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SAVOR Brewery Profile: Gordon Biersch (@Gordon_Biersch)

Founded in 1988, Dan Gordon and Dean Biersch set out to make a “brewery restaurant.” With his beer teeth cut at The Technical University of Munich, Dan set out to make ales and lagers in accordance with the Reinheitsgebot going as far as importing a German yeast strain (Weihensteph anyone?) to their Palo Alto-based brewery restaurant.

Location: Production—San Jose, CA (Brewpubs—too many to name)

Type: Brewpub/Production brewery

Available in DC Market: Yes

Beer #1 Gordon Biersch Altbier (German-Style Brown Ale/Dussledorf-Style / 6.5% ABV )

Notes: This is an award-winning malt dominated version of an alt with a low hop profile. Appropriate for the style, this alt will make a wonderful accompaniment to the bratwurst and potato pancake. Just make sure this isn’t your last pairing for the evening, otherwise we’ll have to roll you home.

Beer Advocate: B+ (3 Reviews)
Rate Beer: 54 overall, 50 style

Beer #2: Gordon Biersch Maibock (Maibock/Helles Bock /7.3 % ABV)

Notes: If this beer was a Psychopharmacologist it would take patients to task for being unbalanced. A strong-dose of caramel malt, hersbrucker bittering hops and hallertau aroma hops create an incredibly well-balanced bock. Despite only 25 IBUs the hops are still detectable thanks to the incredibly clean-fermenting  Weihenstephan 34/70 yeast strain. The chewy caramel sweetness of the bock should pair nicely with the grilled hanger steak.

Beer Advocate: B- (40 Reviews)
Rate Beer:
73 overall, 89 style

In the words of Dave Chappelle (à la R. Kelly), “haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love.” Admittedly some of the DC Beer staff detests the Maibock; I am not one of them. In my mind there is an art to making an incredibly balanced beer just as there is an art to adding ingredients like licorice, carrots or raisins. The alt won a bronze at the 2007 and 2009 Great American Beer Festival; this is an indicator of how well the brewery restaurant/production brewery is regarded.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2011 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.

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