sonoma county distilling co

Sonoma Distilling Co. & Pink Boots Society

Adam Spiegel from Sonoma Distilling Company is back with Steve Jaxon, Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras today. Adam tells how they started with a 700 square foot distillery, then into a 6000 square foot facility for the last five years, and now they have a new 12,000 square foot facility with a 9000 square foot barrel room. Now he can make more whiskey and better whiskey. He started making beer and wine, then grappa, then whiskey. He explains what grappa is, which is a distilled product made from the pumice, the leftover crushed grapes and other material that is left over after wine is made. They “rehydrate” the material then distill it. The pots distillation method will produce a lower alcohol, more full bodied whiskey, with more viscosity and esters and mouth feel. This is what he wants in a premium product and he […]

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Russian River Brewing Co. 15th Anniversary Show

Vinnie and Natalie Cilurzo are here to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Russian River Brewing Company in their Santa Rosa location. Steve and Vinny tell the story how Vinny was running the brewery at Korbel, as a consultant. Then they opened another brewery at Lake Sonoma Winery which is now Sbragia. But in 2002 Korbel decided to get out of the beer business and Vinny wanted to keep the brewery going so he traded his severance for the Russian River name and raised $750k. That is how they started. The rest of the show is the rest of the story. (34 min)

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don barkley

Don Barkley Returns to Brew Ha Ha

Craft brewing legend Don Barkley is back on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon, Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras today. Don tells the story of how his career began with Red Tail Ale, which he came up with in the early ‘80s. He founded Mendocino Brewing Co. in 1981 after he had worked at New Albion, the first craft brewery. They were operating in the Hopland Brewery. Now Don Barkley and Ron Lindenbusch are producing Red Tail Ale and Eye of the Hawk again, and they are both on tap at the newly reopened Hopland Tap House. For now, Red Tail Ale is on draft. They might produce it in cans later on. Right now they are making the beer at the Napa Smith Brewery. Don operated that brewery for about 10 years so he knows the equipment and the people, as well as the […]

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puerto rico

Puerto Rican Day with Herlinda and Mark

Pete Foppiano is sitting in for Steve Jaxon this week as Herlinda Heras and Mark Carpentner review some beers, rum and cocktail recipes that Herlinda has brought back from her trip to Puerto Rico. Herlinda has brought beer and rum back from Puerto Rico. They start tasting with a beer from Ocean Lab Brewery in Puerto Rico, one of the coolest breweries Herlinda has ever seen. They took an old convention center that had been vacant for ten years. They have a private beach. This beer has a passion fruit flavor. To help the smaller breweries in Puerto Rico, this bigger brewers Herlinda was in Puerto Rico for Tales of the Cocktail, an event that was started after Hurricane Maria. This organization is similar to efforts in New Orleans to bring tourists back after Katrina. All of the attendees did some service for the […]

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Anchor Brewing

Ramon Tamayo from Anchor Brewing Company

Ramon Tamayo from Anchor Brewing joins Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter this week on Brew Ha Ha. Herlinda Heras will call in from Puerto Rico too. Ramon grew up in Petaluma and worked at McNear’s Saloon & Dining House in Petaluma. Ken O’Donnell ran it and recommended Ramon so Mark hired him. Ramon started on the packaging line in 2011 and worked his way up into different departments. He was a home brewer before but really learned the craft by studying and working at the brewery. The beer community is tight-knit the those with experience have shared advice with him. He had the idea for a beer called Los Gigantes, made for the SF Giants, with a Mexican-themed label. It was his first project where he did the recipe and the design idea. Anchor started as a brand in 1896, which is when the […]

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rio nido roadhouse

Flood Recovery Edition: Rio Nido Roadhouse and Crooked Goat Brewing

Rio Nido Roadhouse and Crooked Goat Brewing are our guests on this “Flood Recovery Edition” of Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter. Herlinda Heras has invited guests from these two establishments to describe the challenges they are facing since the recent rains and floods. Herlinda Heras is back from her travels but she’s getting ready to leave again. She was just in Italy to judge the Italian national Beer of the Year competition. Then she went to Malta to visit some friends in their vacation home there. The entire nation of Malta is a Unesco World Heritage site. While she was in Malta they had the strongest storm in a century, so strong that there were fish washing up on shore. Herlinda brought back a special bottle of beer from Italy, from Birrificio Italiano, and also a Maltese beer. Today’s guests […]

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barrel brothers

Barrel Brothers Brewing Company

Today on Brew Ha Ha our guests from Barrel Brothers brewing Company. are Wesley Deal, a founder and brewmaster of Barrel Brothers. We also have Barrel Brothers account rep Tom and JJ from Becoming Independent, who will describe their new collaboration. Wesley Deal is a founder and brewmaster of Barrel Brothers Brewing Company. Tony is an account rep. Wes tells how his brother Daniel and father-in-law Tom got started with a home brew kit and formed a brewing partnership. He also did the UC Davis brewing program. Barrel Brothers Brewing Company was founded in 2015. They are located in Windsor with a taproom, but they are mostly production focussed. They do live music and food trucks every Friday. Becoming Independent, a local organization that helps people with any kind of developmental disabilities. JJ explains their connection to Barrel Brothers is that they are the […]

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herlinda

Herlinda Heras in Malta

Herlinda Heras calls in live from the island of Malta, which is in the Mediterranean Sea south of Sicily and east of Tunisia, where the local time is 2:30 am. Her friends in the beer business have a home there and they are importing American and European beers. In the rest of the world, including places which have not been known for beer, beer is hot, especially American and Californian beer. Malta has an interesting history, a small island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean. It is “stunningly beautiful.” In Malta there are temples from 5000 BC. It is well known as a scuba diving destination. They brew traditional lagers, the most famous of which is CISK. Herlinda finds a lot of Californian beers at Wilibees to bring as gifts for her friends in the beer business, when she travels. She is staying […]

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herlinda heras italy

Herlinda Heras from Italy plus Beer with Chocolate

Herlinda Heras calls in from Italy Brew Ha Ha today has Herlinda Heras calling in from Italy via Skype from the 2019 Italian Beer of the Year convention in Rimini, where she is one of the judges. Beer writer Jay Brooks joins Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter in the studio again this week. The convention and competition is called Birra dell’anno (“BEE-ra del LAH-nno”) or Beer of the Year. It is a promotion of the Unionbirrai (“oon-YOHN bee-RA-ee”), the Association of Italian Beer Producers. Rimini is an Adriatic coastal resort town near Bologna, south of Venice, that fills with vacationers from Italy and all over Europe during the Summer. They also host a lot of conventions and trade shows during the off-season, such as this. “It looks like Coney Island but deserted,” says Herlinda. Pete Slosberg is there. Della Toffola also has a stand. There […]

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Jay Brooks

Beer Writer Jay Brooks plus Oliver’s Market

Today’s guest is Jay Brooks, the well-known beer writer who is also one of the organizers of SF Beer Week. Jay Brooks has been writing about beer for nearly 30 years, based in the Bay Area. He is a co-founder of SF Beer Week and writes a syndicated newspaper column. Wade and Sean from Olver’s Market are also coming in today. Jay talks about his new initiative called Flagship February, to shine a light on “the beers that got us here.” With all the new beers around, it’s a chance to pause and consider the classics, like Anchor Beer. By flagship beer he means the beer that defines a brewery like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, Stone’s Arrogant Bastard, Firestone DBA and others. Anchor Steam Beer is one of those. Every day there are well-known writers, including Tara Nurin, who will write an article about […]

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