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Scott Mansfield

Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen Opens Downtown Tomorrow

Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen officially opens its doors and 23 taps for business tomorrow (Wednesday, July 27). Adjacent to Kimpton’s Serrano Hotel and the former site of the Asian fusion restaurant Ponzu, the space has been transformed into an homage bar of sorts. Props are not only given to Jasper O'Farrell, the legendary 19th century surveyor San Francisco, but also to the concept of a taproom as an after work place to socialize over a variety of brews.

Cherry Voodoo Brewing Launching Two New Beers At Rogues Ale Public House

Get your mojo lubricated this Wednesday night. Cherry Voodoo Brewing, one of San Francisco's newest and most extreme craft brewers, is launching two new beers during a meet the brewer event at Rogues Ale Public House. Head Brewmaster Yuri Green is scheduled introduce the new beers, answer questions, give away schwag, and make a special announcement. This event also marks Cherry Voodoo’s six month anniversary; it was during this year’s San Francisco Beer Week that the enfant terrible brewery introduced their flagship beer: the Belgian style California Tripel, aka Mortal Sin in a Glass. 

California Beer Festival Roars Into Santa Cruz This Weekend, Here's What to Drink

This Saturday afternoon the California Beer Festival barrels into Santa Cruz. The event will be showcasing over 60 craft brews, offering food from local eateries, and hosting four bands. What makes this particular event special is that it's the best place to sample the variety of beers brewed in Santa Cruz and the surrounding area; many of these beers are not distributed outside the area and some are only available on tap. Even a dedicated pub crawler would have little chance of sampling this many SC brews outside of the festival.  

How Hard Is It to Pass The Cicerone Exam?

How hard is it to pass the exam for the first level of the Cicerone Certification Program? I found out a couple of days ago.

First, some background. Though 7x7, like many other publications, has covered the topic of Cicerones previously, let’s review: In 2008, steadfast in his determination to improve service to beer consumers, Ray Daniels, renowned beer writer, judge, and festival organizer, established a certification program for beer professionals similar to the sommelier certifications for wine. Fast forward to today: There are more than 5,000 people certified at the first tier, Certified Beer Server; more than 200 at the second level, Certified Cicerone; and a scant three at the top of the hop heap, Master Cicerone.

Almanac Beer Company's Summer 2010 Blackberry Ale: Out at City Beer Store June 30th

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.

Local Bars & Kickstarter Are Tapped to Help Build A New SF Brewery

San Francisco’s liquid locavores, Regan Long and Sarah Fenson of Local Brewing Co. will take their popular Glen Park Pale Ale to ten bars and restaurants over the next five weeks. While the two are trying to satisfy numerous requests to return their beer to the masses, their primary purpose is to help promote the next step in developing their fledgling company: raising additional capital through Kickstarter to finance a brewery and tap room.

Save the Ales at the Monterey Beer Festival

“The Monterey Bay has always been a great place to visit for its beautiful scenery. Now you can come for the beer!" Jeff Moses, owner of Night That Never Ends Productions, is hosting the 2011 Monterey Beer Festival, which is being billed as “the greatest assortment of beer ever assembled on the Central Coast.” On Saturday afternoon, June 11, more than 80  brewers will be pouring hundreds of the best beers from around the world. Monterey area chefs will make a wide variety of food available and live music will play throughout the day.

Caffeinated Beer: The Four Best Local Offerings

Coffee stouts and porters have been made for ages: Roasted and ground beans are steeped in the wort; the rich nuttiness of the coffee offsets the bitterness of the beers’ black patent malt. Sometimes milk sugar is added to a stout to make a coffee cream version. Finally and incidentally, the coffee beans add a little caffeine to the brews.

But earlier in this decade, American entrepreneurs on the lookout for something new noticed clubbers switching from drinking traditional beer or mixed drinks to Red Bull with vodka, and so it was only a matter of time before someone made a run at combining high alcohol malt beverages with caffeine, fruit flavors, and sugar. The logical extreme for this genre were products such as Four Loko, Joose, Max, and Core High Gravity HG.

Local Beers to Pair With Your Memorial Day BBQ Feasts

In addition lacing up your White Buck Oxfords, Memorial Day weekend is also the time to officially scrub down and fire up the grill. And while there is season enough to put a flame under eggplant slices, skewered tofu, marinated portabellas, and the like, for this weekend I want a slab of something substantial, sentient even. But what brew to serve? I went deep to some local experts and got the following beer pairing recommendations for 2011’s opening salvo in the war on underindulgence: 

If You're Grilling: Beef, Sausages, Ribs

Pair it With: 21st Amendment's North Star Red (an American Amber Ale) or Back in Black (a black IPA) or Magnolia Pub & Brewery's Spud Boy IPA

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. 

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