For the past five years, we’ve put the pressure on our employees in our annual Longshot competition. It’s a two-part gauntlet that tests the depth of our employees’ knowledge & understanding of the world’s best beverage. The first part is a recipe competition- anyone on staff can write up a recipe for us to brew here at TRock. The entries are assembled & presented to our drinking public, who then get the chance to vote on the one they want to see.
THEN, for the second portion, we hold the staff’s feet to the fire with the exam portion- a comprehensive test on beer… how to make it, how to taste it, and its place in the world. The winner of each part of our annual Longshot Comp gets to represent Triple Rock at The Legendary Boonville Beer Fest in early May (this year on May 4).
This year, the beer recipe winner was our bartender/hippie Marc Souza. It’s called “Roll Another Number Rice Ale.” The mash was 35% flaked rice, with rice hulls used for the mash bed. It was lightly hopped with Cascade & Mosaic, to let the subtlety of the rice shine through. It should clock in at about 4.5% ABV, which should make it a very light, crisp beer which’ll be great on our deck during the warm days this May.
Marc with Head Brewer Jeff Kimpe & Cellarman Reuben Gensler
The exam winner was server/badass Polly Seifikar, with a score of 105% (she nailed the bonus question). We put a lot of effort into making sure the staff knows their shit so they can answer all you peoples’ beer questions, from the most simple queries to the intensely esoteric, so for Polly to be at the top of that heap is certainly nothing to sniff at.
Polly, General Manager Jesse Sarinana, and their guns
Marc & Polly will be heading up to The Legendary Boonville Beer Fest next month to rep Triple Rock & pour the Roll Another Number Rice Ale.
In closing, we’ll leave you with some of 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.
On 4/13/13, Triple Rock Brewery & Alehouse hosted the 11th Annual Gravity Beer Festival, better known as the more alliterative Firkin Fest. 26 cask-conditions beers from all over Northern California lined the walls in downtown Berkeley for a shot at the People’s Choice medals:
This is your best chance to try a huge selection of gravity-poured cask-conditioned real ales from breweries all over the Bay Area and beyond. Wondering what a firkin is, what real ale is, or what we put in there? Don’t worry, head brewer Jeff Kimpe & reps from the participating breweries will be there to answer your questions.
$20 will get you five 5-oz tastings, but don’t worry, you’ll be able to get additional tastings for $3 more. Guest firkins include Drake’s, Firestone-Walker, Magnolia, Black Diamond, and plenty more.
The event’s April 13th, and doors open at 11:30, and the firkins go until they’re empty, which you probably could have figured out for yourself. And here’s the Facebook event page, if you’re into that nonsense.
What the hell’s a firkin?
A firkin is a 10.2 gallon vessel, or “cask,” used to hold and serve “real ale.”
What the hell’s real ale?
Real ale is a a traditional style of ale in which nearly finished beer is racked off into casks with a bit of yeast left in to let the beer continue to mature. The yeast will then begin a secondary fermentaion in the cask, producing a light, natural carbonation. Once matured, the beer is then served directly from the firkin at a cool (not cold) cellar temperature of 55°F.
The light carbonation and the warmer serving temperature allow the subtle flavors of the malt, yeast, and hops to wash over the palate un-hindered.
Why’d you put all that other shit in there?
American craft brewers are taking advantage of this UK tradition to not only condition the ale, but to infuse new flavors into the mix. Look for dry-hops, fruit, cacao nibs, espresso beans, spices, and all kinds of other additions finding their way into specialty firkins in the US of A.
It’s just about time for the 5th Annual San Francisco Beer Week, and you can be damn sure we’ve got all kinds of good stuff lined up to keep you beer-craving animals satiated during the best week of beer in this big, beautiful country.
Tickets & more information available here. Spoiler: you’ll want to go.
Like a fast talking Kevin Spacey, former Head Brewer Rodger Davis concocted our Keyser Soze from the depths of his imagination forming the biggest, baddest, boldest beer to ever grace the tanks of Triple Rock Brewery. As Rodger has now left the Rock to form Faction Brewing Company (opening in Alameda this year), it’s time now for the passing of the brew from Triple Rock to the brew logs of Faction. Therefore, Rodger is returning to Triple Rock to join Head Brewer Jeff Kimpe to recreate Keyser one final time. On Saturday, February 9th at Triple Rock we will be releasing the last Triple Rock incarnation of this massive Imperial Stout. Always weighing in between 14%-16% ABV, this behemoth will blow your mind with its intense flavors of cocoa, espresso, caramel and roasted malt. For $15, you’ll get a flight of the 2013 Keyser Soze, the 2010 Barrel-Aged Keyser Soze, and a specialty 2013 Keyser Soze blend accompanied by a fresh-baked spent-grain biscuit made with Keyser Soze. When the Keyser Soze is gone from the Rock, it will officially be turned over to Rodger at Faction Brewing to resurrect as he sees fit.
Starting at 11:30am til the beer is gone Sunday, February 10, come to Berkeley to sample the smorgasbord of sours and bevy of barrel-aged beers gathered for the consummate gathering of all beers bold and beautifully-aged. Then, allow your SF Beer Week, liver-hurting, beer-nerdery-loving asses to go freakin’ nuts.
This year, as always, Jupiter and Triple Rock will have a special line-up of over 80 sour and barrel-aged beers available, with a few extra special twists. Doors will open at 11:30am, but throughout the day from 1-7pm we will have scheduled special tappings of our favorites every hour on the hour alternating between Jupiter and Triple Rock.
Also new this year, Jupiter will be your hub for all that is special, sour, and barrel-aged from local breweries and some special breweries producing unique ales across the states. Triple Rock will be your stop for those coveted imported sours and barrel-aged beers that rarely make appearances in our neck of the woods.
A few notes: CASH ONLY! There are about 10 ATMs in the area. $30 will get you a commemorative glass and 8 tickets for 3oz samples, and additional tickets will be $3. Beer tickets from Jupiter and Triple Rock will be accepted at both locations. Doors open at 11:30am and the festing lasts til the beer is gone. Triple Rock will have a special limited food menu for the day and Jupiter will be serving its full menu. The event technically will last from 11:30am til the beer and/or crowds are gone. When it winds down we will call last call and close it up.
Meet the brewers and cellarmen behind the Triple Rock and Sainte Adairius Rustic Ales Collaboration Brew, the Cellarman Saison. See the previous blog post for more information on this collaboration.
Triple Rock will be releasing again it’s ever-popular, smooth, creamy Dimmer Switch Chocolate Milk Stout to make your Valentine’s Night oh-so-sweet. This year, to take the decadence to new levels, Triple Rock will also be serving specialty desserts during the evening including a Dimmer Switch Ice Cream float, Dimmer Switch Mousse, and Dimmer Switch Cheesecake with Raspberries. Beer releases at 11:30am and desserts will be available starting at 5pm.
Triple Rock will be situated in a place of honor amongst other 25+ year old breweries. Obnoxiously lording it over everyone else is a possibility if we get drunk enough.
So that’s about it for us for this Beer Week. Remember to drink lots of water and that Triple Rock & Jupiter are right on top of Downtown Berkeley BART. And try not to embarrass yourself like you did last year.
If you haven’t heard of Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, then consider yourself behind. These guys based in Capitola, CA, a barely-a-map-dot of a beach town on Monterey Bay just past Santa Cruz, have been making some noise with their Belgian inspired beers since they opened not long ago. So, when our Head Brewer Jeff, with his Belgian ancestry worn proud, ran into Rustic Ales brewmaster Tim Clifford a few months back it didn’t take too many pints before a collaboration was born.
Tim & his assistant brewer Jason Hansen headed north to Berkeley this morning to man the brew deck with Jeff & assistant brewer Reuben Gensler and brew a style of beer that seems to be making it back into favor with West Coast brewers- 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 Jeff. 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…
In May, Jeff & Reuben will head down to Capitola to re-create it, but also to see what else they can coax out of it. Tim will then spike this version with Brettanomyces, a wild yeast known for adding classic funky aromas and flavors, then age the brew in Santa Cruz red wine barrels for five to six months. The barrel-aged edition will then (re-)appear during SF Beer Week 2014 alongside another brew of the Triple Rock version. Tim is expecting “a finely balanced brett slickness, maybe a little chewiness on the mouthfeel.”
Where can you get it? Tim & Jeff expect to be pouring the Cellarman Saison at the SF Beer Week Opening Celebration on February 8th, and they’ll be back at the brewpub Tuesday, February 12 to discuss the beer and the upcoming barrel version with all who are interested.