Mimosas and Bloody Marys may dominate the brunch-beverage rankings, but MateVeza is aiming to change all that with their line of caffeinated brews, which derive their buzz from yerba mate. With a brew that packs both alcohol and caffeine, it's no wonder they're promoting the concept of "Beerunch," a magical time when drinkers can knock back a couple of brews without returning to bed by 2 pm.
Beerunch will be in full swing this Sunday, and the MateVeza folks have brought a lot of good friends along for the ride, with their rare brews in tow. The event boasts seven beers in total, each paired with a different brunch dish. San Diego-based Ballast Point's beloved Sculpin IPA, which is rarely found on draft in these parts, will be paired with huevos rancheros, while Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head's second Life & Limb collaboration (also a draft rarity) will go head-to-head with Medjool dates wrapped in Niman Ranch bacon.
It's bracket season-- that special time of year when everyone, down to the President himself, is filling out their NCAA tournament picks for the office betting pool. While most of us can't influence the outcome of the Final Four, there's another March faceoff in which everyone gets a say: the Washington Post's annual Beer Madness competition. Last year's Beer Madness spanned the globe, but 2011's tourney is exclusively focused on American craft brews, meaning more of Northern California's finest get to compete.
Break out the Celebration Ale: this year marks the 30th anniversary of Chico's Sierra Nevada brewery, which was founded in 1980 by Ken Grossman and is currently the nation's second-largest microbrewery (after Samuel Adams). To celebrate, Grossman has embarked on five beer collaborations in the past year, beginning with Life & Limb, produced in partnership with Dogfish Head (read more about it here). Life & Limb was followed by four specially designated Sierra 30 beers, released over the course of 2010.
The beer world is a pretty unique place. While most captains of industry wouldn't dream of giving away trade secrets, brewers aren't afraid to share their recipes and collaborate. "You wouldn't find Google and Yahoo! building a website together," Ken Grossman joked during his introduction of Life & Limb, a collaboration between his brewery, Sierra Nevada, and Sam Calagione's Dogfish Head. The two breweries are fairly different in their takes on craft beer. Sierra, based in Chico, is one of the original craft breweries, known for their superb Pale Ale. Despite their extremely wide distribution, they produce sustainable, bottle-conditioned ales that tend to have balanced, clean flavors.