Friday, March 4, 2011


Yup. The Drake's Brewing Co. blog has moved.
Please go to to read the latest posts. Thanks!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Lots of Beer Brewin'

We may still be fighting with our livers a little bit, but with SF Beer Week behind us, the brewers are back in full swing at Drake's.

Just a little recap on the previous week in the brewery:

  • We brewed, filtered, and packaged a lot of beer!

  • There are new batches of IPA, Hopocalypse and Red Eye fermenting away in our tanks, just to name a few

  • We're finishing off the week with some Denogginizer, which is boiling away in the kettle as I type this

  • Something new and exciting also happened this week-- we completed the first ever bottling run of our alpha monster Hopocalypse! It's a beer we're very proud of, and apparently you love it too since we won a bronze medal with Hopocalypse at The Bistro's Double IPA Festival, in addition to being voted The Best In the Bay at Barclay's Battle of the Bay last week. Very cool!

  • * Fresh bombers of Hopocalypse are hitting the shelves soon, so look out for it.

    Anyway, that's all for now from the production floor at Drake's. Next week is First Friday, so I hope to see some of you there. Until then....


    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Nyack Barleywine 2011- get it while it's hot... and it's hot

    Drake's Nyack Barleywine is ready to roll out for the season.

    Nyack is a big beer to fight back the chill of winter... not that the Bay Area has seen much winter weather these last few days, but I'm sure it will descend upon us once again...

    Originally brewed in San Francisco at 20 Tank Brewery (1989-2000), this beer is all about revival. San Francisco's emblem has a phoenix on it to symbolize how the city has risen from the ashes many times over.

    And so became Nyack Barleywine, a beer that stands for the city of San Francisco, and is rising out of the ashes of 20 Tank Brewery.

    At 12% ABV, this ruby-red American Strong Ale tops itself off and invites you in with a white, frothy head. It's deep roasty, caramel mouthfeel combines with strong citrus esters on your palate. This is a Big beer with Big flavors of malt, hops &
    heat!!! We used closed to 2000 lbs of different malts to make up the grist, and a total of 25 lbs of hops (Magnum, Centennial, Chinook). Enjoy a glass of Bay Area history, enjoy Nyack Barleywine. We suggest that it be served in a half-pint snifter or goblet.


    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    SF Beer Week- Drake's Events- Sau & Brau

    As many of your are aware, San Francisco Beer Week is fast approaching. That means events galore around the Bay Area. Drake's has planned a special event for all of you Drake's-fans:

    Sau & Brau Pig Roast & Barrel-Aged Beer Tasting

    Join us at Drake's Brewing Company on February 16, from 6-9pm for tasty bites and a sampling of Drake's beers, including six different barrel-aged beers.

    The Chop Bar is catering this feast, so show up hungry and ready to get your roast on.

    Tickets are $40 each, plus a small handling fee, and should be purchased in advance at

    Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    The Hopocalypse is here!

    We knew it was coming, we just weren't sure when. And now it's here-

    This liquid revelation is a deep orange monster that is loosely filtered to keep the integrity of the malt and hops intact. Equal amounts of two-row malt and English Pale malt are combined with Vienna and Rye malts, then balanced with Cascade, Simcoe & Chinook hops for flavor. We then dry hop it with additional Cascade, Simcoe & Chinook hops. Enjoy the massive aromatic revelation and prophetic flavor of this beer now and forever after.

    Swing by the brewery or your favorite local pub for a pint of the good stuff. Also available in 22 oz bottles in the near future- we'll keep you informed.


    100+ IBUs
    9.3% ABV

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Drake's receives Good Food Award for Denog

    Last Friday night marked the first ever Good Food Awards. GFA grants awards to outstanding American food producers and the farmers who provide their ingredients. Check out their site for more information.

    Amidst a variety of other fermented foods-- charcuterie, cheeses, coffees, chocolates, pickles, preserves and beer-- Drakes went home with the GFA beer award for Denogginizer.

    It's about that time of day to crack open a bottle of Denog and cheers to that.

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Soooo much beeeer... but who's complaining?

    With the holidays over, it's time to get going on the new year, and with the new year, comes many "resolutions." To keep things simple, but also go big, Drake's has but one resolution: BREW A LOT OF BEER! More precisely, brew more beer than last year, our best year yet, thus helping you drink lots more delicious beer (isn't that your New Year's resolution?)...

    With beer drinking on the mind, here is an update of some seasonals, new brews & bottle releases coming up:

    Hop Salad- 8% ABV- An aggressively hopped Double IPA that is fruit forward with a salad of pine, citrus and floral aromas and bitterness. Medium carbonation levels with a slightly yellow head. Don't expect to get by putting a small amount on your plate (... your palate), this one's an all-you-can-eat buffet of liquid alpha goodness (use used Magnum, Simcoe and Summit hops). Loads of two-row barley and a small amount of Caramalt make up the grain bill. Now available on draft at select pubs in the Bay Area and Southern California. Get it while you can, this lunch date won't last forever!

    Hopocalypse- 9.3% ABV- Large amounts of American two-row malt and English pale malt are combined with Vienna, Rye & Crystal malts, then balanced with German Magnum, Simcoe and Chinook hops. Then, of course, more hops! -- as we dry hop it with additional Simcoe and Chinook. Finally, this deep orange monster is loosely filtered to keep the integrity of the malt and hops in tact. Enjoy the massive aromatic revelation and prophetic hop flavor of this beer, now and forever after. Available in bottles and on draught. Due out soon- I'll let you know!

    Drakonic Imperial Stout- 8.75% ABV - A big, malty beast of a beer that exemplifies the way we roll here at Drake's. Two-row malt is blended with chocolate malt, roasted barley and dark Crystal malts to make up the grist. Only one hop addition, Columbus, for bittering, is added so that the abundance of malt in this beer can shine through. Enjoy the dense brownish head, the silky maltiness, the flavors of licorice, coffee and chocolate rounded out with a slightly dry finish. Here's to those who don't fear the mighty!

    And remember, the Drakonic Imperial Stout is coming out in bottles! While I can't give you an exact bottle release date yet, you know I'll keep you informed.

    Soooo much beeeer... but who's complaining?

    Drake's is proud to help put on the CollaBEERation Dinner, with Triple Rock Brewery and Jupiter-Berkeley, taking place on January 26th. The four course dinner will be paired with more than six beers from Drake's, Triple Rock & Jupiter, plus you'll get to meet the chef and several of the brewers. Again, soooo much beeeer... and again, who's complaining?

    Interested in joining us? Tickets are $50 (includes tax & tip), plus a small handling fee
    Buy tickets in advance at
    Unfortunately, we're only able to accommodate 30 guests, so be sure to get your tickets while you still can!

    With the weekend only hours away, try to keep your resolutions in mind... and we'll be sure to keep ours as well!

    Cheers til next time,


    Wednesday, December 22, 2010

    Have a Jolly Holiday & a Denogginizing New Year!

    Hey Drake's fans,

    Some of you may have seen the Twitter post... we finally started whipping up some Hop Salad! Simcoe and German Magnum hops, Caramalt, Two-row barley... just to name a few enticing ingredients that will create a hefty beer around 8% ABV. Sounds like lunch to me... I'll keep you updated on when this beer will be out and ready for a lunch date.

    A little beer knowledge, in case you were wondering:

    * Simcoe hops are mostly for bittering, but have a clean, light pine-like aroma, and a slight citrusy flavor. Alpha acids 12-14%
    * German Magnum hops don't have much of a distinct aroma character, and are therefore often used as bittering hops. Alpha acids 12-14%
    * Alpha Acids- huh? Alpha acids are found in the flowers of hop plants and are the source of hop bitterness. The alpha acid rating on hops indicates the amount of alpha acids as a percentage of total weight of the hop.


    Anyone in need of a fun, beer infused recipe for an upcoming holiday party? I found this recipe for Lager Steamed Thai Turkey and Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings with Pale Ale Sweet & Sour Dipping Sauce on The recipe was originally published in Lucy Saunders' The Best of American Beer & Food, a great book that teaches you all about beer and food pairings (another great holiday gift idea...).

    While I didn't use a lager to steam the dumplings (I used an ale), they still tasted delicious. So for my attempt at the recipe, maybe it's better to call it Ale Steamed Thai Turkey and Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings...

    You can find the recipe by following the link above to

    For the cooking beer, I used several different Drake's brews. For the dipping sauce, you'll need 12 oz of a pale ale. While Drake's does have the 1500, a dry-hopped pale ale, this beer would be too overpowering to cook this dish with, especially since you boil down the beer for a bit. This results in even more intensified hop flavor (i.e. bitterness), so you have to be careful about cooking with hopped up beers. Hoppy beers in cooking should be used like spices- a little goes a long way. So, even though it's not the same style as a pale, I used Drake's Blonde Ale- light, crisp, slight hop notes.

    Moving on to the dumplings, you'll need 36 ounces of a Pilsener or amber lager- Again, I diverged from the suggested lager and went with Drake's Amber ale instead.

    I paired the dumplings with Drake's IPA. When it comes to pairing food with beer (as opposed to cooking food with beer), hoppy beers can balance lighter, sweeter dishes like these dumplings (instead of overpowering them, as is often the case in cooking with IPAs). However, unique in that they're seemingly light dishes, dumplings pack a flavor punch that can keep up with the strong flavors of an IPA. Bottoms up!

    Still looking for holiday gift ideas?

    Don't forget your Drake's Holiday Gift Bag!
    These gift bags make perfect for gifts for party hosts, as well as family & friend craft beer lovers.
    * Deluxe- $30- Includes a bottle each of Jolly Rodger 2010 and Denogginizer, Drake's t-shirt, Drake's pint glass, Drake's coasters & a Drake's sticker patch.
    * Basic-$12- Includes a bottle of Jolly Rodger 2010 or Denogginizer, Drake's pint glass, Drake's coasters & Drake's sticker patch.

    Please order at least 48 hours in advance- order by 12/23 for pick-up by 12/29

    Upcoming Events
    & Other News
    * Just in: twenty-four Drake's & Triple Rock brews will be on tap in Seal Beach on December 23. If you find yourself near Los Angeles this week, check 'em out!
    Check out and for more information on this event and other upcoming events.
    * Drake's Taproom is closing early on December 24- please call before stopping by!

    Hope you all have a Jolly Holiday and a Denogginizing New Year!

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Drake's Updates!

    I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday, got extremely stuffed with good food, and washed it down with some craft beer!

    Drake's First Friday Event
    Drake's First Friday Event is this Friday, December 3 from 4-8pm. This week's event helps out McKinley Elementary School in San Leandro. $5 donation at the gate gets you in, $15 gets you a Drake's pint glass and 3 full-pour beer tokens. More tokens can be purchased separately. In addition to Drake's beer, we'll also be enjoying Emergency BBQ, so come hungry! For more information, click here.

    Need some holiday gift ideas?

    ImageIt's that time of year again- the nights are longer and the days are colder. The holidays are rolling in, we're surrounded by family and friends, and we're giving out gifts a plenty.

    The holiday's can be overwhelming and stressful, so we're helping you out by creating two special Drake's Holiday Gift Bags for your friends and family... and you!... filled with Drake's beer and apparel!

    Drake's Gift Bag Deluxe- $30 - Includes a Drake's pint glass, t-shirt, a bottle of Jolly Rodger 2010 Imperial Red Ale, Denogginizer IIPA, Drake's coasters and a Drake's sticker.

    Drake's Gift Bag Basic - $12 - Includes a Drake's pint glass, a bottle of Jolly Rodger 2010 Imperial Red Ale OR Denogginizer IIPA (your choice!), Drake's coasters and a Drake's sticker.

    Or, if you feel like making your own gift bag, swing by the brewery to pick out some goodies like Drake's T-shirts, pint glasses, growlers, and cases of your favorite Drake's beers.

    To order a gift bag, please email, and allow 48 hours before pick-up.

    Unfortunately, we cannot ship these gift bags, but what a great reason to swing by the brewery for a beer!

    Please note we're closed on December 24 and December 31.

    See below for retail sales hours.


    Brews Reviews and Other Happening's

    * Check out Brewed4Thought's review on Jolly Rodge

    * Last month, Drake's won the People's Choice Award at The Bistro's 5th Annual West Coast Barrel Aged Festival for our Wyld Stallyn. Thanks to everyone who voted!

    * Drake's Chinookian Dark Ale should be ready to go this Friday- if we're lucky, we'll have some on at First Friday! Also look for Chinookian on draught at accounts in the Bay Area starting next week.

    Retail hours (i.e. case and keg purchases only)

    Monday's & Tuesdays- Closed (accept for keg orders)

    Wednesday's & Thursday- 12-5:30pm

    Friday's- 12-7pm

    Tasting Room Hours (i.e. come drink beer!)

    Monday's & Tuesday's- Closed

    Wednesday's & Thursday's- 3-5:30pm

    Friday's- 1-7pm

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Thanksgiving is coming!

    Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

    Which means it's time to eat and eat and drink and eat and drink and drink and then eat some more (at least that's how my Thanksgivings are...)

    Beer is a great drink to pair with Thanksgiving dishes. And, not only pair, but cook with. However, you don't want to throw just any old beer style in with the stuffing or gravy- cooking with beer takes a little work. And, while you can drink whatever beer suits you with Thanksgiving dinner, if you do want to set up some great beer and food pairings you'll need to plan ahead a bit.

    For example, last year, I didn't think twice about what beer I'd be drinking with dinner. I stuck my head in the beer refrigerator and pulled out a big, dark, hefty beer- by that I mean 15% ABV, 107 IBUs- one of the most filling beers I've ever had. Although the beer paired nicely with the food flavor-wise, suffice it to say that this beer was not a great pick while stuffing my face with triple helpings of mashers and turkey- this resulted in a near-literal interpretation of a beer-food coma!

    This year, in addition to having a few selections of beer at dinner, I'm planning on throwing some beer into a few of the dishes. Some of you reading this might not be so sure about cooking with beer- well, let me digress for a few minutes to discuss a little history about beer and why beer is an amazing ingredient.

    Once upon a time, beer was considered food. It all started many, many years ago in the Middle East, when the ancient peoples began cultivating barley. They found that when boiled, the grain tasted much better (sweeter). The thick sugary soup eventually became a thick malted brew. Depending on the region a beer was made in, certain spices, herbs and other ingredients were added to make the "dish" taste better.

    Beer has come a long
    way since those days. For awhile, beer was pushed aside as people made way for wine at the dinner table, but, as Randy Mosher will point out in his introduction of Lucy Saunders' The Best of American Beer & Food:

    "with it's vast range of strength, color, bitterness, sweetness and aromatic delights to work with, it is a rare food that fails to find a beery partner... matching up beer and food is really about using common sense and paying attention."

    And so we arrive here today, a society full of craft beer, beer pairings, beer chefs, beer dinners, and beer as an ingredient. Beer can play many roles in cooking and baking. I came across a great article called "Tips for Cooking with Beer" by Kate Heyhoe of Global Gourmet, that summarizes how beer can be used in cooking. Here are some of the main points:

    Beer flavors food in 3 ways:
    1. Bitterness from the hops
    2. Sweetness from the malt
    3. Yeast from the beer has tenderizing enzymes

    Some guidelines to consider:
    1. An all-beer meal is usually NOT a good idea

    2. There is no need to pair a dish with the same beer you used to cook with

    3. Sweet foods benefit from the bitterness of hops
    • Use sugary veggies like onions, carrots, corn etc. and even add some sweetener like molasses, honey, or sugar

    4. Hop bitterness helps counteract the richness of creamy, oil-
    based or cheesy dishes.
    • Use sparingly as you would a squeeze of lime or vinegar
    5. Acidic foods can compliment the sweet flavors of beer, adding depth and balance
    • Think tomatoes, citrus fruits, vinegar and mustard
    6. Yeast is a great tool for battering and baking.
    • Breads and pancakes benefit from very yeasty brews, which can lighten the texture and make for soft, delicious crusts

    7. Beer tenderizes meats (enough said!), making for great marinades

    8. The more beer is cooked and reduced, the stronger the flavor will be. If the dish requires long cooking and reduction, avoid using too strong a brew.

    9. Pale Ales and Nut Brown Ales are good for starters. IPAs are often too bitter for cooking.

    10. For newbies to beer cooking, robust dishes are a great way to start so you can learn to distinguish the effects beer has on the dish. Then, you can experiment with the more subtle effects beer has on more refined flavorings.

    Now that I've divulged to you the briefest version of beer and food history, let's figure out how this applies to Thanksgiving dishes.

    Beer can be used to prepare any number of Thanksgiving dishes including the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberries, and even pecan pie.

    Regular potatoes, which can be both rich and creamy or sweet (or both!), are nicely prepared with an IPA or pale ale. As stated above, the hoppy character of these beers can balance the sweetness and richness of a dish. The flavors in sweet potatoes and yams, on the other hand, will be accentuated by a malty beer such as an alt beer or dubbel because yams are a little sweeter than regular potatoes, but still have a very earthy flavor.

    Stuffing can be prepared in a number of ways because the bread absorbs whatever flavors the ingredients contain. You can make a rich stuffing to go with a more simple entree, or a simple stuffing to go with a rich entree. In general, you'll want to stick with maltier beers when making stuffing (examples: brown ale, ESB, bock) because a hoppy beer will only intensify when cooked and reduced, and the bread will absorb most of the hop bitterness.

    Perhaps the most common way to prepare veggies with beer is the beer-batter them. However, fried foods can be a little too rich for Thanksgiving, along with all the other big flavors of the meal. Depending on how you like your veggies prepared, you could make a light "sauce" with beer, vinegar, butter and some other seasonings to toss with almonds and blanched veggies (I suggest green beans).

    When preparing the gravy, throw in a little bit of a mostly-malty beer, with a slight hop-kick to blend well with the earthy yet rich flavors of gravy.

    The light flavor of cranberries, with their touch of bitterness, are well complimented with a light wit or wheat beer. Try and find a beer with some spices like clove and nutmeg, and also light enough that no malt or hop characters dominate the flavor.

    Turkey can be prepared in so many different ways, and beer can aid in it's preparation. Just remember, the longer you cook something in beer, the more the beer is reduced and the flavors shine through. If you're preparing a recipe that involves cooking the turkey for a long time, I suggest using a lighter beer, like a Hefeweizen, rather than a stout or a predominantly hoppy beer.

    While you still might think it sounds crazy, beer in pie is delicious. Definitely go for a big-flavored, malty beer, with some spices or chocolately qualities, and very little hops.

    If you're interested in trying to incorporate beer into some of your Thanksgiving dishes, but you aren't quite sure where to start, check out the Homebrew Chef's (Sean Paxton) website. After looking at his site, I've decided to make Roasted Garlic IPA Mashed Potatoes for my Thanksgiving dish, with some Drake's IPA:


    If you aren't going to incorporate beer into your dishes, you can always just drink it (or do both!). Being as it is the season to spread holiday cheer, I'm going to turn that cheer into rosy cheeks, and bring some Drake's
    Jolly Rodger, Denogginizer and a growler of our George Brett Sour Ale. They should pair nicely with the big, flavorful dishes of a Thanksgiving feast.

    While I know I've gone into some serious depth about beer and Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is one of my most favorites times of the year. Family and friends coming together, lots of home-cooked meals, colder weather, and some craft beer to warm us up. Yes, I am very thankful for all of that!

    Cheers 'til next time!