Everything's coming up breweries in the Bay: hot on the heels of the announcement of the new Rare Barrel brewery in Berkeley, Pine Street Brewery, a new SF-based nanobrewer, is launching its very first beer this week. Atom Splitter, a West Coast pale ale brewed with Centennial and Cascade hops and clocking in at a moderate 5% ABV, made its debut last night at Amsterdam Cafe, and will also have launch parties tonight at Shotwell's and on Thursday night at The Sycamore.
Founder Jay Holliday initially got into brewing after buying a kit at SF Brewcraft, and the process bewitched him: "From the minute my first batch was on the stove, I knew it was something I wanted to do." He spent the next three years refining recipes with pal and fourth-generation SF native Dave Alexander, who now serves as assistant brewer and handles the nascent company's marketing efforts. Without the start-up cash for a brewery of their own, the duo took the route that many fledgling local breweries, like Almanac and Pacific Brewing Laboratory, have taken: an alternating proprietorship that allows them to brew at another company's brewery (in Pine Street's case, they brew at Devil's Canyon in Belmont).
Holliday's focus in general is low-alcohol "session" beers that allow drinkers to have more than one brew without getting blotto. Atom Splitter, which gets its name from a joke in Young Einstein, is only the first of several planned beers; up next is Menagerie, a French-style saison, which is scheduled to debut later in the spring. Though the brewery's creations are only available on draft for now, they hope to can them sometime in the near future, and Holliday also expressed an interest in someday founding a brick-and-mortar space of his own. In the meantime, St. Vincent, Chomp 'N Swig, Shotwell's, The Sycamore, and The Fishbowl on Divisadero will all carry Atom Splitter, and a few other local spots may be added soon.
Here's the complete schedule of Pine Street's Atom Splitter launch events:
· Tuesday, February 5, 7-10 pm, at Shotwell's
· Thursday, February 7, 7-10 pm, at The Sycamore
· Friday, February 8, 6-10 pm, at SF Beer Week's Opening Celebration
· Monday, February 11, 6-10 pm, at the Pizza Place on Noriega
· Tuesday, February 12, 7-10 pm, at The Fishbowl
· Friday, February 15, all day, "Locals Only" SFBW event at the Sycamore
· Saturday, February 16, 2-4 pm, "Local Brewers" SFBW event at Amsterdam Cafe