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This SFBW Thing Is Here To Stay, Huh?

January 19th, 2015

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That’s right, beer geeks.  The grand mamma jamma of beer events descends onto our half of the state in less than a month, and being the grand mamma jamma of brewpubs, we’re pulling out whatever stops we had left to represent Berkeley as best we can for 2015.  Here’s the lineup:

Friday, Feb 6 – SF Beer Week Opening Gala

Move over, Olympics, because SFBW’s opening ceremonies blow you out of the water (and contain 100% fewer hospital beds… what was that, London?).  We’ll be there with return favorites Nod N Smile, Hop Salad, Dimmer Switch, and Mister Stout, as well as our Sante Adairius collaboration Cellarman Saison, and a couple new brews we can’t even tell you about yet. Because ninjas or something.

Saturday, Feb 7 – Mister Stout Flight Night

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The next day, we’re curmudgeonly staying in-house, for the brewpub release of Mister Stout, alongside a barrel-aged blend of Dragonaut & Nyack barleywines, as well as a blend of both. For those of you who didn’t spend algebra class smoking by the bike parking, that’d be ((Nyack + Dragonaut) + Mister Stout).

Sunday, Feb 8 – The Sour Sunday

Sour Sunday. THE Sour Sunday.  The Bay Area sour event so good that it wouldn’t get voted into the Hall Of Fame because of PED rumors.  Every year, we, along with Jupiter two blocks down Shattuck, amass one of the best lineups of sour & barrel-aged beer the Bay sees all year.  We’ll be hosting all of the imports from Europe (we hear they know a thing or two about sours), as well as the Cellarman Saison collab brew from us & Sante Adairius in Capitola, and a few other American-based collaboration brews.  Jupiter will host the rest of the American offerings.  Here’s the Facebook event, if you still do that. $40 gets you a glass and 5 tickets, and additional tickets’ll be $5 each.

Included breweries:
Fantome
Hanssens
Dieu du Ciel
Drie Fonteinen
Birrificio Toccalmatto
Brasserie de Blaugies
Fermentum Birra del Carrobiolo
Freigeist
Mikkeller
Cantillon
Wild Beer Co.
Birra del Borgo
Haandbryggeriet
Birrificio del Ducato
Gasthaus & Gosebrauerei
AND MORE!

Monday, Feb 9 – Three Firkins

You may know our Firkin Fest, which occurs every April, but we’re gonna tease you a bit here during SFBW.

We are putting together a flight of three firkins- IPAX with locally-grown fatali peppers from our neighbors Heat Hot Sauce, Oatland Ace, with oat malt, flaked oats, & golden naked oats stuffed with Mosaic, and Nod n Smile with Galaxy.

Tuesday, Feb 10 – Lunch Special

A redux of last year, we’re getting together with those jerks at Faction Brewing in Alameda and Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro for a double IPA trio- Hop Soup (Faction), Hop Salad (us), and Hop Sandwich (Drake’s),  paired with a soup, salad, and sandwich combo the beers take their names from.  If yer smart, you knew to take SFBW off work, so now we got your lunch covered. (Yes, we’ll have veggie options, you hippies.)

Friday, Feb 13 – Cellarman Saison Two Ways

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As in years past, we’ve hooked up with Tim Clifford, owner/brewer of Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola.  This three-year-new collaboration with again feature Cellarman Saison, a tribute to the mostly-anonymous laborers who make that beer you’re drinking possible (they’re the beer equivalent of “don’t piss off the secretary”).  We’ll have a fresh batch on tap here at the pub, as well as a barrel-aged version of last year’s batch, available side-by-side.

Saturday, Feb 14 – Dimmer Switch

We don’t know why Beer Week insists on encroaching on Valentine’s Day, but we here at the Rock like to embrace the chaos, or whatever.  Dimmer Switch Chocolate Milk Stout drops this night, paired with a threesome of house-made desserts designed to both pair with, and include, the beer.  Not only will it be tasty for the beer geek reading some brewpub’s blog, but it’ll be a great intro to pairing for that guy you’re dating who still crushes beer cans on his forehead (girl, come on with him).

Sunday, Feb 15 – Hangovers & Parties

Yeah, we may have overbooked Sunday, but… whatever.  We haven’t made it 28 years by not being dumb and ambitious.  We’ll open the day with your Beer Week Hangover Breakfast- Jesse’s own Monte Cristo Sandwich, handed down from generation to generation in Jesse’s hometown Johnson City, NY, renowned for its French cuisine (or at least will be as soon as we edit its Wikipedia page).  Being towards the end of SF Beer Week, this sandwich will mercifully come with a side of Tums.

Later on that afternoon, we’ll be heading up the street to Cheeseboard for a guided pairing of their cheese & our beer.  We’d done similar at Triple Rock as part of our Tuesday Pairings, and this one was so popular, we decided to bring it back for Beer Week, this time, over on their turf.

…the Celebrator Beer News 27th Anniversary Bash, the de facto closing ceremonies of Beer Week, hosted by our neighbors at Trumer Brauerei.



Festivus 2014

December 11th, 2014

Festivus-FB-bannerIt’s December, and that means it’s about time to get the pole out of the crawl space. No, we’re not gonna have a tree or candles or hundred-year-old songs people pretend to like when they hear it the 30th time in a day. No. December 23rd is Festivus, and that‘s what we celebrate.If you’ve seen the Seinfeld episode, you… basically know the whole thing. Grievances will be aired, feats of strength will be performed, and Jesse & his little brother will get out this past year’s aggression on each other in a public forum, like family business should be conducted.Head brewer Jeff Kimpe’s brewing up some feats of strength of his own, too- Reindeer, Tinsel Tears, Sugar Spun, and of course, Festivus MiracAle.

Reindeer Ale: This hearty stag gallops through a forest of pine and citrus, and at 8.7% ABV, this Imperial Red Ale will have you flying through the wintery night sky, keeping you warm and toasty.

Tinsel Tears: Your eyes are welling up, looking at the Christmas lights, thinking about the one that got away.  Well… look at it this way- you have a pint of Tinsel Tears Winter Warmer to hold on to.  Slight coffee roast aroma with flavors of citrus, spice and a hint of coffee malt. Somewhere around 7.1% ABV & 47 IBUs.

Sugar Spun: Dark chocolate covered fruit, cocoa, vanilla and just the right amount of Flux cold brewed coffee make this holiday seasonal dark brew a soon to be favorite. TCHO cocoa powder, whole Madagascar vanilla beans, Flux Coffee and one secret ingredient. Don’t worry if you didn’t get a stocking this year. Everything you want is in the glass. ABV TBD.

Festivus MiracAle: I believe in miracles… you sexy brew.  2015′s vintage has 2-row barley & crystal oats, spiced with East Kent Goldings and Nelson Sauvin. 5.2% ABV & 50 IBUs. The original Festivus brew.  Which… hey, why didn’t Kramer ever start brewing?

The pole goes up at 5pm, and ends when the head of the household (this guy) is pinned.
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Coffee, Cinnamon Rolls, & Craft Brewers

November 17th, 2014

First off, a housekeeping note.  As always, Triple Rock will be open Thanksgiving, Christmas, and every other damn day of the year, ya heard?  This year, we’ll have a special firkin of “Turkeyhead“- Monkeyhead with cranberry & orange zest- and our GM Jesse will be manning the kitchen himself, whipping up a limited menu of turkey burgers and ostrich chili, along with a veggie burger & vegan chili. (The attitude, as always, is included.)

Secondly, you may have noticed a little extra kick in one of our beers lately- specifically the In-Flux Coffee Stout.  That’s right, ya’ll, Flux Coffee over in the City is hooking it up for a series of coffee-infused brews you’ll be able to enjoy at the pub as the weather FINALLY starts to its damn job and rain already.  In-Flux Coffee Stout, the first of our Jolt Series, clocks in at 7% ABV & 20 IBUs.  This brew has three unique ingredients: Coffee malt, oat crystal malt, and- in our opinion- the best cold brewed coffee around town. Major thanks to Arsalan and his team at Flux. We are really proud of this beer, and Flux should feel the same about their own brewing.  People can look forward to more Jolt Series beers featuring Flux Coffee coming up… “Sugar Spun Winter Porter” is up next.

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“Man, Triple Rock blog post, that sounds like a lot of brewing on top of all that IPAX and SHE Series and everything else! How do you DO it all?”  First off, don’t talk to blog posts, unless you’re just trying to get a seat on BART.  Secondly, we have fresh meat in the brewhouse in the form of new assistant brewer Michael Moroney, a Michiganer like Jeff Kimpe.  Mike’s last gig was at Arbor Brewing Co. in Ann Arbor Michigan, but we’re thrilled to have him on our staff here in Berkeley.  Here’s the official bio:

Mike Moroney originally hails from Oberlin, Ohio. After many years of imbibing the wondrous beverage of beer, Mike attempted to brew his own in 2008. After half a year’s time of homebrewing, he started volunteering at Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti, MI (now known as ABC Microbrewery). With some dues paid and many a day catching bottles at the end of a four-headed Maheen in exchange for free beer, he was hired on part time at the production facility Corner Brewery. Shortly thereafter, the head brewer at Corner’s sister company Arbor Brewing Company was in need of an assistant, and Mike joined forces with Bill Gerds at the pub in downtown Ann Arbor. Between 2009-2011, Mike split his time between the production facility and the pub, maintaining cellarman status while learning to brew on both systems. By the end of 2011, Mike took on the role of lead brewer at Corner Brewery and was brewing 5 days a week between both Arbor and Corner breweries.

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In 2012, Mike took over the headbrewing position at Arbor Brewing Company when the previous headbrewer, Logan Schaedig, departed for the opening of ABC India in Bangalore. As headbrewer for Arbor Brewing Company, Mike developed new recipes and brewed the year round offerings and seasonal releases. He also maintained a sour barrel program, keeping four sours available in bottles at all times, and pioneered a new sour draft program. Mike remained the headbrewer at Arbor until late summer of 2014 when he relocated to Berkeley, CA. Mike couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with a fellow brewer as accomplished as Jeff Kimpe and for a place as awesome as Triple Rock. The similarities between Arbor Brewing Company and Triple Rock are unreal, whether it’s the 7 bbl brewhouse and fermentation space, or the wonderful pub feel and interconnectedness of the staff and community.

And lastly, fittingly, our Tuesday Pairings series is coming to an end for the year tomorrow with Berkeley’s own Cinnaholic (get yer tickets right here).  While this is a more-literally-than-most bittersweet moment, you guys seem to like the Tuesday Pairing series s’damn much, we’re planning to bring it back next year.  The whole idea of these things was to celebrate the rich culinary culture we have in Berkeley & the Bay Area- we saw Alice Waters get out of a car once, you know- and it looks like you guys were down with that, as we hosted everyone from newcomer POP Mama POP to Cheeseboard Collective, and we’re looking forward to doing much more of the same in 2015.  (Psst… we might even spin one of this year’s tasting into an SFBW event next year.)

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Great(est?) American Brewpub @ Great American Beer Fest

September 24th, 2014

First of all, the “Great(est?)” is a joke, of course.  We know there’s no question about it.

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Secondly, it’s the end of September- fall is here, the A’s are shoving their way towards the postseason, and for us breweries, the Great American Beer Fest looms large, both in prestige and altitude.  We took home a silver (Red Rock) and a bronze (Rye Smile) last year, and we’re gunning to at least match that performance.  We’re at booth E25 in the Pacific region, and here’s what we’re bringing this year:

IPAX – American IPA
Rye Smile – Rye Beer
Small Talk – Session Beer
Red Rock – American Red/Amber Ale
Bell Ringer – Imperial Red Ale
Elevensies – Pro-Am Entry

Elevensies is an Imperial Baltic Porter made with oats, maple syrup, TCHO cocoa nibs & Matching Half Café espresso- the brainchild of Bay Area Masher Patrick Bennett, whose original recipe we used & scaled up for the GABF competition:

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I fooled around with brewing in college but it wasn’t until a friend gave me his system that my passion for brewing started. At first I brewed as a distraction from graduate school, but very quickly I became obsessed with making my beer as good as it could possibly be. I love drinking my own beer, but my favorite part about this hobby is that I’ve met and become friends with many other brewers and beer geeks. I’m an active member of the bay area brewing community as part of the the Bay Area Mashers, the Oakland homebrew club.  This year I’m very excited that Triple Rock invited me to brew with them to make a unique beer on a much larger scale than is possible for me, it was a great experience and is one of the highlights of my brewing career.

No word on how much Elevensies he’s consumed for breakfast during his homebrewing career.

No comment on how much we’ve had.

Closer to home, out Triple Rock Tuesday Pairings have been a hit- every other week, we have a different local food producer come in with their goods, pairing them with our beers, and presenting the results to you, our adoring public, in a low-key evening on the deck.  We’ve had POP Mama POP popcorn, Native Baking bar cookies, and HEAT hot sauce in, and our next one will be on October 7th, with Simone Arpaio of Almare Gelato, alongside our own Michelle Mora.  The events have been selling out, so get yer tickets earlier than later.  Hell, we’ll also toss in a brewery tour and a pint glass for good measure.

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It’s specifically not a full-fledged beer dinner, to be sure.  It’s a low-key night, where you’ll drink some good beer, have some good local food, and learn a little something about a little something- swirling is strictly optional.



Tasting Tuesdays

August 14th, 2014

(Not to be confused with Tasty Tuesdays, though he will be grilling for at Stumptown.)

There’s a lot of good food around Berkeley & the Bay.  So much so, it’s almost silly.  Hell, we can smell Chez Panisse from here.  And if you’ve had our burgers or wings, you know we’re no slouches ourselves when it comes to pub fare.  On top of that, the Bay is arguably the birthplace of craft beer as we know it (we’ve been here since 1986, and on a related note, get the hell off our lawn).

Why are we blathering on about this?  Because we’re gonna start working a little more closely with these small companies that keep the Bay at the forefront of the food (and beer) scene.  Every two weeks, we’ll bring in a different local food purveyor and pair five or so of their offerings with house-brewed Triple Rock beers.  Popcorn?  Salads?  Pastries?  Empanadas?  Chocolates?  Custards?  Chicken Wings?  Yes.

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We’re starting off on Tuesday, August 26th with POP Mama POP, out of Pleasant Hill.  We’ll be taking five varieties of POP Mama POP popcorn and pairing them with five of our house-brewed beers.  Low-key, simple, tasty, but you’ll learn a thing or two about beer pairing so you can pretend to know what you’re talking about next time you host a dinner.  Plus, we’re going all-vegan with this one.  Your $25 ticket (plus taxes, fees, and a blood sample) gets you five portions of popcorn and five 9oz servings of paired beers.  Event’s at 7, but ticketholders can take a brewery tour either before (6:30) or after the pairing (each limited to 13 people).  During the pairing, you’ll hear from Pop Mama herself as well as our thoughts on the pairings.

Go ahead and click here for your tickets:

We already have some more vendors lined up, including Native Baking and Nosh This, so you’re gonna want to keep an eye on this series.    Hell, do you have a favorite local food company you’d like to see paired with us? Let us know!