Push Past Your Comfort Zone With This Year's Silicon Valley Beer Week

1 min
Are there regional preferences within the Bay Area that Six Rivers Brewing co-owner Meredith Maier can identify? Actually, yes. She says, "We're selling a ton of Macadamia Nut Porter," in the South Bay, whereas beer drinkers in the Santa Cruz area prefer the more traditional Sasquatch Double IPA. (Photo: Courtesy of Six Rivers Brewery)

Many beer drinkers are stubbornly loyal to one brew, or maybe a short list of seasonal favorites. But if you’re in a spirit to try something new, check out this year’s Silicon Valley Beer Week, which wraps up Sunday. 

The region and the concept are generously defined to include food pairings, seminars, brewmaster dinners, and tap takeovers at a wide range of venues in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Alameda Counties.

Nick Veronin is the managing editor of Metro Silicon Valley, the force behind beer week. “I like talking to brewers and learning about the beer,” he says. "I’ve come to appreciate over the years just how complex this process [of brewing] is."

The least you can do as a consumer is stretch your taste buds to try some of what those brewers are experimenting with. Here's a short list of ideas:

Hazy

IPAs with the appearance of unfiltered fruit juice are all the rage during what some call now the "haze craze." This one is Mountain Voice from San Diego-based Modern Times. KQED's Chloe Hinkson says "It was very tropical and smooth. I don't have much of a beer vocabulary, but I liked it."
IPAs with the appearance of unfiltered fruit juice are all the rage during what some call now the "haze craze." This one is Mountain Voice from San Diego-based Modern Times. KQED's Chloe Hinkson says "It was very tropical and smooth. I don't have much of a beer vocabulary, but I liked it." (Chloe Hinkson/KQED)

Sour

Sour beer has an intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste. Common sour beer styles include: lambics, gueuze and Flanders red ale. Barrel Project Hibiscus Chamomile from Cali Craft Brewing Company in Walnut Creek.
Sour beer has an intentionally acidic, tart or sour taste. Common sour beer styles include: lambics, gueuze and Flanders red ale. Barrel Project Hibiscus Chamomile from Cali Craft Brewing Company in Walnut Creek. (Photo: Courtesy of Calicraft Brewing Company)

Sweet

Are there regional preferences within the Bay Area that Six Rivers Brewing co-owner Meredith Maier can identify? Actually, yes. She says, "We're selling a ton of Macadamia Nut Porter," in the South Bay, whereas beer drinkers in the Santa Cruz area prefer the more traditional Sasquatch Double IPA.
Are there regional preferences within the Bay Area that Six Rivers Brewing co-owner Meredith Maier can identify? Actually, yes. She says, "We're selling a ton of Macadamia Nut Porter," in the South Bay, whereas beer drinkers in the Santa Cruz area prefer the more traditional Sasquatch Double IPA.

Glitter

This is not, as I initially thought, a bunch of edible glitter bits sprinkled into beer. Instead, it looks a lot like shampoo, or a liquid bowling ball. The shine comes from a food-grade additive made from sugar, maltodextrin and mica-based pearlescent pigment.
This is not, as I initially thought, a bunch of edible glitter bits sprinkled into beer. Instead, it looks a lot like shampoo, or a liquid bowling ball. The shine comes from a food-grade additive made from sugar, maltodextrin and mica-based pearlescent pigment. (Photo: Courtesy of Two Birds Brewing)

Not Really A Beer But Worth A Mention

California's own Lagunitas Brewing Company has collaborated with CannaCraft's AbsoluteXtracts to produce a hopped, THC-infused sparkling water, available in a handful of dispensaries beginning July 30, 2018.
California's own Lagunitas Brewing Company has collaborated with CannaCraft's AbsoluteXtracts to produce a hopped, THC-infused sparkling water, available in a handful of dispensaries beginning July 30, 2018. (Photo: Courtesy of Lagunitas Brewing Company)

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