Bites: Wildcard Brewing tasting room opens in Albany, Pyeong Chang brings its Korean tofu soup to Berkeley

Wildcard Brewing Co.’s Albany tasting room. Photo: Jenny Hansen

WILD IN THE EAST BAY On Friday, Oct. 5, Redding’s Wildcard Brewing Co. opened its first East Bay location. The two-story tasting room in Albany boasts 10 beers on tap to enjoy by the pint, as sampler flights or in growlers to take home. There are also four cans on offer — three 16-oz varieties and one 12 oz year-round beer.

Visitors will note that the current draft list at Wildcard’s tasting room leans heavily to IPAs, which isn’t too strange in California, but if you know the brewery’s British backstory, is a bit unexpected. (In fact, the way owners Jeff and Jenny Hansen got into brewing is a bit of an anomaly itself, with both partners leaving their day jobs to turn their shared passion for homebrewing into a career running a 15-barrel brewery. Jeff is the brewer, Jenny is CEO.) “Jeff was trained in the UK, so when we opened in Redding, we had an English-style IPA, but it took us three years to put an [American] IPA. When we did, it was a gamechanger. Redding likes their IPA,” Jenny Hansen said.

The couple, who put out new beers every two or three weeks, are interested in seeing how East Bay tastes gravitate at their new taproom, and hope to bring in more ales that speak to their UK beer roots. Wildcard is a family-friendly spot (boardgames to come), but note, it doesn’t serve food (but outside food is welcome). For now, the hours are 2 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; noon to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; noon to 6 p.m., Sunday. Hansen said to expect longer hours once the tasting room is fully staffed. Wildcard Brewing Co., 1122 Solano (near Kains), Albany  

Pyeong Chang Tofu House in Berkeley. Photo: Pyeong Chang Tofu House

HOW SOON(DUBU) IS NOW The Berkeley location of Pyeong Chang Tofu House opened this week. As noted in our compilation of East Bay restaurants that opened and closed in August, the Korean restaurant took over the space on University Avenue shortly after Nine Thai Eatery closed. Pyeong Chang first opened in Temescal in 1999 and is best known for its spicy, bubbling soondubu (soft tofu soup) and sizzling dolsot bibimbap. During Pyeong Chang Berkeley’s soft opening (now through Oct. 21), the restaurant will be offering 10% off orders. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; 5 to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday. Pyeong Chang Tofu House, 1269 University Ave. (near Chestnut), Berkeley


TABLE FOR ONE The Periodic Table is celebrating its one-year anniversary this Friday, from 5-10 p.m. The 18-seat taproom was opened last September by the owners of Shiba Ramen as a way to introduce customers to Japanese alcoholic beverages, like sake, shochu, whisky and craft beer. Located at the Public Market Emeryville next door to the Shiba Ramen kiosk, The Periodic Table offers a large selection of brewed and distilled spirits from Japan (as well as Bay Area craft beers) that it pairs with a small menu of eats, like burgers, cheese and charcuterie. For its anniversary, the taproom is hosting an all-night happy hour featuring 25% off Hibiki Harmony, Shichi Hon Raki Sake, Torikai Shochu and Chuhai. The Periodic Table’s regular bar food will be available, but for a $25, guests can buy a wristband for a free welcome drink (a glass of sake, a 10 oz. beer or house cocktail) and passed hors d’oeuvres served from 5 to 9 p.m. The Periodic Table, Public Market Emeryville, 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville  

A first wine pairing dinner with Jessup Cellars at Augie’s Montreal Deli in Berkeley. Photo: Augie’s Montreal Deli

AUGIE’S + JESSUP CELLARS Before joining Augie’s Montreal Deli, executive chef and co-owner MikeC had many roles in the culinary world. He’s worked as a chef, a culinary instructor, a TV show host and a food and wine consultant, and over the last two decades, one of his main passions has been bringing together food and wine in delicious ways. In August, Augie’s hosted its first ticketed event, a wine pairing dinner with Napa’s Jessup Cellars, and this month, they’re doing it again. The event takes place 6:30 p.m., Oct. 24, featuring a four-course menu of California-Québécois fare paired with selected Jessup wines. The meal starts with a rye bread latke with lox, parsley chive crème fraîche aioli and salmon roe to enjoy with a 2017 Carneros Chardonnay and ends with an autumn spice duck confit with warm barley-watercress salad and red wine maple gastrique paired with Jessup’s 2014 Table for Four. During the meal, chef MikeC and reps from Jessup will be on hand to explain the pairings. Tickets are $95 for Jessup Cellars wine club members and Augie’s newsletter subscribers, $115 general admission. Augie’s Montreal Deli, 875 Potter St. (near Seventh), Berkeley 

BAR STARS As any craft cocktail lover can tell you, bartending is an art (Just watch our latest video of Hotsy Totsy owner Jessica Maria at work, if you need any proof). So it’s probably not surprising to hear that many who work behind the bar are creative in ways that go beyond crafting drinks — there are musicians, visual artists, photographers, actors and other artists amongst them, too. Art Beyond the Glass, an annual cocktail festival, talent show and fundraiser, was first started in Los Angeles in 2012, with bartenders performing and showing off their creative side in a variety of formats. Since its inception, ABTG has raised more than $98,000 for local arts-based charities. This year, the event makes its debut in Oakland, Oct. 21, at Hello Stranger in Uptown Oakland. Tickets are $40 and include cocktails, bar bites and entertainment. Proceeds from the event will benefit Creative Growth Art Center. Hello Stranger, 1724 Broadway (between 17th and 19th), Oakland