Craft Brewers Conference Week at O’Brien’s!
Hello about to be happy Beer Fans!
Next week San Diego is hosting the Craft Brewers Conference and World Beer Cup. More than 2000 industry professionals will be in town and it will mean insane beer events at every good beer bar in town all week long.
Many of the events are posted on the San Diego Brewers Guild website – www.sandiegobrewersguild.org. If you don’t have it bookmarked yet, you should. It is an excellent resource for finding out what is going on in the world of good beer around San Diego county. I have some incredible events planned that will showcase some of the best beers in the world – of course many will be quite hoppy, but that is the way most of us like it!
Before I get to next week’s events, I should tell you about the next few days. Thursday night we will tap into a cask of AleSmith X extra pale ale at 5 pm. And Friday the 11th we will feature a Firestone night with Union Jack IPA (8% and it uses 4 pounds of hops per barrel!), unfiltered 100% oak fermented Double Barrel Ale (an amazing treat) and a very unique keg of blended barrel aged beer named Saucerful of Merkin. It is a combination of a Belgian dark strong ale named Saucerful of Secrets (yes, it was named for the Pink Floyd album of the same name which I am listening to right now) and a bourbon barrel aged Oatmeal Stout named Velvet Merkin. This is a kind of pre-party for the craft brewers conference week that will start on the 14th. Saturday the 12th you can look forward to a keg of Stone Russian Imperial Stout on tap.
There are still plenty of bottles from our Belgian Beer Festival weekend. We added more than 65 new bottles that were featured at the Belgian Beer Party at Pizza Port Carlsbad. Only a few have run out so there are lots of great bottles to sample. I expect to start running out of many of them over this weekend, so if you are interested please stop by in the next few days. I have typed up a golden colored list for all of the new bottles and a few were added to our regular blue bottle – all of those bottles are marked with a NEW! next to the price. As an added bonus, we are featuring 20% off any import bottle purchased to-go from the golden colored list of Belgian bottles.
And here is the Beer-laden Conference Week line up starting with Monday night:
Mon 4/14 – Ballast Point Specialty Beer night featuring Victory at Sea, Sextant Stout, Even Keel, Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Marlin, Three Sheets Barleywine (a blend of 5 month old and 5 year old 3 Sheets!) and of course Yellowtail. As a special bonus, we will be tapping a keg of the Symposium Ale double IPA from Green Flash, a keg of Russian River Blind Pig IPA (at 8 pm) and a keg of New Belgium’s Eric’s Ale which is a sour barrel aged peach beer. There will also be other treats on tap as we prepare for Pizza Port night on Tuesday. We will be open until midnight on Monday.
Tues 4/15 – Pizza Port and Lost Abbey Night – we will have at least 10 Pizza Port and Lost Abbey beers on tap inlcuding Pipe’s IPA (nitro), Sticky Stout, Poor Man’s IPA, Black Lie IPA, Guru Double IPA, Cuvee de Tomme, Serpent Stout, Old Viscosity and El Camino IPA. I am still working out the rest of the beers. And we will tap another new barrel aged beer from Firestone – Parabola which is a bourbon barrel aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout. We will be open until at least midnight on Tuesday.
Weds 4/16 – Artisinal Ales Night with Urthel, Meantime, Bosteels, St. Feuilllien and Koningshoeven – We will have Koningshoeven Quadrupel, Urthel Hop It, Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet and Meantime IPA all on tap as we feature the brewers from all 4 of these great breweries sometime around 9:30 pm. The beers will be on tap earlier in the evening – likely around 6 pm. There will be 3 liters and other beers available in the bottle – as of today, I am not sure which ones we will be getting in. And there will be a cask of Alpine’s Irish Red at 7 pm as well. Expect the Alpine O’Brien’s IPA to be on tap no later than Wednesday as well. Tonight’s Firestone beer will be Abacus, a barleywine style ale that is a blend of three different barrel aged beers. We will be open until 1 am on Wednesday.
Thurs 4/17 – Alpine Cask, Vintage Unibroue and Triple IPA Night – Yes, it really is 3 mega events rolled into one. We will tap four different casks from Alpine staggered at 5, 7 and 9 pm that will include Nelson IPA (at 7 pm), Duet IPA (at 7 pm), Pure Hoppiness (at 5 pm) and Exponential Hoppiness (at 9 pm). And from 7-9 we will be hosing the folks from Unibroue in Canada as we offer a 5 year vertical of the breweries anniversary ales going back to Edition 2004 and Trois Pistoles on tap. And starting at 6 pm we will tap 4 triple IPAs – Russian River Pliny the Younger (6 pm), Avery Maharaja (7 pm), Moylan’s Hopsickle (8 pm) and Alpine Exponential Hoppiness(9 pm)! And Thursday’s Firestone ale will be Saucerful of Secrets. Did I mention the Schneider Aventinus Eisbock on tap? Yes, Thursday will be crazy, but I can’t help that. Come soak up the beer and the madness! We will be open until 1 am on Thursday.
Fri 4/18 – Dogfish Head Release Party – Yep, Dogfish Head is back in Cali to stay this time and we host the official release party with brewer/owner Sam Calagione and his talented crew of off-centered brewers. We will have 90 Minute IPA, Midas Touch and Palo Santo Marron all on tap at 5 pm. We will have plenty of beer, so I expect the DFH products to last most of the night, but there can be no guarantees. We will also have several specialty kegs from Allagash including Black and Curieux. At 6 pm we will tap a CASK of Unfiltered Firestone Double Barrel Ale that is 100% oak fermented and there will be a keg of Firestone Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout. We will be open until 1 am on Friday. I know that we will have a ton of other amazing beer on tap on Friday – I have listed some of the possible ones below, we’ll just have to wait and see what beer goes on tap what day!
Sat 4/19 – Northern California Brewers Day – I have some great kegs from Nor Cal lined up for the week and we will feature them on Saturday including Marin White Knuckle, Lagunitas Gnarleywine, Moylan’s Moylander, 21st Amendment, Sierra Nevada Chico IPA, Lost Coast, Russian River, Bear Republic and Rubicon IPA. Beers will be on tap all day from Noon until they blow. We will be open until 1 am on Saturday.
Sun 4/20 – The conference will be over and folks will be headed home, so O’Brien’s will be back to normal – except for a better than average tap list still around!
I will endeavor to post updates ASAP when we tap new beers on the website all week.
There will also be many specialty beers on tap and in the bottle all throughout the week. We will have the new Chico IPA form Sierra Nevada, Green Flash Tripel, 5th Anniversary and Imperial IPA, more Blind Pig, more Symposium Ale, a keg of Cantillon Lou Pepe Framboise, cans from Maui Brewing, Rodenbach and Rodenbach Grand Cru, New Belgium La Folie and Le Fleur Misseur? and many more! I will update the webpage as I confirm tapping times. These lists are subject to change due to brewer’s whim, but I can tell you that the tap list will be amazing any day of the week. Also keep an eye on the food specials board as Lindsey rolls out many of our pub favorites all week including her epic Duvel Mac n’ Cheese. In addition to keeping the pub open late, we will have expanded kitchen hours as well – with late night Carne Asada Fries on special!
For those who are worried about crowds, I think that Thursday and Friday, April 17th and 18th between 6 pm and Midnight will be the busiest times. The conference does not start in earnest until Thursday morning, so I am not expecting a lot of out of town people on Monday or Tuesday, or before 9 pm on Wednesday just FYI. I also think Saturday will be reasonably normal as many people will start to go home on Saturday and there is a big awards banquet for the World Beer Cup that night.
In other pub business, our two Beer and Cheese tasting classes on the 23rd and 27th are completely SOLD OUT! We are considering hosting a third class on Sunday, May 3rd at O’Brien’s at 6 pm. If you are interested, please sign up on the waiting list or send me an email and let me know how many people would like to come. This is our “Best Of” class featuring 4 of our favorite pairings from our previous classes plus 3 new pairings that are fantastic. The cost for the class will be $40, but there is no need to pay now. In all, 8 beers and 8 cheeses will be featured. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in the third class.
Further off just so you can mark your calendars, the San Diego Real Ale Festival will be June 13th and 14th at Pizza Port Carlsbad. There will be a VIP session on Friday and tickets will likely be available in mid-May. The following weekend is the San Diego County Fair Craft Beer Festival that will feature some incredible beers. The festival will run from Noon to 8 pm on Saturday, June 21st and feature a Bluegrass music competition and Bratwurst Cookoff.
That should be more than enough to keep you all busy for while. We’ll see you soon for a great beer. Cheers, Tom
20 Taps – Tons of Hops
4646 Convoy Street