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Posts by Ryan Lamb

Unite Red Ale Now Available

Mar 27
via @culturebrewingco (Instagram)

via @culturebrewingco (Instagram)

Beers created at 10 local brewing operations on March 8 in celebration of International Women’s Collaboration Brew Day (#iwcbd; @pinkbootsbeer) are starting to emerge from their fermentors.

On Wednesday, Mike Hess Brewing released their creation; yesterday, URBN St. released their Belgian-inspired Unite Red Ale; and today, Culture Brewing’s two locations will tap kegs at noon and Mosaic-hopped casks at 5 p.m.

More participating locations include AleSmith, Ballast Point Little Italy, ChuckAlek, Intergalactic, Monkey Paw, Karl Strauss Downtown, and Rock Bottom La Jolla. Employees from Green Flash, 2Kids, White Labs and Stone participated as well. Be on the lookout for those releases; let us know and we’ll update this post.

Breweries Crop Up @ Farmers’ Markets

Mar 27

A few local breweries have begun taking advantage of a new law allowing them to sell packaged beer at farmers’ markets. Sampling directly is not yet allowed, but another bill changing that will hopefully get passed.

via @ModernTimesBeer (Twitter)

Derek Freese at the PB Farmers’ Market; via @ModernTimesBeer (Twitter)

Mike Hess Brewing brand ambassador Neal Brosnan was at the North Park Farmers’ Market yesterday. Word from the brewery is that they’ll continue posting up every Thursday. Update: According to Cody Thompson of ThreeBZine, Ramona’s ChuckAlek Independent Brewers sells at this market as well. 

Also, Modern Times’ party ambassador Derek Freese was spotted at the Pacific Beach Farmers’ Market a few Tuesdays back; they’ll continue their presence weekly.

If you know of more breweries doing the same, let us know in the comments.

Here’s the website for SD’s weekly markets; support local food and local beer!

Upcoming Beer Happenings

Mar 26

3/26 Saison Persuasion (Beer to the Rescue) @ Pizza Port Solana Beach
3/26 Lost Abbey Rare Beer Dinner @ Waypoint Public
3/27 Lupulin Against Lupus (Beer to the Rescue) @ Aztec Brewery
3/28 Stone Tap Takeover @ URGE Gastropub
3/28 BagbyFest @ Bagby Beer
3/28 AHA Homebrew Competition & Rally @ Stone Liberty Station
3/28 Local Habit Grand Re-Opening
3/28 BeerNerdz March Madness Blind Tasting @ The Brew Project
3/29 Ballast Point Brewery Tour Bus
3/29 Advanced Brew Class @ Home Brew Mart
4/1 First Beer Dinner Ever @ Ballast Point Miramar
4/1 Silva Stout Release Tap+Cask @ Iron Pig Alehouse
4/2 Pint Night w/ Drakes @ High Dive
4/2 Oompa Lupus (Beer To The Rescue) @ Ballast Point Little Italy
4/3 Firkin Friday w/ Ironfire Brewing Co. @ Hamilton’s Tavern
4/4 5th Annual Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival

Friday News Sips

Jan 23

First, some news on what’s happening today, Friday, January 23:

— According to their Facebook page, Half Door Brewing Company in the East Village opens for the first time today at 5 p.m. That will make them the 99th brewery in San Diego County, right on the heels of Wavelength and Kuracali.

mission|alpine— Close to Half Door, Mission Brewery releases their “Don’t Act Like You’re Not Impressed” collaboration with Alpine Beer Co. at 4 p.m. The beer is, of course, an IPA, with 9 hop varieties. Dueling casks of the 7.5% beer — one dry-hopped with Mosaic, the other dry-hopped with Citra — will be tapped at the same time. Alpine will release the beer next Tuesday at their tap room, as will a few lucky SD accounts.

—  Today is also the last day of the 59th Annual American Hop Convention, hosted by Hop Growers of America and held at Rancho Bernardo Inn & Stone Brewing Co. There, Douglas MacKinnon (CEO of 47 Hops and former executive director of Hop Growers of America) provided some interesting insight: yields were down in 2014 and prices continue to rise as growers attempt to keep up with the increased demand for hops.

Hop growers last year planted an additional 3,600 acres of hops for a total of 38,011 acres — the most since 39,726 in 2009 — but yields dropped by 4.79 percent because of an unseasonably hot July in the Pacific Northwest, where 98 percent of all commercially-grown hops were harvested.

“In 2015 there’s no margin for error for hops growers,” MacKinnon said. “The hop acreage increased by 10 percent in 2014, but the craft beer industry grew by 20 percent.”

More interesting tidbits: 1) CTZ made up 23 percent of the hops planted, with Cascade second at 16.6 percent. 2) Germany is the world’s top alpha producer, owning 44 percent of the market. The U.S. is second at 39 percent; less than a decade ago these roles were reversed. 3) The top countries from which the U.S. imported hops: Germany, UK, and Australia.

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Hop growers from Roy Farms (Moxee, Washington) visit Gwen Conley at The Lost Abbey after wrapping up a day at the Hop Convention. Photo by Tim Stahl

— And for those who like to plan ahead, here’s a short list of events coming up in Febrewary:

  • 2/7 Blind Lady Ale House 6th Anniversary Cape Run
  • 2/7 Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle 2nd Anniversary / Sour Saturday
  • 2/7 Arcana 2nd Anniversary & Twisted Manzanita Collaboration Release
  • 2/9 Pliny the Younger ships from Russian River – expect to see it on tap around town throughout the week
  • 2/10 Beer & Chocolate Pairing @ Prohibition Brewing Co.
  • 2/12 Twisted Manzanita Beer Pairing Dinner @ Table 926
  • 2/14 6th Annual Brewbies Beer Festival @ Bagby Beer
  • 2/14 2nd Saturday w/ Karl Strauss @ Hamilton’s
  • 2/18 DrinkAbout @ Blind Lady Ale House, Small Bar, Live Wire, Toronado, Station Tavern, Hamilton’s, Ritual Tavern & Tiger!Tiger!
  • 2/20 Winter Brew Fest @ Hall of Champions (Balboa Park)
  • 2/21 8th Annual Masquerade di Lost Abbey
  • 2/22 50/50 Eclipse Tasting at Holiday Wine Cellar
  • 2/22 Culture 2nd Anniversary
  • 2/22 Belgian Fest @ Stone Liberty Station

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“Beer to the Rescue” Campaign for Lupus Research Begins January 31

Jan 12

More than 20 of our local craft breweries plan to brew a beer in support of lupus research and awareness in 2015, thanks to an initiative established by journalist Brandon Hernández.

On January 31, the Beer to the Rescue campaign kicks off at Benchmark Brewing with the release of Hildegard, a triple IPA.

“Most people have heard of lupus or know someone suffering from it, but few know anything beyond the name of this autoimmune disease — what it is, its effect on those who have it or the fact that it is severely under-researched. This needs to change,” says Hernández, who was diagnosed with lupus in 2014 after years of suffering. Proceeds from Beer to the Rescue benefit the Lupus Foundation of Southern California (LFSC).


In a press release, Hernández noted that in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside Counties alone, more than 20,000 people are suffering from lupus. That number is even considered a low estimate, because most people with lupus are never diagnosed with this autoimmune disease, which negatively impacts victims via myriad painful symptoms, causes irreparable damage to vital organs and can be fatal.

“The LFSC has been in operation for 20 years, and because no one really talks about lupus — even people who have lupus — it’s hard to get people involved with our organization,” says LFSC Executive Director Hollaine Hopkins. “The Beer to the Rescue campaign will tap into the very large and passionate craft beer fan base that already exists in San Diego and help raise awareness for lupus and our organization.”

In addition to the Benchmark beer mentioned above, other Beer to the Rescue brews include a Belgian-style quadrupel from Nickel Beer Co., a dry-hopped Belgian- style single brewed with rhubarb from Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, an imperial milk stout infused with chocolate, orange and spicy chilies from Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, a sour ale brewed with blueberries and fermented using wild yeast from Toolbox Brewing Company, a black saison brewed with dried currants and orange peel from Lightning Brewery, and an experimentally dry-hopped wheat and passion fruit-infused Brett IPA from Green Flash Brewing Company.

More San Diego breweries plan to participate, although not all of them will be creating beers for the campaign. Some, due to brewing capacity restraints, will instead donate to the cause, host special events, and/or make LFSC a featured charity at their venues. Those breweries include 32 North, AleSmith, Amplified Ale Works, Aztec, Bagby Beer, Bolt, Coronado, Council, Intergalactic, Iron Fist, Mike Hess, Mother Earth, New English, Pizza Port Solana Beach, Port/The Lost Abbey/The Hop Concept, Rip Current, Societe, Stone (Escondido), Stone (Liberty Station), Toolbox, and URBN St.

Keep up with the campaign by subscribing to Beer to the Rescue social channels: (Facebook | Twitter)

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