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John Herbstritt

Cocktails with St. George

St. George Spirits became famous for their Hangar 1 brand of vodkas, but when they sold the name to Proximo Spirits they had to cool their vodka jets for a while. Now master distiller Lance Winters is back with his own line and they are better than ever!  Although spirits like whiskey are all about demonstrating the depth of flavor that comes from long ageing, highlighting the different grains used, good vodka is all about mastery of the distillation process. Since the spirit comes out of the still at 190 proof or above, only the most skilled distillers using the best raw materials can make great vodka on the first run.

st george bottlesA little about the history of St. George Spirits: it was founded by Jörg Rupf in 1982. Inspired by the high quality fruit grown in California, he emigrated from Germany in order to start making eau-de-vie. These fruit-based spirits are distilled from a mash of thehighest quality fermented fresh fruitand only made seasonally. Jörg’s family had been distillers for generations in the Black Forest of Western Germany. He started on a single, 65-gallon Holstein pot still and the distillates he made were outstanding. At that time there was no craft distilling movement in the United States to speak of, nor was anybody drinking eaux-de-vie, but these still remain central to what St. George Spirits is all about. You might even make the claim that this foundation on eau-de-vie informs everything that St. George does.

Although the vodkas are not eaux-de-vie, the composition and balance of flavors and aroma is decidedly on the same plane. The base spirit itself is luscious and fresh with zero harshness. It has a softness to it that makes you want to sip it like whiskey. It almost feels like heresy to mix it with anything! For the Citrus and Green Chile flavors the distillation team uses a special, smaller still with basket attachment to make a highly aromatic distillate which they blend into the base spirit. The final products are balanced and beautifully aromatic.

We will be offering 10% off all three of the St. George Vodkas Tuesday through Thursday now through September 24 ($27, regualarly $29.99).Come on down and check them out for yourself, or shop the selection on our online store at Instacart.com.
The secret ingredient in the All-Purpose Vodka is actually pears! St. George distills the same delicious Bartlett pears that they use for their pear brandies to 95.1% in order to obtain a spirit with a luscious texture but no overt pear flavor. They then blend it with a GMO-free base spirit. Great for any vodka application: Dry Martini, Moscow Mule, it’s even great sipped on its own – or you can make like James Bond and whip up a Vesper!

The California Citrus Vodka is scented with Bergamot plus Valencia and Seville oranges all sourced locally. First, the distilling team infuses the citrus peels separately in their GMO-free base spirit. They then distill each infusion and blend them together, looking for harmony of flavor and texture. I like a Martini made from the Cali Citrus and Dolin Dry Vermouth, though you can also throwback to the ’90s with this Shameless Cosmo recipe. Ladies night!

This inspired beverage is made with a combination of infusion and distillation techniques as well. Although jalapeño is the main flavor, they also use a combination of other sweet and hot chiles. Be careful not to get to close to the still when it’s processing all those peppers! The end result is a spirit that is subtly spicy and redolent of mouth-watering peppery aromas. The emphasis is not on the spiciness itself, but the complex flavors that these lovely veggies lend to whatever they touch. Bloody Marys, duh!



Stacks ‘o Racks on sale for Labor Day

Summer is coming to a close and we’ve got a fantastic price on BN Ranch‘s California-Raised, Grass-fed Racks of Lamb! For just one week – August 31 through September 6 – BN’s Racks will be on sale for $21.99/lb. (normally $29.99/lb.). These mild and tender chops are a great way to say goodbye to summer. So get your grill ripping hot, give these beauties a couple kisses on the hot flame and enjoy the ideal choice for a light summer meal.  Looking for the perfect Labor Day dish?  Try our Grilled Lamb Chop with Cucumber Raita recipe from the Markets or on our online store at Instacart.com!

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Celebrate Hogust at the Markets

LargeBlack-tag-04Over the last few months we have started to introduce more local pork producers committed to raising various heritage breeds.  I really feel that pork is one of the more complex proteins, and its flavor profile is greatly influenced by breed, feed, and terroir.  It is this thought that drove the idea of creating “Hogust,” our celebration of rare and heritage pork breeds throughout the month of August.

Since 2005, Bi-Rite and Heritage Foods USA have partnered to support small family farms that are committed to raising unique breeds of hogs with varied flavors and tastes.  Through the entire month of August we will be highlighting center-cut pork chops from breeds like the Tamworth, Old Spot, Duroc, Large Black, and my favorite, the Red Wattle.

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So raise a glass to “Hogust,” and take advantage of this opportunity to taste experience pork from the breed perspective.  Be sure to visit our butchers throughout the month to try our rotating selection of heritage pork. To quote our friends at Heritage Foods, in order to preserve this amazing breed diversity, “You have to eat ‘em to save ‘em!”  See our field guide for flavor profiles to find your favorite breed, and what better way to taste the difference than in our Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Figs recipe, adapted from Eat Good Food? Shop the recipe in both Markets or from our online store at Instacart.com. Enjoy!





Getting Figgy With It

Fig trees are one of the most common fruit trees in backyards throughout the Bay Area. You would think IMG_5393this would lead to them being a super popular fruit in the area, but this isn’t the case!  Figs are one those pieces of fruit that usually taste better the uglier they get – but a lot of consumers buy figs that are under-ripe, are still extra-firm, and are not that sweet.  At Bi-Rite we realize that the best tasting figs are the ones that sit on the tree longer to develop their sugars, and are harvested just when the jelly-like flesh of the figs is about to explode out of the skin with sugary goodness.  The fresh fig selection at the Markets changes every day depending on which varieties our favorite farms are harvesting and delivering to the Markets.

Black Mission Figs are the most common fig you see at grocery stores.  They have a thicker skin than most other varieties, which makes them a good crop for shipping long distances.  If grown to the perfect level of ripeness, their dark purple flesh makes them one of the sweetest varieties. The Brown Turkey Fig is similar to the Black Mission in appearance, but a little lighter in color with green skin next to the stem. Brown Turkeys are known to be the largest growing fig and have beautiful rose-colored flesh.

IMG_3004The green fig varieties bring a lot of excitement to Bi-Rite each season with their lime green skin and beautiful reddish pink flesh. These are usually the some sweetest varieties of the season and a perfect dessert fig.  Adriatic, Kadota, and Calimyrna Figs will all hit the Bi-Rite shelves between now and the end of September. I can’t forget to mention the Candystripe Fig with its yellow skin and green stripes – it’s always a main attraction in the produce department in August! The flesh is crimson-colored and they taste like raspberry or strawberry jam.

Throughout the month of August we will be celebrating all of these amazing figs and the local farms that grow them! From Bi-Rite Farm in the foothills of the Sierra, to the legendary fig farmers at Knoll Farm in Brentwood, each fig variety will bring a different flavor to the table.  We are also highlighting the awesome Point Reyes Bay Blue Cheese and have adapted a killer recipe from our book, Eat Good Food, combining figs, blue cheese, and prosciutto that is going to blow your mind! Shop for the ingredients in our Markets or directly from our online store at Instacart.com and have them delivered to your door. And if you don’t remember what a big, juicy, ripe fig taste like please come by either Market and ask for a sample.


Cimarron Tequila Sale – Because Taco Tuesdays Aren’t Enough!

Tues-Thurs-Campaign-web_tequila bottle webIf you love Taco Tuesdays as much as we do, you know that only one day of tequila and tacos per week just isn’t enough – that’s why we’re celebrating Cimarron tequilas with special pricing every Tuesday through Thursday starting July 21st.


Enjoy 10% off Cimarron Blanco Tequila ($17.99, regularly $19.99) and Cimarron Reposado Tequila ($20.69, regularly $22.99) Tuesdays through Thursdays until August 6th at both Bi-Rite Market locations.  The Cimarron tequilas are crisp and clean, made with estate-grown agave that is slow roasted creating bright, forward flavors, ideal for sipping or mixing in the Perfect Margarita.  The Blanco is bottled immediately after distillation preserving the flavors and aromas, while the Reposado is aged in oak for six months, creating some of the most expressive tequilas at this price point.


What better to pair with your tequila than tacos?  Our chefs at 18th Street and Divisadero will be dishing up their favorite tacos-of-the-day plus some bonus tequila-inspired dishes (we’ve heard rumors of mole, enchiladas and more!).  So if it’s Taco Tuesday, Why Not Wednesday, or Thirsty Thursday, be sure to swing by our delis to see what delicious dinner dishes will go along with your tequila.  Then, whip up a batch of our Perfect Margaritas (shop the recipe on Instacart.com) and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer evening – salud!


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We’re Mad for Summer Melons

We can’t get enough of sweet summer melons and this glorious sunshine!  Now you can share our house-made Watermelon Salad with Queso Frescoavailable daily from our delis – with friends near and far.  Simple, refreshing, delicious, it’s sure to impress at your picnics and barbecues.  Enjoy!

Watermelon Salad with Queso Fresco

John Herbstritt

Aperitif Wines – Start Your Night Right

FullSizeRenderIn this blog post I will attempt to convince you, reader, to stop whatever your current pre-dinner ritual and to instead take 15 minutes to relax and enjoy a light, slightly bitter, slightly sweet drink accompanied by salty snacks (like nuts or olives).  The purpose?  To whet your appetite and open your senses, preparing your palette to enjoy your meal. If you are totally against this proposition then this post isn’t for you. But if like me, you take pleasure in tasty, unique beverages and crunchy, salty little treats, and you think you might be open to this kind of suggestion, please read on.

You’re still reading, so you likely know that I’m talking about the aperitif. This word refers to both the act of enjoying a pre-meal drink and also to the beverages consumed therein. While it is more common in Europe to experience such a thing, here in the U.S. we too have a fine tradition of imbibing before we eat: think happy hours and cocktail parties. But there is something special about the way that the aperitif wine helps us prepare to eat that a pint of IPA cannot reproduce. It’s the combination of bitterness, acid, and sweetness that awakens the salivary glands and gets us ready for dinner without filling us up.

So, dear reader, next time you are hosting a dinner party, start your night right with a little apéro. You can serve any of these chilled over ice, with a spritz of soda water, or try our very own recipe for your “Aperitif Fix.”  Serve them with a bowl of the aforementioned mixed nuts and you’ve got your night started. And we haven’t even mentioned the possibilities for mixing cocktails! Chin chin!

Aperitif Fix Recipe

Campari $27.99
One of the original bitters in Italy, Campari was invented in 1860 by its eponymous founder, Gaspare Campari. It is also the essential ingredient in the classic Negroni cocktail, but if you’re an Italophile you just mix this with soda water and pretend you’re on the Almalfi Coast.

Lillet Blanc
Lillet is the original French Aperitif – it was initially used to cure malaria, but it tasted so good that it soon being used at the dinner table. It is made from Sémillon wine with quinine and citrus liqueurs added.  Serve it chilled with orange peel or add some berries or peach slices for a quick and delicious Sangria.

Uncouth Vermouth Seasonal Hops
This wildly inventive vermouth is the brainchild of Bianca Miraglia. Using the seasons as her inspiration, Bianca sources different herbs, plants, and spices and infuses them with a complementary wine base. The Hops is made with 16 different plants plus a final addition of Cascade and Nugget hops. Craft beer lovers will totally dig this amazing vermouth.

Buil & Giné Vermut
A unique aperitif from the Priorat region in Spain, the Buil & Giné is a vermouth made from the Macabeo grape and infused with more than 110 different plants and herbs. It’s then aged for two years in oak barrels to get the desired color.  It’s wonderfully bitter with a perfect balance of sour and sweetness. Serve this on the rocks or try it in a Manhattan.

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino
Vermouth di Torino is one of the only two protected geographical indication of origins for vermouth, the other being Chambéry in France. To celebrate their 120 year anniversary, the House of Cocchi recreated their original recipe for Vermouth Torino. With flavors of citrus, cocoa, and rhubarb, enjoy this neat with a citrus peel. It also makes a fabulous Manhanttan.


Waverley Aufmuth

Our House-Made 4th of July Menu is a Flavor Firework!

4th of July Star  The 4th of July festivities are ramping up and we’ve got what you need to blow it out for Independence Day!  Celebrate your independence by taking home some of our spins on 4th of July favorites, and don’t forget the Bi-Rite Creamery pie!

Short on time? Visit our online store on Instacart.com  and get everything you need for 4th of July delivered in SF in as little as an hour! Simply sign up for an Instacart account and you’ll find our 4th of July store, plus all of the Bi-Rite classics and favorites from every department – all at the same prices we offer in our markets.

Bi-Rite’s House Made 4th of July Menu

Available in both Markets and to order for delivery from our special online store atInstacart.com with your free account, from Thursday, July 2 through Monday, July 6:

7-Layer Dip

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chili Lime Butter

Wyatt’s Cornbread with Jalapeno and Cheddar

Watermelon Salad with Queso Fresco, Lime, Cilantro, Mint and Chili Flake

Carrot, Kale and Cabbage Slaw with Creamy Honey Dijon Dressing

Summer Pasta Salad with Farfalle, Fresh Ricotta, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil and Black Pepper

Spicy Buffalo Wings

Bi-Rite’s Classic Fried Chicken

Niman Ranch St. Louis Pork Ribs with House-Made Chipotle BBQ Sauce

4th of July Star4th of July Raw Meats

Niman Ranch St. Louis Pork Ribs
$4.99/lb. (normally $7.99/lb.)
See our SF-Style Ribs recipe and shop for ingredients in both Markets, or order online for delivery from Instacart.com with your free account.

4th of July Desserts from Bi-Rite Creamery

   Bi-Rite Creamery Peach Pie
6″ – $12.99 / 9″ – $24.99

Bi-Rite Creamery Mixed Berry Pie
6″ – $12.99 / 9″ – $24.99

Bi-Rite Creamery Shortcakes

Bi-Rite Creamery Balsamic Strawberry Ice Cream

Bi-Rite Creamery Peach Ice Cream

Made with Masumoto Family Farm peaches.

Bi-Rite Creamery Vanilla Ice Cream
pint – $8.99 /quart – $15.99

Pie Toppers & Accompaniments

Vermont Creamery Madagascar Vanilla Crème Fraiche

Organic Strawberries

4th of July StarBBQ Friendly, Dry-Farmed Wines

Bucklin “Bambino” Old Hill Ranch

Bucklin Rosé of Old Hill Ranch

Calder Wine Co. Charbono

Birichino Besson Vineyard Grenache

Perfectly Paired BBQ Beers

21st Amendment Brewery Hell Or High Watermelon
$9.99/6-pack cans

Anderson Valley Brewing Co. Summer Solstice
$10.99/6-pack cans

Anchor Brewing Summer Beer
$11.99/6-pack cans

Waverley Aufmuth

What Are You Cooking for 4th of July?

The weather (and the grills!) are heating up, which means the 4th of July is nearly here!  We’ve got everything you need to plan your epic independence feast, from meats and marinades to snacks and condiments – and don’t forget the BBQ friendly wines!  Whether you’re celebrating at home, picnicking with fireworks, or road tripping with friends, we’ve got your 4th
festivities covered.  Shop for everything you need in both Markets or order online for delivery from our special 4th of July Instacart.com!

Master the Grill, SF-Style

4th-of-July-Ribs-(2)Starting this Saturday, June 27th until Sunday, July 5th, get your Niman Ranch St. Louis Pork Ribs for only $4.99/lb. (normally $7.99/lb.)  Whether you prefer to dunk your ribs in sauce or braise them on the grill, San Francisco’s “signature barbecue sauce,” SFQ BBQ Sauce ($7.99) – with its spicy, smoky tang – is the perfect pair for ribs, grilled peaches or tofu too!  Try our all-weather St. Louis Ribs SF-Style recipe to get the party started:

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Chips, Dips and Condiments, Oh My!

primary_99e7a439-b1f3-4ec2-80e4-91ba6d017146 Because no barbecue is complete without the full roster of condiments, snacks, and seasonings, we’ve got some of our local favorites that are sure to liven up any party.  Spice things up with 4505 Chicharrones or go the classic route with Nopalito Tortilla Chips and three varieties of Papalote salsas – Roasted Tomato, Habanero or Serrano-Tomatillo.

primary_0ea2f938-d855-44f0-94e4-36ed550cd7ccFor your burgers, brats and buns, we’ve got some great twists on the classics.  Mix it up with sweet and spicy Sosu Srirachup and Mother In Law’s tangy umami-filled Garlic Chili Gochujang; or dress your burgers in the French tradition with KL Keller Dijon Mustard and Sir Kensington’s Mayonnaise.  For seasoning your ribs, burgers, and corn look no further than Omnivore Salt.  Top it all off with Cabot Vintage Cheddar and you’re sure to be the envy of every party!

primary_eb613a9d-7ba2-4e20-b110-03f92e39e55aWhether you like your pickles speared, sliced, or whole, on the bun or as a side, we’ve got what you need with our own Bi-Rite Market Public Label Dill Pickles, Boozely’s Pickles (spears), and Pacific Pickle Works’ Bread & Buddas.


Sweet Tastes of Summer

primary_3eafcc43-3f5c-4e39-abe7-af2bbdfc1bccOur Organic Sweet Corn is great for grilling!  It wouldn’t be a summer barbecue without the Watermelon and the best of summer’s berries with our Mixed Berry 3-Pack.

BBQ Friendly Wines

Dry-Farmed-WinesPerfectly paired with barbecue fare, these wines are dry-farmed and drought friendly, showcasing some wonderful California vineyards who are doing their part to conserve water while making delicious wines.

Bucklin “Bambino” Old Hill Ranch $21.99
This young vine field-blend contains several grape varieties, principally Zinfandel, but also Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouchet and Grenache.

Bucklin Rosé of Old Hill Ranch $19.99
Whole-cluster pressed and finished dry, this wine has beautiful floral aromas with a crisp finish.

Calder Wine Co. Charbono $24.99
This wine has vibrant aromas of cherry cola and ripe plums, backed by intense secondary flavors of forest floor, mustard flowers, dark chocolate, sour cherries and bee pollen.

Birichino Besson Vineyard Grenache $19.99
Modest and bright, with a bit more tannin than up-front fruit and a pleasant dried-herb aspect – perfect for a weeknight.


New York Strip Steaks Only $19.99/lb for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is right around the corner and with the weather gods saying that sunshine is on the horizon it will be a great weekend to spark up the grill.  Take advantage with our special pricing on New York Strip Steaks.

Starting this Friday, June 19, and running through Sunday, June 21st (Father’s Day!) both our 100% grass fed BN Ranch and our grain-finished Five Dot Ranch New York Strip Steaks will be on sale for $19.99, $5 off their regular price at both Markets and on Instacart.

I think of New Yorks as being the rib eye’s leaner, meaner little brother.  Just as flavorful and tender, but with more balanced marbling than the rib eye, the New York has serious versatility.  Serve it as a thick-cut steak for a big poppa Father’s Day dinner, slice it into thin strips for a pimped out stir fry or fajita meal, or order your steaks thin-cut to create the dopest sandwich known to man, a.k.a. “Chili’s New York Cheesesteak” (no disrespect to my people in Philly), with savory Omnivore SauceMimi’s Confitures smoky-sweet onion jam, and tangy Cabot Vintage Cheddar on Acme‘s herbaceous Herb Slab.  Pair it with the peppery Green & Red “Chiles Canyon” Zinfandel ($22.99) and you’ve got the perfect gift for dad!  Shop the full recipe at 18th Street and Divis, or online at Instacart.com.

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