The approach of All Hallow’s Eve certainly isn’t scaring local breweries away from holding a freakishly large number of events throughout San Diego County in the coming months. There are far too many to illustrate the full breadth in a short-list of four, so start with the hand-picked happenings below, then proceed to the full list on our events page.
October 8 | Oktoberfest Celebration: At this point, you’ve likely indulged in multiple O-festivities, and there’s no reason not to stop now. Hit Green Flash Brewing Company’s German-themed celebration to taste three special beers, including In der Mitte Märzenfestbier and a zwickel version of Sea to Sea Lager. | Green Flash Brewing Company, 6550 Mira Mesa Boulevard, Mira Mesa, 12 p.m.
October 13 | Blahktoberfest: Don’t pack those lederhosen up just yet. Blind Lady Ale House is having the eighth annual running of its Oktoberfest celebration with keeper pints (that you can fill with their Autobefest beer) and a unique house-made offering—bratwurst pizza. | Blind Lady Ale House, 3416 Adams Avenue, Normal Heights, 11 a.m.
October 21 | BagbyFest II: Even one of the most award-winning brewers of all times knows there’s more to the beverage world than just beer. Bagby Beer Company will section its expansive brewpub into zones celebrating wine, spirits, cocktails (and, yes, beer) from numerous regions of the world along with foods to go with them. | Bagby Beer Company, 601 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, 12 p.m.
October 21 | Anniversary Events: It seems October’s a fertile month. Three breweries are celebrating birthdays on the same day: Belching Beaver Brewing (5 years, special beers galore), Iron Fist Brewing Company (7 years, special beer and live music) and Legacy Brewing Company (4 years, Oktoberfest shindig). | Belching Beaver Brewery, 1334 Rocky Point Drive, Oceanside, 3 p.m.; Iron Fist Brewing Company, 1305 Hot Springs Way, Suite 101, Vista, 12 p.m.; Legacy Brewing Company, 363 Airport Road, Oceanside, 1 p.m.
October 21 | Ye Scallywag: Kickass beer and kickass punk rock will share space on the San Diego Bayfront when 100 beers are tapped against the backdrop of live performances from Pennywise and a motley crew of musical acts including The Vandals, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and more). | Waterfront Park, 1 Park Boulevard, Downtown San Diego, 12 p.m.
When Little Miss Brewing was putting its business plan, that road map was unlike those of other fermentation-based entrepreneurs in San Diego County. A brewery with a Type 23 license may apply for duplicate licenses to open additional retail venues, something numerous operations do via satellite tasting rooms. Little Miss owners Greg and Jade Malkin decided early on to make their satellites the workhorses of their business. At first, they weren’t even going to install a tasting room at their Miramar headquarters, instead saving that space exclusively for production. A number of obstacles and delays forced them to change their mind at the eleventh hour and construct a tasting room in Miramar during the week leading up to their debut last summer. But on Thursday, June 8 the first of their two work-in-progress satellites will debut at 3514 Adams Avenue in Normal Heights, transforming the company into what the Malkins envisioned when they decided to enter the San Diego brewing scene.
Little Miss’ branding revolves around fun, games…and World War II. It’s not the most natural pairing, but a visit to the Miramar tasting room is sort of like hitting up the USO; cinder blocks, munitions containers and military posters let you know where you are, but the overarching mood is one of jovial relaxation. The idea with each of the satellites is to assign them an individual thematic inspired by one of the US’ WWII Allies.
An upcoming tasting room in Ocean Beach will give a nod to France, while its Normal Heights predecessor will honor the United Kingdom. That thematic is driven home by a Union Jack flag painted on the ceiling, British wartime propaganda posters painted on the walls and an outdoor mural by local artist, Leroy Davis. Another local, Kelly Hutchison, will also have pinup paintings on display, bringing in a bit of ’40s-era Americana, while the spirit of the neighborhood will come in care of a giant picture of Winston Churchill dressed as a hipster.
The 1,000-square-foot Normal Heights space has a bar-top made from bullet casings giving way to a vintage cash register and 16 taps dispensing Little Miss beers. On the recreation front, the venue has board and card games, Jenga, dart boards and four televisions. It will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Saturdays from noon to midnight and Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. Sites have not been selected for future satellite tasting rooms, but the Malkins say the next Allied country they select will likely be the former Soviet Union.
From the Beer Writer: When I visited Burning Beard Brewing Company, I really dug the skulls and punk-rock aesthetic, but you can’t drink logos and hoodies. Fortunately, the beer was good enough that I’d have drunk it even if it had been served in a glass sporting the image of a hipster-version of Smurfette wrapped in a Trump 2016 sash with a thought-bubble proudly proclaiming “#YOLO!” One would have to understand me to grasp the full weight of that statement, but let’s forget about what I don’t like and move on to what I do: Burning Beard Holy the Voyd. This coffee stout smells like walking beyond the counter of an artisan coffee-roaster to where the beans are being browned. The nose is insanely pungent, so be sure to breathe deep when taking a sip to get the most out of the taste-experience. Many local breweries have worked out deals with local java nuts and the bearded ones have hitched their wagon to Dark Horse Coffee Roasters. That’s a fine choice and the quality of their product comes through in spades with this winner of a cold brew.
From the Brewer: “Borne of finely toasted malt, cracked oats, and locally roasted coffee, this chasmic creation blends mankind’s dearest morning and nighttime elixirs to create a beverage that is holier than the sum of its parts. But what of the name, you ask? Originally, this beer was to be named “Holy the Abyss” after a verse from Allen Ginsberg’s seminal work, Howl. Howl is a portrait of the iconic American Beat who harnesses his madness, rides it through the darkest depths of self-reflection, and emerges—almost unwittingly—an artist on the other side. For us, the journey is into the formidable world of small-business ownership and San Diego beer. We’ve only just begun—how, and if, we emerge on the other side remains to be seen. We had even given thought to trademarking the name. But, as anyone who’s dealt with trademarking will tell you, securing names is no easy task, and damn near impossible for cool words like “abyss”. So, rather than throw out the name altogether, we decided to table the trademark idea, have some fun, and look for catchy synonyms that we could use instead: Chasm, Fissure, Rift, Void. Void + Holy. Holy the Voyd! It worked, so we went with it.”—Mike Maass, Co-Founder, Burning Beard Brewing Company