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Posts by Mike Shess

CALL FOR VOTES – 17 in ’17: Best of San Diego Beer 2017

Dec 6

It’s time once again for our end of the year poll. Cast your votes across 17 different categories to help us decide who was the best of the year in our local brewing scene according to you, West Coaster readers. We’ll run the poll for approximately a month. Then, we’ll crunch the numbers and reveal the results in a post in January.

Click here or on the below graphic to vote


Check out winners from previous years

2016 winners

2015 winners

2014 winners

This Weekend: Hard Core Cider Tour

Oct 30
Hard Core Cider Tour San Diego

Hard Core Cider Tour: San Diego takes place November 4th

Publisher’s Note: this is a crosspost from our affiliate magazine San Diego Beverage Times. There, we cover all of the tasty liquids made in San Diego – including cider! 

New for San Diegans and perfect for those learning about the tasty world of cider, the Hard Core Cider Tour comes to San Diego, CA for the 1st time next week, November 4th. San Diego-based cideries Newtopia Cyder, Raging Cider & Mead, Calico Cider, Twisted Horn, Guthrie Ciderworks, and Julian Hard Cider will be in attendance. 

Imbibe unlimited 2 oz. samples from some of the region’s top craft cider makers, savor mouth watering food from local food trucks (food sold separately), groove to live music, and “let your inner kid out” with our jumbo lawn games! Anxious to make a good first impression, Hard Core Cider Tour is donating proceeds to the San Diego Mountain Biking Association.

The organizer’s aim is simple: “Our mission is to celebrate the revival of craft hard cider making. As one of America’s long lost alcoholic beverages, we strive to reintroduce the joy of imbibing hard cider to all!”

A cool feature not seen normally at festivals of any beverage: you can purchase your favorite bottles to take home at the Cider Store Tent.

More details below and on the event’s website.

CIDERIES: Common Cider CompanyJean Marie CideryJulian Hard Cider,Tin City Cider Co.101 Cider HouseAce Premium Craft CiderReverend Nat’s Hard CiderGuthrie CiderworksTwisted Horn Mead & CiderWilliam’s OrchardsThe Honest Abe Cider House & MeaderyBivouac CiderworksHemly Cider, 2 Towns Ciderhouse, Newtopia Cyder, Raging Cider & Mead, Calico Cider, and more to come.

MUSIC LINEUP: Redemption Brass Band

FOOD TRUCKS: Eat Your Heart Out & Sub Fusion


* General Admission: $40 Online / $50 At The Door
* G.A. – Group Rate (4+ Tickets): $30 Online / $40 At The Door per person
* Designated Driver: $10 (Available for purchase At The Door Only)

* UNLIMITED 2 oz. Tastings
* Signature Keepsake Mason Jar
* Unlimited Selfies & Goodtimes … #hardcorecidertour

If You Are Having Cider, Don’t Be A Driver. < < <

This post is sponsored by Hard Core Cider Tour

This weekend: Ebullition’s Grand Opening, Part II

Oct 19

Ebullition Brew Works celebrated the first half of their Grand Opening last Saturday, October 14th. If you missed out, the new Vista brewery is celebrating part II of their inaugural festivities this Saturday, October 21st. Click here for more details.

Last weekend did not disappoint. On tap was an ambitious 11 beer lineup. The menu included three historical brews  such as Egyptian Hekt, ABV 6.2%. It’s their interpretation of the beer imbibed by Pharaohs, high priests, and pyramid builders.  Their research has led them to include such ingredients as spelt, an ancient wheat; dates, honey, and ginger.  It is sweet, spicy, and earthy. In addition, Pineapple Chicha, ABV 5.5%. Ebullition’s version is a corn beer, flavored with ripe crushed pineapple for a refreshing and convivial quaff. Berliner Weisse, ABV 4.5%. Popular in Berlin in the 16th and 17th centuries, this beer was dubbed the “Champagne of the North” by Napoleon.  Ebullition used a triple decoction brewing method, and slightly soured the beer with a lactobacillus culture.  They serve their Berliner Weisse in the traditional style, adding a hint of Waldmeister or Raspberry syrup on request. These special edition styles are currently offered as tasters for a limited time.

The theme fit right in with the textbook definition of its name—both the process of brewing beer and their passion for craft. The showpiece of the tasting room is one of the walls, where a 28-foot long timeline, depicting 12K years of beer innovation and history. The timeline tells stories touching on the Mayflower and Sam Adams. Then, lesser known pieces of beer lore. We didn’t know that during WWII the British RAF, using it’s spitfire bombers, delivered beer in its fuel tanks to the troops in Normandy. The timeline/museum-wall  is a permanent addition to the brewery. On a special note, the brewery has chosen to pay homage to the local breweries with a, “In their own words” section, giving you a good sense of the brewing diversity located in this regional mecca for beer.

Last weekend’s Grand Opening Part 1 included a brewery tour, provided by brewmaster Mike Reidy – who is also an engineer, former math teacher, certified beer judge, and award-winning beer and mead homebrewer. On hand was Judith Downing, of San Diego’s Brewchive (“brew-kive”), providing local artifacts and a special presentation on San Diego’s brew history. For families, there was an archeological dig where kids could dig for and hammer at, buried relics in exchange for prizes. There were 3 local musical acts all performing different stages of Americana music, including: blue grass, rockabilly, and today’s recent alternative roots revival.

Ebullition Brew Works continues their Grand Opening this Saturday October 21, by helping you usher in the holidays with a Dia de los Muertos themed event, ”Dia de Ebullition”. Top of the menu is a Mexican style Lager. This lighter-bodied Mexican beer is set ablaze with just a touch of habanero pepper.  Also—Ebullition’s gruit beer.  This seldom-sene beer-style was originally intended for the previous weekend, which is a good thing, because it probably wouldn’t have lasted long enough for you to get a taste. Before there were hops to make ale beer, there was the gruit. A gruit relies on a selection of herbs other than hops for flavoring.  Named for a Neolithic village on the isle of Orkney, this Scottish style ale features a blend of herbs found in the heaths and moors of Caledonia.

In addition to beer, there’s family entertainment. Local artists will be in attendance. Face painting for the kids, big and small, and a graffiti artist who paints murals sprayed on transparent on a canvas of plastic wrap can be expected.  See him develop his latest creation right before your very eyes. There will be food by Mexico City Cuisine and live music by National City’s The Sleepwalkers.

This post is sponsored by Ebullition Brew Works

Fxck Cancer Fundraiser at La Mesa’s Next Door

Jul 25

On Saturday, August 5th, College Area pub Next Door Craft Beer & Wine Bar will host the charity F C Cancer Foundation.

The fundraiser, which runs from 5 to 9 PM, will raise money to purchase a suite at an upcoming Padres game for a group of local cancer patients.

Specialty wines and beers will be available with 100% of the proceeds to be donated toward the cause. Flights of rare Samuel Adams Utopias and properly-aged 2004 & 2005 Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, brewed by Escondido’s Stone Brewing, will be pouring. Drawings for bottles of wine and custom SOAS racing gear will be held throughout the night and there’s a silent art auction, too.

For more info, check out the event’s Facebook page. If you can’t make the event but still wish to donate, Next Door has also organized a fundraiser online.

This post is sponsored by Next Door Craft Beer & Wine Bar

Pink Boots Society Celebrates 10 Years on June 2nd & 3rd

May 30

Pink Boots Society celebrates 10 years of providing myriad educational opportunities that assist, inspire and encourage women in the beer industry to further their careers. To honor its milestone anniversary, this unique nonprofit organization for women beer professionals will host a conference and beer festival June 2nd and 3rd in San Diego, California.

“We felt hosting an educational conference and beer festival to celebrate ten years aligns perfectly with our core values,” said Laura Ulrich, President of Pink Boots Society, Small Batch Brewer for Stone Brewing. “We’re all thrilled to have two days to show our members and the public how much our organization has contributed to the industry’s growth and improvement through our membership, regional chapters and scholarship opportunities.”

The weekend begins on June 2nd with an all-day two track, multi-panel conference focusing on brewing and the business of beer featuring presentations by many of the most talented and influential women currently working in the beer community. Megan Parisi, Head Brewer at Samuel Adams Nanobrewery, will give the keynote address. The lineup of educational seminars covers a diverse array of topics including the Sensory Evaluation of Beer, Fermentation and Yeast; Tap Room Management, Distribution, Social Media Marketing and more.

Location: Lafayette Hotel and Swim Club, 2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego.

Beer Festival
At noon on June 3rdPink Boots Society Beer Festival at Ingram Plaza in Liberty Station opens to the beer loving public ready to enjoy a diverse array of beers from 35 breweries, unlimited samples, DJ, and so much more. The festival runs from 12pm- 4 p.m. Tickets are $45; $60 day of the event; $15 for designated drivers. All proceeds (100%) benefit the Pink Boots Society Scholarship Program.

Beer festival attendees can expect to enjoy:

  •        More than 30 breweries pouring a wide selection of beers
  •         Unlimited 2-ounce pours
  •         Access to delicious San Diego food trucks
  •         Specialty souvenir taster glass
  •         Four hours of mix and mingling with Pink Boots Society members and their breweries

For more information and ticket purchase, go to:

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