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Posts by Ryan Lamb

San Diegans Fundraise for Northern California

Oct 16

Given many local brewers’ ties to Northern California, the ongoing fires have galvanized fundraising efforts.

Second Chance Beer’s Marty Mendiola and Virginia Morrison were planning to spend their fifth wedding anniversary this past weekend in the area. “Marty and I used to visit Northern California at least three times a year when he was still with Rock Bottom, as he managed the brewery at the RB Campbell location, and I have family up that way,” said Morrison. “Thus, it holds a very special place in our hearts.”

This Saturday they’re hosting a fundraiser in tandem with a celebration of their GABF medals. Pints of winners Legally Red and Tabula Rasa are $4 from 1 to 3 p.m. 20% of beer sales during that time, plus 10% from the rest of the day, will be donated to relief efforts.

Some fundraisers took place over the weekend:
O’Brien’s Pub’s Wet Hop Fest benefited the United Way of Wine Country.
– 10% of Small Bar’s sales were donated to King Ridge Foundation.
Toronado donated $1,000 to the Santa Rosa chapter of the Red Cross, in addition to $1 from every pour of Russian River beer. Russian River’s Vince and Natalie Cilurzo have strong connections to San Diego’s professional brewing and homebrewing communities.

More fundraisers are in the works:
– Starting Friday October 13th until the end of November, Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle on the Shelter Island Pier will donate $1 from every Russian River beer, including Pliny the Elder and Blind Pig IPA, to victims’ charities.
– Tomorrow, Blind Lady Ale House will donate $5 per glass from each $10 (.5L) pour of Russian River beer to King Ridge Foundation.
Eppig Brewing will release one of their beers under the Sonoma Pride label this week in the tasting room. 100% of proceeds will go to King Ridge Foundation.
Craft Beerd will donate 50% of the sales from their Russian River-inspired pin (up to the first 50 pins) to the United Way of Wine Country.
Mikkeller San Diego is planning a fundraiser (TBD).
– Russian River (Santa Rosa) and Bear Republic (Healdsburg) are planning special releases of Sonoma Pride. Check out the website for three ways to contribute.
Stone Distributing Co. will donate a portion of sales throughout the month of October to Direct Relief. Retroactive to October 1, for every case of Bear Republic and Russian River beer sold, the company will donate $0.25; Stone will further donate $0.25 for every case of Stone Brewing beer sold in Southern California; and Stone Brewing will donate $0.15 for every case of Stone beer sold via its wholesale distribution partners throughout the rest of California. Also, the following list of brands distributed by Stone Distributing Co. have committed to splitting a donation of $0.25 per case for the entire month: Avery Brewing Co., Boochcraft, Eel River Brewing, Kern River Brewing Company, MadeWest Brewing Company, Mason Ale Works, Maui Brewing Co., Mikkeller Brewing, Modern Times Beer, Oskar Blues Brewery, Smog City Brewing Company, The Bruery, The Lost Abbey, Victory Brewing Company, and Wandering Aengus Ciderworks.
Update: Societe Brewing will donate a portion of proceeds from Halloween, October 31.
Update: 100% of proceeds from this coming Saturday’s BagbyFest in Oceanside will go to King Ridge Foundation.

Know of more fundraising efforts? Please leave a comment below.

Upcoming Events: Friday to Friday

Oct 13

There’s lots happening over the next week in beer, with plenty of opportunities to try Great American Beer Festival (GABF) winners.

Friday, October 13
Keep the spirit of Oktoberfest alive at Normal Heights’ Blind Lady Ale House, with specials on food and stein refills through the weekend.

Saturday, October 14
They say it takes a lot of beer to make whiskey, so why not check out the SD Distillers Guild’s first large-scale festival, Spirits by the Bay, this Saturday. Brewery The Lost Abbey will be pouring too, alongside more than fifteen Southern California distilleries, plus local cider operation Newtopia. More information is available at our affiliate

If you really want just beer, Hamiltons Tavern is hosting this year’s Great American Beer Festival (GABF) Brewery Group and Brewmaster of the Year winner Melvin Brewing for the South Park bar’s monthly Second Saturday event. And because food is complimentary, expect a packed house.

Sunday, October 15
Improve your succulent skills at Culture Brewing’s Solana Beach tasting room during a fall-themed workshop. Two beers are included in your ticket; maybe recent GABF winner Blonde will be on tap.

Monday, October 16
Traveling yoga group The Beer Yogis visits GABF winner AleSmith again, so come start off the week with some Savasana.

Tuesday, October 17
North Park Beer Company invites Burning Beard Brewery, Nomad Donuts, for a collaborative beer dinner. In-house kitchen Mastiff Kitchen will help produce the five-course menu.

Wednesday, October 18
Regents Pizzeria welcomes GABF winning brewery Beachwood (Seal Beach/Long Beach) to take over some of their taps, plus pour a one-off cask.

Thursday, October 19
Another cask night featuring a GABF winner, but here it’s Second Chance Beer Co. at O’Brien’s Pub. Clever Hoppy Name IPA is on cask, with gold medal winner Tabula Rasa Porter definitely on the menu.

Friday, October 20
The weekly Hops on the Harbor Dinner Cruise features Green Flash Brewing Co. through the month of October, offering unique views of the city skyline.

San Diego Beer Week Approaches!

Sep 25

San Diego Beer Week 2017 starts in 39 days, and we’ve already added more than 70 events to our web calendar. Breweries, bars, PR folks… add your events to the list by e-mailing Cheers!

Friday 11/3
Guild Fest VIP Brewer Takeover @ Broadway Pier
Amplified Ale Works 5-Year Anniversary @ Lafayette Hotel
Bad Advice IIPA Can Release @ Council Brewing
New Kids on the Block (Eppig, Pariah, North Park) @ Regents Pizzeria
BYOBib: Beer & Seafood Boil @ Coronado Brewing Co.
Back Country Beer Night w/ Alpine/Cellar 3/Nickel @ O’Brien’s Pub
Farm to Fermenter (Local Ingredient Beers) @ Duck Foot Brewing
– Hops on the Harbor Dinner Cruise w/ Stone Brewing
Kick-Ass Cask Night @ Belching Beaver North Park
Saturday 11/4
Brewers Guild Festival @ Broadway Pier
Spontaneous Sour Saturday @ Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station
IPA Day w/ Special Flight @ Council Brewing
Sour & Funky Tasting @ TapRoom PB
Bends and Brews Yoga @ Karl Strauss Santa Fe St.
Sour Weekend Begins @ O’Brien’s Pub
Barrel-Aged Day @ Duck Foot Brewing
Beer without Borders Vol. 3 @ Machete Beer House
Nomad Donuts & Beer Pairings @ Thorn Brewery
Craft Your Own Adventure @ Golden Coast Mead
Sunday 11/5
Green Flash Smokeout @ Carnitas Snack Shack
Beer & Bites w/ Mastiff Sausage Co. @ Thorn Brewery
Beer Dinner w/ Melvin Brewing @ O’Brien’s Pub
Kegs & Eggs Brunch w/ The Brewers @ Duck Foot Brewing
Barrel & Cigar @ Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station
DRK Festival @ Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido
Boy Scout Charity Event @ Mike Hess Brewing North Park
Monday 11/6
4th Annual Brews, Views and Chews Beer Pairing @ Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
Brewery/Magic Factory Tours (4 Different Times) @ Council Brewing
Modern Times Beer Cask & Featured Beers @ Regents Pizzeria
Alpine / Green Flash / Cellar 3 @ TapRoom PB
Beer Nerd Trivia Showdown Extravaganza @ North Park Beer Co.
Melving Brewing Night @ O’Brien’s Pub
Truffles & Beer Pairings w/ Andrea’s Truffles @ Thorn Brewery
Steak & BJ Night w/ Three Weavers Blood Junkie @ Small Bar SD
Tuesday 11/7
Vienne, Biere De Mars Bottle Release @ Council Brewing
Karl Strauss / Pizza Port @ TapRoom PB
Pink Boots Society Meeting (RSVP) @ Societe Brewing
Kern River Night @ O’Brien’s Pub
Societe Gives Back: Pints for Prostates @ Societe Brewing
QUAFF Homebrewers Turned Pro Meetup @ North Park Beer Co.
Small Bar Supper Club feat. Ska Brewing @ Small Bar SD
November Tap Takeover w/ Coronado @ Yard House Mission Valley
Wednesday 11/8
Barrel Aged Beers w/ The Lost Abbey @ TapRoom PB
Don’t Be Self Conchas: Bottle Logic & Pan Dulce Pairing @ Machete Beer House
Latitude 33 Cask & Featured Beers @ Regents Pizzeria
Beer Education Night (Advanced Sour Talk) @ Council Brewing
Fieldwork Brewing Night @ O’Brien’s Pub
Beer Trivia @ Duck Foot Brewing
Ice Cream Beer Floats w/ Hammond’s @ North Park Beer Co.
Thursday 11/9
Women in Beer Week Tap Takeover & Meet the Brewers @ Small Bar SD
Beer & Donut Pairing w/ Nomad @ Council Brewing
Modern Times Showcase @ TapRoom PB
Founders Brewing Night @ O’Brien’s Pub
Mission Wildlife Charity Trivia Night @ Mike Hess Brewing North Park
Craft Beer Tasting Class w/ Jake Nunes @ North Park Beer Co.
Friday 11/10
15th Anniversary Bash @ Green Flash Beer
Tyson’s Big Ass Barrel-Aged Beer Night @ O’Brien’s Pub
SDBW Beer Garden Day 1 @ TapRoom PB
Wild Beer Day Flights @ Council Brewing
Half Door Brewery Cask & Featured Beers @ Regents Pizzeria
Beer Release: Berline Weisse @ Duck Foot Brewing
Bonneville 7 @ Black Plague Brewery
Hops on the Harbor Dinner Cruise w/ Stone Brewing
Kick-Ass Cask Night @ Belching Beaver North Park
Saturday 11/11 – Veteran’s Day
20% off for Active/Retired Military: R&D Kegs @ Council Brewing
Collabapalooza hosted by Karl Strauss @ The Observatory North Park
Venissimo Cheese & Beer Pairings @ Thorn Brewery
Warrior Station Benefit Bottle Share @ O’Brien’s Pub
SDBW Beer Garden Day 2 @ TapRoom PB
Beer for Breakfast w/ Fieldwork Brewing @ Small Bar SD
IPA Day @ Duck Foot Brewing
Woodshop Bottle Share @ North Park Beer Co.
Sunday 11/12
SDBW Official Closing Event @ The Lodge at Torrey Pines
AleSmith Beer Garden Invasion @ TapRoom PB
The Lost Abbey Beer Dinner w/ Tomme Arthur @ O’Brien’s Pub
Employee R&D Kegs @ Council Brewing
 Stretch & Sip Yoga @ Belching Beaver Ocean Beach

Wet Hop Beer Weekend @ O’Brien’s Pub

Sep 15

Last month, we listed as many wet hop beers as we could find. Last night, Wet Hop Beer Weekend kicked off at O’Brien’s Pub with multiple taps from Nickel Beer Co.

Chinook hops from Star B Ranch in Santa Ysabel at Nickel Beer Co.

Here’s the list of beers (plus one cider and one mead) that will be on tap by 5 p.m. today:
– Burning Beard Circle of Wet Hops
– Newtopia Granny’s Lupulin Lust Cyder
– Chuck Alec Star B Out
– South Park Brewing Baby Buck XPA
– South Park Brewing Starpolito IPA
– North Park Beer Co. Chinolito Wet Hop Ale
– Monkey Paw Same Day IPA
– Craft Brewing Double Legged IIPA 8%
– Thunderhawk Liberty’s Teeth ESB
– Thunderhawk Death to Selfies Saison
– San Diego Brewing Co. SD S.M.A.S.H.
– Asylum Space Grass Session IPA
– Golden Coast Hopped Honey Star B Crystal Session Mead
– Amplified Toad the Wet Hoppit
– Pure Project Everyday California
– Wicks Brewing Wet Ever 4 Ever
– Mission Fresh Hop
– Fall Crystal Mess IPA
– Prodigy Wet Hop Grisette
– Mikkeller M is for Murker
– Nickel Standing Eagle Wet Hop IPA
– Nickel Hook in Mouth Chinook Wet Hop IPA
– Nickel My Way Wet Hop IPA
– Nickel/Benchmark/South Park Wet Hop Table Beer
– Nickel Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA
– Nickel/Monkey Paw Buffalo Paw Wet Hop Brown
– Nickel Star B Wet Hop Pale
– Nickel Fresh Mountain Crystal Wet Hop IPA

Wet Hop Beers of 2017

Aug 15

Post updated September 1; added Newtopia Cyder collaboration and revised beer release dates.

With San Diego now home to more than a dozen hop farms, local brewers are seizing the opportunity to use freshly-picked hops in their beers for an added dose of aroma and flavor.

This year’s hop harvest started towards the end of July, with breweries Amplified, Burning Beard, and Nickel among the first to pick hops from the bine, meaning the county’s first wet hop beers of 2017 already graced taps in early August.

Tom Nickel at Sierra Nevada with his favorite beer ingredient

Leading the charge per usual is Tom Nickel, a 22-year veteran of the San Diego brewing scene. By the time September rolls around, the seven-barrel brewery he runs in Julian, Nickel Beer Co, will have churned out close to a dozen wet hop beers.

“We added a new fermenter, so we are brewing 2 wet hop beers a week for 5 straight weeks across 6 different beer styles, using 3 different yeast strains,” Nickel says. “I am pretty certain that only Sierra Nevada might have ever brewed more than 10 wet hop beers in a single harvest.”

The bar he owns in Kearny Mesa, O’Brien’s Pub, recently tapped a few wet hop beers from Nickel Beer Co and other breweries, but the real party is scheduled for September 14th-17th, when the pub hosts “San Diego Wet Hop Weekend.” The night of Thursday the 14th will likely kick off with a wet hop cask and a collection of Nickel beers, before wet hop beers from all over Southern California take over the taps for the weekend.

Below is a list of wet hop beers we are aware of. We’ll update this post when we learn of more.

– Toad the Wet Hop-it brewed with Chinook and Cascade from SD Golden Hop Farm. Tapped August 4 at the Miramar location.

Ballast Point:
– “Iron Fire Family Reunion Collaboration. Brewed in the afternoon of August 21 and 22 after picking 250# of Nugget and Crystal at Star B Buffalo Ranch and Hop Farm in west Ramona in the morning both days. 500# total picked over both days. Hopefully be driving the fresh picked hops straight to Long Beach location, in a refrigerated truck, to put straight into the beer. Wet Hop IPA’ish style fermented with 100% Brett to be brewed at Long Beach.
– “Fall Brewing Family Reunion Collaboration. Brewed in the afternoon of August 23 after picking 200# of Nugget and Crystal at Star B Buffalo Ranch and Hop Farm in west Ramona in the morning. Hopefully be driving the fresh picked hops straight to Trade Street location, in a refrigerated truck, to put straight into the beer. 5% ABV Saison with a mixed yeast (brett and saison 565), grains of paradise, local sage and local wet hops. Brother Levonian grain bill.” – Colby Chandler
– “We [Ballast Point Little Italy] brewed a Wet Hop IPA, we will name ‘Splash Zone’.  It was brewed with a 50/50 split of Chinook and Cascade wet hops from Golden Hop Farm. ABV: 6.4% It will be released in all our tasting rooms on August 31st.” – Julia Cain

Burning Beard & Star B team up for Circle of Wet Hops (@burning.beard.brewing)

Burning Beard:
– Circle of Wet Hops (wet-hopped version of year-round SD Pale Ale the Circle of Hops). Star B Ranch hops. Tapped August 4.

– Fresh Hopportunity IPA with Cascade from a former brewer’s dad (5 pounds in the mash), plus Nugget and Crystal from Fallbrook’s SD Golden Hop Farm in Fallbrook (whirlpool). 6% ABV and 35-45 IBUs. Tapped late August.

– 7 lbs of Cascade in a keg of Pale Ale for the Encinitas tasting room grand opening August 12.

– Hops from SD Golden Hop Farm were used to dry hop the brewery’s hoppy pale, Other Spaces, as well as a few casks.


– Wet hop Crystal Mess with Star B Ranch Crystal hops. Brewing week of August 14.

Golden Coast Mead:
– Star B Ranch’s Crystal hops used in a session clover mead (honey wine). On tap for Farm to Fork Week festivities (September 9-17). 

– Wet-hopped New England-style IPA featuring Star B hops. Canning September 5; Release September 6.


– 5.6% ABV Pale Ale called Fresh Hop. Star B Ranch hops. Cascade and Chinook in the whirlpool; Cascade, Nugget, Crystal in the dry hop. 22 oz bottle run… Available late August.

Monkey Paw:
– Same Day XPA
– Lab Monkey

Chinook hops from Star B Ranch in Santa Ysabel at Nickel Beer Co. (Facebook)

– Scripps Ranch cyder company has gotten in on the act, collab’ing with Star B.

– Buffalo Paw Brown Ale
– Fresh Mountain Crystal IPA
– Green Truck IIPA
– My Way IPA
– Standing the Eagle IPA
– Star B Pale Ale
– Golden Nugget wet hop IPA
– Wet Hop Table Beer with Benchmark and Monkey Paw
– Hook In Mouth (wet hop Star B Chinook IPA)
– “An unnamed and uncertain Wet Hop Red Ale with hops from the new front hop yard at Star B. Eric has a lot of new varieties out there and they are looking good. Not sure exactly what we are going to brew because that will somewhat depend on what hops we end up using.
– Star B – Burning Beard – Nickel collab brewed September 1.

North Park Beer Co:
– “We made an IPA with 72# of Chinook and 8# of Columbus wet hops [Nopalito Farm]. We used the mash tun as a giant hopback and allowed the hot wort to steep with the wet hops at the end of boil. The beer is still fermenting [8/14] but if all goes as planned it’ll be 7.0% ABV.” – Kelsey McNair

Pure Project / Women’s Craft Beer Collective / SD Golden Hop Farm collab. Photo by Matt De La Cruz (@brewstills)

Pizza Port:
Carlsbad Village:
– Plant to Pint strong pale ale with fresh Mosaic
– Raceway IPA with fresh Citra
Ocean Beach:
– Wet Lamborghini IPA with fresh Mosaic
– Don Simcoeleone IPA with fresh Simcoe
San Clemente:
– Contender pale ale with fresh Mosaic
– Riptide IPA with fresh Citra
Solana Beach:
– 135 IPA with fresh Citra
– Sea Dog Session IPA with fresh Mosaic
– Merica IPA with fresh Simcoe

Pure Project:
– Name is yet to be decided, but this will be a collaboration with @womenscraftbeercollective. SD Golden Hop Farm hops. Tapped late August.

– Anti-Matter IPA w/ SD Golden Hop Farm Cascade. Tapped late August.

South Park:
– Baby Buck XPA with Star B. Tapped late August.
– Starpalito IPA with Star B and Nopalito. Tapped late August.

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