Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Twitter Brew - Spring Tweet

I got this crazy idea about a month ago that with all the Tweetups (that's a meet-up in person for Twitters) that have been taking place at the 21A, why not have a twitter beer. That and the fact that the Twitter headquarters are just a quick walk across the park. If you don't know what Twitter might be, Wikipedia has the elaborate definition, but it is essentially micro-blogging site where users can follow each other and send and receive 'tweets' which are 140 characters or less.  Everyday people Twitter, celebrities, companies, spamers and the like. The 21st Amendment has been Twittering since about June of last year and we try to let our followers know about what is going on with the 21st Amendment. I personally feel it's important to put a face, a real person behind the tweets otherwise it comes across as too much of an advertisement. Companies such at VirginAmerica, Southwest Airlines and Ebay come to mind as great twittering companies as they really have fun with the medium. 

We tweeted about the idea for the Twitter brew as a lark at first and the response was huge, then we asked what would be a good name and we received more great responses. We then brewed the twitterbrew and tweeted about the whole process. The media got wind of it along with bloggers and all we can say is that we are very excited. What has come out of this is 'Spring Tweet,' a Spring ale, light and floral. We are releasing it at 4pm on Monday, April 6th. 
Stop by if you get a chance and you can always follow us on Twitter at

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

William Brand Tribute Rap

There has been some interest in the Keseyian style rant that I read at William Brand's memorial at the Trappist, Sunday March 1st. The impetus behind this tribute goes back to 1991 when on October 31st Ken Kesey stepped out onto the stage at the Oakland Auditorium during a Grateful Show and voiced a similar read about the great music promoter Bill Graham, who had passed away a few days earlier in a helicopter crash. While the Grateful Dead were chugging through a haunting Dark Star (you can hear it here at Nugs.Net click on Kesey Rap), Ken came out on stage and projected his ode to his friend Bill Graham.  I am no poet and I certainly don't put myself in the same vein with Ken Kesey. With that said, when you dig a little there are similarities between Bill Graham and Bill Brand. At Bill's memorial his daughter said that Bill was so Rock and Roll and when you think of it, he really was. He seemed at times in another world, hearing, listening, watching and writing. Another part of this story that not many know and I will divulge now, is that my close friend Dave McLean, of Magnolia Brewery and the Amebic, and I are some what obsessed with the Kesey rap and would quote it to each other whenever it is needed in conversation. In fact Dave was so taken with the Kesey rap that you can find it printed on the inside cover of his menu at Magnolia. Go there and seek it out. Until then, I give you my Bill Brand Tribute Rap. I even messed up the e.e. cummings poem as Ken Kesey had done:


I woke up a couple of Mondays ago in Berkeley when i got the message about Bill I thought of two things.

I thought how could this happen, how can you have an amazing dinner from Sean Paxton at the 21A homebrewchef dinner, walk outside and then get hit by a can that happen? After a great meal, looking over there and seeing Bill scribbling away on his note pad, like a machine, never stopping. trying the beers and the food, that amazing dinner one of the best. the real deal. epic night.

And I thought of one more thing, it's a little heavy but that's what it's about. Nobody else reaches across the distance and puts their hand on your shoulder about this shit...nobody. In the past when Bill and I were hanging out at Barclays trying beers with his fingers typing away on that Mac writing a story, that slight smile, listening and typing…taking in everything you were saying. Maybe missing a fact or typo here or there, but we are all human.

The last time we were on the Brewing Network together, where Bill told us stories about living in Mexico, riding horses and then moving to the Bay area, starting a family, becoming a writer, becoming one of the first beer writers when good beer was young and so were we...his wide eyed way of tasting beer and writing about beer, it was as big as time as it gets...and ol'Bill knew it, he knew it. we knew it.

And the other thought, the second thought, the warrior thought, the hard thought, the final thought, which is that we ain’t many, in any given situation there is always going to be more dumb people than smart people and we ain’t many. There is always going to be more bad beer drinkers than good beer drinkers….More macro swill, adjunct brewing marketing company breweries than good craft beer breweries…we ain’t many. No, we ain’t many. And ol’Bill knew it, HE knew it…

And the final thought, the last thought is a poem by e.e. cummings an old poem and it goes.

Buffalo Bill is defunct
Jesus he was a handsome man
he used to ride a white horse and shoot

clay pigeons onetwothreefourfive justlikethat

and what i want to know is

how do you like your blueeyed boy now

Mister Death

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Recap of the Year (so far)

Wow, where do we begin? A lot has happened in the first part of this year.  Strong Beer month celebrated it's seventh year. If you haven't heard what this is all about it's a month long celebration in February where the 21A and our good friends at Magnolia Brewery put on 6 beers of great strength and flavor. We tie in with a theme, this year is was the Grateful Dead's album "Go to Heaven." I'll let you guess who came up with that idea (ah hum..Dave McLean). 

Sandwiched right in the middle of the month like lean pastrami was the first of it's kind, SF Beer Week, which was conceived and started by Tom Daldorf (Celebrator Beer News), Jay Brooks (Brookston Beer Bulletin), Bruce Patton (the Beer Chef), Dave McLean (Magnolia Brewery) and I. There were over 150 events throughout the Bay Area and the whole thing really captured what is possible when a community of good beer drinkers get together and plan and conceive these events. We had everything from beer dinners, to tastings, bike and train tours of bay area breweries and beer bars. You name it and it was there. Too many to list. Just Google and you will see what has been said and written about this celebration. 

We had four events at the 21A. The week long celebration was not without tragedy. William Brand, Bay area beer writer and blogger was killed after leaving a Beer and food pairing dinner at the 21st Amendment. Most likely the reason I haven't really put fingers to keys about this week as of yet as it has personally been hard to do just that. Bill was a great man, a friend to the craft beer community and the 21st Amendment. His lose hit us all pretty hard. You can't even imagine the feeling that overwelmed me when this happened. I don't want to dwell on it too much, but I will post the my Ken Keseyian tribute that I did at the Trappist in Oakland at Bill's memorial. Also, coming up a recap of the events at the 21A during SF Beer Week.