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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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Beer Touring: Bay City Brewing Company

Dec 9

baycity_03I was one of the first to find out about Chris West’s new brewing project. I visited the site of said brewery numerous times before it had any beer at the ready or its doors open to the public. Yet, once the business went live, it took me way too long to get back to check it out, even with the positive buzz that, despite me trying to keep from hearing, I couldn’t help but catch wind of. So, it was with great pleasure—and more anticipation than usual—that I finally had the chance to try West’s wares at the recently opened Bay City Brewing Company (3760 Hancock Street, Point Loma).

I will disclose upfront that the night I was there was the same night of a fundraiser hosted by Bay City for the Beer to the Rescue lupus awareness campaign I set up earlier this year. That said, the company’s generosity in no way swayed my views of West’s beers. In fact, the special Coffee Pale Ale he conjured to help raise funds for the Lupus Foundation of Southern California drives home the main thing I took away from Bay City. This newbie’s beers are best when they aren’t messed with! Allow me to explain.

baycity_02The aforementioned pale ale (which was infused with beans roasted down the street at Swell Coffee Co.’s Point Loma roastery) had plenty of java potency that was deliciously in sync with the beer’s hop bill when served on CO2. For fun, the tasting room served the beer on nitrogen. The result was a beer with a fantastically soft and coating mouthfeel, but far less vibrant flavors. Diminishing taste and aroma returns is the lament of anti-nitro imbibers. I happen to believe there are plenty of right times, places and beers for nitro technology to be employed, but the fall-off was so severe in this case that sticking with a standard delivery method did the Coffee Pale Ale far more justice.

Similarly, Bay City’s Session IPA (no silly, clever, fancy or stupid monikers here, West and company simply label beers by their style) may be my favorite low-alcohol India pale ale in a county, nay, a country, overflowing with this trendy style, but only in its original form, which comes packed with bright piney, tropical fruit flavors and aromas brought on via Chinook and Equinox hops. But a version of the SIPA altered by the addition of cucumber and basil was easily the worst thing I had all night. It rendered the beer pickle-like in nature and took it to a nearly undrinkable place for me, leaving me pawing for more of the original version.

baycity_01While improvisations were mostly unsuccessful, one experiment was rather fruitful; an Experimental San Diego Pale Ale to be exact. Huge scents akin to melon and peach give way to similar flavors. A Southern Hemisphere Pale Ale brewed with Wakatu and Helga hops is well rounded with a surprising bit of bubble gum in the mid-palate. A Vienna-style lager was the best surprise of the night next to the SIPA; a poundable beer delivering plenty of the yeast character that lager fans crave. Admirable, but not quite as fine-tuned as I’d have liked, was a pair of sour ales that feel like first drafts and offer hope for future creations as well as flavors that go beyond the typical tart scope.

Bay City lived up to the hype and provides a great option for pre- and post-game and concert fun at Valley View Casino Center across the street. Though easy to find from the freeway—the logo-swathed building looks out onto Interstate 8—one must venture deep into the industrial sections of Lomaland to get to the actual tasting room. But once there, a fenced-in outdoor patio provides a nice buffer from the traffic. A similarly pleasant respite can be had in the sleek if not a tad stark (it’s still a work-in-progress) indoor tasting bar.

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Beer of the Week: Bay City Coffee Pale Ale

Nov 20
Bay City Coffee Pale Ale (on nitro)

Bay City Coffee Pale Ale (on nitro)

From the Beer Writer: When people think of coffee beers, they naturally gravitate toward stouts and porters. Roasted malts with a touch of hop bitterness is the closest thing to a bitter, roasty cup of Joe. So adding coffee makes a great deal of sense when one is looking to add depth of flavor and extra oomph to a dark beer. However, brewers looking to display the flavor of the coffee itself within a beer are beginning to experiment with lighter-colored beers devoid of dark-roasted malts. Cream ales, pale ales and the occasional India pale ale are the most popular styles when it comes to this method. In the case of the latter two, brewers look to select coffee and hop varieties that have similar flavors, which typically come in the form of citrus, berry or earthy nuances. That’s what Chris West, head brewer at newly opened Bay City Brewing Company did when devising the recipe for his Coffee Pale Ale, an extremely flavorful yet balanced beer that delivers hop sensations worthy of a San Diegan’s lupulin-craving palate plus a caffeinated java jolt. The 6% alcohol-by-volume beer is currently on tap, both on CO2 and nitrogen, at Bay City’s tasting room just north of Valley View Casino Center.

From the Brewer: “The inspiration for the Coffee Pale Ale started with our neighborhood. There are now two breweries and multiple coffee roasters in this unique corner of town and we’re excited to see what else develops here. We worked with Swell Coffee Co. and their roaster, John Hermann, to select a bean and roasting profile that created a fruity yet still earthy coffee. Once the bean was selected, we decided to go with a pale ale as the base beer for two reasons. We didn’t want dark roasted grains to interfere with the coffee’s profile, which we all loved during cuppings. Additionally, Swell had recently begun experimenting with dry-hopped, cold-brewed coffee, so the conversation inevitably led to a coffee pale ale as our final product. The beer pours a golden-pale color with a dense white head that lasts. The aroma is coffee-forward with a floral earthiness from Simcoe hops. The taste begins slightly sweet, then finishes with mild bitterness. We hope you enjoy it and help us benefit Beer to the Rescue and the campaign’s goal to fund lupus research.”—Chris West, Head Brewer, Bay City Brewing Co.

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