Saturday, March 4, 2017

Del Cielo Brewing Co.


I got some pretty exciting news a few days ago: my friend Luis Castro's brewery project is a go, and he already has a lease on a location in downtown Martinez (CA).

On Friday, I got to check out Del Cielo Brewing Co.'s future digs at the corner of Escobar St. and Estudillo St.  It is an ample wharehouse, with high ceilings, and plenty of natural light. It seems a perfect space for an open floor-plan brewpub.

Of course, Luis still has a ton of work ahead of him, and there is no expected opening date in sight, and  --as anyone who's been involved in anything so simple as a home remodeling knows-- there are innumerable issues than can pop up to cause delays. However, the first, big, step has been taken.




Del Cielo Brewing Co.
701 Escobar St.
Martinez, CA 94553

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Beer Review: Two Evil Pachamama Porter

In September, I reviewed Muy Malvada Porter, a collaboration brew between Lima's Cerveceria Barbarian, and the Two Roads and Evil Twin breweries. 

Muy Malvada was the test brew for a beer which was to be brewed and released in the US this Fall or Winter by Two Roads and Evil Twin.  That beer, which is available now, is Two Evil Pachamama Porter.

According to the blurb on the can, Pachamama Porter was created after a trek to Peru. In Andean cosmology the life-giving Earth is known as Pachamama, literally, "Mother Earth". The brewers felt that, "since our ingredients were provided by Mother Earth," they would name the beer after her. (Unfortunately, the trade name "Pachamama" was already trademarked in Peru, so the Peruvian version bore a different name.) and that it would be made "using local ingredients." Pachamama Porter is brewed with sweet potato, and Peruvian panca chiles and purple corn.

The Peruvian version was brewed using jora, the malted corn that is used to make traditional chicha corn brew, however, in Pachamama Porter, Two Roads and Evil Twin have substituted it with the purple corn used in making the non-alcoholic drink chicha morada. It might have been a flavor preference on the part of the brewers, but  I suspect it was due to the relatively easier and cheaper access to Peruvian purple corn over jora in the US.

Pachamama Porter has the deep brown color that is the hallmark of a porter, and plenty of body. There is a very pleasant earthiness, doubtlessly imparted by the panca chiles, and a very slight pepper note at the back end, and a light sweetness.  It is a complex and very tasty beer.

It clocks in at 6.5% abv, and although it lists no other specs on the can (nor on Two Roads' website), Muy Malvada came in at 20 IBUs, so it may be safe to surmise Pachamama has a similar amount.

I'm quite glad to have found it.





Friday, January 27, 2017

San Francisco Beer Week 2017


SF Beer Week, the West Coast's premier beer fest, is fast approaching.  With well over 100 breweries in the greater Bay Area, there will be no dearth of events to choose from, including many pre-fest events in the coming weeks, and additional unofficial ones during the fest week itself.

The official schedule of events can be read here:  https://www.sfbeerweek.org/schedule/

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Arequipa's "Cerveceria Alemana"

Another piece of brewing memorabilia that I recently acquired is a 111-year old cancelled invoice from the Cervecería Alemana (lit. "German Brewery"), which was located in the southern Peruvian city of Arequipa.


The attached voucher is dated 23 August of 1905, and is for 1 dozen bottles of Märzen beer, 1 dozen bottles of Pilsner beer, and the deposit on two dozen bottles.  The voucher was issued by Donato Lister, and was made out to José S. Monje.

The cancelled invoice itself is dated 31 August 1905.  The price for the beer is listed as s/. 6.40 and the price for "2 dozen boxed bottles" is s/. 5.60, but either through a math error or giving a customer a break, the price charged to Mr. Monje was just s/. 10.


The Cervecería Alemana was one of Peru's earliest large-scale breweries.  It was established in 1898 by Ernesto -or Ernst- Gunther, a German immigrant, recently arrived from Bolivia.

When Gunther and and his business partner, Franz Rehder, opened the Cervecería Alemana there were several other small breweries in Arequipa: Cervecería Germania, Cervecería Arequipa, Cervecería Gambrinus, Cervecería Teutonia, Cervecería Francesa, and one other.

The brewery was originally located on Mercaderes street, but in 1900 Gunther travelled to Germany, returned with new German equipment, and moved the expanding brewery to 177 Calle de La Merced, into the plant of the closed Cervecería Francesa. The Cervecería Alemana soon outpaced competitors, and in 1908 a second brewery was established in Cuzco. 

The Cervecería Alemana was renamed Companía Cervecera del Sur, S.A., in 1935, and consolidated as the CERVESUR corporation in 1954.  For years it dominated the beer market in southern Peru, with its two flagship brands: Cerveza Arequipeña and Cerveza Cusqueña.

The company was finally acquired by the Union de Cervecerías Backus & Johnston brewing empire in 2000. However, both, Arequipeña and Cusqueña continue to be made, and the latter can sometimes be found in US markets.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

My Christmas Alcohaul


Thanks to my wife and kids, I've come away this Christmas with five exciting beers from under the tree: Mike Hess Brewing's My Other Vice Berliner Weisse (San Diego, CA); New Braunfels Brewing Company's Bauernhaus Über Weizenbock (New Braunfels, TX); Wicked Weed Brewing's Silencio bourbon barrel-aged black sour ale, and Genesis blonde sour ale fermented with tropical fruits (Asheville, NC); and, Fullsteam Brewing's First Frost foraged persimmon ale (Durham, NC).

Those, and a beer glass filled with orange gummies, and vanilla marshmallows as "foam"!