Edit ModuleShow Tags

Bottle (re)Cap: Cool San Diego Beer Stuff I Learned About in September

Green Flash's highest ABV beer ever, a beer and ice cream pairing, two new Miramar breweries, and more


Thunderhawk is one of two new breweries in the Miramar enclave. | Photo: Bruce Glassman

Welcome! This is the inaugural installment of a new monthly item I’m calling “Bottle (re)Cap,” but—to be clear from the get-go—it’s not only about bottles. It’s also about intriguing beer products and special people, places, and things that are particularly worthy of mention but don’t require more than a paragraph of coverage. The idea is to keep you in the know about recent special releases, innovative products, and newly opened breweries that you may want to check out. So—here’s your Bottle (re)Cap for September:


Lost Abbey’s Answer to the Margarita:

Madonna and Child

The Madonna and Child | Photo: Courtesy of The Lost Abbey

Tomme Arthur challenged his San Marcos brewing team to come up with a beer that captured the essence of a properly crafted Margarita, and so they did. Madonna and Child is a Tequila Barrel-Aged Sour with Lime and Salt (11.25% ABV) that has an intense citrus aroma and just a hint of sweetness on the finish. As Tomme says, the beer “begins with a refreshing lime tartness balanced with some dark sugar and ends with a hint of salt and some spice from the tequila.” The beer will be available through Lost Abbey’s main distribution channels, so you should be able to find the 375-ml bottles at your favorite bottle shop (if you go soon!).


Societe’s Bottle Bonanza:

Butcher Imperial Stout

Butcher Imperial Stout | Photo: Courtesy of Societe

They said they would only bottle their “feral” beers, which are the barrel-aged beers in their sour program, but the guys at Societe really wanted to celebrate the 666th batch of beer produced in their brewhouse. Lucky for us, they decided to celebrate with a special very limited release: 22-ounce bottles of their exceptionally tasty Butcher Imperial Stout (9.666% ABV). This is good news for Societe fans who will love an opportunity to keep a bottle or two around for a little while to see how it develops. Available at the tasting room, while supplies last.


Green Flash’s ABV MVP:

Ochre Frumento

Ochre Frumento | Photo: Courtesy of Green Flash

This beer is the second limited and rare beer release in the Cellar 3 Barrelmaster’s Reserve series. At a whopping 17.5% ABV, this barrel-aged Barley Wine is the highest ABV of any beer Green Flash has ever released (and that’s saying a lot!). The Barley Wine was aged for a total of six years—partly in brandy barrels and then in bourbon barrels. Barrelmaster Pat Korn says the beer “presents an aroma that is sharp and spirit-barrel forward. Prominent flavors of toffee and caramel envelope the palate, and supporting notes of ripened stone fruits with nutty complexity unfold through the finish.” Only 600 bottles were produced. The next special release will be in December: a gin-barrel-aged Tripel called Divine Enebro. Watch this space for the heads up.


Pure Project’s First Sour Release:

Roes Red

Roes Red | Photo: Courtesy of Pure Project

This small Miramar brewery has made a large impression on the craft community since it first opened at the beginning of this year. Part of what makes them special is the interesting variety and complexity of beers they produce; they’re not following the same old “core beers” strategy that so many other breweries adhere to. Their latest release, a Flanders Red-style sour (7% ABV) is an ambitious beer, modeled on one of brewer Winslow Sawyer’s favorite Belgian styles. According to Winslow, the beer (which uses a proprietary blend of more than five yeast strains) “features a strong cherry aroma and complex malt background of dark aged fruits and leather” with a sour bite from lactic acid. The beer was aged in French oak barrels that were previously used to hold Napa Valley Pinot Noir. Availability is very limited, so inquire at the tasting room.


Beer & Ice Cream Pairing from Stone and Jeni’s:

Xocoveza & Xocorosa

Stone's Xocoveza and Jeni's Xocorosa | Photo: Courtesy of Stone

Personally, I don’t see enough beer-and-ice-cream stories, so here’s one that caught my eye: Looks like Stone Brewing Co. is teaming up with Jeni’s Ice Cream to promote a special pairing of products that are designed to work perfectly together. Jeni’s has developed a Xocoveza-inspired ice cream, called Xocorosa, that incorporates a bunch of the flavors from Stone’s special mocha stout into the frozen dessert. Xocorosa is a chocolate ice cream made with jalapeno and smoked paprika that also has notes of cinnamon and a subtle spiking of rose. The ice cream will be available in limited quantities in October.


Hydro Flask Goes Big:

64-Ounce Wide Mouth Growler

Hydro Flask Growler | Photo: Courtesy of Hydro Flask

This isn’t a beer, but it is a bottle! I thought this nifty product would be of special interest to hard-core crafties, since it holds as much as a conventional glass growler but, unlike the glass, it also keeps your beer perfectly cold for 24 hours without any need for refrigeration. Its special design also provides for a leak-proof seal that retains carbonation longer. This means (yes!) you now have the perfect vessel for taking a full half-gallon of your favorite brew on a day-long bike ride, hike, or camping trip. Also available in a 32-ounce size, but why go small?


Thunderhawk Alements & Little Miss Brewing:

Just Opened

Little Miss Brewing | Photo: Bruce Glassman

Two more breweries, within minutes of each other, have now opened their doors in the Miramar enclave. Thunderhawk (8675 Miralani Drive) has a nice outdoor beer garden as well as a cozy indoor bar. Their lineup offers an admirable variety, including a bunch of different pale ales. Go and try: Sun Zener pale ale and the Dunkelweizen.

Little Miss (7949 Stromesa Court) occupies a high-ceilinged industrial space that’s been spruced up with all sorts of nifty WWII paraphernalia, including the wing of a vintage airplane, old war posters promoting the war effort, and a concrete “bunker” that doubles as the bar. The initial beer lineup includes three pales and an IPA, along with a coffee porter and a few variations of Berliner Weiss. Go and try: Rosie Ginger Wit.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

In Praise of Beer Fests

April and May have been filled with sudsy celebrations

The 12 Best Beers from Rhythm & Brews

The haze craze took over the Vista festival this year, but lots of other styles were shining

Lost Cause Meadery Wins Big

San Diego's world-class meadery just became an international sensation
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


Plan a San Diego Staycation with Hilton

Avoid the airport and enjoy local activities from kayaking to visiting Balboa Park

Athena’s Pinnacle Awards Showcases Leaders in Diversity and Inclusion

Here are the winners from the event on May 7
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote Now for San Diego's Best Restaurants 2019
    From pho to fries, you can choose San Diego's best eats and drinks in 99 categories
  2. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2019
    Nearly 7,500 of our hungriest readers voted in our annual poll—and the results are served
  3. First Look: Il Dandy
    Michelin-starred Italian chefs open a stunner in Bankers Hill
  4. Restaurants Are Dying; Here’s the Solution
    It’s simple math, but the state of California refuses to allow it
  5. 21 Ultimate Road Trip Itineraries from San Diego
    These getaways will take you through California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Mexico
  6. Best of North County 2019
    Our annual roundup of what's up-and-coming and full-on buzzy above the 56
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module