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: Some of the first beers I fell for when introduced to craft were dark, smoked ales. From the clean, peaty Stone Smoked Porter to the smoldered-salmon sensation of Alaskan Smoked Porter, these beers were rather prevalent. It would seem the beer-drinking public’s interest in smoked beers has declined a bit over the past two decades, making it all the more special when a new one comes along. Swimming into the local sudscape like the migratory sharks it gets its name from is Seven Sharks A-Circling, the latest holiday-beer offering in Karl Strauss Brewing Company‘s 12 Days of Christmas series, which sees a unique yuletide offering released each December. This imperial porter is as big on alcohol (9% by-volume) as it is on smoke character. Subdued chocolate-coated, malted milk-ball notes greet one’s taste buds, and are quickly overtaken by a deep, almost meaty smokiness. The beer has a warming effect that’s perfect for winter, and the brawn of this brew makes it best consumed in tight sips while taking in the splendor of a roaring fire or the family Christmas Tree.
From the Brewer: “We wanted to brew an imperial porter for this installment of our holiday series, but with a little something extra. We had this nice, beautiful smoked malt left over from a recent collaboration brew we did with Taylor Guitars that we had smoked using maple wood from the Skagit Valley, where they source the wood for their guitars. We had experimented a bit and didn’t end up using the smoked malt in that particular brew and thought it would be a great addition to this imperial porter. We added just enough smoke flavor to complement the base-beer in a delicate and thoughtful way without overwhelming the brew. I think we ended up with a respectable, balanced imperial porter with a high ABV to keep you warm during those cold San Diego winter nights.”—Paul Segura, Brewmaster, Karl Strauss Brewing Company