Goose Island Beer Lands in San Francisco

As part of a national launch, Goose Island Brewery of Chicago is celebrating the arrival of some of its beers in San Francisco with a couple of midweek “Migration Week” events and a scavenger hunt. On Wednesday, Oct. 2, Goose Island will take over the taps at the Willows on Folsom Street. The following night, Thursday, Oct. 3, it will take over taps at Mad Dog on Haight Street. Both tap takeovers are open to the public.
The four beers being introduced to nationwide markets are 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Honker’s Ale, India Pale Ale and a seasonal: Mild Winter, Summertime and Harvest Ale (at least some of these beers are already available in the Bay Area).
The tap takeovers, however, will feature some of the brews that helped put Goose Island on the beer map, such as Bourbon County Brand Stout Coffee 2012, Big John, Pepe Nero, The Illinois, Matilda Lambicus, Matilda, Sofie, Pere Jacques, 312, Honker's Ale, Harvest Ale, IPA, Bourbon County Brand Stout Cherry Rye, Juliet 2010, King Henry and Madame Rose 2012.
Goose Island will also host a “Wild Goose Chase”: an urban scavenger hunt around San Francisco for golden eggs hidden in mystery locations on Saturday, Oct. 5. More information about the Wild Goose Chase is available here. Click here to register.
Many people in the craft beer community were peeved when Anheuser-Busch/InBev purchased Goose Island for $38.8 million back in March 2011. Goose Island CEO John Hall and Chief Operating Officer Tony Bowker stepped down in November 2012, and Andy Goeler, who had been responsible for marketing Shock Top and Stella Artois, took over as CEO.
According to, Lagunitas owner and founder Tony Magee seemed particularly miffed.
So far, at least according to this story, Anheuser-Busch/InBev seems to be content letting Goose Island be Goose Island. How it all plays out over time is anyone’s guess.


NotOberfest Celebrates Autumn in the Bay Area

Bavarians have been celebrating Oktoberfest for more than 200 years. Crown Prince Ludwig (later King Ludwig I) inaugurated the 16-day festival at the end of September to celebrate his marriage to Theresa of Saxe-Hildburghausen on Oct. 17, 1810.  
Oktoberfest has long been appropriated around the world, and for those two weeks, it seems, everyone is an honorary inebriated German. Like German beers themselves, however, something is invariably lost in translation and the cheery, chicken-dance spirit frequently disintegrates into frat boy debauchery and overindulgence, and the sad scenes all too often witnessed at events like Oktoberfest by the Bay at Pier 48 in San Francisco, where you can try any beer you like as long as it’s from event sponsor Spaten.
This year at any rate beer lovers in the Bay Area have an opportunity to celebrate their own local food and fall seasonal beers—in blatant disregard of the German beer purity law called Reinheitsgebot.
NotOberfest, which will be held on Friday, Sept. 20, at St. Gregory’s Cathedral in Potrero Hill, will focus on autumn seasonals like pumpkin beers, fresh-hop ales and yes, Octoberfest lagers from some of the Bay Areas finest breweries, including:

• Almanac Beer Co
• Highwater Brewing
• Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
• 21st Amendment
• Magnolia Pub & Brewery
• The Bruery
• Baeltane Brewing
• Hen House Brewing
• Anchor Brewing
• Headlands Brewing
• Ale Industries
• Firestone Walker
• Half Moon Bay Brewing

Ryan Farr and 4505 Meats will dish out the butchery meats, with desserts from Jake Godby and Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream. All proceeds will benefit The Food Pantry, whose mission is to increase access to food for hungry people and empower them to help one another.

The $60 ticket price includes all beer and food. Doors will be open from 6:30-9:30 for this 21 and over event.

Visit for full event details.

Speakeasy’s Anniversary Block Party

Speakeasy Ales and Lagers in San Francisco is celebrating its 16th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 1-6 p.m. with rare beers, local food trucks, live music and DJs and craft vendors.

The block party will feature unlimited tastings of Speakeasy’s beers, along with rare and never-before-been-tried experimental brews, including this year’s anniversary hop monster called Blind Tiger Imperial IPA. Also on tap will be Speakeasy’s new lager, pilot batches of the new Untouchable Pale Ale and unreleased brewer’s reserve beer.

For the event, Speakeasy is teaming with SF Made, The Bold Italic and Workshop. A portion of the proceeds will support SF Made’s non-profit efforts in building and supporting a vibrant local manufacturing sector in San Francisco. You will also be able to go urban camping with Alite and have you picture taken in a photo booth.

Food will be available from Southpaw BBQ, Kasa Indian Eatery, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Hot Wes Burger Pop-up, Hey, Cookie! and Beaver Mobile Café. Ritual Coffee will serve the caffeine.

Live music will be provided by Burn River Burn, Custom Built Empire and Vagabondage.

Tickets are:
$35 for general admission, including unlimited pours of the full Speakeasy lineup, special beers and latest creations, plus a commemorative glass.

$55 Godfather’s Club, which includes all of the above plus special entry into the VIP tap room and first access to the beer and a commemorative 16th anniversary poster.

General admission and VIP tickets (21+) are available here.

$10 for designated drivers: no beer tasting or glass but unlimited access to non-alcoholic drinks and the kids’ interactive carnival area curated by Workshop.

Food and vendors are not included in the ticket price.

No outside food or glassware is allowed.

Speakeasy Ales and Lagers
1195 Evans Ave, San Francisco
Speakeasy Ales & Lagers
1195 Evans Ave.
San Francisco CA

For more information, e-mail