Touring and sampling at Cellarmaker Brewing Company ahead of next week’s public opening. Highlights amongst their upcoming brews were the simple and tasty “Batch 1 Porter” and the amazing potential of the Wet Hop “Questionable Origins #1” I’m looking forward to the finished products!
Creating a funky “Barnyard Saison” with a Randall, Jr…with mixed results
My four favorite beers from the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival in Paso Robles this weekend, featuring The Bruery, Bell’s Brewery, Cigar City Brewing (People’s Choice Winner!) & Alpine Beer Company.
Celebrating the 7th Anniversary of City Beer Store with the release of Magnificent Seven, a collaboration with Alpine Beer Company.
I still can’t believe it’s been 7 years.
For all those years, City Beer Store has been craft beer ground zero, for me and countless others. Its success has helped spawn bottle shops, beer bars, breweries and a greater craft beer community throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. The Store, too, has grown, from a closet of a retail shop with a handful of taps, to a reliably busy tasting room with 15 flowing draft lines and walls of gleaming, LED-lit coolers that I often find myself admiring as much as the beer they contain.
The real draw for me, though, has always been the folks behind the bar. Craig & Beth, likely without realizing it, really elevated my interest in craft beer with their own personal craft beer knowledge and, more importantly, their accessibility. During those first few years, sitting on one of the 4-5 bar stools opposite a few taps, I’d be face to face with my own personal craft beer ambassador, either Craig or Beth. Each, in different ways, was open and candid about all things beer, business and Bay Area. My first taste of sour beers and barrel-aged imperial stouts occurred with their guidance, along with my first exposure to previously unknown breweries like Alpine Beer Company from San Diego.
Part of me is nostalgic for those simpler days of City Beer Store, chatting with the owners and drinking with regulars (and competing with far fewer for coveted beers). But as the City Beer family has grown, I’ve felt no less welcome. From Craig & Beth, to Heather, Matt, Ryan, Nick, Stephanie, Conner, Trafton and many others, City Beer still feels like my original, family-run little bar that I can always count on for a great sip of beer, bar stool banter and a bottle (or 6) to take home.
After seven years, even as my own craft beer community and experiences have expanded, generally keeping me away longer than I’d like, City Beer Store continues to be my sentimental epicenter for all things craft beer. It’s truly been a magnificent seven years.
April 2013 Instagram recap. More sunshine, more happy hours, more craft beer.