The first ever SJ Beerwalk hosted by Jack’s Bar & Lounge and Dishcrawl took place in Japantown earlier this month on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
On a crisp yet sunny afternoon, 18 Japantown small businesses served as location points for beer pourings from over 15 breweries and brewing companies, including Lagunitas, Stone, New Belgium, Firestone Walker, Sapporo, Blue Moon, Kirin, Shipyard, Anchor Steam, Primo, Lost Coast, and South Bay locals Tied House/Hermitage, Strike, Rock Bottom, and Gordon Biersch.
Tied House/Hermitage offered pourings of their New World Wheat (American Style Wheat Ale, 4.7% ABV), Flemish Style Sour Ale (7% ABV), Hoptopia (Double IPA, 8% ABV), and Single Hop Series H (Admiral Hops). Rock Bottom offered their Kolsch (5% ABV) and Winter Ale (6.2% ABV). And Gordon Biersch offered pourings of their Hefeweizen, Czech Style Pilsner, and Marzen.
Those hoping to purchase tickets on the day of the event received news at the door of Jack’s Bar & Lounge that the beerwalk was sold out; there would be well over 500 strolling the Japantown neighborhood with beer glasses in hand.
Besides the more well-known Japantown restaurants, there were opportunities for both first-timers and those already familiar with Japantown to explore the myriad of shops along Taylor, Jackson, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Streets. For some requiring coffee fixes, Roy’s Station provided just that.
It was apparent that the organizers had experience in planning events involving the Japantown community, as the beerwalk looked to be an overwhelming success. The presence of police officers was subtle and did not hinder the fun and lively atmosphere of the revellers strolling from one shop to the next.
The only hitches were the long lines for the beer tastings and some locations running out of beer before the ending time of 5 p.m. For instance, the well regarded Double IPA from Firestone Walker, Double Jack, ran out at 4 p.m. Still, these hitches simply underscored the popularity of this first inaugural SJ beerwalk.
For more information
The next SJ Beerwalk in Japantown is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page. Tickets can be purchased via the Dishcrawl website.
A previous article introduced the hosts of this inaugural San Jose beerwalk and included a Q & A with Jack’s co-owner Jordan Trigg.
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[Note: An earlier version of this post was published on Examiner.com.]