May 20, 2014

May 20, 2014

The BrewTruck. Photo from BrewTruck website.

A report by Dana Eastland. We’ve got some exciting news in the brewing world, from the founder of BrewTruck and Le Truc, Hugh Schick. It’s called ~BREW U~, and it’s a brewing school-incubator-taproom hybrid. Schick explained it will be a place where homebrewers who are interested in opening brewing businesses can come and learn the full, vertical range of skills they need to start a business. They’ll graduate not only with good beer knowledge, but also a functional business plan, an understanding of how distribution works, and a brand. The details are still being worked out, of course, but ultimately Schick hopes to have as many as 10 aspiring brewers brewing under one roof.

He’s also hoping to provide smaller brewers with an alternative to contract brewing, which is when a smaller brewery contracts with a larger operation for most of their production. Schick also hopes to have a large taproom, highlighting the beers produced on-site as well as other small-batch brewers (and eventually alumni).

The taproom will include a restaurant, where he’ll be slinging bar food. But this won’t be your usual gut-busting fare; instead, he wants to offer fresher, lighter options, with an emphasis on Asian grilling and the beer-friendly cuisine of Belgium. Flavor, he says, will come from technique and spices, not just fats and pork products, and the overall focus will be on playful, well-considered, and casual dishes.

Right now, he’s still in negotiations for his space; all he can say is that it’s in “a highly desirable Mission location,” and that he’s really looking forward to being near the “homebrew district,” which he identifies as the eastern side of the Mission—south of 20th Street, north of 24th Street, east of Mission, and west of Potrero. So, real estate sleuths, start speculating now (and no, it’s not this one).

Right now, he’s hoping to be open within a year, but has a realistic understanding of how long these things can take. Hopefully, they’ll be open by Beer Week 2015, which would be February. He’s still working on pulling his team of collaborators and “professors” together, but as more details emerge, we’ll let you know.


The green signage of O’Reilly’s on, what else, Green Street. Yelp photo by Margie B.

After 20 years of getting people bleary-eyed on Green Street, it appears ~O’REILLY’S~ has sadly poured its last Guinness and hosted its last musician. Scoop reports: “Owner Myles O’Reilly has yet to respond to inquiries about what’s going, though he is vowing on Facebook to reopen.” But the record of him filing a liquidation bankruptcy doesn’t do a lot to engender optimism. Best of luck to the Irishman who had one of the most amazing red beards I have ever seen. 622 Green St. at Powell.


The bar at Café des Amis. Photo courtesy Café des Amis.

Every Sunday, check out the “Sundown Sundays” happy hour at ~CAFÉ DES AMIS~. It runs from 3pm-7:30pm, and includes half off all spirits and cocktails at the bar, in the lounge, and on the patio. Here’s their cocktail list, or you can order your own favorite. At $5 a pop, you’ll have to remember to pace yourself!

This Friday May 23rd, ~OFF THE GRID FORT MASON~ will be running a late-night happy hour from 10pm-11pm. Participating vendors will be offer $1 off a special item, as well as $1 off all Magnolia beers, a special cocktail from Alembic for $5, and half-price sangria from the wine tent. Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd. at Laguna, 415-339-5888.


The bar at 54 Mint. Photo from Facebook.

On Monday June 9th, ~54 MINT~ is hosting a dinner celebrating the wines of Montefalco, in Italy’s Umbria region. Eight wine producers from the area will be in attendance, pouring wines to pair with a four-course meal of Umbrian dishes. The menu hasn’t been finalized, but it will definitely include summer truffles. The region’s signature sagrantino passito, a thick, aged wine, will also be served. Reservations, which are highly recommended, are available between 5:30pm-10pm. The dinner costs $110 per person, including wine and food but not tax and gratuity.

Over in Oakland, Mick Unti of Unti Vineyards will be at ~COMAL~ on Tuesday June 3rd. He’ll be pouring wines to pair with five courses from chef Matt Gandin, and talking about Unti wines and their winemaking process. The menu and tickets can be found here, and the dinner costs $100 per person, including all food, beverages, tax, and gratuity.

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