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2014′s Long Shot at Triple Rock

April 14th, 2014

It’s time once again for our annual Long Shot competition.  If you forgot all about it (rude), here’s the deal: Triple Rock employees come up with a recipe, and we put it to you, the loyal Triple Rock beer drinker, to vote on which one you wanna see flow from the taps.  (The staff gets to vote, too, since we’re the ones that hafta stay here all day).  The winner will accompany the Triple Rock brewers to the 2013 Legendary Boonville Beer Festival, where they will pour their creation for thousands. The winning beer will also be made collectively by the staff and served only here at the brewery.


The second element of the Long Shot is the written test.  We pride ourselves on our servers knowing beer inside and out, both our own house beers, and beer in general.  That knowledge is tested every year during the Long Shot, as whoever wants to can take the test and win themselves a trip to Booneville as well.

Here are the beer 2014 entries, who all await your vote at the pub this very second.

#1 - Lord of the Ryes
A hoppy, red rye IPA brings an earthy, toasty body with notes of pine, toffee and just the right amount of spiciness.

#2 - Canadian Bacon
This full-bodied, yet smooth Oatmeal stout is sure to please, eh?  With pronounced roasty, chocolatey flavors, this Canadian treat also imparts hints of maple and smoky, bacon-like undertones.  This sweet and nutty brew will satisfy any stout connoisseur.

 #3 - Poppa Cherry
A bright summer pale,  this beer sports Citra hops and cherry concentrate combined with an easy malt backbone for a cool summer refresher.  It won’t hurt.

#4 - Orange Kush IPA
In both flavor and aroma, this hop forward IPA is designed to be dank, with a pronounced orange/citrus presence and a viscous mouth feel.  A touch of malt sweetness and hints of pine add balance and complexity.  Sip it and rip it.

#5 - Pissin’ Kitty
This tropical pale, using Galaxy and Citra hops, is designed to have a tropical, fruity aroma with flavor notes of citrus and passion fruit leaving a dry, crisp mouth  feel.  Easy drinking and sessionable.

#6 - Sin Sed
A traditional English Pale ale to start, with hints of the darker side,  using cherry wood smoked malt and Agave extract.  A balanced beer with a darker hue.  Smoky yet sweet and full bodied with a clean, dry finish.  England meets Mexico.

#7 - God’s Summer Brewsky
This summery American Pale features Cascade hops for flavor and cucumber in the dry hop to produce a uniquely refreshing summer tippler.  Just a little taste of heaven.

#8 - Whisker Biscuit 
A dry, toasty pale with a crisp, piney and resinous finish.  With a low ABV, it’s designed to be sessionable and delicious!

#9 - Cuauhtemoc’s Kiss
This unique stout will bring together the chocolaty flavors of dark roasted grain with the boldness of cardamom, coca nibs and habanero pepper!  Bold, dark and just the right amount of heat.  The passion of the Aztecs…  in a glass.

#10 - Desire Death
This traditional brown ale done right, delivers a heavy aroma of citrus hops, but finishes crisp and light, with pleasant nutty and brown sugar flavors. You don’t just have one beer, you will have one too many of this ale.

#11 - Fielder’s Choice Dandelion Pale
This easy  drinkin’ session pale is designed for hot days, hot dogs and baseball!   Featuring pale malt, a touch of wheat, Sorachi Ace hops and lots of dandelion greens, this beer is grassy, floral, clean and crisp.  Play ball!

In closing, we’ll leave you with last year’s quiz winner Polly’s thoughts on craft beer:

As with any other craft, there will be good beers as well as bad beers, but those distinctions, being highly subjective in nature, will only matter to the individual beer drinker, leaving us with an inevitable selection of great and shitty beers. I guess my point is that there will be something for EVERYONE, and that’s good news in general.

Getting the band back together (and some other things)

March 11th, 2014

First things first.  Remember the Lunch Special from SF Beer Week?  Well, we’re getting the band back together for tonight’s redux, down at Porky’s Pizza Palace in San Leandro.  Our head brewer Jeff Kimpe’ll be there, along with Chris Dunstan from Drake’s and Rodger Davis from Faction, as well as all three double IPAs- Faction’s Hop Soup, Drake’s Hop Sandwich on Rye, and our Hop Salad.  Plus, for dessert, our barrel-aged 2011 barleywine will be on tap. Shindig starts at 5pm.

IMAG0303Now that that’s taken care of… Rye Smile‘s back on (you might remember that beer from this list of GABF 2013 winners), as well as Kimpe’s newest creation, Gauzey Dress.  From the man himself:

Gauzy Dress Saison is 7.2% ABV. The finest pilsner and wheat malt along with Nelson Sauvin hops make this Belgian specialty a true treat. A tart base with interplay between the yeast strain and white grape must from Nelson. Served in a tulip and pretty as a woman in a spring dress frolicking in a barley field. Cheers.

How poetical.
IMAG0520Beyond that, it’s the calm before the summer fest season storm.  Among them will be our 11th Annual Firkin Fest, being held this year on April 19th, right here at the Rock.  We already have a bunch of confirmed breweries (shown here), and as is our style, we expect this one to be bigger & better than any of the others.  More details on that will follow.
Speaking of being bigger & better than ever, we have a birthday coming up.  Specifically, Friday.  The doors of what began as Roaring Rock Brewery & Alehouse swung open for the first time on March 14th, 1986, and the rest is history.  So go learn yourself some history, and swing by the pub on Friday at 5:28pm for our 28th Anniversary.  We’re gonna dig up some old, goofy 80s & 90s pictures of the joint, founders/owners/brothers John & Reid Martin will be on hand, and GM Jesse’s making his “flocking* amazing bacon cake,” and of course, the beers that have made us a Berkeley institution since 1986.
*-he may not have said “flocking.”

SF Beer Week 2014

January 21st, 2014

After 28 years, we’ve seen a lot of events come and go, but this SF Beer Week thing came out of the gate a lot stronger than most, and it’s only been getting stronger as the years go by.  Never to be outdone by all the new upstarts out there, you know we’re gonna be all over it for the fifth incarnation.  Here’s our full lineup:

Friday, February 7
Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco, 6-10pm
The Opening Gala’s been the kickoff for Beer Week each year, and it’s really never disappointed.  We’ll be one of the 80+ breweries represented there, with IPAX, our Nod-n-Smile double IPA, and some other delicious brews.  Alongside us will be Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, so you’ll be able to try both versions of our collaborative Cellarman Saison (see previous blog post) side-by-side.

Cellarman Label

Saturday, February 8
The Bistro, 1001 B St, Hayward, 11am-5pm
On Saturday, Brandon & head brewer Jeff Kimpe will be heading down (on BART) to Hayward for the Bistro’s Double IPA Fest… one of the best celebrations of a quintessential West Coast style.  We’ll be there with double IPA Hop Salad (made in collaboration with Drake’s Brewing and Faction Brewing) and Nod-n-Smile double IPA.

Sunday, February 9
Jupiter & Triple Rock, Berkeley, 11:30am-5pm
As always, the 1st Sunday of SF Beer Week gets real sour in Berkeley.  We’re gonna empty the joint and bring in the best imported sours the Bay Area can get its hands on at The Sour Sunday, while down the street, Jupiter will have the best American sour and barrel-aged beers.  We will, however, have Sante Adairius’ sours here, including our collaborative barrel-aged Cellarman Saison.  Also at Triple Rock: Fantome, Mikkeller, Strubbe, To Øl, and Drie Fonteinen just to name a few.  Jupiter will feature the likes of Drake’s, Almanac, The Rare Barrel, Crooked Stave, and the Bruery. Tickets will be $30, which gets you the glass and five 3oz pours, and additional drink tickets can be purchased for $4.  Tickets are interchangeable between Jupiter & Triple Rock. Buy yourself some Tums and get here for this one.


Monday, February 10
If you’ve been to Sour Sunday before, you know how important it is to take Monday off.

Screen shot 2014-01-28 at 12.31.26 PMTuesday, February 11
Triple Rock, Berkeley, 11:30am-4pm
If you’re reading this, you know how rewarding the simple act of getting together with old friends over beer is.  With that in mind, we’re getting together with a couple familiar faces- our sister brewery Drake’s Brewing Co. in San Leandro, and our weird nephew Faction Brewing out of Alameda.  We’ll be sitting down together with a flight of double IPAs, and we’re inviting you.  We’re making Hop Salad, about which head brewer Jeff Kimpe has this to say: “That was me high-fiving you in the mouth with these hops.” Hop Salad has a lot of 2-row and just a touch of Munich malt, which will promise to make this a citrus experience. Faction’s making Hop Soup; and Drake’s is making Hop Sandwich On Rye, a double IPA brewed with spicy rye and stuffed full of Citra, Amarillo, and El Dorado hops.  All three will be double IPAs, and all three will be available for this lunchtime event. Drink the beers and hang out with 2/3 of the mad fermentologists behind these brews- John Gillooly of Drake’s, and our own Jeff Kimpe.

Thursday, February 13
Triple Rock, Berkeley, 8pm
The monkey’s head stops for nothing, including SFBW.


Pyramid Alehouse, Berkeley, 6pm-9pm
We’ll also be at the East Bay Brew Fest at Pyramid for its third year, with all proceeds proceeds benefitting the Berkeley Food and Housing Project.

Friday, February 14
Triple Rock, Berkeley, 5pm
Don’t worry, beer lovers who regularly neglect their significant others all Beer Week.  We have your solution already set up.  Come on in Friday night for a tasting of our Dimmer Switch Chocolate Milk Stout, paired dessert featuring the beer, from of Jen Kenny Nguyen of San Francisco’s Native Baking Co.

Saturday, February 15
All the love we get during SF Beer Week really warms the cockles of our heart, so we want to make sure to get your cockles nice & warm, too.  We’ll be doing that Saturday night with our imperial stout “Mister Stout,” a barrel-aged barleywine, and a tart version of our Ballyhoo Belgian dark strong ale. It’s like drinking a Snuggie, if that Snuggie had brettanomyces.

Sunday, February 16
Trumer Brauerei, 1404 Fourth St, Berkeley, 4pm-8pm
As always, we’ll be closing everything out at the Celebrator Anniversary Party, the unofficial official closing ceremony of SFBW.  Back at Trumer Brauerei in Berkeley this year, 30+ breweries will be pouring the last of their SFBW specialties before they get the best night’s sleep they’ll have all year.  Getcher ticket here.


And remember, drunkards- no drinking & driving.  There are perfectly cromulent ways to get to all of these events via transit, and barring that, there’re always cabs, Ubers & their ilk, and other safe options.

Also, keep checking back here… we’ll be updating this post as needed as we get more beer & event details in.

The Return of the Cellarman

January 14th, 2014

Cast your mind back, dear drinker… back to the dim & distant past, back to SF Beer Week 2013, when we debuted our collaboration with Sante Adairius Rustic Ales that went by the name “Cellarman Saison“…

the classic Belgian-style saison, known for its light, hazy appearance, fruity notes and spicy yeast backbone.  “We just want to make a nice, traditional saison with nothing added,” says [Triple Rock head brewer Jeff Kimpe].  The brewers named their creation “Cellarman Saison” as an ode to the hardworking, brewery cleaning, assistant brewers that make their lives easier. Expect this beer to be sharp, clean, and crisp, with most of the character coming straight from the yeast. But the collaboration won’t end with this brew…

Indeed.  The collaboration continued later in 2013 with a Triple Rock field trip to Capitola, with Head Brewer Jeff Kimpe & then-Cellarman Reuben Gensler going down to re-brew a batch on SARA’s system, but instead of kegging it right away, we left the beer to the trusty hands of SARA brewers Tim Clifford & Jason Hansen, who tossed it into red wine barrels and introduced some of the souring bugs that have served Sante Adairius so well in the time they’ve been open.  That’s been fermenting along in the SARA brewhouse since September, and the occasional stolen sip from the barrel has kept us all very optimistic for the end result.

IMG_6754On January 2nd, Tim returned to Triple Rock, this time to brew a fresh batch of the saison with Jeff and Triple Rock Cellarman Wade Ritchey.  This barrel-aged saison will be available come SF Beer Week in bottles, as well as on tap at Sante Adairius, the Opening Gala, and a select few beer bars around the Bay Area.  The fresh batch brewed at our place will be on tap at the Rock, as well as being poured alongside the soured version at the SFBW Opening Gala (Feb 7 in SF), and The Sour Sunday (Feb 9 at Triple Rock & Jupiter).

A Festivus for the Rest of Us.

December 12th, 2013

First things first: Triple Rock will be closing at 8pm this Sunday 12/15, so we can all attend our annual holiday party.  Trust us, it better for everyone this way.  And now, on to the blahg post.

It’s December.  Normally we’d make some wisecrack about how awesomely mild winters are here, but it’s 46° right now so we’re a little introspective these days with regards to our taunting of Mother Nature.

More importantly, though, is the fact that December means Festivus is coming up.  We got a lot of problems with you people, and now, you’re gonna hear about it.  As always, the Festivus pole will be presented at 5pm sharp on December 23rd, which signifies the beginning of our Festivus celebration.

Screen Shot 2013-12-12 at 9.53.19 AM


The night will, as always, feature the traditional Festivus events of the Airing of Grievances, in which we all get to explain to our friends, foes, and coworkers how they have disappointed us this year, and the Feats of Strength, in which people try to engage in physical activities between beers: keeping their hands in ice water, holding a stool out in front of them, stepping contests, etc.

Any special beers on tap for Festivus, you ask?  Jeff Kimpe’s dutifully working on his own “feats of strength”- a host of highly-warming beers that’ll warm your cockles better than whatever dairy-free almond nog you were gonna pick up at Berkeley Bowl.  They are as follows:

Reindeer Ale, an imperial red ale. Simcoe and Cascade gallop through a carefully selected malt bill for a balanced imperial red ale. (Careful with this stag.) 8.4% ABV, 78 IBUs.
Tinsel Tears Winter Warmer, in which malt complexity flickers while Cascade and Willamette gently fall down the face of this unique holiday brew. 7.2% ABV, 42 IBUs.
Tin Soldier Barleywine, with the best Golden Promise malt used as a base malt for this sturdy brew along with four different crystal malts and a 3 hour boil time. Chinook and Willamette will go in the boil and we’ll dry hop with Chinook. 9.1% ABV, 75 IBUs.
Festivus MiracALE; Maris Otter and a touch medium crystal gives this Pale Ale a nice foundation. Rounded out with what we had left in our hop rack (we’re hoping for a miracale). 5.6% ABV, 53 IBUs.
Look, the holidays are stressful. We get that.  So come on by for Festivus, and get those grievances aired out before you gotta spend 72 straight hours with your family.  It’s better for you, and it’s better for them.
In other holiday-y news, we will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though we’ll be closing at 10pm both nights.  On Christmas Day, Jesse will be in the kitchen whipping up his traditional Meat Muffins- a tasty meatloaf formed into a muffin, with mashed potato “frosting” and sprinkles of green onions & cheese. (Yes, there will be a vegetarian version, as well.)
We will be closing Jan 6-8, though, for a bit of remodeling & upkeep in the pub.