Tag Archives: San Jose

Barfly’s View: Original Gravity Public House in San Jose, CA

Shortly after I arrived in San Jose this week, I wandered over to the Original Gravity Public House—or the O.G. Pub, as I’ve come to call it. I found the Original Gravity Public House in downtown San Jose via a Google search for “best beer bars in San Diego.” And I’m glad I did; the O.G. Pub is a great beer-nerd hangout.

The bar had more than 20 quality craft beers on tap, a good percentage of which were local, and a small-but-interesting bottle list. I visited two days in a row, and on the second day they had three different beers on tap. Original Gravity Public House opened relatively recently, and the atmosphere could use a little work. But it does have the cool, bar-top glass rinsers I wrote about recently. The bartenders are friendly. It serves delicious sausage from local Bay-Area butchers and gourmet grilled cheese. (I can’t vouch for the cheese sandwiches, but the spicy chicken sausage sandwich I had was fucking awesome.) And it’s the only bar I’ve ever been to that has a beer list in HD on a big-ass flat screen TV.

UBN

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I Haz Pliny, Motherfuckers

Russian River Pliny the Elder bottles

If you’re a true beer nerd, you know Pliny the Elder. You may not have actually tried it, but you know Pliny.

The double IPA from Sonoma County, California’s Russian River Brewing Company is easily one of the best and most complex IPAs ever made. And it’s extremely difficult to find, especially outside of northern California.

Whenever I’m in the Bay Area, I make it a point to track down Pliny. And I usually find it in the strangest places; it’s never in the beer bars I visit, and in the bars that do normally have it, the keg was just kicked or something. I found today’s bottles in a weird little wing joint that was featured on The Travel Channel’s Man v Food, called SmokeEaters. (My Plinys—yes, I had two, I had to—were bottled less than a month ago, and they were super fresh.) When I was in San Francisco earlier this summer I found Pliny on draft at a sports bar near Union Square, the 4th Street Bar & Grill.

But it really doesn’t matter where you drink it, Pliny the Elder never disappoints.

From Russian River:

“Pliny the Elder, born in 23 AD, was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer and writer. Pliny and his contemporaries created the original botanical name for hops, ‘Lupus Salictarius,’ meaning ‘wolf among scrubs.’ Hop vines at that time grew wild among willows, likened to wolves roaming wild in the forest. Pliny the Elder died in 79 AD while saving people during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what his uncle experienced during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. This beer is an homage to the man who discovered hops and perished while being a humanitarian. “

UBN

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Barfly’s View: Good Karma Vegan Cafe in San Jose, CA

Good Karma Vegan Cafe in San Jose, CA

I’m working in San Jose this week, and one of the first things any self-respecting urban beer nerd does when he/she is out of town is find a reputable beer bar, post haste.

My (wonderful, beautiful and tolerant) girlfriend, who stayed at home in Mass. this week, is always trying to get me to eat at vegan joints in Boston. For the most part, her efforts are for naught; I’m not really a full-on meat eater—I do not dig on swine, nor the bovine—but I love chicken, and I’m definitely not a vegetarian or, gasp, VEGAN, either. My girlfriend definitely is a vegan, which makes for some interesting situations, as you can imagine, especially after we’ve hit a few beer bars.

Anyway, my point: No sooner did I leave Boston today than I ended up in a vegan/vegetarian spot: Downtown San Jose’s Good Karma Vegan Cafe. Good Karma was recommended to me by the bartender at the Original Gravity Public House, which is right across the street from Good Karma in San Jose. (Barfly’s View of the OG Pub House coming soon.)

I’ve only been to Good Karma once, but it was love at first sight—and I’ll be returning before I head home later this week. It’s not really a bar; it’s a café. But its craft beer selection shames many other legitimate beer bars. Whoever is stocking Good Karma’s shelves knows what they’re doing. The café has between 15 and 20 drafts at any given time (Russian River’s Pliny the Elder is frequently on draft) and a packed refrigerator of great, rare brews. If you’re ever in San Jose, and you’re seeking a unique local draft or a hard-to-find bottle, you won’t be disappointed with Good Karma—especially if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan.

UBN

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