APR/MAY 2005 | REGIONAL | WEST
East Bay, California Brew News
By Angela Wagner
Double IPA Fest at the Bistro
Once again, Vic Kralj, proprietor of the Bistro in Hayward,
Calif., mastered the weather and pulled off another awesome
Double IPA Festival, kicking off Beerapalooza 2005 on Saturday,
February 12. The sun was shining, and so were many cheeks
(of the visible sort).
Judging began early in the morning and elicited some spirited
debate. First-place nod went to Rodger Davis and Melissa Myers,
Drake's Brewing Company in San Leandro, Calif., for their
Denogginizer. A balanced, rich brew at 9% abv, it was made
with Ahtanum, Amarillo and Simcoe hops. Number two on the
hit parade was Vinnie Cilurzo's Pliny the Elder, from Russian
River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. It was also a delight
to the palate, with a bunch of malt and a bunch of hops (perhaps
twice the amount of their standard IPA!). Third place went
to Dorado Double from brewer Yuseff Cherney at Ballast Point
Brewing Company in San Diego.
The Bistro was hoppin', as usual. It's simply a great event
with great judges and great beer folk. Congratulations to
the winners. Be sure to mark your beer calendar for the Bistro's
IPA Festival, to be held August 6.
Drake's Brewing Company Celebrates 15 Years
I had the pleasure recently of visiting Drake’s Brewing
Company in San Leandro, Calif. It is truly a big gem in the
crown of the Northern California brewing scene. A creative
and high-quality craft brewery, the place is ironically located
behind a behemoth shopping center loaded with all the regular
chain-store names. Now in its 15th year, Drake's consistently
brews some of the best stuff around.
This February, Drake’s brewers Rodger Davis and Melissa
Myers won the gold medal for their Denogginizer Double IPA
at the Bistro’s Double IPA Festival in Hayward, Calif.
A rich, golden to amber-colored beer, the Denogginizer is
a beautifully aromatic hop monster brewed with Simcoe, Ahtanum
and Amarillo hops. Coming in at 9% abv, it’s balanced
and flavorful without the slightest heat. That said, it’s
deceptive in its mind-altering capacity. Don’t drink
it without an adult present.
The brewery is well known for its traditional stable of offerings:
the IPA, amber and blond beers.
Locals look forward to special seasonals as well, such as
Jolly Roger at Christmas, and Expedition Ale in the spring.
As special as these beers are, April promises to be awesome.
Approximately mid-month, Drake’s will release a limited-edition
15th anniversary beer. Brewed in July, this high-powered “uber
lager,” or “mondo bock,” will be available
in one-liter bottles around the region (check out Bev Mo).
A special 7-oz. Kentucky bourbon cask-aged version will also
be available in more limited quantities from the brewery only.
Dark malt and lots of two-row were used, with some Spalt and
Saaz hopping. Both versions will be bottle-conditioned. When
it’s all said and done, the abv will be near 11%.
In addition to the cask-aged anniversary lager, Rodger and
Melissa are currently aging a Scotch ale in sherry casks,
a barley wine in a brandy barrel, and an imperial stout in
a port barrel. An unbelievable chocolate milk stout will be
available on nitro mid-March. I tried it out of the fermenter
and was blown away. Chocolaty with gentle coffee notes, it’s
brewed with chocolate malt and lactose sugars. It should be
a velvety rich delight served on nitro. Look for it at the
Toronado. I’ll never drink a YooHoo again! New two-liter
flip-top growlers are also available at the brewery. Swing
by and pick up a couple of your favorite Drake’s beers
and wish Rodger and Melissa a hoppy anniversary.
Drake's Brewing Co.
1933 Davis St., #177
San Leandro, CA 94577