Anchor Brewing’s Golden Warriors beer for the Dub Nation
Anchor Brewing’s Dub Nation homage is a Golden Warriors/Golden Lager beer. (Anchor Brewing)
It’s a relief to see all the rain we’ve gotten this year, and I’m not just talking about waterfalls and wildflowers. It takes a lot of water to make beer. A California drought without beer is what my nightmares look like.
Spring is definitely here, and that means lighter styles of beer — pilsners, saisons, wheat beers and spring bocks. It also means baseball, basketball playoffs and new beginnings. Here’s what’s new in the Northern California beer world.
Dribble and Dub: While the Warriors haven’t had the historic season they did last year, they’ve already clinched the Pacific Division and will be in the playoffs beginning April 15. Now Anchor Brewing has taken its California Lager and rebranded it for the remaining months of the basketball season as Golden State/ Golden Lager to celebrate Dub Nation. Through June, the special six-packs will be sold in new California Lager Golden State Warriors packaging that features the team’s logo and the tagline “Raise Your Anchor Dub Nation.”
New IPAs: The 21st Amendment brewery has a new Brew Free! or Die IPA. The new Blood Orange IPA is very tangy and the brewers amped up the hops from the base recipe, as well. It’s available now on draft and in 12-ounce cans. And Anchor’s Blackberry Daze IPA, which debuted last month, includes California-grown blackberries added during the secondary fermentation and toward the end of the boil, to give the beer very jammy flavors that compliment the hops.
Other new releases to keep an eye out for include Stone Enjoy By IPA 04.20.17, brewed with thirteen different hop varieties, New Belgium’s Juicy Watermelon, brewed with both watermelon and limes, and AleSmith Brewing has just released its much-lauded Speedway Stout in 16-ounce cans.
Beer fests: If the rain lets up — or even if doesn’t — there are several beer events to entice you out this month. On April 8, the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion will host the 34th annual San Francisco International Beer Festival ($75) from 7-10 p.m. More than 100 local and international breweries will be pouring their beer, and 20 local restaurants — including Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Patxi’s Pizza — will have food on hand. Be sure to look for some snacky fare, as well, including Regrained Granola Bars, which is made from craft beer grain, and Pretzelina’s Bavarian-style soft pretzels. Feeling competitive? Sign up to play in the festival’s first cornhole competition for the chance to be crowned cornhole champion of San Francisco. Details: sfbeerfest.com.
Also on April 8, Santa Rosa will host the 21st Battle of the Brews ($50-$95) at the Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. The event features 50 beers from a dozen breweries and food from 15 local restaurants, plus a Sandwich Showdown between local chefs. Details: battleofthebrews.com.
Bloody good: Larkspur’s Marin Brewing Co. is doing a blood drive from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 9 in partnership with the Blood Centers of the Pacific. Everyone who donates will receive a coupon good for a large pizza, redeemable at any time at the Marin Brewing Company, which, of course, you can wash down with a delicious pint of their beer. To make a reservation, visit bloodheroes.com, use the search by sponsor queue and put the word “brew” in the code field.
The Brewbies: On April 22, stop by Alameda’s Faction Brewing between 12-5 p.m. for the second annual Brewbies ($45-$65), a benefit for the Keep A Breast Foundation. The beer festival features more than 40 West Coast breweries and their wares, including specialty pink beers. Take the ferry from San Francisco or use the free shuttle from the West Oakland BART Station. Check out bit.ly/brewbies2 for details and online ticket orders ($45-$65).
Still more: Also on April 22, the eighth annual Bay Area Craft Beer Festival ($35-$45) will be held at Martinez’s Waterfront Park from 12-4 p.m.; bayareacraftbeerfestival.com. And the 21st annual Boonville Beer Festival ($45) will run from 1-5 p.m. March 29 at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds. The best way to enjoy this fest is to go up the day before and camp out next to the fairgrounds. At least 85 breweries will be there, along with local food vendors and music all day long. Find out everything you need to know at avbc.com.
Contact Jay R. Brooks at BrooksOnBeer@gmail.com.