SD Beer News

When this Covid Pause is over, beer fans will need to make up lost ground and visit taprooms again, and to best prepare for that glorious day, you will need information. SD Beer News should be your choice for that news. Brandon Hernandez has been covering the scene and worked in it as well so he is uniquely plugged into what is happening. Head HERE to sign-up.

Athletic in San Diego

Non-Alcoholic East Coast brewer Athletic has pounced on the former Ballast Point “Trade Street” brewing facility and will be shipping their beer out the door in mid-May. This new production hub will increase their capacity and help them meet a demand across its 10 state distribution footprint. And maybe they will even add a taproom to this spot as well.

Bank Withdrawl

This story was recently in the L.A. Times….

It is rare that a government body is even a tiny bit pro-active but San Diego has seen the power of both biotech and beer and have created a new bank.  One that will be filled with water and (hopefully) won’t increase taxes.

The city wants to take “stranded”, unused water from business ventures willing to part with it and offer it to water dependent companies willing to pay for extra.  It is a clever idea and one that could conceivably work with other finite resources. It will be interesting if this project takes off and can be a model for other water districts.

New San Diego Brewery # 3 – Kilowatt Brewing

Our last stop in San Diego is electrifying… Kilowatt Brewing. With Locations in Ocean Beach and Kearny Mesa.

Here are the beers that I would add to a taster tray….

Easy Crusher American Pilsner Pre-Prohibition style Lager​ – ​ “Straw colored Pilsner based on recipes brewed before the Volstead Act of 1919 using Pilsner malt, flaked corn, and German noble hops.”

Wir Trinken! Festbier​ -​ “A smooth, pale German-style lager with a strong malt presence balanced with a light hop character.”

250 kWh IPAAmerican IPA​ -​ “Features Kohatu, Rakau, and Falconer’s Flight hops, with piney, fruity & citrus notes.”

350 kWh IIIPA Triple IPA​ – “Triple IPA brewed with 40 lbs of 7 different citrusy and tropical hops.”

Coconut Chai Porter​ American Porter​ -​” Brewed with chai spices and conditioned on toasted coconut.”

New San Diego Brewery # 2 – Gravity Heights

This new to 2019 brewery has some San Diego brewing history behind it.  Gravity Heights has Skip Virgilio on board.  That name may ring a brewing bell because he co-founded and was the original brewer at a little place called Alesmith.

The new venture is in Sorrento mesa and has a restaurant and a “lush outdoor beer garden”.  Here are the beers that I would put into an initial taster tray….

Take Two Pilsner – “rich, pale lager with a crisp, rounded finish”

Brewers Best – “session ale with crisp bitterness and rich malt character”

SMS Pale Ale (Sorrento Mesa Standard) – “crystal malt provides depth for a refreshing, hop-forward classic”

Double Overhead – “piney and resinous, chewy malt presence provide balance”

Brewers Breakfast Stout – “roasty and velvet-smooth stout with coffee and chocolate tones”

New San Diego Brewery # 1 – Kairoa Brewing

Mixing Kiwi to SoCal, Kairoa Brewing and brewer Joe Peach are trying to create a “modern farmhouse designed space” in San Diego.  Probably one of the few places to get New Zealand comfort food and an IPA.

Here are the beers that I would on a first visit…

4 Gables IPA – “Unfiltered west coast style, citrus forward, passionfruit, pine.”

Wizard of the South – “Hoppy Wheat – Full bodied, hoppy aroma, melon, honeydew, pear”

Cheeky Buggah – “Light bodied, subtle spice, light caramel and honey”

Ostrich Stout – “Velvety mouthfeel, heavy roast aroma, chocolate”


Being a regular library user, I would welcome the chance to check out both the physical and on-line collections regarding craft beer.

The California State University, San Marcos (CSUSM) has been collecting “beer paraphernalia tracing the history of craft breweries in San Diego.”

Dubbed the Brewchive, it “is a new project from the university’s library. According to CSUSM Special Collections and History Librarian Judith Downie, the collection dates back to the late 1980s, about the time that the craft brewing scene first started to gain steam in the San Diego area. Around 30 years ago there were maybe five or six craft breweries in the county; today there are 156.”

Now that L.A. has a nice amount of breweries and a little bit of history behind it, the CalState system might want to look into expanding north and to Central Coast and Bay Area too. It will be much easier to find documents, coasters, recipes and the like

High Societe

It is hard to single out one brewery in San Diego but whenever my next trip takes me south from L.A., Societe Brewing will be at the top of the list to visit. One reason could be to try their take on “Feral” ales and to check out some of the newer beers that they have produced like….

The Fiddler San Diego-style IPA – “Playing off lyrics from Alabama’s “If You’re Gonna Play in Texas”, brewmaster Travis Smith says, “If you’re gonna brew in San Diego, you gotta have an IPA!” Societe is highly regarded for its lengthy lineage of IPAs, and its latest harnesses the attributes of a trio of hops—Simcoe, Eureka and Idaho 7—to bring something newBeer Styles and unique to its Out West family of hop-driven beers. Those hops were selected through Societe’s single-hop IPA program.”

The Statesman Pale Ale – “Crafted to bring forth a distinctly West Coast hop profile balanced by substantial yet subtle malt character, this beer is a modern interpretation of an American pale ale and Societe’s first foray into this venerable beer style.”

The Bachelor with Cashmere hops Single-Hop IPA – “The latest in Societe’s rotating line of IPAs exploring the world’s hop varietals, this beer exclusively utilizes Cashmere hops, a recently developed, en vogue cross between the Cascade and Northern Brewer cultivars.”

The Damsel Belgian-style Table Beer – “This New World take on the lowest-alcohol variety of monastic, European “abbey ales” is crafted to be highly drinkable and light in body, but big on floral and spice character imparted by our house Belgian yeast strain.”

The Thief Feral Beer with Locally Grown Grenache Blanc – “Grenache Blanc grapes harvested from North San Diego County’s Vesper Vineyards lend a brilliant vinous essence to this effervescent, layered and award-winning specialty ale, which is available in bottles for the first time.”

The first four on the list are draft only while The Thief is also on-sale in corked, caged, 500-millileter bottles (available only at the brewery).