He’s competed on a national level in the Olympics of cocktail crafting and oversees prestigious wine and spirit programs for one of San Diego’s most iconic spots, the historic U.S. Grant Hotel. And over the past several years, Jeff Josenhans has deepened his exploration of adult beverages to include craft beer, gaining his Cicerone certification and expanding the Grant’s drink offerings to include not only craft beer, but ales he has worked hard to procure as well as help birth using industry connections and experience earned over many years of deep thinking about the art of drinking. Thanks to him, the Grant offers a number of interesting beer options the likes of which are unavailable anywhere else, including a delicious, barrel-aged beer brewed and matured at the nearby Mission Brewery.
You are a certified Sommelier and Cicerone. How do these two worlds stack up against each other?
The Somm’ and Cicerone worlds are very different culturally, yet are similar in the sense that those within them are extremely passionate people. I think Cicerones all have a little homebrewer in them, so by nature they are perhaps a little more creative, while Somm’s are more on the studious side. Both certifications require a lot of tasting and studying, but the Cicerone exam definitely is aided by some home and draft system experience. An aspiring Somm’ will have to study a much wider array of wine styles and regions than what you find with the BJCP, as well. These are generalizations, of course.
What inspired you to go to the lengths required to become a certified Cicerone?
I always had an appreciation for beer, but had never put the study time into it that I had done with spirits and wine. It just made sense to complete the circle and give the U.S. Grant a beverage program that complimented that knowledge.
What are the specifics behind your Gentleman Grant collaboration with Mission Brewery?
Gentleman Grant is an imperial red ale that has been barrel-aged in Manhattan-seasoned barrels we get from High West Distilling in Park City, Utah. The base ale is more towards the malty side, with spicy rye malt and sweeter caramel malt notes added to the grain bill. Chinook and Summit hops provide a strong hop backbone, but are not pronounced enough to take over the aromatics. Barrel-aging provides what I consider to be the sexy side of this beer. We added cigar-smoked Luxardo cherries to the barrels and let the beer soak up the Manhattan from the oak for almost six months. The result is a powerful, yet unexpectedly smooth beer showing a lot of spice, dried fruit and caramel notes. It’s available exclusively at Grant Grill (inside the U.S. Grant Hotel, 326 Broadway, Downtown) while supplies last.
What sort of cask offerings have you added to Grant Grill’s beverage program?
We will be rotating cask ale in on the weekends. We plan on using small- to medium-size breweries for the cask program. Our first partner on this front was Fall Brewing Company and its Green Hat IPA. Moving forward, guests can expect an integration of our cocktail and beer programs. I’m pretty determined to become one of San Diego’s best cellarmen, and with that I will be looking to get our casks right after racking, so we can make additions here on property as opposed to at the brewery.
What other beer-related projects do you have in the works?
Our next big beer project is to drive craft beer and cask ale into the meeting and wedding worlds. We are in the process of putting cask ale on wedding menus as well as changing more and more of our offerings on the banquet side to local craft beers.
There’s a lot going on this weekend in San Diego beer. Not only do we brew the best beer in the world, we attract the best as well. Is your event not listed? Submit it to our calendar.
Cask Nights @ Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurants
Each of the seven Karl Strauss spots taps a cask on Thursday evenings at 5 p.m. Today’s selection: Centennial dry-hopped Pintail Pale Ale, a tasty 5.3% ABV beer with 47 IBU (International Bitterness Units). O’Brien’s Pub is also having a mini-Karl weekend, kicking off with a cask of Big Barrel IIPA tonight at 5 p.m. More beers that’ll be on include Whistler Imperial Pilsner, Blackball Belgian IPA, Boardwalk Black Rye IPA and Wreck Alley Imperial Stout.
Maui Brewing Night @ Sublime Ale House
Maui Brewing was founded by SD native Garrett Morrero. Beers on tap starting at 4:30 p.m.: Maka Koa Pale Ale, Freight Trains IPA, Sobrehumano Palena’ole and more. Hawaiian-inspired food: Hawaiian BBQ chicken, Kahlua pork with cabbage, macaroni salad, two scoops of rice and gravy drizzle.
Monkey Paw Beer Dinner @ Sea Rocket Bistro
A la carte pairings ($10-$15) presided over by Monkey Paw owner Scot Blair and brewer Derek Freese from 5 – 10 p.m. Raw oysters with lime cilantro ice, duck cracklin and chile; paired with Monkey Gose Bananas (KnB 4th Anniversary beer). Albacore Sashimi with pickled avocado, watermelon radish, mango vinaigrette and pineapple; paired with Pineapple X-Press XPA. Sous vide smoked corned beef with Kansas City-style BBQ sauce, baked beans and duck confit; paired with Sweet Georgia Brown. Butterscotch cheesecake with orange marmalade; paired with Rich Man’s IIPA.
The Bruery Night @ URGE American Gastropub
One of CA’s most coveted breweries will put on a good showing at URGE. Beers to expect: Mischief, Hottenroth, Nottenroth, Humulus XPA, Loakal Red, Oude Tart, A Stein’s Throw (collaboration with TAPS), Brown Creeper. Bottles of Fruet, Tart of Darkness, Trade Winds, Sans Pagaie, Otiose, and Mother Funker. 150 signature Bruery tulip glasses available starting at 5 p.m.
Le Trappe Keep the Glass Night @ Bottlecraft
This monastic brewery was founded in 1884 and tradition has bred excellence. Enjoy a bottle of La Trappe in the Little Italy tasting room from 6 – 10 p.m. and keep one of their beautiful goblets to add to your collection.
Krisp Grand Opening Day 1/2
Super Jr. Market, which housed both Best Damn Beer Shop and Best Damn Home Brew Shop, has undergone an extreme facelift and is now known as Krisp Beverages + Natural Foods. Both Friday and Saturday from 6 – 10 p.m. Sid and co are hosting a Grand Opening party with a complimentary tasting of beer and wine plus food from local markets and companies. Stay past 10 p.m. and get a wristband for 10% off all your purchases at Krisp, now open seven days/week from 7 a.m. – midnight.
Stone 16th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival (Brewers Reception)
Festivals for charity rule. Stone Brewing Co.’s annual anniversary fest has raised more than $1,000,000 over the years. This year, Surfrider Foundation, The Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, The Palomar Family YMCA and Fight ALD benefit. The $75 Brewers Reception includes a commemorative glass, access to the brewers, many beers that won’t be at the festival on Saturday, complimentary gourmet fare from local restaurants and caterers, plus live music and a relaxed atmosphere. $25 designated driver tix available at the door.
Firestone Walker DBA Three Ways @ Hamilton’s Tavern
Firestone Walker makes some of the best beer around. Their Double Barrel Ale is a classic, and a cask of the unfiltered version is sure to please discerning drinkers. The cask gets tapped at 5 p.m. in South Park. On tap from FW: Double Barrel Ale and Double Double Barrel Ale.
Great Divide Tap Takeover @ Sublime Ale House
Two takeovers in two nights for San Marcos’ Sublime. 10 taps of Great Divide beers go on at 4:30 p.m.: Schwartz Beer, Clayton Bigsby Spiced Tripel, Altbier, Session Yeti, Chocolate Yeti, Wolfgang Doppelbock, Claymore Scotch Ale, Rumble IPA, Hercules Double IPA and Hoss Rye Lager.
She Likes Beer Meetup @ Societe Brewing
It’s ladies night at one of San Diego’s newest tasting rooms. Presented by “She Likes Beer,” the party starts at 6 p.m. before a tour of the facility at 6:30 p.m. Cost of the event is what you decide to spend on beer and food from the InSlider truck.
Best of San Diego Party (presented by San Diego Magazine)
This event goes down in Liberty Station from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Some of the local beer-y participants: Hamilton’s Tavern, Karl Strauss, Monkey Paw, Pizza Port, Slater’s 50/50, Stone Brewing Co., The Beer Company and White Labs. Tickets are $55 or $35/each for groups of 6+.
Knee Deep Simtra Cask & Tap Takeover @ Main Tap Tavern
El Cajon’s Main Tap will show off the first production cask ever from Knee Deep Brewing Co. The beer? Simtra Triple IPA. On tap: Imperial Tanilla Porter, Citra Extra Pale, Hoptologist, McCarthy’s Bane Imperial Red Ale and Simtra. The Knee Deep crew will be on hand to answer your questions.
Krisp Grand Opening Day 2/2
Stone 16th Anniversary Celebration & Invitational Beer Festival
Tickets to two sessions are available for this charitable fest: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. Each includes a commemorative glass, ten 4 oz samples from 40+ breweries (100+ beers, Stone beer on cask), free home-brewed soda, plus samples of Mike’s Beer Cheese and Arrogant Bastard Ale onion rings. $10 designated driver tickets are available at the door.
Ballast Point Beer & Food Fest @ O’Brien’s Pub
This event is limited to 80 tickets at $50 a pop. Lots of great beers: Jalapeño Smoke Screen, Fathom India Pale Lager, Barrel-aged (in BP rum barrels) Victory at Sea, Barrel-aged (in BP rum barrels) Three Sheets Barleywine, Barmy Ale, Thai Chile Wahoo Wheat, Brother Levonian Saison, Winter San Salvador, Guajillo Calico Amber Ale, Barrel-aged Navigator, Habanero Sculpin, Dorado Double IPA, Victory at Sea, Sour Wench, Calico, Indra Kunindra (Batch 1). Food to accompany: Seared scallops with a chipotle burr blanc, Indra Kunindra-braised short ribs, beef cheek wellington pops, hop salt cured salmon, Thai chili Wahoo ceviche and more from various stations inside and outside the pub. Sign up at O’Brien’s or call 858-715-1745.
Downtown craft beer destination The Tipsy Crow is all about hosting fantastic beer events these days.
— Every Tuesday a great cask is tapped. Tonight at 7pm, Stone Ruination IPA double dry hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo will be on offer. This tapping coincides with Stone’s 2011 Most Bitter Bar Challenge, running through June 11th at midnight down at The Crow. Help them win the award by drinking a Stone IPA, double dry hopped IPA, Ruination, double dry hopped Ruination, Cali-Belgique and/or Sublimely Self-Righteous.
— The “Tap That Cask” event next Tuesday the 14th will feature Ballast Point’s Sculpin with Habanero peppers. If you haven’t had a chance to try specialty brewer Colby’s pepper beers, then this is the perfect opportunity. Be warned, this cask will be spicy, but delicious.
— Not afraid to plan ahead? June 21st sees a cask of Green Flash’s Imperial IPA getting tapped, and on the 28th – Firestone’s Union Jack. Oh, and if you become Mayor of Tap that Cask Tuesdays on Foursquare, your cask beer is always free!
Ingrid’s 1 in 8 formally finished up its tour of San Diego with a firkin at Blind Lady Ale House. This version of 1 in 8 was flavored with oak chips soaked in Ballast Point’s Three Sheets Rum. Coronado Brewing Co.’s Rick Chapman, Shawn DeWitt (also VP of the San Diego Brewers Guild), Sean Farrell, Clinton Smith, as well as Ballast Point’s Colby Chandler and Blind Lady’s Mr. and Mrs. Lee Chase were on hand as Ingrid Qua of The High Dive presented a check worth $2800 to Mary Beth of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This total came from the sale of the kegs; each individual bar is donating between 20-100% of the proceeds.
We’ve had tremendous fun chasing this beer around town. Check out all the photos from this event over on our Facebook.
Following up on recent posts and a Dec. 2010 print story, Ingrid’s 1 in 8 was back on cask Tuesday night – this time at The Tipsy Crow on Fifth Avenue, downtown. The Ballast Point and Coronado crews were on hand to continue celebrating their collaboration, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Many thanks to Jason and Frank at The Tipsy Crow; we’re excited that the craft beer tap list is lengthening at the downtown stalwart. Every other Tuesday, the Crow hosts a guest cask-tapper – the next event is the 21st, with details TBA. Check back to our event calendar for more information.
The next Ingrid’s 1 in 8 cask event is this Thursday night, starting 6 pm at Sessions Public in Ocean Beach. 100% of the proceeds from this event will go to charity – so drink for a cause San Diegans!