Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Karl Strauss Parrot in a Palm Tree

This 8.5% alcohol Baltic Porter from Karl Strauss Brewing Co. has been described as "love in a glass". That was by me! Chocolate is prominent in the nose & first sip, with a slight effervescence. As the brew warms the dried raisin & plum notes come to the fore from its Tawny Port barrel aging. The dry finish is slightly bitter and leaves you with a lovely cocoa aftertaste. I enjoyed this beer so much that I was inspired to recreate the milkshake made by Karl Strauss executive chef Gunther Emathinger, as seen here. I paired it with a slice of my wife's homemade Peanut Butter Bundt Cake. Although the shake had mixed reviews, I found it to be a decadent treat that did justice to the beer. Whether you drink it by itself or make your own creamy concoction, check out this limited release for yourself. You'll be singing its praises in no time!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanks, Kevin!

My boss, whose favorite beer is Pabst Blue Ribbon and who isn't particularly well-versed in beer, bought me a bottle as a gift today. It was completely unexpected, so when I was presented with the tall brown paper bag I was happy to receive whatever he had gotten me. Imagine my surprise when I pulled out an AleSmith Wee Heavy Scotch Style Ale! That went right into my cellar for a little aging. For his limited beer knowledge he made a very good choice. Nicely done Kevin, nicely done!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm a Lukcy Basartd!

As I type my 200th post, drink my Stone Lukcy Basartd Ale, and listen to my family singing & dancing along to music on the TV in the other room, I find myself reflecting on the last few years of my life. Lukcy Basartd is a culmination of 13 years of Arrogant Bastard, combining Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, and Double Bastard into one harmonious brew. In much the same way, 8 years has passed since the birth of my son, almost 5 since the birth of one of my daughters, and just over 3 since the other. Thus, the roll of "Daddy" in my life was born. My love of craft beer has also grown in that time, adding a "Hop" to my otherwise grounded existence. The combination of these two identities brings me to where I am today, and where I am going tomorrow. The stage of tomorrow is not yet set, but I look forward with anticipation. I know that with my family beside me and with my passion to follow, my future will be bright, indeed! Maybe the 13 years of Arrogance in my glass is going to my head, but at this moment, as I type my 200th post and look forward to the next 200, I consider myself to be a very Lukcy Basartd!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Calculate the Cost

I dropped by a local brewery the other day and got a growler fill of one of my favorite beers. The $14 fill turned into just over $17 after tax and tip. I was happy with my purchase, and had enjoyed a frothy glass when I started to think about the six-pack of the same beer I had bought a couple weeks earlier. The $14.99 I had spent on the bottled version of the beer seemed pricey at the the time, but now I did the math comparing the two purchases. Not only was the six-pack a bit cheaper, but at 12 ounces per bottle the overall total came to 72 ounces compared to the 64 ounce growler. True, the growler was brewery fresh, but the six-pack was freshly bottled as well. Was it really worth the extra expense & fewer ounces, not to mention the trip to the brewery? Not for me. I would choose differently next time, either picking a different beer not available at my local bottle shop, or opting for the more economical six-pack instead. Am I pinching pennies? Absolutely! I love good craft beer, but I also like the best bang for my buck. The lesson? Calculate the cost of your next purchase. Remember, spending more wisely on beer means more to spend on beer, wisely!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Do you love to go to beer events such as release parties, rare tastings, and festivals? These functions offer the opportunity to mingle with fellow beer geeks, try new beers, and even learn about the brewing process from the brewers themselves. With the rise in popularity of great craft beer, such events are more and more prevalent, but can cost up to $50 or more to attend. That can really add up, and most people can't fit more than a couple of these events into their yearly budgets. However, there is a way around paying the costly admission fees. Volunteer! Most of the larger events look for volunteers to do everything from ticket sales to beer pouring. Volunteering will at very least gain you admission to the event, and many times will enable you to take part in some of the festivities as well. When that is not possible, many organizers will have a separate function just for the volunteers. Whatever the case, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you played a small part in furthering the beer culture of your area, which is priceless! So, the next time an event is coming up, get in touch with the people organizing it. They typically will have something in place for volunteers to sign up, but if not, they are usually very happy for any help they can get. Whether you are pouring or being poured for, I'll see you there!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beer Taxi

I guess this would remind the passenger why they needed the taxi in the first place.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Beer & Sweet Potatoes

Has this turned into a cooking blog? I don't even like sweet potatoes, but this looked really good, and since so much cooking usually goes on this time of year, I just had to post it. Get cooking!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beer & Turkey

Still cooking, or haven't started yet? Check this out. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sad beer comment

"I don't like artificial stuff in my beer." This was the comment made in a discussion about beer brewed with ingredients such as herbs, teas, & varietal grape juices. Interesting.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Hop Daddy's Night of the Living RED

My latest release, an Irish Red Ale, has a beautiful, somewhat hazy color. The nose is muted with a slightly sweet maltiness. While it pours only a thin head, the effervescence of the first sip gives the malt profile a bit of a bite. The finish, although not extremely smooth like some other beers of this style, is dry and ends cleanly. All in all I am very happy with this brew, and look forward to my next endeavor.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brew Masters on Discovery Channel

Tonight is the premier of Discovery's newest show, Brew Masters. What a glorious title! The show is hosted by Dogfish Head owner Sam Calagione, and should prove to be an exciting worldwide exploration of brewing ingredients, techniques, and traditions. Check out the official page for more details and local air times. Tune in, grab a brew, and enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Special Delivery!

I wouldn't mind this bad boy pulling up to my house!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Assignment

Get out there and find a beer that you have never tried before, preferably in a style that is out of your comfort zone. You may find a new favorite, or you may hate it. Either way, you can add a new brew to your repertoire. Have fun!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who said that?

"Give me a woman who loves beer and I will conquer the world."
- Kaiser Welhelm

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Memories of San Diego Beer Week 2010

How did 10 days fly by so quickly? Over 475 events spanning the entire county brought the local craft beer community together and to the fore in the public eye. From the unlimited samples offered by almost every major San Diego craft brewery at the Brewers Guild Festival, to the more intimate beachside Bikes, Boards, and Brews Festival, the second annual Beer Week didn't disappoint any beer loving citizen of America's Finest Beer City. What memories did you create? What friends did you make? What new venue did you discover? How will you plan for next year's festivities? Get out and explore new places, people, and brews. Inspire someone else to do the same. Let's build on the momentum of the past week's activities to make Beer Week 2011 even bigger, better, and more inspiring. Until next year, I bid you good drinking.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

San Diego Beer Week 2010

Has a year already passed since the inaugural run of this now annual beercentric event? If you were a party to any of the festivities of last year, you no doubt have been planning for the upcoming activities for quite some time. If you are new to the beer scene, have recently relocated to the area, or just didn't know about Beer Week last year, a snippet from the official website sums it up best. "San Diego Beer Week promotes San Diego's thriving craft beer culture by sponsoring a ten-day countywide festival that attracts beer tourism, fosters knowledge of our regional brewing heritage, and serves as a showcase for San Diego's breweries, restaurants, pubs, and other businesses with ties to the craft beer community." Visit for a list of the over 385 events going on around town from November 5-14. With multiple events happening each day, it would be impossible to get to them all, so plan wisely! Below are a few events that I consider to be highlights of the week. Whether they are stops on your list or not, just get out there, have some fun, and be safe. I'll see you around town!

Meet the Stone San Diego County Session Ale Collaboration brewers
Friday 11/5, 5:00-7:00pm
Home Brew Mart

San Diego Brewers Guild Festival
Saturday 11/6, 2:00-6:00pm
Liberty Station
$50 for VIP Session, $35 for regular session
This event is NOT to be missed, and is the official kick-off for Beer Week.

Madcap Draft Monday
Monday 11/8, 11:00am-7:00pm
Home Brew Mart
$1 per 4 ounce sample
They are featuring some rare beers that you may never get to try again.

Extreme $3 Pint Night
Wednesday 11/10, 4:00pm-2:00am
K&B Wine Cellar
$3 per pint

SDBW Stout Cask Night & Meet the Brewers
Thursday 11/11, 5:00-8:00pm
Karl Strauss Downtown San Diego
$3.50 per cask pint
Plus, $8 for 1/2 gallon growler & fill, any beer, all week!

Bikes, Boards, and Brews
Saturday 11/13, 12:00-4:00pm
$25, $30 at the door


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lucky Bastard?

What is this mystery beer from Stone Brewing Co. that I have heard mutterings about? According to scuttlebutt, it is a mix of Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, and Double Bastard. Sign me up! Oddly enough, I have heard no mention of this brew from Stone. I do, however, know that it is being released on Monday, so I can't wait to give it a try. Also of note, the 2010 release of Double Bastard is on Monday as well, so I will have at least a couple of new beers to try on that day. Oh, yeah!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

An open letter to the television and film industry

I'm fed up! I was watching TV the other night when I was assaulted with an action that is seen all too often in television and film. An action that I cringe at every time I see. An action that makes me want to stand up and shout to the entertainment industry, "Enough!" What is it that has me in such an uproar? Gratuitous violence? Illicit sexual material? Offensive language? No, not this time. I am offended with the phrase "Give me a beer." Innocent in its delivery, the words strike me like a swift crack of a bat to my head. We've all witnessed the generic bar scene in a TV show or movie when someone walks up to the bar and asks for a beer. Does it happen in real life? Of course, but not in the beer bars that I frequent! Product placement may not be the right call. I would love to be watching a show in which the lead character walks up to the bar and orders a Stone IPA. However, due to marketing and other issues I realize that this probably won't be the norm anytime soon. But why not have the actor ask for an IPA, a bock, or a nice barleywine? These terms may be foreign to a good portion of the audience at first, but what better way to introduce them to the vast world of beer that eludes a good portion of the viewing public today? If they hear it more and more in the media, they may be inspired to ask about these other, mysterious types of brew the next time they visit their local watering hole. That is my rant, be it as it may. Now that I have opened your mind to the existence of this media travesty, maybe you will be motivated to make a change. I don't blame the industry for its ignorance, but I can blame it for its lack of action now that the facts have been exposed. I look forward to a better tomorrow as we work together to change the perception of beer in modern media. Thank you for your time.
The Hop Daddy (a concerned beer enthusiast)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Roundup

What could be better than drinking beer for a good cause? Join Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits for their annual beer festival & charity event, drink some great beer from a bunch of local breweries, and support NTC Foundation, Inc. all at the same time. I'll be on hand, pouring some beer and enjoying the beautiful Saturday afternoon. I hope to see you there!

Ballast Point 14th Anniversary Beer Festival & Charity Event
Saturday, 1:00-5:00pm
San Diego, CA
$20 cash at the door

"Get the Point."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beer Poetry

Lines on Ale - Edgar Allen Poe

Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away.
What care I how time advances;
I am drinking ale today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale has arrived!

What could possibly redeem yet another Monday? The arrival of the 9th in a limited release series of 11 one-off creations from Stone Brewing Co. This installment doesn't disappoint, and provides enough depth and layering of flavors that multiple tastings will be required for a complete examination of this unique ale. The beer is brewed as a Belgian-style triple, with the addition of chamomile. Adding to the layers of flavor are not one, but three distinct varieties of grapes harvested from South Coast Winery in Temecula. Muscat, Gewurztraminer, & Sauvignon grapes join the party and provide a complexity that threw me off at first. I was greeted by a slightly tart, almost sour nose and first sip. The three grape varieties blended with the sweetness of the style to give me the sour-like first impression. Although the flavor was still present as the brew warmed, I was then able to discern the style from the trio of grape types. The chamomile weaves through the beverage so well that it is hard not only to distinguish it from the rest of the ingredients, but difficult to even tell how and where it is integrated in the final product. Complex and imaginative ingredients combined with a 9.5% alcohol content create an environment for exploration and discovery. I garner 3.5 stars to this annual offering although, as mentioned before, I plan on finding myself before a glass of this playful, mysterious concoction before I set my final thoughts in "stone". Procure a bottle, tuck in, and share your thoughts on this "epic" brew!

Friday, October 8, 2010


This seems to sum up my feelings for the weekend, what about yours?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

$1 Beer

Seaport Village is celebrating its 30th anniversary with festivities planned all weekend. Tomorrow night from 7:00-8:00pm the restaurants of Seaport Village are offering beer for $1! See all of the planned activities, including the 30 for 30 Carousel Challenge, here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The End of History

BrewDog has created a 55% alcohol beer called The End of History. Wow.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Stone 10.10.10 Vertical Epic Ale

As the date approaches, you may be surprised to learn that the release of the 2010 installment of the much anticipated brew will actually be October 11th! Distribution on a Sunday isn't possible, so we will have to wait an extra day to savor the next Vertical Epic. Will it be epic? Read about it on their blog 10.10.10 Is Upon Us. Not familiar with the limited annual release? Details can be found here. Whether you are a seasoned VE veteran or a newcomer to the line, give it a try when it comes out and let me know what you think. I'll give you my impressions on the 12th!

Monday, October 4, 2010


Monday calls for some humor.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Don't get crapulous!

If you are crapulous you display a marked intemperance in eating & drinking, are sick from excessive indulgence in liquor, and feel like crap. Don't do it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Let's go to Texas!

Click here if you don't see the video.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is Fresh Hop, or Wet Hop, beer?

These terms refer to the process of brewing beer with freshly harvested hops instead of the more traditionally used dried variety. These hops are typically harvested within 24 hours of brewing the beer. They are considered "wet" because their water content is between 80-90%, whereas dried hops have a substantially lower water content of 10-20%. Brewing with fresh hops requires a lot more hops to be used to obtain the desired flavors and aromas, which vary greatly from their dried brethren. You can taste the difference for yourself, as many brewers are adding this type of beer to their seasonal lineups. If you're not familiar with this type of brew already, go to your favorite beer spot and ask for one. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

National Drink Beer Day

September 28th is National Drink Beer Day. You didn't know that? Shame on you! The beauty of this day is that it can actually span 365 days, depending on how you celebrate it. However you choose to spend this special day, as you sip your brew this evening think about the love that went into the glass, can, or bottle that you are drinking. Enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dwile Flonking, anyone?

Dwile Flonking is an English pub game involving two teams of twelve, dancing around each other and trying to avoid being hit with a beer soaked rag from the opposite team. The loser must drink beer from a chamber pot. Who's up for a round?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Great Divide coming to San Diego

I had beer from Great Divide Brewing Co. while I was in Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival last weekend and was very impressed. Click on the link below for a post from San Diego Beer Blog regarding the arrival of this Colorado brew to San Diego. Enjoy!

Great Divide Brewing Co. Coming to San Diego

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Who said that?

"Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today."
- Edgar Allan Poe

Monday, September 20, 2010

Great American Beer Festival: The Event

I had a great time at the festival. I worked from 8:00am to 12:00pm setting up, then from 12:30pm to 10:00pm pouring beer for happy festival goers. A great time was had by all, and much beer was consumed. Throughout all of the sampling that I did, there were two that stood out above the rest.

The Bruery's Black Tuesday was like a giant, warm hug in a tasting cup. This imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels is rich and smooth. At 19.5% alcohol, it warms your throat and stomach as it goes down, and leaves the essence of the year long bourbon barrel aging on your palate. If you can score a bottle when it is released in October, I would highly recommend doing so!

On a completely different note, Billy's Chilies Beer from Twisted Pine Brewing Co. was an incredible experience. I've had beer brewed with chilies before, but the mix of fresh anaheim, fresno, serrano, jalapeno, and habanero peppers that they brew this beer with provides a huge pepper bite, yet is oddly refreshing. Although distribution of their beer is limited to Colorado, Texas, and Louisiana, you must search out and try this unique brew!

The festival is over for this year and the winners of the competition have been announced. You can view the complete list here. What will next year hold? What standout beers will be served? Who will take home top honors at the competition? We'll have to wait until next year to find out, and the best way to get the answers is in person at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. Will you be there?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Great American Beer Festival fact #3

The festival this year will feature 36,000 gallons of beer. Enough said. Check out photos and highlights as the festival progresses here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Great American Beer Festival fact #2

The 2007 festival sold out the week of the event, in 2008 two weeks in advance, in 2009 three weeks in advance, and this year five weeks in advance.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Great American Beer Festival fact #1

The first festival was held in 1982 at the Harvest House Hotel in Boulder. There were 22 breweries, 40 beers, and 800 attendees. This year, now held in Denver since 1984, the festival features 455 breweries, more than 2,200 beers, and an expected 49,000 attendees.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Countdown to Great American Beer Festival

As we anticipate the arrival of the country's premier beer festival, I will be counting down the final days by posting some interesting facts about the yearly event. I will be attending this year as a volunteer, setting up, pouring samples, and doing whatever else they ask me to do. If you will be attending on Saturday, look me up!

Thursday, 5:30-10:00pm
Friday, 5:30-10:00pm
Saturday, 12:30-4:30pm (Members Only Session)
Saturday, 5:30-10:00pm
Denver, CO

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I am a craft beer drinker

I'm sure this will be circulating around quite a bit, but is worth a look if you haven't seen it already. If you are a true craft beer enthusiast, it is sure to move you in some way. Enjoy!

I am a Craft Beer Drinker from New Brew Thursday on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome to Monday, er... Tuesday!

How was your long weekend? Don't you hate it when holidays play with your mind, turning a perfectly good Tuesday into a Monday in your head? Perhaps a nice craft beer is in order, or at least a good laugh. Enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mustache Day at Dogfish Head

As I like to don a mustache from time to time, I am excited and intrigued with this spectacularly hairy day coming up at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. If you happen to be in the state of Delaware on August 27th and either have, have had, or aspired to have a mustache, or just enjoy wearing a fake one, be sure not to miss this special day. Check out all the details here, then get growing!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Goodbye Gluek, you'll be missed!

Have you heard of Gluek beer? Neither have I, but I'm sure a lot of Minnesotans will miss this brew that has been in production for more than 150 years. Details are here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Happy International Beer Day!

I'll be honest, I didn't know today was International Beer Day, but I'm all for it! Read about this annual celebration that was founded in 2007 here. There's still a few hours left to celebrate, so grab one of your favorite brews and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I posted here about the marriage of beer and cupcakes. I have just learned about a local company that specializes in just that. The name of the company is PubCakes, and can be found at I have yet to try their delectable sounding creations, but have also learned that they are available at K&B Wine Cellar as well. Looks like my next trip there will be a sweet one!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Craft beer culture continues to grow

I was recently sitting in a BJ's when a couple of guys walked up to the bar. They asked the bartender if they had any sour beers. The bartender looked a bit confused, and responded with "No, but we have an IPA." My first thought was "A sour beer, at BJ's? HA!" But then I thought about what had just happened. A couple of average Joe's walked into BJ's off the street and asked for a sour beer. This wouldn't have happened a few years ago, and there are places in this country where it still wouldn't happen. What a testament to the growing craft beer culture! I look to a time when those sames guys can walk into any bar or restaurant, ask for a sour beer, imperial IPA, or barleywine and have several options to choose from. With the growing craft beer culture, anything is possible.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stone Sour Fest - SOLD OUT!

Where does the time go? This "mouth-puckering extravaganza" snuck up, sold out, and left me high and dry! Did you get tickets? Please fill us in afterwards. Did you miss out like me? Follow the link below to see a complete draft and bottle list, go buy a bottle or two off the list, and have your own Sour Fest this weekend. That's what I'm going to do!

Stone Sour Fest
Sunday, 10:00am-7:00pm
Escondido, CA

I'll see you there... next year!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Why lie, I need a beer!!!

Honesty is the best policy. We learned this when we were young, but don't always follow it. I recently saw a homeless guy on the corner taking the advice, holding up a sign that read "Why lie, I need a beer!!!" A truck pulled up beside him, and out popped a Steel Reserve. The man very happily accepted the offering, and the truck drove away. Honesty truly is the best policy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010


The guys at Stone Brewing Co. show what a class act they are by coming clean about Mustardgate 2010. Check it out here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

San Diego International Beer Festival

Imagine yourself surrounded by 388 beers from 156 breweries, hailing from 22 different countries. Now imagine yourself holding your own personal tasting cup, with 4 hours to enjoy unlimited 1 ounce samples. Stop imagining, because the event is finally here!

San Diego International Beer Festival
Friday, 4:00-8:00pm
Saturday, 11:00am-3:00pm
Saturday, 4:00-8:00pm
Sunday, 1:00-5:00pm
Del Mar, CA
$43 per session (includes Fair admission), $30 per session if already admitted to the Fair

I will be a table captain at the Saturday afternoon and Sunday sessions, but will definitely find my way to the other side of the tables for a few of my own samples. I'll see you there!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tap Hunter

Maybe I am a bit behind, but I just found out about one of the coolest beer resources I have ever seen. Check out Do you want to know what's on tap at your favorite bar or restaurant? No problem! Do you want to know where your favorite beer is on tap right now? Just search by the name of the beer you are looking for to see where it's available! You can currently search San Diego, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Vancouver. I'm sure new cities will be added regularly, so check back often. The next time you are going out for the night, take all of the guesswork out of the evening by making Tap Hunter your first stop.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Albertsons, for beer?

Yes, Albertsons! Well, actually some Albertsons. I have noticed that Albertsons is getting decent beer at some of their locations. The Lakeside store, for example, has an excellent selection of brews, some of which are rarely seen outside of the best beer retailers. The Imperial Beach store, however, has one of the poorest beer departments I have ever seen. The selection will vary by store, but I have noticed more and more stores adding local as well as imported varieties. Albertsons will never replace your favorite beer shop, but it's worth taking a walk down the beer isle the next time you are picking up a few groceries.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Visit San Diego

Follow this link for a nice blog post about a beer tasting trip to San Diego. This truly is a great beer city!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Karl Strauss Whistler Imperial Pils

I just got back from Small Bar in San Diego, and enjoyed Whistler Imperial Pils by Karl Strauss Brewing Co. This is the first time this beer has been available on draught, and it doesn't disappoint! Crisp, dry, and easy to drink, this brew is deceptive in it's lightness as it boasts around 7.5% alcohol. If you miss it at Small Bar, look for it at KNB2, K&B Wine Cellar's 2nd anniversary celebration next weekend in Del Cerro. If you can't find it at your favorite beer bar, ask for it at your local beer retailer. However you can, get your hands on this unique pilsner. Whether you are a fan of the style or not, you'll be glad you did!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ballast Point featured on Food Network

Ballast Point Brewing Co. is going to be featured next month on the popular Food Network show, Chefs vs. City. Details about the episode can be found here. I am excited to see the chefs traverse San Diego, but more excited to see them stop at one of the city's best breweries. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cooking WITH beer

I posted here about cooking with beer, or using beer in your cooking. Now I ask, do you cook WITH beer? What do you drink while you are cooking? Tonight I grilled steaks while enjoying a Karl Strauss Red Trolley. What do you like to drink while you cook?

Friday, June 11, 2010

New English Tasting Room

I posted this back in February about New English Brewing Co. moving into the old Mission Brewery building and starting production. They have finally opened a tasting room on-site. It is located right on the main brewery floor, so you can check out the operation as well. They are open Wednesday through Saturday, 4:00-8:00pm. I look forward to stopping by for a taste or two sometime soon. How about you?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

San Diego Beer Week Preview Weekend

It's here! Today officially starts the Preview Weekend festivities. How will you celebrate? Plot your course here. This weekend will wet your whistle for November's 10 day extravaganza. So get out there, have some fun, and be safe!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Brew It Up! Personal Brewery & Grill

Check out this Sacramento establishment here. What a great idea!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is holding a contest to attend their Beer Camp. The contest runs through July 9th. Click here for all the details. This sounds like a beer lover's dream come true, so enter the contest and tell them why you deserve to go!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Just because it's Monday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse

I wish the waiters at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse were more versed in the beer. I ate at the Chula Vista location tonight. I asked what style a guest beer was, and got a wrong answer. When I asked again, the waiter actually had to go look at the keg to get me an answer. When I asked for a sample, he said no problem. When he finally came back, he said they could only give samples of "their" beer. Who does that? Not only that, but my calzone was cold in the center and the cheese wasn't even melted. I also didn't get good advice on the dessert I ordered. So much for customer service.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pizza Port Ocean Beach contest

Are you a fan of Pizza Port? If so, you know that each store features a signature pizza. The Ocean Beach location is now open, but a signature pie has yet to be created. Click here to learn about the contest they are having to come up with an OB original. The winner gets a $100 gift card! The contest ends July 1st, so hurry up, put your thinking cap on, and come up with that winning recipe. If you win, let us know so that we can go try your creation. If you feel extra generous, you can even buy us all a slice!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Weekend Roundup

Short but sweet one this week. I hope you are able to make it to this annual shindig.

13th Annual Real Ale Festival
Friday, 1:00-4:00pm (VIP Session)
Friday, 4:00-11:00pm
Saturday, 11:00am-11:00pm
Carlsbad, CA
$40 for VIP Session, $30 for regular session


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Karl Strauss weekly growler fill special

Do you have a Karl Strauss Brewing Co. growler? If not, go get one! I have some good news that will help you fill it up for the weekends. Each Thursday, via their Facebook page, they will post a code word good for an $8 fill of ANY beer they have on tap the next day. Yes, ANY beer, $8, every Friday! I won't post the weekly code words here, that would be too easy. You'll have to do a little work to get this sweet deal. The first code word has already been posted, so go visit their Facebook page and write it down. Tomorrow, grab the code, grab your growler, and go grab some great craft beer!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Bruery Announcement

Sweet! Click here to read all about their new endeavor.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brewing TV

Do you like beer? Do you like to brew beer? Do you like to watch videos about beer and brewing it? Then you should check out Brewing TV.

"Brewing TV's mission is to cover the world of homebrewing through the magic of video. There are so many stories to be told, brews to be brewed, and people to profile … in other words, no shortage of segments and content to be shot. The homebrewing community has always been a strong one, whether it's your LHBS, a club in your city, you and some friends brewing in your kitchen on a weekend afternoon, or an online forum with rabid regulars. Brewing TV is a place where those different communities can connect and hear about what homebrewing has been, what it is, and where it is going. Brewing TV is a voice for homebrewing culture ... the "why," not the "how." If you want technical, you can always read a book!"

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Now what?

Feeling down because American Craft Beer Week is drawing to a close? Wondering how you will celebrate all things beer now? Have no fear, the future holds more beer! Keep an eye out in the coming weeks as I detail such upcoming events as San Diego Beer Week Preview Weekend, San Diego International Beer Festival, and Stone Sour Fest just to name a few. Get your taste buds ready, because as the weather warms up, your thirst for great craft beer will be quenched!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

San Diego International Beer Competition

Wow! Nothing makes you realize you know very little about beer until you go to something like this! I was in the company of home brewers, commercial brewers, and commercial brewing employees as a steward, and those judging were everything from beer lovers to brewery owners. Listening to them talk shop helped me to see that my knowledge is very limited! I have a ways to go to be on par with these guys, but I will work hard to become so. I cannot give any details about the competition, but I will let you know that you NEED to be at the San Diego International Beer Festival at the San Diego Fair next month! I had a great time, met some great people, and will definitely be back next year. See you at the fair!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weekend Roundup

As American Craft Beer Week winds down (or ramps up, depending on your outlook), what are your beer plans for the weekend?

Craft Brewing Co. Grand Opening
Saturday, 12:00-8:00pm
Lake Elsinore, CA

The Bruery 2nd Anniversary Celebration
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00pm & 4:00pm each day
Placentia, CA
$43.50 at the door, Sunday only

Wine, Brews & Blues Festival
Saturday, 4:00-10:00pm
Escondido, CA
$60, $40 for designated driver

Be sure to check here for a list of any ACBW events going on in your neighborhood this weekend. As always, get out there and find some great craft beer, be safe, and have fun!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Avery Black Tot

As I sit here sipping Black Tot by Avery Brewing Co., I can feel the stress melting away from my soul. I have an inner peace that is hard to describe. Maybe it is the 10.08% alcohol that this barrel-aged imperial oatmeal stout boasts. Perhaps it is the rum-based alcohol nose that greets me warmly as the glass is raised to my lips. Perhaps it is the silky-smooth, milk-like mouthfeel that coats my throat with each sip. Perhaps it is that it has a faint bite with absolutely no bitterness, which makes it very drinkable. Perhaps it is just because I love Avery and just about everything that they put out. With my glass half full at this point, and the brew reaching room temperature, the complexities of this awe-inspiring beer remind me that I have yet to assign it a rating. One more sip should provide me with enough physical and emotional data to make that decision. 4.5 stars. Perhaps it is time to finish my drink.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Beer City USA 2010

Is it your city? Is it the city that your favorite beer comes from? Is it a city you've only heard about, but know nothing of their beer culture? Whatever the case, cast your vote! Results will be posted right here, so keep an eye out sometime after the 23rd of this month.

Poll: Beer City USA 2010 - What's your pick?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

National Bike to Work Week

Since petal-power is on our minds this week, I thought it would be a good time to post a picture I took at Beach to Brewery Beer + Music Fest a couple of weekends ago. Hop on your bike this week so that we can all breathe a little easier and give the planet a little breathing room as well.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get local!

You buy fresh fruit and vegetables at your local farmers market. You buy fresh seafood from your local fish market. You buy beer bottled 6 months ago in... Milwaukee? You live locally, why would you buy beer from Germany, the U.K., or even Colorado, when there is such a vibrant local beer scene right here in your own town? Don't get me wrong, there are great beers produced all across this country as well as overseas. I encourage you to try great craft beer from all around the world, but are you more familiar with German Wheat beers and English Stouts than you are with the offerings from your local brewer down the street? Explore local beers! Get to know the brewers. Visit the breweries. Drink local and demand local. Does your favorite restaurant feature any local beers? If not, ask them why? If they do, thank them and ask them to keep a rotating tap list of local beers. Does your corner liquor store carry a good selection of local beers? Ask them to bring in a style or two from several local breweries. Spread the word. You would be surprised by the number of people who just don't know the amount of local beer available. If we all get together to support our local beer community, think how the industry will grow. So get out there, get to know your hometown beer, and get local!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

"The Mother of All Beer Weeks"

Happy American Craft Beer Week! What do you have planned for the week? Click here for all the details. Have a great week!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Pizza Port Ocean Beach... the saga continues

As I posted yesterday, we are still awaiting the opening of the much anticipated beachside beer & pizza mecca. I talked to them this morning and, as before, final license approval is pending. I was told that it will be a couple of days after final approval before they will be able to officially open. In my estimation, that will put us into next week, but we'll see. As always, I will keep you as up to date as I am.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pizza Port Ocean Beach... still not open! The chain link construction fence still surrounds the building, so I am assuming they didn't make the May 10th opening prediction. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Beach to Brewery Beer + Music Fest part 2: The Event

What a wonderful event for a great cause! Karl Strauss taps were flowing with everything from Endless Summer Light, to Big Barrel Double IPA, to Belgian Stranger. All were fresh and delicious! Several cask beers were tapped, including Sintail Black Ale, a dark version of their Pintail Pale Ale, and a Lavender Hefeweizen, which were paired with different cheeses. Surfrider Foundation, 91X, and Sector 9 all had booths with information and goodies. Several bands took the stage including Stranger, The Howls, Writer, and The Silent Comedy. I particularly enjoyed the brewery tours they were giving, since this is the only time they give tours throughout the year. Some nice items were put up on a silent auction, and $2 raffle tickets were being sold for various prizes. I bought 10 tickets, and just missed winning something by one ticket! The sun was bright and warm, the beer was cold and satisfying, and the music was loud and rockin'. Good times!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekend Roundup

The weekend is upon us again. Do you have any beer related plans? Here are a few suggestions...

Beach to Brewery Beer + Music Fest
Saturday, 2:00-7:00pm
Pacific Beach, CA
$30 at the door

14th Annual Legendary Boonville Beer Festival
Saturday, 1:00-6:00pm
Boonville, CA
$50 at the door

Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey 4th Anniversary
Saturday, 11:00am & 4:00pm
San Marcos, CA
$15 per session

Speaking of Port Brewing, Pizza Port Ocean Beach is (hopefully) set to open on Monday! Get there early to secure a "I Drank the First Brew" shirt and a pint for just $10.

If you can't make it to one of these events, I hope you brew up your own fun this weekend. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ballast Point Sour Wench Blackberry Ale

If you read yesterday's post, then you already know a little bit about this beer and it's history. For some reason I was expecting this to be sweet, but it wasn't. The color, which doesn't come through at all in the picture, is a beautiful, deep ruby. It has an extremely fruity nose, which is why the lack of sweetness is so surprising. The fruit also comes through in the mouth, is slightly tart, and ends with a nice, nonassertive sourness. At 5.4% alcohol, this is a very drinkable brew. I highly recommend a trip to the brewery to try this seasonal release, and if you really like it growler fills are available for $20. Whether you like fruit beers or not, I think this one deserves some attention.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Marion Berries Better-Than-A-Crackwhore Lambic

This Ballast Point brew has gone through a few changes throughout the years, including a name change to the more politically correct "Sour Wench Blackberry Ale", and I have a feeling you're not going to want to miss this one!

"It all began a good many years ago as an experimental homebrew. Former Ballast Point Brewmaster Pete A'Hearn wanted something fun to bring to the So-Cal Homebrew Fest in Temecula. Something different and special that would stand out amongst all the amazing variety spawned by the clever masses. And although it was (and still is) illegal to add illicit drugs to a beer, he wanted this beer to be as memorable and addicting as CRACK. And so was born Marion Berries Better-Than-A-Crackwhore Lambic.

Now over the years, the brew has undergone several tweaks, the most notable being the name (we didn't even try to get ABC approval on that one). It is now known as Sour Wench Blackberry Ale. It isn't, and really never was, a lambic but it is sour and super delicious. There are over one pound of blackberries per gallon of beer making it bright pink and really fruity. A treat that comes but once a year. We will debut this year's version at both taster bars on Thursday May 6th. Come by and have a taste. You will be glad you did."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A "sign" of good things to come

Hollywood Video, in it's heyday, was the premier place to find the latest movie and video game rentals. That was then. Now, with redbox kiosks on every corner and brand new movies available on your TV, computer, and cell phone, the large movie rental chains are becoming a thing of the past. The downtown El Cajon location, on the corner of Main & Magnolia, has been abandoned for quite some time, but the final remnants of this once choice location were removed today as the iconic sign came down. Not to worry, as this will be the new site of East County's premier microbrewery restaurant. El Cajon Brewing Co. has been working since last year to secure this location and to get to work. Read about their plans here, and keep your eye on this El Cajon intersection. I look forward to posting about the installation of a new sign. One heralding great new things to come, good times to be had, and fantastic beer to be consumed!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bacon Beer

Admit it, it sounds good! Read the Brew Your Own magazine article and recipe here, and judge for yourself.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

CityBeat Festival of Beers part 2: The Event

The festival, which benefited the San Diego Music Foundation, was a great success! A section of El Cajon Blvd. was closed off for the event. Local and regional breweries were on hand pouring samples all afternoon. Geezer took the stage and played cover songs for the cheering, dancing crowd. From street tacos to spicy brats, delicious food was in abundance, and the wonderful smells filled the air. The weather, sunny with a nice breeze, was perfect. A great day, a great cause, a great beverage. What more needs to be said?