San Jose - suggestions?

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Tapsucker
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San Jose - suggestions?

Postby Tapsucker » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:53 pm

Usually I just pass through San Jose, but I have a trip coming up where I will be staying for a few days. I'll have at least one night out and would like to take in a decent beer bar.

Sadly San Jose is barely more than a giant suburban office park with a municipal government, so getting around and finding things is a pain. People probably don't drink much there since they spend so much of their life in traffic. :roll:

Does anybody have any suggestions? I'll be staying near the airport and would prefer reasonably priced cab rides. A place called Original Gravity has been suggested, but not by someone too much in the know.
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Postby TheSevenDuffs » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:12 pm

From a quick BA search, this seems like a good bet:

http://www.beermenus.com/places/4145-harry-s-hofbrau
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Cass
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Postby Cass » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:26 am

If you have an iPhone (I think Android too) there's an app called "Find Craft Beer" which pulls from the Beermapping.com site. Pretty good when you are looking for something in a random location in the States.
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Postby Cass » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:27 am

timeo
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Postby timeo » Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:47 pm

Cass wrote:San Jose has got a Yard House:

http://www.yardhouse.com/files/beer_menu_52.pdf


+1. I've been to this Yard House location and it's decent, though very busy inside. Paid parking's in the structure across the street. Santana Row (which YH is in) makes for a good walk around while you're waiting for your table as well (they give you those ringy square things).
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Postby Tapsucker » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:31 pm

So, to report back...

I made it to Yard House. Yes a very busy loud meet market. Loud. I was surprised by how good the food was and very impressed with the service. The staff were awesome, especially given how they had to run their butts off to deal with the crowd. We interacted with 4 servers who all knew the beers and food on offer well. I have never seen this in such a big chain type place. When a young 20 something lady offers up suggestions on what to order next based on what you just drank, can tell you from experience why you would like one or another and then delivers a handful of samples to back up her suggestions, you know you are in the right place. Did I mention it was loud?

The other must-go is Original Gravity, downtown. It's very small and casual and feels bit like a small snack-bar for beer. They serve artisanal sausages and grilled cheese sandwiches, a bit like a tiny Wurst. Beer is all in constant rotation (the electronic board was updated twice while we were there. About a dozen taps, all extreme beers, and that's it. It feels like all you get is guest taps! I was tickled to try a few one-offs from Denmark's Mikeller that were on tap. I've never had their beer fresh on draft before. There were several international and US gems.

The owner approached me (we were the only three older suits in the hipster crowd) and asked how I heard about the place. We chatted a bit and I talked him into considering doing a Canadian tap takeover for Canada Day. He's got to find out how he can get stuff from here through their state distribution regulations. He made it sound almost as Byzantine as the LCBO.

Both places are highly recommended, but you have to be in the mood for the noise at Yard House or know that Original Gravity is small and you may not find room on a busy night.
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Re: San Jose - suggestions?

Postby Tapsucker » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:01 pm

A few updates...

Original Gravity is still much the same, but have added some 'saner'' beers to the rotation, including more sessionable offerings. Didn't grab a sausage, but they were still available and looked good.

A new place to me was Uproar Brewing. Nice taproom, not special, not bad. Beer was ok. I don't recall the names of the ones I had. I tried a New England IPA. a West Coast IPA and had a quick sample of a hoppy Pilsner. The two IPA tasted like they had the lined reversed with the NE having more NW character and the NW having more NE character. I asked if it was a mistake and they insisted not. The Pilsner was actually the better of the three. I should have started with that. I was very well executed. Hoppy yes, but still had a good fresh bread/biscuit taste and aroma too. The real surprise was the food. It was really good. When you walk into that place, you don't initially realize there is a kitchen, despite there being menus. I could even recommend it for the food alone.

The only other place I had time for was Floodcraft. It was an unexpected surprise. It is in a local Whole Foods and is apparently owned by them. Some sort of new concept. Nice rooftop patio tap room. The beer was outstanding. They also had some guest taps, but I stuck to their list. The clever thing is they are right near the train station, so I had a bit of time to kill before hopping my train to San Francisco, which afforded me a nice opportunity to pre-lube and sample several of their offerings. It wasn't clear if they plan to roll out this concept in other stores or cities. Keep an eye out.
Brands are for cattle.

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The herd will consume until consumed.

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