Tag Archives: Pyramid Brewery

Sierra Nevada to open beer tasting room on Fourth Street

The Sierra Nevada tasting room in Chico. Photo: Sierra Nevada
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Sierra Nevada, the craft brewing company known for its pale ale, is planning to open a tasting room on Fourth Street by the end of the year.

The Chico-based company will serve around 16 different types of beer in a 1,700-square-foot space in the Read Building at 2031 Fourth St., next door to Title Nine. There will be a long bar and a number of high tables. The emphasis will be on beer, not food.

“It will be a small, intimate tasting room,” said Sierra Nevada spokesman Ryan Arnold. “It will not be a place where you get a meal or lounge around. We want you to be next to the bar where you are engaged with the staff, learning about beer.” … Continue reading »

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Crush: East Bay wine, food fest in Berkeley for 17th year

Crush 2011-2
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Crush, the annual East Bay wine and food festival, takes place this Sunday, Nov. 11, and, incredibly, the gourmet get-together is marking its 17th year in Berkeley.

OFFER: Berkeleyside has four Crush tickets (worth $50 each) to give away to our readers! Simply scoot on over to our brand new NOSH Facebook page (and learn about our incredibly exciting imminent food launch), then “Like” us there and confirm you have done so in an email to nosh@berkeleyside.com (or Facebook message us at NOSH). We will make sure the winners, drawn from a hat, are notified and your  tickets will be waiting for you at the door at Crush.

This year promises to offer the same wide variety of tasting options, be it ultra locavore sips from Berkeley establishments such as Pyramid Alehouse, Takara Sake, or wineries Urbano Cellars and Donkey & Goat – all of them located in what Berkeleyside likes to refer to as the city’s “drinks district” – or pours from many equally well-regarded vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. … Continue reading »

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A natural approach: Berkeley’s Donkey & Goat winery

Jared Brandt taking a wine sample from a barrel
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The exterior of Berkeley’s Donkey & Goat winery is urban in the extreme. Its entrance sits behind steel doors in a concrete tilt-up building on Fourth Street, and the front door looks out on a parking lot. Interstate 80 is less than 1,000 feet away.

But inside, the eight-year old winery is a throwback to another era. There is not a stainless steel or plastic fermentation tank in sight. Instead, stacks of old wooden French barrels rise 15 feet into the air. Two massive 1,600-gallon tanks made from Hungarian wood dominate a corner of the winery.

“We ferment all of our wine in wood — white, red, rosé,” explains Jared Brandt, 40, who started Donkey & Goat in 2003 with his wife, Tracey, 41. “I like the way wood breathes during fermentation. It is a natural insulator.”

The Brandts’ emphasis on natural extends to their wine making. They are part of a new breed of vintners who tinker with their wine as little as possible, preferring that grapes and terroir, rather than designer yeasts and processing, determine a wine’s flavor.

“For us we are interested in letting the wine speak for itself with as little intervention as possible,” said Brandt.

The Brandts’ emphasis on natural wine making — which even has its own manifesto — is drawing attention. In January, the San Francisco Chronicle’s wine writer, Jon Bonne, named the Brandts as one of his top five winemakers to watch in 2011, writing they were “starting to redefine the standards of California wine.” … Continue reading »

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