Beer Birthday: Justin Crossley

bn-grenade
Today is the 32nd birthday of Justin Crossley, the man behind the mic at The Brewing Network, one of the industry’s best voices. He’s an avid homebrewer and talker, a deadly combination, especially on radio. He also filmed Porter’s Porter Day last year and it will fun to see the result of that project. Of course, he’s been busy opening the Hop Grenade, the next piece of the growing Brewing Network empire. Join me in wishing Justin a very happy birthday.

P1150512
Justin and me showing off our injured fingers at the last Marin Breastfest held at Marin Brewing.

cbc08-14
Justin all thumbs at Stone Brewing during the CBC Reception in 2008.

P1150202
With Michael Ferguson, from BJ’s, at Oakland’s Linden Street Brewery during the AHA convention a couple of years ago.

gabf07-64
Okay, what’s with the thumbs? About to do a broadcast from GABF in 2007.

Beer Birthday: Nico Freccia

21st-amend-sm
Today is Nico Freccia’s 50th birthday. Nico is the co-founder of 21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant. Nico also used to write for the Celebrator, too. His current title with 21st Amendment is “Chief Watermelon Officer.” Join me in wishing Nico a very happy birthday.

21a-6th-06
Nico (center) with his 21st Amendment partner Shaun and a disgruntled knife-wielding maniac employee at their 6th anniversary picnic and party.

21a-canparty-4
Shaun O’Sullivan and Dave Keene with Nico at 21A’s can release party held at the Toronado.

Greg Koch with Nico Freccia, from 21st Amendment
With Greg Koch, from Stone Brewing, at Falling Rock during GABF in 2009.

ak-bw08-2
Adrienne McMullen with Nico and, presumably, a volunteer, all sporting their watermelon wheat chapeaus at the Alaska Barleywine Festival in January.

Anchor’s BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red Returns For Fall

anchor-new
BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red, Anchor Brewing‘s fall seasonal, is back on store shelves and on draft in bars from now until the end of October. This is just the second year for the 6% a.b.v. red ale, which debuted last fall. The beer uses a “unique blend of hops — Nelson Sauvin, Citra, and Cascade for dry hopping — specialty malts including a combination of two caramel malts and pale malt,” with a hint of maple syrup that makes it “unlike any other red ale today.”

BigLeaf-Maple-Autumn-Red-label-600

First released in August 2013, BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red was inspired by a native California tree, its incredible leaves, its delicious syrup, and the colors of fall. The tree, known as Bigleaf maple, thrives along the banks of California’s mountain streams. Native Californians once made rope and baskets from its bark. Bigleaf maple sugaring in California dates to the 1800s; yet this tree’s unusually flavorful syrup remains the product of a small group of hobbyists. A hint of maple—including bigleaf maple—syrup in every brew perfectly complements the malty complexity, balanced hoppiness, and rich fall hue of BigLeaf Maple Autumn Red.

anchor-bigleaf

Anchor also released a video about their fall seasonal.

Beer Birthday: Jim Woods

mateveza
Today is the birthday of Jim Woods, founder of MateVeza, an organic brewer headquartered in San Francisco. I first met Jim when we were classmates at U.C. Davis for the brewing short course before he launched his unique business. All Jim’s beers are made with Yerba Mate, a South American herb that’s similar to tea. Technically, it’s part of the holly family, but contains caffeine and the leaves are used like tea. It works surprisingly well as a spice in beer. Last year, Jim opened the Cervecería de MateVeza, a small brewpub in San Francisco, right next to a corner of Dolores Park. Jim also puts on the Beerunch one morning (usually a Sunday) during SF Beer Week, the last few years at the Public House at the Giants’ stadium. Join me in wishing Jim a very happy birthday.

P1050496
Jim at the new Cervecería de MateVeza in San Francisco.

Jim Woods, host of the Beerunch
Jim at his Beerunch during SF Beer Week in 2010.

gabf08-14
Jim and Matt Coelho at GABF 2008.

Beer Birthday: Pete Slosberg

pete
Today is my friend Pete Slosberg’s 64th birthday. Pete is, of course, best known for Pete’s Wicked Ales. After that he toyed with the idea of making barbecue but decided instead to make some incredible chocolates and had a small company, Cocoa Pete’s. A few years ago, I traveled to South America with Pete (where we took to calling him “El Pete“), where we both spoke and judged beer at a beer conference/competition in Argentina, the South Beer Cup, and then flew to Brazil to attend a pair of beer dinners Stephen Beaumont was hosting. More recently, he’s doing a lot of traveling and was working on Mavericks, a new line of canned session beers, along with Half Moon Bay Brewing. While his son Alex is still working woth Mavericks, Pete;s just relaxing and looking for the next adventure. Join me wishing Pete a very happy birthday!

petes-1
This was taken the first time I met Pete, over fifteen years ago at the KQED Beer and Food Festival in San Francisco, when I was more or less still a civilian. It was after I’d written a book on beer, but before I started working as the beer buyer for BevMo.

Pete & Amy Slosberg with Shaun O'Sullivan
Pete with his wife Amy and Shaun O’Sullivan, from 21st Amendment, at one of Sean Paxton’s beer dinners during SF Beer Week earlier this year.

Pete Slosberg, helping out for the day, shows off a finished bottle
Working the bottling line at Russian River Brewing, with a bottle of Consecration.

Matt Bonney, Stephen Beaumont, Sean Paxton, Pete Slosberg & Rick Sellers
Matt Bonney, from Brouwer’s, Stephen Beaumont, Sean Paxton, Pete and Rick Sellers, from Odonata at the Bistro Double IPA Festival.

beer-din0602-03
Pete with his wife Amy and Celebrator publisher Tom Dalldorf at one of Bruce Paton’s beer dinners at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in February 2006.

P1040395
Martin Boan, who organized and ran the South Beer Cup, with Pete in Buenos Aires.

P1040762
Pete, with Edu Passarelli (owner of Melograno), Stephen Beaumont and me after a beer dinner at Edu’s place in Sao Paulo.

Beer Birthday: Zambo

21A-circle
Today is the birthday of David Zamborski, better known to the brewing world as simply “Zambo.” He used to brew for BJs in Southern California but a number of years ago moved to San Francisco to take over the brewpub operations at 21st Amendment. Zambo’s been a welcome addition to the Bay Area brewing scene, and he’s a terrific brewer. Join me wishing Zambo a very happy birthday.

P1000426
Luke Nicholas, from New Zealand’s Epic Beer, with Zambo during a visit to 21A.

P1020516
John Tucci (from Gordon Biersch), Aron Deorsey (from Beach Chalet) and Zambo at a release party for Anchor’s California Lager.

P1020222
Brendan Dobbel, Rich Higgins, Aron Deorsey and Zambo at a Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp a couple of years ago.

Zambo, Rich Rosen, Jen Garris, Sarah, Lloyd Knight, Dave Suurballe, James Renfrew and Shaun O'Sullivan
At the Anchor Christmas Party a few years ago: Zambo, Rich Rosen (Pi Bar, Chenery Park), Jen Garris (Pi Bar), my wife Sarah, Lloyd Knight (21A), Dave Suurballe (everywhere), James Renfrew (formerly with Potrero Hill Brewing) and Shaun O’Sullivan (21A).

Beer Birthday: Jen Garris

pi-bar-sf
Originally a sculptor, Jen Garris, has been involved in San Francisco’s beer scene as long as anyone I know. She’s worked for Magnolia and New Belgium, as well as many others in the Bay Area. A few years ago she opened the Pi Bar in San Francisco, along with boyfriend Rich Rosen, who also co-owns Chenery Park. I absolutely love Pi’s white bacon pizza. Today is Jen’s 29th or so birthday. Join me in wishing her a very happy birthday.

cbn18-17
Jen and Matt Salie, from Big Sky Brewing, at the 18th Celebrator Anniversary Party.

anchor-xmas06-08
Looking lovely at the Anchor Christmas Party.

urthel-din-6
Jen and Brian Hunt at the Urthel Beer Dinner.

cbn20th-34
Jen illustrates again how easy it is to be featured on the Bulletin.

Beer Birthday: Mark Carpenter

anchor-steam
Today is Mark Carpenter’s 71st birthday. Mark has been the head brewer at Anchor since 1971 and is responsible for much of their success over the years. Recently, he celebrated his 40th anniversary at Anchor, and he’s also started stepping back from his day-to-day duties, not exactly retiring, but sort of, although still involved in the big brewing decisions and as official “brewmaster.” He’s a terrific person and one of the nicest people I know. Join me in wishing Mark a very happy birthday.

anchor-toro-2
Dave Suurballe with Mark at Anchor a few years ago.

ambrew-anchor-3
Matt Salie, with Big Sky Brewing, and Mark at a recent Anchor Christmas party.

With Mark Carpenter, Anchor's brewmaster
Me and Mark at the Anchor Christmas party a few years ago.

P1030009
Mark showing off their recent new release, Brekle’s Brown.

Beer Birthday: Dave Keene

toronado
Today is the 59th birthday of Dave Keene. Dave, of course, owns the best beer bar in San Francisco, the Toronado, which this year has been around for 27 years. Dave is one of the great figures in the San Francisco beer scene and also one of my favorite Washoe partners, and we’ve had some monumental games and vanquished many fine players — you know who you are! Join me in wishing Dave a very happy birthday.

Peter Bouckaert & Dave Keene
Peter Bouchaert, brewmaster at New Belgium Brewing, with Dave at one of Beer Chef Bruce Paton’s beer dinners.

younger-keene-black
Outside the Toronado for their 20th anniversary, Dave bookended by fellow publicans Don Younger (from the Horse Brass in Portland) and Chris Black (from the Falling Rock in Denver).

fal-al-5
At a beer release party for Brother Dave’s Triple. From left: Fal Allen, Mark Cabrera, Dave Gatlin (head brewer at AVBC) , Me and Dave.

Dave Keene & Tomme Arthur after a night of Washoes
Dave and Tomme Arthur, from the Lost Abbey, after a night of Washoes during SF Beer Week a few years ago.

drakes-fest06-10
Dave Keene and me at the Summit Hop Festival held at Drake’s Brewing several years ago.

P1060262
Dave with Vinnie Cilurzo, from Russian River Brewing, last year at the “Toronado 25th Anniversary Dinner and Blending Session.”

DSCN0688
In the back room at the Toronado, Dave, Alec Moss and me, at Alec’s 70th birthday party earlier this year.

Anchor Releases Zymaster #6: Saaremaa Island Ale

anchor-new
Anchor Brewing has released the sixth beer in their Zymaster® series, Saaremaa Island Ale.

Zymaster-6-label-600px

Anchor’s newest beer was apparently inspired by a trip taken recently by their longtime brewmaster, Mark Carpenter. He and his family vacationed on Saaremaa Island, a part of Estonia, and located in the Baltic Sea. According to Anchor’s press release, this “ancient island has been inhabited more than 8,000 years, and has been occupied by Germany, Denmark, Sweden, czarist Russia, and the Soviet Union. Its culture is a rich and fascinating melting pot. Yet few outside of Estonia have ever experienced its uniquely native beers. Mark enjoyed them so much that he not only brought back his memories of Saaremaa but some brewer’s yeast, as well. Inspired by Mark’s Estonian beer journey, Anchor’s Zymaster No. 6 takes you on a journey to Saaremaa by way of San Francisco.”

Beer is a journey. Wine is defined by time – on the vine and in the bottle – and place, known as terroir. But beer, thanks to the miracles of modern science, can now be made virtually anywhere in any style, transporting the beer-lover to whatever time, place, and flavors he or she desires.

“My wife and I were traveling through the Saaremaa Island countryside and we stopped at a bar,” said the Anchor Brewmaster. “I asked for a local draught beer and the unfiltered brew I was served was completely unique. It was the native yeast that intrigued me and ultimately become the inspiration for Zymaster No. 6. After returning to San Francisco, the Estonian yeast was isolated and cultured becoming the cornerstone of our pale ale which is complimented by the medium bitterness from Northern Brewer, a favorite hop here at Anchor. The result is a one-of-a-kind brew that transports me back to that countryside bar. We hope you’ll enjoy this beer journey, as well.”

Zymaster No. 6 (6% ABV) is a medium-bitter pale ale with Old World hop flavor and aroma. Made with pale barley malt, it has a light body and clean finish. But what makes Saaremaa Island Ale exceptional is the native yeast that Brewmaster Mark Carpenter clandestinely brought back from his Estonian beer journey. It took months for Anchor to isolate and culture this special strain, so essential to the unique character of Saaremaa Island’s indigenous beers. Anchor’s trial brews confirmed that this yeast, reminiscent of some Belgian varieties, contributes a richly complex piquancy to this deliciously distinctive ale with overtones of freshly ground clove and allspice.

anchor-zymaster-6

Anchor Zymaster No. 6: Saaremaa Island Ale will be available in limited release in 22 oz. bottles and on draught in select restaurants, bars, and at the Anchor Brewing Taproom in San Francisco.