Camping in San Francisco

There aren’t really a whole lot of things I can point to in my life and say, “I did that well. There’s no way I can really improve on that. That’s an accomplishment I can be proud of.” My marriage is one of them. To tell you how absolutely freakin’ cool my wife is, for …

By Land & By Sea II — Return of the MerBear

Okay, here’s how stupid I am, and why I’m not sure I’m cut out to be a beer reviewer. You may be thinking, “Wait, you’re starting your post comparing two beers by saying you’re not qualified to review beers? Why should I even read this?” Excellent question. Let me explain. I’m doing my comparison tasting …

Guinness Projects a Crafty-er Image

Guinness, like all the other major beer players, has been feeling the impact of the increasing market share of “craft” beer. While some continue to live in denial by rebranding their beer after an entire country (while at the same time gobbling up many smaller players in said country), Guinness has decided, if you can’t …

Another Birthday Road Trip

One of the (few) perks my day job offers is birthdays off. The last few years I’ve taken advantage of the free day by hopping on mass transit and heading to some new (to me) beer joints. As the pace of openings shows no signs of slowing, there’s no shortage from which to choose. This year’s stops …

By Land & By Sea … and by Costco — Coronado/Bear Republic MerBear Rye IPA

Remember how, not so long so, I mentioned how I wasn’t going to do tasting notes anymore? First, a quick word about tasting notes. To be honest, I don’t really do them anymore. For all the beer I’ve had over the years, my palate just isn’t sophisticated enough. Other than vague generalities (balanced! smooth! malt …

Beer. There. Everywhere.

In the Bay Area, trying to keep up with the plethora of great beer spots opening seemingly on a daily basis is surely madness. But why should I let that stop me? Drake’s Dealership, Oakland Oakland may be ground zero with cool new beer spots.  Let’s see … Beer Revolution, The Good Hop, Hog’s Apothecary, …

SF Beer Week 2016: Firkin IPAs, Packed in a Barrel, & My Last Meal

Before this year’s Beer Week gets too far in the rear-view mirror (i.e.: I forget what I did), here’s a brief rundown of the events I attended. First, a quick word about tasting notes. To be honest, I don’t really do them anymore. For all the beer I’ve had over the years, my palate just …

The Beerverse 3.0 (or whatever it is now…)

Hey. You might notice things look a little different around here.  Let me explain. One the (many) things that have kept me from posting more regularly is, and I realize this is stupid, I’ve never really liked to look of this site. In a previous life I was a graphic designer, and I chose a …

Beerversity: And so it Gose…

As everywhere in the fickle world of popular taste, beer styles come and go. Today’s IPA is yesterday’s Pale Ale, tomorrow’s Saison might be today’s IPA, etc., etc. One of the once-lost styles that seems to have made a comeback in the last year or so is Gose. So what’s a Gose? And how do …

Masters of the Beerverse: Fal Allen

Admit it, you thought this day would never come.  Truth told, neither did I. Presenting our first Master of the Beerverse: Fal Allen, Brewmaster at Anderson Valley Brewing Co., Boonville, CA Fal grew up in Hilo, Hawaii, and left the Islands to attend college in Oregon, where he first encountered Northwest craft beers.  After graduation and …