Highway To Helles: Strong Beer Month Returns

Beginning on February 1, 21st Amendment Brewery and Magnolia Pub & Brewery, both in San Francisco, will team up yet again to host their sixth annual Strong Beer Month. Each brewpub will create six different seasonal beers — and if you haven’t figured it out yet, they’ll all be strong — that will be available at the two locations throughout February. Many of these dozen beers have been created especially for this month, and will be available only until they run out. Sample them all, and you’ll receive a commemorative glass.



And this year’s poster is hilarious, a near perfect parody of AC/DC’s album cover for Highway to Hell. Compare it to the original below.



Carnevale di Lost Abbey

Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey will holding their first ever Carnevale di Lost Abbey on Groundhog Day, February 2 from 6 to 10 p.m. to celebrate the Venetian holiday with a masquerade ball and new beer release, appropriately named Carnevale Ale. The beer will be the Lost Abbey’s interpretation of a saison, but made with American hops.

From the press release:

For centuries Venetians have celebrated mid-winter and the beginning of Lent with a temporary upending of the social order. Denizens of the canal-lined city disguise themselves as paupers, princes, ladies, lovers and fools, and gather in the Piazza di San Marco to dine, drink and dance at the Carnevale di Venezia. Shortly revelers will soon be gathering in another San Marcos half a world away to carry on the Carenvale tradition with a New World twist.

On February 2nd, 2008 Port Brewing will throw its first Carnevale di Lost Abbey complete with masquerade and a special beer release to honor the ancient tradition. Beginning at 6pm the Lost Abbey will transform from brewery to Venetian piazza, offering party-goers food, music and, of course, Lost Abbey’s award-winning ales.

Coinciding with the celebration the brewery will also issues its first release of Lost Abbey Carnevale, a blonde Saison accented with American hops.

Carnevale di Lost Abbey will run from 6pm to 10pm, Saturday, February 2, 2008. Attendees who attend the masquerade in costume will be admitted free. A $10 charge will apply to those not in costumes. Food and music will also be free of charge. Beers will be offered at regular price.

The new Carnevale ale will also be available for purchase that evening. The beer is being released in 750ml cork-finished bottles with a price of $8.99 per bottle. Carnevale will also be available through Port Brewing’s standard distribution channels. More information on the Carnevale party and beer release can be obtained on The Lost Abbey website.

It was 20 Years Ago, I Think …

Celebrator Taught the Land to Drink …

Exactly one month from today, the 20th Anniversary Party for the Celebrator Beer News will take place at the Oakland Convention Center / Marriot Hotel. This should be a terrific climax to Beerapalooza week in the Bay Area. A lot of the attending breweries are either making something special just for the party or bringing something very unique. As a result, there will be a number of beers you simply can’t get anywhere else or at least are very difficult to find, especially all in one place. I know a number of other Celebrator writers will be in town for the event. If you’ve been to a Celebrator party in the past, this one is in a bigger space and will have far more different beers than ever before. This should easily be the one party ot to miss in 2008. I’ll see you there!

From the website:

The Celebrator Beer News will celebrate its 20th anniversary on February 17, 2008, with a Mardi Gras themed party from 4 to 8 pm at the Oakland Convention Center / Marriot Hotel, in Oakland, California.

More than 35 breweries will pour favorite brews. Meet Celebrator founders Bret and Julie Nickels along with Celebrator staff, writers and beer industry luminaries including pioneer figures in the craft beer movement. Cajun/Creole food catered by the Marriott Hotel, music from Dixieland Jazz and Zydeco bands and beer are included along with a souvenir Belgian-style glass! Breweries pouring will include some of the top breweries in the country.

Brewing memorabilia, special bottles and other items will be available to bid on at a silent auction benefiting the California Small Brewers Association. All profits from this event go to the CSBA to further the interests of the brewing community.

Tickets are on sale now at $55 per person which includes the banquet catered by the Marriott Hotel, nearly 200 different beers (some specially produced for this event), music and souvenir glass.

A Media-VIP session starts one hour early and will feature special limited production beers. VIP tickets are $80. The event takes place one day after the start of the Barleywine Festival at the Toronado in San Francisco!

Prizes for best Mardi Gras costumes! Discount rooms will be available at the Marriott Hotel at the Convention Center ($109 per night). Call 510-451-4000 and ask for the Celebrator rate. Take BART to the 12th Street station right in front of the Marriott Hotel.

For more information, call 510-538-2739. Ticket sales by Visa/MC, phone 800-430-BEER or purchase tickets below with PayPal’s secure ordering process. Mail checks to Celebrator, 20th Party, P.O. Box 375, Hayward, CA 94543.

Buy Tickets Online

General Admission $55

VIP Entry $80



Celebrator Beer News 20th Anniversary Party

Oakland Convention Center
/ Marriot Hotel, 1001 Broadway, Oakland, California
510.538.BREW or 888.430.BEER [ website ]


Anderson Valley Gets Real

I’m not entirely convinced of their claim of combating global warming, but Anderson Valley Brewing announced that they have begun brewing real ales and have added a beer engine to their tasting room, and that’s certainly good enough news for me.

From the press release:

Anderson Valley Brewing Company (AVBC) proudly added to their award-winning line of handcrafted beers, “Real ale”—a natural ale created in a traditional and environmentally-friendly style. Real ale is a beer that highlights Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s continuing efforts to make high quality beers in an environmentally responsible manner. Real ale is:

  • * A truly “organic” ale with only four natural ingredients: malted barely, hops, water and yeast and absolutely no additives.
  • * Served at 10-13 C degrees via a human-powered “hand pull” it’s naturally cool, resulting in far less energy being used for cooling.
  • * Naturally carbonated through the yeast’s effervescence — no additional carbon dioxide is added.
  • * Reducing packaging by using casks which can be reused for up to 20 years.
  • * Created using solar power which provides 40% of Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s annual energy needs.

Though Real ale is environmentally responsible, the traditional method of brewcrafting also results in a more robust, stimulating, and fresh taste that can’t be found in traditional brands. Real ale’s unique flavors and aromas are partly due to the process of fermentation.

While a great many breweries remove yeast before the beer reaches the glass, Real ale differentiates itself by retaining the yeast in the container from which the beer is served. Though the yeast settles at the bottom of the cask and isn’t poured into the glass, the yeast is still active in the cask where the process of fermentation continues until ready to serve. Real ale is currently available in Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s visitor’s center.

In other Anderson Valley news, they will be having a special event on February 2 to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. And the 12th annual Boonville Beer Festival will take place in 2008 on May 10.



Pacific Coast Brewing’s “A Taste of Holiday Beers”

The 19th annual holiday beer tasting at Pacific Coast Brewing in Oakland is this Saturday from Noon to 4:00 p.m. Sad to say, I’ve never managed to make it to this one but everybody tells me it’s a great event.



Pacific Coast Brewing’s Taste of Holiday Beers (19th annual)

Pacific Coast Brewing, 906 Washington Street, Oakland, California
510.836.2739 [ website ]


Dogfish Downtown Brooklyn

Downtown Bar & Grill, located in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York at 160 Court Street, will be hosting a pretty spectacular tasting of Dogfish Head beers on the 27th of November, including the debut releases for 2007 of World Wide Stout, Pangaea, and Golden Era, along with seven other Dogfish Head beers on draft. The festivities will begin at 6:00 p.m.


Magnolia 10th Anniversary Concert

Magnolia Pub & Brewery on Haight Street in San Francisco will be celebrating their 10th anniversary next Monday in grand fashion at the Great American Music Hall. On November 5th they will host a concert for a mere 20 bucks with all manner of cool stuff going on with many surprises planned. It looks like it should be a great time.


Reminder: National Toast Tonight

Don’t forget the National Toast to Michael Jackson will take place tonight, Sunday, September 30 at exactly 9:00 p.m. EST (6:00 p.m. for those of us on the left coast).

Find which establishments will be participating at the Michael Jackson Memorial. If Michael’s writing has touched you life and your enjoyment of good beer, join us at one of the countess bars, brewpubs and breweries across the country to drink a toast to his memory.


National Toast for Michael Jackson Planned

Details for the National Toast to Michael Jackson are being finalized and it will take place on Sunday, September 30 at exactly 9:00 p.m. EST (6:00 p.m. for those of us on the left coast). Bars, breweries, brewpubs and restaurants are being invited to participate with the following press release:

“At 9:00 pm EST on Sunday, September 30, beer drinkers across the continent will raise a glass to the memory of the man who did more than anyone to further the cause of good beer, the one and only Beer Hunter, Michael Jackson. And your establishment can play a part!

“Participation is simple. Just download a copy of the official poster and print out as many as you want, adding in the details of your particular event. It could be a single toast, an all-night celebration or a more organized remembrance. Then decide how you’d like to contribute to the National Parkinson Foundation, whether “passing the hat” for donations, contributing all or a portion of the night’s revenue or selling a single keg for the charity.

Later this year, “a ceremonial contribution on behalf of all the participating bars, restaurants and brewpubs will be made at the Great American Beer Festival on Saturday, October 13. See the Brewers Association website for GABF information and tickets.”

If you own a bar, brewery, brewpub of restaurant, please consider participating. You can find more information on how to sign up at the Michael Jackson Memorial. If you’re just a lover of great beer, please ask your local favorite beer establishment to participate.


Raise A Glass To Michael Jackson September 30

A national toast is being planned for Michael Jackson, and as a fund raiser for the National Parkinson Foundation. It is tentatively set to take place on September 30. Details will be listed at the new Beer Hunter website. The old Beer Hunter site has been archived at a new location. Apparently, “participants will be able to register their site and download a poster, and drinkers will find a list of toast sites.” Personally I’d like to see 100% participation from the online beer community. There isn’t one of us that doesn’t owe Michael, at some level, a debt of gratitude.