drake's brewing

Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro

Our guest today on Brew Ha Ha is John Gillouly head brewer at Drake’s Brewery in San Leandro. Steve Jaxon, Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras will taste and talk about some of the very interesting brews that they serve there. First they taste a New England style IPA, which is hazy or cloudy. John says that the west coast brewers have taken over the New England style. He thinks a New England style with the heavy mouth feel (not dry like a San Diego style IPA) but with some bitterness and dryness, for balance. Steve points out it’s 8.4% alcohol. Mark Carpenter introduces John Gillouly. Hopocalypse is a high alcohol highly hopped beer. John says some New England brewers use trick ingredients to get hazy beer. The haze in this beer is from raw wheat, which has proteins in it that make the beer […]

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Hazy Beer and Anchor Gin

Hazy beer and Anchor Gin are the topics of the day, live from the new KSRO studio with Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras, who is just back from Europe.  Mark brought Sierra Nevada Hazy Little Thing IPA, what they call a “New England IPA” meaning it’s hazy. An Englishman would send it back. Mark explains that the first highly hopped beers were difficult to filter to make them clear. When they first tried to sell hazy beer, people wouldn’t buy it but now people like it. They’re even selling some in England. Steve says that you may as well call it foggy. Steve asks Mark about the Anchor Gin, Mark says it is still happening and Herlinda tells about how she found it while travelling in Spain. Mark tells the story of how Anchor Gin got started. After they started making whiskey, they also […]

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Brewsters Beer Garden in Petaluma

Today’s guests on Brew Ha Ha are Alfie and Callie from Brewster’s Beer Garden in Petaluma. They will be doing a collaboration beer with Bear Republic. Racer 5 is one of the brands that built the craft scene so he feels it’s prestigious to collaborate with them. Mark says that when you see the roof with a garden on it, you’ve arrived at Brewster’s. They taste a beer form Silver Moon Brewing. They also tasted a beer called Three Kittens. They noticed that playful whimsical names can help sell beer, so they made a Jasmine rice lager that is good for having with Sushi, called Three Kittens. There is a lot of upheaval in the craft brew market. He wants Brewster’s to be a resource for people to keep track of the best craft beers. He selects for quality of process and quality of […]

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sean paxton

Sean Paxton the Home Brew Chef

Sean Paxton, the Home Brew Chef, is our guest on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter today. He says he has been cooking with beer for 24 years now. There weren’t many cookbooks on the subject when he started, they all talked about cooking with wine. Cooking with beer has a lot more variables, as he explains. Now he is making a NorCal Mole, which is a hot sauce that they will try. It has the Carolina Reaper pepper in it, toned down with Habaneros. Steve says it has a lot of vitamin C too. Mark says that early on at Anchor they were concentrating on making beer, and not on food. Steve says he loves cooking with Anchor Porter, which is a beer that Mark brewed at Anchor. Mark says beer can be more like champagne, in the sense that […]

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St. Clair Brown Brewing

Our guests on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter are Elaine St. Clair and Laina Brown of St. Clair Brown Brewery in Napa. Elaine has been a winemaker for a long time. They started St. Clair Brown Winery in Napa in 2010 and they opened the brewery in February this year. They are tasting a honey wheat beer as they talk. Elena tells how they have been in Napa since 2013 but they have worked in the wine business for thirty years and worked together for twenty years at two different wineries. They had to fulfill a lot of legal requirements to open a brewery together with a winery. Their beer comes in attractive bottles, which are wine bottles with a porcelain closing crown. Elaine went to the Fementation Science program at UC Davis and has been working in the wine […]

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Herlinda Heras back from the British Pie Awards

Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras are alone in the studio with Steve Jaxon on today’s show. Herlinda is back from Europe with a lot of cool stuff. She was in England judging the British Pie Awards competition. She brought back a cold pork pie and a beer from northern England called the Bleu Brew, as it’s made from the whey from Stilton cheese. There were 24 categories of pies, all but one was savory and only one was sweet. They covered Northern Ireland, England Scotland and Wales. There were fish pie, cold pork pie, steak and ale pie, steak and kidney pie, game pies of all kinds, squirrel pie, venison pie, even vegetarian pies. They also had some curry pies. There were 938 pies, just 56 in the game pies category. She had 8 other judges with her in her category. Four years ago […]

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Agave and Small Mexican Brewers

On this abbreviated edition of Brew Ha Ha, Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter, Mark is just back from an amazing trip to Mexico. He tells what a great trip it was. An old friend and neighbor invited him down. He lives near Puerto Vallarta at 5000 feet in the Sierra Madre Mountains. The city of San Sebastian was established in 1605 as a silver mining town. It reminds him of the Petaluma Old Adobe. There is a lot of microbreweries in Mexico but a bar owner has to be independent not to sign an exclusive contract with big brewers so they are sometimes hard to find. But Mark did discover the Treasure of the Sierra Madre. His friend met a man who has a distillery off the grid up near San Sabastian. He mentions the Hacienda Carmelitas. He is making beer and also Racía. His […]

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chang beer

Pimi from Chang Beer in Bangkok, Thailand

This week Brew Ha Ha welcomes Pimi from Chang Beer in Thailand and Mark Carpenter has a preview of this year’s Anchor Christmas Ale. (This show was recorded on August 10, 2017.) The brand name is really pronounced “Chong.”  Herlinda went to the Thai food festival a few weeks ago and saw Chang Beer was the only beer there. They import all of their products from Thailand. The Thai food festival was hosted by Chang Beer and Pimi says they thought it was their duty to promote Thai food and beverages. Last year they did it in LA, this year in San Francisco, and they are going to do it all over. They brought in a chef from Thailand and paired beer with many local food vendors. They have held the event in Singapore, London and the US. Chang Beer was launched in 1995 […]

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Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras on Wilibees

Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras are alone in the studio with Steve Jaxon on today’s show. Later Herlinda will tell about Wilibees but at first, Mark starts with an IPA from Hen House. It’s called Hollow Moon, 6.7% alcohol. Sirachi Ace hops and “Conan” yeast. It has an expiration date and they want you to drink it within 21 days. Steve mentions that some of the commercial brands also were printing production dates (“born-on” dates) on their cans and bottles. The beer Mark has was released just last week. Herlinda asks what makes the difference between a beer for aging or for drinking soon? Mark says if it is high in hops and alcohol, it may age better, but otherwise, not. Herlinda asks about a comparison between German and British styles, which Mark is happy to do. Mark says that these styles only go […]

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charlie bamforth

Charlie Bamforth of UC Davis

Charlie Bamforth, an English scientist who specializes in malting and brewing, is our guest on Brew Ha Ha today with Steve Jaxon, Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras. Charlie has been a professor at UC Davis since 1999, and has 40 years in the brewing industry. When he was a biochemist working on enzymes, as a post-doc student at the University of Sheffield, he found a job in his field. He has also written about the English soccer league for the English press. He is a fan of Wolverhapton Wanderers. Herlinda Heras is the coordinator of the craft beer program at Sonoma State University. Charlie Bamforth is a professor at UC Davis. He runs a summer abroad program, teaching brewing science in the UK, for college credit. They did it in 2014 and 1016 and again this year. It is based in Nottingham. They go […]

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