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San Diego Beer Week 2015: Publisher’s Picks

Nov 6


Each year, San Diego Beer Week arrives and rains down a myriad of events. Like a Vegas buffet, planning and strategy are key. Otherwise, you’ll end up asleep somewhere and missing out on the fun.

This list is subjective. I focused on events that have uncommon beers and especially beers from out of San Diego. I also really want to check out some of the newest beers/breweries/spots in town. In other words, I’m fixing to learn what’s up on the cutting edge of San Diego beer and tasting the best that America’s Finest Beer City/County can produce. I’m also trying to not die in the process, so this list is biased towards central-San Diego as that’s where my bed is. My sources: our WC online beer event calendar at, Beer Week’s official website and our generous advertisers (make sure to check out the ads in this issue, for there are plenty of amazing happenings in there).

San Diego’s finest are also avid local beer fans and well aware of San Diego Beer Week. Don’t be a drunk driving dickhead, use your phone to talk to space and summon a Lyft or Uber. Uber lets you split fares now so you can break up the fare with the squad.

I only regret that I have but one liver to lose for my county
-Jerry Sanders

Friday, November 6th
VIP Guildfest
Verily, this event’s grown a bit since it’s cozy inception in 2013. That said, I’m expecting a state-of-the-union for how SD beer is tasting while enjoying a sunset on the water. Details are slim as to who is pouring what exactly, but there will be unlimited food, beer and access to local brewing community folks.

If you’re attending both days, I recommend hunting the whales during the VIP. See below for my tip on the 2nd day.

Amplified Ale Works 3-Year Anniversary
There’s a growing number of adults in Pacific Beach who choose local beer over vodka slushies and our resident brewery is Amplified. Cy Henley makes amazing beers out of his seaside brewhouse, the biergarten patio overlooks the ocean and the food is amazing. When people ask me why I moved from North/South Park to PB, I take them here (then Crushed, TapRoom and Iron Pig afterwards if it’s one of those nights).

Saturday, November 7th
San Diego Brewers Guild Festival
I will most likely be slightly woozy from the previous evening, but nothing will keep me from this festival. This is because this festival is awesome. While there won’t be unlimited food, there will be even more beer and friends present, and I can get a better view of the boats floating around the bay during the day. 

The general Saturday Guildfest session is a great time to check out just-opened breweries, as this is their first ever Guild Fest and they’re going to want to impress. As of late October, brand new breweries that opened this year are: Abnormal, Bay Bridge, Bay City, Division 23, Duck Foot, Guadalupe, Half Door, Helix, Home, Kilowatt, Magnetic, Novo Brazil, Pacific Islander, Prodigy, Second Chance and South Park. Be gentle with your Untappd ratings; remember all breweries were once baby breweries :)

Sunday, November 8th
Baja Beers @ Bottlecraft Little Italy
I was going to type some remark bemoaning the old Bottlecraft, but then I remembered the old location sucked compared to the new one. This will be the first Beer Week for Bottlecraft Little Italy 2.0, and Baja breweries are ON FIRE right now. While I couldn’t get a hold of the tap list for this event, based on the above facts I know Bottlecraft will put on a good event. Ballast Point Little Italy is a catty-corner away, and they have beer, too.

Epicurean Beer Geek Tours @ White Labs, Brothers Provisions, Stone Farms and Societe
A new face launching for SDBW, Epicurean San Diego is an outfit that promises beer, food and education while ferrying you to White Labs, Brothers Provisions, Stone Farms and Societe. I don’t get to visit White Labs, Brothers and Societe enough, and I’ve never actually had a beer at Stone Farms. The cost is $115, and if there’s food and beer involved that’s a pretty good price especially since it includes transportation and a meal. Great event for out-of-towners and if Sunday doesn’t work the same tour runs daily November 5th-8th & 12th-15th from 10:30AM-3:45PM

Monday, November 9th
Brews, Views & Chews @ Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
It’s not just about beer, folks. Beer Week brings a lot of stellar foodie events, and this is one of them. Tom Ham’s Lighthouse is an iconic San Diego landmark that underwent a significant remodel and has stepped up their beer program in 2015. This event features six breweries such as Ballast Point, New English and Belching Beaver paired with six plates from the chefs of Soda & Swine, Carnitas Snack Shack and The Little Lion Cafe. Live music and a killer view of my lovely hometown’s downtown seal the deal for me.

Abnormal Beer Co. / Cork & Craft Beer Pairing Dinner featuring Modern Times & Almanac
Another equally killer option is up north at Abnormal Beer Company / Cork & Craft. A proper sit-down beer dinner, this multi-course meal will have beers paired from Modern Times, Almanac and Abnormal paired with the skilled Cork & Craft Kitchen. While I don’t know the particulars of this event, I was lucky enough to attend an outstanding AleSmith beer dinner early in 2015. It’s a safe bet that with months worth of practice this will be worth every penny.

Tuesday, November 10th
The Full Table @ Benchmark Beer
Like any San Diegan, I dig my badass hoppy Single/Double/Triple/Quadruple IPAs. That said, as my palate evolves (and my liver ages), I find myself appreciating gentler, more subtle beers. Benchmark Brewing Company’s Table Beer is a fine example of what I’m talking about, and this night will feature 12 different variations of the slightly roasty belgian style ale. This event is a great way to tune your tastebuds. Grab a pint of regular Table for a control beer, and then taste the versions that have been barrel-aged and brettanomyces-brewed. Check out how slight changes in ingredients can create such dramatic differences. Within walking distance is the rest of the developing Grantville neighborhood beer cluster which includes Groundswell and San Diego Brewing Co.

Wednesday, November 11th
Sour Tap Takeover @ Rip Current North Park
Unlike most non-brewing satellite tasting rooms, 2015 Great American Beer Festival Very Small Brewery of the Year Rip Current’s North Park location serves guest taps in addition to the beer brewed in the San Marcos production facility. Rip Current has deep connections with local homebrewing club QUAFF (Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity). Thus, the staff is pretty enthusiastic about quality brews – even if they don’t brew it themselves. Guest taps will be pouring a tart selection from Almanac, Toolbox, Council, DogFish Head & more starting at 3PM.

Thursday, November 12th
7th Fling w/ Green Flash @ Hamilton’s
Like the Hajj, all San Diego beer faithful should attend this event once in their lifetime. The morning starts at Morley Field with a brunch. While you munch, Hamilton’s proprietor Scot Blair and his staff are busy matching up players to create even teams of four. After a brief talk regarding rules, the shotgun disk golf tournament starts. Disk golf is the de-facto sport of San Diego Beer, and expect several brewers to be in attendance. While all skill levels are welcome and the fun level is high, there is stiff competition. Comradery and silliness are expected by all attending. Winners get to tap the cask at the afterparty which takes place at Hamilton’s. The afterparty is closed to non-Flingers, boasts lunch and a hosted bar until 3PM (when Hamilton’s normally opens).

Craft Beer + Bites @ SILO
Maker’s Quarter is a slick venue located right off where the 94 freeway ends. $35-$40 ticket gets you unlimited tastings of beer from 15 breweries, with food, craft cocktails and wine available for purchase. Proceeds benefit the San Diego Brewers Guild, and this event is also a graduation celebration for the recent batch of students from the San Diego State Business of Craft Beer Program. Across the street is Monkey Paw and both Half Door and Mission are within walking distance (along with the rest of downtown).

Friday, November 13th
Beer Without Borders @ Machete Beer House
As I mentioned, the Mexican craft brewers are doing some great stuff. It’s much easier to get to National City than Tijuana, and Machete is one of the bright stars of the growing South Bay beer scene. All 30 taps will be taken over by breweries such as Insurgente, Agua Mala, Border Psycho and Wendlandt. For those lucky enough to have a designated driver, don’t forget to check out La Bella Pizza, Manhattan Bar and Third Street Ale House while you’re in the area to understand #SouthBayUprising.

Battle of the Guilds @ Toronado
This event ruled last year. Try beer from the greater Los Angeles and San Francisco first. Breweries that will be included from LA: Three Weavers, Beachwood, Ladyface, Monkish, Phantom Carriage + more. From the Bay Area: Magnolia, Cellarmaker, Thirsty Bear + more. Last year had lots of brewers in attendance from San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco; this is a good event to mingle! Stop in early if you’re looking for the rarer beers, or pop in while roaming 30th. Don’t forget to cast your vote for San Diego!

Saturday, November 14th
Three Amigos @ O’Brien’s Pub
Former Pizza Port brewers Tom Nickel, Jeff Bagby and Tomme Arthur have each staked their own claims at Nickel Brewing Co., Bagby Beer Co., and Lost Abbey, respectively. An event with these three dudes present is a treat. If you wanted a chance to hang out with the best of the business while tasting some insane beer, this is it. Early afternoon is probably the best time to hit this event up. O’Brien’s is within the Kearny Mesa brewery cluster, which means Societe, Council, Kilowatt and Helm’s are all within striking distance. For food, across the street are two cool new beer pubs Common Theory and Dumpling Inn.

Sunday, November 15th
The Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines
Located on the grounds of the 5-star Lodge at Torrey Pines, the endpiece event of San Diego Beer Week is not to be missed. Gaze upon the majesty of the Torrey Pines golf course and the Pacific Ocean while stuffing your unmajestic, Beer-Week weary maw with unlimited, expertly matched food & beer pairings. This last official San Diego Brewers Guild event of the year explains to all senses why San Diego is awesome.

As this article was written late October for our November 2015 issue, numerous events have surfaced. West Coaster Editor Ryan Lamb has worked very hard to compile the best list of events in existence, so check that out along with and choose your own adventure!

San Diego Beer Week 2010 was when our first edition of West Coaster was published. It’s our fifth anniversary month this November. From all of us at WC: Thank you for reading!



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San Diego 6 is all about local craft beer

Jun 9
Morning news anchor Marc Bailey and West Coaster Editor-At-Large Brandon Hernández during one of San Diego 6's Spring for Beer segments.

Morning news anchor Marc Bailey (second from left) and West Coaster Editor-At-Large Brandon Hernández (second from right) during one of San Diego 6’s Spring for Beer segments.

My advocacy for the local brewing industry is well known. Even when I’m not writing about the brewers and beers of this county, I’m jawing to anyone who’ll listen about how exceptional both are. Over the past several years, I bent the ears of local television producers, trying in vain to get them interested in spotlighting craft beer on their news programs. Not just in one-time segments or during San Diego Beer Week, but as a regular feature a la “Wine Wednesdays” and other predictably scheduled programming. But I wasn’t able to get any traction…until a handful of staff at San Diego 6 / The CW took a chance and, in doing so, showed how compelling craft beer can be in America’s Finest City.

It all started quite innocently, with AM content editor Lindsay Hood reaching out after seeing a copy of my Complete Guide to San Diego Breweries. I took the opportunity to tell her about the Beer to the Rescue lupus charity campaign I was organizing and, coming from a family severely impacted by the autoimmune disease, she asked me to come on San Diego 6’s morning news to help promote the first pair of Beer to the Rescue events. Hood and some of her associates even came out to the inaugural event at Benchmark Brewing Company where I met San Diego 6 evening anchor Neda Iranpour. She was interested in doing a segment about the craft beer industry. It all started out that simple.

Iranpour’s first segment went so well that she went on to produce more. Last month, she had a pair of segments air within a three-day span, and she is currently working on a half-hour show devoted exclusively to San Diego beer. Back on the morning news, Hood and I worked up a monthly San Diego Beer News segment wherein I update viewers on the latest major industry happenings across the county with morning anchor Marc Bailey. Those segments air on San Diego 6 News in the Morning at 8:40 a.m., the third Friday of each month.

springforbeerAnd the exposure for local brewers doesn’t end there. San Diego 6 devoted time on its morning show ever Thursday from April 30 to May 28 as part of a free promotion called Spring for Beer. Set up as a poll where viewers could go online to vote for their favorite local beer of the season, it allowed three brewers per week to come to the studio and acquaint themselves with the public via the small screen. Last Thursday, the winners were announced, with three small breweries coming in on top. Dos Desperados Brewery won gold for its Gunsmoke Habeerneros IPA, Fallbrook Brewing Company took second with its Java Hill coffee cream ale, and Bolt Brewery rounded out the top three with its Citra Pale Ale. A second seasonal competition called Fall For Beer is already in the works for autumn.

This represents a great deal of exposure for local brewers, and certainly more than any single channel has provided to date. It’s refreshing to see and an honor to be a part of.

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San Diego Beer Week 2014 – Publisher’s Picks

Nov 5


Kegs have been hoarded, tap lines cleaned, and lineups finalized. It’s go time in the San Diego beer world. Lots of hard work has gone into this 6th incarnation of the 10 day confederation of beer events that is San Diego Beer Week. With 20+ events on the first day alone, tough decisions must be made as to which events will be attended.

As much as my soul wishes to taste all of the beers at all of the places during SDBW, my liver is the one that has to deal with all the alcohol. Plus, drunk driving sucks. I’m limiting myself to three events a day max, with an emphasis on trying tasty, new things. Here’s what I came up with:

From 2012's Rare Beer Breakfast at Stone. Pictured L-R: Colby Chandler (Ballast Point), Shawn DeWitt (Coronado), Dr. Bill (Stone), Ryan Glenn (Ballast Point), and Greg Koch (Stone)

From 2012’s Rare Beer Breakfast at Stone. Pictured L-R: Colby Chandler (Ballast Point), Shawn DeWitt (Coronado), Dr. Bill (Stone), Ryan Glenn (Ballast Point), and Greg Koch (Stone)

11/7 Friday

Stone Rare Beer Breakfast @ Stone Brewing Co. Escondido
Whale hunters will be pleased with the offerings from Crooked Stave, Russian River, Firestone Walker and much more. $65 gets you fifteen 3oz tasters, an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, a cool taster glass and more.

Urge Beer Run: Day 2
The guys from Urge road tripped from San Diego to Seattle, packing the RV with treats from breweries along the West Coast. With beers you just don’t see coming on tap from Oregon & Washington, this is a good stop for beer tickers looking to try something new.

Guild Fest: VIP Brewer Takeover
One of the three official Brewers Guild events for SDBW, the VIP Brewer Takeover on Saturday evening is not to be missed. There’s a good chance you’ll get to say hello to your favorite brewer and the tap list is pretty solid. I’m going to taste Queen of Tarts by Karl Strauss, Green Flash’s Hammie’s 8th Anniversary Wheat Wine & the 12th Anniversary Sour Pale Ale, Twisted Manzanita’s Serenity, Rip Current’s IIIIPA, and New English’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Brown.  I’m also looking forward to checking out all the newer breweries as they’re anxious to show off on their 1st Beer Week. Tickets are $75 for unlimited tasting of food and beer.

December / January 2012-13’s cover of the 2012 Guild Fest

11/8 Saturday

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival
The largest of the three official San Diego Brewers Guild events of SDBW, this will be a snapshot for the current state of San Diego Beer with unlimited tastings from over 50 SD-county breweries. My personal favorites on the list include Electrocution by Amplified Ales and Stone Liberty Station’s Witty Moron. I’ll be looking to try beer from newcomers 32 North, Bagby, Dos Desperados, Fallbrook, Prodigy, Toolbox and Urbn St.

NorCal Beer Night @ Hamilton’s Tavern
Hammies is orchestrating a massive taplist with lots of Northern California beers you just don’t see much of down South. Marin Brewing, CellarMaker, Social Kitchen, Magnolia, Moonlight, Moylan’s, Iron Springs and many more will be on tap.

Chef Calvin Hanis of Carnitas Snack Shack with his pet pig, Carnitas

11/9 Sunday

Green Flash Smokeout @ Carnitas Snack Shack
The realm of tasty that is Carnitas Snack Shack is hosting the 6th Annual Green Flash Smokeout. Green Flash will have Chuck Silva & Dave Adams curating on hand to talk about Green Flash happenings and any of the beers on tap. The food will be killer. This one will put you in the right place for our next event pick:

The World’s Biggest Bottle Share on 30th Street
I love DrinkAbout and I love bottleshares. This is a hybrid of those two things taking place in the greater North Park area. A bus will connect Polite Provisions, Ritual Kitchen & Beer Garden, Waypoint Public, Bluefoot, Brabant, Station Tavern, Alchemy, and Hamilton’s. $20 gets you a t-shirt, bus access from 12P-6P and a commemorative taster glass. Bring a few bottles to share with friends new and old while enjoying discounts at each of the stops. Cool new concept from the South Park Business Association.

1891138_715956958481666_1869378306502360211_n11/10 Monday

Fishing with the Brewers @ Fathom Bistro
The pub on the pier is getting together some friends and going fishin’. For $70, you get a fishing pole with hooks, weights and bait that are yours to keep. You also get breakfast, lunch and a t-shirt, too. Cast lines and hang out with Adam Avery of Avery Brewing, Chuck Silva of Green Flash, Jamie Floyd from Ninkasi, Bear Republic’s Richard Norgrove, AleSmith’s Bill Batten and Yuseff Cherney of Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits. Beers from each of the respective brewery will be on tap, and the view is awesome.

Brews, Views and Chews @ Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
Across the bay, the iconic Tom Ham’s Lighthouse is hosting a mini-festival including another fantastic view of San Diego. $40 gets you tasters from Ballast Point, Lost Abbey, New English, Ironfire and Acoustic Ales with food from Hanis Calivn (Carnitas Snack Shack), Lance Repp (Tom Ham’s), Chad White (Comun Kitchen) and Don Morales (Bali Hai). There will be live music and a silent action also.

Modern Times Tasting @ SD TapRoom
TapRoom is arguably the most San Diego proud bar with a well curated local-centric taplist to boot. Modern Times is one of my favorite breweries at the moment, and their newer beers like Universal Friend and Aurora have been bold and delicious – complimenting their sessionable core lineup nicely. Starts at 8PM.

May 2013’s cover of West Coaster featuring Benchmark Brewing

11/11 Tuesday

Full Table by Benchmark Brewing Co.
We’re big fans of Matt Akin and Benchmark Brewing. Their subtle but skillfully brewing style is no better explained than by a sip of their core offering Table Beer. For this event, there will be a dozen different variants of Table Beer. This is a great way to taste how things like switching the yeast or barrel aging affect a beer. Flights of 6 are $12 and individual tasters are $2. Benchmark is very close to Groundswell Brewing and San Diego Brewing Company, both worthy of a visit afterwards.

Ice Cream Float Night @ Tap That Tap Room
Tap That will have a full selection of beers ready to be augmented with a scoop of ice cream. You can’t go wrong with beer floats with Karl Strauss’ Peanut Butter Porter and Belching Beaver’s Peanut Butter Stout. Tap That also has bottles and kegs to go, so if your fridge or kegerator needs a SDBW-reload you can do that, too.


Ignacio “Nacho” Cervantes at Pizza Port Carlsbad, mid 2011

11/12 Wednesday

Crushed & Karl’d Brunch
Pacific Beach’s Karl Strauss is bringing beer for brunch at the new Crushed on Garnett Avenue. Making great use of the old Ciro’s draft system right out of the gate, this new spot is a promising addition to the rapidly expanding Pacific Beach Better Beer Circuit. Brewmaster Paul Segura will be in attendance. Crushed is an easy walk to Tap Room, Barrel Republic, Iron Pig and Amplified, also.

Pizza Port Showdown @ Sublime Ale House
Sublime is putting beers from all SD-county Pizza Ports on tap and pitting them against one another. Taste beers from Nacho Cervantes (Ocean Beach), Devon Randall (Solana Beach), Sean Farrell (Bressi Ranch) and Mike Abuchon (Carlsbad) and vote for your favorites. The winner gets a trophy and beers the beers organized into four categories: Hoppy, Belgian, Dark and Brewers Choice. Beers on tap include: Bacon & Eggs, May the Port Be With You, Barrel Aged Export Stout and Fresh Hop Grapefruit Tap.

August 2011’s cover featuring Mexico’s Insurgente Brewing

11/13 Thursday

Nickel Beer Night @ West Coast BBQ
Nickel Beer Co. owner and West Coast BBQ co-owner Tom Nickel makes some quality beer out of Julian. This is a great way to taste a few of his beers and eat some BBQ from West Coast’s huge smoker. Smoked Beer Cheese plates and Hot Links available for munching.

No Border: Craft Beer & Tacos with Insurgente Brewing @ Tacos Perla
From Tijuana to North Park, Cerveceria Insurgente will be on tap at Tacos Perla. The two brothers Ivan and Damien Morales have been very busy since we featured them in our August 2011 issue of West Coaster (check out our archives: Baja beer has been growing at an incredible pace, and this is one of the breweries we’re most excited about south of the border.

Love Your Mother Earth Brewer @ Ritual Kitchen & Tavern
Farm to table pub Ritual will host Vista’s Mother Earth Brew Co.’s Kamron Khannakhjavani for a beer pairing dinner. Mother Earth’s beer has been tasting really good lately, and Ritual Tavern is the perfect setting for a low key beer dinner.

11/14 Friday

Ballast Point Tap Takeover 2011 at The High Dive

Ballast Point Tap Takeover 2011 at The High Dive

Ballast Point Tap Takeover @ The High Dive
The friendly neighborhood pub High Dive has for years been Ballast Point Home Brew Mart’s break room. Owner Ingrid also recently married BP’s brewmaster Yuseff Cherney. Both of these things mean that you can expect the best from Ballast Point’s beers and spirits to be available: check out a list:

Council Brewing Progressive Tart Saison Night @ Council Brewing Co.
One of San Diego’s newest and most promising breweries will be rotating on kegs of their low-ABV, high flavor Tart Saison. Variants include Mango, Pomegranate and Nelson-hopped.

Meeting of the Guilds @ Toronado
Featuring beers from the San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco Guilds, this is a great chance to taste beer from our Northern friends. Ladyface, Strand, El Segundo, Eagle Rock and more will be representing Los Angeles. San Francisco will be represented by Magnolia, Thirsty Bear, Almanac along with several others. Plenty of San Diego beer, too, but for this one I’ll be trying to tick off new beers on Untappd.


Team BNS

11/15 Saturday

The Bruery Secret Stash @ The Joint
There’s lots of good beer in Ocean Beach these days. Plan to spend some time in the neighborhood and start with The Joint, a funky Spanish / Japanese restaurant that will be serving up rare beers from The Bruery on Saturday. Afterwards, check out the new Culture Brewing Co. tasting room and don’t forget to see what neighbors Raglan, OB Noodlehouse II, and Pizza Port are serving. After your OB beer day, take a unsober selfie on the pier and send it in to us.

East County Hop On, Hop Off Brew Bus
This is a great way to easily check out what East County’s brewing scene is all about. Organized by Urbn Street Brewing Co., a bus will run from 5-10PM and visit BNS Brewing & Distilling, Twisted Manzanita Ales, Main Tap Tavern in addition to Urbn St. The bus is free.

Barrel Republic 1st Year Anniversary
The one-of-a-kind, pour-it-yourself beer bar is going insane all SDBW, but on the final Saturday of Beer Week Barrel Republic is celebrating their 1st Anniversary. The concept is cool and there will be more good beer available then you can shake a Willi Becher at. With loads of proper glassware, you can taste beer at your own pace and in whatever quantity you prefer. Beers on tap will include Telegraph Brewing Co. Rhinoceros 2012, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Velvet Merkin aged in Tequila Barrels, Hangar 24 Craft Brewery Pugachev’s Cobra 2013 and more.

11/16 Sunday

Beer lovers taking in the sights at the 2010 Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

Beer lovers taking in the sights at the 2010 Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines

The Beer Garden @ The Lodge at Torrey Pines
In years past, the official closing event of San Diego Beer Week has been a one-stop shop for the finest in SD beer and food in an absolutley stunning setting. With 24 breweries and 12 restaurants being showcased on the edge of Torrey Pines Golf Course, this is a worthy finishing act for the previous 10 days.


November is also our 4th Anniversary at West Coaster. We launched during Beer Week 2010, and this post has photos and covers from the past four years. Don’t forget to check out our November 2014 issue online or in print. Thank you very much for reading!

The 1st issue of West Coaster awaiting delivery - November 2010

The 1st issue of West Coaster awaiting delivery – November 2010

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Brews in the News September 2014

Sep 4


Our September 2014 issue is out around town and available online! Check it out by clicking here.

Busy Times @ Twisted Manzanita
In addition to putting the finishing touches on their Pacific Beach tasting room, the Twisted Manzanita team is also working on variations of their Witch’s Hair Pumpkin Ale, brewed in August. At time of print, the brew crew was looking to create more than 10 variations on the seasonal beer, buoyed by the fact that they’ll now have two tasting rooms at which to empty kegs. Be on the lookout especially for nitro versions, which the brewery is looking to do more of all around.


Bagby Beer Co. brewing team 9/3/14

New Breweries in August
Several new breweries began brewing in August. Now operational Ballast Point’s new Miramar expansion, Beer Brewing Co. in Oceanside, Bagby Beer Company and Bolt Brewery. None of those breweries are open to the public yet, save for Bagby – which is in soft opening mode with beers on tap. The total count of operational breweries as of late August is 93.

In addition, West Coaster is tracking 42 breweries that are planning on opening in San Diego County. Knox Corners in El Cajon, Belching Beaver’s brewpub in Vista, Bay City Brewing in Loma Portal, Green Flash’s Poway expansion, Jamul Town Brewery & Tap and 32 North Brewing Co. in Miramar all popped up on our radar in August. Check out for info on current and up-and-coming breweries.

Barrel Republic Expands
Pacific Beach’s pour-it-yourself beer bar Barrel Republic is expanding to two new locations in Oceanside and Carlsbad. Carlsbad’s Barrel Republic will have 52 taps and a kitchen headed by former Churchill’s chef A.G. Warfield and is slated to open by San Diego Beer Week 2014. The Oceanside location is still TBD.

If you can’t make it to Munich, there are plenty local Oktoberfest celebrations in San Diego.

Fathom Bistro’s 2nd annual Octo-Bier-Fest is Friday September 26th and starts at 3PM. The Smokehouse Kings, an offshoot chef collaboration from Carnitas Snack Shack, will have their huge smoker on the pier cooking up sausages. The bar will serve 8 German & German-style beers on tap along with a glass giveaway.

Beer drinkers looking for authenticity should seek the German American Society of San Diego’s Oktoberfest which takes place September 26-28 & October 3-5 in El Cajon. Enjoy bratwurst, ox-on-the-spit, sauerkraut and, of course, German beer. More info:

Perhaps the most SoCal Oktoberfest, Ocean Beach’s 10th annual celebration will be October 12 & 13. Gaze into the Pacific through the bottom of your glass, hear tribute bands jam in the Beer Garden Band Slam and cheer on the winner of the Ms Oktoberfest Bikini Contest. Pizza Port Ocean Beach will be serving beer, too. Buses depart to OB from Pacific Beach & Downtown. More info:

New this year: South Park’s version of Oktoberfest will take place on October 11th from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Dubbed Parktoberfest, the event will be held in the Gala Foods Parking. There will be a beer tent featuring 10 local breweries, a kid’s carnival, live music and more. Search Facebook for Parktoberfest to get more info.

There’s also Oktoberfests in La Mesa, Carlsbad, Julian, Ramona and Encinitas. Visit for a listing.

More Drafts in OB
With the recent openings of OB Warehouse with 24 taps and Bar 1502 with 40 taps, there’s now even more good beer flowing in the eclectic seaside neighborhood. The two new locations strengthen the existing beer circuit present with Raglan Public House, OB Kebab, Newport Pizza, OB Noodle House, The Joint, Olive Tree Market’s tasting room, Wonderland and Pizza Port OB.

This post was edited slightly from the original printed version that appeared in our September 2014 issue.

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Brewers Guild Releases VIP Beer List

Oct 28

945987_10151964807472145_357066640_nThis Friday, San Diego Beer Week begins with the official kickoff event, the Guild Festival VIP Brewer Takeover, at the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier from 6 – 9 p.m. This beer list was released this afternoon. Tickets are $75 for unlimited beer and food samples, plus the commemorative glass and live music. Day-of pricing will be $100 at the door. Day two of the Guild Festival is on Saturday, with both VIP ($55) and general admission ($40) tickets available. See all other SDBW events here.


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