Hello Beer Fans,
The brewing world will soon be descending upon San Diego for this year’s Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) and World Beer Cup (WBC). Thousands of industry professionals will be in town the first week of May and there will be amazing events all around town. It will be like a second San Diego Beer Week, but with more out of town brewers and a focus on craft beer venues. We will of course be doing our part. Tyson and I are busy tracking down beers for that week and I promise you will not be disappointed. I also have news about our Grand Opening Party for Julian Brewing Company this weekend at the Bailey Barbecue, our next Sunday night Beer and Cheese pairing and some great beers coming on tap soon at the pub. Read on for all of the delicious details….
At the Pub
We start the weekend a little early tonight, Thursday the 19th, with a duo of Ballast Point Sculpin Casks – one simple, regular and delicious, the other spiced up with habanero peppers. Both will be amazing and since we have two, they might just last a few hours. The habanero Sculpin is amazing if you have not tried it. It also goes great with our wings. I highly recommend trying them side by side to see what the peppers do to the beer.
Friday the 20th we will be doing a special keep the glass night with the new Sam Adams New World Tripel. This big, strong Belgian-style beer is partially aged in Bourbon barrels and then blended back with non-barrel aged beer to create a very nice subtlety to the oak flavors. Buy the beer and keep the specially designed goblet glassware. Tyson will also be tapping a keg of Oud Beersel Kriek that night. And if Belgians are not your thing, don’t worry, there will be plenty other wonderful beers to drink including Grand Teton Lost Continent Double IPA, Black Diamond Peak 15 Imperial Porter and the return of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine. Look for Latitude 33 Brewing Company’s IPA to be on tap soon as well.
Looking ahead to next week, the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final return legs will be on Tuesday the 24th (Barcelona v. Chelsea) and Wednesday the 25th (Real Madrid v. Spain). Both games will kick off at 11:45 am. This weekend is El Classico in Spain – Barcelona v. Real Madrid at 11 am. We’ll open a little early for the game which could decide the La Liga Champion. Most likely we will tap a cask of Ballast Point Schooner Pale Ale next Thursday, April 26th. This is the first time this beer has been brewed outside of the hop harvest season. Schooner has always been brewed with wet hops right off the vine. This time though, it uses a nice dose of regular Cascade hops instead. It tasted great at the Real Ale Fest, so our cask should too.
Beer and Cheese
We will be hosting a great night of beer and cheese on Sunday, April 29th at 6:30 pm with our friend Mary Palmer of Taste Cheese. We have some wonderful new pairings along with a few classics that we have not done in a long time. Tyson and Mary are working on a blue cheese fondue with birthday bacon skewers for one of the new pairings. We are revisiting a few classics that we have only done once including our Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake pairing that includes Bucheron, Chocolate Stout and the Duchess de Bourgogne. We’ll even have an all IPA round with Alpine O’Brien’s IPA and Julian Brewing 1870 IPA. The class is going to be featured in the new Chef’s Press San Diego Breweries cook book and the team will be there to photograph the class and the pairings. The cost will be $40 (cash only please) and Tyson has a sign up sheet behind the bar. The class is already about half full, so don’t wait until next Saturday to try and sign up as the class may be sold out. This is a rare chance to say you were there when you see this in the book!
CBC and WBC
For CBC week we will be doing an entire week’s worth of events, so any night you come to the pub will be special. I guess it really kicks off with the above mentioned Beer and Cheese Tasting on the 29th. Here is the rest of the line up, I will have more beer details in a future email:
Monday, April 30th – Alpine Night. You just know it is going to be worth coming out on a Monday for. Cask Pure Hoppiness anyone?
Tuesday, May 1st – Port Brewing and Lost Abbey Night – we have a bunch of stuff saved up and some new rarities coming from Tomme
Wednesday, May 2nd – Firestone, Sierra and some of our favorite Nor Cal breweries – Some great barrel aged Firestone beers, Sierra rarities, Bear Republic cask, Russian River on tap and more
Thursday, May 3rd – Ballast Point Chili Pepper Beers – if you missed the first epic chili pepper beer night with BPBC you simply can not miss this one. We’ll have lots of cask beer too.
Friday, May 4th – Artisanal Imports Night with Bosteels, St. Feuillien, Urthel and La Trappe – Head Brewer Ludowijk from La Trappe will be at the pub!
Saturday, May 5th – Green Flash Day – Tyson is making sure we end with a bang for this one, who needs cheap tequila on Cinco de Mayo?
I am almost beginning to think that there are too many San Diego Beer Weeks….
Drinking Beer is Work?
Well, it can be sometimes. Jeff Bagby and I are organizing the 6th San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition. The 3 day fest will take place June 22nd, 23rd and 24th during the San Diego County Fair and feature more than 250 beers from around the world. But before we get to the all you can drink sampling, we need to judge nearly 600 entries in 48 different categories of beer, cider and mead. We are looking for qualified beer judges to help us on Saturday, May 19th to do the hard work of judging all of these beers. All professional brewery employees are encouraged to judge along with BJCP certified judges. You need to register to judge at www.sdfair.com/beer – you will see a link to judge or steward the competition. Click on it and then read and follow the directions to sign up. If you are curious about how beer judging works, but don’t yet have the expertise, sign up to be a steward and watch the whole process happen. Stewards will help pour and serve the beer to the judges and help run the behind the scenes part of the competition. If you have questions about any of this, feel free to email me.
JBC Grand Opening
This weekend we will be celebrating our Grand Opening for Julian Brewing Company. I will have 3 beers on tap for the first time since I started brewing 2 months ago. Look for Bailey Pale Ale, 1870 IPA and Ghost Tree Stout. Bailey Pale Ale is named for town founder Dru Bailey. The historic Bailey House, completed in 1876, houses our 3 and half barrel system. The beer is made with California grown 2-Row Malt and 100% locally grown hops from Star B Ranch in Santa Ysabel. 1870 is a reference to the year of the gold rush in Julian. Most of the major gold mines in town were opened in 1870 and gold is what really put Julian on the map. Ghost Tree is our nitro-tapped stout that refers to the burned out, white trunks of the trees from the 2003 fire that burned much of Cuyamaca State Park. If you see them in the moonlight, they look like ghosts wandering the hillsides.
All three beers will be on tap starting Friday and going all weekend. We aren’t doing any growlers or to-go beer yet, so you’ll have to come up to Julian to try it. On Saturday, we’ll also tap a dry hopped keg of our Bailey Pale Ale with some Star B Ranch Chinook in the keg. We’ll have live music shows in the saloon both Friday and Saturday night. Friday is a free show with local favorites Derailed. Saturday we welcome back Julian guitar hero Roy Wathen and the WathenClan band. Both shows will start at 8 pm. And if you can’t make it up this weekend to enjoy the beer, all 3 will be on tap next weekend as we host Behind the Wagon on the 28th. There will be 4 acts to the show on the 28th. Longtime beer and music scene legend Dennis Borlek will open. Santos, Hamilton’s owner Scot Blair’s band will play next followed by locals Midnight Rivals. Behind the Wagon will then cap the evening off. If you needed any more motivation to come up, the weather will be absolutely perfect this weekend. I would like to thank all of you who have come up – the support from O’Brien’s has been AWESOME!
That is your good beer news for now. We’ll see you soon for a great local beer! Cheers, Tom