One of the reasons San Diego brewers enjoy the camaraderie and success they do is the 1997 establishment of the San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG). Back then, there were far fewer brewing companies in San Diego County, but visionaries from some of those veteran operations realized that strength in numbers would be key for development and promotion of the local industry. This year, the SDBG will celebrate its 20th year of collective success. In doing so, it will gather its longest-tenured while drawing off the innovation of all of its 100-plus members.
Later this month, Coronado Brewing Company will host a collaboration brew day during which brewers from SDBG member breweries will be invited to participate in the brewing of a special beer to commemorate the big two-zero. The recipe for that beer, a fittingly San Diego-style India pale ale (IPA), was developed by brewers at Coronado, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Pizza Port, Stone Brewing, San Diego Brewing Company, AleSmith Brewing Company and San Marcos Brewery and Grill.
The beer will come in around 7% alcohol-by-volume and be double-dry-hopped with Idaho 7, Motueka and Vic Secret hops. Additional hops will be donated by Fallbrook’s Star B Ranch and Hop Farm. Yeast was donated by Miramar-based White Labs while remaining ingredients were provided by BSG CraftBrewing. Additionally, El Cajon’s Taylor Guitars is partnering to provide old ebony fret boards from its African mill. That reclaimed wood will be fashioned into tap handles branded with the SDBG logo for this celebratory IPA.
Kegs from the 60-barrel batch will debut during San Diego Beer Week, which will take place from November 3 to 12. Coronado will also take the lead getting the beer out via its distribution partner, Crest Beverage. The beer will be available at retail accounts throughout the county, and make its official debut on November 3 during Guild Fest’s VIP Brewer Takeover at the Port Pavilion on downtown’s Broadway Pier. Proceeds from the beer will be donated to the Guild by Coronado once the beer sells through.
While Coronado is the hub this time around, the SDBG hopes to create collaboration beers on an annual basis and rotate the brewery at which they are produced each time. To get everyone involved during this inaugural brew, SDBG members were asked to submit suggested names for the beer, a short-list of which will be voted on by the membership this month.
From the Beer Writer: It’s that time of year again—the time when brewmasters’ Instagram posts clog our feeds with shot after shot of vibrant green hop-buds, fields and good-times had visiting the Pacific Northwest for the purpose of hop-selection. Yes, it’s hop-harvest, and with that annual tradition comes a bounty of wet-hop beers. What are wet-hop beer? They are beers given extra hop aroma and oomph thanks to the addition of freshly harvested (or “wet”) whole hops. It’s a magical time of year both for brewers and drinkers, but not all of the hops come from the upper-left corner of the country. Some come from within our county. Case in point, the Cascade and Galena hops used to create Fallbrook Homegrown Pale Ale. Coming in at 5.6% alcohol-by-volume, the beer’s malt bill lends a touch of toastiness in the finish, but is dialed back enough to let the newly reaped botanicals from SD Golden Hop Farm shine. That operation is based in the same community as the business that nurtured this beer into thirst-quenching reality, Fallbrook Brewing Company. In its three years of existence, that brewery has made a point of sourcing as many ingredients as possible from in and around its namesake berg, while also pulling in brewing talent with roots in Fallbrook to help on collaboration beers.
From the Brewer: “Every year we invite a few individuals from the industry to participate in brewing our anniversary beer. The common-denominator between these individuals is a tie to Fallbrook itself. Some have lived here, some have family here and a few have graduated from Fallbrook High School. Each year the group gets bigger and the beer gets better. This year, we decided to brew a wet-hop beer using locally grown hops from SD Golden Hop Farm. It’s a pale ale that has a very distinctive wet-hop aroma giving way to a candied-orange flavor that’s more sweet than bitter and ending with a nice clean finish. A big thanks to all that participated in this beer. We hope you enjoy it.”—Chuck McLaughlin, Owner/Brewmaster, Fallbrook Brewing Company