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Posts by Ryan Lamb

Pacific Brewing Closes

Jul 8

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 11.17.45 AMMiramar’s Pacific Brewing Company has been closed effective immediately.

A call to the company’s phone number listed on Facebook was picked up by co-owner Andrew Heino, who cited “differences of opinions with other owners about the direction of the business.”

Heino is “most likely” going to start another brewing operation in the same location, with a name and time table to be determined.

Crowdfunding Continues

Jun 27


Mount Carmel High School grads Tom Keliinoi & Aaron Mayer are hoping to raise $17,500 for the second season of their San Diego beer-centric TV show. For season one, director Keliinoi realized the best way to tell the story of brewers would be to become one himself, so he learned the trade at Acoustic Ales. Their Kickstarter ends on the 30th, with upcoming screening/raffle events tonight at Burning Beard, tomorrow at Culture Solana Beach, and Wednesday at Groundswell.

A recent What's On Draft? screening at Green Flash; photo by William Garcia

A recent What’s On Draft? screening at Green Flash; photo by William Garcia

The Miramar brewery is offering a variety of rewards in exchange for funding of their latest goals: a crowler machine, new casks, and a randall. Several of the “perks” focus on the opportunity to collaborate on unique tasting room beers, as well as gift certificates, discounts on beer and merchandise, early access to bottles and ticketed events. The largest perks allow the donator the opportunity to buy the cask ($3000) or buy the crowler machine ($5000), name it, and then receive a number of free pours for five years. Learn more here; the campaign ends in 7 days.

Valley Center’s Nopalito Farm & Hopyard are working on a plan to build out a 1200 square foot pergola in their avocado grove for a variety of purposes, including a “hop school” where aspiring growers or interested beer lovers can learn what it takes to grow hops. The Brownwood family, who run the eight-acre certified organic farm, are hoping to raise $4,500 for the project via on GoFundMe. Mark your calendars for a summer BBQ on July 9 featuring Amplified Ales, Monkey Paw, and The Heart & Trotter.

CCBA, SDBG Voice Opposition to SB-1426

Jun 22

A bill making its way through the California Senate is being opposed by trade organizations such as the California Craft Brewers Association (CCBA) and the San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG).

The bill, SB-1426, would essentially legalize compensation to retailers for alcoholic beverage promotion and marketing activities. Tom McCormick, executive director of the CCBA, sent this statement to West Coaster: “As it is written, SB-1426 raises obvious concerns about the creation of payola in the marketplace, essentially allowing manufacturers to legally engage in pay-to-play practices for the first time since the Prohibition. This would be devastating to the craft brewing industry and would dramatically reduce the variety of craft beers on the shelf that consumers now enjoy.”

SB 1426--Oppose Letter--SD Councilman Chris CateMcCormick continued, saying “the CCBA is opposed to this legislation as it is currently written, however, we have suggested amendments to the bill that would solve the issue for DIAGEO’s celebrity spokesperson without opening the door to additional erosion of tied-house laws in California. These amendments have not been accepted so we remain strongly opposed to this bill.”

Mike Sardina, SDBG President, furthered by saying that “per the directive of the CCBA, members of the San Diego Brewers Guild are in active opposition to SB-1426.” He added that citizens can “call your Assembly Member and let them know that you are an enthusiast of craft beer and the breweries in San Diego, and that if passed, SB-1426 will be very bad for craft breweries in the county.”

San Diego’s Councilmember Chris Cate, of the city’s sixth district, was originally contacted by 32 North Brewing about the bill and has sent his letter of opposition to Adam C. Gray, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization, where the bill currently sits and is being heard soon. His letter is posted above.

Senator Joel Anderson of California’s 38th District, which includes large portions of eastern San Diego County, voted in opposition to the bill on the Senate floor on June 1.

Karl Strauss Named Top California Brewery

May 25

At the California Travel Summit award ceremony this month, Karl Strauss was named Brewery of the Year for 2016 by the California Travel (CalTravel) Association for its role in developing the state’s tourism brand. In 2015, Firestone Walker received the award, preceded by Russian River in 2014 and Sierra Nevada in 2013.

The San Diego-based brewery, which got its start in 1989, began distributing beer outside Southern California in the summer of 2012.

Within the state, the company has brewery restaurants in Downtown San Diego, La Jolla, Sorrento Mesa, Costa Mesa, 4S Ranch, Temecula, Universal City Walk, and a recently-remodeled Carlsbad location. Karl Strauss’ brewing headquarters just east of Pacific Beach now includes a tasting room and beer garden, while Disney fans can find their products at a beer truck inside the California Adventure theme park.


Karl Strauss CEO & Co-Founder, Chris Cramer

CalTravel noted that several company leaders reside on the boards of key support groups such as the San Diego Brewers Guild, California Craft Brewers Association, and the San Diego Tourism Authority.

Karl Strauss was ranked #46 on the Brewers Association’s list of the top 50 craft breweries by sales volume in 2015.

“We are humbled and honored to be recognized for the mark we’ve made in the development of California’s rich craft beer culture and beer tourism. We take a lot of pride in our San Diego roots and have always made an effort to support our community in the way we represent our brand and the ways we give back through our service,” said Matt Rattner, the brewery’s President & Co-Founder. Karl Strauss CEO & Co-Founder, Chris Cramer, was in attendance to accept the award.

Ballast Point Building $48M Virginia Brewery

May 24

As reported by The Roanoke Times today, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits is planning to build a $48 million brewery on a 259,000-square-foot site in Botetourt County, Virginia. The expansion will create roughly 175 jobs on-site, 540 secondary jobs, and a $375 million annual economic impact, according to projections from the Roanoke Regional Partnership.

“In our quest to provide the best quality, freshest beer to all of our customers, an East Coast brewery started to make a lot of sense to us,” Ballast Point founder Jack White said in a written statement.

ballastpoint_logo_t670_t658Ballast Point is the third San Diego-based brewery to pick Virginia for an East Coast brewery site, following Stone (Richmond), and Green Flash (Virginia Beach); those breweries are currently being built out.

Water availability and quality played a key factor in the decision. “We are able to welcome Ballast Point to Botetourt County because of the decision by the Board of Supervisors in 2015 to join the Western Virginia Water Authority,” said Botetourt County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Leffel. Water for the authority comes from the nearby Carvins Cove reservoir, instead of the mineral-rich water previously available to tenants in the Greenfield area.

According to reports, Ballast Point will receive a $2.4 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist with the project. The company will also be eligible for a $250,000 grant from the governor’s Agriculture and Forest Industries Development Fund. Additionally, Botetourt County will provide about $1.4 million in tax incentives, along with performance grants estimated at $650,000.

Ballast Point Brewing got their start in 1996 as an offshoot of supply shop Home Brew Mart (1992), and the company now employs more than 500 people across four facilities in San Diego. The brewery was acquired by Constellation Brands in November for a record-breaking $1 billion. This past month, Ballast Point won two World Beer Cup awards, announced a Long Beach brewpub, and was crowned Champion Large International Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards.

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