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The Rare Barrel
 
July 1, 2020 | The Rare Barrel

We're Hiring | Chef/Kitchen Manager/Cheese Specialist

Title: Chef/Kitchen Manager/Cheese Specialist
 
Pay: DOE
 
Do you love cheese?
 
The Rare Barrel, an all-sour beer company based in Berkeley, CA, has an immediate opening for a full-time position as our Chef/Kitchen Manager/Cheese Specialist. We are searching for someone responsible and trustworthy who can match our passion for sour beer and commitment to quality. Prior experience working in a commercial kitchen is required. A strong knowledge of cheese, charcuterie, and pickling is required as we are looking to develop a menu that is focused heavily on cheese. This is a unique opportunity for a highly creative person looking to take the next step in their culinary career. This opportunity provides the creative freedom to create a cheese-focused food program from the ground up and manage all aspects of it. This position reports directly to the Tasting Room Manager.
Hours: 5 days per week (45+ hours per week), approximate hours: Wed 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Thurs - Fri 3:00 pm - 11:00 pm, Sat 12:00 pm - 11:30 pm, and Sun 12:00 pm - 9:30 pm, plus occasional on-site special events.
 

Requirements

This is a physical position. Applicants must be able to lift 60 lbs. (this is a bona fide occupational qualification), be able to stand for long periods of time, and be comfortable working on their feet.
Safety must always be a priority. Due to the physical nature of the job and the inherent risks of working in a production facility and kitchen, performing this job safely must be your first priority.
Applicants must be honest, trustworthy, dedicated, hard-working, self-motivated as well as possess a great attitude and attention to detail. A personal commitment to cleanliness and organization is required.
Applicants must be able to work a flexible schedule. Nights and weekends are a must.
Must love sours.
Must love cheese.
 

Duties

Menu Creation and Management:
The Chef/Kitchen Manager/Cheese Specialist will take full ownership of all things related to the food menu. This includes, but is not limited to:

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Create a cheese focused menu that changes regularly, focusing on sourcing local, high quality ingredients. The menu should include, but is not limited to: antipasti, foods fermented in-house, salads, sandwiches, entrees and desserts.
  • Create unique recipes for all sections of the menu.
  • Work with the Tasting Room Manager to determine portion sizes and pricing to achieve food cost goal.
  • Ensure menus for daily service are printed in a timely manner and free of errors.

Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Create menus for special events held in the brewery.
  • Build relationships with local food producers and purveyors.
  • Stay on top of industry trends to keep the menu interesting and current.
  • Build knowledge of TRB beer and be able to recommend pairings with menu items.
Kitchen Management:
The Chef/Kitchen Manager/Cheese Specialist will take full ownership of all things related to food service. This includes, but is not limited to:

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that all food and products are consistently prepared and served according to recipes and cooking standards.
  • Execute daily service, including cooking and plating of all menu items.
  • Prep foods for daily service on a daily/weekly basis as needed.
  • Order food products at sufficient levels for maintaining smooth service, and ensure they are received in correct condition.
  • Ensure that proper food handling/storage procedures are being followed at all times.
  • Create and follow proper plating and presentation standards for all dishes.
  • Open and close the kitchen on a daily basis, following checklists for all areas of the kitchen.
  • Ensure that all equipment is maintained and in safe, working order. Schedule maintenance technicians when needed.
  • Maintain  proper cleaning procedures for all kitchen areas including, mats, shelves, equipment, storage areas, etc.
  • Ensure that we pass all Health Department inspections without any violations.

Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Prepare all required paperwork, including forms, reports and schedules in an organized and timely manner.
  • Maintain an advanced level of understanding of how to operate the POS system.
  • Maintain an up-to-date, comprehensive knowledge of labor and food safety laws.
  • Attend weekly meetings with the Tasting Room Manager and/or Sr. Management to discuss challenges/successes of the food program.  
People Management:

Primary Responsibilities:

  • This position is responsible for training, oversight, management, and improvement of the staff members that work in this area. This includes, but is not limited to the Tasting Room Staff scheduled to work in the kitchen and any other kitchen employee.
  • Create training documents for the kitchen staff to reinforce best practices and ensure they are performing to your standards.
  • Schedule labor as required by anticipated business levels, ensuring that all positions are staffed.
  • Provide kitchen training and orientation to all new Tasting Room/Kitchen employees to ensure they understand expectations of food safety, cleanliness and service efficiency.
Administrative Duties:
  • Communication: This position will need to make sure information across the department is not only accessible and organized, but presented to the staff to ensure they do their jobs to the best of their ability and make the brewery better. Communicate efficiently with the staff to ensure your ideas and opinions are clearly presented, while being cognizant of managing your and the team’s time responsibly.
  • Organization: Maintain a clean and organized work space, which includes, but is not limited to the kitchen, dry storage area, and cold storage.
  • Department Audit:  A yearly review of the department’s successes, failures, pitfalls and future suggestions. This should be a thorough review and detail each area under the department's purview.
  • Cost Analysis: Creating monthly reports to ensure the food cost goals are consistently being met.
 
Applying
Pre-employment background check, DMV check, and drug test required.
 
The Rare Barrel is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status.
 
If you are interested in applying to this position, email your resume and cover letter in a single PDF attachment to bobby@therarebarrel.com with the subject title “Chef/Kitchen Manager/Cheese Specialist – FIRST AND LAST NAME”. Please do not send resume and cover letter in the body of the email or in different file formats. Thanks!
Time Posted: Jul 1, 2020 at 9:00 AM
The Rare Barrel
 
July 1, 2020 | The Rare Barrel

We're Hiring | QA/QC Manager

 
 
TITLE: QA / QC Manager
ABOUT: The Rare Barrel, an all-sour beer company based in Berkeley, CA, has an immediate opening for a full-time position as a QA / QC Manager. We are searching for someone responsible and trustworthy who can match our passion for sour beer and commitment to quality. We work as a team and share in both the difficulties and the fun aspects of working at a brewery. A degree in microbiology, chemistry, food science and/or brewing is required. Prior experience working in a brewery, winery or distillery is not required, but strongly preferred. This position will report directly to the Director of Blending and Brewing.
HOURS: Full time position, Monday - Friday, 8 am - 4:30 pm (approx.)
PAY: DOE
 
REQUIREMENTS
This is a physical position. The QA / QC Manager must be able to lift 120 lbs. (this is a bona fide occupational qualification) be able to stand for long periods of time, and be comfortable working on their feet.
 
Safety must always be a priority. Due to the physical nature of the job and the inherent risks of working in a production facility doing this job safely must be your first priority.
 
Must be honest, trustworthy, dedicated, hard-working, self-motivated as well as possess a great attitude and attention to detail. A personal commitment to cleanliness and organization is required.
 
Must love sours.
 
SKILLS
  • Teach and explain complex topics to production staff in a simple and straightforward way.
  • Laboratory, microbe isolation and QA/QC experience.
  • Expertise in microbiology, chemistry, fermentation and/or food science.
  • Troubleshooting and problem solving.
  • Working as an independent entity but also with the production team.
  • Working under pressure and multitasking.
  • Not just fixing problems but also anticipating problems.
  • Computer experience in MS Office and Google Drive.
DUTIES
Quality Assurance
Develop and maintain standards for all processes, ingredients and actions in brewing, primary fermentation, aging, blending, adding secondary ingredients and packaging to ensure the highest quality of our beer.
Coordinating and administering sensory analysis of ingredients and in-progress beers.
Manage yeast and bacteria health and performance.
Troubleshoot issues with in-progress beers.
 
Quality Control
Performing in-house analysis of beers and coordinating out-of-house testing.
Coordinating and administering sensory analysis of finished beers.
 
Administrative, Management and Other Duties
Coordinate all the relevant communication with all departments.
Develop all SOP and Best Practices for lab duties, equipment and managing the lab.
Train, manage and oversee any other lab staff members.
Keep lab and all lab related equipment clean and organized.
Procuring and maintaining lab supplies and equipment.
Recommending equipment upgrades with cost / benefit ratio analysis
Isolate, evaluate, propagate and maintain yeast and bacteria.
Keep OSHA, MSDS and other required practices and paperwork up to date.

Other duties as needed.

APPYLYING
Pre-employment background check and drug test required.
 
The Rare Barrel is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status.
 
To apply, please send a cover letter and resume as one .PDF document to jay at therarebarrel dot com with “QA/QC Manager – INSERT FIRST NAME LAST NAME” in the subject line. Thank you!

 

Time Posted: Jul 1, 2020 at 8:29 AM
The Rare Barrel
 
July 1, 2020 | The Rare Barrel

We're Hiring | Assistant Tasting Room Manager

The Rare Barrel, an all-sour beer company based in Berkeley, CA, has an immediate opening for a full-time position for an Assistant Tasting Room Manager. We are searching for someone responsible and trustworthy who can match our passion for sour beer and commitment to quality.
 

Hours

This position will require availability for 5 days per week, Wednesday-Sunday, which will be a combination of 1 Administrative Shift and 4 Tasting Room Shifts.
 
Administrative shifts, which do not include situations in the line of customer service, will occur every Wednesday and will generally be limited to a sum of 8 hours per week.
 
Tasting Room shifts are currently Thursdays 3:00-11:30PM, Fridays 3:00PM-11:30PM, Saturdays 12PM-11:30PM, and Sundays 12:00PM-9:00PM. Availability for special events, which occur around 5-7 times per year, is also required. Hours of operations are subject to change.
 

Pay

This is an hourly position, with competitive pay and opportunity for overtime. You will be included in the tip pool for all scheduled shifts on the Tasting Room floor.
 

Requirements

  • Applicants should have a great attitude and take pride in communicating effectively with customers and fellow employees.  
  • Applicants must be able to stand for long periods of time and be comfortable working on their feet. Applicants must also be able to lift 60 lbs (this is a bona fide requirement of the job)
  • Must pass the ABC LEAD certification (alcohol service) within 60 days of commencing employment, and ServSafe Food Server certification prior to first day working in the Tasting Room. Successful applicants must renew these certifications (or their equivalent if changed over time) thereafter in accordance with company policy and regulatory requirements.
  • Must be a team player, honest, trustworthy, dedicated, hard-working, self-motivated, and possess a keen attention to detail. A personal commitment to cleanliness and efficiency is required.
  • When clocked in under the Tasting Room Floor shift, the employee must spend 90-95% of their time in the line of service to remain in the tip pool.
  • Must love sours.

Note

  • This position does not have the ability to hire, fire, or formally discipline staff.

Duties

Service:

  • Greet guests in a welcoming manner
  • Verify age from a government issued ID card before serving alcohol
  • Efficiently take orders and promptly serve guests (food, bottled/draft beer, merchandise)
  • Maintain a knowledge of the TRB brand to address any guest questions
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of what sour beer is and how it is made
  • Be able to competently describe all products available for sale
  • Accurately calculate food and merchandise bills, collect payments, and handle cash
  • Prepare hot food according to safe food handling practices
  • Act as an overall outstanding ambassador for our growing company.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

  • Wash and rotate glassware
  • Maintain a clean bar during and after service
  • Assist in cleaning draft system on a regular basis
  • Bus tables, clean dishes, and clean kitchen at closing
  • Maintain clean bathrooms
  • Rotate kegs and help keep the cold box organized
  • Participate in opening and closing cleaning responsibilities

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Train new Tasting Room Servers in all aspects of the Tasting Room according to the Tasting Room SOP and Playbook.
  • Escalate any staff issues that may break Employee Handbook policy, break job description responsibilities, or cause conflict between staff that prevent them from performing their jobs to either the Tasting Room Manager or Director of Sales and Marketing.  
  • Oversee staff on Tasting Room floor when Tasting Room Manager is not working the floor to ensure they are adhering to the standards outlined in the Tasting Room SOP and Playbook.
  • Successfully handle any escalated customer issues. Escalate any unresolved issues to Tasting Room Manager or Director of Sales and Marketing
  • Accommodate VIP’s
  • Give brewery tours when needed
  • Continue training for Tasting Room servers on service, hospitality, menu items.  
  • Oversee the lunch break schedule during Tasting Room shifts
  • Monitor and respond to Tasting Room voicemails
  • Create Skus and Pricing for products sold in Tasting Room, accurately update POS with products, and set up POS for service.
  • Create and print accurate menus
  • Maintain and clean our draft system, which includes, but is not limited to, cleaning faucets, beer lines, replacing old or flavor-stained beer lines, labeling faucets with beer names, selecting the best line to put beers on,
  • Prepare End Of Week cash reports and replenish Cash Drawers and Petty Cash.
  • Order guest beer, wine, and coldbrew coffee.
  • Order and keep inventory in stock for beer serving gas, Tasting Room dry goods, and all other Tasting Room supplies. Maintain a clean and organized storage area in the Room of Requirement, area surrounding the printer, and conference room.
  • Submit beer and wine invoices to our Accountant with enough time for us to pay all vendors by the time each invoice is due.
  • Assist Tasting Room Manager in operations for special events
  • Run last minute supply errands for kitchen
  • Manage empty guest kegs and ensure they are returned to breweries in a timely manner and readily available for them to pick up when they deliver more kegs.

Some Benefits Include

  • Health Benefits - The Rare Barrel pays 80% of the premium for health benefits for any full time employee (30+ hours per week) for our bronze plan.
  • Paid Vacation - All employees accrue paid vacation at a rate of 2 weeks/year when employed for 0-3 years, 3 weeks per year when employed 3-5 years, and 5 weeks per year when employed for 5 or more years.
  • Beer, Food, Merch, and Discount - Every employee is given bottles of each bottle release, complementary beer in the Tasting Room (during and outside of normal hours of operation) while not clocked in on a shift, Employee Gift Card that can be used to purchase meals/additional bottles/merch, and a 40% Employee Discount.

Applying

  • Pre-employment background check and screening for illegal drugs (excluding cannabis) is required.
  • The Rare Barrel is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status.
  • To apply, please send a cover letter and resume as one .PDF document to Bobby at bobby@therarebarrel.com with “Assistant Tasting Room Manager – INSERT FIRST NAME LAST NAME” in the subject line. Thank you!
The Rare Barrel
 
April 1, 2020 | The Rare Barrel

We're Hiring | Tasting Room Manager

 

Title: Tasting Room Manager

About: The Rare Barrel, an award-winning all-sour beer company based in Berkeley, CA, has an opening for a full-time Tasting Room Manager. We are searching for a leader who is responsible and trustworthy, can match our passion for sour beer and commitment to excellent service, and who can exercise judgment and work independently. A team of eight Tasting Room Servers will report directly to the Tasting Room Manager, and the Tasting Room Manager will report to Director of Sales and Marketing.

Hours: Full-time position, Wednesday- Sunday. The Tasting Room is currently open to the public Thursday and Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 1-10pm, and Sunday 1-8pm. We will occasionally have events on Wednesdays or other days that the Tasting Room is not regularly open. The Tasting Room Manager should be present to lead the team during most hours of operation and complete administrative work on Wednesdays.

Pay: DOE. This is not a tipped position.

 

Requirements

Tasting Room Manager should have a great attitude and enjoy communicating effectively with employees, management, and customers.

Prior experience managing people in a restaurant and/or bar is required.

This is a physical position. Tasting Room Manager must be able to stand for long periods of time and be comfortable working on their feet. Applicants must also be able to lift 58 lbs. This is a bona fide requirement of the job.

Tasting Room Manager must maintain ABC LEAD certification (alcohol service) within 60 days of commencing employment and ServSafe Food Server certification prior to first day working in the tasting room. Tasting Room Manager must renew these certifications (or their equivalent if changed over time) thereafter in accordance with company policy and regulatory requirements.

Tasting Room Manager must be a leader, team player, honest, trustworthy, dedicated, disciplined, hardworking, self-motivated, possess an attention to detail, exercise good judgment and able to work independently. A personal commitment to cleanliness and efficiency is required.

Must love sours.

 

Duties

Operation: Tasting Room Manager will effectively lead and manage the tasting room staff to ensure the Tasting Room is operating efficiently. Additionally, this employee must maintain clear communication with the Director of Sales and Marketing around status of the Tasting Room. This employee is responsible for enforcing The Rare Barrel’s policies with their staff. This person is also responsible for monitoring inventory levels of consumables and equipment needed for operating the Tasting Room and reorder supplies when needed. Additional duties include staff scheduling, draft maintenance, and inventory management. The Tasting Room Manager will be presented with a wide variety of customer service as well as operational challenges and opportunities and must use his/her good judgment in addressing these on the spot and without supervision.

Service: Ensure our Tasting Room Servers greet customers, verify age from a government issued ID card before serving alcohol, take orders and promptly serve customers, address questions, sell merchandise, calculate food and merchandise bills, collect payments, understand products that are offered, and prepare food in accordance with ServSafe best practices. Tasting Room Manager shall recognize and greet club members when they first enter the Tasting Room and ensure that they have a great experience at The Rare Barrel.

Opening and Closing: Tasting Room Manager is responsible for opening and closing the tasting room according to the “Open/Close Checklist”, and for ensuring that the standards set by the Director of Sales and Marketing are maintained.

Cash: Responsible for opening and closing cash drawers. Tasting Room Manager is also responsible for dispersing tips and depositing an accurate deposit into the safe each night.

Events: Assist Director of Sales and Marketing in planning and executing events, on and off site.

Improvement: Tasting Room Manager is expected develop and implement strategies to continually improve the operations and customer experience in the Tasting Room.

Assist Director of Sales and Marketing in other activities related to serving and selling beer.

 

Applying

Pre-employment background check, DMV check, and drug test required.

The Rare Barrel is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or veteran status.

If you are interested in applying to this position, email your resume and cover letter to info@therarebarrel.com with the subject title “Tasting Room Manager – FIRST AND LAST NAME”.

The Rare Barrel
 
December 10, 2019 | The Rare Barrel

We're Hiring | Tasting Room Server

About

The Rare Barrel, a sour beer-focused brewery with rotating guest beers and a full kitchen, based in Berkeley, CA, has an immediate opening for a part-time position as a Tasting Room Server. We are searching for someone responsible and trustworthy who can match our passion for craft beer and commitment to quality. Prior experience working in a brewery, winery or distillery is preferred but not required.
 
This position reports directly to the Tasting Room Manager.
 
Hours | Minimum of 2 Tasting Room shifts per weekend, and 1 shift on Mondays (part-time, 22 hours/week).
Compensation | $15.00/hour + tips
 

Requirements

We are looking for a team player, who is honest, trustworthy, dedicated, hard-working, self-motivated as well as possess a great attitude and attention to detail. Applicants should also take pride in communicating effectively with customers and fellow employees. A personal commitment to cleanliness and organization is required.
 
Must be available to work weekends (Saturdays and Sundays).
 
This is a physical position. Applicants will be required to occasionally lift kegs ups to 60 lbs safely (this is a bona fide occupational qualification), to stand for long periods of time, and be comfortable working on their feet. Safety is always a priority. Due to the physical nature of the job and the inherent risks of working in a production facility doing this job safely is every employee’s first priority.
 
Applicants are required to pass the ABC LEAD certification (alcohol service) within 60 days of commencing employment, and ServSafe Food Server certification prior to the first day working in the Tasting Room & Kitchen. Applicants are required to renew these certifications (or their equivalent if changed over time) thereafter in accordance with company policy and regulatory requirements.
 
Must love craft beer.

Shifts and Availability

Tasting Room Shift Hours

  • Saturdays 10:00AM-11:30PM
  • Sundays 10:00AM-9:00PM
*Additional shifts may become available on Thursdays and Fridays
*Availability for special events, which occur around 12-15 times per year, is also required.
*Hours of operations are subject to change.

Duties & Responsibilities

Service:

  • Greet guests in a welcoming manner
  • Verify age from a government-issued ID card before serving alcohol
  • Efficiently take orders and promptly serve guests (food, bottled/draft beer, merchandise)
  • Maintain knowledge of the TRB brand to address any guest questions
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of what sour beer is and how it is made
  • Be able to competently describe all products available for sale and upsell customers on items to go, membership and subscriptions programs, food, and events
  • Accurately calculate food and merchandise bills, collect payments, and handle cash
  • Prepare and serve food according to safe food handling practices
  • Keep up to date with all of the dishes on our ever-changing food menu
  • Act as an overall outstanding ambassador for our growing company

Cleaning and Maintenance:

  • Maintain all TR glassware to a “beer-clean” standard
  • Maintain a clean bar during and after service
  • Assist in cleaning the draft system on a regular basis
  • Perform daily and weekly preventative maintenance on the Crowler machine
  • Bus tables, clean dishes, and clean kitchen at closing
  • Maintain clean bathrooms
  • Rotate kegs and help keep the cold box organized
  • Participate in opening and closing cleaning responsibilities
  • Participate in all-staff “Deep Clean” days

Applying

Pre-employment background check and screening for illegal drugs are required.
 
The Rare Barrel is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Rare Barrel recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, and other protected status as required by applicable law.
 
To apply, please send a resume and cover letter in a single PDF to daniel@therarebarrel.com with the subject “Tasting Room Application: LAST NAME, FIRST NAME”. Thank you!

 

Time Posted: Dec 10, 2019 at 8:55 AM
The Rare Barrel
 
July 9, 2019 | The Rare Barrel

Adventures in South America

A story told by Co-founder Alex Wallash

This story starts like many others… one friend introduces you to their friends however, this time around it doesn't stop there, some magic happens. In our case, our good friend Pete Slosberg introduced us to his friends Semilla, Ian, and Pisa from Juguetes Perdidos (a brewery in Argentina) and Oscar and German from Cerveceria Granizo (a brewery in Chile). Little did we know that we’d become friends and I'd have the pleasure to visit them in South America a year later.

Argentina

Festival de Cervezas Extremas Juguetes Perdidos (May 25th - 26th, 2019)

 
This adventure began in Buenos Aires, Argentia, where I started off with the Festival de Cervezas Extremas Juguetes Perdidos. To my best knowledge this was the first festival in Latin America that was foucused on serving barrel-aged and sour beers! There were 62 participating breweries (mostly from Latin America with a select handful from the rest of the world) that poured their beers in a futbol (read: soccer) stadium in Juguetes Perdido’s neighborhood. Over 1,500 people attended the festival each day that had traveled from all across Latin America. For this first festival of it’s kind, the feeling in the air was electric.
 
The festival was EPIC. It was a huge honor that The Rare Barrel was one of the handfull of breweries from the USA that was able to participate. This was our first time sharing our beer in South America and we're excited about the opportunity. Personally I was incredibly excited to try some amazing mixed-culture and sour beers made in South America and really enjoyed tasting Catharina Sours, which I would say are closest described to a fruited Berliner Weise… light acidity, bright fruit character, balanced, and delightfully crushable. It's hard to describe all of the tasty beers I was able to try at this festival because there were so many!!!
 
I shared our sour beers...
 
And made some friends...
 

Collaboration & Asado

After the festival on May 27th, 2019, I had an amazing day brewing with our friends at Juguetes Perdidos. I got to enjoy many of their beers (which were fantastic) and listened to how Semilla taught homebrewing for free in Argentina for 15 years and had 16 barrels of sour beer in his living room before starting Juguetes Perdidos. 
 
We brewed a beer with a simple grist of 2-row and unmalted barley, mashed at a high temperature to favor some longer chain dextrins, added a small amount of bittering hops to the boil, and then knocked-out the beer into their new coolship!
 
Our brew was the second time they’ve used the coolship and from what we know, Juguetes Perdidos has the first coolship in South America! (*Note: it was the beginning of winter in South America with temperatures that were ideal for a coolship project.)
 
The brew day turned into an amazing hang sesh with ~20 people from 10 different breweries and asado (aka Argentinian BBQ). If you ever visit Argentina, you must try asado… it’s delectable. Free-range meat smoked over a wood fire and seasoned with nothing but salt, it’s simple and perfect. There is a real sense of community at Juguetes Perdidos, they have asado every Friday afternoon together, but if you don't have the pleasure of joining them, Los Talas is an amazing asado joint that I hope to visit again. 
 
Hanging with Ian, Pisa, and Semilla on the roof of Juguetes Perdidos...
 

Dinner, Beers, and Conversation

When the collab day was over, we headed over to Belgica, a craft beer bar and restaurant where we had a beer pairing dinner with four of our beers from The Rare Barrel.  Great food was enjoyed...
 
And stories were shared...
 
Tuesday night was quite special too, as Phil from Almanac, Zack from KCBC, and I got to speak to a theater full of brewers, homebrewers, and enthusiasts about how we make beer...
 
 
 
I was supposed to leave for Chile Wednesday morning, but due to a nation-wide strike, my flight was canceled. No worries...that gave a day to hang out with Mati and Nico at Dos Dingos for another asado while they collab’d with KCBC...
and some time to see Tor at Strange Brewing, who has some really cool mixed-culture projects in barrels right now. 

Chile

Waves, Beers, and More BBQ

Chile got off to a super chill start. I spent the first 3 nights with Jason, a surfer from California who has lived in Chile for 23 years and now grows hops in Chile under the name Lupulos Mantagua. Surfs and grows hops? Yea... we hit it off!
 
By day, we traveled around in search of surf, by night, we talked hops. On Saturday night, Oscar from Cervezeria Granizo invited us over to his house for a BBQ, where we were joined by our friend Peter Bouckaert (Purpose Brewing and Cellars) and where I was reuinited with my travel buddy Phil Emerson (Almanac).
 

Congreso De Barrel Aged & Sour Beer and Collaboration

On Monday, June 3rd, 2019,  I had the honor of speaking at the first Congreso Barrel Aged & Sour Beer, which was the first conference in Chile (and likely Latin America) specifically focused on producing barrel-aged and sour beer.
 
It was incredibly rewarding and special to speak on behalf of The Rare Barrel and share what we know about making sour beer along with other speakers like Peter Bouckaert (Purpose Brewing), Oscar (Cervezeria Granizo), Phil (Almanac), and more. HUGE shoutout to Cerveceria Granizo for organizing and hosting this conference! 
 
After the conference, we headed to Valpariso for a late night of celebrating where I couldn’t get enough of Granizo’s IRA … India Rosemary Ale. It might sound a little crazy on paper, but wow, that beer is amazing!
 
On the last day in Chile, I was happy to spend it making a beer with our friends at Granizo. We brewed some wort to make a saison base beer, but were lucky to score some whole cone hops grown by my new friend Jason at Lupulos Mantagua. The plan for this beer is to innoculate it with some of our mixed-culture after primary fermentation and then let the beer age and acidify in some Chilean Oak and Alerce barrels. 
 

Thank You

I am incredbily thankful to those who helped make this trip to Argentia and Chile so amazing! In particular I'd like to thank Pete Slosberg for introducing us to our new South American friends, Juguetes Perdidos in Argentina for hosting the Festival de Cervezas Extremas and for asking us to make beer with you all, Cerveceria Granizo in Chile for hosing the Congreso De Barrel Aged and Sour Beers, Miguel Rivas (@TheBeerTrekker) for taking amazing photos in Argentina, and all the amazing brewers in South America I met along the way who were so welcoming. 
- Alex
The Rare Barrel
 
January 22, 2019 | The Rare Barrel

SF Beer Week | Just Around The Corner

San Francisco Beer Week is just around the corner and we are excited about what we have planned this year! We've been working hard to create fun, exciting, and unique beer experiences for you all. Check out what we've got going on in the Tasting Room & Kitchen. 
 

NorCal vs SoCal | The Rematch

Saturday, February 2nd, 1PM - 7PM @ The Rare Barrel

Currently NorCal holds the title for superior beer makers after taking the lead at our first showdown last SF Beer Week, but this is The Rematch and the match-ups are even more intense. Who will come out as victor? You decide.
 
This friendly competition will pit 14 NorCal breweries up against 14 SoCal breweries and  let our guests vote on their favorite beers. Participating breweries will be matched up with a brewery from the opposing region depending on style. Guests will be asked to blind taste by style and cast votes on which beer they like better (not knowing who brewed what). The region with the most points at the end of the day will be take the title.  Check out the list of breweries below along with beer style match-ups.
 
UPDATE: NORCAL WINS 625 to 597
 
STYLE MATCH-UPS/ BREWERIES/BEERS/STICKER COLOR
 
Barrel-aged Sour Beer (fruited)
Almanac, Farmer's Reserve No. 5 (black) vs. The Lost Abbey, Veritas 019 (orange)
Barrel-aged Sour Beer (non-fruited)
The Rare Barre, Forces Unseen 18 (blue) vs Cellador, Sacre (yellow)
Grisette
Yeast of Eden, Family Miner (black) vs. Bruery Terreux, Minor Miner (orange)
Farmhouse Ale
Sante Adairius, Cellarman (blue) vs. Highland Park, Saison 300 (yellow)
West Coast IPA
Faction, Faction/Chapman IPA (black) vs. Societe, The Pupil (orange)
West Coast DIPA
Urban Roots, Bigger On The Inside (black) vs. Beachwood Brewing, Greenshift (orange)
Hazy Pale Ale
Armistice, Pilly (red) vs. Green Cheek, Taste The Ceiling (teal)
Hazy IPA
Cellarmaker, Turok Juice (blue) vs. Burgeon Beer, Fine Tuned (yellow)
Hazy DIPA
Humble Sea, Juice of Hazard (red) vs. Pure Project, Clouds of Delusion (teal)
Pilsner
Russian River, STS (red) vs. Fireston Walker, Pivo (teal)
Lager
Temescal, Pils (blue) vs. Eagle Rock, Plan 9 (yellow)
Stout/porter
Sierra Nevada, Stout (red) vs. Bagby, New Order (teal)
Imperial Stout (non-barrel aged)
Moksa, Moksa One (blue) vs. Pizza Port, SAF Stour (yellow)
Barrel-aged Stout
FiftyFifty, Mocho Nut Eclipse (red) vs. Modern Times, Devil's Teeth with Macademia Nuts, Coconut, and Cocoa (teal)
 
Real Smoked BBQ is bringing a massive smoker to our parking lot again and will dishing up some amazing BBQ for this weekend. Come hungry and thirsty!

Sour Super Bowl Sunday with Creature Comforts

Sunday, February 3rd, 1PM - 10PM @ The Rare Barrel

Join us for the big game! For all you football fans and beer lovers, we'll be airing the Super Bowl on our big screen and serving up a bunch of cool beers from our friends at Creature Comforts Brewing. Blake Tyers, Creature Comforts Wood Cellar & Specialty Brand Manager will be in the brewery, hanging out and watching the game with us.
 
Real Smoked BBQ will be on site for some finger-licking good food. Have your own Super Bowl plans? Stop by to grab some beers to go!

Avec des Amis Bottle Release Party | Side Project Brewing & The Rare Barrel collaboration

Thursday, February 7th, 4PM - 10PM @ The Rare Barrel

Join us for the public bottle release of Avec des Amis, this collaborative sour is a blend of golden sour beers aged in oak barrels selected with friends from Side Project Brewing. This sour was refermented with fresh Summer Sweet white peaches and Viking Pearl white nectarines from Blossom Bluff Orchards, and is bold with fresh juicy peach character and a tart nectarine finish. Along with this bottle, we will have a variety of guest beer from Side Project!
 
Come for beers and stay for dinner. The Tasting Room & Kitchen will be in full swing and dishin’ up some awesome food to enjoy with these tasty brews.

Sour Vibez 3 Day Beer & Music Festival

We’re putting out the vibe, the sour vibez. Come move to the groove, tap your toes, and enjoy the musical tunes from various artists in our 2nd Sour Vibes Beer & Music Festival! Now spanning 3 days we have a little bit of everything for everyone. Check out what we have planned for each day.
 
Friday, February 8th, 4PM - 12AM | New School
 
It’s going to be a banger! We’re opening at 4PM but we’re keeping the party going until midnight with all your favorite new school vibes. Dance yourselves clean all night, we’re playing everything from house to rap. We also got a lineup of beers to satiate your new school dreams with everything from Hazy IPAs, Pastry Stouts,to tasty sours. We may even be releasing a new line of beers...in a can... from The Rare Barrel (more info at a later date.) Hungry? Grab a bite from our kitchen.
 
DJs GUEST BEERS FROM TENTATIVE TRB CAN RELEASE
Alexxmillerr Alvarado St. Brewing * more details to come
Puppy Party Faction Brewing  
JennBale Hill Farmstead  
Diva Tbale Jester King Brewery  
and more Modern Times Beer  
  Social Kitchen  
  Weldwerks Brewing  
Saturday, February 9th, 1PM - 10PM | Old School
 
Oldies but goldies! We’re going to celebrate music and beers from our past with artists, duos, and bands that love taking it old school and draw inspiration from musical classics. We’ll also have a lineup of vintages from our cellar on draft as well as some of your favorite vintages from guest breweries. If you are looking to take some bottles to go we will also have a limited number of bottles available from our cellar. Hungry? Don't worry I'll kitchen will be open.
 
ARTISTS GUEST VINTAGES FROM TRB CELLAR SALE
Katz Roar Deschutes Brewery *tbd
Matt Jaffe Cellarmaker Brewing   
John Courage Firestone Walker  
DJ White Wheat The Lost Abbey  
  Perennial Artisan Ales  
  Russian River Brewing  
  Sante Adairius  
  The Bruery  
Sunday, February 10th, 1PM - 8PM | All That Jazz
 
We're putting out those jazzy vibes for the last day of beer week. We'll have a few jazz bands jamming through out the day and we'll also be improvising with our beer list. Various beers from throughout the week will be available in the Tasting Room & Kitchen and the menu will be rotating through out the day. Not all beers from our events are guaranteed.
 
ARTISTS GUEST BEER FROM
Underscore Trio *various beers served from throughout SFBW
Analog Us *menu is subject to change throughout the day.
and more!  

Come for the music and beer and enjoy some grub from our kitchen.


Off-site Events

Sours from The Rare Barrel can also be enjoyed at the following events: SFBW Opening Gala (2/1), Sour Sh!tstorm at Old Devil Moon (2/2), Sour Sunday at Jupiter (2/3),  Knights of the Dank Table at Toronado (2/4), An Evening with Sante Adairius + The Rare Barrel at The Crafty Fox 2/5), The Rare Barrel Tap Takeover at Ale Arsenal (2/6) Womxn on Beer Panel at Temescal (2/6), Mash The Patriarchy at Mission Cheese (2/7), CCBA @ Trumer Fest (2/9) and more...
 
Enjoy an epic Beer Week and see y’all in the Tasting Room & Kitchen

 

The Rare Barrel
 
August 8, 2018 | The Rare Barrel

5th Anniversary Day Party | Saturday, October 6th

​We want to personally invite you to attend our 5th Anniversary Day Party on Saturday, October 6th. This is a big milestone for us so we are going big and changing our party up a bit.
 
Tickets are now on sale, please check out details below on the different tickets available online.
 

5th Anniversary Day Party Details

  • $5 beers - this included TRB sours )many coming out of the cellar) as well as guest beers
  • 5th Anniversary Sour bottles - we packaged our first bottle of an Anniversary Sour. We’ll have bottles of 5th Anniversary Sour available to go (while supplies last)
  • DJs all day
  • Food Trucks
  • New Merchandise
  • Raffle (to benefit ALS research)
  • Dunk Tank
  • Games & more…
There are just a few things to note…
 
  • You must have a ticket to enter however, your ticket will allow you to leave and re-enter the party
  • There will be no entry after 6PM
  • You must show a valid for of ID at the door along with your ticket to enter
  • There will be no growler fills during this event
  • We will not be able to accomodate Ambassador pick-ups during this event
  • No outside food and drinks will be allowed
  • Due to this event there will be limited parking, we suggest taking alternative forms of transportation to and from The Rare Barrel

click here to purchase tickets


 

Day Party Ticket Types

General Admission | Saturday, October 6th 1PM - 7PM
$25 online, $30 at the door ticket includes entry, commemorative glass, 1st pour, 1 raffle ticket, and access to purchase 5th Anniversary Sour bottles.
 
Designated Driver/Under 21 | Saturday, October 6th 1PM - 7PM
$10 ticket includes entry
 
*tax and processing fees will be applied to all ticket orders
The Rare Barrel
 
May 7, 2018 | The Rare Barrel

Blurred... somewhere between beer and wine

In a continued attempt to expand our processes and knowledge, The Rare Barrel team decided to delve into the world of beer/wine hybrids. As we have steadily forged our way into the world of fresh and unpasteurized fruits, wine grapes inevitably became an ingredient of interest.
 
Before we made moves to actually get the grapes in hand however, we had to answer a few questions. We were going to combine two incredibly different fermentation processes, so it was important that we were thorough in our planning to ensure a unique and expressive product. After months of research and a load of information from our friends at other breweries, we came to a few simple questions that we needed to ask ourselves.
 
What varietals were we going to use?
How would we process the ingredients?
What beer would work best with wine grapes?
How would we ferment everything?
 

WHAT GRAPES? AND HOW DO WE GET THEM?

Due to a number of circumstances, there were some mild limitations on the varietals available to us. Our intent for a red wine hybrid was to truly showcase the fruit, which led us to lean toward the fruitier, jammier, richer varietals such as Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, and Zinfandel.  As for a white varietal, we specifically had our eyes set on Chardonnay. We have some phenomenal oak forward Chardonnay barrel aged beers in the cellar and we were looking to compound upon this character with the addition of grapes. Unfortunately, we were unable to source any fresh white wine grapes as we had started the search too late into the harvest season. We were also barred from tapping into our immediate neighbors to the north in Napa and Sonoma due to a series of devastating wildfires. Much of the remaining crop was either affected by smoke taint or destroyed outright, which resulted in a number of particular varietals becoming unobtainable. Fortunately, there are a number of other beautiful grape growing regions in Northern California which allowed us to follow through with the idea of using a local grape source. We eventually made contact with a vineyard in Amador County who was able to supply us with nearly one ton of incredible late season Merlot and Petite Sirah.
 
Our timing could not have been better, as we were able to clip the grapes just a few days before the first major storm of the fall.  The sudden rainfall would have either caused rot or destroyed the fruit, ultimately ending the harvest season and closing our window. Pushing the harvest so late into the season however, allowed the fruit to ripen much longer on the vines than typical. This yielded a much higher sugar level, a more concentrated fruit flavor, and drier/less green stems. All of these factors helped contribute to an accentuated fruit character in the final product.
 

PROCESSING, PROCESSING, AND MORE PROCESSING

After harvesting the grapes came the processing. We at first attempted hand processing the grapes, which we quickly realized was an incredibly painstaking process that would have resulted in the fruit spoiling before we could finish. We decided to reach out to a local wine cellar who was kind enough to lend us their grape processing equipment. The crusher/destemmer made quick work of the ton of whole fruit and really saved the day for us. The fruit that we yielded from the crushing/destemming process provided us with the base fruit we would utilize for the majority of our wine/beer experiment.
 
As it was our first year using this fruit, we wanted to gather as much data as possible on its interaction with our beer. There were numerous methods through which we could have introduced the fruit into the beer, but we settled on utilizing three different fruit processing methods: purée, destem/crush, and whole cluster.
 
The degree to which we processed the fruit seemed to exhibit the biggest impact on the flavor of the final product. The idea of pureeing the grapes was both intriguing and worrisome; we felt that the pureed fruit would result in the best extraction, as the contact between the fruit and beer would be maximized. This maximized extraction however, could potentially pull out some of the less desirable characters from the wine grapes, such as tannin and astringency. In the end, the pureed grapes produced the juiciest, fullest, and most flavorful beer. None of the anticipated tannin or astringency translated to the final product and the fruit character was some of the most expressive we have ever experienced. The more traditional fruiting method of crush/destem worked well too. The crushed/destemmed fruit allowed us to pull strong fruit character without any of the harsher qualities of the grape expressing themselves.
 
Whole cluster fruiting was by far and away the most unique fruiting method we have attempted. Before we crushed/destemmed the bulk of our stock we set aside about 500 lbs. of whole grape clusters.  We took a page from a more traditional method of wine fermentation and added whole clusters of the fruit (stem and all) to the beer. The thought process behind this method of addition was to allow the fruit to undergo a semi-carbonic maceration fermentation method. The theory we had for this fermentation method was that each individual grape would undergo its own internal fermentation, and as CO2 was built up, the fruit would burst and release its contents into the main body of the beer. This would allow for a steady flow of fermentables to work their way into the beer as it aged in the barrel, as opposed to the immediate flood of sugar introduced in a more standard fruiting method. This fruiting method seems to have created a more complex final product. Not only was there a noticeable flavor contribution from the stems, but the slower pace of fermentation seems to have helped promote the retention of some more delicate aromatic profiles.
 

EXPERIMENTS IN FERMENTATION

After fruit processing, we had to decide the types of beer we would ferment the fruit in.  Again, to obtain a better understanding of the interaction between our beer and wine grapes, we chose a number of different bases to fruit. The first two base blends we settled on were a more standard approach to fruited beer. We utilized an aged blend (the typical approach we would apply to any other fruit refermentation) as well as a fresh/young mixed culture beer.  As we were expecting a significant drop in pH and a corresponding increase in acidity, we tried to fruit blends that were less acidic than our typical bases. The acidity of the aged blend in particular was something we tried our best to keep in check, as an aggressive acid profile could end up masking the more delicate characteristics of the fruit. To our surprise, the resulting products picked up relatively little acidity even though an incredible amount of readily fermentable fruit sugar had been added. Both the aged and young blends ended up showcasing a pronounced fruit profile while maintaining the expressive, yeast forward foundation set forth by the base beers.
 
As aforementioned, the majority of the barrels we fermented were with a varied collection of mixed culture blends, and those more or less panned out as we expected. We did however, employ a number of atypical processes to ferment our beer/wine hybrids as well. One of the more unique fermentations we did attempt was a “natural,” fermentation process.  We added the grapes to unfermented wort and let the naturally occurring yeasts on the grape skins take on the brunt of the fermentation tasks. Though there were a few days of lag before any noticeable fermentation took place, the beer eventually took off and has been aging nicely.
 
Another unique fermentation process we experimented with was open fermentation. We removed the heads from a number of our oak barrels, added the fruit, and racked beer on top. There are obvious risks involved with this practice as the beer is exposed directly to the open air, which could quickly lead to the development of undesirable off flavors. The pay-off would be a potentially more expressive and unique final product. We punched down the fruit twice a day for the first week and once a day for the second week. To mitigate the surface’s constant exposure to oxygen, we employed another strategy from the wine world and laid a small layer of dry ice on the fruit’s surface. This was done in hopes of creating a thin blanket of CO2 after the majority of the initial fermentation had ceased.  Seemingly the layer of CO2 curbed the growth of acetobacter and yielded a fairly clear expression of yeast and fruit. Ultimately, the open fermentation has resulted in a beer that has expressive yeast character while retaining the grape’s intrinsic wine elements. Though it was one of the more involved methods, this beer actually reached stability before the others and was the first to be released.
 

WITH GRATITUDE

These beers are the result of a collaborative effort and could not have been created without the kindness of our local community.  We were fortunate enough to have the help our neighboring winemaking friends to accomplish the production of these beers. We’d like to give special thanks to John of Golden Leaves Vineyards in Amador County for providing such amazing fruit for us to work with. We would also like to thank Bob of Urbano Cellars for not only providing us with the machinery we needed but with priceless advice on our overall process. These beers took a lot of time to figure out and think through as we were attempting something quite foreign to us here at The Rare Barrel. We hope that the results are worth the effort and that we can share the products with everyone in the coming months.
 
 
Tommy Kim
Senior Cellar Technician
Time Posted: May 7, 2018 at 10:35 AM
The Rare Barrel
 
March 15, 2018 | The Rare Barrel

The Next Search for The Rare Barrel | Barrel N6Z

 
Long story short... We conducted our first Search for The Rare Barrel back in September of 2016 and found Barrel p9t. Over the course of 3 days, our friends along with some of our Ambassadors of Sour participated in an extensive tasting of our barrel house in order to find the best barrel of beer...aka “The Rare Barrel.” Well, the time has come for us to conduct our second Search for The Rare Barrel this April! We’re changing it up a little so make sure to check out more info below.
 
Long story long... our namesake, The Rare Barrel, and The Search for The Rare Barrel, is inspired by the epic story of pH1. pH1 is an oak barrel, and she was crafted in France from French oak in 1990. After a few years of housing wine, she found her way to New Belgium Brewing, where she was part of their original sour beer program. With Lauren Salazar as pH1’s shepherd at New Belgium, pH1 helped define the process and flavor profile of La Folie, an amazing and pioneering sour brown ale.  Around 2003, pH1 disappeared (or was secretly gifted, depending who you ask) to Vinnie Cilurzo at Russian River Brewing Company. While at Russian River, pH1 contributed to the first batches of Beatification, their spontaneously fermented beer, and spent the following 11 years contributing to their exceptional sours. When we heard this story about the travels of pH1 and her impact on these breweries, we were inspired by an idea… the idea that there is one barrel that stands out from the rest. There’s a rare barrel that houses an amazing, and possibly perfect, blend of yeast and bacteria. We named ourselves The Rare Barrel because of pH1.  Shortly after our first Search for The Rare Barrel, Barrel pH1 mysteriously showed up at our back door. No joke! We received an unexpected delivery at the back door of our warehouse and when the truck rolled up its door, Barrel pH1 sat there alone, waiting to call The Rare Barrel her next home. We were lucky enough to shepherd her for the next year and bottled a single barrel of her beer. She now has traveled on to her next journey, back with old friend Peter Bouckaert, one of her original shepherds at New Belgium Brewing and now at his own brewery Purpose Brewing. We are looking forward to continuing to follow her story while we continue to search for our very own rare barrel.
 
WHAT | The Search for The Rare Barrel will spanned 4 days. A group of our Ambassadors of Sour and some friends in the Industry  (a.k.a. The Search Party) tasted and ranked barrel samples throughout the final two days of The Search. We crunched the data from The Search Party to find the best barrels in our barrel house. Founders Jay Goodwin, Alex Wallash, and Brad Goodwin tasted through the selected best barrels from The Search and, from those, select The Rare Barrel 2018, barrel N6Z.
 
TOP TEN TO THE RARE BARREL 2018 | The top 10 oak barrels selected from The Search for The Rare Barrel were blended along with a splash of The Rare Barrel 2018 (the majority of The Rare Barrel 2018 will be used to ferment future batches) and bottled on Wednesday, May 2nd 2018.
 
N6Z (The Rare Barrel 2018)
F7K
N9N
D2E
F2P
E8Y
i5P
E2S
N2J
Q5Z
o8L
Time Posted: Mar 15, 2018 at 9:00 AM
 

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