Monday, July 8, 2013

Rambles: Slowly Reading Through "The Audacity of Hops" and other new happenings

I'm enjoying a slow meander through "The Audacity of Hops" by Tom Acitelli this summer.
  Time being a precious commodity for me this summer, I'm only getting a few minutes here and there for reading.  I've found The Audacity of Hops, Acitelli's  new book on the American Craft Brewing revolution an enriching read, due primarily to the impressive amount of research Acitelli puts forth in an engaging style on each page.  He's really captured the people and events of the movement quite nicely.   Books like this often degenerate into "bus schedule" of one tedious event after another.  Instead, we're given bit sized chapters of a certain place and time in the movement that connect to provide the whole picture.  I'll post full review once I'm finished.

Some Good Beers I've Had Lately
On a recent searing hot day, Bison's Brewing Chocolate Stout was an unlikely choice but it turned out to be good one.  This dry stout has an impressive depth and complexity to its roasty character.  I've also recently enjoyed El Toro's Awesome IPA. It's a little sweet and sticky with plenty of grapefruit peel character in the best tradition of West Coast IPA's.

Headlands Brewing Company Debuts
Headlands Brewing Company, named after the famed Headlands of Marin County, is set to debut in the Bay Area with three beers: Group G Belgian RyePa, Pt. Bonita West Coast Lager and Hill 88 India Pale Ale.  Headlands is co-founded by Patrick Horn of the highly respected Pacific Brewing Laboratories, and Phil Cutti, head brewer at Southpaw BBQ head brewer who is also a well known Bay Area endurance athlete.  (What's this nonsense about "never trust a skinny brewer?")

In a press release announcing their new brewery, Cutti declares "Beer is a social and cultural thing and part of our objective is to bring that concept to life by connecting people and maybe even playing a part in their new adventures. It goes without saying that we also look forward to producing some fantastic and thoughtfully produced beer in the process.”  Patick Horn adds  "We are excited to combine our love for the great outdoors and high quality beers. The craft beer scene has a lot of momentum right now in the Bay Area and we are thrilled to be part of this community."

More information is available on the Headlands website and of course, you can follow them on Twitter.

San Francisco's W. G. Barr Beverage Company Launches T.W. Pitcher's Snake Bite
Formed this year by Wilson Barr and Tommy Hester, San Francisco based W. G. Barr Beverage Company enters the world of beer cocktails with T. W. Pitcher's Snake Bite, based on the traditional British pub mix of lager and cider.  “During my time in the U.K., I saw people at pubs ordering round after round of this mixture of lager and cider called Snake Bite,” says Barr in a press release. “It was flavorful, crisp, and really easy to drink. I quickly realized Snake Bite had the potential to be a successful beverage in the United States.”

An e-mail from W. G. Barr CEO Wilson Barr confirmed Snake Bite is bottled and brewed in the Midwest for eventual distribution on both coasts, adding "Snake Bite is only available in the Bay Area at the moment, and we will focus on building a solid base here in San Francisco before expanding."

Circle the Calendar

The organizers of the 408k Race are expanding into new Bay Area codes beyond the South Bay.  On July 21st is the Marin 415 mile (a five mile race) to benefit Girls on the Run.  And then the series heads to the East Bay for the Let's Go 510k (a 10 k race) October 19th on Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, with the race finishing on the horse race track. 

This year's debut of the Muscle Milk Woodsy trail race series includes a race this September 7th in Oakland's Joaquin Miller.   It's an 8.5 mile trail race, and you can check out the event website for further details and registration.

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