On Monday, a new label ran through our bottling line in San Leandro. For the first time, the long time, draft only brew, Black Robusto Porter stepped into our bottle line-up in 22oz bombers.
Drake’s Black Robusto is a deep, dark “Robust Porter,” a beer style known for being darker, fuller-bodied, and stronger than a standard Brown Porter. Each pint goes down smoothly with flavors of bittersweet chocolate and slight roast from Crystal and Chocolate malt. A touch of spicy, herbal hop character from Willamette hops balance out the finish. Enjoy a pint, and now a bottle, with dark lingering satisfaction.
With it’s malt backbone, chocolate, and roasted flavors, the Black Robusto also plays an exceptional role on the table as it pairs well with smoked meats, BBQ brisket, mole, chocolate, and much more.
Just bottled Monday, you are welcome to grab the Black Robusto here on the shelves at the Drake’s Barrel House starting today, and it should make it to stores in the Bay Area within the next week or so. Further out in SoCal and up past Sacramento, our fans can expect to see it sometime in November. Cheers to more Drake’s beers.
Oktoberfest is approaching, and as far as we’re concerned any holiday season that basically revolves around great beer and sausage is flockin’ chill in our book. Still, we find that most of the time we can do without wearing leather shorts and the polka.
But that’s what’s so great about being American… we can do whatever the flock we want. At Drake’s we’re doing Oktoberfest our way, keepin’ the large quantities of Fest Beer and seasoned encased meats and ditching the leather underwear and accordions. It’s Flocktoberfest again and we’re planning to rock out.
On Friday September 28th from 6-9pm, come to Drake’s Barrel House for your chance to Oktoberfest our style.
That night we will be releasing our seasonal HausFest Oktoberfest beer- a lighter, balanced version of the classic Marzen style. Made with Pilsner, German Munich, and Vienna malt hopped with classic German Spalt hops, HausFest is golden orange in color with an enticing aroma of biscuity malt and spicy noble hops with a crisp dry finish. 5.5%, 28 IBUs
A limited number of Drake’s Flocktoberfest .5L Beer Steins will be available for purchase, and throughout the evening we will fill your stein with pints of our HausFest and year-round beers for $4.50 (strong and barrel-aged excluded).
For your noshing needs, we have partnered with Fatted Calf to make two kinds of Drake’s Beer Sausage made with pork or duck that we throwin down on the grill. Vegetarians, no worries, we grabbed some vegan sausages from Rosamunde for you to get into the flockin’ spirit too.
Lastly, here to help us ditch the polka for the night, our friend DJ TophZilla will be throwin’ down tracks of punk and rock to kick the festing to the next level of awesome.
Pre-Order Tickets are sold out, but there will still be some steins and sausages available at the Barrel House starting Friday at 6pm. (For those that miss out on the steins, we still have plenty of perfectly good pint glasses that are quite good at holding beer.
When the opportunity to host a Beer Dinner with acclaimed chef Todd Humphries arose, it probably took us all of 10 seconds to jump onboard. At his restaurant The Kitchen Door in Napa’s Oxbow Public Market, Humphries has started a monthly series of beer dinners with Mutineer Magazine pairing local, seasonal comfort foods with local craft beer. Last night, we had the chance to share our beers around the Kitchen Door table alongside some truly excellent dishes prepared by Humphries and his Chef du Cuisine Chris Litts. Our Brewer Alexandra Nowell spoke between each course to give folks the low-down on our beers from the perspective that only a brewer can give.
As guests arrived they were given our Hefeweizen to start as servers passed around a fresh flatbread topped with goat cheese and olive tapanade. The fruity aroma and fresh zing of the goat cheese played very nicely with our light Hefeweizen, kicking the night off to a great start.
When the guests had all arrived, the meal began with a light arugula and asparagus salad with a creamy herb dressing pairing with Drake’s 1500. The lightness of the 1500 and the crisp citrus hop flavors went well with the light vegetables and the peppery arugula and cut through the creaminess of the dressing.
For, the second course, Humphries, an East Coast native, pulled together his take on a classic New England Clam Bake, butter poached lobster with little neck clams, marbled potatoes, corn pudding and sea beans. For this dish, they chose our Denogginizer IIPA, which has a clean hop character capable of balanced the buttery, richness of the lobster and corn pudding.
Things got seriously delicious with the third course, with a succulent serving of Chicken Marsala with morel mushrooms and spring onions paired with our Amber Ale. While we did not confirm this, we’re fairly certain the chef used the Amber in the sauce to up the pairing perfection of this dish to new heights. Our only regret is that it would have been uncouth to lick the plate clean…
If the previous dish didn’t send us road tripping down memory lane about good ole’ home cooking, the next dish certainly did. Out came a tender and delicious braised beef short rib served with classic pot roast vegetables, carrots and spring peas. Hearty and delicious and paired with our Barrel-aged Drakonic. Such a classic dish, we could have seen this paired with lots of our beers from regular Drakonic to IPA to Denogginizer.
Lastly we came to dessert with two different courses designed to satisfy those preferring a savory cheese course and those going for the rich and deeply satisfying sweet chocolate ending. First, Humphries paired a Pt. Reyes Blue cheese crouton with pickled rhubard and frisee with our Bourbon and Brandy barrel aged Drakonic Imperial stout. The intensity of the pungent blue cheese was impeccable with the strong imperial stout and the enhanced flavors of dried, dark fruits and brandy cut the richness of the cheese nicely.
At the same time, servers poured out side by side tastings of our regular Drakonic imperial stout alongside a dark chocolate pudding with sour cherries and a thin crispy “Cara Crakine” on top. We had trouble not licking the plate on this one too.
A big thanks to the whole Kitchen Door crew including Chef Humphries, Cheff Litts, Kitchen Door General Manager Tim Seberson and to the folks at Mutineer Magazine (especially Managing Editor Brian Knopf, who celebrated his birthday last night with us). Check out the rest of our pictures from the night below. Cheers.
When it comes to a day that appears only once every four years that just so happens to land smack in the middle of Sacramento Beer Week, we figured it was the perfect excuse chance to have a tremendous, Epicurean night of food and craft beer. Chef Adam Pechal has been making a name for himself in his role as head chef of two of Sacramento’s more inventive restaurants Tuli and Restaurant Thir13en, so when he brought up the idea to do a beer dinner at Thir13en, we jumped at the opportunity to put it together.
With a contagious exuberance that likely hasn’t waned much since he was a small boy and an undeniable talent in the kitchen, Chef Pechal worked with our Head Brewer Brian Thorson and created a 5-course menu of sumptuous dishes each paired with a different Drake’s beer.
As guests began to arrive early in the evening, we poured our light and crisp Kolsch-style Blonde ale, to pair with the first dish of the night: Lobster and Blonde Beer Fritters with Meyer Lemon Aioli.
Hungry from set-up and the choice to eat very lightly throughout the day pre-beer-dinner, the intoxicating smell of these delicious golden puffs of beer batter and lobster made it difficult to keep from promptly stuffing four into our mouths and washing down with a full Blonde, but we refrained. Good thing too, because the hits just kept on coming.
Chef Pechal finally instructed us all to take our seats for the next course and introduced to the crowd our owner John Martin and Brian. Then, when the opening remarks were complete, the wait staff brought in dish and beer number 2. Drakes Amber paired with 12 Hour Pork Belly with Honey Amber Mustard, Toasted Pistachios, sauteed Blueberries, and Red Mustard Frisee.
After the delicious and almost mandatory infusion of pork belly, we moved on to course three: House Made Squid Ink Pasta with Grilled Monterey Squid, Calabrian Chilis and Arugula paired with 1500. The lightness of the 1500 and the citrus in the hops perfectly paired with the richness of the pasta, lightness of the squid and the spice from the chilis.
Now that we had hinted at the hops and the spice, the fourth course took it to the next level. Glasses of our seasonal Hopocalypse Double IPA made their way to each guest as servers dropped vintage martini glasses filled with Fort Bragg Rockfish Ceviche with Blood Oranges, Habeñero, and Hopocalypse-Avocado Mousse garnished with a crispy corn chip.
Then, the night got even more interesting. In a mad scientist turn, Chef Pechal brought a table to the front of the room and had his sous chef bring in a large metal container filled with liquid nitrogen. After donning protective gloves and goggles the two chefs began to pour the -320 degree liquid nitrogen into a container filled with a hefty amount of our latest sour Theia (an American Strong Ale aged in Chardonnay Barrels with Brettanomyces), thus creating tableside sorbet. Fog from the liquid nitrogen billowed out of the top of the container as Chef Pechal stirred the mixture to a perfect sorbet consistancy– the perfect palate cleanser for a beer dinner. Chef Pechal served small spoons of the Theia sorbet with garnish of carbonated blood oranges (made by putting oranges and beer into a keg and cranking up the psi to carbonate the juice inside the oranges) and a glass of the non-frozen Theia.
After the entertainment of the evening was finished, and all of our palates thoroughly cleansed, servers began to bring out the fifth pairing: Black Robusto Porter with Porter Braised Beef Shortribs with Crispy Fingerlings, Carnival Cauliflower, and Toy Box Carrots. We had no words…
Nearly stuffed, a bit red faced, and very happy at this point, every cheerfully welcomed the final pairing for dessert that was both delicious and inventive. Dessert paired our well-named Barrel-aged Barleywine blend, The Good Shit with Apple-Barleywine Bundt Cake with Cardamom Ice Cream and Apple Barleywine Granita.
We left that night full, completely satisfied, and absolutely certain to dream about the foods and beers we had had. Both Brian and John agreed it was one of the more excellent pairing dinners they had ever had the pleasure to experience, and if Chef Pechal wants to do another dinner with us… you can be sure that we’re in.
Quick shout out to the servers and staff that made the dinner as wonderful as it was. Probably going to dream about this food again tonight. Cheers.
This year’s Beer Week was by all accounts the most phenomenal showing by breweries and attendees across the Bay Area in the week-long event’s history (we would know, we were there). With something along the lines of 300 events throughout the tumultuous ten days, Bay Area beer lovers smelled, sipped, paired, guzzled and enjoyed craft beer in every way imaginable, and many many of them did it all with us.
We did a staggering 22 events from food pairings to pig roasts to good ole beer fests and blind tasting competitions, and it was pretty excellent to see several of our fans at more than a few of our events.
As we couldn’t possibly cover the vast amount of excellent things that happened throughout the week without spending far too much time on this blog post (still have beer to brew…), here are a few of the highlights as we saw them from Monday on.
Monday: Beer and Cheese Pairing at Mission Cheese. This tiny cheese shop helped us pair 5 beers with 5 cheeses, and the results were so delicious that we must share said pairings for your own cheese & beer adventures to come.
Pawlet (cow’s milk) with 1500 dry-hopped Pale Ale.
Aged Tomme with Hopocalypse DIPA.
Ocooch with Dire Straits 2012 Barleywine.
Classico Goat Cheese with Drake’s Amber.
Windemere Cheese (known as the Bacon of cheeses) with Moscow’s Burning Smoked Imperial Stout.
ALSO on Monday: We again participated in the Annual Barclay’s Pub Battle of the Bays with our 1500 and Hopocalypse battling it out in taste duals with foes from the other side of the Bay. For the second year in a row we emerged the big winners. 1500 won the American Pale Ale category; Hopocalypse won the double IPA category; the East Bay took the most votes over the West Bay; and we took home the most votes overall, along with this sweet trophy to adorn the Barrel House.
Brewer Alex with our guest of honor
Wednesday: Our Sau & Brau Part Deux, whole hog pig roast was for the second year in a row a huge success. Our friends at Chop Bar in Oakland showed up early to start the two whole pigs roasting away, and come 6pm most folks were waiting just outside the Barrel House for their pig and beer fix.
Gabbi was excited to tap the special Drakonic firkin.
This year we had the added bonus of over 22 beers on tap (up from 6-7 beers from the first year) for attendees including both the Hopocalypse DIPA, Hopocalypse Black Label TIPA, our Barrel-Aged Festival Award winner Brette Davis Eyes, The Good Sh*t Barleywine blend, a specialty firkin of Drakonic Imperial Stout with Blue Bottle Espresso and TCHO chocolate nibs added to name a few. We also had our Barrel House decked out with plenty of room for folks to hang out, drink up and pig out. Another cool addition this year was the inclusion of the piano and drum duo “Bangin’ and Clangin‘” who provided just the right tunes to go with the high spirits of the night. Really really can’t wait to do this night again next year.
The Full Meal. Om Nom Nom.
Everyone was lovin' it. Great folks, great pig, great beer.
Jacob and Kirby from Bangin' and Clangin' are awesome.
Drake's Brewer Chris Dunstan, Triple Rock Head Brewer (and former Drake's Brewer) Jeff Kimpe, and Buffalo Bill's Head Brewer (and former Drake's Brewer) Mike Manty.
Thursday: Somehow we ended up all over the Bay Area on this night. Folks enjoyed some barrel-aged beers alongside tasty spirits at Bloodhound in SOMA in San Francisco. Brewer Alex joined a host of other Bay Area brewers at the Cal Academy of Sciences for their SF Beer Week Nightlife which brought out over 2600 people (whoa). On this side of the bay, Head Brewer Brian did our meet the brewer segment at Beer Revolution, and was joined by owners John Martin and Roy Kirkorian as well as our sales rep Dow with a hefty list of cool beers including a few barrel-aged beauties. Finally, we joined our brother breweries Triple Rock and Jupiter at the first ever East Bay BrewFest at Pyramid in Berkeley for a night of East Bay craft beer love.
Lots of people came out to get a rare taste of the Jack & Jolly.
Friday: The Return of Jack & Jolly, our Jack Daniels Barrel-aged Jolly Rodger, for another round. Three kegs only were tapped simultaneously at 6pm in three different locations throughout the Bay Area including our own Drake’s Barrel House, The Page Bar in SF, and Iron Springs Brewery in Fairfax. This year’s version was our 2009 Jolly Rodger Imperial Brown Ale aged in Jack Daniels barrels- malty and smooth with flavors of mild smoke, tobacco and a hint of tang from the sour mash whiskey engrained in the barrel. Complex and completely satisfying.
Also on Friday, we were once again entered into a beer battle at Barclay’s Pub in Oakland for their IPA challenge. We faced off against other Bay Area hoppy offerings in a blind-tasting, and again, we took the top prize. You like us, you really like us. Thanks!
Brian hung out and tried some Poppy Jasper from El Toro Brewing Co out of Morgan Hill, CA.
Saturday: While we grilled and chilled here at the Barrel House with Bourbon Bros. BBQ and Fists of Flour pizza, Brian headed south to meet some folks in the South Bay for the 3rd annual Meet the Brewer event at the Tied House/Hermitage. We don’t make it down to the South Bay too often yet, so it was cool to see a bunch of new faces and brewers. Added plus, the 5 food trucks at the brewery were dang tasty.
Drake's, Triple Rock and Jupiter set up together for Celebrator.
Sunday: As no highlight reel of SF Beer Week would be complete without mentioning the closing event, we must applaud the folks at Trumer Brauerei and Celebrator Beer News for once again pulling off a closing fest that exceeded expectations all around. Road weary and beer soaked from the week, we pulled into Trumer on Sunday afternoon, but it did not take long for us to perk up. A great line-up of Bay Area brewers came out once again with some incredible beers to send off SF Beer Week right. Also, those beer donuts were just incredible (with Trumer Pils cream inside… mmm).
And so it ended with a bang and not a whimper, and after a brief Presidents’ Day of rest (for most of us… Alex and Chris still brewed all day yesterday), we are back to business. In fact, today we did a big tank move in which a 60 bbl bright tank and a 60 bbl fermenter headed over to the new cellar via crane.
Also, Sacramento folks, if this post made you jealous, no worries, Sac Beer Week kicks off Thursday, and we will have events all week with some of our northern neighbors. Cheers.
The Bistro’s Annual Double IPA Festival just so happens to be one of our favorite events of the year. The sheer array of strong, hoppy brews available is staggering (which by the way is what many folks are doing by the time they leave the fest). Beers ranging from the hugely bitter and strong to fruity and mildly sweet to pine and citrus monsters hit the taps and are submitted to a panel of certified judges in a blind tasting. As hop heads ourselves, its great to see what other brewers are doing with their hoppy brews, and the challenge of the competition is exhilarating every year.
This year for the first time the judges did an separate round for the plethora of newly emerging Triple IPAs including our own Hopocalypse Black Label TIPA. And we are happy to announce that we were victorious! Amongst the intimidating competition of Triple IPAs including Triple Rock’s Rodger’s Last Stand (Silver), Pizza Orgasmica’s new TIPA, and Russian River’s iconic Pliny the Younger, Hopocalypse Black Label was chosen for the top honors.
We couldn’t be happier, especially considering the time and effort we put it to making this beer into a success. Head Brewer Brian developed the new huge recipe with some help from the rest of the guys, and Brewer Alexandra Nowell took on the task of handling this monster brew (our biggest yet with a starting gravity of 26.5 degrees Plato) from the very start of the mash in until the it was ready to keg and bottle. She coddled this beer like it was her little infant child making sure the yeast was in the perfect condition to ferment the extremely concentrated brew at just the right temperature, with right amount of oxygen, and with the occasional nudges to make this beer finish exactly how we wanted.
Because of the hard work of our brewers, we ended up with a beer bursting with hops, a big heady nose, and massive flavors of citrus, tropical fruit and just a touch of warm booziness. We love it. Glad to hear others did too.
In other news: As we move into Day 4 of SF Beer Week, we do need to take a moment to recap the past weekend (or we may just forget).
For Pictures of Our Beer Week Shenanigans you can check our Flickr Set below. We will continue to update it throughout the week.
The Opening Celebration put on by the SF Brewer’s Guild at the Concourse Pavilion was a universal hit. The space was perfect and large enough to accommodate the huge crowd of beer enthusiasts and brewers. We took a hopped-up arsenal of 6 beers, 5 of which were some form of IPA, and 4 of which were Double or Imperial IPAs. (Our list: Hopocalypse DIPA, Hopocalypse Black Label TIPA, Denogginizer IIPA, Jolly Rodger 2011 Imperial Dark IPA, Drake’s IPA, and 1500 Dry-hopped Pale Ale).
The whole night felt like an incredible craft beer reunion with all of our friends in the industry and fans of our beers coming together to taste some amazing brews. We were happy to be there.
On Saturday, while some of us went to the DIPA Festival in Hayward for the competition, others in the crew headed out to the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond for their 3rd Annual Chocolate and Beerfest with 16 kegs in tow. Over 2500 people came to sample chocolates and our beers, and by the end, everyone’s cup runneth over, and all our kegs came home tapped out.
Sunday, we started early hitting 21st Amendment for our 2nd Annual Big Beer Brunch. The talented chefs at 21A whipped up delicious brunch specialties and we took 4 of our biggest beers (Hopocalypse, Denogginizer, Drakonic, and The Good Sh*t Barleywine Blend). The place was crowded with folks looking for a beer and brunch nirvana, and in our opinion, it was pretty well achieved. After a meal that delicious and rich with beers that big, we’re pretty sure some folks went home for a post-brunch nap.
No, napping for us though. Some of the Drake’s crew then headed toward Triple Rock and Jupiter to help our brother brew pubs with their Annual Sour Sunday Festival which was epic as always
Then, last night, to end the weekend right we went took over the taps at Amsterdam Cafe in SF with a few great brews. There we got to introduce some folks to a few of our newest beers including our Brandy Barrel-Aged 2009 Barleywine, “Brandy Witches.” We had a great time, and loved hanging out in this way cool little bar in the heart of the city.
But, as we said, it is only Day 4 of the action, and we have lots more to come. Tonight, we are headed to a beer friendly cheese joint in the Mission in SF for a cheese and beer pairing night that already has our mouths watering.
Tuesday we head back to another place in the Mission on Shotwell’s and 20th for a Valentines Day Chocolate and Beer Pairing. Also, Brewer Alex Nowell will be representing women in Bay Area brewing at the film screening of the new documentary For the Love of Beer at 18 Reasons in the Mission.
Wednesday, we’re thinking about some Pig and Beer. The Second Annual Drake’s Sau & Brau will be going on here at Drake’s Barrel House with twice the pig, twice the space and over 3 times the beer from last year. Tickets are sold out for this event, but if you need your Drake’s and Pig fix, Brewer Kyle Wilson is going to a charcuterie shop in SF near Fell and Gough for a Pork Happy Hour. (Can you say Drakonic Sausage??)
Thursday, we will be all over the map with events in the city and the East Bay including a showcase at an Oakland beer bar near 3rd and Broadway, a barrel-aged beer tasting at an SF bar in SOMA (on Folsom between 7th and 8th) known for their spirits, the East Bay BrewFest at Pyramid, and an appearance at the Cal Academy of Science’s Nightlife.
Friday is Jack & Jolly time. We took our 2010 Jolly Rodger Imperial Red Ale and put it into Jack Daniels barrels for the past year and this Friday we will release 3 exclusive kegs in three different locations all to be tapped at 6pm. Locations: Drake’s Barrel House, SF Bar on Divisidero near Haight St., and at Iron Springs in Fairfax.
Saturday, Head Brewer Brian is heading down South to partake in a Meet the Brewer event at the Hermitage in San Jose. Excited to meet our fans down there in one of the few events we do down in the South Bay.
And, with a sigh of relief on Sunday we will be at the Celebrator 24th Anniversary Beer Fest at Trumer Brauerei in Berkeley to officially bid farewell to another great beer week.
If the rest of the year is like the first week of 2012, we’re going to have one helluva year. Here’s the Recap.
Tuesday and Wednesday: Hopocalypse Brewing.
First Brew of year- we made it count. See previous post for some pictures
Thursday: One Fermented Evening- Drake’s Beer Dinner
Several of the Drake’s crew headed over to Oakland overlooking Lake Merritt for a tremendous beer dinner prepared by Chef Devon Boisen consisting of various, delicious pork dishes each paired with one of our beers. Boisen’s beer-dinner series, “One Fermented Evening,” highlights a different local brewery each month and our turn through was, by all accounts, thoroughly epic.
We started the night with a bang with a glass of our Brewer’s Droop Barleywine (10% ABV) and applewood Smoked and Cider Glazed Pork Belly in a Light Beer Batter.
Next up was a “light” salad of citrus fruits served with head cheese and home-made chicarons and a glass of 1500 dry-hopped American Pale Ale.
Then (mouth-watering just remembering this one), we destroyed what Chef Devon called, “Pork with Benefits,” Essentially a hugely indulgent eggs benedict made with house-made English muffins, house-made Canadian bacon with a beer hollandaise paired with Drake’s Amber Ale.
Not done yet… As if we weren’t already stuffed, we then were served a glass of Red Eye with a massive Pork Shank (osso bucco) served with pepper cress risotto and finished with pecorino romano cheese
Finally, for dessert we managed to discover a corner of space in our stomachs for “Banana Panna cotta with a Bacon Tuile (think bacon candy) and Peanut Butter Cake” served with a final glass of Denogginizer (finishing strong).
We then rolled ourselves home stuffed to the brim and very very happy.
Friday: Brewing with Beer Revolution and 2012′s First First Friday
As if our week wasn’t big enough, we then invited folks from Beer Revolution in Oakland over for a collaboration brew in honor of their Second Anniversary this year.
Beer Rev. proprietors Fraggle and Rebecca, while both vegan, have a bit of a thing for smoked beers, so on Friday Fraggle and co. commandeered the brew house with our brewer Alex Nowell supervising to make a Smoked Imperial Stout, name TBD. This big black, smoky beast of a beer will be hanging out in the tanks for a few weeks, but will definitely be available for some anniversary celebrations to come.
And finally, while these folks were brewing, our First First Friday got off to a fantastic start as we helped raise funds for the Arroyo High School Boosters accompanied by a fantastic sunset, amazing burgers from Fivetenburger, plenty of great beer, and lots of good friends.
All things considered, judging on the first week of the year, it’s gonna be a damn good one. Cheers.
A week from Friday, Drake’s is teaming up with Tcho Chocolates for a Beer, Cheese and Chocolate Pairing event, and so, to prepare the best line-up of pairings for that night we thought it would be a good idea to have a pre-tasting here at the Brewery. Also, we just really really like cheese, chocolate and beer…mmm.
Last Friday at the Barrel House we gathered our bounty. With five cheeses — smoked gouda, chevre, Dubliner Irish Sharp Cheddar, Triple Cream, and Roquefort blue — six chocolates — Classic Milk, Dark Milk, Fruity Dark, Citrus Dark, Nutty Dark and Pure Chocolatey Dark — and the DBH’s grand wall of over twenty taps we proceeded (in a very orderly fashion and not at all like animals who hadn’t eaten in days…) to work to find perfect pairings.
It was arduous eating all that cheese and chocolate and drinking Drake’s beers… truly it was… but it had to be done.
BUT in the end we were triumphant, coming to several conclusions that we can now share with you.
Drakonic Imperial Stout, blue cheese and Pure Dark Chocolate- Simple Perfection.
Drake’s IPA, tangy chevre and dark milk chocolate. This one caught us a bit off-guard, but the tangy flavor of the chevre both worked with the grapefruit, citrus characteristics of our hoppy flagship and balanced perfectly with the malt tones and the bitterness. The sweetness of the dark milk chocolate was then the perfect cap that brought it all together.
Drake’s 1500, Dubliner cheddar and fruity dark chocolate. Our hop-foward 1500 paired great with the sharp and nutty cheddar, and the fruity dark chocolate was a harmonious match with the citrus flavors from the hops in the Pale Ale.
Smoked Cheeses are tough to pair as they just make all the beers taste like smoked beers. But, they seemed to work best with our Black Robusto Porter.
Triple Cream also worked well with the Drakonic. The one we had was more mild but a funkier cheese would have been absolutely perfect. A triple cream blue would be amazing.
While we weren’t looking at the Barrel Aged beers too closely- they had some amazing pairings too. One that was particularly stellar: Midnight Run- sour imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels – and Blue Cheese.
So, now we know you’re jealous and marking Oct. 21 on your calendar to go hang out with some Drake’s beers, cheese and chocolate in the city, but if by some terrible coarse of events you can’t make it we have a solution. Gather your own cheese, chocolate tasting smorgasbord and come down to the Barrel House. If you come up with any great pairings of your own- let us know! Cheers.
Last weekend, we with some of our Triple Rock comrades rolled up north to Guerneville, Calif. to chill by the river at Stumptown’s annual Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff.
We brought along some Denog to get the party started and some Batch 3000 Dark Pale Ale, and Triple Rock brought kegs of Pinnacle Pale Ale and IPAX and cooked up a smoker full of ribs made with a recipe they managed get out of the Homebrewchef Sean Paxton.
We spent the day on the river slinging craft beer, eating amazing “Q” and listening to live bands along with a cool crowd of craft beer lovers just like us. Basically, pretty sweet. Check out a video of the event.
This past Friday Bruce Paton, aka the Beer Chef as he’s come to be known in the Bay Area, put together an incredible four-course menu to highlight some of our beers— including some of our barrel-aged beers.
Back in February during San Francisco Beer Week, Paton caught the ear of our head brewer Brian Thorson about getting together for one of Paton’s already well-known dinners. Paton said he hadn’t done a dinner in a while, and wanted to highlight a local brewery putting out some great beer and Drake’s was just the ticket.
Brian and Bruce cheers to great food and great beer at last Friday's dinner at Miss Pearl's Jam House in Jack London Square in Oakland.
Brian invited Paton down to the brewery for a tour and a tasting, and from the first taste, Paton says he was inspired especially by our barrel-aged selections.
“Brian’s beers are off the hook,” Paton said, “he just does a very good job with the barrel. Brian has that kind of talent; it’s just magic to me.”
And from the look and taste of the food, the beer magic inspired some culinary wizardry.