YES, THEY CAN! — Scot Blair, owner of the East Village brewery and pub Monkey Paw, announced in an e-mail yesterday that three of brewer Derek Freese’s beers will soon be going into 16 oz. cans, a first for any San Diego brewery. Bay Area-based mobile canning operation The Can Van will come down the week of the Craft Brewers Conference (May 2-5) to package 100 cases each of Oatmeal Pale Ale, Sweet Georgia Brown and Rich Man’s IIPA. Blair noted that a conversation with Firestone Walker’s David Walker was key to the move: “I was chewing on this from before we broke ground on the space in 2012 but it wasn’t til I remember speaking to Mr. David Walker from FSW about the new small pub and canning and he was very encouraging of the concept and idea and how I could do it on a small scale.” Plans for the future (a canning line, expansion) are still undecided, but Blair added, “I don’t want it to be a one hit wonder so I will continue to push forward with my original plans as we look at our predefined goal but suffice to say “Brewed and Canned in San Diego, CA” will be a fact that we will have the privilege to say in a couple weeks.”
MOVIN’ ON UP, NORTH — Karl Strauss Brewing Company, one of the top three fastest growing craft breweries in the Western region according to the Brewers Association, will begin distributing its beers to Northern California in the summer of 2012 after years of customer demand. This move comes along with a host of other announcements from San Diego’s oldest operating craft brewer, including the new “Imperial Collection” that’s available in 22 oz. bombers year-round and features Off the Rails Imperial Red, Tower 20 IIPA (“amped up” versions of Red Trolley Ale and Tower 10 IPA, respectively), and newcomer Wreck Alley Imperial Stout. Also, the seventh KARL brewery restaurant is set to open at 10448 Reserve Drive in 4S Ranch in July of this year with a 7-barrel brew house, 1 fermentor and 2 bright tanks. Big changes are coming to the Pacific Beach brewery too, including more tanks and a revamp of the facility, estimated for completion late summer 2012.
HOW EVENTFUL — Our event calendar is bursting at the seams. Tonight you have your choice between Hess Brewing’s Friday Afternoon Club, Bitter and Sour Night at Downtown Johnny Brown’s, plus Lagunitas Brewing Company casks available at either Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park or Main Tap Tavern in El Cajon. Also, Lagunitas’ Waldos’ Special Ale will be tapped at four places today at 4:20 p.m. — Hamilton’s Tavern, The Regal Beagle, Newport Pizza & Alehouse and Breakwater Brewing Co. Tomorrow, choose between a Ballast Point Maple Porter breakfast cask at Small Bar, a double beer release at The Lost Abbey, or five food trucks at Iron Fist (yes, five: SD Street Eats, Mr. Pig BBQ, Cole’s Sandwiches, Casanova Fish Tacos and Epic Eatz) from 12 – 6 p.m. On Sunday, Oakquinox is back at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, featuring more than 100 barrel-aged and wood-infused beers. There’s also a beginner brew class at Home Brew Mart starting at 2 p.m. CBC: With the Craft Brewers Conference coming into town, we’ve added a bunch of events starting on Monday the 30th through May 5th that will feature lots of non-SD breweries. Click on each to see if it’s a “meet the brewer” event, and if you know of something we don’t, submit it here. Salud!