I have been waiting for when was the appropriate time (now seemed like better than never!) to talk about one of my latest and newest favourite California craft brewers,Beltane Brewing. They are from Marin County (Novato, precisely), California. My beer savvy boyfriend found out about them from Beer Revolution’s Facebook page as they were advertising their Wednesday weekly “Meet the Brewer” event. I was fortunate to attend this event, and meet owners Allan and Danielle, business partners in this small brewery. The Beer Rev staff had four of their beers on tap, and their very kind staff was generous to share a sample of each of their beers with me. Sometimes it pays to mention you also work at an ale house, and are doing some work research. 😉 I fell in love with their En Suite Saison as well as the Rumpelstiltskin DIPA. I knew their beers would be a great fit for the bar that I work at. My boyfriend (who I also happen to work with) followed up with Allan, the brewmaster of Beltane, about our bar carrying some of their beers. We arranged a meeting the following weekend to drive up to Novato to see their facilities, and possibly pick up a few kegs. Beltane currently brews in a small office park in Novato, and were a little turned around looking for the place, although we eventually did find it. I luckily had the fortune of meeting Allan at Beer Rev the week prior, so I instantly recognized the silver haired man in the back parking lot, holding a goblet of beer examining it in the (surprisingly) sunny sky. The visit was incredibly informative, and I learned it is the result of a home brewer’s dream of finally of “going legal.” They currently have a three barrel system, so production is INCREDIBLY limited; however, their beers are truly something else. Allan and his apprentice, Matt, were incredibly generous in letting us taste each of their beers currently on tap, as well as a beer that was in the process of brewing for SF Beer Week 2013. There was not anything I did not like out of all of their samples. My personal favourites were their Tripel, Saison, Bolero IPA, and as mentioned prior, the Rumpelstiltskin DIPA (never distributed, only found in-house). Since that first visit, our bar in Stockton has carried the Tripel, Saison, the Bolero IPA, and their Golden Ale- which have all been big sellers with incredibly satisfied customers. They easily emulate the Belgian styles in both the saison and tripel- both light in colour, heavily carbonated, notes of grains and malts. Both have the traditional farmhouse flavours, but not nearly as heavy as its true Belgian trappist counterparts, and have a higher alcohol content for those who care (oh you lushes…). I look forward to more Beltane brews in my future. If you are able to make the trip out to Novato, I HIGHLY recommend this small brewing company. They have the support of many major Bay Area craft brewers, and there is an obvious reason as to why. They have a very small tasting room that is open everyday of the week (M-TH 3-9/F 2-10/Sat 1-10/Sun 2-7), with a few small plates of food to snack on as you taste the beers.
If you are planning on attending any SF Beer Week 2013 events, they can be found at these events (found on their website):
Feb 8: Opening Celebration at the Concorse Exhibition Center, San Francisco
Feb 9: 13th Annual Double IPA Festival at the Bistro in Hayward
Feb 13: Anchor and Hope Shrimp Boil at Anchor and Hope Restaurant, San Francisco
Feb 14: Release of our Mon Coeur Chocolate Ale, Mon Coeur Sauvage our Chocolate Ale with Rasberries and En Suite Sauvage, our Saison with Rasberries at our brewery/tasting room in Novato. Starts at 2pm.
I don’t know about you all, but the Valentine’s Day specials sound AMAZING. I’m seriously hoping I can try those beers next! They are an incredible staff of people who both love what they do, and are great people to sit down and have a conversation with. As said before, if you have the chance to make it out to Novato, stop by and visit these guys. It’s definitely worth your while.