2005 | FEATURES | EXCURSIONS & TRAVEL
Beerapalooza 2005 : Beer Takes Center Stage in San
Francisco Bay Area
crowd enjoys beer, music and food.
This year's Beerapalooza, a week-long focus on craft beer
in the San Francisco Bay Area, got off to great start with
the Double IPA Fest at the Bistro in Hayward on February 12.
A stellar selection of hop-monsters provided an irresistible
attraction for hop-heads from up and down the West Coast and
introduced a lot of new people to the joys of hop excess.
Drake's Denogginizer from San Leandro, Calif., took the top
award. Judges included Alan Moen, editor of Northwest Brewing
News, who came down from Washington state for the event.
The following Monday, a Chocolate and Beer dinner featuring
"Cocoa Pete" Slosberg was held at Rogue Ales Public
House in North Beach. The turnout attested to the great attraction
of chocolate AND Rogue's wonderful beers.
Wednesday featured a beer dinner with brewers Vinnie Cilurzo
of Russian River Brewing Company and Matt Brynildson of Firestone
Walker Brewing Company leading the discussion at Barclay's
Jack London Square. Barclay's chef Bill Foley did a wonderful
job of pairing these wildly different beers with his cuisine.
Outside the Bay Area, Valley Brewing Company's Steve Altimari
in Stockton held a beer and whiskey dinner, and Kelley Brothers
Brewery in Manteca featured Mike Long hosting a special tasting
of strong ales.
Thursday featured the Homebrew Invitational Fiesta at Lanesplitters
Pub in Berkeley. John Palmer, author of How To Brew, and Brewmaster
Matt Brynildson, Firestone Walker, treated East Bay homebrewers
to a discussion of homebrewing and Matt's masterful ales during
a homebrew competition for stouts and IPAs.
Celebrator Beer News writers.
Additionally, the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Page dedicated
the front page and several inside pages to the joys of beer
and cheese. I met with the Chronicle's cheese authority, Janet
Fletcher, at the Rogue Ales Public House in North Beach to
see if beer really was the best choice to pair with cheese.
Janet brought 10 farmhouse cheeses, and I suggested 15 different
beers to try with them — half of which came from the
Rogue taps. The results got tongues wagging in the food and
wine community when the Wine Page hit the street. Beer was
superior to wine for most selections!
Friday, the beer spotlight shone brightly upon San Francisco's
Beer Hotel, where brew chef Bruce Paton orchestrated a Chocolate
& Belgian Beer Dinner at the Cathedral Hill Hotel, featuring
chocolate from "Cocoa Pete" Slosberg. The exotic
menu included entrees like Pan-Seared Skate with Sonoma Foie
Gras and Chocolate Balsamic Brown Butter served with Bosteels
Triple Karmeliet. Oh yeah, baby! And all of the courses with
accompanying beers were equally wonderful.
The 12th annual Toronado Barleywine Festival kicked off early
Saturday morning with a double-elimination judging of some
57 entries — all of which were available for tasting
at the Toronado bar. The final panel judging was a challenge,
given the high quality of the beers being judged.
Schooner's Grill & Brewery in Antioch, Calif., walked
away with top honors in a very distinguished group of contenders.
Second, third and Honorable Mention were in exactly the same
order as the Great Alaska Beer & Barley Wine Festival
held a month prior: Alaska's Midnight Sun, Kona Brewing in
Hawaii and Alaskan Brewery!
That night, the Anchor Brewing Company hosted the Maltose
Falcons from Southern California, who were voted Homebrew
Club of the Year in November 2004. The invitation-only event
featured representatives from most of the homebrew clubs in
21st Amendment and Magnolia breweries featured strong beers
all month, while Thirsty Bear Brewing Company featured Belgian
and Belgian-style ales.
And, to cap off the week of intensive beeriness by the bay,
the Celebrator Beer News celebrated its 17th anniversary on
February 20 at the Trumer Brauerei in Berkeley, Calif. Over
600 people attended one of the biggest gatherings yet for
America's premier beer news magazine.
Rolling Boil Blues Band performing their set.
More than 16 breweries poured their favorite brews to an
appreciative audience made up of beer enthusiasts, Celebrator
writers and beer-industry luminaries, including pioneer figures
in the craft-beer movement. Three caterers provided ample
high-quality food while five beer-industry bands served up
a variety of rock, rhythm and blues music!
Breweries pouring included Anchor Brewery, Anderson Valley,
BridgePort, Chimay, Deschutes, Fuller’s, Lagunitas,
North Coast, Ommegang, Pacific Coast, Pyramid, Samuel Adams,
Schneider, Sierra Nevada, Triple Rock, Trumer and Widmer.
The industry "Battle of the Brewery Bands" was
a featured part of the festivities and included performances
by the Hysters (Anchor Brewery), the Sierra Nevada Band, Roots
Blues from Lagunitas Brewing, the Maltose Falcons (Homebrew
Club of the Year) Band and the industry-staffed Rolling Boil
A complimentary shuttle bus, sponsored by Trumer Brauerei,
picked up guests from the Hotel Durant and the downtown Berkeley
BART station and took them to the brewery and back after the
Work of Art Catering (woacatering.com) provided a 100 percent
recyclable event, including the biodegradable tasting glasses.
For more information on that, go to Nat-ur.com. Emergency
BBQ (emergencybbq.com) set up a grill and provided tasty BBQ
Trumer Brauerei proved to be an incredibly gracious host,
donating its facilities for the occasion and providing parking
and personnel to make the event effortless. The brewery staff
put in many extra hours before and after the event to make
it happen. Proceeds from the event went to the California
Small Brewers Association, a legislative advocacy group assisting
all California breweries.
The Celebrator Beer News is indebted to all the
breweries, musicians and loyal fans that made this event truly
out our special on the event here.
Tom Dalldorf is publisher and editor of the
Celebrator Beer News.