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Apologies for the lack of posts lately. Things have been busy outside of beer blogging.

The 2012 Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup have come and gone. San Diego brewers didn’t do as well as two years ago at the WBC, but our local brewers still brought home a handful of awards. The full winners list can be seen here.

Earlier this week Green Flash Brewing Company posted a picture to their Facebook page of a bottle of West Coast IPA with a bottled on date. Until now it’s been hard to know for sure just how long that bottle of Green Flash beer had been sitting on a shelf, but once these new bottles with dates start getting out into stores it should be easy enough to tell exactly when the beer was bottled. I have to admit, the lack of bottle dates has kept me from buying Green Flash beers on more than one occasion (usually at larger stores, places like Trader Joes, where I don’t know how long the beer has been sitting around). I see more four packs of fresh West Coast IPA in my future.

For the last few weeks beers from Michigan’s Founders Brewing Company have been turning up at various bars, restaurants and even a few bottle shops around town. Founders hasn’t distributed in California in the past, and unfortunately this looks like it is only temporary. The beers started showing up around town during the CBC in early May, according to The Full Pint, Founders has a temporary 60 day license for distribution here, which will end next month after the Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Festival. Some people have speculated that Founders could be using this time as a way to test the market, but so far there is no indication that Founders is looking to distribute here on a regular basis. So if you see anything from Founders on tap at your favorite bar in the next few weeks it might be a good idea to order a pint. The stand out for me has been the All Day IPA, a 42 IBU, 4.7% ABV session IPA that tastes much hoppier than the IBU’s let on.

A thread on the BeerAdvocate Forums last week pointed out that Stone Brewing Co. is looking into opening some sort of tasting room and retail store in Pasadena. The post links to a PDF at the City of Pasadena website regarding a public hearing for a conditional use permit. The notice describes the space as being 2,071 square feet including a 363 square foot outdoor patio which would have on-site tasting of beer and off-site (to go) sales. No word on exactly what this will be, but it sounds a lot like the Stone Company Store South Park and the in progress Stone Company Store Oceanside. The public hearing was held last week and it looks like the recommendation was to approve the permit.

Speaking of Stone Brewing Co., they have a number of special releases coming out in the next few months:

Stone Ruination Tenth Anniversary IPA will make it’s debut Sunday, June 10th with a special release party at Henry’s Pub downtown. It’s described as an amped up version of Stone Ruination IPA which clocks in at 10.8% ABV with extra dosings of Columbus and Centennial hops as well as Citra and Centennial for dry hoping. 22oz bottles should start hitting store shelves the next day.

Stone’s version of the second release of Dogfish Head / Victory / Stone Saison du BUFF was rebrewed in early May when Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione and Victory Brewing Company’s Bill Covaleski were in town and is set to be released Monday June 18th on draft and in 12oz bottles. I was a big fan of the original Stone brewed version released about two years ago, but recently picked up a bottle of the new release of the Dogfish Head version and was pretty disappointed. The herbs (the beer is brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme) were way too over the top for my tastes. I typically like herb-y beers, but couldn’t finish a 12oz of this one. Here’s to hoping that I find the Stone version more palatable.

Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean and Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle Peppers are also being released in 12oz bottles on Monday June 18th. Stone has been brewing both of these as occasional draft only beers for a few years now, so it’s nice to see them make it into bottles. Stone says “It’s a one-time only bottled release, unless we decide to change our minds later.”

Last but not least, Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout was brewed a few weeks ago and is expected to be released on draft and in 12oz bottles sometime in early July. Ken Schmidt was the top prize at the Stone March Madness Homebrew Competition which earned him the right to brew his beer at Stone as a collaboration with them and another brewer of his choice. If the name Ken Schmidt sounds familiar it’s because he was also the winner of the original Stone March Madness Homebrew Competition a few years ago, which brought us Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter

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