Wednesday, February 13, 2013

SF Beer Week 2013: Wise Sons Deli / Shmaltz Kosher Beer Pairing Dinner!

San Francisco Beer Week day 3 for us! Highly anticipated capacity crowd event at our favorite deli Wise Sons: 6 courses, lightly European/Jewish inspired, each paired with a specially-selected kosher beer from Shmaltz Brewing of NY.

It's so hard to pick my favorite course, but I’ll narrow it down to Creamed cabbage and cauliflower with beer foam paired with the Messiah Nut Brown Ale (it's the beer you've been waiting for)... Or the amazing savory smoked mushroom plate (made especially for me as the only pescetarian in the restaurant tonight) paired with Lenny Bruce RIPA (RIP IPA)... Or Humphry Slocombe chocolate chip ice cream with rugelach crumbles and local french prunes paired with Reunion 2012 beer (unmistakable deliciousness of cocoa nibs, vanilla, and cinnamon). Who are we kidding -- the dessert is always the best!


Chef Thomas Martinez had picked so many of the ingredients from his garden or sourced them (eg: the french prunes) from friends - it gave the event a local, unique feel. After dinner concluded, we all had an amazing time sampling Shmaltz's archival beers, including their 11th anniversary Jewbelation (brewed in 2007) with 11 different malts and hops at 11% ABV, 2008 Jewbelation 12 with 12/12/12, and 2009 Jewbelation 13 Bar Mitzvah with 13/13/13!! We shared the dinner table with new friends Amelia and Kieran who were at Wise Sons - and enjoying Beer Week - for the first time. By the end of the after-dinner archival tasting, we had become best of friends :)


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

SF Beer Week 2013: Mate beer and ice cream floats @ Cervecería de Mateveza

Mate beer and creamy floats

Thanks to Beer Week, we discovered Cervecería de Mateveza, a small Argentinian-fusion brewpub specializing in Mate-infused beers and empanadas nearby in the Castro neighborhood. We came for the beer floats made with their Salted Caramel mate beer and Bi-Rite Creamery's Salted Caramel ice cream -- but mysteriously word had gotten out and there was a run on the sea salt caramel. Their backup plan -- Mate Black Lager paired with Bi-Rite Vanilla Ice Cream -- was so perfect, it was hard to leave disappointed. Together they make a deliciously semi-sweet vanilla-scented frothy concoction with notes of effervescent chocolate on the tongue. The ice cream portion was small so it wouldn't overwhelm the beer (this is a brewpub after all, not a creamery), yet the frothy head was the first and the last thing we tasted.

Good friends and ice cream

It was so tasty, our voracious group immediately headed straight to the source at Bi-Rite for the sea salt caramel ice cream - rated by US News and World Report as the third best ice cream in the country! Other amazing flavors we tried included cookies and cream (made with chunks of Newman's O's), coffee toffee, and chocolate with blood orange olive oil drizzled over top!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

San Francisco Beer Week 2013: Lost Coast Bottlecaps @ Zeitgeist

Tonight we kicked off the annual San Francisco Beer Week with a low-key event at our local biker bar, Zeitgeist. Lost Coast Brewery had brought some of their rare brews for us to try
Jack Van Stone, sales manager for Lost Coast, brought some jewelry he made out of beer bottle caps and rhinestones, even offering a lovely set of earrings to Olga! Check out his work (I hope he gets to drink each and every bottle to get the caps).

We started with the Winterbraun, which Olga described as a bear falling into a honeycomb. It's very light and subtle, fun and all-night-drinkable. The best beer of the night.

Next we tried the Baltic Porter. If it needs a catchphrase, I would say it could be "none more black". It gave Olga the sense of tarpaulin and turpentine. Sharp notes. Definitive strong character. Flavorful in your face. Not sure what makes it Baltic, it's certainly better than all of the Baltica-brand beers we tried in Russia.

The Bourbon Stout is good, but the oak takes away from the smoothness and subtlety of the stouty characteristics. Olga detected essences of sage and field grass. You can feel the acid burning on your lips.