Sunday, July 29, 2012


Welcome to the Barbary Coast Beer Blog! My name is Chris; I'm a homebrewer, beer tourist, and beer connoisseur (AKA a beer snob). That is:
  1. I make beer
  2. I seek out good beer
  3. If I don't think your taste in beer is any good, I'll let you know, in no uncertain terms...
Despite #3, people seem to like to talk to me about beer. I like to think it's because a) home brewing is an inherently interesting hobby, and b) even your average supermarket or corner store (much less specialty stores) now carries a wide array of microbrews (and macrobrews masquerading as microbrews - we'll get to that later), and they want help picking a good one. But it also may just be because they think that if they listen to me bloviate long enough I'll buy them a good one, or give them one of mine. Which I usually do... 

Anyway, since people seem to like to talk to me about beer, and because I like to talk about beer, my partner, Dr. P, suggested that I should start a beer blog.

So here we are. Don't be scared! This isn't going to be just a blog for homebrewing geeks, where we argue about hop utilization and yeast attenuation. Nor will it be just me pooh-poohing the unwashed masses who can't tell their geuze from a hole in the ground (although I'm sharpening my poisoned pen for the PBR-swilling hipsters...). 

Instead, I will share:
  • Homebrewing recipes, tips, and tricks, and encourage folks to try it for themselves. And, if I'm lucky, maybe I'll learn a thing or 3 from my readers.
  • My travels and travails to seek out good beer.
  • My reviews of new beers, brewpubs, beer bars, and beer stores I try.
  • My opinions about the brewing industry and beer drinkers.
FWIW, I also occasionally make mead, cider, cheese, pickles, sausage, and distilled liquors (which I promptly destroy in accordance with federal law, of course!), so I'll talk about those things too, if you're are interested. I might even talk about wine, because, although I don't make it myself, I do occasionally enjoy a bottle.

I'm very fortunate in that I live in San Francisco, one of the epicenters of foodyism generally, and craft beer specifically. I live in the North Beach neighborhood, an area once known as the Barbary Coast, which catered (and to some extent still does) to the vices of sailors, libertines, and bohemians.

I call my little brewing workshop the Barbary Coast Brewing Company, although it's not an official name or company since apparently someone filed a trademark for it back in '95 for a brewpub that never opened across the Bay in Berkeley, and I haven't felt like hiring a lawyer to check the legal status. (There's also a beer from Minhas Brewery in Monroe, Wisconsin, and a beer bar in Wilmington NC, that use the name "Barbary Coast," and the last thing I need is to get into a legal fight over my hobby.) But if you're ever in the neighborhood and see the Black Bart flag flying, it means I'm brewing something, so stop by for a chat and a taste!

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