Hello Beer Fans,
Sorry for the long absence from the newsletter, but as many of you know the last month has been very turbulent for me and Lindsey. We divested ourselves of Bailey Barbecue and Julian Brewing Company because of an increasingly unworkable situation with our partners. The upside is that I now have more free time to be at the pub and actually enjoy drinking a beer. I’ll write more on that later on in the email. I have news on our upcoming Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner on Sunday, July 22nd with Terence Sullivan joining us from the brewery in Chico. We’ll be doing a big Sierra Nevada Week from the 23rd to the 28th after the beer dinner – we have a ton of great specialty beer coming down. And before that, we will be kicking off our annual Christmas in July Weekend with a great bunch of aged Belgian Christmas beers including Delirium Noel, Gouden Carolous Noel, Scaldis Noel, Dupont Avec Les Bon Vouex and St. Bernardus Christmas. So read on for all of the malted barley goodness at O’Brien’s….
Our Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner will be held on Sunday, July 22nd at 6:30 pm. Sierra Nevada is mine and Lindsey’s favorite brewery. The company’s passion, commitment to the industry, innovation and just all around good nature make it among the greatest breweries in the world. I just really can’t say enough good things about Sierra Nevada – they grow their own hops, they use their spent barley to feed a herd of cattle that then gets used for beef in its pub restaurant, they produce 92% of their own power on site and have largest private solar array in California and they happen to make great beer. I don’t understand why people are always surprised to hear that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in a bottle is one of my favorite beers on the planet (the draft version is a slightly different, slightly lighter recipe).
We have an insane list of specialty beer coming down for the event and we are planning on doing at least 10 beers for the dinner. We’ll be serving a few regular favorites like Pale Ale, Torpedo, Summerfest and Hoptimum along with some of the Ovila Belgian-style ales like Dubbel and Quad. But then we get into the really fun stuff like Flipside IPA – one of my favorite double IPAs that I have ever tasted, Knock on Wood – a barrel aged chili chocolate stout, Barrel Aged Ovila Dubbel and Mersey Cream Stout along with a few other surprises. Tyson, Lindsey and Humberto are still finalizing the menu, but you know it is going to be great. Cost is $50 with tax and tip inclusive. You can sign up now at the pub, cash only please. As with all of beer dinner events, we will sell out, so do not wait until next weekend to try and get your tickets if you really want to go. It is going to be a great time and it has been a few months since we have done a dinner, so get your tickets early.
Starting on July 23rd and running all week until Sunday the 29th we will be serving out all of the beers from the dinner for Sierra Nevada Week along with a few specialty beers that will not make it on the dinner menu like the new Russian River/Sierra Nevada collaboration Brux. So if you can’t make the dinner on the 22nd, you can at least enjoy some amazing beers from this legendary brewery all week long. Be sure to check on the Facebook page to see what Tyson will have on tap during the week at www.facebook.com/obrienspubsd.
We are finishing up the rest of the Thursdays in July with casks from Green Flash Brewing Company. If you have not been to the new brewery on Mira Mesa boulevard, you need to stop by and check it out. A great, open tasting room allows you to see the entire brewery operation in the massive new plant. And you can pick up growlers, kegs and bottles at the tasting bar. For directions, hours and info, visit: http://www.greenflashbrew.com/. You will not be disappointed.
Tonight, Thursday the 12th we will be tapping a cask of Green Flash West Coast IPA with Simcoe hops at 5 pm. This is always one of our most popular cask beers and Chuck and his crew always make sure to load it up with tons of hops. Next week look for Parkwest Porter on Thursday the 19th at 5 pm. This is a new offering in the company’s San Diego beer line up that includes 30th Street Pale Ale and East Village Pilsner (coming soon on tap to the pub – probably by this weekend). And we will finish off the month with a very special treat – Double Stout with Serrano Chili Peppers on Thursday the 26th. I love the Double Stout and I can not wait to try this spicy version.
Christmas in July
Every year we save back at least one keg of all of the Belgian Christmas Ales that we tap to drink in July. Most of these beers are actually brewed in the summer so that they can have time to get shipped over to the US and get to local distributors before November 1st. So what we will be drinking is one year old Belgian Ales that are at absolute peak flavor and mellowness. We will be setting up to serve 8-10 beers on Friday, July 20th and continuing all weekend including Delirium Noel, Gouden Carolous Noel, Scaldis Noel, Dupont Avec Les Bon Vouex and St. Bernardus Christmas. Tyson and I will be digging through the North Cooler next week to see what other goodies we can unearth. If you can’t make it by on Friday, we will have the entire line up on tap again Saturday night the 21st after 5 pm. I will have more details in the email next week (yes, you get an email next week).
We are also working on plans for some birthday celebrations in August for yours truly. We already have an amazing night of hoppy beers planned for Friday, August 10th that should include THREE double IPAs from Alpine along with several IPAs and the entire hoppy line up from Societe. Both breweries have already committed to brewing beers for the pub’s 19th Anniversary coming up in January, 2013. It will also be mine and Lindsey’s 10th anniversary of owning O’Brien’s. Again, look for more details in upcoming emails. There are rumors of a Pink Floyd show and an event at West Coast Barbecue in La Mesa. Stay tuned. I will also be talking to the staff to see if we will be doing a bus to the Stone Anniversary Party which is Saturday, August 18th this year.
Ok, so I am cheating a little bit here by including some soccer news in the regular newsletter, but I can’t help myself. We have two play off bound teams in town that could give San Diego a unique trophy treble. Already, the San Diego Sockers won their division and became National Indoor Soccer Champions. The San Diego Flash have won their division and start the playoffs with home field advantage this Saturday, July 14th at 7 pm at Del Norte High School in Poway. The Flash are also hosting the NPSL National Championship the weekend of July 27th-29th which means that they will get to play every single playoff game, including a possible final, in San Diego. For game information and tickets, visit: www.sandiegoflashsoccer.com. Kids under 14 are free and high school or college students with ID are just $3 making it a great way to take out the family. You can save 20% off regular tickets by buying them in advance online.
Our women’s team, the San Diego Sealions has won its division and is now waiting for the WPSL regional play-offs to begin on Saturday, July 21st. The Sealions will be hosting that game at Cathedral Catholic High School. For more information on the Sealions and tickets to the upcoming playoff game, visit: http://sealionsoccer.com/news/index.php?cat=15&id=189. So all three of San Diego’s soccer teams have won division titles, one has already won a national championship and a two more in the hunt for one. And the USA Women’s National Team will start Olympic play against France on July 25th at 9 am. Perhaps the ladies can win another gold medal to help ease the wounds of the World Cup loss. It is going to be a great month for soccer around San Diego. If you would like to get on our soccer specific mailing list, just reply to this email with the word soccer in the body.
So as I mentioned, Lindsey and I are no longer involved in any way with Bailey Barbecue or Julian Brewing Company. We truly appreciate all of the support that was shown to us by our loyal O’Brien’s friends and customers as we opened the business. The fact that so many of you came up to Julian means a lot to us and we sincerely appreciate it. Unfortunately, the situation with our partners became unworkable as we felt some of their actions were putting the business in jeopardy. We made several offers to buy them out and take over and at one point had a deal agreed to, but they backed out and refused to sell. Ultimately, we felt the only way to protect ourselves and our investment was to sell our half of the business. It is an unfortunate situation that leaves no one feeling happy, but as in all things in life, not everything works out and not everything is meant to be. We are already exploring other opportunities and we will keep you posted on the next adventure.
The new place we opened with our friend Larry Koger in La Mesa, West Coast Barbecue and Brew is going very well. We installed a 28 tap tower that has a ton of great beer flowing. I was there Tuesday night and counted 6 double IPAs on tap along with several Belgian style ales and even a cider. The food is just getting better every day. The sandwiches now come on our legendary torta rolls. I had the beef ribs the other night and I think they were the best beef ribs that I have ever had. Lindsey has been doing a great job with the appetizers introducing BBQ Nachos and Potato Skins and West Coast has great wings – very different from O’Brien’s – but very delicious. We did an impromptu O’Brien’s night there that inspired the idea of doing a West Coast BBQ food night at O’Brien’s – so look for that in the not too distant future. West Coast is open 4-10 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:30 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday, 11:30 am to 7 pm on Sunday and closed on Monday.
If you would like to keep up to date on all of the happenings over there, Larry is sending out an email about 2 times a month with updates. Just sign up at the website: http://westcoastbbqandbrew.com. You can also follow more regular updates and found out about daily specials on the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/WestCoastBarbecueBrew. West Coast does a late night happy hour from 8-10 pm Tuesday thru Thursday and 9-11 pm Friday and Saturday that features $1 off all draft pints. And you can get $10 select craft beer pitchers all day Sunday.
The next event over there will be Manzanita Brewing Night on Wednesday, July 18th as the brewery celebrates the opening of its new facility. There will be 4 beers on tap including a much improved IPA and the very drinkable Chaotic Double IPA and Gillespie Brown. West Coast’s new bartender Michelle used to work in the tasting room at Manzanita so expect a lot of folks from the brewery to be there including the head brewer. If you have not tried Manzanita’s beers since they first came out, you ought to give them another try. The quality level has gone up considerably. I will be there in the earlier part of the evening around 6-8 pm.
That is your good beer news for now. We’ll see you soon for a great beer. Cheers, Tom