Cheese, Green Flash and Gold Medals!
Hello Beer Fans!
I still feel as though I have not completely recovered from the insanity that was the Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup two weeks ago. It was a fantastic week of beer and brewers – a big thanks to everyone who helped make it happen: the WBC volunteers, the brewers who brought beer, the importers and distributors who helped set up events, our staff who worked brilliantly under stressful conditions (and Jami for coming back) and of course you for helping to drink all of that great beer and making O’Brien’s the place to be that week.
The good news is that much of the great beer is still here, but without the crowds. We will continue to have some great specials for the next few weeks as we use up some beers that never made it on tap during the conference, and kegs that we had ample back ups for as well.
San Diego did extremely well in the World Beer Cup. There were nearly 3000 entries in 91 categories from 644 breweries in 58 countries and nearly every state in the union. It now stands as the largest commercial beer competition in the world – it truly is the Olympics of beer. The World Beer Cup is held every other year and started in 1996 – San Diego is the only city to host the competition twice, a real testament to our local beer culture. The big winner was Tomme Arthur and Port Brewing/Lost Abbey which was named Small Brewing Company of the Year for its four medals. Here is the rundown of the locals.
Gold: Alpine Ichabod, Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme, AleSmith Old Numbskull and Decadence, San Diego Brewing Hopnotic IPA and Green Flash Hop Head Red. Just over the county line, Oggi’s Pizza won a gold medal for McGarvey’s Scottish Ale in San Clemente.
Silver: Lost Abbey Red Poppy, Alpine McIllhenney’s Irish Red, Pizza Port Carlsbad Poor Man’s IPA
Bronze: Lost Abbey Veritas 002, Stone Pale Ale (for the ESB category again – is it time to rename it Stone ESB?), Pizza Port Carlsbad Sticky Stout and Night rider Imperial Stout, Lost Abbey Brouwer’s Imagination Series Saison.
The good news – three of these beers will be on tap Wednesday night at the pub and many more are readily available!
The bad news – there is not one of the Lost Abbey beers that won a medal that you can go out and buy right now (but try the 2nd anniversary party this weekend – Saturday, May 3rd from 11 am to 9 pm – see www.lostabbey.com for more info)
The good news – we have the new Lost Abbey Angel’s Share Barleywine aged in Bourbon barrels in bottles on sale this Saturday, May 3rd!
Congratulations to all of the brewers and breweries that were awarded medals! For a complete list of winners by brewery or category, visit www.beertown.org.
Speaking of great beer on tap at the pub, we have some fantastic new beers on tap right now including: New Belgium Le Fleur Missuer, which is the brewery’s tribute to Orval Trappist ale, Coronado Idiot IPA, Pizza Port Carlsbad’s Poor Man’s IPA and Sticky Stout and Green Flash Tripel. Tonight, Wednesday the 30th we will also tap a 5 gallon cask of Alpine McIllhenney’s Irish Red at 5:30 pm. For soccer fans, there will be a replay of the Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Liverpool at 6 pm. We also have some glassware specials right now at the pub. We just got a new shipment of our O’Brien’s pint glasses – “I didn’t come here to save money or lose weight” in blue and our new “Fine beer may be judged with a single sip, but it is better to be thoroughly sure” in black. We also have some Belgian-style glassware for sale from Koningshoeven and Urthel right now. Look for more glassware specials all week and over the weekend.
We also have a new wine at the pub – Tres Barcos from the Toro region in Spain. It is a really nice, easy drinking red that is a great value at $6 a glass. We also sell Roederer Estate NV Brut by the glass along with Cypress Chardonnay and Cabernet. We are going to start rotating a second red wine to provide a little variety to our wine selections.
Friday the 2nd we feature a night of specialty beer from Green Flash and brewer Chuck Silva. We will have the Tripel, Imperial IPA, West Coast IPA, Symposium IPA, and 5th Anniversary Double IPA all on tap. If room allows, I have a few other GFBC to put on as well. This is our last 5 gallons of the great Symposium IPA brewed as the official beer of the Craft Brewers Conference – if you haven’t tried it yet, don’t miss it. As mentioned above we will have the Angel’s Share available all day Saturday the 3rd along with our 10% off all bottles every Saturday and Sunday. I will also have some special Allagash bottles out on Saturday. And we have the Dogfish Head Palo Santo, Unibroue Edition 2005 and Urthel Samaranth available in bottles as well along with a few cans of the Maui Big Swell IPA (yes cans!).
Over the weekend, we host our third and final Beer and Cheese Pairing at the pub at 6:30 pm on Sunday, May 4th. This is a “Best Of” class featuring 5 pairings from our previous 4 rounds of tastings with Taste Artisan Cheese and gourmet Shop in Hillcrest and 3 new pairings including peppers stuffed with herbed goat cheese paired with Unibroue La Fin Du Monde. In all the class features 8 beers and 8 cheeses. Cost is $40 and you can sign up at the pub (cash only please) or pay with a credit card by calling Taste at 619-683-2306. As of this writing Wednesday morning there are only about 15 seats left, so sign up soon.
Next week we also have a full docket of events for you to enjoy. Monday is our weekly pitcher special with $9 pitchers of local and craft beers and $13 pitchers of select Strong Ales. Wednesday the 7th is Alpine Beer Company night at the pub. We will have 5 beers on tap, 2 in the bottle and 1 on cask! The line up on tap is: Pure Hoppiness, O’Brien’s IPA, Duet IPA, Captain Stout – nitro and Exponential Hoppiness. In the bottle we will have Mandarin Nectar and the new kriek lambic Chez Monieux (one of the best domestic lambics I have ever had). And the cask will be a well hopped Alpine Ale at 5:30 pm. All of the draft beers should be on by 5 pm. And looking further ahead at Alpine events, mark down Friday, May 30th for our Exponential Hoppiness vertical tasting!
Thursday the 8th we have a cask of Firestone’s 100% oak fermented Double Barrel Ale. This is a rare treat from the brewery to taste the Double Barrel Ale only fermented in the oak barrels. We’ll tap it at 5 pm and we’ll have all of our local draft beers on special.
Looking ahead into June, I am tentatively looking at Sunday, June 1st for a mead tasting. The San Diego Real Ale Festival at Pizza Port Carlsbad will be the 13th and 14th. VIP session tickets should be on sale in the next few weeks – I will let you know when I know and post it on the website. And the San Diego County Fair Craft Beer Festival will be Saturday, June 21st from Noon to 8 pm. This year’s event will be in a larger location, feature more than 250 beers and there will be a bratwurst tasting and cook off! This promises to be one of the biggest beer festivals this side of the GABF!
That is it for now. Congratulations again to all of the award winning beer from San Diego! We’ll see you soon for some great local beer! Cheers, Tom
20 Taps – Tons of Hops
4646 Convoy Street