I actually haven’t seen a single episode of Brew Masters, the Discovery Channel show about Sam Calagione and Dogfish Head that focuses on their making of new and unique beers. Regardless of never seeing the show (which appears to have been cancelled after only a few episodes), I still fully appreciate this parody from the guys at Ska Brewing Company in Durango. To be fair I used to live in Durango, and some of these folks are friends of mine, but I think anyone that is remotely interested in craft beer and has a sense of humor will enjoy it. And to keep things local, keep an eye out for Ska’s President/Co-founder Dave Thibodeau wearing a Hamilton’s Tavern t-shirt in the first couple of scenes.
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Thursday, Feb 10th:
Toronado will be opening early at 10am to tap Pliny the Younger. If it hasn’t been delivered yet they’ll let everyone in to wait for the delivery driver. They promise to have an empty tap, clean lines and that the keg will be delivered cold. Say goodbye to your productivity for the rest of the day. For more on Pliny the Younger around San Diego click here.
For Dogfish Head night at O’Brien’s Pub they’ll put on nine DFH taps and have two more beers in bottles. They’ll have 60 Minute IPA, Bitches Brew, Palo Santo Marron, Pangaea, Chateau Jiahu, 90 Minute IPA, Chicory Stout, Raison D’Etre and Indian Brown on draft and bottles of Burton Baton and Midas Touch.
Friday Feb 11th:
Downtown Johnny Brown’s is having a mini Belgian keep the glass with Rodenbach and Palm. They’ll have Rodenbach Vintage, Grand Cru and Palm Belgian Pale. Rodenbach will be $12 with glass and $6 refills while Palm will be $6 with glass and $3.75 refills.
Saturday Feb 12th:
There’s so much going on this Saturday it’s hard to pick just a couple things going on. First and foremost it’s Hamilton’s Second Saturday, this month with Karl Strauss Brewing Co. They’ll have 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and Backlit India Black Ale on cask with plenty of great Karl Strauss beers on draft. I’m especially looking forward to trying the pilot batch of the Belgian-style they’re brewing with Flying Dog as well as their Saison and Flan-Diddly-Anders Red. This month is Mardi Gras themed and they’ll have plenty of New Orleans influenced food.
Automatic Brewing Co. will be tapping a keg of Will Powered Oatmeal IPA when Blind Lady Ale House opens at 11:30am Saturday. This was the beer brewed especially for the Cancer for College benefit with Will Ferrell they held last week.
The Lost Abbey will be releasing bottles of 2011 Red Poppy when they open at noon. I got a chance to try this on draft at Eleven recently and it is good! Bottles will be $15/375ml with a limit of six. They’ll also be releasing Port Brewing Co. Mongo in bottles as well. The bottled version is finished with Simcoe hops and I’m told that it’s even better than it is on tap.
O’Brien’s Pub will also be tapping a keg of Pliny the Younger at 4pm and the 2nd Annual Brewbies Festival, benefiting The Keep A Breast Foundation is happening at Pizza Port Carlsbad. For more on Pliny the Younger around San Diego click here.
Sunday Feb 13th:
Head to Stone Brewing Co. where they’ll be filling growlers of 06 06 06 Vertical Epic Ale. This one was a Belgian Strong Dark Ale which was recently on tap for Stone Winter Storm and folks say it’s holding up well, probably even better and more mellow with some age.
Monday Feb 14th:
Monday’s have become pint night with both Toronado and Eleven offering $3 drafts. Eleven offers all of their on-tap beers for $3 from open to close while Toronado offers locals for $3 from 6pm to close.
Tuesday Feb 15th:
Chicks for Beer at the High Dive is hosting Colby Chandler and Ballast Point Brewing Co. This one is ladies only and they should have some good beer and food pairings. I’m not sure what exactly what they’ll be pouring but I hear the excellent Habanero Sculpin will be on draft.
Can’t attend Chicks for Beer? Blind Lady Ale House will be tapping a keg of the ever-so-sought-after Pliny the Younger when they open at 5pm. It will probably go fast, and there will probably be a line. For more on Pliny the Younger around San Diego click here.
Wednesday Feb 16th:
The third Wednesday of the month means that it’s time for the Drinkabout. The monthly event means a free shuttle runs between Hamilton’s, The Station, Sea Rocket, Toronado, Ritual, Small Bar, Blind Lady Ale House and Livewire and most of the bars have drink and/or food specials. Small Bar is doing the “Night of the Bastards” with Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, 2009 Double Bastard, 2010 Double Bastard, 2010 Dry Hopped Chipotle Double Bastard, 2010 Lucky Bastard, and 2010 Dry Hop Lucky Bastard all on draft. Three 6oz tasters will set you back $6.
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An alternate title for this post could be: “Stouts, Stouts, Stouts (and an IPA or two)”
Tuesday was Kern River Brewing Co. night at Toronado. Eric and Rebecca Giddens and Kyle Smith of Kern River were on hand and brought with them Just Outstanding IPA, Citra Double IPA, Class V Stout and Class X Stout.
Just Outstanding IPA is well, just outstanding and since I had already had it before both bottled and on tap, I decided to skip it that night and try the other offerings. I chatted with Eric Giddens from the brewery for a while about it’s namesake mountain bike trail. And let’s just say a road trip to Kernville is being planned. I was most looking forward to the Class X Stout, and it did not disappoint. Class X Stout is the bourbon barrel aged version of Class V Stout, a respectable beer in it’s own right, and it was really interesting to be able to drink the two beers side by side. Class X Stout starts out as Class V Stout but is 100% barrel aged for eight months which changes the beer dramatically. Both were being served on nitrogen at Toronado, so it’s hard to compare them to other stouts served on CO2, but comparing them to each other was easy.
The Class V Stout had a very strong roasted smell and taste. It wasn’t quite a coffee characteristic, but the roasted smell and flavor were very aggressive. The Class X Stout on the other hand smelled of bourbon and bourbon, vanilla and chocolate were all very apparent in the taste. It had some roasted characteristics but they were definitely more subdued than the Class V Stout. I would really like to try Class X Stout on CO2, so I could better gauge how well it stands up against other barrel aged stouts, because on nitrogen I have to say it is fantastic. Citra DIPA is another great beer from Kern River Brewing Co. My experience with Citra hops is limited, but this one is great. It has a big citrus hop smell and taste, it’s fairly fruity but seems to be more lemon or orange than the typical grapefruit flavors of a lot of IPAs.
Wednesday night started at the new URBN pizza joint in North Park. They were holding a special media preview night at I had a few slices and some beer on the house. It was New English Brewing Co. night so I started off with a Trooper’s Tipple IPA. It’s an English style IPA which uses East Kent Goldings hops, it’s low in alcohol at 4.8% ABV and is fairly malty, but according to New English it’s a fairly classic example of the English IPA style. It was fairly light and refreshing, but I had to move on to something heavier next and had a Dogfish Head Chicory Stout. This 5.2% ABV has strong roasted and maybe even burnt flavors reminiscent of dark black coffee. It was bitter but not from the usual hop bitterness found in most beers. Chicory is used by some people as a decaf coffee substitute as it has a similar flavor which I think came through well in this beer.
After URBN I headed down to Neighborhood where they were featuring The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Company. I opted to go with the barrel aged again and ordered a Deliverance. Deliverance is a a blend of bourbon barrel-aged Serpent’s Stout and brandy barrel-aged Angel’s Share. I have never had Angel’s Share, and have only had non-bourbon barrel-aged Serpent’s Stout, so this was mostly new to me. Deliverance is good and is maybe my favorite beer I’ve had from The Lost Abbey so far (my experience with The Lost Abbey has been fairly limited, that is being rectified). It hada strong bourbon smell and taste, I couldn’t detect much brandy, along with roasted flavors from the Serpent’s Stout. The alcohol taste and heat was much strong on this than other barrel aged stout’s I’ve had. It was definitely a sipper and not something that could be drank quickly.
That finally brings us to Thursday when I stopped into Karl Strauss in Sorrento Mesa for lunch where I had a SDBW Stout. This dry stout is around 5% ABV but is pretty flavorful. I’m a big fan of Imperial Stouts, and typically shy away from the lower ABV stouts, but I really enjoyed this. It’s brewed with Star Anise and has a slight liquorice flavor. The roasted barley flavors mostly overpowered the liquorice, but too strong of liquorice flavors could be too sweet. The body was a bit thin but I felt it had a great flavor, I would have preferred a bit more liquorice, but I’m probably in the minority on that one.
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We’re just a few days away from the second San Diego Beer Week. This year promises to be bigger and better than last year with over 300 beer related events. The SDBW website is doing a great job of listing all events on their website, so we’re not even going to try to list all the events. Below are a few of the events we’re most excited about, it’s not a comprehensive list, and it’s weighted pretty heavily towards the uptown neighborhoods but it’s a few of the events we’re most excited about. It’s not going to be possible to do every (or even half) of the beer week events, but read below, and browse through the full event listing on the SDBW site and drink some great beer. Be careful out there, write down the number of a cab company, stay safe and have fun!
As always, check with the individual bars/restaurants/breweries as events are subject to change.
Friday, November 5th:
Beer for Breakfast: Kick off the second annual San Diego Beer Week at Stone Bistro and Gardens with Dr Bill Sysak for the Rare Beer Breakfast. All you can eat breakfast and 15 3oz tasters for $55.
Weasel Poo: O’Brien’s Pub is hosting Night of a Million Zillion Speedways. They’ll have eight different versions of Alesmith Brewing Co.’s Speedway Stout including the infamous Kopi Luwak Speedway (which is made with Kopi Luwak coffee which passes through the digestive tract of weasels). In order for as many people as possible to get to try them, the eight beers will be served as 2oz tasters only, split into two different flights of four. But be careful, each flight is only 8oz, but each beer is about 12% ABV. It’ll sneak up on you.
Who Said Fresh is Better?: When it comes to some beers, fresher is better, but not always. Downtown Johnny Brown’s will host their 2nd Annual Barrel Aged Night with complimentary food and 21 barrel aged beers on tap.
Saturday, November 6th:
The Official Kick Off Event: Yeah, you’re probably nursing a hangover from the night before, but get down to Liberty Station for the San Diego Brewer’s Guild Festival, the official kick off event of San Diego Beer Week. The $50 VIP tasting starts at noon. General admission ($35) starts at 2pm and runs until 6pm.
Beer Brewed by an Ex-NASA Rocket Scientist: Forget the fact that Mark Jilg is an ex-NASA Rocket Scientist, the owner and brewer at Pasadena’s Craftsman Brewing Co. makes some unique beers. Blind Lady Ale House will have Craftsman Brewing Co. flights all day long, and will host a tasting with Jilg at 12:30pm. Seating is limited, purchase tickets in advance.
Sunday, November 7th:
Nothing Wrong with a Little Nostalgia: I’ll admit, I’m a little too young to fully appreciate The Liar’s Club. Sure I had been a few times and I greatly enjoyed it, but it doesn’t hold the same spot in my heart that it does for many others. That won’t stop me from recommending that you get yourself to Eleven at 3pm for Liar’s Club Redux though. I’ve heard that last year’s Liar’s Club Redux at Hamilton’s Tavern was one of the most popular SDBW events. Get there early (they open at 3pm) and re-experience the Liar’s Club.
The Beers that Put San Diego on the Map: San Diego brewers make a ton of great beers, but it’s hard to deny the fact that our fine city is known for it’s IPA’s. Toronado‘ San Diego IPA Blowout will feature of ton of San Diego IPA’s on draft available as pints or smaller tasters to sample more.
Monday, November 8th:
A Little History with Your Beer: San Diego history to be precise. You’re at San Diego Beer Week, you already know that San Diego is one of the premier beer cities in the country. Find out how we got here at Stone Brewing Co.’s Beer U: History of Beer in San Diego with special guest, Green Flash Brewing Co.’s Chuck Silva. Tickets are only $25, so if you have your heart set on this, we recommend purchasing them in advance.
Another Educational Beer Experience: If you haven’t seen Beer Wars what have you been waiting for? Delete it from your Netflix queue and get down to Sea Rocket Bistro where they’ll be showing it at 7pm with their 3 course Cooking with Beer Prix Fixe menu.
Barrel Aged is a Big Deal: If you haven’t noticed, barrel aged beers are a big deal. Hamilton’s Tavern and Small Bar will host a plethora of rare Avery Brewing Co. barrel aged beers and will have a shuttle running between the two bars. Many of these beers are barrel aged special versions of some of Avery’s best beers. Chances are they’ve never been on tap in San Diego before, and quite possibly never will be again.
Tuesday, November 9th:
Seriously the Best Double Stout I’ve had in a Long Time: It’s not a secret that I think Green Flash’s Silva Stout is one of the best Imperial Stouts I’ve had in a long time. Head down to the Regal Beagle where the beer’s namesake brewer, Chuck Silva will be pouring it and chatting with beer drinkers. They’ll also have Green Flash’s Yellow Fizzy Beer Bohemian Pilsner and 8th Anniversary IPA on tap as well.
Beer Flights with the Brewer: This isn’t the first beer flight with the brewer flight at Blind Lady Ale House we’ve recommended you check out at SDBW, and it’s not the last. These guided flights with the people who brew the beers are a great way to taste beer and learn more about the beer making process. They’re also really fun and you get to drink tasty beer. Check out the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Flight with Steve Grossman, brother of founder Ken Grossman. Get there early for a bike ride with Grossman around Balboa Park before the tasting.
Wednesday, November 10th:
Get on the Bus: The DrinkAbout this month has been moved up a week for San Diego Beer Week. Ride the free bus between Hamilton’s, Station, Sea Rocket, Ritual, Blind Lady, Small Bar, Livewire, and Toronado from 7-11pm. Most bars will have specials going on and a fun time is sure to be had by all. This is one of the most fun beer happenings each month and is surely going to be all the better during SDBW.
Beer for a Cause: The High Dive will tap One of Eight, a collaboration beer brewed by Coronado Brewing Co. and Ballast Point Brewing Co. in honor of women with breast cancer. This Amber Strong Ale was brewed with Belgium yeast, African Cocoa nibs, fresh ginger and Grand Marne.
Russian River Night at Toronado: Who needs a witty title when Natalie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing Co. will be on hand at Toronado with the following beers on draft: Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig IPA, Damnation, Damnation batch 23, Damnation batch 46, Supplication, Temptation, Redemption, Sanctification, Consecration, Porter, and Gaffer’s Bitter. They’ll also be bringing out some special Russian River bottles from the cellar.
Thursday, November 11th:
Lips of Faith: Eric Salazar from New Belgium Brewing Co. and namesake of the beer Eric’s Ale will be guiding a tasting flight of six beers from the Lips of Faith series at Blind Lady Ale House. Many, but not all, of the beers are sour.
Just Outstanding: Yes, Just Outstanding IPA will be on tap at Downtown Johnny Brown’s Kern River Brewing Co. Night, but the whole night should be just outstanding as well. They’ll also be pouring Citra DIPA, Class V Stout, Barrel Aged Stout and more.
Friday, November 12:
Craft Beer Bonanza: There are so many great things happening at so many bars around the city why pick just one? Let the Park2Park Shuttle take you between great bars, restaurants and even a liquor store in the Uptown neighborhoods as well as downtown. See all the details and purchase tickets on their website.
Craft Lagers: Lagers are often overlooked in the craft beer scene. El Take it Easy will hold a Craft Lager Fest with Ballast Point Brewing Co. to showcase some of the best craft brewed lagers around. DJ Claire will be spinning some vintage soul to go with those smooth drinking lagers.
The East Coasts Most Experimental Brews: Dogfish Head Brewing Co. will be on tap and cask for Firkin Friday at Hamilton’s Tavern. 75 Minute IPA will be on cask with Punkin Ale, Palo Santo Maron, Chicory Stout, Sah’tea, Theobroma and more on draft.
Take Your Pick for the Best of Green Flash: Sit down at Blind Lady Ale House for a guided tasting flight (including Le Freak, Black Freak and Super Freak) with Green Flash’s Chuck Silva in the afternoon (or stop in anytime afterwards for the flight) or check out the 20+ taps of Green Flash Beer at Toronado later at night.
Saturday, November 13th:
Small Brewer of the Year: Mad River Brewing Co. just won Small Brewer of the year at the Great American Beer Festival. Check out many of the beers, paired with excellent food (and more likely available on their own as well) at The Linkery’s Mad River Serious Madness 3.0
Second Saturday: Hamilton’s Tavern pulls out the stops every month for the second Saturday, but the SDBW version will be just as good if not better. Marin Brewing Co. and brewmaster Arne Johnson will be in town with Brass Knuckle IIPA and Old Dipsea B-wine with Sherry Wood on cask and plenty of beer on draft.
Sunday, November 14th:
One Last Flight: Blind Lady Ale House has hosted plenty of great flights and tastings during SDBW. The last one will be Allagash Brewing Co. with brewmaster and founder Rob Tod. Six great Allagash beers in a guided tasting flight and a small taste of the rare Allagash Blonde Ale after the tasting.
Relax, It’s Been a Long Beer Week: SDBW is coming to a close, it’s been a long ten days. Head to the Courtyard Cookout at Counterpoint in Golden Hill where The Linkery will be cooking in the courtyard and Counterpoint will have 15 taps of craft beer available.
San Diego Beer Week is Officially Coming to a Close: The Beer Garden at The Lodge at Torrey Pines is the official closing event of SDBW. $65 gets you tastes of local beer paired with food from local restaurants and chefs at the beautiful Lodge at Torrey Pines. Purchase tickets in advance here.
This post last updated 11/3/2010 at 8:07am
Click below to see the full event calendar courtesy of the San Diego Beer Week website. And again, click here to see their full list of events.
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The Great American Beer Festival is set to get under way in Denver tomorrow (September 16th). Beer geeks and industry folks from around the world travel to Denver for the event, including many from San Diego. But fret not if you’re stuck in San Diego this weekend with no travel plans for Denver, because even though the biggest beer event in the country is going on a few states away, there are still plenty of great beer to be drank right here in San Diego.
Tonight Wednesday, September 15th
- Blind Lady Ale House will be tapping a keg of Sierra Nevada’s Ghidorah at 5pm (which BLAH’s Lee Chase helped brew at Beer Camp)
- The September DrinkAbout is happening from 7pm-11pm. Click here for more details.
Thursday, September 16th
- The Linkery is holding a Vegetarian Cask Beer Pairing Night. Each plate with half a pour of beer is $9. They have some great casks and the food sounds delicious. See the full menu here.
- Toronado will be hosting a Dogfish Head Night. They’ll have Punkin Ale, Palo Santo Marron, Midas Touch, Theobrama and 90 Minute IPA on tap and bottles of Festina Peche, Burton Baton IPA, Worldwide Stout.
Friday, September 17th
- Hamilton’s Tavern Firkin Friday with Mission Brewery. They’ll have Mission IPA on cask and Shipwrecked Imperial IPA, Blonde Ale, Amber Ale, and Hefeweizen at 5pm.
- O’Brien’s Pub is hosting a night of beers from Manzanita Brewing Co. in Santee. (We stopped into Manzanita when they first opened, check out that post here)
- Make sure your Stone Brewing Co. growlers are clean as they have three excellent growler fills this weekend. Friday they’ll have Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans
Saturday, September 18th
- Blind Lady Ale House will have Firestone Walker’s Union Jack IPA on cask at 11:30am. Pints are only $3.50 until 3:50pm.
- More growler fills at Stone Brewing Co. today they’re offering Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Beans again, and if you go after 8pm they’ll have 2010 Stone Imperial Russian Stout available as well.
- Hamilton’s Tavern is hold a “Shuffleboard for Charity” event. We don’t have any more details, but you can’t go wrong with shuffleboard and good craft beer.
Sunday, September 19th
- Pints for Prostates Fundraiser (DrinkAbout Part 2) Check Facebook for more info.
- Blind Lady Ale House will hold a Blind IPA Challenge. 11.30am to Midnight. Judge six IPAs which out knowing which is which. Click here for more info.
- If you only get one growler fill from Stone Brewing Co. this weekend this is the day to do it. Starting at 11am they’ll be filling growlers with 2005 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine
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This week, May 17-May 23rd is American Craft Beer Week, and just as the name suggests it’s a week long celebration of craft beer across the entire country. Various breweries and bars are holding special events to celebrate and of course San Diego is no exception. Below are some highlights of events happening around San Diego County this week. Check out the American Craft Beer Week website for more events. And don’t confuse American Craft Beer Week with San Diego Beer Week happening November 5-14th (and don’t miss San Diego Beer Week’s sneak preview weekend June 10th-13th).
Week long events:
- Stone Brewing Co. will hold Stone Southern California Storm, with all 32 of their taps featuring beer from Southern California Breweries all week long. Like many breweries around the country, they’ll also have a Declaration of Beer Independence hanging in the lobby for folks to sign.
- Karl Strauss Brewing Co. brewed up a Belgian IPA for American Craft Beer Week that will be on tap all week at various bars and on cask at their restaurants. They’ll also have guest casks on throughout the week.
- Coronado Brewing Co. will have their Big Barrel Stout, an Imperial Stout aged for six months in bourbon barrels as well as their Old Scallywag Barley Wine on tap.
Monday, May 17th:
- In addition to Stone Southern California Storm, Stone Brewing Co. will also be hosting a Beer U class, Beer 101: The History of Beer from 7-9pm. Tickets are $20.
Tuesday, May 18th:
- Small Bar will have $2.50 half pints of nine classic American IPAs both Tuesday and Wednesday. The IPAs include Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, Coronado Brewing Co. Idiot IPA and more.
- Blind Lady Ale House will tap the 2010 release of Firestone Walker Parabola, a barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. They’ll also have other Firestone Walker brews on tap including Double Barrel Ale, Pale 31, Union Jack IPA and more.
Wednesday, May 19th:
- If you missed Parabola Tuesday at Blind Lady Ale House, Pizza Port Carlsbad has you covered. They’ll be tapping the 2010 release of Firestone Walker Parabola as well as having plenty of other Firestone Walker beers on tap.
Thursday, May 20th:
- San Diego Brewing Co. will toast 30 years of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. with the Sierra Nevada/Anchor Steam collaboration Fritz and Ken’s Ale, a big dark, Imperial Stout.
Friday, May 21st:
- Hamilton’s Tavern will host a cask of Green Flash Brewing Co.‘s Palate Wrecker and 9-10% ABV Double IPA.
As for Saturday and Sunday check out some of the week long events.