barebottle brewing

Barebottle Brewing co-founder Lester Koga

Barebottle Brewing Company co-founder Lester Koga is in the studio with Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha today. There are three Barebottle Brewing locations and the one in Bernal Heights is very family friendly, which Lester explains. He visited Germany and France frequently and discovered the German beer gardens. These are large public parks with different stalls offering beer, sausages, pretzels, etc. It is an integrated communal space where alcohol is present as a normal part of life and not some kind of heavily regulated vice. Family and Pet Friendly in Bernal Heights In the Bernal Heights location the brewing operation is right in the same space with the hospitality space. He wants his guests to be able to bring their kids and their dogs. Conscious of the business side of brewing, they also noticed that their brand was popular in the […]

Continue reading
sf beer week 2023

SF Beer Week 2023

Colin McDonald from Hen House Brewing and Gail Williams join Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras to talk about SF Beer Week 2023. Colin was also on Brew Ha Ha last year at this time, to talk about Hen House’s annual Big Chicken release. SF Beer Week started in 2009 and ran every year except for the Covid year. It is back now, including a lot of interesting creative events and de-centralized parties. From Sonoma to Monterey counties, from the city to Livermore, there are events spread out across the East Bay, North Bay, the City, San Ramon Valley and Silicon Valley. Big Chicken Hen House’s Big Chicken is produced and shipped so that it can be consumed as fresh as possible. Fog Belt is doing artisanal bacon with their beer. There is even a Beer and Cookie pairing at Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco […]

Continue reading
pliny the younger 2023

Pliny the Younger 2023

Natalie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing Company joins Brew Ha Ha with the first growler of the Pliny the Younger 2023 edition. Later, the subject changes to SF Beer Week, when Colin McDonald from Hen House Brewing and Gail Williams will also be on. That portion of today’s live show will have its own separate podcast page, here. Today’s episode of Brew Ha Ha continues a tradition of Russian River Brewing Co. bringing the new Pliny the Younger into the KSRO studios for its first tasting. Here is last year’s episode on the same occasion. Pliny the Younger is a Triple IPA, which means it is a lot hoppier and a little bit higher in alcohol than regular double IPA beers. It is actually a quadruple dry hopped beer. “There is a copious amount of hops in this beer, which gives it that beautiful […]

Continue reading

Omurasaki Sake plus Hana Restaurant

Michael John from Omurasaki Sake Co. and Keita Tominaga of Hana restaurant join Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha. Keita was last on Brew Ha Ha on this July 2022 episode. Michael John is VP of Development for Omurasaki sake brewery of Japan & California and chef Keita Tominaga is chef at Hana restaurant in Rohnert Park. Michael has just come off a plane and Keita is taking a quick break from the kitchen to be here. Sake is brewed more like beer, even if sometimes people still refer to it as rice wine. Michael suggests that it’s made like a beer and drinks like a wine. Sake is actually now part of the curriculum for sommelier certification. Keita Tominaga reports that Hana is thriving and so is Pabu, their partner restaurant in San Francisco. Ross Koda’s family has had a […]

Continue reading
maryensztadt brewery

Maryensztadt Brewery of Warsaw, Poland

Marcin Malecki and Artur Napuripski of Maryensztadt Brewery in Poland are our guests today on Brew Ha Ha with Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras. Artur is the sales manager as well as a beer sommelier and brewery historian, and Marcin is the brewery’s owner. Herlinda Heras has been a beer judge at the Polish national beer competition for the last few years, along with Artur. Herlinda invited them to California for a visit and for a collaboration at Anchor Brewing and a visit to some famous Sonoma County craft breweries. Marcin tells about their visit to Brew Ha Ha sponsor Russian River Brewing Co. and how impressed he was with their Windsor location. They also visited Brian Hunt at Moonlight Brewing. Grodzisz is a smoked wheat beer, which is a unique Polish style. It uses 100% oak-smoked malt. Herlinda finds it refreshing. Artur describes […]

Continue reading
mare island brewing

Mare Island Brewing Company

Mare Island Brewing Company co-founders Ryan Gibbons and Kent Fortner join Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha today. Mare Island was a naval shipyard since the earliest days of California and Herlinda was actually born there, since her father was in the US Navy. It was the oldest naval base west of the Mississippi, and also has the oldest golf course and one of the oldest Tiffany stained glass windows in the west, in its local church. Read about the history of Mare Island here. Kent and Ryan founded Mare Island Brewing Co. after they met in the wine business. They are both professional wine makers. It is near the city of Vallejo and the city fathers asked him if he could move his winemaking operation there. The topography wasn’t right for that option, but when they met each other again […]

Continue reading
civilization brewing

Civilization Brewing brewmaster Ron Holt

Ron Holt from Civilization Brewing Company is our guest on Brew Ha Ha with Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras. Olompali Lager is named after the closest state park to their Petaluma brewing facility. They have also brought their signature Pilsner. The brewery is brand new. They just opened their taproom on Oct. 31. They got started as North Bay Brewery Tours. Ron talks about how he got to know a lot of people in the business and gained a lot of knowledge about beer during that time. He got to see inside and outside of a lot of breweries. The Civilization Brewing Co. Taproom The taproom is located at 490 Mendocino Ave. at Ross St, in Santa Rosa, across the street from Three Disciples. “If your grandma’s living room was cool…” is how Ron describes it. There are food purveyors nearby and they sell […]

Continue reading
bell's beer

John Mallett from Bell’s Brewery in Michigan

Bell’s Beer is now available in California and John Mallett from Bell’s Brewery calls in to Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras on Brew Ha Ha to tell about it. He is an old friend of Vinny and Natalie Cilurzo. They have a history of working together, including founding the Hops Quality Group. Bell’s Beer has not been available in California, until now. John is very pleased to be able to get into the northern California market. The brewery has won some of the same awards that Russian River Brewing Co. has won. The brewery has grown steadily since its founding in the 1980s. He has been at Bell’s since 2001. Their website tells the whole story of their beers available today, as well as their entire history. They also do a lot of community support and outreach. The Beer Finder on the Bell’s website […]

Continue reading
flora luna

Flora Luna Apothecary with Phaedra Achor

Flora Luna Apothecary founder and chief mixer Phaedra Achor is our guest on Brew Ha Ha with Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras today. Herlinda is back from Poland, where she was a judge again at the Polish national beer competition. We hear about the beers she judged and some smoked cheeses she tasted. Phaedra Achor has been making bitters for a long time. Her line is on sale at Bottle Barn and other locations but she has also finally opened her own lounge which serves mocktails. She began as Monarch Bitters but she rebranded as Flora Luna Apothecary after the pandemic and she has also added syrups to her product line. She makes all her products, which are botanically based, in Petaluma, in small batches, hand crafted. Aside from the sugar and water base for the syrups or the spirit base for the bitters, […]

Continue reading
third street aleworks

Third Street Aleworks News with Tyler Laverty

Third Street Aleworks News with Tyler Laverty leads off today’s show. He is back on Brew Ha Ha with Harry Duke and Herlinda Heras after appearing here just one month ago. He is here to deliver the news that after 26 years in the same location, they have decided not to renew the lease at the downtown pub location. However, they will continue to produce and distribute beer. They have been building a production facility already for about a year. They will self-distribute locally and have established local distributors in other counties. Tuesday, March 14 will be the last day of operations. They will also continue to participate in San Francisco Beer Week and Santa Rosa’s own Beer Passport in “Feb-Brew-ary” and they eventually plan to have a new taproom. Third Street Aleworks is iconic. It was the first brew pub where both Harry […]

Continue reading