SF SWIG: Monthly happenings in local beer, wine and spirits


Beer Lands is Back
If you don’t want to drink Heineken all weekend at Outside Lands Festival (I don’t blame you), the very thorough selection of local breweries known as Beer Lands (curated by Magnolia’s Dave McLean) is back again 29 Bay Area breweries will be pouring all weekend at Golden Gate Park and trying a different craft brew or two on each weekend day is a festival ritual of sorts for me. Look out for Half Moon Bay Brew Co’s Full Swing IPA for a heavy-hopped dose of juicy flavors or Speakeasy’s Baby Daddy IPA for a more sessionable high-hopped option. If you wanna get crazy with it, North Coast will be pouring Old Rasputin Imperial Stout and for a beer you can drink a million of, Fort Point’s KSA Kolsch is the jam.

Sumac Summer Ale Release Dinner
Local cicerone Sayre Piotrkowksi is teaming up yet again with Craftsman Brewing’s Mark Jilg for the release of their “Summer Sumac Ale,” and releasing it at a beer pairing dinner at Thomas McNaughton’s Central Kitchen. Piotrkowksi and Jilg’s creation is a Belgian style wit, brewed with sumac (duh) and coriander, that has a tart profile through and through. There’s no other way to put it, it’s fucking lovely. Visit SF Swig on our website at sfsoundsmedia.com for a link to pairing dinner details and look out for the beer!

Temescal Brewing Has Arrived
If you follow local beer trends, you’ve likely caught wind of Temescal Brewing Co, Oakland’s newest brewery. Brewmaster Wade Ritchey was previously assistant brewing at Cellarmaker and cut his teeth at Hill Farmstead in Vermont (Rate Beer’s #1 brewery in the world for 2015…kinduva big deal.) Their Oakland tasting room is open Tue – Sun, but you can get their beer all over SF and Oakland. They’ve done a bang-up job distributing quickly and their Totes Pale Ale, with balanced citrusy notes, is one of the better Pales in town. The “Works Like  Charm” Farmhouse/Saison however, oughta be avoided. It’s lackluster flavor profile and overall wateriness felt rushed and it makes me wonder how they even decided to put this thing out on the market? Are new breweries so eager to get different products out into the market that they force out a subpar beer? On the real, this beer is lame and consider this a call to all young breweries to only put out beers that you’re 100% proud of.

Eat/Drink SF Descends Onto Fort Mason
Eat Drink SF is back for another year and its lineup is just stupid (stupid as in stupid good ya dinosaur!) $119 gets you a GA pass for the weekend (8/25-8/28 at Fort Mason) and includes access to all of the daily Grand Tastings events, where you can sample food from over 35 local restaurants and unlimited pours of over 70 different local beers, wines and cocktails. The drinks programming is crazy comprehensive, with notable local bartenders from White Chapel, Slanted Door, Trick Dog, Smuggler’s Cove etc…The SF Brewers Guild are managing the beer and Buena Vista Irish Coffee is served at all Grand Tastings. Peep the sweet photo above of the first ever shipment of Tullamore Dew whiskey for SF’s most iconic boozy cup of Joe and hit up http://eatdrink-sf.com/ for tickets to the event.

Beer of The Month: Shady Oak Alpha Cure
The best local beer I had last month was a bottle of Shady Oak Barrel House’s Alpha Cure. It’s a tart farmhouse ale aged in Chardonnay barrels that developed subtle strawberry tones when aged. Shady Oak is a small operation (a one man band led by Steve Doty) out of Sonoma County, that focuses on barrel aged sours and wild ales, using primarily Brett yeast.  I grabbed a large bottle of Alpha Cure for under $20 at City Beer Store, but on my next trip there they were all out. Rumor has it Whole Foods is now stocking Shady Oak beers, so get after it! (Shadyoakbarrelhouse.com)

Bear vs Bull is Prettay, Prettay Chill
Totally dug the bar at the new Alamo Draft House. I’ll admit, I wasn’t there before or after a movie, but just to knock back a couple with some friends and the vibe was on point; dark and quiet, in the back of the theater building. I could see myself popping in for drinks when I want to have a conversation and not feel like I gotta talk over loud music. I was also thoroughly impressed with their list of “Boilermakers.” You can get a shot of Buffalo Trace and a Knee Deep Pale for $10 (see: steal) or fancier beer and shot pairings go up in price accordingly (And yes…even PBR & Jameson for $7.) One gripe though: Where I come from, a boilermaker requires you to drop the shot in the beer before you drink it, otherwise it’s just called a sidecar or “a shot and a beer.” This isn’t the only bar I’ve seen recently using the Boilermaker moniker this liberally though. But whatever, down the hatch it goes…

Brooklyn’s Six Point Comes To Town
Saw a New York staple at City Beer last week in Six Point Brewing. Apparently there’s a new distributor in town and the Brooklyn beers will now be trying their hand up against our fine local breweries. I wish them luck and if you come across the Double Sweet Action on Nitro (a hybrid cream ale), order it.


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