Churchill’s Renaissance & Beer Release
Up in San Marcos soaked suds seekers will be camping out Friday night for a chance to get their hands on Churchill’s Finest Hour, an annual creation by The Lost Abbey’s Tomme Arthur and Gwen Conley specifically for the pub and this event. With cutting in line an issue at past releases, there will be a security guard on hand all night to help police the situation. More info on the wristband ticketing system can be found here. When the doors open at 11 a.m., attendees will be graced with the presence of ultra-rare offerings, including a mystery cask from The Bruery, Green Flash barrel-aged Little Freak with plums on cask, Firestone Walker Lil Opal, Russian River Pliny the Younger and much more, including food specials.
Best Damn Night of the Barrels III
Sid from Best Damn Beer Shop is throwing another epic tasting event at Downtown Johnny Brown’s in the Civic Center on Saturday night from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 at the door for 10 tasters of 3-4 ounces of big beer, including locally-produced goods like The Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze, Mission bourbon barrel-aged Dark Seas Stout, 2010 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine aged in bourbon barrels, and AleSmith bourbon barrel-aged Speedway Stout. Other rarities featured: Midnight Sun Arctic Devil Barleywine, Cantillon Grand Cru, Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, Cantillon Iris Founders Nemesis 09, Avery Uncle Jacobs Stout, Cascade Bourbonic Plague, Cascade Kriek, Cascade Apricot, Cascade Blueberry, and many more…
5th Annual Brewbies Festival
100% of proceeds from this fifth annual event go to the Keep A Breast Foundation, and the beer list, curated by former Pizza Port event manager Melanie Pierce, is stellar. The rare beer booth will be pouring specialties from Boneyard, Devil’s Backbone, Faction Brewing, Four Peaks, Goose Island, New Belgium, Oakshire Brewing, Off-Color Brewing, Piece Brewing, Surly and Three Floyds. Many breweries have even created pink beers just for the occasion: AleSmith, Alpine, Angel City, Automatic, Big Dogs, Bravery, Breakwater, Coronado, Craftsman, Culture, Dogfish, Eagle Rock, Golden Road, Ironfire, Ladyface, La Quinta, Monkey Paw, Noble Aleworks, Rip Current, Societe, Smog City, TAPS, and The Lost Abbey. There’s also a huge raffle and yes, big tents to keep you out of the rain. New Uber users can plug in the code BREWBIES for $20 credit.
Over three sessions this past weekend 555 beers were judged for the annual America’s Finest City homebrew competition by local club QUAFF. Scoring the beers were some serious heavyweights, including AleSmith founder Skip Virgilio, current AleSmith owner and BJCP Grand Master level 1 judge Peter Zien, Kelsey McNair of the upcoming North Park Beer Co., Paul Sangster, current co-owner at Rip Current Brewing and former Ninkasi Award winner (aka top national homebrewer), among many other accomplished brewers and beer judges.
Last night the awards were presented at Randy Jones BBQ in Hazard Center. You can view the full PDF of winners here; top honors included Peter Perrecone’s Best of Show Ruten Tuten Raspberry Fruit Lambic (watch for more of Perrecone’s creations at brewery-in-planning Toolbox Brewing), Bob Mac Kay’s Best of Show Cyser in the mead and cider category, and Brian Trout’s designation as “Brewing Machine” thanks to six medals — four gold, one silver, and one bronze. He sits atop the homebrewer of the year leaderboard with 29 points.
Culture turns 1 (2/21-22)
The Solana Beach brewery will celebrate their first year in business with two days of events this weekend. Friday will see the first-time release of four different barrel-aged beers and specialty casks. On Saturday there are two sessions, both offering unlimited tasters of more than 20 beers; click on the link above for more info, and view a timelapse video of Culture’s first year here.
Raglan turns 2 (2/27)
Staff members of this Ocean Beach eatery recently brewed a kiwi and mango juice-infused 8.2% ABV double IPA with the local Pizza Port crew. A cask version with even more kiwi and mango, plus jalapeño, is getting tapped next Thursday the 27th along with 15 taps featuring beers from all the Pizza Port brewpubs. Don’t miss the Green Flash Palate Wrecker cask as well.
Tap Room turns 7 (2/22)
Russian River Pliny the Younger is just the tip of the iceberg at this anniversary party/beer festival happening this Saturday in Pacific Beach; see the full list, with a hefty amount of local brews, here. Highlights include a cask of barrel-aged Speedway Stout from AleSmith, Ballast Point rum barrel-aged Victory at Sea on nitro, Monkey Paw Muriqui IIIPA, and the debut of a new Modern Times IPA.
The Bistro’s Double IPA festival began in 2000, and has since become one of the staple events of San Francisco Beer Week.
Two San Diego breweries, listed in bold below, received plaudits:
People’s Choice Awards
Two examples include newly-opened neighborhood spot The Ugly Dog — located at 6344 El Cajon Boulevard in the College Area –and Steins Pub, coming in the spring to Tierrasanta. Both are owned and operated by QUAFF homebrew club President Larry Stein and his wife Gail.
The Ugly Dog boasts 30 taps of mostly craft beers with a local focus, poured by Cicerone Certified Beer Servers who are working on obtaining the Certified Cicerone level. There’s also a sizeable mead and cider selection. A growling bottle list is available to-go thanks to how long the liquor license has been around.
As for events, tomorrow The Ugly Dog hosts Matt Akin from Benchmark Brewing for a meet-the-brewer event; Akin has been a QUAFF member since 2002, and worked as AleSmith head brewer until leaving to start his own brewery in 2011. On the 15th, there’s a BrewStormers meetup, complete with deals on beers. On the 26th, owner and head meadmaker from Boulder, Colorado’s Redstone Meadery, David Myers, will be in the house along with Queso Diego, a local cheese club bringing several varieties to pair with mead flights. March 1 welcomes the CityBeat Beer Club, and on March 29 homebrewers-turned-pros Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe from Rip Current will make the trip down from San Marcos for a meet-the-brewer event.
One of The Ugly Dog’s weekly specials specifically highlights local brews: on Thursdays, a flight of four San Diego beers is $4. On Mondays, active duty and retired military personnel and families get $2 off glasses of beer and $4 off pitchers on Mondays. Wednesdays promise fun, too, with a 30-sided die; roll for a discount of 1-30% off your beer.