The city of Oakland gained yet another place to socialize and enjoy great beer with the long awaited opening of a tasting room at Linden Street Brewing Co on December 2nd. When they launched a couple years ago Linden was the first production brewery to open in town since the late 50’s. With an outstanding product buoyed by the near obsessive localism of us East Bayers, the brewery has been hugely successful with area bars and restaurants often selling their old time California lagers faster than head brewer Adam Lamoreaux can brew them. While there have been events at the brewery in the past, a tasting room had to wait while they waded through the requisite red tape involved in any such undertaking. In true Linden Street fashion, they threw a party to celebrate the opening complete with food vendors and live music from Lila Nelson and The Job.
The portside brewery is located at 3rd and Linden in West Oakland in a beautiful brick building that dates back to the 1890’s. Adam and his staff were peddling their two standby beers, Urban People’s Common Lager and Burning Oak Black Lager, along with Dee’s Mild from sister brewery Dying Vines at the wallet friendly price of $4 each. We didn’t notice any growlers being filled at the event but hope they will be available sometime soon.
As with every Linden Street event we’ve attended the turnout and energy were outstanding. While Linden parties have significant overlap with other Oakland beer events and craft beer bars, they also seem to have their own unique group of enthusiasts not found at those other places. The diverse crowd on Friday included several families with young children, some pets, and an unusually high number of unusually good looking people. All in all a great time was had and the tasting room will likely be a regular stop for us at Bay Area on Tap. If events like this one are the norm going forward this will be an extremely welcome addition to the Oakland beer scene. Hope to see you there!
Tasting room hours:
Tuesday – Friday 5-8:30 PM
Saturday 12-8 PM
Best bets to find Linden Street Beer elsewhere in Oakland:
Commonwealth Café and Public House 2882 Telegraph Avenue
The Grand Tavern 3601 Grand Avenue
Beer Revolution 464 3rd Street
The Trappist 460 8th St
Bay Area On Tap recently took a Wednesday evening to attend the release party for Pink Boots Scholarship Saison. Conceived by Alex Nowell, a brewer at Drake’s Brewing in San Leandro, CA, the beer was brewed by Alex with the assistance of a few other local members of the Pink Boots Society. The Society is essentially a group of women who work to advocate a greater female presence in the national brewing industry. Per their website (pinkbootssociety.org) their name is an acronym for Passion, Integrity & Inspiration, Networking, Knowledge, Beer & Brewing, Opportunity, Open Exchange of Ideas, and Teaching. The site itself is definitely worth a look as it has some interesting historical information on the important role women have had in brewing through the centuries. Per Alex, all of the ingredients used to produce the beer were donated. Proceeds from the sale of this beer will go to a scholarship fund to pay for education of an aspiring female brewer.
The October 12th event was hosted by Beer Revolution, a popular beer bar and bottle shop on 3rd street in Oakland where Alex tends bar. The home-y, almost familial vibe that ensues whenever Beer Revolution takes time to celebrate the local was ramped up to another level for this one since this time they were honoring the efforts of one of their own. Throughout the evening the bar was packed with people interested in trying the beer and supporting the cause, including a number of familiar faces from the local beer and brewing community.
The beer is a Saison, a traditional Belgian style of beer historically brewed in the French speaking part of the country. Interestingly, Alex’s take on the style included, among others, Citra hops. Citra is a bold and citrusy hop that has recently become popular in big hoppy ales, and isn’t commonly used for a comparatively nuanced beer like a Saison. In our experience, taking traditional styles and putting a ‘West Coast’ spin on them can be a gamble but the relatively broad and inclusive nature of the Saison style and Alex’s skillfully balanced recipe really made this one work. The restrained fruitiness and faintly spicy flavors were well contrasted by the citrus hop bite to make for a very pleasant easy drinking brew that complemented the warm Oakland evening extremely well.
Near the tail end of the release party we had a quick moment to chat with Alex, a familiar face both from her time behind the bar at Beer Revolution and from local beer events, and also had the opportunity to meet fellow brewer April of Moylan’s brewing. Alex told us that it was one of her professors in college who convinced her that her home brewing hobby could be a career. If one persons encouragement helped her launch a career working for one of the most respected (and one of our favorite) breweries in the region, we wonder how great an impact events like this one, which took direct action to get women involved in the industry, might have? If future waves of lady brewers deliver as quality a product as this we’re definitely excited at the possibilities.