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Posts by Ryan Lamb

The War of Words Intensifies Before 10 Barrel’s Debut

May 22

Many San Diegans aren’t happy that Anheuser-Busch InBev-funded 10 Barrel Brewing Company will soon open in the East Village, and the war of words has intensified in recent weeks.

A “San Diego Beer Fan” — now identified as Robert Esparza, a local beer festival organizer — came up with the idea to fly a banner reading “10 Barrel Is Not Craft Beer” over the company’s fundraiser block party this Saturday. A crowdfunding campaign posted on May 13 surpassed the $900 goal in four hours, reaching $2,015 as of this afternoon.

The chartered plane will take off from Gillespie Field in El Cajon around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the pilot planning to bring the banner within eyesight of 10 Barrel’s event between 6:15 and 6:30 p.m. The banner was recently amended to include the URL, a website purchased by Esparza that links to a video by Whats On Draft TV denouncing the arrival of 10 Barrel, while promoting the release of 11 Barrel IPA, a collaboration beer made in protest by downtown brewpubs Monkey Paw, Resident, and Half Door. Starting on Sunday, a portion of proceeds from each pint of that beer will go to homeless and hunger causes in the neighborhood.

The San Diego Union-Tribune noted that “several donors to the GoFundMe campaign represent local beer interests. They include Pat McIlhenney, co-founder of Alpine Beer; Virginia Morrison, co-founder of Second Chance Beer; Pariah Brewing; Wiseguy Brewing; Thunderhawk Alements and even Rancho Cucamonga’s Kings Brewing.”

The story was picked up by 10 News reporters, who interviewed Esparza’s friend Brian Mitchell, proprietor of Pariah Brewing in North Park. “These guys [Anheuser-Busch InBev] aren’t buying these companies because they like them or want their products to do well, they’re buying them because they’re losing market share,” Mitchell told the station in a segment that aired on May 18. “So how do you beat your competitor? You buy your competition.” Mitchell and others point to illegal pay-to-play practices as additional reasons to reject A-B InBev and the breweries they own.

Screenshot from 10 News

10 Barrel co-founder Garrett Wales provided this statement to 10 News regarding the controversy: “While we really appreciate these efforts increasing the awareness of the opening of the pub, it’s a shame these folks aren’t putting their time and money into more important civil causes and helping those truly in need. With that, we’ll be pouring some great beers on May 27th and hope many new friends come join us.”

And in a cheeky tweet, 10 Barrel referenced the aerial banner, saying, “We’re matching every $ raised for this campaign and giving it to @SDHungerCo & @SD_Coastkeeper. Lemonade anyone? ;)”

Via Twitter @10BarrelBrewing

The responses incensed Esparza, who has shunned Anheuser-Busch and their stable of acquired breweries from participation at his events. “What they said was just another slap in the face of the local beer community,” he told West Coaster. “They’re acting like our local breweries haven’t been giving to charities for years, decades even. This just shows me how ignorant they are.”

Further Reading:

San Diego Reader’s report on 10 Barrel Brewing San Diego, which includes some interesting twists: 10 Barrel’s founders aren’t listed on the brewing license, but “Anheuser-Busch, LLC” is, along with new Bud Light VP Andy Goeler. Also, 10 Barrel will operate a 20-barrel brewhouse.

Paste Magazine’s recent breakdown of the “BS Arguments of Craft Beer Sell-Outs” which is reminiscent of Modern Times’ blog post “What ‘Selling Out’ Is Actually About” published in September. Market Watch takes a markedly different perspective with “Opinion: Anheuser-Busch buys its 10th craft brewery, and the stigma of selling out wears off”

Good Beer Hunting’s in-depth article “Watch the Hands, Not the Cards – The Magic of Megabrew”… although you can’t read that post if you follow “The Cut Off” list proposed by

OMBAC’s First Beer Festival: Saturday

May 18

OMBAC’s first beer festival is this Saturday

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC), known for its annual Over-The-Line tournament, is adding a beer festival component into the mix this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Mariners Point. This tournament is actually a pre-cursor to the World Championship, held in July. We caught up with OMBAC reps for more details:

Q: Why a beer festival?
A: This event is a fundraiser for the smaller events we do throughout the year that are not money making events. Some of those include OMSurf that benefits Junior Lifeguards, OMShoes which are horseshoe tournaments that benefit various cancer research centers (most recently UCSD Moores Cancer Research and the Helen Knoll Foundation which benefits breast cancer prevention for younger women). We are also a sponsor of the America’s Finest City Marathon, operating numerous “rainforests” which are misters set up for runners to cool down while staying on pace. We support dozens and dozens of local beneficiaries, and you can see a list here.

Q: Which breweries are joining?
Aztec, Ballast Point, Belching Beaver, Benchmark, Bitter Brothers, Bolt, Dos Desperados, Fall, Helms, Indian Joe, Ironfire, Iron Fist, Left Coast, Little Miss, Resident, and Second Chance. Cutwater will be serving cocktails. Food vendors include Tabe BBQ, Epic Eatz Food Truck, and Simply Fresh California Delicatessen.

Q: How much are tickets?
A: $30 pre-sale, or $40 at the door.

Saturday: Art Show @ New English

May 8

In April’s Beer & Art Issue, we featured several works from D.W. Frydendall, the artist behind the label designs for New English Brewing.

This Saturday from 2 – 6 p.m., Frydendall displays his work at the new lounge inside New English (11545 Sorrento Valley Rd. #305)

Join us and enjoy beer from 16 taps, including the recent gold medal winners Brewers Special Brown and Pacific Storm Stout.

Red or Green Cuisine will be on-site offering New Mexico-inspired food.

SD Brewers Take Home 60 Medals from LAIBC

Apr 28

Beers made in San Diego earned 60 medals at the 2017 Los Angeles International Beer Competition (LAIBC). Additionally, seven beers were given honorable mentions. Check out the full list of winners here.

GOLD – 22

  • AleSmith Brewing Company: AleSmith Anvil ESB (Extra Special Bitter)
  • AleSmith Brewing Company: AleSmith Horny Devil (Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale)
  • AleSmith Brewing Company: AleSmith Nut Brown Ale (Brown Porter)
  • Ballast Point: Ballast Point Russian Imperial Stout (Export Stout)
  • Belching Beaver Brewery: Peanut Butter Milk Stout (Specialty Beer)
  • Coronado Brewing Company: Orange Ave Wit (Honey Beer)
  • Council Brewing: Woofle Dust with Apricots (Belgian-Style Lambic or Soul Ale)
  • Indian Joe Brewing: IJB Pineapple Passion Fruit Gose (German-Style Sour Ale)
  • Intergalactic Brewing Company: Alpha Mensae (Other Belgian-Style Ale)
  • Intergalactic Brewing Company: GalactoberFest (German-Style Maerzen)
  • Intergalactic Brewing Company: Gold Leader (English-Style Summer Ale)
  • Intergalactic Brewing Company: Space Oasis Coconut Porter (Field Beer)
  • J & L Eppig Brewing: IWCBD Kottbusser (American-Style Wheat Beer)
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company: Singularity Black IPA (American-Style Black Ale)
  • Kilowatt Brewing: Roggenbier (Historical Beer)
  • Legacy Brewing Company: Founding Fathers Nut Brown Ale (American-Style Brown Ale)
  • Mike Hess Brewing: Habitus (Rye Beer)
  • New English Brewing: Brewers Special Brown Ale (English-Style Brown Ale)
  • New English Brewing: Pacific Storm Stout (Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout)
  • Pizza Port: A.B.L.E. (American-Style Stout)
  • Pizza Port Bressi Ranch Brewing Company: Sharkbite Red Ale (American-Style Amber/Red Ale)
  • Resident Brewing: Urbanite (American-Style India Pale Ale)


  • 2kids Brewing Company: Rattlecan Red (Imperial Red Ale)
  • AleSmith Brewing Company: AleSmith Private Stock Ale (Old Ale or Strong Ale)
  • Ballast Point: Barometer Drop (Baltic-Style Porter)
  • Coronado Brewing Company: Waylaid (American-Belgo-Style Ale)
  • Council Brewing: 2nd Anniversary Flanders Style Red Ale (Belgian-Style Lambic or Sour Ale)
  • Indian Joe Brewing: IJB Lichtenhainer (Historical Beer)
  • Intergalactic Brewing Company: Dark Sun Imperial Black IPA (American-Style Black Ale)
  • Iron Fist Brewing Company: Ken Schmidt Chocolate Mint Stout (Herb and Spice Beer)
  • J & L Eppig Brewing: Natural Bridge (German-Style Schwarzbier)
  • Kilowatt Brewing: Grand Entrance (Export Stout)
  • Mike Hess Brewing: Peppa Habitus (Chili Beer)
  • Monkey Paw Brewing Company: Ol’ Colo (German-Style Altbier)
  • Mother Earth Brew Co.: Mother Earth Four Seasons Winter 2016 (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer)
  • Pizza Port: Junk In Da Trunkel Dunkel (German-Style Wheat Ale)
  • Resident Brewing: Golden Kiss (Belgian-and French-Style Ale)
  • Rip Current Brewing: Bodysurfing Belgian Blonde (Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale)
  • South Park Brewing Company: Grassmarket (Scottish-Style Ale)
  • South Park Brewing Company: Scripps Pier (Oatmeal Stout)
  • South Park Brewing Company: Tongues of Angels (Australian-Style or International-Style Pale Ale)
  • Thorn Street Brewery: Cocomotive Coconut Porter (Field Beer)


  • AleSmith Brewing Company: AleSmith .394 San Diego Pale Ale (Australian-Style or International-Style Pale Ale)
  • AleSmith Brewing Company: AleSmith Lil’ Devil (Belgian-Style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale)
  • Belching Beaver Brewery: Batch 2 (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer)
  • Belching Beaver Brewery: Beavers Milk Stout (Sweet Stout or Cream Stout)
  • Belching Beaver Brewery: Dammed IIPA (Imperial India Pale Ale)
  • Bitter Brothers Brewing Co.: Aunt Joy (Field Beer)
  • Council Brewing: Beatitude Cherry (Belgian-Style Fruit Beer)
  • Council Brewing: Liminal Spaces (Belgian-and French-Style Ale)
  • Intergalactic Brewing Company: Brown Coat Ale (Brown Porter)
  • Iron Fist Brewing Company: Aloha Plenty (Specialty Beer)
  • Karl Strauss Brewing Company: Mosaic Session IPA (Session India Pale Ale)
  • Kilowatt Brewing: Chocolate Macadamia Stout (Chocolate Beer)
  • Kilowatt Brewing: Gin Barrel Aged Rye IPA (Experimental Beer)
  • Mike Hess Brewing: Coffee Umbrix (Coffee Beer)
  • Mother Earth Brew Co.: Mother Earth/Bruery Four Seasons Spring 2017 (Specialty Saison)
  • Pizza Port Bressi Ranch Brewing Company: Swamis IPA (American-Style India Pale Ale)
  • Rip Current Brewing: Rescue Buoy RIS (Imperial Stout)
  • South Park Brewing Company: 2 Griffs (Extra Special Bitter)


  • Council Brewing: Broken Wand (American-Style Sour Ale)
  • Indian Joe Brewing: Imperial Red Sour w/ Blackberries & Black Currants (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer)
  • Iron Fist Brewing Company: Spice of Life (Belgian-and French-Style Ale)
  • Mission Brewery: Dark Seas (Imperial Stout)
  • New English Brewing: Pure & Simple IPA (American-Style Strong Pale Ale)
  • Pizza Port: Rhino Chaser (Imperial Red Ale)
  • South Park Brewing Company: Herb and Honey (Historical Beer)

Early-Bird Deadline for SDSU Beer Camp: Friday

Apr 12

Now in its second year, SDSU’s Craft Beer Education Camp is back this summer after drawing students from all over the world in its inaugural edition.

Early-bird tuition is available through April 14 at $1500, jumping to $1750 after that.

Two different programs are available, including the Craft Beer Connoisseur Camp, which is intensive preparation for industry exams such as Cicerone® and BJCP and runs July 26 – August 3, or the Brewery Startup Camp, which covers everything you need to know to launch a brewery, from August 4 – 12. Check out sample itineraries and more information at CES.SDSU.EDU/CraftBeerCamp

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