Category Archives: San Diego Beer Week

Council Brewing Beer Flight

Beer Hoppiness in San Diego!

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Our adventures for San Diego Beer Week were not over! We still had Saturday and Sunday to explore Hops Highway and other San Diego breweries! We started off with lunch and tasters at Bagby Beer Company in Oceanside, CA. Wings, tacos and a flight were in order. Our liquids of choice included Continental Cream, Worker Bee, Hop Crop Red Ale, Dark Squad, Hope Crop Extra Pale, Hop Crop Pale Ale, Upside Down Frown (one of our favorites) and Tis the Saison.

Bagby Beer in Oceanside, CA

Following lunch we decided to take a trip down the Hops Highway to tantalize our taste buds even more. Next stop, Mother Earth Brewery and Tasting Room. We really enjoyed the psychedelic vibe of the modest garage turned brewery and taproom of Mother Earth. Posters of Jimmy Hendrix and Pink Floyd covered the wall as local beer enthusiasts sat around the bar and chatted. After a couple individual tasters of their Cali Creamin’ Vanilla Cream Ale, PB & J Imperial Stout and their award winning Hop Diggity DIPA we were set.

Mother Earth Brewing Co Van

The team was excited to try the newly opened Toolbox Brewing Company. This 2-month old brewery had a small yet hip and well-designed taproom. We thought the tool tap handles were a nice touch.

Tap Handles at Toolbox Brewing
On the list to be sipped were the Crevice India Pale Ale, Cozmic Zombie Indian Pale Ale, Tart X with Raspberry, Tart X with Apricot, and the Udder Mudder Milk Stout with coconut. The Cozmic and the two tarts are all made with 100% Brettanomyces, a non-spore forming genus of yeast that was harvested by local homebrewers.

Beer Flights at Toolbox Brewing

After getting our sour on we headed to Belching Beaver Brewery, which was the happening place to be. Groups of friends sat outside by an open fire pit while others stood in line to order in the taproom. Fairly hungry at this point we were thrilled to find that they had a BBQ station by Grill Fellas set up with all the right fixin’s. Our meals even included a delicious cupcake from Of All Things Bakery made with Belching Beaver’s celebrated Peanut Butter Stout. (It was kind of awesome that the cookie in the cupcake resembled a beaver tail). Naturally we had to eat it with a taster of the Stout.

Belching Beaver Cup Cakes

Are you ready for some more craft beer? Next, we cruised over to Rip Current Brewery and Tasting Room. The crew there was extremely hospitable and it was a perfect place to end the day. The selection of styles included a wide range and we enjoyed trying some flavorful expressions of many of the world’s top styles. Being a big fan of dynamic hoppy beers my favorite was The Curl IIPA. This 10.3% Imperial IPA had prevalent citrus and tropical fruit flavors with a slight pine-like aroma to it. Dry and bitter The Curl was a great way to continue our night.

Rip Current Brewing Beer Flight

At Council Brewing Co. we enjoyed a flight of Farmer’s Gold (Belgium Saison), Chizzam! IPA, Gravel Drop IPA, Quorum IPA (Rotating IPA) and Pirate’s Breakfast (Imp. Oatmeal Stout). We also tried a Mango Tart Saison that had a bright forward nose and a lovely puckering tartness to it.

Council Brewing Mango Tart

Sunday morning we were sadly heading back to LA, but needed some fuel for the journey so we stopped off at Karl Strauss Brewing Company’s famed “Brunch is Better with Beer”. We relaxed, laughed about our fantastic weekend, listened to live music in the beer garden and filled our tummies with a great spread that included everything from made to order omelets to pasta dishes.

Thank you to all involved in this year’s San Diego Beer Week. The Tap & Cheer team had a wonderful time meeting and sipping with you all. Be sure to check out all our adventures this week: Meeting of the Guilds, Stone Brewing and Crush & Brew!

In the words of legendary Ron Burgundy, “You Stay Classy San Diego!”

Karl Strauss Beer Flights

Meeting of the Guilds San Diego Beer Week

Meeting of the Guilds – San Diego Beer Week!

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There was much more craft beer to be enjoyed as the team headed to Toronado in San Diego, a laid back pub with 56 rotating, quality drafts and casks. The Meeting of the Guilds started at 7pm and by the time we got there at 8pm the place was packed. The meeting joined three California Brewers Guilds (San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego) for the first time in San Diego Beer Week history. Patrons were encouraged to taste their way through the 15 represented beers for each Guild then cast a vote to see which one would win the prized Golden Keg. The light-hearted competition was won by San Diego that night and they took back the Golden Keg from Los Angeles who had won it at Mohawk Bend for LA Beer Week.

Participating San Diego breweries: Mother Earth Brew Co., Karl Strauss Brewing Co., Societe Brewing Co., Monkey Paw, Booze Brothers, Pizza Port, The Lost Abbey, Mike Hess Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., Green Flash, Culture Brewing, Ballast Point, AleSmith, Benchmark Brewing Co., and Bagby Beer.

Participating Los Angeles breweries: El Segundo Brewing, King Harbor Brewing, Beachwood, Monkish, Wolf Creek, Brewery at Abigaile’s, Kinetic, Ladyface Ale Companie, Strand Brewing, Golden Road, Bravery Brewery, Dudes Brewing, Alosta, Smog City and Eagle Rock.

Participating San Francisco breweries: Headlands Brewing Company, 21st Amendment, Southpaw Brewing, Magnolia Brewing, Fort Point, Social Kitchen & Brewery, Cellarmaker, Speakeasy Ales & Lagers, Anchor Brewing, Thirsty Bear Brewing, Almanac Beer Company, Bartlett Hall, Pine Street and Beach Chalet.

After a fun-filled night, the team needed some rest. Saturday plans were in the mix and it looked like it was going to be a day of hopulence.

…and boy was it!

Stone Brewing Logo

Stone Brewing Tasting & Tour!

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Before we knew it Friday had come around and we were off again for more adventures in what a beer gal might call Disneyland for beer enthusiasts.

The day began with lunch and a brewery tour at Stone Brewing Company and Bistro in Escondido. We sampled some must haves such as the Stone Enjoy by 12.26.14 IPA and Lucky Bastard Ale alone with some creative cask brews made by different Stone brewers. These included the Go To IPA infused with fresh wasabi, cucumber & pickled ginger as well as the Levitation Amber steeped with orange peel, cinnamon sticks, clove & spruce tips. The for mentioned delights were coupled with a delectable lunch of intensely odiferous cheeses, Smoked Porter-braised pork ribs with Korean BBQ sauce and kale to Caesar salad.

Stone Brewing Beer Tasters

Stone Brewing Tour Tasters

The Bistro was truly a treat prior to our tour. The dynamic and expansive interior and the beautiful open-air patio were not what one would expect at a brewery. You could really taste the locally grown, small-farm ingredients of the food and the hospitality of the Bistro staff was top-notch.

Our guided tour of the huge brewery was informative and our “Indoctrination Specialists,” Nichole was not only knowledgeable but also entertaining in her delivery of the Stone story. End the fun with four 4oz samples of more Stone brews and we are happy campers!

Nichole recommended that we visit Council Brewing Company before our Meeting of the Guilds celebration at Toronado, San Diego. We figured that when an Indoctrination Specialist recommends something you should take heed. We’re off to enjoy more craft beer!

Art Graffiti for Craft Beer + Bites Event

San Diego Beer Week Begins!

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After checking into our Comfort Hotel (we’re on a budget) we headed out to San Diego Beer Week’s edition of Craft Beer + Bites. The event, celebrating San Diego State University’s College of Extended Studies Business of Craft Brewing Program, was held at SILO in Makers Quarter and benefited the SD Brewer’s Guild.

What a phenomenal outdoor event space! Nestled in the heart of East Village, this multi-use venue hosts collaborative community events all year long. Infused with culture, art, fashion and fun, Craft Beer + Bites was just up our alley. In addition to sampling the innovations of 15 local breweries we played games such as Ping-Pong and bean-bag toss, danced to the custom tunes of ZB Savory and Andy Mauser, watched graffiti artists create exceptional murals on the surrounding walls, and ate delicious octopus and shrimp tacos from a food truck.

Craft Beer Cheers at SILO in San Diego

The team got the opportunity to meet some new breweries like Lightning Brewery and Thorn Street Brewery, chat with friends like Craft Beer’d Art and Apparel and even discover cool new vendors like Doggie Beer Bones that make all natural dog treats using repurposed spent brewing grain sourced from local San Diego craft breweries. All-in-all it was a great time.

Following the festival we walked on over to Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery for a quick flight. The extensive tap list at the jamming pub included some great West Coast Breweries. Even so, we restricted our samples to Monkey Paw brews (when in Rome, right?). Those tried included Monkey Paw Oatmeal, Monkey Paw Lab Monkey, Monkey Paw Bonobos IPA/SD Pale, Monkey Paw Muriqui.

Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery Tap List

Beer Flights and Flatbread at Crush & Brew in Temecula

Crush & Brew in Temecula!

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It was early Thursday morning when the Tap & Cheer team decided, on a whim, to hit the road and head South to celebrate San Diego’s Beer Week with friends. With 96 craft breweries (and growing) and over 191 restaurants and pubs that serve craft beer on tap, we thought, how could we go wrong? Little did we (or our livers) know just what we were getting ourselves into.

We opted not to take the conventional way down via I-5 and instead cruised the Northern route so we could hit Temecula. Only an hour outside San Diego, Temecula Valley is home to more than 30 wineries. What most people don’t know is that it is also a booming hot spot for new craft breweries.

We stopped for lunch at Crush & Brew, an artisan restaurant and vibrant tasting bar focused solely on featuring locally crafted beer and wine, nestled between historical buildings on Old Town’s charming Front Street. Crème faiche Caesar flat bread, a Crush Burger with red onion marmalade, and a corned beef Reuben with Arrogant Bastard ale mustard were devoured while sipping on wine and brews created only miles away.

Here is to all the hard-working winemakers around the world who have been known to say, “It takes a lot of beer to make great wine!” Next stop: San Diego!