As Indian summer fades into the San Franciscso sunset, the cooler weather prompts us to reach for warmer gear and warming beers. We find ourselves bypassing the lighter, summer beer styles and stocking up on Harvest or Fall brews: maltier ales with a tad more alcohol and a bit of spice. And while pumpkin beers generally fall into this category - Almanac Beer Co. and 21st Amendment Brewery offer excellent local choices - we thought we would explore some squash-free beers that both celebrate and pair well with Autumn.
The first official Oktoberfest, held in Munich 1810, was a celebration of the royal wedding of Ludwig I of Bavaria to Therese Charlotte Luise of Saxony-Hildburghausen when citizens were invited to line the streets and drink up.
Beer lovers here have it pretty sweet. With 19 San Francisco brewers and dozens of craft beer bars in a 49-square-mile city, you’re never far from a world class beer. Those who appreciate a challenge can find it though, by seeking out special brews and events that are available in limited quantities, or at special times of year, or only if you know someone with inside information.
In 2011, Almanac Beer Company co-founders Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan released their first beer: a Belgian-style golden ale made with blackberries from the Sebastopol Berry Farm, then barrel aged for 11 months before bottling. This Summer 2010 Vintage was quickly snapped up by beer lovers, as have the many other “farm to bottle” beers Almanac brewed since.
Outside Lands not only showcases the biggest names in music this weekend, but will serve some of the Bay Area’s finest food and drink as well. This year's Beer Lands is bigger than ever, with almost twice as many California breweries as last year. We sat down with Dave McLean, Brewmaster/Owner of Magnolia Brewery and the BeerLands curator, to ask him a few questions about this year's selections.
Back before July 4 was known as Independence Day, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams could often be found in Philadelphia’s City Tavern, commiserating over pints of locally-made beer, trying to figure out how they could lower their taxes.
Going on a brewery tour is a bit like slipping backstage at your favorite band’s concert. It gives you a chance to see a rock star at their craft and get a first-hand feel of the passion they have for their art. Since San Francisco is at the epicenter of modern craft brewing, we have ready access to both established and new breweries. Much like touring wineries, you can book a package though an agency, put together your own group, or join another.
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