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.
Despite San Francisco’s well-earned reputation for cool and foggy summer weather, we also enjoy warm and clear days that are perfect for picnics. Beer is the ideal beverage choice for many picnic foods since the same cooking process that gives malt its caramel flavor also gives meats and vegetables theirs.
Barley may be the ultimate beer-brewing cereal grain, but wheat is commonly included when making summer beers to provide a crisp acidity and a lighter mouth feel. And while traditional, low-hop, summer beer styles (such as Hefeweizen and Witbier) include wheat, innovative West Coast brewers enjoy creating variations on that classic theme. With the days getting longer and warmer, we checked in with a few local craft brewers to check out this season’s cool and refreshing wheaties.
If it seems like there’s a new neighborhood taproom, brewpub, or tasting room opening every month or two, you’ve been paying attention. And with Smokestack – Magnolia’s long awaited restaurant and bar – opening in Dogpatch soon, this seems like an opportune time to catch our collective breath and provide an update on a few of the craft beer places that have opened in the last year or so.
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