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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Best Beers From Goose Island Brewing's Annual Migration Week

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 2:43 PM

For the 3rd Year in a row, Goose Island Brewing Company has descended upon the Bay for their Annual Migration Week events. Their goal, according to events manager Jesse Valenciana is to “Take the culture of Goose Island on the road with an event born out of passion for beer.” Look for Goose Island to be showcasing some of their newer, rarer and unusual beers, as well as some classics. One of which was one of the most deliciously complex beers I’ve ever had…

Think of it as a big beer roadshow. And I know what you might be thinking though…”Isn’t Goose Island owned by Anheuser-Busch?” Yes, they are. But AB has allowed Goose Island to remain largely autonomous in their business and process, while stepping in only on macro-business processes. Point is, there’s still quality beer being made by quality people. So it’s time to get over your beer hipsterdom (I did) and relish in the goodness of Migration Week. Here’s why:

The Bourbon County Stout Series

I could probably make this entire post The Bourbon County beers and it’d be enough reason to get excited. Holy shit! All of these imperial stouts are aged in 8 year bourbon barrels from Heaven Hills distillery (Elijah Craig, et al) and boast a chocolatey flavor and complexion that linger boldly after every sip. (Rumor has it, that a beer aged in 30 year bourbon barrels could surface in the near future too.)

Yesterday’s kick-off event at Amsterdam Cafe featured the classic Bourbon County Stout, a Bourbon County Coffee Stout and the big winner of the night, in a Bourbon County Vanilla Rye Stout. The latter of which is one of the most complex beers I’ve ever had. The vanilla was bold, yet balanced. There was the subtle aroma of the rye barrels in which it was aged in to go with a creamy head and true vanilla flavor. Cellar Master Brian Taylor, explained that "Bourbon county is already notorious for having vanilla and we added whole vanilla for this one...40lbs per barrel." The beer got tastier as time wore on and I even woke up with it on my mind (real talk). It’s a beautiful beer from a fine series.

ADRIAN SPINELLI
  • Adrian Spinelli

Classic and New Beers From Goose Island

Like the excellent Sofie Farmhouse Ale, partially aged in wine barrels with orange peel. Or The Ogden Tripel with solid bite and flavor and the innovative “My Shout,” a killer Australian sparkling ale that finished my Monday night off like a champ. It’s slightly tart and super lively...I coulda drank a hundred (maybe.)

ADRIAN SPINELLI
  • Adrian Spinelli


Events Galore All Week

- Tuesday (5/5) “Celebration of Beer” at the Willows (1582 Folsom, 7-9pm) - Meet the brewery team and try some rare and classic Goose Island Beers
- Weds (5/6) “Barrel to Bottle: The Bourbon County Stout Timeline at 83 Proof (83 1st St 5-7pm) - get schooled on Bourbon County Stout, barleywines AND bourbon. Sample rare bourbon and beer.
- Weds (5/6) “Sweets & Sours” at Soma Eats (186 2nd St, 7-9pm) - Learn about and try wine barrel aged Goose Island Beers paired with desserts from Soma Eats.
- Thurs (5/7) “Celebration of Beer at City Beer Store” (1168 Folsom St #101 7-9pm) - yet another opportunity to come out and drink more Goose Island Beer. 
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Get Suave with Agave Tonight at Monarch, for Cinco de Mayo

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM

Suerte tequila and Del Maguey cocktails will be highlighted at the Agave Cocktail Showdown. - THE DAPPER DINER
  • The Dapper Diner
  • Suerte tequila and Del Maguey cocktails will be highlighted at the Agave Cocktail Showdown.

Tequila and Cinco de Mayo go together like Simon and Garfunkel, or Hall and Oates, or Garfunkel and Oates, so it is no surprise that the west coast chapters of the United States Bartenders’ Guild have gotten together to host a tequila and mescal event tonight at Monarch. When you put together over two dozen bartenders from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego, Reno, Hawaii, Portland, and Seattle in SoMa’s Monarch, it’s a recipe for a good time.

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Manresa, A16, State Bird Among Bay Area James Beard Winners

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2015 at 8:00 AM

State Bird Provisions, whose Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski collectively won Best Chef in the West. - GALLIVANT.COM
  • gallivant.com
  • State Bird Provisions, whose Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski collectively won Best Chef in the West.

The James Beard Awards were held in Chicago last evening and, on the whole, they were kind of a wash for the Bay Area. NYC, on the other hand, did very well. (The five boroughs count as their own geographical region, so they seldom fare poorly, whereas San Francisco is lumped in not only with the rest of California but with Hawaii and Nevada, too.)

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Cinco de Mayo: Mixing Mezcal in Honor of Mexico

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM

The Smoke & Fire Fashioned - MONTELOBOS
  • Montelobos
  • The Smoke & Fire Fashioned

Ahh, the misunderstood perplexities of mezcal. The trademark flavors of tequila's smokier, more sophisticated sibling are the result of agave roasting over a pit fire for up to three days. Although these unctuous tonalities lend themselves to comparisons with scotch — and bring with them similar hesitation among casual drinkers — mezcal is a surprisingly accessible drink. In fact, the same robust characteristics position the spirit of Oaxaca as a powerful player in advanced mixology. In the right hands, with a proper supporting cast, mezcal is winning over many skeptics north of the border. Today's celebration of all things Mexico provides a perfect excuse to explore the country's other agave-based export. 

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When Is a Craft Beer a Craft Beer?

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 2:15 PM

JOSHUA RAINEY PHOTOGRAPHY/SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Joshua Rainey Photography/Shutterstock

When Wal-Mart goes organic, does it alter the distribution systems of organic produce? When restaurants that employ off-site commissary kitchens say they make things “in-house,” is that really truthful? And when a brewing  giant enters the craft beer market, does it undermine the integrity of the term?

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Starbucks Express Debuts

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 11:00 AM

BOCMAN1973/SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Bocman1973/Shutterstock

Starbucks has opened the pilot store for Starbucks Express in Lower Manhattan.

In case you want coffee without the ambient sound of people typing, or diehard fans of capitalism crowing about the stolidity of the New York Stock Exchange, it’s a pared-down shop. There are no tables, no blenders to make time-consuming Frappuccinos, and an assembly line POS system that shaves precious seconds off the re-heating of a sandwich. This Starbucks Express caters to people who want a cup of coffee, and want it now, and it’s located very near to multiple transit lines.

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SaloonBox Is Like a CSA, But For Booze

Posted By on Mon, May 4, 2015 at 8:00 AM

ANDREW BRODHEAD
  • Andrew Brodhead
If you’ve ever found yourself looking to shake up some cocktails but a little flummoxed by a single shriveled-up lemon in your fridge and a cupboard that contains only Fireball and T.G.I. Friday’s Mudslide mix, there is a solution on the horizon. Not unlike a CSA for gin instead of rainbow chard, SaloonBox aims to make home mixology easier by delivering weekly boxes full of everything you’ll need — because nobody likes running to Safeway for olives. Nobody.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

Sofi Nominations for Papalote, Hey Boo, and Other Bay Area Companies

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 4:00 PM

click image Sofis definitely resemble the Oscars. - NASFT
  • NASFT
  • Sofis definitely resemble the Oscars.
The sofis, oft referred to as the “Oscars of the food world” are calling for some Bay Area companies. Being in the running for a sofi — out of a whopping 2,715 entries equals big recognition from the Specialty Food Association, which represents a $109 billion industry. The word “sofi” stands for "Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation." I tried most of these products at the busy Winter Fancy Food show in San Francisco in January.
Bay Area nominees include: Papalote’s roasted tomato salsa, Hey Boo’s delectable small batch coconut jam, Bay blue cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese company, whole milk ricotta and crème fraiche by Bellwether Farms, Haig’s cracked wheat salad and the avocado and greens drink from the Forager Project.

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You Have Until 7 p.m. to Enjoy a Free Affogatto at Sightglass

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 2:08 PM

Affogatto (front) and Coffee Float (rear) - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Affogatto (front) and Coffee Float (rear)

You have approximately five hours for the best thing to happen to you all day (unless it’s pay day for you, or you’re participating in a march for social justice, or you scheduled a sex date with a hottie for later). Barring any or all of those circumstances, you have until 7 p.m. to get to Sightglass Coffee on Seventh Street for a free affogatto.

If Homer Simpson were particularly worldly, he might tilt his head back and drool, gargling his own words: “Mmm ... affogatto.”

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In DIY Food News: Blaze Pizza Is (Finally) in San Francisco

Posted By on Fri, May 1, 2015 at 11:01 AM

From L-R: a build it yourself pizza with spicy red sauce and a white pie - BETTY WANG
  • Betty Wang
  • From L-R: a build it yourself pizza with spicy red sauce and a white pie


San Francisco's very first Blaze Pizza is in the Stonestown Galleria, where the former Williams Sonoma used to be. While we have a number of places for one to design one's own sandwiches (Subway, or any neighborhood Safeway deli), burritos (Blaze is being touted as the "Chipotle of pizzas"),  for some reason, fast food renditions of DIY pizza are actually a little more sparse than the aforementioned items.

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