Beer Week is the place for new beer releases and even new brewery releases. Nothing illustrated that better than Sunday's Nanobreweries of Tomorrow event, where nine brewers planning to launch their sudsy empires poured their almost-no-longer-homebrew.
Tonight, amid more than one freshly minted brewery debuting in San Francisco, Cherry Voodoo will become the brashest new kid on an exciting block. It's a three-man operation, but the faceman is Yuri Green, who as a principal architect of Snapfish found success with a dot-com. After ballooning to 410 pounds, he exercised all the way to becoming a champion triathlete. Homebrewing caused him to tack a few pounds back on, but they haven't slowed Green's hunger for success in the beer biz.
"When I say I'm going to do something, I either come really close and nearly kill myself getting there, or it's simply done," says Green. "It's what makes me annoying, but it makes me successful."
At least one keg has been tapped at another local beer bar, but that's not stopping Cherry Voodoo from calling tonight's event a launch.
Following a press event, Church Key will host the Cherry Voodoo crew (including female servers called Voodoo Dolls) tapping three inaugural brews: a Belgian Tripel, Filth Pig Imperial IPA, and Angel, which is something Green calls a "bright ale." They all clock in at 8 percent or more alcohol by volume, which sets the stage for future releases Gangster (motto: "Yo, Time Ta Git Yaw Drank On Playa'!") and Thermonuclear, weighing in at 32 percent ABV. Not incidentally, Scotland's extreme-stunt brewery BrewDog waddled out Tactical Nuclear Penguin not long ago at - no surprise - the same marker of booziness.
Cherry Voodoo's booze bombs are being brewed down the Peninsula at the Devil's Canyon Brewing facility in Belmont, same as Mayfield Brewing, purveyors of the over-$40 Iconoclast beers. It's where the Cherry Voodoo empire starts, but there's no end in sight. "Our immediate mission is to spread our beer to as many locations starting with San Francisco," Green says, with a press release that alludes to the national and international beer markets. Green acknowledges how many breweries fail. "But none of them are owned by me," he says.
Cherry Voodoo Brewing Launch Party
Where: Church Key, 11402 Grant (at Green), 963-1713
When: Tonight, Feb. 15, 9 p.m.-2 a.m.