Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Things To Do In San Diego: Craft Brewers Conference Edition

It’s no secret that as craft beer lovers we have an embarrassment of riches here in San Diego with the seemingly endless supply of great brews from amazing local breweries. But this week is enough to get even the most dedicated SD beer fan drooling over as the top brewers from all around the nation visit America’s Finest City for the 2012 Craft Brewers Conference. Now, all of the “official” CBC events are limited to conference attendees only, but if you don’t have a badge that’s no reason to miss out on some great opportunities to sample some beer not typically (if ever) available in Southern California.

Most of the craft beer bars around town have a full slate of special kegs and casks on this week available to ALL of us, not just badge holders. It’s a schedule so packed that I’ve even heard of some breweries asking some bars for “the special favor” of putting their beer on for one night this week. This list is in no way exhaustive and is just a small sampling of what what caught my eye or what will be the most popular and widely anticipated events around town. I’d recommend getting there early and often. If I missed anything too great to pass up be sure to let me know on the twitters (@mikebeebe). For even more CBC Events (some official, some not) check the Conference’s event weppage here: http://www.craftbrewersconference.com/cbc-week-events or the calendar over at http://www.craftbeer.com/pages/news-and-events/calendar. Again, I’m only posting two or three per night and only through Friday, but rememeber there are a TON of additional options out there. Drink up! (Events after the jump)

Tuesday 5/1
  • “Linchpin IPA” Release at Green Flash. A special collaboration between one of San Diego’s best and Michigan’s Founders Brewing. Lots of buzz for this release.
  • “Founders Brewing” at Toronado. I have scant details on this one, but this is the best beer bar in town and one of the most sought after breweries visiting this week. (If you don’t make this one, Founders will be available at Hamilton’s later this week.)
  • “Pretty Things Night” at Bar Eleven. Cambridge, MA based Pretty Things will have five of their beers on starting at 7pm, along with some other currently undisclosed goodies. Plus it’s at my local tavern. Pretty indeed.
  • “Utah Beer and Spirits” at Small Bar. When most people think great beer and/or booze, products from Utah typically don’t jump to mind. But Unita Brewery and High West Distillery Spirits both make excellent products. Nice to see them highlighted here this week.

Wednesday 5/2
  • “Stone, Ommegang and Cismontane Tasting” at Slaters 50/50. We all know Stone already (duh) but Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown, NY makes some of my favorite beers on the planet. Cismontane (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) is no slouch either.
  • “Stone Distribution Night” at Bar Eleven, Small Bar and/or Monkey Paw Pub. Sure, another Stone event but there’s nothing ho-hum about it. A bunch of special release and collaborations will be there for the sampling at each location.
  • “Can Diego CBC After Party” at Blind Lady Alehouse. A unique event at one of the premier San Diego beer spots. Enjoy CANS of beer from Ska Brewing, Avery, Golden Road and many more. I suspect this one will be packed, but BLAH typically handles large crowds and events so well you won’t even care. (Hah, “Can Diego” … clever.)

Thursday 5/3
  • “Dogfish Head Night” at Monkey Paw Pub. You probably remember their short lived TV show. There will be many “can’t miss” selections this night, with those well known “minute” IPAs (60, 90, etc) perhaps least among them, as all four “Music Series” brews will be available as well.

Friday 5/4
  • “Green Flash teams with Founders” at Hamilton’s. Sure to be a zoo, this is the Founders event I referenced above but maybe your best chance to get the Linchpin White IPA if you can’t make it to the brewery on Tuesday, as well as other hard to get flavors from Founders. (Note: Regal Beagle will also have Linchpin that night if those massive Hamilton’s crowds aren’t to your liking.)
  • “North Coast Night” at Bar Eleven. Another nice event at my neighborhood haunt. Some tasty North Coast beers here...including Brother Thelonious on draft?? Yes please!
  • “Drakes and Triple Rock” at Small Bar. An assortment of barrel conditioned beers from two of the Bay Area’s best.

NOTE: There are two “badge holder only” events Friday night that look great too, so if you think you have an in at either White Labs or Karl Strauss you might want to do a little research and then call in that favor. I’m sure there are promising events over the weekend, and if I get a chance I’ll post some of those later in the week.

[There will also be a special CBC SDDrinkAbout bus on Wednesday, May 2. It is free and available to the public. See flyer below. The regularly scheduled monthly drinkabout will still be on Wednesday, May 18. -rosey]

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