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Tasty beers on tap for Silicon Valley Beer Week

KraftBrew Beer Fest
KraftBrew Beer Fest
Andy Lee

The local region will be a "hoppening" place during the 2nd Annual Silicon Valley Beer Week (SVBW), which starts today and runs to Aug. 2.

Beer fans will have plenty of daily opportunities to enjoy good beer, including the following sampling of options:

FRIDAY, JULY 25

The only event taking place today is the SVBW Kickoff event from 6-9pm at downtown San Jose's Blackbird Tavern. Chefs Dawn Smith (Blackbird Tavern) and Luis Silva (Naglee Park Garage) have prepared a beer-inspired menu to pair with specialty beers. A "Z Pass" ticket is required for this event (the same "Z Pass" is also good for the culminating KraftBrew Beer Fest on Aug. 2). Special beers include Bruery Smoking Wood (Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Smoked Beer), Echt Kriekenbier (Belgian Cherry Sour), Straffe Hendrik Wild (Belgian Pale with Brettanomyces), Bayerischer Bahnhof Berliner Weisse (Traditional German Sour Wheat), Allagash Confluence and more. More info.

SATURDAY, JULY 26

It has been an exciting time for downtown San Jose's Original Gravity Public House. Their recent two-year anniversary celebration coincided with the unveiling of their finished expansion project. Original Gravity's first SVBW event is "Pucker Up! Sour Fest 4.0" and features 15 national and international sour and wild ales. The lineup includes:

Allagash – Golden Brett (American Wild Ale)
Almanac – Bourbon Sour Porter (Sour Porter)
Anderson Valley – The Kimmie, The Yink and the Holy Gose (Gose)
Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck – St. Louis Gueze (Gueze)
Bruery – Sour in the Rye (American Sour Ale)
Cismontane – Marea Roja (Flemish Style Red)
Drake’s – Barrel of Peril (Sour Tripel aged w/ Brett in Chardonnay Barrels)
Freigeist – Sauer Porter Raspberry (Wild Ale w/ Raspberries)
Jolly Pumpkin/Anchorage – Calabaza Boreal (American Wild Ale w/ Grapefruit and Peppercorn)
Lost Abbey – Spontaneous Cheer (American Wild Ale)
Mort Subite – Mort Subite Kriek (Lambic w/ Cherries)
New Belgium – La Folie (Flanders Style Brown Ale)
Priaire – Funky Gold Mosaic (Dry Hopped Wild Ale)
Russian River – Supplication (Sour Brown aged in Pinot Barrels)
Struise – WeltKrieg (Kriek)

Sour Fest is a popular Original Gravity event for sour beer fans and also provides a good opportunity for those curious about the "fruit, funk and tart" characteristics of sour beers to try them out. More info.

SUNDAY, JULY 27

Jack's Libation House in Los Gatos, home to what is likely the South Bay's largest beer garden, hosts a festive Los Gatos Brew Fest, featuring rare beers and one-offs from Firestone Walker (Paso Robles), Drake’s (San Leandro), Lagunitas (Petaluma), 21st Amendment Brewery (S.F.), Calicraft (Walnut Creek), Heretic (Fairfield), Stone (Escondido), Knee Deep Brewing (Auburn), Alpine (Alpine) and New Belgium (Fort Collins, CO). The event starts at 11am.

On hand will be Alpine's Patrick McIlhenney, Calicraft's Blaine Landberg, Knee Deep's Jeb Taylor and Drake's John Martin. More info.

MONDAY, JULY 28

Downtown Mountain's Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant will feature 14 guest taps, seven from Allagash and seven from The Bruery, including:

  • Humulus Lager
  • Hottenroth
  • Loakal Red
  • White Chocolate
  • Sucre – Madeira barrel aged
  • The Wanderer
  • BeRazzled
  • Neddles
  • James Bean
  • Saison
  • Golden Brett
  • Odyssey
  • Confluence
  • Red Howes

Kegs will be tapped at 5pm and pour until the beer runs out. More info.

Downtown Campbell's Spread Deli & Bottles hosts Six River Float Night with their neighbors, Snake and Butterfly Chocolates from 5pm-8pm. More info.

TUESDAY, JULY 29

Downtown San Jose's Good Karma Vegan Cafe hosts a dinner and tap takeover featuring The Bruery. A private paired dinner takes place from 5pm-6pm. Good Karma then opens to the public at 6pm with 19 beers on tap, including Grey Monday, Berazzled, The Wanderer, Tequila Barrel Aged Sucre and more. More info.

Santa Teresa Golf Club and Lagunitas team up to present the final Santa Teresa Summer Beer Talk on the Bar and Grill Patio. “Lagunitas Bloopers” takes place from 5:30pm-6:30pm and will be a discussion on how brewing mistakes can lead to brewing success. There will be beer tasting and happy hour prices on Lagunitas beers. For only $5 you will get to taste beers and participate in a discussion hosted by Lagunitas. More info.

Liquid Bread Gastropub in downtown Campbell presents Chef's Choice Craft Beer Dinner, featuring selections from executive chef John Burke. The menu includes the following:

  • AMUSE: grape salad, almonds, olive oil
  • OREGON SHRIMP SALAD: mâche lettuce, toasted bread, palm hearts, charred tomato vinaigrette & REISSDORF KÖLSCH (german beer with light citrus, notes of sweet grain, and a mild hop finish)
  • UNI: basil spaetzle, chinese pepper, sesame seeds & WIDMER BROTHERS SAISON À FLEURS (farmhouse ale brewed with chrysanthemum, jasmine, and szechuan peppercorns)
  • LOCAL SOLE: salsify purée, woodear mushrooms, lollipop kale, pine nuts & EINSTöCK OLGERO (icelandic white ale dry with hints of coriander and orange peel)

Liquid Bread will offer the Chef's Choice Craft Beer Dinner Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. More info.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 30

Steins Beer Garden & Restaurant will host a pop-up dinner with Hangar 24, pairing their beers with a four-course menu created by executive chef Colby M. Reade. The sample menu includes:

  • AMUSE BOUCHE (paired with Helles Lager) seared scallop spoon
  • RAVIOLO AL UOVO (paired with Farmhouse Saison) ox tail / braised greens / egg
  • BRAISED BEEF CHEEKS (paired with Alt Bier Ale) heirloom summer vegetables / veal glace / guanciale
  • CHOCOLATE TRIO (paired with Chocolate Porter) light chocolate pot du crème / chocolate porter ice cream / dark chocolate truffle

The prix fixe dinner is available for $75 per person with seating times available from 5:30pm-9pm. Reservations can be made by emailing brittany@steinsbeergarden.com or calling 650-386-1367. More info.

THURSDAY, JULY 31

The Farmers Union in downtown San Jose's San Pedro Square will host Flights and Bites featuring beers from Stone Brewing Company. Executive chef Alex Jimenez will present six dishes paired with Stone beers starting at 6:30pm. The following is the beer-and-food pairing menu.

  • Chefs Crostini Fig Jam: Humboldt Fog goat cheese, jerk nuts paired with Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
  • Grilled Chicken Skewers: spicy peanut sauce paired with Stone IPA
  • Mushroom Cigars: porcini aioli paired with Stone Liberty Station Colonel Sykes East India Porter
  • Pulled Pork BBQ Sliders: apple-jicama slaw, jalapeño, brioche bun paired with 2012 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine
  • Housemade Veggie Sliders: white cheddar, cajun remoulade, brioche bun paired with Arrogant Bastard Ale
  • Pork & Ricotta Meatballs: crushed & roasted tomato paired with Stone Liberty Station The Sacred Druid

On hand will be Stone's craft beer ambassador "Dr." Bill Sysak. More info.

Harry's Hofbrau in San Jose is the host of the 2nd Annual California Craft Beer Throw down featuring Double IPAs. Last year's winning Double IPA came from Heretic Brewing Company, and owner/brewer Jamil Zainasheff will be in attendance to defend his title against the offerings of Stone, Firestone Walker, Lagunitas, Altamont, 21st Amendment, Knee Deep and others. More info.

FRIDAY, AUG. 1

The last SVBW event for Harry's Hofbrau San Jose is a good one, featuring the nearly divine offerings from Port Brewing and The Lost Abbey, including:

  • Deliverance '13
  • Agave Maria
  • Older Viscosity '12
  • Old Viscosity '13
  • Red Poppy
  • Santas lil Helper '12
  • Cuvee De Tomme '13
  • Angels Share Grand Cru
  • Track #8
  • Spontaneous Cheer
  • Framboise De Amerosa

Liquid Bread Gastropub hosts their 2nd Annual Ice Cream Social with Lagunitas Brewing Company from 3pm-5pm.

Enjoy a variety of ice cream flavors or build your own float. Examples include:

  • Lagunitas Imperial Stout & Salt Carmel Ice Cream
  • Rabbits Foot Meadery Cider & Champagne Strawberry Sorbet
  • Classic Root Beer Float with French Vanilla.

The Grapevine in Willow Glen will have Stone Brewing's Dr. Bill will be on hand for a beer and cheese pairing event starting at 5pm. The event features 6 beers and cheeses:

  • Cabecou with Stone Saison
  • Picandine Pico with Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
  • Piave Vecchio with Stone Ruination IPA
  • Beemster Gouda Aged 18 months with Stone 2013 Oaked Smoked Old Guardian
  • Jasper Hill Bailey Hazen Blue with 2013 Double Bastard Ale
  • Colston Basset Stilton with Stone 2012 Imperial Russian Stout

Only $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Serving sizes: all beers are 4 oz pours and cheeses between 1/2 to 3/4 oz. portions. More info.

SATURDAY, AUG. 2

The popular KraftBrew Beer Fest is the culminating SVBW event and takes place at Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose's Japantown. "This year’s festivities feature 60+ American craft, Belgian and German imports, home brews, a beer launch booth releasing a special or unique brew for tasting every hour, craft beer panel discussions, brewery tours, and lots of great food!" More info.

At last count, there were over 150 events listed on the SV Beer Week website, giving beer fans and those new to the world of beer a serious case of a first world problem - too many beer choices.