Thursday, November 01, 2012

Things to do in San Diego: Beer Week Edition (Part I)

If you like (love?) beer then you already know about the wide variety and selection of amazing breweries and craft beer bars around our lovely hometown. You also, no doubt, know that from November 2nd through November 11th we will be celebrating another San Diego Beer Week, or simply SDBW. Yes, that’s more than a this town it needs to be. 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 and some of the top craft beer bars in the Country. This “week” is enough to get even the most dedicated SD beer fan more excited than they have been since the Craft Brewers Conference was here in May. But while CBC was ostensibly for the “pros” this week is just for us, my fellow imbibers. 

Most (all?!?) of the craft beer bars, many many restaurants and, of course, every brewery around town have a full slate of dinners, special events, kegs and casks available to ALL of us. SDBW is so packed that I’ve given up trying to schedule anything definitively. I learned last year that the best laid plans are easily changed once you get out and about and end up moving to someplace completely unexpected or simply camping out where you started the night. That said I have been using the very good web app put out by  to find events that sound interesting. Head on over yourself and give it a shot, or check the events calendar at the official site. (Note, these are far from exhaustive lists of all the events, tap takeovers and beer pairing dinners around town over the next 10 days or so, so be sure to check the website/facebook/twitter of your personal favorites as well.)

After the jump you’ll find a sampling of events that caught my eye at some of my favorite spots and/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). I can’t honestly hope to make it to all of them, but I’m for damned sure gonna try! 

Friday November 2, 2012

  • Cismontane @ Ritual Tavern - One of the coziest and most comfortable spots in North Park kicks off their full slate of events with some drafts, bottles and flights from Cismontane. The head brewer will be in attendance as well. Which is cool, if that’s your thing.
  • Beer Week Kick-Off! - Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery will be one of my first stops of SDBW where they’re boasting an “ALL-San Diego lineup of great beer..[s]pecialties and one-offs” as well as some Monkey Paw originals on cask to get SDBW started off right.
  • Mission Brewery: Brew Food Book Signing and Food Expo - This ticketed event has sold out (but promises to be a good one if you can finagle your way in) celebrating BREW FOOD, a new cookbook with “more than 90 beer-inspired food recipes from San Diego's brewers, brewery owners, and hottest chefs.” 

Saturday November 3, 2012

  • 3rd Annual IPA Blowout - Now THIS will be a doozy. Toronado will have fifty, thats five-zero, IPAs on draft. If San Diego is the IPA capital of the world, then Toronado is the White House. Let that sink in...FIFTY!!! You can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be at this one.
  • SDBW - Anchor Liberty Cask - This even at Small Bar features the first of many Anchor casks that will be on throughout the week. And it’s a good one.

Sunday November 4, 2012

  • Ballast Point Beer Brunch -  Another happening at Toronado which will be closed to the public until 2 PM. This is a ticketed brunch but will NOT be sold at the door so get them in advance. From the Toro website: “Ballast Point Brunch featuring Colby Chandler. Tickets at”
  • SDBW - Man the Victory at Sea Fleet! - Fact: Victory at Sea is the greatest beer in the world*. So when Hamilton’s says they will have on more variations of this beer than they ever had before then you KNOW it is going to be special. Doors open at 10am. Don’t snooze on this or you’ll miss out. *(Ok, that’s open to interpretation I suppose, but it is definitely my personal favorite.) 
  • The Bruery 5 Golden Rings Cask - Here’s another fun event that starts early (11am) as Local Habit taps “a cask of The Bruery's "5 Golden Rings", the fifth brew in their 12 Days of Christmas Series.” Yum!
  • Blind Lady Ale House: Progressive Cask Lunch! -  It wouldn't be SDBW without hitting BLAH at least once and this seems like as good a time as any. $2 pints? Sold. 

Monday November 5, 2012

  • Hess Happy Hour - Toronado (again!) will “welcome” their (soon to be) new neighbor to the ‘hood with this event featuring several Hess beers and (from what I’ve been told) a really fantastic keeper glass. 
  • Beer, Art and the Artists! - The cool cats at Bottlecraft are hosting an art show, featuring art from (what else?) a beer label artist! Specifically the Ballast Point artist Paul Elder. Also, BP’s Colby Chandler will be on hand discussing beer. And drinking beer. And it’s free. Get some culture whilst you drink!
  • BEER WEEK BINGO - Bingo at Eleven is nothing new, but it is always fun. Plus all drafts are just $3. Bingo starts at 7pm.

So that is what’s on my radar for the first few days of Beer Week 2012. While this is hardly a definitive guide, it’s a good place to start. I’ll post a Part II sometime over the weekend. So get out there, have some great beer and please be safe. (Be sure to hit the Uber link on this site if you think you’ll be needing a ride. Don't get dead!) If you see me out and about-a very good chance of that!-then please say hello!

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