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Posts Tagged prodigy brewing

2017 Recap: Beers of the Week

Dec 22

Each week, I feature a locally produced beer that is special from one of numerous standpoints. Sometimes it’s an anniversary beer, other times I go with collaborations. The draw of something unique often piques my interest, then there are times when a beer just tastes outstanding. But the basic plan of action is to highlight quality ales and lagers from around the county without featuring the same brewery twice during a single calendar year. This year, I decided to list all of the weekly standouts and rank them. In order to best do this, I broke them into categories (apples-to-apples versus triple-IPA-to-cream-ale). As one would expect from a beat this drenched in hop oil, IPAs of all ilks were featured most often, but there were plenty of lagers, Belgian-style ales, stouts and other concoctions. All were good, but some were outstanding enough that they should be recognized here.

Alpine HFS India Pale Ale


A collaboratively brewed Nelson Lager from Dos Desperados Brewery and Prodigy Brewing Company


  • Nelson Lager, Dos Desperados Brewery & Prodigy Brewing, San Marcos: This wasn’t just one of the best lagers I had all year, it was one of the best beers overall; crisp, clean and bursting with Nelson Sauvin character.
  • Natural Bridge Festbier, Eppig Brewing, North Park: This is a beer so well-crafted, true-to-style and absolutely perfect for everyday consumption that I find myself thinking about it just about every day.
  • Herd of Turtles Baltic Porter, Bagby Beer Co., Oceanside: With so few Baltic-style porters in the county, they could have passed any dark lager off as one, but of course, this standout operation aced it.
  • Bird Park Bohemian Pilsner, North Park Beer Co., North Park
  • Helles Yeah! Helles, Division 23 Brewing, Miramar
  • Ragnabock Doppelbock, Longship Brewing, Mira Mesa
  • Sea Señor Mexican Lager, SouthNorte Brewing, Coronado

Origin of Shame from The Lost Abbey

Belgian-style Ales

Bear Cookie Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout seved on nitro at Vista’s Bear Roots Brewing


Hop Slap’d #5 American Pale Ale from New English Brewing

Other Styles

* Author’s Note: This year, Nickel Beer Co. had two Beer of the Week features due to the untimely passing of local publican Larry Koger, for whom owner and business partner Tom Nickel brewed a commemorative beer. It was a good reason to break policy.

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Beer of the Week: Dos Desperados Nelson Lager

May 19

Nelson Lager from Dos Desperados Brewery

From the Beer Writer: You know that feeling when you arrive at a bar or a friend’s house and, before you can even say a word, you’re handed a beverage that you hastily take a sip of and instantly find yourself completely blown away by? Of course you do. It’s one of those magic moments beer-lovers live for: the exciting discovery of something brand new and exquisite. That happened to me last weekend at Dos Desperados Brewery. I arrived at that San Marcos establishment to help staff one of my Beer to the Rescue fundraising events and was greeted by a full pour of a lovely golden beer with a fluffy white head, Dos Desperados Nelson Lager. Happy to be there and off State Route 78, I dove right in…and fell in love. It was the perfect beer for the sunny day I was in the midst of—light in body yet big on hop and lager-yeast character in the nose and on the palate. The limestone and floral notes from the yeast dovetailed beautifully with vinous flavors from the Nelson Sauvin making up the beer’s entire hop-bill. It was simple yet special, so much that I could have spent hours drinking pint after pint, something that wouldn’t have been too tough given the beer’s 4.9% alcohol-by-volume stat. The recipe for this all-day pleaser (which, as good as it was, is only in its R&D phase) was developed with fellow San Marcos operation, Prodigy Brewing Company, with assistance from a noted lager expert at Mission Valley’s Gordon Biersch brewpub. I’m glad to report it will be on-tap and helping Beer to the Rescue tomorrow, and soon become a staple in Dos Desperados’ year-round portfolio.

From the Brewer: “Our Nelson Lager is a Prodigy Brewing, Gordon Biersch and Dos Desperados Brewery collaboration for Beer to the Rescue that benefits the Lupus Foundation of Southern California. A special thanks goes out to Dean Rouleau and Doug Hasker for this Czech-style lager with rich, crisp maltiness and freshly crushed gooseberry flavor—think Sauvignon Blanc grapes from New Zealand, which come care of the Nelson Sauvin hops we used.”—Steve Munson, Owner & Brewmaster, Dos Desperados Brewery

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Beer to the Rescue back bigger than ever to help lupus patients

May 3

When I was diagnosed with the chronic auto-immune disease, lupus, in 2014, I felt very ill and entirely defenseless. I’d been suffering from the condition without a diagnosis for nearly a decade and was dismayed that there is no cure or medications specifically engineered to combat lupus. Nearly three years later, I am still rather ill, but I feel emboldened and lifted by the support of so many in the brewing community (60-plus and counting)  who have come together to help, not just me, but lupus patients throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties, by participating in the Beer to the Rescue charity campaign established to raise funds for the Lupus Foundation of Southern California.

Over the past two years, this campaign has raised more than $70,000 to fund the complimentary support services the LFSC provides locals in need as well as their work to support research and educational initiatives. Because dozens of San Diego County breweries brewed charity beers, made donations and held fundraising events, the LFSC is able to do more and people like me have reasons to be more helpful. We also have cause for increased happiness. Before Beer to the Rescue, most of the lupus sufferers the organization helps only saw each other when commiserating at support group gatherings. A fringe benefit of this cause is that its events are fun ways for lupus patients to comingle in an enjoyable, uplifting atmosphere where they feel cared for and supported. For that, we thank the participating breweries as well as the many, many beer fans who have come out to support the cause. It’s all of this that led me to push to make this year’s Beer to the Rescue campaign the biggest and best yet for all of us.

The 2017 Beer to the Rescue calendar kicked off on May 1 and includes over 40 events packed into the month of May—Lupus Awareness Month. At least one event will take place at a local brewery or watering hole each day this month, and hit numerous communities from Downtown to Fallbrook to Oceanside to PB to La Mesa and more, providing opportunities for beer enthusiasts and humanitarians all over the county to take part and enjoy some good beer and good times, in many cases right alongside the LFSC’s volunteers and beneficiaries. The full schedule is provided below. Thank you to everyone out there who has helped move the needle and make a positive difference for our region’s lupus patients. It means more than you can know and we look forward to seeing you around San Diego in May! To keep up with Beer to the Rescue, you can check out the campaign’s official website or follow on social media via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@beertotherescue).

All-Month 5/1-31
Spring Fling Lemon Verbena Saison @ Bitter Brothers Brewing Co.
Daily Grind Coffee Cream Ale @ All Oggi’s Locations
Monday 5/1
Beer to the Rescue Kick-Off @ Rip Current Brewing Co. – North Park
Tuesday 5/2
Charity Tuesday @ Societe Brewing Co.
Wednesday 5/3
Dank Drank Charity Beer Fundraiser @ Pariah Brewing Co.
Thursday 5/4
Coffee IPA Fundraiser @ Duck Foot Brewing Co.
Beer to the Rescue Night @ Thorn St. Brewery
Friday 5/5
– Cinco de Drinko Fundraiser @ Booze Brothers Brewing Co.
Saturday 5/6
– A Sweet & Sour Fundraiser @ Indian Joe Brewing
Sunday 5/7
– Beer to the Rescue Day @ Pure Project Brewing
Monday 5/8
– Beer to the Rescue Rafflemania @ All Barrel Harbor Brewing Co. Locations
Tuesday 5/9
Charity Tuesday @ Societe Brewing Co.
Wednesday 5/10
Mason Ale Works Charity IPA Fundraiser @ All Urge Gastropub Locations
Brett Coast IPA Fundraiser @ Green Flash Brewing Co. – Cellar 3
Thursday 5/11
– Beer to the Rescue Night @ North Park Beer Co.
Friday 5/12
– Specialty Beer Fundraiser @ Mission Brewery
– Hoppy Saison Fundraiser @ Kilowatt Brewing Co.
Saturday 5/13
– Dank & Sticky XPA Fundraiser @ Second Chance Beer Co.
– Prodigy Brewing Co. Collaboration Nelson Lager Fundraiser @ Dos Desperados Brewery
Sunday 5/14
– Hazy Double IPA Fundraiser @ All Amplified Ale Works Locations
Monday 5/15
– Beer to the Rescue Night @ New English Brewing Co.
Tuesday 5/16
– Charity Tuesday @ Societe Brewing Co.
Resident Brewing Co. Beer to the Rescue Night @ The Local Eatery Downtown
Wednesday 5/17
– Blood Orange Double IPA Fundraiser @ Division 23 Brewing Co.
– Beer to the Rescue Night @ 32 North Brewing Co.
Thursday 5/18
Nickel Beer Co. Hops to the Rescue Double IPA Fundraiser @ O’Brien’s Pub
Friday 5/19
– South African Nelson IPA Fundraiser @ Bay City Brewing Co.
Saturday 5/20
Prodigy Brewing Co. Collaboration Nelson Lager Fundraiser @ Dos Desperados Brewery
– Beer to the Rescue Day @ Bolt Brewery La Mesa
Sunday 5/21
– Blonde Session IPA Fundraiser @ 2kids Brewing Co.
Monday 5/22
– Beer to the Rescue Cask Night @ Benchmark Brewing Co.
Tuesday 5/23
– Charity Tuesday @ Societe Brewing Co.
Wednesday 5/24
– Beer to the Rescue Week Kick-Off @ White Labs
Thursday 5/25
– Charity IPA Fundraiser @ Belching Beaver Brewery – Oceanside
Friday 5/26
– Corn-Hole & Foosball Tournament @ Iron Fist Brewing Co. – Vista
– Belgian Coffee Ale Fundraiser @ Burning Beard Brewing
Saturday 5/27
– Bottle Beer Release @ Toolbox Brewing Co.
– Beer to the Rescue Day @ Fallbrook Brewing Co.
Sunday 5/28
– Oat Imperial Pale Lager Fundraiser @ ChuckAlek Biergarten
Monday 5/29
– Trending Travis-ty Hazy Session IPA Fundraiser @ Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station
Tuesday 5/30
– Charity Tuesday @ Societe Brewing Co.
Wednesday 5/31
– Beer to the Rescue Closing Ceremonies @ Rip Current Brewing Co. – San Marcos
Thursday 6/1
– Nickel Beer Co. Hops to the Rescue Double IPA Fundraiser @ West Coast BBQ & Brews

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Best Beer Futures: North

Apr 5
Indian Joe Brewing Co. owner Max Moran stands in front of his newly acquired building

Indian Joe Brewing Co. owner Max Moran stands in front of his newly acquired building

Twice a year, I assess the landscape of in-process brewery-owned projects and pick a few that I feel are the most promising. I’ve been at this for nearly four years at this point, so I thought this time around I’d take a look back on the ponies I bet my money on in previous years and see how they turned out. Today, we’ll start with upcoming businesses in the northern expanses of San Diego County.

Belching Beaver Tavern & Grill, Vista: The name of the company and some of the beers would lead one to expect some sort of dive-bar with greasy fried vittles out of this soon-to-open brewery-equipped restaurant, but after touring the space, this former bank is going to look downright stylish and offer a great deal in the way of food, drink and indoor-outdoor comfort. Read more about why this tops my list of North County projects in the near future on the West Coaster site.

Indian Joe Brewing, Vista: The ownership behind this family brewery made a nondescript business park suite look downright beautiful and now they’ll get a chance to work their magic with a large, two-story facility stocked with way more taps, a giant, high-def television, outdoor eating-and-drinking area and a full-time head brewer. That last one wasn’t part of the equation before, so yeah, this figures to be a big next-step for this small business.

Northern Pine Brewing Company, Oceanside: Not a lot is known about this Kickstarter-funded brewery project, except that its owners hail from Idaho and New York, and one of them teamed with Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co. to brew a beer paying homage to fallen Marines. But the fact that giving back to the community is one of the few for-sures with this business gives it an anticipatory edge.

Past Promising Projects: North

2013: Bagby Beer Company (Oceanside; Grade—A; spacious, unique, wide-ranging, outstanding quality), Pizza Port Bressi Ranch (Carlsbad; Grade—A; carries on the tradition with two stories and views of production), Prodigy Brewing Company (San Marcos; Grade—B; still tons of promise, but beer production stunted by business hiccups and move), Plan 9 Alehouse (Escondido; Grade—C; great food and guest tap list, but house-beer production woefully sporadic)

2014: Green Flash Brewing Company Cellar 3 (Poway; Grade—A; nice next chapter with good décor), The Hop Concept (San Marcos—A; stellar hoppy beers from hoppy beer experts), Second Chance Beer Company (Carmel Mountain—A; Rock Bottom’s loss is inland North County’s boon)

2015: Belching Beaver Brewery – Oceanside (Oceanside—Grade B; better system maintaining company’s quality beers); Mason Ale Works (Oceanside; Grade—B; early beers promising and place is perpetually packed); North 40 (Carlsbad; Grade—N/A; farm-to-table, ground-to-glass collective project still getting off the ground)

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Q&A: Howell Gillogly

Mar 29

Howell1Co-founder & CEO, Prodigy Brewing Company

The name Prodigy Brewing Company has been floating through San Diego beer rumor streams since 2012. And over the past year, some of the fledgling brewery’s beers have been flowing through taps at some of San Diego’s finer craft-beer bars. Still, a great deal of fuzziness and misinformation exists where this business is concerned. So, we went straight to the source, co-founder Howell Gillogly—a homebrewer of 23 years who convinced the long-time head brewer for San Diego Brewing Company—to change course and embark on a new next chapter—to clear things up about where Prodigy is located and when its beers will be easier to find and more regularly available.

Prodigy Brewing's equipment being moved from its former Grantville location to its current San Marcos facility

Prodigy Brewing’s equipment being moved from its former Grantville location to its current San Marcos facility

You had a brewing facility in Grantville. What happened to that spot?
In August of 2015, we started looking for a new home for the brewery, since the Grantville building was sold out from under us. We had to completely suspend brewing, tear down the brewery operations and have all hands on deck (three of us) out and about looking for a new brewery home. The move went as well as can be expected when dealing with massive 30-barrel fermenters. Prodigy left the old building on December 31.

Where are you now?
We found a new home up in San Marcos, not too far from Rip Current Brewing Company. Once we’re done with all the build-out and setting up our hardware, we can begin brewing once again. As of today, we’ve installed the electric systems, glycol lines and top-treated the floors. We are so close to moving the tanks in!

Your beers have been spotted throughout San Diego. Where all have they been served?
Last May, June and July we canvassed the entire 30th Street corridor with a new 7.5% IPA called CitraLicious. [Head brewer] Dean Rouleau wanted me to do a huge marketing push, but I took a different route and simply let the beer sell itself. I told Dean that his world-class beer was enough and it did just that! It completely blew up the scene with 15.5-gallon kegs blowing out in as as little as 24 hours, so I’ll take that as a win. Ian Black, the owner of Toronado, was so stoked with CitraLicious that he asked for three kegs per week. I was happy to oblige! A big kudus came when Lee Chase, the owner of Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger! Tiger! Tavern, tried a pint and said, “Simply awesome. I want more of this for my locations.” We poured CitraLicious at [these and other top spots]…CitraLicious began showing up on Untapped. It was really cool to see so many people logging in and rating this beer, so much in fact that our little brewery gained a total ranking higher than some of the more established breweries. Again, this is all the work of Dean, which led me to create a new tag line “born to do this”.

An artist's rendering of a potential Prodigy Brewing tasting room in Solana Beach

An artist’s rendering of a potential Prodigy Brewing tasting room in Solana Beach

And now you’re looking for additional venues?
Our current project, outside of the build-out, is looking for external tasting rooms. We’ve decided that having two-to-four tasting rooms across San Diego County will be the best solution for getting the beer to the public and offer us the best margins. The artist’s rendering (at right) is a brand-new development on South Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach. This space hasn’t been built-out yet, but the developer is very keen on having a brewery tasting room. We’ve seen the renderings and floorplans, and it would be a beautiful 2,500-to-3,000 square-foot room. We are also looking for locations in North Park, possibly at a recently vacated coffee-shop. Dean and I would really like to be in North Park, so that’s the current focus. We also had some conversations with the City of Chula Vista, but what we were shown wasn’t the best locations for us. It was west of Interstate 5. We want to be in a main business district.

When can people expect to see Prodigy beers available in greater quantities?
I hope to have beer out in the market by the start of May via self-distribution to our very loyal accounts. Tasting room build-outs are going to take some time, and I’ll keep everyone up-to-date via Prodigy’s Facebook page.

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