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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pliny the younger

Pliny the Younger 2019 Spectacular

Natalie and Vinny Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing Company are in today for the Brew Ha Ha annual Pliny the Younger 2019 Spectacular. Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras are also in, with a big crowd in the studio. For more information about the 2019 Pliny the Younger, visit the Pliny the Younger page on the RRBC website. This year’s Pliny the Younger release runs for two weeks, from February 1 – 14, at both their Santa Rosa and Windsor locations. It attracts beer lovers from all over. The release brings a lot of tourist traffic to Sonoma County. This is their 15th year of Pliny the Younger. It’s a little different every year. This one is 10.25% alcohol. Mark notices the nice, light subtle aroma and the full finish. Vinny says that in the past there may have been more differences but the recipe […]

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teeling whiskey

Teeling Whiskey of Dublin, Ireland

Rob Caldwell from Teeling Whiskey in Dublin Ireland, is our guest today on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter. Herlinda Heras has brought Rob in for a special Tuesday edition since Rob is in town just for today. “We’re the new generation of Dublin distillers” says their website. Frank Jacuba is also in, from the Bacardi company, which distributes Teeling. “Teeling Whiskey. We let the liquid do the talking.” Rob talks about the huge revival of Irish whiskey, which was once the biggest whiskey category in the world. 70% of global whiskey used to come from Ireland, from 200 distilleries, down to two by the 1970s. Innovations in distillation changed the way whiskey was made. Also, Prohibition hurt the Irish whiskey business. Rob has brought three whiskeys to taste, a single grain, a blend and a single malt. Herlinda asks Rob to […]

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hitachino nest beer

Hitachino Nest Beer

Today on Brew Ha Ha, we meet Uichi Kiuchi the founder and brewmaster of Hitachino Nest Beer. Naoko Kiuchi, his daughter, is also here to talk about her work in marketing Hitachino Nest Beer. Pete Foppiano is sitting in for Steve Jaxon today on this special Tuesday edition of Brew Ha Ha. Mark Carpenter introduces today’s guests by telling how Herlinda Heras invited him at the last minute to visit some breweries with today’s guests from Japan. It’s the kind of day that makes him glad he’s a brewer. Vinny Cilurzo at Russian River Brewing showed them the new Windsor facility. By the way, Vinny and Natalie Cilurzo will be in the studio on January 31 with the ONLY growler to leave the facility with the new Pliny the Younger. Uichi Kiuchi’s family has made sake for 200 years but 30 years ago he felt frustrated […]

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visit santa rosa

Brad Calkins from Visit Santa Rosa

Pete Foppiano is sitting in for Steve Jaxon this week, with Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras. Brad Calkins is here, from Visit Santa Rosa. He is the executive director, or “chief eating and drinking officer.” They are doing a Beer Passport in February as part of their FeBREWary celebration. The breweries, Moonlight, Plow, Cooperage and Fog Belt will be running a shuttle, picking up people at the Smart Train and then taking them around the breweries. This is their third year of the Beer Passport promotion. Brad has brought a commemorative medal that people can earn by visiting 9 of the 12 breweries on the list.  They are all Santa Rosa breweries. The Passport looks like a map and can be stamped at any of the participating breweries. There is a welcome center in Railroad Square. This is a tie-in with SF Beer Week, which […]

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sf beer week

SF Beer Week and Temescal Brewing

SF Beer Week is at the top of today’s Brew Ha Ha agenda. Gail Williams and Steve Shapiro are in from San Francisco. They were writers for Celebrator Beer magazine and Gail is now working on PR for SF Beer Week. Sam Gilbert from Temescal Brewing in Oakland is also in and has brought beer from Temescal, a Pilsner and a single-hop Citra Ale. Mark remembers SF Beer Week used to do events at Anchor Brewery. The first was in 2009. SF Beer Week is happening all around the region now. The opening gala is Friday, February 1. Feb. 2 through 10 there are events all over the Bay Area. Temescal Brewing also has some events. They are in North Oakland in the Temescal neighborhood. They do a live canning tour called “Fresh Cans” where you can drink a beer just plucked off the […]

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Sam Levy Fernbar

Sam Levy of Fern Bar plus Ron Lindenbusch

Sam Levy from Fern Bar Sam Levy from Fern Bar, a new locale in Sebastopol, is our first guest today. Ron Lindenbusch from Lagunitas is also in the studio today. This is Fern Bar’s third week of operation. Sam Levy is one of the partners there. He used to be bartender at the three-star restaurant Meadowood. Steve says it’s about time to bring back the fern bar. They were popular starting in the late 1960s in San Francisco. Sam Levy tells about how fern bars may have become a bit kitschy but they are ready for a comeback because of their strengths. Among many attractions, they have live music, but casually, not as a full-scale music venue. A young listener called to issue a “geek alert” to ask Steve what is a Fern Bar. Sam tells about how they were a popular style beginning […]

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Vinny Cilurzo

Vinny Cilurzo, Tara Nurin and Herlinda’s father

Brew Ha Ha this week features Vinny Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing, a guest appearance from Herlinda’s dad Eloy Heras and a phone call from Tara Nurin, Forbes correspondent covering the brewing and distilling businesses. Herlinda’s father is visiting her from Amarillo, Texas. He has stories about serving in the Navy for 23 years. He tells a story about being in the Navy. He had buddies who got drunk while on shore leave and he helped them get back to the ship. But they got him to drink too so he got in some trouble since he was underage. [6:20] Getting back to beer, they taste the Russian River version of Resilience IPA. It is a fundraiser beer that Sierra Nevada put together, similar to the one that RRBC did last year with their Sonoma Pride fire relief campaign, only on a larger scale. […]

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