Thanks for sticking with us while we took a little holiday break. Give us a few weeks to repopulate our calendar with events and to get this blog back on its regular schedule. Here is some beer news gathered over the holidays. Only four days in, it’s apparent that 2012 is going to be a MASSIVE YEAR for San Diego beer!
The Sun Also Rises
Our good friend, culinary wizard, and fellow Toronado barfly Brandon Brooks is leaving his roost at Ritual Tavern to pursue a new venture: SOL Markets (SOL = Seasonal, Organic, Local). He’ll partner up with a small team and the market will open in Liberty Station in the coming months. And yes, there will be beer in the form of a tasting bar. We’ll keep you posted once things develop. More info from our beer and food writer Brandon Hernandez can be found here.
Speaking of Liberty Station: Slaters 50/50, Oggi’s, Tender Greens, and Sammy’s are already open and serving craft beer. SOL and Stone are set to open this year. Bear witness to the birth of a formidable craft beer destination.
The smokey sandwich chain from Arizona opened a franchise location near SDSU last year. Now, they have taps. I’m heading over to check this place out in the next few days, but serving local beer to college students is brilliant. If I owned a brewery, I would be very interested in serving my product to this demographic. Get ’em hooked early!
From Riches to Raglan
From the proprietors of the successful and classy New Zealand-themed Bareback Bar and Grill restaurants comes the Raglan Public House. Named after an iconic Kiwi beach town, this restaurant is set to open in around three weeks on the corner of Niagara and Bacon in Ocean Beach. We actually got scooped by Kiwi publication The Marlborough Express (the owners of Raglan requested back issues to adorn the walls). Read more, here.
Also in Ocean Beach, Sea Trader is vying for craft beer customers. The small liquor store has been working diligently to beef up their bottle selection over the past few months. If you’re wondering what that means: I just picked up a bottle of Alpine Duet, St. Feuillien/Green Flash Brewing’s Biere de L’amitié, and Port Brewing/De Proefbrouwerij Signature Ale. If you’re in the area looking for bottled brew, we suggest you check them out. Sea Trader is also right around the corner from staunch local craft beer supporters Olive Tree Market & Tasting Room. Between those two shops you can really do some damage. Please be sure to tell them West Coaster sent you!
Barrels of Fun
Karl Strauss is hosting their 23rd Anniversary party on February 2nd dubbed Changing of the Barrels. We went to last years and it was AWESOME. Great industry mixer with Karl’s finest brews alongside munchies. See pictures from last years event here, and buy tickets here.
February will be our 12 in ’12 issue, and March will be our Ladies of Local Beer issue. These are monster issues that were wildly successful and popular (PDF) last year. Feel free to whisper in our ears with recommendations! Leave a comment below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for now. Welcome to 2012
The next installment of Sammy’s Woodfried Pizza Beer Dinner series is happening tomorrow at Liberty Station. This “Meet the Brewer” Dinner will feature Ballast Point, and start off with coconut shrimp skewers w/ orange horseradish sauce paired with Wahoo Wheat. The 2nd course will be fresh beet & arugula salad w/ toasted walnuts, gorgonzola, spinach in a pomegranate vinaigrette paired with Calico Amber Ale. Sculpin IPA will team up with a organic arugula & pear pizza served with prosciutto and topped with arugula tossed in balsamic basil dressing. The 4th course finds Ahi mini burgers w/ sliced cucumber, ginger and miso sauce paired with Yellowtail Pale Ale. Finally, the dinner will conclude with a Black Marlin Porter Float.
We loved Sammy’s before they had any San Diego Beer on tap. Now, combined with the flavor fury of Ballast Point, we’ve high expectations for how this dinner is going to turn out. If you’re looking for something to get you over the midweek Wednesday hump in style, this should do nicely.
The price is $30, and the dinner begins at 7PM. Call for reservations, (619) 222-3111. Located in Liberty Station at 2401 Truxtun Rd.
Missing in March
While we included a great number of women in our most recent issue, we realize that it’s incomplete. If we left you out, it’s not a character judgement – we just ran out of space. Sorry!
DrinkAbout with Manzanita @ Sea Rocket
Four beers from 11 in ’11 member Manzanita Brewing will be featured at the ‘Rocket. Riverwalk Blonde, Rustic Horizon, Gillispie Brown Ale and a Double Dry Hopped IPA cask will be served in a $10, 6oz pour taster flight. Manzanita’s beer gets better every time I try it, and now that it’s on the swanky seafood DrinkAbout stop that is Sea Rocket Bistro, I have another excuse to experience their deliciously developing brews.
Firestone Walker’s Matt Brynildson to make rounds in SD
On the 18th, Firestone Walker’s brewmaster will be in town at Hamilton’s for Firestone’s Firkin Friday. The following day, he will play host for the Grill at Torrey Pines’ Craft Beer Pairing Dinner – where his beer will be paired with the culinary talent of the Grill’s Kyle Bergman. Grill manager Stephen Kurpinsky sent me the following: “5-course family style dinner featuring all pork dishes from 2 heirloom, Vande Rose pigs, paired with delicious beer from Firestone Walker! Union Jack IPA (ON CASK! Really excited, it will be our first firkin tapping at The Grill,) Red Nectar Ale DBA (Double Barrel Ale) and Double Jack Abacus (First time that this rare, barrel aged barley wine will be released in the San Diego market!)” $55 for the best food & beer pairing you’ll find in town. For reservations, 858-777-6645.
Upcoming Lightning Events
I’m really digging Lightning’s beers as of late (Prognosis: temporary hop overload.) My timing is excellent because they’re doing more and more events all over town. Today, they’ll be doing a pairing at Sammy’s Woodfried Pizza in Scripps Ranch, and tomorrow, they’ll be doing another pairing at Press Box Sports Lounge.
Coaster gets crafty
I sat down with Darren Renna of the Coaster Saloon on Monday. He brought me up to speed on the beachside bar/grill’s increasing craft beer program. Here’s the rundown: 32 handles, plans to rotate out 3-4 taps per month (with bi-weekly tap line cleanings, I’m told), a cask night in the works, and upcoming beer + food pairings with BBQ. We’re supportive of the Coaster’s commitment to local craft beer. Darren explained the reasoning behind his choice to embrace better beer: “Local breweries won’t try and shove beers down your throat, and they have a vested interest in their product. Also, it’s easy to switch things up if a beer isn’t working out.” He also asked me to let local breweries know that there’s interest in doing a featured brewery/keep-the-glass night, and there is plenty of room for a jockey box. On April 8th there’s a keep-the-pint w/ Ommegang. Also, I learned that the Coaster Saloon was one of the first Ballast Point accounts ever, and a ominous cult named the Theosophical society used to run Point Loma.
AleSmith Pairing @ La Gran Terraza
Located on the USD Campus, budding craft beer location La Gran Terraza will host Peter Zien for an AleSmith pairing dinner. The last pairing was with Stone and was ~$22 + tax & tip, so we’re assuming that AleSmith’s pairing will follow suit. 5 courses of gourmet food with generous pours at a great venue makes this one of the best secrets in San Diego Beer. At the gated USD entrance, make sure to let the guard know your intentions so you can get a free parking permit.