness.

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