Monday, February 1, 2016

SF Beer Week 2016 - Part Two

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Wednesday night, Izzy & I continued our mild SF Beer Week adventures with a visit to Fieldwork Brewing in Berkeley. This brewery is HIGHLY regarded within the brewing circles that we keep, both professionally & amateur… and for good reason. They always have a wide variety of brews on tap (usually at least 12 different options) and they are CONSTANTLY changing… and some very unique options made in-house. For example, when we went on Thursday, they had options such as:
·         Mandarina – Tart Saison
·         Good Conduct - Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
·         Olde Dubliner - Imperial Dry Stout
·         Black Thai – Thai Tea Espresso Porter (very nice)
·         Chocolate Milk – Brown Ale with lots of TCHO chocolate & lactose (milk sugar)
·         Amarilloweisse – Dry Hopped Berlinerweisse
·         Coconut Milk – Double IPA with LOTS of hand-toasted coconut & lactose
·         5-6 different versions & levels of IPA with different hop characteristics
So yeah, I recommend checking them out if just for the fresh options & variety… and they also have Crawlers now, which are basically 32 oz aluminum cans of their fresh beer that you can take home in addition to their growlers.
Thursday night, Izzy & I visited Seven Stills Distillery’s Taproom for a special release of… BEERCEPTION!!! See… it’s a beer within a beer! How you ask? Well, as you may remember, Seven Stills specializes in making whiskey from distilled craft beers. Well… for Beerception… they barrel aged their Whipnose IPA in a Whipnose Whiskey barrel… and dry hopped the barrels with Chinook & Citra hops. Nice little spot… right over by Laughing Monk Brewing too (will check another time, private event Thursday) in the Dogpatch… go check it out… well, in a few months… they’re still getting things put together… it’s a work in progress…

Saturday, we did a new first… and that’s a DOUBLE BATCH!!! What’s that mean? TEN GALLONS of beer made… in ONE BREW. BOOM!!! SCALING IT UP!!! Well… sort of… see…this is how we did it different. We basically just doubled the grain bill ingredients (malt extract mostly in this case) to make a SUPER strong wort… and then diluting it down so that it’s ten gallons of wort instead of the five or so that we started with. Why? Because we wanted to make ten gallons of Stout to run a few experiments with… including some souring… and we wanted to cut the time in half (maybe more since we used cold water to dilute at the point where we were trying to cool the hot wort). Here are some pictures from our double batch of Chocolate Stout…

Sunday was the day of the big SF Homebrewers Guild / Seven Stills Barrel Aging Competition in which Izzy & I BOTH had entries of our delicious beverages. We had both a barrel-aged hard cider… and a barrel-aged Scotch Ale… and there were over 30 other barrel-aged beers there to try… and a few dozen others… so times were good. Food was provided by Casey’s Pizza Van… and yeah, EVERYBODY had a great time!!! Here are some pictures of the event…
Towards the end, they announced the winners for the Top 3 in the Barrel Aging Competition… and top for all of the other homebrew shared… People’s Choice, of course since there were almost all of the beer styles involved & with unique twists like Mexican Chocolate Imperial Stouts and all kinds of stuff. Well… the winners were announced… and some great beers won…

The Barrel Aged winners were announced… and we didn’t win for either beer… so we were mildly bummed… but then, the non-comp People’s Choice was announced… and somehow… we had won!!! Even though both beers were part of the competition…
Does this sound incorrect? Well… it should… apparently when you get a bunch of drunken hipsters together to tally up votes, math goes to the wayside. It’s a mix of Steve Harvey & a Hanging Chad… but when all was said & done… apparently Tricera-Scotch actually won 2nd Place in the Barrel Aged Competition… and we don’t have a picture with the 2nd place ribbon because… well, they just took our ribbon & didn’t replace it with anything… so yeah. Then again, I’m pretty sure that everything was just tallied wrong… and based on our feedback throughout the event… I’m pretty sure that we ACTUALLY won… even if it won’t show on the official ledger… regardless, LOTS of great beer & LOTS of great people!!! Even taking home 2nd Place is pretty f**king amazing… and we’ll take it!!! WOOHOO FOR TERRIBLE LIZARD BREWING!!!
Anyway, so a great SF Beer Week 2016… and now we just get ready for the Super Bowl… and the clusterf**k that will be upon the Bay Area for the next few weeks. More on that to come… until then, have a Happy Groundhog Day everybody!!!

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