Edit ModuleShow Tags

Highlights from San Diego Beer Week So Far

Hundreds of events, thousands of beers


San Diego Beer Week 2016 | Photos: Bruce Glassman

Raise your glass! Last Friday, San Diego Beer Week officially got underway with festivities downtown at Broadway Pier. Friday night was the VIP Brewers Takeover, which filled the indoor space with nearly 70 brewers pouring more than 140 of their specialty beers. On Saturday afternoon, the pier and the indoor space were jam-packed with brewers, attendees, and vendors of all sorts. The weather, as you may imagine, was perfect: A crystal blue sky and temps in the low 80s made conditions optimal for beer-tasting and lovin’ life.

Highlights of Friday night included the Beer Week debuts of some of our newest breweries (Eppig, Longship, North Park Beer Co., Resident, Midnight Jack, Pure Project, Little Miss, Bitter Brothers, Mason Ale Works, Burning Beard) as well as some awesome brews from some of our more established breweries. Sipping highlights included a great big (13% ABV) malty barrel-aged stout called Oathbreaker from Groundswell; Societe’s full-flavored and expertly balanced brown ale, called Spelunker; and my favorite of the evening: the deep, dark, boozy but beautifully balanced Track #8 from Lost Abbey. This bourbon-barrel-aged strong ale is a brawny blast of flavors that meld cinnamon, chocolate, bourbon, and spicy chili peppers into an eminently drinkable package.

On Saturday afternoon, the fun continued with Beer Week’s signature kick-off event on the pier. A total of 75 breweries poured nearly 200 beers of every conceivable style (and some you might not conceive) that ranged from sours to Berliner Weisses to wheat beers, stouts, and—of course—IPAs. The pier was loaded with great-tasting brews, all of which went down especially well in the early afternoon sun. Although a few “standard” styles impressed me with their excellent balance and flavors—notably Lost Abbey’s always fantastic Red Poppy and Mason Ale Works’ newest juicy IPA called Andrew’s Forest—I felt the biggest winners of the afternoon were the beers that stepped off the beaten path just a bit. Toolbox’s Cucumberliner, a Weiss bier made with freshly peeled cucumbers, was crisp, flavorful, and incredibly refreshing. Pure Project’s La Vie en Rose, a Saison made with hibiscus and honey, was beautifully balanced with aromatics from the hibiscus and just a tiny touch of sweetness that gave it a wonderful mouth feel. Surprise superstar of the day went to Truffle Shuffle Blonde from Monkey Paw. This lightly malty but refreshing beer was subtly infused with the rich flavor of chocolate truffle, which made it both light and decadent at the same time. Surprisingly delicious.

Following is a photo gallery of some of the sights and scenes from the festivities on Friday and Saturday. If you weren’t there, we’re sorry we missed you! Of course, there are still four days of San Diego Beer Week left, so—if you haven’t yet—there’s still time to go out and partake of some of the week’s special offerings. At sdbw.org you’ll find a detailed calendar of events (you can sort by day) that includes everything from beer education classes to beer brunches and dinners to tap takeovers to special pint nights and rare beer releases. And remember, when you get out and drink great local craft beer, you’re also doing your part to support your community! What better way to be a good citizen?

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Owl Farm's Offbeat Beer Styles Attract 'Novice' Beer Drinkers

An unfamiliar brand has a familiar company behind it

Checking in with You & Yours Distilling Co.’s Laura Johnson

The San Diego ‘distillerista’ is creating new spirits and making a name for herself

3 New and Notable Brewery Spots in San Diego

Oceanside adds a brewery and two previous locations are reimagined
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


AquaVie: 10 Reasons It’s Downtown’s Best Kept Secret

The best workout and spa getaway around? It’s actually right underneath your nose.

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Personal Stories are on Display at the Museum of Man's 'PostSecret'
    Frank Warren collects deep, dark secrets for this community arts project
  2. The Best Burgers in San Diego
    These burgers are food critic Troy Johnson's finalists for the best in San Diego
  3. The Best of North County 2018
    Our annual list of what we’re loving above the 56, from bites and brews to shopping, wellness, and arts and kids’ activities galore
  4. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2018
    Dig into the 260 winners defining San Diego’s food scene in 2018
  5. Your 2018 San Diego Summer Bucket List
    Here’s our insider’s guide for Memorial Day through Labor Day
  6. 16 Great Places to Go Camping in Southern California and Baja
    We’ve rounded up sites with the best ocean views, mountain peaks, and desert landscapes
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module