I had the opportunity to visit Fieldwork Brewing Company in Berkeley this past weekend.
The brewhouse, which opened in February, will hold its Grand Opening Weekend April 24-26.
However, I was caught off guard by the Chocolate Milk Brown. So smooth, so tasty, so refreshing.
The brewery itself is located in a 10,212 square foot building at the corner of Sixth Street and Harrison Street, and anchors a block in an area of West Berkeley currently undergoing steady urban revitalization. Fieldwork joins current neighbors Covenant Wines and Makers Workspace, with Urban Adamah soon breaking ground on its educational farm and community center.
“The City of Berkeley has welcomed us with open arms, and we plan to thank its residents by providing the best beer and beer-drinking experience they could possibly imagine,” said co-founder and Owner Barry Braden.
Fieldwork Brewing Company’s Grand Opening Weekend includes something for everyone.
Friday, April 24
Ribbon Cutting With Mayor Bates and Beer Releases
Culminating in the ceremonial cutting of the ribbon and opening remarks by the Honorable Tom Bates, Mayor of the City of Berkeley, at 4 pm, the Taproom opens at noon for the release of two new beers:
- Eliza – Infusing the character of New Orleans Iced Coffee with a beastly Imperial Milk Stout.
- Torrential – A big, dry, hugely aromatic double IPA, bursting with tropical and fruity hop flavors.
Saturday, April 25
“Release the Hounds!” and Mardi Gras in April Grand Opening Celebration Dinner
In homage to dogs and best friends everywhere, Owner and Head Brewer Alex Tweet has crafted two ales named after Fieldwork’s resident brewery dogs. The dogs and brews will be available at Fieldwork starting at 11 am. The question to be answered is, are you a Hannah or a Hugo?
- Hannah – Hannah, the brewery dog, is the most sentient of guard dogs. Still an active hiker and traveler at the age of 14, Hannah’s namesake is this Biere de Garde, a malty high ABV Belgian-style ale similar to a Saison, meant to age well over time and be durable over distance.
- Hugo – Hugo, the brewery puppy, is a spry little five-month-old with energy to no end. His namesake is a French Table Beer, a 4.8% ABV Table Beer, which exclusively uses French Malts, yeast, and hops.
The Grand Opening Mardi Gras in April Dinner Celebration starting at 7 pm. This unique food and craft beer experience is the collaboration of Fieldwork’s Tweet and Chef Mike O’Brien (Mikkeller Bar, Perdition Smokehouse, and The Trappist). The Taproom and Brewery will provide the setting for a five-course, Creole tasting menu prepared by O’Brien and paired with Fieldwork Brewing Co. beers selected by the dynamic duo. Seating is limited to 50 people (tickets may be sold out now – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if tickets are still available).
Sunday, April 26
Doughnuts, Cheese Curds, and Beer… oh, my!
Doughnut Dolly will be on hand serving their delicious cream-filled doughnuts made with Fieldwork beers, including Chocolate Milk Brown and Eliza NOLA-style Iced Coffee Imperial Milk Stout, from 11 am to 2 pm.
Pugs Leap Cheese of Petaluma will follow-up with a pairing of three of their delicious cheeses with Fieldwork beers from 3 to 6 pm. Cheeses will also be available for purchase.
(On a personal note, I am sooooo bummed I won’t be able to attend Sunday’s pairings!!!)
The 17 participating breweries were:
- Anaheim Brewery
- Ballast Point Brewing (San Diego)
- Beachwood BBQ & Brewing (Long Beach)
- Bootlegger’s Brewery (Fullerton)
- The Bruery (Placentia)
- Cismontane Brewing (Rancho Santa Margarita)
- Coronado Brewing
- Green Flash Brewing (San Diego)
- Hangar 24 Brewing (Redlands)
- Inland Empire Brewing (Riverside)
- Left Coast Brewing (San Clemente)
- Mother Earth Brewing (Vista)
- Noble Ale Works (Anaheim)
- Oggi’s Pizza & Brewing (Various locations throughout SoCal)
- Pizza Port San Clemente
- Stone Brewing (Escondido)
- Valiant Brewing (Orange)
This was my second time at this festival. It’s becoming an annual tradition as I get to spend a day with my sister (I can’t say her name or show her face because her school district has a very prudish social media policy…that’s another story).
The crowd definitely seemed bigger than last year and I’m afraid they’re going to outgrow the Left Coast location very soon (actually, I’m not afraid…I hope they can move it somewhere closer to the beach that allows for a nice breeze and wider spaces).
My one big bitch with this festival is the food. There was only one vendor which had a very long line the whole event. I would add a couple additional food options in the future.
There were two fun bands (I really liked the second one), but their names escape me!
Since I love hoppy beers, I used all my tasting tickets on IPAs I’d never tried. All were good, but two really stood out:
- Pizza Port El Camino IPA – what a great aroma!
- Beachwood Pole Position IPA – hoppy and citrus!