First of all, the “Great(est?)” is a joke, of course. We know there’s no question about it.
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:
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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!
First things first- tonight we’re heading to The Good Hop. Drake’s & Faction will be there, too, as it’s an All In The Family event- TGH owner Melissa Myers used to work at Drake’s, Faction co-founder Rodger Davis used to work at Triple Rock & Drake’s, and, of course, our co-founder John Martin co-owns Drake’s. The real story in all that is that after all that, we’re still apparently not sick of each other yet, hence this event. Between the three of us, we’ll be taking over all the taps of the new joint. Jesse’ll be there to rep Triple Rock, and he can tell you all about the beers we’re pouring- IPAX, Dragon’s Milk, Handshake Pils, Bug Juice and SHE Comet, and Leadbelly.
“Leadbelly? Sounds familiar.” Sure does, skippy. We made it last year for the Ales for ALS campaign, and we’re doing it again this year. It was released at the pub last night, it’ll be at the Good Hop tonight, and it’ll be at the Ales for ALS Fest, hosted by Faction on July 26th. A dollar of every pint sold goes back to ALSTDI, the world’s foremost ALS research group. Last year, this program raised almost $200,000, with 45 breweries participating. This year, 69 breweries participated, across 22 states, so we’re hoping for an even bigger return this year. The beer itself is a stripped-down pale ale- nothing but two-row & the ALS hop blend, and it clocks in at 5% ABV.
In non-disease-curing beer news, the Single Hop Experience marches on, with SHE Comet out now. This blend is quite pungent, with notes of citrus and a bunch of dankness to it (Jeff Kimpe says it “smells like downtown Berkeley”). This guy’s also on tap at the pub, and will be at the Good Hop tonight, as well as the Ales for ALS fest.
We’re one of America’s first brewpubs, and as such, we definitely can trace our roots back to the Old Country, where beer was mastered and Prohibition never sullied the history books. This next month, we’re gonna be embracing that lineage a little more than usual, as our lager series takes off and the World Cup dominates the telly.
First up in the lager series is Handshake Pils, clocking in a 5% ABV and 38 IBUs. This upcoming pilsner was brewed with the finest German Pilsner malt, Czech Saaz Hops and workhorse of a yeast strain, as well as a splash of water from Hetch Hetchy, our extended handshake to the City. Following Handshake Pils will be a string of house-made lagers, including more pilsner, a dunkel, and marzen, and whatever else strikes head brewer Jeff Kimpe’s fancy.
Not into lagers? Fair enough. The beauty of beer is that there’s a little something for everyone. Alongside the lager series, our Single Hop Experience soldiers on, with SHE Equinox and SHE Comet. These beers are American pale ales brewed exclusively with the hop in the name, giving you a beer that’s equal parts entertainment and education, as you get you smell & taste the nuance of the featured hop without having to get yer hands all green and gunky like we have to.
Next up, the World Cup has arrived, and while baseball is America’s pastime, sports-induced beer definitely gives soccer a seat at the table, even if we refuse to actually call it by its name. The full schedule is on the FIFA site (don’t forget we’re on Pacific time), and we’ll be holding normal hours throughout the tournament (no 9am IPAXes, sorry), and will be showing all the games with the sound on.
In other news, we’ll be hitting the road a few times in the coming month. First off, we’re headed to the Oakland Zoo on June 21st. Partially to find an origin story of Monkeyhead, but also for the 22nd Annual Walk in the Wild, an “epicurian adventure” of a fundraiser for the Zoo, with a fairly ridiculous list of East Bay food & drink vendors on site to make even the boring animals interesting.
Following that, on July 7th, will be the 14th Annual BreastFest at Fort Mason in San Francisco, one of the biggest & most prestigious beer festivals in San Francisco year after year.
And at the end of July, we’re gonna head to some joint named Faction Brewing in Alameda for Ales for ALS on July 26th. We made SHE Leadbelly last year for this event & served it at the pub, but this go-round, Faction’s gonna be hosting us along with 15+ breweries from all over. Taking the Ales for ALS hop blend donated by HopUnion, the participating breweries will be putting their own spin on the blend by making their own unique beer from the common starting point.
For the most part, you’re going to find Triple Rock beers at Triple Rock. Sure, we send a few kegs out to bars & restaurants, but even that’s mostly because Head Brewer Jeff Kimpe doesn’t wanna come all the way in to work to drink on his days off. But in general, Triple Rock brews stay put. Beer’s never gonna taste better than when it’s poured straight from the bright tank.
This weekend, however, is an exception. We’ll of course be pouring at the Rock, but we’re branching out this week to a couple of pretty kick-ass events, if we do say so ourselves.
First off, on Saturday, Jeff & the crew are headin’ down south to one of the big boys’ backyards for the Firestone-Walker Invitational Beer Festival. Yeah, that’s right… someone invited us somewhere. As this is one of the most prestigious events on the West Coast, we’re bringing our A game, as befitting one of America’s original brewpubs. On tap will be two of our newest seasonals- Small Talk NorCal Bitter & Bent Ear, a one-off pale with tropical & citrus notes, and we’ll also have two versions of our Sante Adairius collaboration, Cellarman Saison. One of ‘em’s a regular keg of the collab, squirreled away since SF Beer Week, and the other’s a soured version aged in red wine barrels (you may remember both from Sour Sunday). Considering Paso’s probably gonna hit the 80s on Saturday, you’re gonna want to come by early, because these babies will not last long.
Then on Sunday, we’ll make it almost all the way home- a grueling quarter-mile from home, on Center Street, for Downtown Berkeley’s Eats, Beat, and Brews. Occuring every Sunday in June, this ongoing event is gonna shut down Center St and show off what downtown Berkeley has to offer, without you having to Frogger yourself back & forth across the street. Michelle & the crew will be pouring Tumblewheat- our Bavarian-style hefeweisen, Cuauhtemoc’s Kiss- our Long Shot-winning spiced stout, and our classic English pale, Pinnacle. And with a little luck, we’ll be pouring from our classic 1952 Chevy truck we’ve probably told you to stop climbing on a Thursday night or two. The party runs from noon to 6pm this Sunday, June 1st, surrounding at Center & Shattuck. And don’t worry, it’s not just beer. Eats, Beat, and Brews will feature, well, eats, beat, and brews, both from our downtown Berkeley neighbors and from other restaurants & breweries from the East Bay.