Hello Hoppy Beer Fans!
One of my favorite weekends of the year is upon us – our annual Wet Hop Beer Festival.Â Every year we pay tribute to the hop harvest by serving beers brewed with wet, fresh off the vine hops.Â These special wet hop harvest ales can only be brewed once a year when the hops are picked.Â Because the hops are wet, and have a lot of water weight, the brewers have to use a massive amount of them in the beer.Â This gives these beers a unique hop character that is earthy and spicy and downright delicious.Â We already have a few of the wet hop ales including Rogue Chatoe Wet Hop, Pizza Port Carlsbad Plant to Pint and Sierra Nevada 20th Street Ale (FKA Extra Special Pale, this is the bottled version of the Pale Ale with wet hops used in the conditioning tank.Â Sierra makes separate brews for the bottle and draft Pale Ale with the bottle being more bitter and a bit stronger.)
The fun kicks off early a little early on Thursday as we will tap two wet hopped casks – Sierra Nevada Estate Harvest Ale, which is made with 100% organic hops and barley grown by the brewery and Stone Double Bastard with fresh Chinook hops from the Bistro gardens in the cask.Â This will be our first taste of this year’s Double Bastard, which is one of my favorite Stone seasonal releases.Â We’ll be getting a keg of the 10-10-10 Vertical Epic in next week, so look for it right after the fest.Â Both of these casks will be tapped at 5 pm.Â We have already tapped a keg of the Estate Harvest and this year’s batch is very good.
Wet Hop Fest Line Up
The Wet Hop Festival will officially kick off on Friday night, the 22nd.Â We’ll have two more cask beers to tap – Mission IPA with fresh Nugget hops in the cask and Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest, which is the regular Harvest, just now with a much longer name to differentiate it from the Southern Hemisphere Harvest made in the Spring with New Zealand hops.Â Both of those casks will be on tap at 5 pm.Â We’ll also have most of the festival beers on tap – we’ll be tapping all of the full size kegs Friday and holding off on a few of the five gallon only kegs for Saturday.Â For Friday I expect the following to be on tap: Ballast Point Schooner, Port High Tide, Bear Republic Harvest Ale, Telegraph Harvest Rye, Rogue Chatoe Wet Hop, Sierra Nevada Estate Harvest, Sierra Nevada 20th Street Ale, wet hop beers from all 4 Pizza Port Locations, Kern River Harvest, Great Divide Fresh Hop Pale and Deschutes Hop Trip.Â With casks we should have more than 15 wet hop beers on tap for Friday night and the pub will be open at least until midnight.Â Look for great food specials including our very filling tortas.
Saturday the 23rd we will tap the rest of the wet hop beers which will include San Diego Brewing Monster Mash (a dark, hoppy ale), Moonlight Homegrown, Anderson Valley Harvest Ale, two different wet hop beers from Triple Rock and hopefully beers from Moylan’s and Lagunitas (still waiting to confirm delivery dates).Â We’ll set up a jockey box to accommodate all of the beers.Â We should have more than 20 wet hop beers on tap along with a few regular brews on tap.Â The kitchen will be cranking out some great food including Lindsey’s wonderful Beer Chili, Beer Cheese Burgers and our Saturday Hot Dog Specials.Â The pub will be open from 11:30 am to Midnight on Saturday.Â During the fest we will be serving 5, 10 and 16 oz glasses of the wet hop beers so if you want to try as many as possible, you can get just the 5 oz pour.
Sunday the 24th we will be open from 11:30 am until 6 pm and we will continue to pour all of the wet hop beers.Â I expect all of the full kegs to make it through the weekend and I expect all of the 5 gallon kegs to still be on tap when we open on Sunday.Â We’ll have more great food specials for Sunday including our beer battered fish and chips, fish tacos and chipotle fish sandwich.Â The Chargers play at 1:15 pm against the Patriots.Â Not sure if the game will sell out, or if having it on is actually an incentive to come in.
I am really looking forward to enjoying some great wet hop beers this weekend at the pub.Â I have tasted the three we already have on tap plus the Sierra Nevada Estate Harvest and all have been outstanding.Â If they are a portent of things to come this weekend, we are all in for a treat.
We start off with the New York Giants v. Dallas Cowboys for Monday Night Football.Â I am not a big Cowboys fan, but I have no love for Eli Manning and would love to see the Giants lose.Â We’ll be serving pitchers of great beer for as little as $10 from 4:30 pm until Close.Â We should also have many of the wet hop beers from the weekend still around.Â Thursday the 28th we have our annual cask of AleSmith Evil Dead Red at 5 pm.Â This always delicious deep red ale is a great cask beer.
Friday the 29th is our Halloween Costume Party and Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Party.Â To celebrate 30 years of great beer from this pioneering brewery we will tapping kegs of all four beers in the 30th Anniversary series which will include the new Brewers Reserve – a blend of barrel aged Bigfoot, high gravity Celebration and Pale Ale.Â We’ll also be tapping kegs of barrel aged Empire Strikes Black, Torpedo IPA and Celebration along with CASKS of Celebration and the new Brewers Reserve Anniversary beer.Â Put on a costume and come down and join us forÂ a fun night with a ton of great beer.Â If there is any of the cask beer left over, we will serve it out on Saturday night.Â Mercifully, the Chargers are likely to be blacked out on the 31st against the Titans.
San Diego Beer Week
IÂ believe that our event list for San Diego Beer Week is now complete.Â I have posted up all of the events on the SDBW website – www.sdbw.orgÂ and I will listÂ them here as well.Â If you are coming in from out of town, or just need a place to crash in town, the SDBW website has links to special hotel deals.Â Here is what you can look forward to from O’Brien’s from November 5th through 14th:
Friday, 11/5 – Night of a Million Zillion Speedways -Â Now up to 7Â versions of AleSmith Speedway includingÂ multiple casks and other great AleSmith beers
Saturday, 11/6 and Sunday, 11/7Â -Â Weekend in BelgiumÂ – A two day draft and bottle celebration of Belgian beer including Rodenbach Vintage,Â Stuise Black AlbertÂ and Boon Kriek on tap and lots of new bottles including Drie Fonteinen, De Ranke, Cantillon and more!
Sunday, 11/7 – Charger Brunch at 10 am and Green Flash tasting with head brewer Chuck Silva at night (ticketed event, cost $40)
Monday, 11/8 – Alpine Night with Bad Boy and O’Brien’s IPA release including Bad Boy cask
Tuesday, 11/9 – Avery Night with Ted Whitney – I still don’t have a beer list yet, but I can confirm that we will be getting some amazing barrel aged beers
Wednesday, 11/10 – Kern River Night – JO IPA, Citra double IPA, Bourbon Barrel Stout, cask and the brewers will be at the pub
Thursday, 11/11 – Ballast Point Night with 2 Sculpin IPA casks and 4 different versions of Victory at Sea including Vintage, Barrel Aged and Cask
Friday, 11/12 – Attack of the Barrels – A night of barrel aged beer on tap and in the bottle that I am hoping will feature more than 50 different beers
Saturday, 11/13 – Allagash Night with owner/brewer Rob Tod from 4-6 pm, vintage keg of Four quadrupel, Avance barrel aged ale and more
Sunday, 11/14 – Lost Abbey Tasting with Tomme Arthur – this special tasting is always very popular, tickets will be on sale starting Thursday, October 21st, cost $50
So as you can see, we will all be busy drinking great beer every day.Â And because we just didn’t have room during SDBW, we will have a Pizza Port night on Wednesday, November 17th featuring lots of great IPAs and double IPAs along owner Vince Marsaglia serving up some smoked ribs.Â We will have Best of Beer Week nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday,Â November 18th, 19th and 20th that will feature kegs left from our multitude of events.
The Green Flash Tasting on the 7th will be at 6:30 pm and feature 11 different beers along with some small plates of food and a cheese or two.Â Chuck and I have come up with an amazing beer list that includes 2 IPAs, one of which will be the 8th Anniversary beer which revisits the Surfs Up IPA made for the 2008 Craft Brewers Conference, 2 double IPAs, 2009 Grand Cru, Beer de L’Amitie collaboration, Superfreak and the wonderful Silva Stout (Bourbon barrel aged Double Stout).Â You can count on a great dessert pairing with the Silva Stout.Â I have a sign up sheet out now.Â Cost is $40, cash only please.
The Lost Abbey Tasting on the 14th I do not yet have a full beer list for.Â I have talked to Tomme and we will be serving up Saints Devotion (Devotion spiked with Brettanomyces) and Veritas 7 and 8 for sure.Â Tomme is still digging through his cellar to see what goodies he will pull out for us.Â Again, we will have small plates of food during the tasting paired up with a few of the beers.Â Hopefully, Pizza Port co-owner Vince Marsaglia will join us and a do a little cooking (there are rumors of pork belly tacos).Â This tasting will also start at 6:30 pm and the cost will be $50.Â I will have a sign up sheet out by tomorrow night, the 21st.Â I expect this tasting to be sold out before Beer Week starts, so do not delay in signing up if you want to go.
That is your good beer news for now.Â The San Diego Strong Ale Festival will be at Pizza Port Carlsbad on December 3rd and 4th.Â The Friday VIP session from 1-4 pm is about half-way sold out.Â You can buy those tickets through the Pizza Port website – www.pizzaport.com – just go to the festivals page.Â Looking ahead, I am working on an Alpine Night with the Good, the Bad Boy and the Ugly.Â Please join us this weekend for a great once a year wet hopped beer.Â Cheers, Tom