Ron Lindenbusch returns to Brew Ha Ha

Ron Lindenbusch is back on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon, Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras. He was one of the co-founders of Lagunitas and now he operates Hopland Tap in Hopland, California. He was with Lagunitas since the beginning, for more than twenty years. Now he operates Hopland Tap. The sign says “Welcome to Hopland. We’ll take care of the rest.” Steve Jaxon’s band used to play at the Hopland Brewery years ago. They used to make Red Tail Ale and they are finally serving it again now. Hopland Tap’s building was built in 1880, it was called the Hop Vine Saloon. They have been open for two and a half years. They opened just before the pandemic. “I can’t think of a worse time to open a restaurant.” Ron is working on his ventilation system and looks forward to full capacity. There […]

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russian river reopening

Russian River Brewing Co. Reopening with Natalie Cilurzo

Natalie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing Co. in the studio with Herlinda Heras and Steve Jaxon on Brew Ha Ha today. Everyone is happy to see each other again after a year apart due to Coronovirus restrictions. Natalie says their Santa Rosa location is still using their park space out in front and they are open daily from 11am to 9:30pm, and Windsor is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 8pm. The Windsor beer garden is back in action since the meal requirement has been removed. Steve says that if you’ve never been to the Windsor location, you have to see it. There are beautiful pictures of it on the website that Natalie shot herself. After having to lay off staff, they are happy to have been able to call many of them back. During the pandemic Vinnie Cilurzo was experimenting with recipes […]

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steele and hops

Justin Green Steele and Hops

Justin Green, head brewer at Steele and Hops is our guest on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter. Herlinda Heras is also in the studio today. Mark Carpenter was head brewer for Anchor Brewing in San Francisco which started in 1896. Next month is the 84th anniversary of KSRO, the home station of Brew Ha Ha. Anchor made a beer called “Steam” which is a type of beer which was brewed as a type of beer that they could make, since they could not make lager because they did not have refrigeration. The beer had a lot of foam and got the nickname Steam from that. After refrigeration, Steam beer went out of fashion but it survived in San Francisco because the climate was cool enough to allow it. Fritz Maytag, son of the washer and dryer family, bought the brewery […]

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old possum brewing

Sandro Tamburin, Old Possum Brewing and Scott Bice, Redwood Hill

Sandro Tamburin, brewer at Old Possum Brewing Co. and Scott Bice from Redwood Hill Farms are both are back on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon today. Sandro Tamburin comes from Trieste, Italy, and spent time in Dallas Texas in the restaurant business before coming to California to study at Davis and to make beer and wine. Scott Bice’s family operates Redwood Hill Farms, a great producer of goat cheese and other products of goat’s milk. They also have started growing hops and since this is hops season the wet hopped beers are appearing. To make wet hopped beer, you have to get the fresh hops into the vat as soon as possible.  Russian River is making their Hop Time Harvest beer, a wet hopped beer. “Every time you buy from a small business, the owner does a little dance.”  – Sandro Tamburin Sandro says that […]

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earle baum center

The Earle Baum Center and Dr. Hoby Wedler

The Earle Baum Center of the Blind and Dr. Hoby Wedler visit Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon today. Herlinda Heras introduced Hoby Wedler, who is a PhD in organic chemistry and a sensory expert who has been blind since birth. He is a tasting expert and founder of Senspoint Design. He will tell how to taste a unique brew. Plus, the tasting is all for charity to support the Earle Baum Center and its work. Hoby explains that the Earle Baum Center was important to him because they taught him the skills he needed to be successful in college. He met with the CEO to put together an in-person tasting for staff and a few donors in August 2018 and the idea is to do it again. With Covid, they have decided to turn it virtual in order to make it happen this […]

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gray whale gin

Gray Whale Gin

Jan and Marsh from Gray Whale Gin join Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha today. This show was recorded live on May 7 of this year. The regularly scheduled live Brew Ha Ha is preempted today for ongoing coverage of the Lightning Complex fires in Sonoma and Napa counties. Gray Whale Gin is made with ingredients that are foraged and harvested all along the west coast of Mexico and California, the range of the Pacific Gray Whale. There is lime harvested in Baja California, juniper and mint from the central California coast, and more. He invites bartenders to submit recipes for cocktails that highlight their flavors and in return for the promotion they will send a bottle of their gin. Jan explains how she and Marsh thought there was a need for more craft spirits from California that used local ingredients and […]

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palooza brewery and gastropub

Palooza Brewery & Gastropub co-founder Jeff Tyler

Palooza Brewery & Gastropub co-founder Jeff Tyler visits with Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras on this edition of the Brew Ha Ha podcast. Palooza is located on Sonoma Highway in Kenwood. Jeff Tyler has brought food and beer from Palooza, to show some beer and food pairings. Jeff Tyler was working in construction in 2008 when the economy went bust. He started a hot dog stand, that grew into a catering business, then he opened this restaurant that has been open for six years. They have a lot of space on six patios and the scenery around there is beautiful. They actually do also ferment beer on site. Palooza also does pick-up up to about 8 or 9 o’clock. They are drinking what Jeff Tyler calls the Porch Pounder, a 4.5% alcohol pilsner. They also have “The Mask Dropper” which is an IPA much stronger. It’s […]

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taylor lane russian river

Taylor Lane, Head Lab Tech at Russian River B. C.

Taylor Lane, Russian River Brewing Company‘s head lab tech, joins Steve Jaxon and Herlinda Heras on the Brew Ha Ha podcast today. She was in graduate school in Microbiology at Cal Poly Pomona, working as a lab technician and manager and researching her thesis subject of probiotic bacteria, when she found that they had a culinary program. She thought there could be good professional opportunities for her in the brewing field. She worked for Ritual Brewing company while in school and then for Innovation Brew Works, where she set up their entire lab operation. Three years ago the joined Russian River Brewing Company as head lab tech. The lab is at the center of the production process, as Taylor Lane describes it. Day to day, they test the tanks that are in process and perform various analytics. They look for sugar, color, turbidity or […]

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wolf house brewing

Wolf House Brewing Master Brewer Kevin Lovett

Michelle Marquez is filling in for Steve Jaxon today on the Brew Ha Ha podcast, Herlinda Heras has brought guests from Wolf House Brewing in Cloverdale, Kevin Lovett and Dwayne Moran. Kevin Lovett grew up around craft beer. His father was one of the founders of Mendocino Brewing Co. He and Don Barkley took the equipment from New Albion and started Hopland which became Mendocino.  When Barkley founded Napa Smith, Kevin asked for a job and started on the bottling line. Then Brian Hunt, who also worked at New Albion, gave him a job at Moonlight Brewing Co. After that he was head brewer at Stumptown, and then master brewer at Cloverdale Ale. Now he is running Wolf House with his partner Dwayne. He describes the challenges of opening a brewery and brewpub in these times. They were open for about three weeks before precautions. They […]

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sipsong spirits

Sipsong Spirits founder Tara Jasper

Sipsong Spirits founder Tara Jasper joins Michelle Marquez (sitting in for Steve Jaxon) and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha today. Sipsong Spirits has recently won a double gold medal at the San Francisco World’s Fair for its Indira Gin. Tara Jasper says she never thought she would be distilling gin. She began her career working for other people and then heard the wisdom that people should do what they love. So she enrolled at Santa Rosa Junior College in the culinary program. She experimented with making flavored liqueurs. In order to make liqueurs better, she had to become a distiller. Indira Gin also supports a good cause. Tara is a breast cancer survivor and she supports “Fight like a Girl” which is a breast cancer support community. Herlinda has made a cocktail with Sipsong Spirits’ Indira Gin (using a shaker that we hear […]

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