BAY AREA: Fieldwork Brewing Grand Opening this weekend


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.

Give that the co-founder and Head Brewer is Alex Tweet (formerly of Ballast Point and Modern Times in San Diego) I expected to be wowed by its IPAs, which I was, especially Little Ships Session IPA.

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 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!!!)




RECIPE: Christmas Eve Chili

1-1/4 lb ground beef
1-1/4 lb ground pork
1 large onion, diced
1 15-oz can petite diced tomatoes w/ jalapeño
1 15-oz can red kidney beans
1 15-oz can white kidney beans
1 15-oz can black beans
1 package Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit
1 16-oz can Modern Times Blazing World Amber beer (or your favorite Amber beer)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp Gentleman Jack

Brown meats and onion. Drain.

Mix diced tomatoes, beer, chili spices packet, cayenne packet, salt packet and tomato sauce together in big kettle. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Add meat and onion mixture. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add red, white and black beans. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add brown sugar and Gentleman Jack. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add masa packet. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve with cornbread, sweet pickles, shredded cheddar cheese and your favorite California Craft Beer!


SAN DIEGO: Modern Times Beer

During my Thanksgiving visit to San Diego county I was able to visit Modern Times Beer. What a treat!

The ambiance is amazing:

  • A comic book wall
  • Wall art of Michael Jackson and Bubbles made out of Post-It Notes
  • Beer selections on repurposed pallets
  • A granite bar with a base made of books
  • So cool!

    Even better…the beer was great.

    I tried the core four. Lomaland, a saison, and Black House, an oatmeal stout, were great. But I was knocked out by a couple hoppy surprises — Fortunate Islands, a wheat ale, and Blazing World, an amber.

    I’ve never had a wheat or an amber so hoppy!

    20131202-104045.jpgFrom left to right: Lomaland, Fortunate Islands, Black House and Blazing World.

    20131202-221113.jpgRepurposed pallets.

    20131202-221121.jpgPost-It Note art — Michael Jackson and Bubbles.

    20131202-221128.jpgThe comic book wall.

    20131202-221136.jpgAn awesome hangout.

    Modern Times Beer, located at 3725 Greenwood St., San Diego (across from the Sports Arena) is open daily Noon to 9 p.m.

    (Full disclosure: I donated to Modern Times Kickstarter campaign, but I guarantee I would have been equally impressed regardless!)