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Posts Tagged beer

Beer of the Week: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station Mocha IPA

May 23
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station's 2nd anniversary beer, Mocha IPA

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station’s 2nd anniversary beer, Mocha IPA

From the Beer Writer: By day, I work at Stone Brewing Co. Among my many tasks is perpetual perusal of the company’s social media accounts. There is no one sentence I’ve read on our Facebook and Instagram feeds more than, “Bring back the DayMan!” This comes courtesy of the many, many beer enthusiasts who fell in love with the coffee India pale ale (IPA) of the same name Stone brewed collaboratively with Two Brothers Brewing Company and award-winning (then) Chicago homebrewers from Aleman Brewing Website back in 2012. Despite constant pleas from the public, the beer hasn’t been rebrewed, but the closest thing to it is currently on tap at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station. In celebration of that venue’s two-year anniversary, Liberty Station Brewing Manager Kris Ketcham used DayMan and other beers as inspiration for a “Mocha IPA” incorporating coffee, chocolate and milk sugar to give the hoppy concoction the flavor of an altogether different kind of “brew.” Cascade, Amarillo and Citra hops add interesting citrus notes to a roasty, semisweet beer that’s anything but ordinary and will go over well with Stone fans who’ve been jonesing for its co-inspiration like Starbucks addicts a week into caffeine withdrawals.

From the Brewer: “I’ve been contemplating this beer for a long time. I’m a fan of previous Stone collaboration beers, Aleman/Two Brothers/Stone DayMan Coffee IPA and Bodebrown/Stone Cacau IPA, as well as Stone Stochasticity Project Master of Disguise—a golden imperial stout incorporating coffee and cacao nibs. I decided I wanted to take all these great flavors and put them in one glass in hope of making something that resembled a mocha espresso you get from a local coffee shop. I used lactose in the brew to get a creamy base, golden espresso from San Marcos’ Ryan Bros. Coffee for the java flavor and a chocolate blend to make everything sing together. The result is a beer that hits your nose with chocolate, followed by coffee and nice, hoppy citrus notes. It’s like someone took a coffee stout and an imperial IPA and made a love child. Some say it reminds them of a Mars candy bar on the palate.” —Kris Ketcham, Brewing Manager, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station

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DIY outfit Citizen Brewers opens Saturday

May 22

citizenbrewers_logo_cmykJudd McGhee was very happy homebrewing in his intimate (read: small) condominium kitchen…until he wanted to brew with friends. The limited space made it impossible, and got he and his wife, Elizabeth Henderson, thinking that there should be some sort of place set up where groups of homebrewers would be able to go to brew on an appointment basis. Fast forward to the present and the couple are a day away from the grand opening of such a facility, Citizen Brewers (5837 Mission Gorge Road, Suite A, Mission Valley).

Opening at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 23, the 2,000-square-foot do-it-yourself (with a little help) spot will feature all of the equipment and ingredients (grains, extracts, hops, yeast) needed to brew ales and lagers on a scale going beyond homebrewing’s standard five-gallon equation. Though walk-ins will be allowed on a limited basis, most customers will set up appointments preceded by development sessions where patrons consult with McGhee to get their recipes optimized for the facility’s systems, which include eight copper-jacketed steam kettles, a bottle washing system, a temperature-controlled room for fermentation, plus taps for bottling and kegging.

McGhee’s assistance doesn’t end there. While homebrewers will be responsible for preparing their ingredients (including procuring any specialty ingredients beyond what Citizen Brewers can obtain for them) and brewing the beer, McGhee will supervise the entire process, then transfer the unfermented beer (wort) into fermentation vessels and oversee that process. When the time comes for bottling or kegging (each batch produces 72 22-ounce bottles’ or one 50-liter keg’s worth of beer), McGhee will handle packaging after patrons clean and sanitize their receptacles. Clients will also be able to develop their own labels to print and attach to bottled beer.

This is a new concept for the current San Diego County brewing scene, and McGhee’s effort to try and spark more interest in the brewing arts. Groups of up to six people can brew at Citizens Brewers, with the initial process taking roughly two hours. Depending on the beer style selected, fermentation will take two-to-five weeks. The business will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. During this Saturday’s event, McGhee will be conducting tours of the facility and offering samples of several beers brewed onsite along with finger foods.

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Brothers Provisions expanding to include Mason Coffee Works

May 21

1920579_412621608894283_3945850418558150525_nSince opening in an inauspicious business center, Brothers Provisions (16451 Bernardo Center Drive, Rancho Bernardo) has become a cult favorite among North County’s craft-centric sect. The three-year-old offspring of the trio behind nearby Urge Gastropub (a brewpub spin-off of which will debut in Oceanside this summer) features a wide variety of bottled beer, wine and cigars in tandem with gourmet meats, cheeses, breads, condiments and more, plus ready-made items and other on-premise and to-go eats from a deli counter sidled by a 12-tap draft system.

Although Brothers Provisions has a lot to offer and has grown to be more than founders Grant Tondro, Nate and Zak Higson envisioned in some ways, it has yet to offer all of the things they’d hoped to instill during the conceptual stage. But all of that should change in four-to-six weeks when the venue adds roughly 3,000 square feet to its interior space as part of an expansion that’s been in the works for the past several months.

That space will come from Brothers Provisions taking over the space directly abutting its current food preparation area and will allow for construction of a full-scale kitchen. Expect more traditional dinner fare to be available along with artisan pizzas, both of which were impossible due to limited space and a challenging setup prior to the expansion. A gourmet coffee bar going by the name Mason Coffee Works will also be installed, featuring a multi-roaster setup that will keep quality coffee available on a rotating basis.

In more near-term Brothers Provisions news, the venue will hold its first annual “Cellarbration” event, 11 a.m., Saturday, May 23. Tickets are on sale online and include a food ticket and 10 four-ounce tasters from a beer list composed of rarities from the likes of AleSmith, Cigar City, Mikkeller, Cantillon, De Struise, Prairie Artisan Ales and a little known beer called Westy 12.

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Depot Springs Beer bringing ambitious vision to La Mesa

May 20

depotsprings_01Last December, La Mesa welcomed its very first craft brewing company via the second coming of Bolt Brewery. By the end of the year, the municipality (which until recently prohibited the manufacture of alcoholic beverages within city limits) will have two brewing companies to call its own…and a distillery. Scheduled to open its doors in December, Depot Springs Beer Company is a work-in-progress within a shopping center at 9176 Fletcher Parkway.

It’s a large and ambitious project. In addition to a 15-barrel brewery, Depot Springs’ 20,000-square-foot footprint will include a full-scale restaurant as well as a distillery. The trio working to breathe life into this multi-faceted interest are real estate professional Aaron Dean, brewer Stuart Long and distiller Phillip Soto Mares. Dean’s family has owned the Depot Springs property for more than 50 years. After meeting Long and Mares, they decided to put the site to use on their joint venture.

Long homebrewed for several years before getting his professional start at Port Brewing Company / The Lost Abbey. From there, he moved to Bend, Oregon to become head brewer at Silver Moon Brewing. While there, he was responsible for a number of beers that medaled at the Great American Beer Festival. While he will be chiefly responsible for brewing Depot Springs’ line of “flavor-oriented American ales,” his distilling counterpart may prove a useful conspirator.

depotsprings_02Long and Mares previously teamed to create two styles of agave beer that earned awards at the Spirits of Mexico tasting competition. Taught how to distill by his uncle at his hacienda in Jalisco, Mexico back in 1994, Mares has gone on to amass an impressive pedigree. He is a certified Master Distiller as well as a Maestro Catador (expert tequila taster) who has consulted on production of several tequila and mescal brands currently on the open market, and also logged time distilling rum.

On the restaurant side, Depot Springs will focus on fare that is competitively priced so as not to fall into the same trappings as restaurants with higher price points that have unsuccessfully attempted to enter the La Mesa market. The eatery will feature 30 taps serving a “limited” core lineup that will allow Long to experiment with a wide variety of rotating styles that will eventually include barrel-aged beers as well as sour ales.

Depot Springs’ annual beer production target is 6,000 barrels, with the majority of that inventory being sold on-site plus a small bit of nearby distribution. As the company grows, it will explore off-site brewing options to meet capacity issues that come about as it considers increased distribution via bottled or canned beer.

But there’s more to Depot Springs than homespun consumables. If executed as planned, it will provide more entertainment options than any brewery-owned venue in San Diego County. Aiming to be family-friendly, the business will feature a game room as well as a courtyard with a capacity of 500 and a stage on which to feature local music acts, show movies and display the works of local artists.

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Benchmark Brewing to debut cans and a backyard

May 19

benchmark_patioSoon, Benchmark Brewing Company will offer canned beers as well as an al fresco space to enjoy aluminized libations. Owners Matt and Rachael Akin recently signed a lease on a business park space just west of the one that houses their brewery and tasting room. That facility includes a 2,500-square-foot gated, outdoor space that will be converted into a beer garden.

Keeping in line with this family-run operation’s our-own-eight-hands MO, Rachael is in charge of the design aspects of Benchmark’s “Backyard.” Per her rendering, the area will be outfitted with picnic tables and an old trailer that will be converted into a back bar. Lights will be strung and some planters will bring flora and fauna into the equation. The layout will allow customers to order from pull-up food trucks without having to set down their beers. Additionally, a giant Jenga site, corn-hole and a table-sized cribbage board (for which beer glasses will double as markers) will up the entertainment value. Further down the road, a stage will be constructed if the Akins are able to obtain a live music provision.

benchmark_cansInitially, the Backyard will be open Fridays through Sundays. The Akins hope to have it open in time for their two-year anniversary event, which will take place in late June. But that’s not the only new development they hope to unveil prior to that date. Rachael has also been at work designing 16-ounce cans for Benchmark’s Table Beer, Amber Ale and IPA, and the interior of the newly leased suite will be used to store those receptacles. Once filled, Benchmark will self-distribute their beers throughout San Diego County.

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