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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moonlight brewing

Moonlight Brewing and Comet Corn

Brian Hunt from Moonlight Brewing joins Steve Jaxon, Mark Carpenter and Herlinda Heras today. Also with us are Sherry and Jeff Soleski makers of Comet Corn. Steve introduces Mark Carpenter who was for a long time the brewmaster for Anchor Brewing. He describes the history of Anchor Steam Beer, whose name comes from a nickname for the beer which was on draught and highly carbonated. Herlinda Heras introduces Sherry and Jeff Soleski, makers of Comet Corn including the famous Hippie Dust flavor that you see at all the taprooms and music festivals. Jeff tells about why and how they started back in 2002. They agree you could pair a porter or a stout with the Maple Syrup flavored popcorn. Mark Carpenter introduces Brian Hunt who worked for Schlitz in Milwaukee before starting Moonlight Brewing. Stroh’s then bought Schlitz. Steve remembers their label that said […]

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shady oak barrel house

Shady Oak Barrel House

Steve Doty from Shady Oak Barrel House is our main guest today on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter. Their website proclaims “Sour and Wild Artisinal Ales.” Bob Brewer, the former Anchor Brewing sales guy, is also in.  Mark has known Bob for a long time, even before he worked at the brewery. Mark tells about how at Anchor, they were having trouble selling beer in New York. Fritz asked him and Bob to go to New York City and went from bar to bar making relationships. He says it is a huge accident that with a name like Brewer, he got into the beer business. Once when he worked for the Renaissance Faire, they asked him to put the beer concession booths together. He learned a lot about beer and met Fritz Maytag, who was personally delivering Anchor Steam beer. This […]

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