Last July, Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan started brewing what would become time capsules of a summer in Sonoma.
The two founders of the newly-formed Almanac Beer Company added 250 pounds of hand-picked blackberries from Sebastopol Berry Farm into used oak wine barrels containing the Belgian-style golden ale they had contracted to be brewed by Drakes Brewery. The Duvel yeast in the beer discovered that it had additional material to work with and set about converting the sugar in the berries into alcohol. Over the next eleven months of barrel aging, the flavors of the malt, hops, berries, and oak melded and mellowed.
Last February, a prototype of their beer was a sell-out favorite at SF Beer week. In May, the brewing pair did some barrel tests and tastes, blended the aged beer with a fresh batch of their Citra-hopped ale to brighten the character, then primed and bottled the result. On June 30, the beer will have had sufficient time for bottle conditioning and will be ready for drinking. The crisp and complex beer is recommended to be paired with rich dishes like creamy cheeses, roast pork and duck.
While their web site should soon list the area stores and restaurants that will be stocking the ale, their bottle release event is scheduled: City Beer Store on June 30. Jesse and Damian will be on hand to talk about this beer, as well as serving a sour version from the same batch. Hapa Ramen will be doing the food paring.
Market Watch: Shopping the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market with Richie Nakano and Kitty Gallisa of Hapa Ramen
Earlier this year when Richie Nakano, Nopa’s then sous-chef, approached me about an idea for a ramen stand at the Thursday market, I was intrigued. Once I saw the menu –hand pulled noodles, house made broth, organic, seasonal produce-- I was hooked. Richie explained that he and his business partner Kitty Gallisa, both self-proclaimed ramen lovers, had been hatching a plan to create a business of their own focused on this traditional Japanese noodle soup. They planned to call it Hapa Ramen.
Those of you who have been busy spotting Big Eat items on Foodspotting now have some more lists to get through! We're excited to announce that we're part of Foodspotting's 2.0 iPhone app and website launch, and now have our Big Sweet 2010, our Ramen Guide and our SF Burger Bonanza available for the hunt. So renew those gym memberships and get busy making plans to spot Fish & Farm burgers, Hapa ramen and Humphry Slocombe's Secret Breakfast ice cream. You can find all of 7x7's lists here.
Before former Nopa sous chef Richie Nakano launched his Hapa Ramen stand at the Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this summer, he did his due diligence—analyzing everything from broths to noodles to chashu in ramen joints from SF to NY. Then, he took what he learned and came up with a bowl he could call his own. Here are his picks.