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Posts Tagged Monkey Paw Brewing

Brightest Beer Futures: South San Diego County

Nov 8

An artist’s rendering of the upper-deck at upcoming University Heights brewpub, Kairoa Brewing

Twice a year, I assess the work-in-progress brewing-company-owned projects throughout San Diego County and offer my thoughts on those that appear to have the most promise. This is the first post in a series of four, broken down by geography. This time around we’ll start with the southern part of the county, which for the first time since I began this bi-annual practice, is home to the most interesting trio of under-development venues anywhere.

TapRoom Beer Company | 2000 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park: The brothers behind Pacific Beach craft-beer-bar stalwart SD TapRoom will go from procuring and slinging ales and lagers to manufacturing them once their two-story North Park brewpub is constructed. That structure will have a fully visible brewhouse as well as a wealth of outdoor seating, but what gives it its best shot at instant success is the fact Bill Batten, a veteran of AleSmith Brewing Company and Mikkeller Brewing San Diego, will be in charge of beermaking operations.

Coronado Brewing Company | 535 Florence Street, Imperial Beach: As if acquiring Monkey Paw Brewing, helping its ex-head brewer launch SouthNorte Brewing and installing a kitchen at its Bay Park headquarters weren’t enough irons to have in the proverbial fire, CBC is constructing a brewpub within its half of IB’s Bikeway Village development. Proven brewing prowess and a prime location that will turn the heads of local and tourist pedestrians and bike-riders are big positives this veteran brewery operation should be able to build on.

Kairoa Brewing | 4601 Park Boulevard, University Heights: The team of New Zealanders behind Red House Pizza has taken over a neighboring building on the corner of Park and Madison Avenue and is in the process of converting it to a two-story brewpub that will serve a wide range of beer styles alongside cuisine with Kiwi appeal (think meat pies and sausage rolls) plus vegetarian and vegan fare. Though home to numerous watering holes, this will be University Heights’ first source for beer made within the neighborhood.

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San Diego winners from 2017’s Great American Beer Festival

Oct 7

The team from Karl Strauss Brewing Company accepts a gold medal in the Honey Beer category at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival

Winners from the 2017 edition of the Great American Beer Festival were announced earlier this morning. Held annually by brewing-industry trade organization, the Brewers Association, in Denver, Colorado, this year’s GABF saw nearly 8,000 beers entered by more than 2,000 breweries in 98 style categories. 293 were awarded gold, silver and bronze medals after being evaluated by 276 judges. GABF is the country’s largest and most prestigious professional brewing competition. San Diego County breweries have historically fared incredibly well. This year saw another strong showing with the region’s brewers racking up double-digit awards.

Eleven local brewing companies brought home 14 medals this time around, including five golds in the Robust Porter (Second Chance Beer Co.) Honey Beer (Karl Strauss Brewing Company‘s Carlsbad brewpub), Imperial India Pale Ale (Ballast Point Brewing) Other Specialty Belgian Ale (Stone Brewing World Brewing & Gardens – Liberty Station) and Session Beer (Pizza Port‘s Ocean Beach brewpub) categories. That went along with six silver medals and three bronzes.

The Bagby Beer Company crew accepts its silver medal in the Baltic-style Porter category

Notable is the fact only one individual brewing facility in the county won more than one medal, Carmel Mountain Ranch’s Second Chance with a gold and a silver. Newly launched SouthNorte Brewing Company garnered a bronze medal in the Specialty Beer category for a beer called AgaveMente that hasn’t even been released to the public yet. And Monkey Paw Brewing, which Coronado acquired earlier this year, earned a silver medal in the English-style Summer Ale category. Also, Vista-based Mother Earth Brew Co. medaled in the Fresh or Wet Hop Ale category for Fresh As It Gets, a beer brewed at its Nampa, Idaho production facility.

Adding to the unofficial medal count was Belching Beaver Brewery, which for the second time in its history won top honors at the Alpha King Competition. Held in conjunction with GABF each year, this friendly competition crowns the brewing company that submits the hoppiest offering amid a stacked field of IPAs. Belching Beaver previously won Alpha King in 2014. On top of that, Chula Vista Brewery owners Timothy and Dalia Parker received the Samuel Adams Brewing and Business Experienceship, following in the footsteps of Ramona-based ChuckAlek Independent Brewers, who earned the same opportunity in 2014.

The following is a complete list of the winners from brewing facilities located within San Diego County…

Gold Medals

  • Honey Beer: Orange Blossom Common, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Carlsbad
  • Imperial India Pale Ale: Manta Ray, Ballast Point Brewing, Miramar
  • Other Belgian-style Ale: Witty Moron, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens—Liberty Station, Point Loma
  • Robust Porter: Tabula Rasa Toasted Porter, Second Chance Beer Co., Carmel Mountain Ranch
  • Session Beer: Guillaume, Pizza Port, Ocean Beach

Silver Medals

  • American-style Amber or Red Ale: Legally Red, Second Chance Beer Co., Carmel Mountain Ranch
  • Baltic-style Porter: Herd of Turtles, Bagby Beer Company, Oceanside
  • English-style Summer Ale: Back in the ESSA, Monkey Paw Brewing, East Village
  • Export Stout: Z-Man Stout, Pizza Port, Carlsbad
  • Fruited American-style Sour Ale: Sour Wench Blackberry Ale, Ballast Point Brewing—Home Brew Mart, Linda Vista (no gold awarded)
  • German-style Wheat Ale: Hidden Gem, OB Brewery, Ocean Beach

Bronze Medals

  • Golden or Blonde Ale: Blonde, Culture Brewing Company, Solana Beach
  • Scotch Ale: Wee Heavy, AleSmith Brewing Company, Miramar
  • Specialty Beer: AgaveMente, SouthNorte Brewing Company, Bay Park

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Perfect Storm: Weekend of 6/29 Packed With Beer Events

Jun 27

Through cosmic happenstance, this weekend, specifically Saturday, is absolutely PACKED with beer events. Below is a listing of what’s going down 6/29-7/1 with a few lines of explanation.

Friday 6/29
3PM — Cismontane Rare Draft & Cask @ Ritual Tavern
I’ve been watching Santa Margarita’s Cismontane Brewing Co. appear on draft lists around town recently – worth a look!

430PM — 1st Anniversary Celebration @ Local Habit
In celebration of Local Habit’s first, there will be a special beer brewed by Hess Brewing, a menu that’s been created by  popular vote, and several excellent draft offerings. Also, there’s a custom glassware giveaway to the first 40 patrons. To read more on this, click here.

5PM — Firkin Friday w/ Green Flash @ Hamiltons Tavern
“Dueling casks” of Green Flash Retro Extra Pale Ale — the company’s first beer recipe from almost ten years ago — and Imperial IIPA will start flowing at 5.

6PM — AleSmith Decadance 2012 Cask @ KnB Wine Cellars
KnB puts it best: “[You] won’t see this baby again any time soon!” Cask starts pouring at 6PM.

730PM — Ballast Point Night @ Coaster Saloon
Coaster Saloon has been working on their craft beer program. This eve the Saloon is partnering with the group San Diego Craft Brew Society. Coaster will have Habanero Sculpin on cask along with Sea Monster Stout, Longfin Lager, and Piper Down Scottish Ale. More information can be found here. If you haven’t been to the Saloon, it’s steps away from the beach and the weather should be awesome.

Saturday 6/30
10AM — Cismontane Beer for Breakfast @ Small Bar
If you haven’t been to a Beer for Breakfast by Small Bar, you’re missing out. Be prepared to eat and drink and accomplish little else afterwards (I recommend napping and/or hanging out by a pool). If you need a break from the beer, try one of their Bloody Mary’s (made with Ballast Point’s Bloody Mary mix).

11AM — 1st Anniversary Celebration @ Local Habit
The celebration continues into Day #2 and starts at 11AM. First 40 people in the door get a custom Hess / Local Habit glass to commemorate the occasion.

12PM — KnB4 @ KnB Wine Cellars
To celebrate their 4th, KnB is going insane. A tasting garden will pour rare beer from bottles & kegs, and they’ll also be selling rare bottles from their cellar. Among the many taps offered will be their collaboration Gose beer by Monkey Paw Brewing. There will also be a 225 pig roast. Click here for the full details.

1PM & 5PM — Grand Opening @ Societe Brewing Co. (SOLD OUT)
12 in ’12 member Societe opens their doors officially. Sold out 🙁

3PM — AleSmith Summer YuleSmith cask @ Ritual Tavern
If you haven’t tried this year’s Summer YuleSmith, you should. It is awesome.

4PM — Green Flash Beer Pairing Dinner @ Phileas Foggs
Poway’s Phileas Foggs is hosting a 5-course dinner paired with Green Flash beers. For more info, click here. Tickets are $45

4PM — Pints for Pups @ Mission Brewery
Hang out with some dogs and drink Mission’s beer while raising funds for guide dog training.

5PM — 30th on 30th
Each month on the 30th, the businesses on uptown’s 30th street serve up awesome beer and food. Click here for more info.

6PM — 4th Anniversary Party @ Main Tap Tavern
All day food specials ($5 meatball sandwichs) and, of course, awesome beer from El Cajon’s reigning beer bar. Live music with American Midnight goes on at 9PM.

Sunday 6/31
11AM —  1st Anniversary Celebration @ Local Habit
The celebration continues into Day #2 and starts at 11AM. First 40 people in the door get a custom Hess / Local Habit glass to commemorate the occasion.

430PM — BeerNerdz Gluten-free Beer Blind Tasting @ Bottlecraft
Gluten-free beer is a growing trend these days, and BeerNerdz has teamed up with Bottlecraft to put on a blind tasting of the latest in GF offerings. For more info and tickets, click here.

This list of events was derived from our Event Calendar.

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Just Brewed: Creative Collaborations

May 17

Ken Schmidt / Iron Fist / Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout

Mitch Steele, Brandon Sieminski and Ken Schmidt with Farm Supervisor David Solomon at Stone Farms. Photo courtesy of Bill Benzel

Last week, homebrewer Ken Schmidt teamed up with Iron Fist Brewing Co.’s Brandon Sieminski and Stone Brewing Co.’s Mitch Steele to brew a scaled-up version of Pillow Mint at the Ritz, which took top honors at the Stone March Madness Homebrew Competition & AHA Rally. Using organically-grown mint from Stone Farms and the gardens of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, alongside organically-grown, stone-ground cacao liquor from SoCal chocolatier Chocovivo, the team is attempting to replicate the bold and complex flavors of the original homebrew, likened to a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie or an Andes mint. “I was a judge at the rally, and it was amazing how well the flavors worked together,” said Steele.

In a few ways this is a “reunion brew” for the three collaborators: Schmidt won the 2009 rendition of the same homebrew competition, leading to the Ken Schmidt / Maui / Stone Kona Coffee, Macadamia, Coconut Porter. Sieminski wasn’t part of that squad, but he did work at the bistro for a spell and was excited to be back — this time on the brew deck: “This beer is right up our alley, and I’ll probably be having dreams about this system for months,” he said. Sieminski was chosen as the third collaborator by Schmidt after careful consideration. “I asked Stone if they wanted someone local, and they pretty much left that decision up to me. I decided to go with Brandon from Iron Fist because I really like the Sieminski family and how they’ve all gotten behind their young brewmaster.”

The beer will be entered in the Pro-Am competition of the Great American Beer Festival this fall. View more photos from the brew day here.

Quantity produced: 340 barrels
Release date: Early July

Monkey Paw Brewing / KnB Wine Cellars (Name TBD) Gose

Derek Freese (left) and Adam Parker monkeying around during yesterday's brew day

This 1000-year old beer style is named for the naturally saline water of the Gose river which flows through the town center of Goslar, Germany. The style became very popular in the nearby city of Leipzig and is similar to Berliner Weiss, but the addition of coriander and salt means it did not strictly conform to the “Reinheitsgebot” German Beer Purity Law of using only hops, barley, and water (yeast was not known to be an ingredient of beer before Louis Pasteur in the 1800s). After the unification of Germany, Gose was granted exception to the Reinheitsgebot rule as a regional specialty outside of Bavaria.

As far as we know, this style had not been commercially produced in San Diego before Tuesday, when brewer Derek Freese (Monkey Paw) and collaborator Adam Parker (KnB Wine Cellars) began their experiment in flavor. Over the next few days Freese will perform a sour mashing technique using Lactobacillus delbrueckii in the kettle, having enlisted the advice of Ballast Point/Home Brew Mart’s Colby Chandler (Sour Wench Blackberry Ale brewer) and Karl Strauss’ Paul Segura (Flan-Diddly-Anders Red Ale brewer). Because Freese and Parker didn’t have the same German water to work with, they’ll be adding the necessary salt to the uncarbonated beer next week, after taste-testing several salts from the KnB kitchen mixed with beer pulled off the fermentors.

Quantity produced: 10 barrels
Release date: Noon on June 30 at KnB Wine Cellars’ 4-Year Anniversary Party 

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