Bistro Double IPA Winners 2014

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Kinetic‘s After Burner was chosen best in show at the 14th annual Double IPA Festival today at the Bistro in Hayward, California. A total of 46 Double IPAs and 26 Triple IPAs were judged. The full winner’s list is below.

Double IPAs

Triple IPAs

Peoples Choice Awards

Congratulations to all the winners.

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The scene at today’s Double IPA Festival at The Bistro.

Beer In Film #39: Griz’s Lawnmower Ale Collaboration

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Today’s beer video is a short film about this year’s collaboration beer made by the San Francisco Brewers Guild for SF Beer Week, Griz’s Lawnmower Ale. The beer was made to honor Greg “Griz” Miller, longtime owner of SF Brewcraft, who passed away in September of last year. The beer debuted last night at the Opening Galas for SF Beer Week.

The Celebrator Silver Polka

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During last night’s Celebrator 25th Anniversary Party, Vic Kralj, from the Bistro, wrote a spoof of “Roll Out the Barrel” for our silver anniversary, entitled the Celebrator Silver Polka. Then he rehearsed it with regulars and friends from his beer bar, unveiling it as a special surprise for Tom Dalldorf during the party. Below is a video the evening’s performance.

And here’s the sheet music, if you want to sing along.
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Afterwards, Tom was presented with a framed copy of the song.

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And later he and Arlene posed with some of the culprits who perpetrated his surprise.

Celebrator 25th Anniversary Party

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The closing event for SF Beer Week was again hosted by the Celebrator Beer News, who held their 25th Anniversary Party at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center on Sunday. Over 600 people attended the festival, which had a Mardi Gras theme, and 50 breweries were pouring their beer.

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The tap handle for the beer that a group of Celebrator writer’s collaborated on to celebrate our 25th anniversary at Sierra Nevada Brewing

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Some festival attendees really got into the Mardi Gras spirit.

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Though not everybody, as evidenced by the Beer Wench, Ashley Routson, and recent husband Angelo De lseo.

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Steve Altimari, from High Water Brewing, also made a special blended beer for our 25th anniversary celebration.

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The view from the Brewing Network corner.

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Midway through the festival, all of the Celebrator writers in attendance got up on stage and we drank a toast to craft beer, the brewers and our industry, and I introduced publisher Tom Dalldorf.

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Then Tom led us in a 25th anniversary toast.

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Del Grande, Bison Brewing owner, dressed as a bison, giving high fours to anyone who would lend a paw.

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Fraggle and a bemused Jen Muehlbauer.

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Rich Norgrove, from Bear Republic and Brian Ford, from Auburn Alehouse, bookending a friend who’s name I can’t remember, another brain cell casualty of getting old.

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Terence, from Sierra Nevada, with Natalie, from Russian River.

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The long and the short of it, with Sean Paxton, Nicole Erny and some friends.

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Don Gortemiller, from Pacific Coast, and Dave Heist, formerly of Hoptown, with a friend.

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More buffalo hijinks toward the end of the evening.

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Don Ericson and Tom Dalldorf raise a toast to our 25th anniversary. See you next year.

Toronado Barleywine Festival 2013

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Yesterday was the 20th annual Toronado Barleywine Festival, the original SF Beer Week event, that predates our beer week by fifteen years. I arrived a little late, sad to say, because Porter had his little league tryouts in the morning, but for at least the fourth year in a row, my luck held. When I arrived, it was already in full swing.

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Luckily, I found Sean Paxton holding down Matt Bonney‘s table near the front of the pub.

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The table already had a full compliment of all forty barley wines. Since Sean was looking to go roaming himself, I graciously agreed to take over table babysitting duties, which allowed me the opportunity to try every one of this year’s barley wines.

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There were some very good, even great, ones, of course, and a number of decent beers, and a few that weren’t as good as one might have hoped.

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But over all, I think my favorite barley wine of the day was Mad River’s John Barleycorn, which in many ways has become the epitome of an American-style barley wine for me, and seems to get better every year. Other stand-outs included Heretic’s Dead Weight, Moylan’s Old Blarney, Drake’s Jolly Roger and Anderson Valley’s Horn of the Beer. I also enjoyed Bear Republic’s Old Scoutter’s 2010, Berryessa’s Cliff’s Fiscal and Widmer’s Old Embalmer.

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The back room, which is normally only used for special events (and Washoe’s) was configured in a new way this year, which seemed to allow more people to taste, with one side having long picnic tables and the other a place to stand and try the beers with a long table running the length to hold multiple barley wines. This also made the middle wider and easier to traverse than in previous years.

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All in all, another great beer festival, with some spectacular barley wines. But if you didn’t get a chance to go on Saturday, don’t dispair, the barley wines will be there at least until Monday, and some will probably be hanging around a little longer, until they run out.

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Bistro Double IPA Winners 2013

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Societe‘s The Roustabout was chosen best in show at the 13th annual Double IPA Festival today at the Bistro in Hayward, California. The full winner’s list is below.

And for the second year, Triple IPAs were judged this year.

And for the third straight year:

Congratulations to all the winners.

SF Beer Week Opening Celebration 2013

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It’s hard to believe this is our fifth SF Beer Week. Things seemed to go off without a hitch last night at the Concourse Exhibition Center and it was another great kick-off to over 500 events that will follow this week. I spent most of my time drinking and talking to old friends and meeting new ones, but did snap a few photos along the way.

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The calm before the storm, about an hour before the SF Beer Week Opening Celebration began last night.

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Alex from Uncommon Brewers.

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Natalie Cilurzo (from Russian River) and Dave Keene (from the Toronado).

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Jay and the crew from Pine Street Brewery.

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Angelo Roselle with Geno Acevedo from El Toro Brewing. Angelo’s on a mission to drink every beer in the book I contributed to, 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die, and Geno’s Oatmeal Stout was one of the beers that I wrote up for the book.

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The Concourse Exhibition Hall with the celebration in full swing.

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John Martin, me and Peter Hoey.

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Rodger Davis (now from Faction Brewing) with Gabbi mugging for the camera in the background.

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I finally had a chance to try the beer we made at Beer Camp in December. Our Celebrator 25th Anniversary Double Pale Ale is tasting better than I ever could have hoped. It should be appearing at bars and festivals throughout the week, so keep an eye out for it.

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Tom Dalldorf (from the Celebrator) and Dave Keene (from the Toronado).