By Kim Schimke
I’m not one to turn down free anything. So when Angelo asked me to attend the Widmer Brothers’ Explore Your Craft event in San Francisco at the Terra Gallery, my inner freeloader was quick to accept. Not to mention that the contemporary venue, catered gourmet nosh, singer/songwriter entertainment, and live artist demonstration made me feel like a pretty classy broad for an evening. Widmer did a fine job of hosting an event that combined the finest offerings in life: beer, food, music, and art.
Having 14 different beers to sample, this night was a marathon, not a sprint. If I were writing a short novel, I would name all the varieties and my tasting notes on each. But, for the sake of brevity, I will stick to the standouts. I was very pleased with the Pitch Black IPA. This IPA had a very nice finish and the tasty malt flavor was evident. A very drinkable IPA. The Krystal Pear, which is a Widmer Brothers and Pear Bureau Northwest lovechild, was a filtered wheat beer that I found incredibly light, refreshing, and pleasant. The low ABV and IBU’s also made for easy consumption. Then we have the Milk Stout. The chocolate notes were prevalent and the smooth mouth feel was rather delightful. A solid stout.
The food pairings, which were provided by Fork & Spoon Catering, were phenomenal. I know I was not alone in this conclusion, as I saw multiple folks returning for seconds…or eighths. No matter the venue or event, if free food is offered, people will get all Costco on the samples. As I am not a chef or Cicerone, I cannot attest to the mastery of pairing selections. However, I like beer and food and often enjoy the two simultaneously, so from that experience alone, I can assert that the pairings were well chosen (read: yummy).
Bethany Rose was captivating as she produced her work of art. Her style is rather unique and the intensity in her painting method made for a good show while I sipped. Curt Yagi, the musician, gave the ears of the attendees some lovin’ as the crowd migrated from station to station.
Overall, all the elements of this shindig were harmoniously orchestrated. It was a perfect atmosphere for socialization, relaxation, and enjoying some quality brews. I explored my craft, which was freeloading, and from that, was able to appreciate and participate in a beer centric experience.