SAN FRANCISCO — In celebration of SF Beer Week, the San Francisco Brewers Guild is proud to announce the release of their new collaboration beer called Green Death. It’s a modern interpretation of a historic West Coast ale once produced in San Francisco, that beer fans have enjoyed in green bottles and cans since Prohibition ended.
Green Death will be served for the first time at the SF Beer Week Opening Celebration on Friday, February 8th, at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco. After the event, Green Death will be available on draft only, from February 9-17 at Guild member locations and a limited number of bars throughout the Bay Area.
The inspiration for Green Death was once produced at 1550 Bryant Street in San Francisco, beginning in 1934, where a staggering 350,000 barrels of beer were produced each year. It wasn’t labeled Green Death back then. That became the beer’s affectionate nickname in the 1960’s, and has persisted ever since, because of its green packaging, unsuspecting high alcohol content, and later popularity as a 40-ounce malt liquor product.
Over the years, Green Death has also been a favorite of several important San Franciscans. Celebrated Chronicle writer, Charles McCabe, consistently mentioned the beer in his column. He even referred to it as his “working breakfast,” which he would enjoy at 8am while reading the paper after working all night to meet a deadline. Neal Cassady, famous for his role in Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road, was also fond of Green Death. According to literary lore, he once traded his San Francisco cab driver badge for a bottle.
The members of the San Francisco Brewers Guild have turned up the volume on the 1934 version of this historic ale by using high quality ingredients, a larger amount of hops, and decided to push the alcohol content even higher. Green Death was made at Speakeasy Ales & Lagers using 2-row malt, Cluster hops, California ale yeast, and 30% of the recipe consisted of flaked corn, which gives it a creamy texture and bumped the alcohol by volume up to 7.75%. The resulting beer is smooth, rich in flavor, and surprisingly not boozy. It will go down very easy, so be careful!
Green Death is part of a series of collaboration beers that the San Francisco Brewers Guild has created each year since SF Beer Week was launched in 2009. According to San Francisco Brewers Guild Executive Director, Brian Stechschulte, “The brewers enjoy working together each year on one-off recipes that challenge conventions, acknowledge brewing history, and surprise beer fans. Green Death is a wonderful addition to our lineup of collaboration beers.”
The San Francisco Brewers Guild would like to thank SF Beer Week sponsor, Brewers Supply Group, for donating some of the ingredients to make Green Death. Their support is greatly appreciated.