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Monday, August 5, 2013

08/05 - Cheers to Beer with The Trappist

The Trappist is a specialty beer café conceived by partners Aaron Porter and Chuck Stilphen, with the goal of bringing the finest beer available all under one roof. Their beers are served properly at the correct temperature and in the correct glass led by cicerone-certified staff. Their bottle list features a rotating stock of approximately 100 Belgian, Dutch, Scandinavian and American craft brews as well as 28 rotating taps which feature Belgian, local (California), and several specialty micro brews from the US. There aren’t any big corporate brews to be found; just the finest artisan beers. Trappist Chef Anthony Roark has crafted a menu stocked with beer –friendly dishes that enhance the experience or can be enjoyed on their own.

Located in an 1870's Victorian building in downtown Oakland, the design is reminiscent of Aaron and Chuck’s favorite pubs in Belgium and the Netherlands. The spacious interiors are separated into three areas: the main bar, back bar and patio bar. Each area has its own rotating draft list. 

The Trappist is open 7 days a week from 12:00pm – midnight on Sundays through Thursdays and from 12:00pm- 1:00am on Fridays and Saturdays with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas day.

The Trappist is at 460 8th Street between Broadway and Washington. For more information about Trappist and its various beer events and releases, call (510) 238-8900.

Aaron Porter
The Trappist/ Trappist Provisions

Aaron Porter and co-founder Chuck Stilphen are long-time friends with a common passion for beer. Together they own and operate The Trappist and the recently opened Trappist Provisions, specialty beer bars both located in Oakland, California. Established in 2007, The Trappist is consistently rated in the top 50 beer bars in the world according to RateBeer, a worldwide consumer web site dedicated to craft beer and the craft beer culture.

The vision for The Trappist and Trappist Provisions extends beyond the establishments themselves. Aaron and Chuck have hosted collaborative beer dinners with acclaimed Chef Dominique Crenn at Atelier Crenn and at Chef Daniel Patterson’s Haven, as well as Chef Dave Cruz formerly at Ad Hoc. They partner with renowned artists Jan Håkon Robson and John Casey on merchandise design, develop exclusive house-beers with renowned master brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø of Evil Twin Brewing, and actively participate in the Copenhagen Beer Celebration and The Festival--two of the premiere beer festivals in the world.

Aaron lives in Oakland with his wife Adriana and is excited to be a new dad: they recently celebrated the birth of their twins in July.

Ray Hsieh
General Manager
The Trappist

A 10 year veteran of the craft beer industry, Ray Hsieh started off as a bartender while earning his English degree at UC Berkeley. In between classes he worked at Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley, CA, one of the first 3 brewpubs to open in the state of California. Ray joined the Trappist family in August 2008, about 8 months after opening the flagship Trappist in downtown Oakland. He transitioned to management a little over 3 years ago and now oversees the entire day-to-day running of the bar and works closely with the owners to establish long term beer programs, as well as Chef Anthony Roark in the evolution of its menus.

The Trappist Crew with V Wine Cellar's Scott Lewis (far right)
From left seated, Chef Anthony Roark, Stephen Laborde,
Standing, Ray Hsieh, Aaron Porter

Stephen Laborde
General Manager
Trappist Provisions

Stephen Laborde’s interest in beer and beer making started at a very young age.  When he was 11 years old, he hung out at a friend’s house watching his father make a batch of home brew while tasting sips of his previous batch. Fast forward to the high school years and the beginnings of the micro-brew revolution and Stephen knew he was hooked.  While his friends were drinking Stroh’s or whatever was the cheapest thing they could get their hands on, he was enamored with the likes of Anchor Liberty, Sierra Nevada and St Stan’s.  With fake ID in hand he would become a regular at Judy Ashworth’s Lion’s Brewery in Dublin (the first great tap room in the Bay Area) trying every new beer they had and asking as many questions as the bartenders could tolerate.

Eventually Stephen took a stab at home brewing under the guidance of the head brewer at North Coast Brewery in Fort Bragg, CA.  Although the beer he made was undrinkable, his fascination for beer continued to grow. But hobbies and drinking pastimes were no way to earn a living so he turned to wine. Stephen worked in wine shops, attended restaurant tastings and eventually became sommelier at Farallon Restaurant in San Francisco.  After eight years, he moved to the wine distribution side of the business working for a Bay Area based wine importer/marketer.

While taking a break from the corporate world, a chance meeting with Master Cicerone and Trappist bartender, Nicole Erny, at a local watering hole led him to his new career and true calling. Nicole suggested taking some daytime bartending shift at the Trappist. What started as a short stint to further his knowledge of beer became a 2 ½ year gig.  Hearing of owners Chuck Stilphen’s and Aaron Porter’s intention to open a smaller venue in Rockridge, he jumped at the chance and was selected to lead the Provisions’ opening team.

Since opening in January 2013, Trappist Provisions has already become a big hit with the craft beer crowd as well as its neighbors in Rockridge. 

Chef Anthony Roark
Chef de Cuisine
The Trappist

Born in San Jose California, Chef Anthony Roark’s love of beer led him to The Trappist, where his carefully crafted menu is carefully and thoughtfully designed to enhance the beer experience and vice versa. Highlights include a large selection of charcuterie, cheeses and specialty dishes such as “Green Eggs and Eggs” which includes gently boiled eggs, white soy, wasabi tobiko, Japanese mayonnaise and Habanero oil; seasonal salads such as the Stone Fruit Salad composed of little gem, yellow peach, white nectarine, red plums, avocado and fromage blanc dressing; hearty sandwiches like the signature Trappist Reuben made with Zoe’s pastrami brisket, Emmentaler, house dressing with sauerkraut on rye. Anthony has ensured that desserts receive equal billing with items such as sour ale chocolate mousse and a green tea –citron panna cotta. Each item on the menu reflects his love of beer --stouts, saisons and prairie ales, in particular.
When relaxing away from cooking, Anthony spends his time with his wife and Battle, their 9 ½ month old baby boy. They enjoy watching futbol, eating pupusas, and absorbing anything Japanese together.





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