5 December Beer Events

An ale festival, pairing dinner, and other golden opportunities to drink beer

Strong Ale Festival

Friday & Saturday, December 2 & 3 | Pizza Port, Carlsbad

For the past 15 years, the ghosts of Pizza Port past and present (i.e.—brewers who have contributed or are currently contributing their expertise to make this the most heralded brewpub chain in the nation) have converged to present suds fans with this fest featuring an array of double-digit ABV beers from around the world. As a bonus this year, a one-time-only blend of barrel-aged beers from each of Pizza Port’s brewpubs will be poured to celebrate the big one-five in style.

Photo by Sam Horine

 Brewfestivus Book Signing

Friday, December 9, 6 p.m. | Karl Strauss, Downtown

Beer, literature and questionable holiday-inspired fashion statements collide at this event—a combination book signing and beer tasting event where attendees are encouraged to don their gaudiest Christmas sweaters for a chance to win an autographed copy of author Josh Bernstein’s new tome, Brewed Awakening, and a bottle of Karl Strauss’ new award-winning Belgian-style quadruppel, Two Tortugas. Consolation prizes come in the form of five KS tasters, which beats a lump of coal any day.

 Santa’s Secret Stash

Thursday, December 15 | Various Locations

As the owner of multiple well-stocked beer bars, Scot Blair has plenty of friends in the brewing industry; folks who make sure the best of their brews make it into his cold rooms. One day each December, Blair plucks some of the finest, hardest-to-come-by numbers out of that frigid space, puts them on at his venues—Hamilton’s Tavern, Small Bar, Eleven and Monkey Paw—and hooks patrons up with a free bus ride so they can get their fill at all four. God bless us everyone.

 The Bruery Pairing Dinner

Wednesday, December 14, 6 p.m. | Local Habit, Hillcrest

OC-based The Bruery is just four years old, yet considered one of the most avant-garde, exciting brewing companies in the nation. Founder and brewer Patrick Rue frequents San Diego, mostly for dinners just like this one. Playing the role of Santa, he’ll break out bottles of some of his most special beers, including a milk stout made with roasted pumpkin called Burly Gourd, Oude Tart Flemish red and their annual holiday offering, a spiced Belgian dark ale dubbed 4 Calling Birds.

 Cuvée de Tomme Release

Saturday, December 17, 11 a.m. | The Lost Abbey, San Marcos

By the time this event rolls around you may have finally recovered from the pushing, shoving, long lines and dashed dreams of Black Friday. Good thing, because if you want to get your hands on this year’s bottling of The Lost Abbey’s highly celebrated Cuvée de Tomme (or as brewer Tomme Arthur calls it, “Cuvée de Me”), you’ll need to jockey for position in the queue as though you were a bargain hunter trying to land a $79 too-good-to-be-true flat screen.

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