On a chilly and blustery Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, a few hundred beer geeks gathered at the BAMM.TV studios to celebrate the fifth anniversary of City Beer Store. Obligations at home necessitated a quick trip to the City but we couldn’t miss celebrating five years of this San Francisco beer institution.
Despite the less than stellar weather, the crowd mainly mingled outside in the large ‘courtyard’ where most of the beer was located. Joined by our friend Renee and one of her friends, Merideth and I did likewise, grabbing one of the few bistro tables still free. Looking around, every face seemed familiar. Then, we realized why. This was a gathering of the City Beer regulars, people we had seen over the years on one our of our frequent stops at 1168 Folsom. Because of the larger venue, they all were gathered in one place at one time.
For the occasion, special beers were served including five that were brewed just for the event. Probably the most anticipated beer was Midnight Sun Open Container, a Wild Ale that was put in the Alaskan wilderness to get that wild element. Luckily, no bears or moose found the open container. Expecting more musty and earthy wildness, I found the beer surprisingly subtle, light and refreshing.
The SF Brewers Guild produced “Agent Orange,” a 7.7% ABV Imperial IPA with orange peel. A nice brew, but I had some problem finding the orange notes. I think my tongue was still a bit puckered from the Open Container.
The third of the five anniversary beers that I tried was Cascade’s Figaro, a Sour Ale with Figs. Where Open Container was subtle, Figaro was brash and bold, full of sour goodness. Merideth described it best as “young and juicy.” Looking forward to purchasing some bottles when they are available in the future.
Other notable brews at the event were Triple Rock Hop Grenade, a sessionable IPA at 4.8% ABV, Marin Brewing Witty Monk, Lagunitas Waldo’s Special Imperial IPA, Russian River Erudition and 2008 “The Dissident” from Deschutes.
It was a short visit to the City for us. But well worth the effort to celebrate the achievement of two of our favorite people in the beer community. Cheers to Craig and Beth for five great years. Good luck with the expansion of not only the store but their family as well.
View all the images from the City Beer Party