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New Brewery Alert: Council Brewing

Get ready San Diego, for a new brewery in the Kearny Mesa area (with TONS of parking). Council Brewing has started construction very near O’Brien’s Pub. We recently spent some time with Liz and Curtis Chism as they celebrated receiving their federal permit. They are now ready to serve up some beer, except for the fact that the brewery isn’t finished yet. All in good time. They are well on their way and excited to bring their award winning home brewing skills to a bigger stage.

Curtis and Liz gave shout outs to Hamilton’s Tavern and Mike Hess (Mike Hess Brewing) for giving them a solid foundation in craft beer. They are both certified beer judges with BJCP and have used their knowledge to perfect their craft. We look forward to meeting up with Liz and Curtis over a Council beer in the near future when they get to see their dreams come true.

View our Council Brewing photo gallery here.

Road Trip!


We were invited to be part of a panel at the iBev conference in the beautiful Fairmont Hotel located in beautiful downtown San Francisco. The panel focused on mobile apps in the beverage industry. We were thrilled to be one of two craft beer apps that were represented, the other was Melani Gordon from Taphunter.

Click to view our iBev photo gallery.

When you are based in San Diego and are invited to a conference in San Francisco you have two choices: drive or fly. Flying is faster and easier and, of course, the best choice. Driving means that you can stop at places along the way. Driving also means more chances to visit more breweries and brewpubs. I think you can guess what we chose...ROAD TRIP!

Here are the details of the action packed weekend.


Stop number one: Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. At Golden Road we had the pleasure of meeting with Tony Yanow (Tony’s Darts Away and Mohawk Bend), who is one of the owners and all around great guy. In addition to everything he does, Tony is an avid supporter of the LA Derby Dolls and the environment. Their seasonal release is 2020 IPA.

For the Spring 2014 Release in our Custom IPA Series we’ve partnered with the LA River Revitalization Corp to brew 2020 IPA—a dark red IPA, with a rich pine aroma, light roast, all balanced by a hearty hop bitterness.  2020 IPA celebrates the Greenway 2020 Project, which will connect 51 miles of the LA River—transforming it from a neglected, concrete riverbed to a connected, public green space by the year 2020.

Tony’s motto is: “If we pour it, they will come”. Well, Tony it looks like that worked out for Golden Road. Thank you for your time and your beer.

Click to view our Golden Road photo gallery.


Stop number two: Healthy Spirits Bottle Shop. This fantastic bottle shop located in the Outer Richmond area of San Francisco provided us with the supplies necessary for the daunting task ahead...a weekend of beer travel in San Francisco.

Stop number three: Hopwater Distribution in San Francisco. After a long day at a beverage conference you definitely need some beer. Hopwater (located in walking distance of the Fairmont Hotel) has 31 taps devoted to California craft beer. In addition to a great tap list they have a fantastic food selection headed up by chef Bruce Paton (formerly of the Cathedral Hill Hotel).


Stop number four: Cellarmaker Brewing. We met with Tim Sciascia, co-founder/head brewer, who gave us a tour and told us about the beer they have been brewing. Cellarmaker is concentrating on keeping their customers wanting more by constantly rotating their taps. Tim told us that one beer they are planning on repeating is Taco Hands a collaboration with Tired Hands Brewing. The name came from the smell that remains on your hands after eating tacos, something that most people from California can relate to. According to Sciascia, the beer tastes like tacos because it actually has taco shells in it. I need, I need!

Thanks Tim for taking time out of your day to show us around and share your passion which is Cellarmaker Brewing.

Click to view our Cellarmaker photo gallery.


Stop number five: Mikkeller BarWith 42 taps and a loaded food menu, Mikkeller Bar was a great place to hang out for dinner, have some fantastic beers and end our evening.

Stop number six: Q Restaurant. Saturday morning started with our new friend Steve (Beer by Bart) picking us up and being our escort for the day. He took us to Q for some FANTASTIC food and a really nice beer selection for brunch. Mac and cheese topped with tater tots while drinking craft beer...need I say more?


Stop number seven: Magnolia Dogpatch. Sure, you’ve been to Magnolia on Haight and it was great, right? Well wait until you see their new Dogpatch location. We were blown away! We spent some quality time with Founder/Brewer, Dave McLean. McLean told us that the new location has been 2 ½ years in construction.

Magnolia Dogpatch plans on having 20 taps (15 house + 5 guest) of craft beer. They will also have 6 wines on draft and a full bar featuring a large whiskey selection. Then there’s the food. Smokestack, the restaurant within Magnolia Brewery Dogpatch is going to be, as the name would imply, specializing in BBQ. Within walking distance of AT&T Park, it is the perfect spot to hang out before, during or after a Giants game. McLean is currently toying with the idea of having the radio broadcast of the games on in the tasting area. This would match up well with the design of the new Magnolia.

We were able to speak with Kevin Landwehr from Nothing Something Design about what the vision was for the space. Landwehr said that the idea was to bring the space back to what it might have been like in its post prohibition heyday. Then they took that concept further by “aging” everything to show what a place like that would look like today. Everything was hand distressed and aged. He told us that some of the wood was soaked in coffee and then left overnight in coffee grounds as if to marinate. Here is a fantastic video where he talks about the vision.

Look for Magnolia Dogpatch to open by the start of the Giant’s season, end of March, 2014.

Click to view our Magnolia photo gallery.


Stop number eight: Linden Street Brewery. Meet Adam Lamoreaux founder of Linden Street Brewery, great guy and possessor of a truly impressive beard. Lamoreaux gave us a little background on the Oakland beer scene by sharing that Linden Street is the first production brewery in Oakland for 50 years. He is a big supporter of his neighborhood and hopes that sometime soon Oakland will be able to build their own ballpark.

He describes his style as varied but likes to think that he brews beer that Jack London might have drank. Priding himself in “working man” beers his favorite beer is the California Common Lager. He said that the Oakland area and the building itself spoke to him when deciding on his style. He is also responsible for some truly unique beers being brewed in the bay area. Biere de Tartine is brewed with sourdough starter yeast from San Francisco’s own Tartine Bakery. The ‘Town Lager (SF is the city and Oakland is the town) is a beer that is delivered exclusively on their custom made bicycle that carries two kegs. Lamoreaux says he loves hearing people shout, “go beer man, go” as he rides along on his deliveries.

Click to view our Linden Street photo gallery.


Stop number nine: The Rare Barrel. This was a very interesting place in Berkeley. They specialize in sours, specifically oak barrel aged sours. Since they have a number of varieties, there is a good chance that they might win over those in your group that may not be a sour fan. We had the pleasure of drinking with the parents of one of the owners, Alex Wallash. We joked that The Rare Barrel is their grandbaby. They were proud grandparents.

Click to view our Rare Barrel photo gallery.


Stop number ten: Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room. This new spot in Berkeley is different than the Chico location. Just when you thought you knew Sierra Nevada along comes a place that serves small batch beers that you won’t find in Chico (16 taps in all). We brought home some beers that aren’t even sold at the main location. We were lucky enough to get a Bigfoot vertical flight. Always interesting to taste the same beer that was released over 4 consecutive years.


Stop number elevenCerveceria de MateVeza. Wow, how to explain this place...you just have to go, but we’ll do our best to talk you through it. They are an Argentine-inspired brewpub that serves caffeinated yerba mate beers and empanadas (clear as mud, right?). We were lucky enough to get in on the Girl Scout Cookie flight. They brewed small batches of beer to pair with the cookies. We even earned our beer badge for tasting all of them (picture in photo gallery).

Click to view our Cerveceria de MateVeza photo gallery.

Stop number eleven: Toronado. Dark+loud+crowded+one bartender (possibly rude)+a million beers on tap (may or may not be an exaggeration) = we’ll let you decide. Love it or hate it, Toronado is a legendary beer bar in San Francisco. It was a great place for our final stop of the night (that’s a total of 7 places for Saturday, phew).


Stop number twelve: Discretion Brewing. First stop Sunday morning was down the coast to Soquel, CA and time to meet with Rob Genco, founder of Discretion Brewing. Discretion Brewing is a family affair, his wife is the GM (you will see her touches in the tasting room), his daughter does social media and his son is assistant brewer.

Rob took a lot of time and care in opening this labor of love where they brew organic beer. He spent a year searching for the perfect brewmaster, which he found in Michael Demers. He also hired a brewery consultant to help him get through the startup process. They have already added on to their original plans and are in talks with a new company to provide organic food for their hungry customers.

Thank you Rob for the flight, a well balanced sampling of many beer styles. You can also get some barrel aged specialty brews to go.

Click to view our Discretion Brewing photo gallery.


Stop number thirteen: Sante Adairius. Sante Adairius is located in Capitola, CA, a short drive from Discretion. Their motto is “Big ideas in small batches”. I think that motto says all that needs to be said about Sante Adairius. With their small batches they are able to do very interesting experimental beers. We tried several beers and brought home a tart Imperial stout.

Click to view our Sante Adairius photo gallery.


Stop number fourteen: Firestone Walker. The final stop on our tour was the Firestone Walker brewpub in Paso Robles for a beer and some dinner. They have a good selection of their most popular beers including Wookey Jack, 805, DBA and many others. They also have an extensive food selection which made for a nice end to a long trip.

Phew, no wonder we are so tired. We had such a fun weekend roadtrip. We met some lovely people, connected with old friends and had some great beer.

Cheers to:

Steve and Gail Shapiro, Beer by Bart
Melani Gordon, TapHunter
Tony Yanow, Golden Road Brewing
Paige Reilly, Golden Road Brewing
Tim Sciascia, Cellarmaker Brewing
Treavor, Mikkeller Bar (formerly with Neighborhood)
Dave McLean, Magnolia Brewing
Kevin Landwehr, Nothing Something
Adam Lamoreaux, Linden Street Brewing
Alex Wallash,
The Rare Barrel
Adair Paterno, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales
Rob Genco, Discretion Brewing
Christopher Shepard, Beer Marketer's Insights
Christian deBenedetti, Weekly Pint
All of the organizers of iBev, specifically Bottlenotes

Not to mention all of the servers, bartenders and awesome beer folks that helped us along our journey.

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