The Lower Haight’s craft beer temple Toronado turns 30 years old this month, and to celebrate, owner David Keene has commissioned — and even helped conceive and brew — 30 anniversary beers from 30 different breweries. The massive undertaking culminates on August 12 with an un-ticketed event that’s sure to rival anything during Beer Week. Frankly, it could be a melee. Leading up to the big event are many smaller debut nights for the beers, some of which are already on tap. In anticipation, Toronado’s beer buyer, who has been helping to coordinate the project, walked Eater through all 30 beers.
First, a bit of background: Toronado owner David Keene already has plenty of beers brewed specially for him, at least in name. Ever had Big Daddy IPA from Speakeasy? That’s named for “Big Daddy” Dave — so are Brother David’s Tripel and Dubbel from Anderson Valley and others. Meanwhile, beers like Cable Car from The Lost Abbey have been brewed for and made exclusively available at Toronado for years. The bar has commissioned tribute ales in the past, too, in particular for its 20th and 25th anniversaries, but 30 beers from 30 brewers is a new feat.
- Russian River (Santa Rosa) brewed “Toronado 30,” a Belgian-style, 100 percent Brettanomyces beer that’s dry hopped. It’s the third installment in a series that began with Toronado’s 20th Anniversary and was repeated for Toronado’s 25th. In fact, it’s still possible to get some “Toronado 25” bottles.
- Faction (Alameda) brewed a double IPA called “Paulie Pour,” named after one of Toronado’s notoriously gruff bartenders. It’s a traditional west coast IPA that’s filtered.
- Lost Abbey (San Marcos) are providing the oak-aged wild ale they produce just for Toronado annually, the infamous “Cable Car.”
- Pizza Port (Carlsbad) brewed “547 Haight Street,” a hoppy red ale they’ve made for past Toronado anniversary events.
- Cellarmaker (San Francisco) brewed “Cash Only,” a big double unfiltered IPA tribute to the cash-only bar.
- Sante Adairius (Capitola) did a honey saison with their own bees called “Dutch “Door” and a variant, fruited version of it.
- The Rare Barrel (Berkeley) has already released their beer called “Garage Service,” a blend of gold and red sour beers aged in oak barrels with plums and prickly pears that’s low acid and balanced.
- Societe (San Diego) brewed “The Patriarch,” a ferrel-style sour that’s a “true wild” beer with boysenberry described as a super soft, delicate sour.
- Sierra Nevada (Chico) is doing a beer called “So Fresh and So Keene,” a West Coast style hoppy beer that’s unfiltered from their test system.
- Boneyard (Bend, Oregon) is doing a sour called “Who’s Your Daddy” that’s part of a new sour program for them, and they’ve been mostly mum about the surprise beer.
- Beachwood (Long Beach) brewed a double IPA called “Super Rocket,” that’s just debuted at the bar. It’s named for the original engine in the Toronado car that the bar’s named for, and it’s a big, bright, and hoppy IPA.
- Fieldwork (Berkeley) has brewed “Paulie vs. Steve,” an IPA named for two Toronado bartenders that references some (internally) famous bathroom graffiti. It’s a “super cloudy” hazy IPA that’s also available in cans to-go on its release day, Saturday August 5.
- Barebottle (San Francisco) is doing a beer called “Toronado Dust,” part of their dust series (Galaxy Dust being a popular example). It’s a blend of two hops, Nelson and Mosaic, that makes for a super tropical, very cloudy beer.
- Allagash (Portland, Maine) is doing one of their sour variants called “Anniversary,” and to keep it a surprise, they’ve reportedly been rather hush-hush on details.
- Mraz (El Dorado Hills) is doing “Black & Red,” a barrel-aged wild ale that’s their Gabriel Belgian blond ale aged in wine barrels for a year with Brettanomyces and Lactobacillus as well as black currants, red raspberries, and red cherries.
- Alvarado Street (Monterey) hasn’t announced the name of their beer, which will be a “super hoppy, totally unfiltered” pale ale.
- Temescal (Oakland) has an IPA called “Your Favorite Jerks” made with Simcoe and Citra cryo hop powder “that’s mellow, ripe, fruit-forward, and ultra-soft.” They’ll debut it on August 8th at Toronado and their own taproom and will be selling a limited number of cans at the event.
- Burning Beard (El Cajon) is doing a beer called “Faces and Golden Rays” that’s a “classic” with Centennial and Citra hops in a new technique that uses hop oils to prevent flocculation as part of a new cloudy series for their brewery.
- Half Acre (Chicago) debuted their anniversary tribute beer, called “Toronado Daisy,” on August 1, the first variant of their hazy beer series. It’s hopped with Mosaic and a “super tropical” experimental hop.
- Sixpoint (Brooklyn) are doing a beer called a “Toronado Smoothie,” a super hazy “New York-style” IPA.
- Alpha Acid (Belmont) is redoing the recipe for a beer they’ve brewed in the past, “I Haight Toronado,” an IPA.
- Lagunitas (Petaluma) is doing a beer called “Super Critical,” an experimental concept using cannabis terpenes for flavor — it won’t get drinkers stoned — to create “crazy dank” flavors.
- Moonlight (Santa Rosa) brewed a black saison that’s “sort of a variant” on their classic Death and Taxes, and it’s not named yet.
- Drake’s (San Leandro) is doing a big IPA in the Aroma Coma family to be called “Car Seat.”
- Hollister (Goleta) is sending their “543 Haight Street” which they’ve brewed in the past for Toronado’s 25th Anniversary.
- Marin (Larkspur) is bringing “Princess” to the party, a Belgian style tripel with five percent mixed fermentation saison to create “a little bit of sour tartness.”
- Alpine (Alpine) is bringing back “Keene Idea,” a double IPA variant whose original recipe was with nelson hops for the 25th Anniversary.
- Anderson Valley (Boonville) brewed “Peachy Keene,” a Brother David’s Tripel inoculated with their horse-tongue sour and then aged on barrels with peaches that’s already been released.
- Modern Times (San Diego) is doing a beer called “Quadra Jet,” that’s actually three different beers in four barrels — one aged in port barrels, and two in red wine barrels
- Bagby (Oceanside) brewed “Thirty Years of Haightronage,” a Belgian double, for the occasion.
Release Dates: Lagunitas on Thursday, August 3rd at 6 p.m. / Mraz at 6pm Fri. August 4th / Fieldwork IPA Cans & Draft at 11 a.m. Saturday August 5th / Sierra Nevada on Sunday, August 6th at 6p.m. / Boneyard on Mon. August 7th at 6p.m. / Drake's, Faction, Barebottle, and Temescal August 8th at 6 p.m.
Update: Maybe Toronado lost count or had an extra beer brewed for good luck, as Firestone Walker Barrelworks (Buellton, CA) contacted Eater to add that they’ll be at the party, too, with “Love/Haight.” That oak fermented and aged wild/sour beer was blended by Keene personally along with the Barrelworks team in honor of the occasion.