A mug of beer

Ever since Fritz Maytag bought and transformed San Francisco’s struggling Anchor Steam brewery, Northern California has been one of the centers of the craft beer and microbrew movements. We’ll talk about the latest trends, from sour beer to the rise of retail tasting rooms, and explore how today’s local brewers are redefining the beloved beverage.

Jay Brooks, beer blogger and author of "California Breweries North," featured writer at All About Beer Magazine and beer columnist at Bay Area News Group
Shaun O'Sullivan, co-founder and brewmaster at the 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco
Nicole Erny, Oakland-based master cicerone, or beer sommelier; she is one of seven master cicerones in the world, and the first female certified cicerone

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    To heck with IPAs,I am a die-hard PORTER lover. Can you recommend a couple?
    I have been finding the oddest wonderful beers in the small organic food co-op near me. Is there a difference with beers labeled organic? Do all brewers generally use the same supply of hops and barley? I love Anchor Porter, but frankly, the other Anchor beers taste the same to me.

    • JBG

      Heretic Shallow Grave Porter

    • Brian S

      Besides the obvious Black Butte by Dechuttes, also Speakeasy Payback, Firestone Walker Walker’s Reserve, Fuller’s London Porter and Samuel Smith Taddy Porter for a classic British take on the style. Flying Dog’s Gonzo Imperial Porter, and Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter by ballast point, for great imperial versions (high abv). Love a good smoked porter, and Stone, Alaskan, and Ass Kisser do excellent versions, especially the Stone Smoked Port w/ Vanilla Beans. Sierra Nevada’s Porter is another classic version of the style. Oh, Alaskan and High Water Brewing do great Baltic Porters, which are actually lagers, rather than ales, with High Water’s Aphotic being my favorite.

  • David Cuetter

    Can SF handle another brewery? Compared to cities like Portland and San Diego, it seems that the Bay Area should/could handle more breweries.

  • martin339PBS

    Drake’s Brewery in San Leandro – great IPA and Bourbon Barrel Stout, Denogginizer

  • Erik-Paul Gibson

    Two of my favorite breweries Dog Fish Head (Deleware) and Drakes (San Leandro, CA).

  • Brian Vaeth

    Early this year the San Jose Cooperative Brewery and Pub was founded and incorporated, and sports about 250 members as the year is coming to a close. This will be the first co-op brewpub in California! The beer scene keeps growing and evolving in Northern Cali!

  • gez devlin

    “There is an ancient Celtic axiom that says ‘Good people drink good
    beer.’ Which is true, then as now. Just look around you in any public
    barroom and you will quickly see: Bad people drink bad beer. Think about
    it. “ — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Are the cans the male guest just mentioned lined with the plastic that poisons other canned foods? It is ludicrous that cans existed for a hundred years without BPA plastic linings, and now it’s the only kind of can food is packed in. Are beer cans any different? I hope this doesnt sound too ‘crunchy’, but since youre selling a higher priced product, I expect this to not be an issue.

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    Any explanations of how gawdawful LIGHT BEER has taken over colleges across the nation? While light beer was marketed as diet beer when it was introduced in 1980, now it’s promoted as a party-dudes drink to guzzle. It’s beer-flavored water to me, what say you experts – why the growth in it?

    • Chester A. Arthur

      It’s the cheapest and easiest beer for dudes at a party to guzzle.

  • Bradley Yarger

    North coast makes a couple Belgian styles, le merle and pranqster. But the Belgians have like 300 years of experience on American brewers, and deserve all the respect they get

  • Bradley Yarger

    With all these session ipas, barrel aged stouts and sours out these days. What do you think is the next trend in beer?

    • Alexander Fleming

      India Pale Lagers

  • Robert Thomas

    Who knows what brewers do, but Gaius Plinius Secundus (Younger or Elder) is usually called Pliny, pronounced to rhyme with skinny.

  • Joe Takkan Teerpatahkaan

    maksudnya apa ya???

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