Real Ale Festival This Weekend
More Excitement from Tom Nickel of O’Briens Pub in San Diego, as well as the co-promoter of Pizza Port Real Ale Fest in Carlsbad, CA.
There is always a lot going on in June on the beer calendar. This weekend is both the San Diego Real Ale at Pizza Port Carlsbad on Friday and Saturday and the San Diego County Fair homebrew competition on Sunday. The San Diego International Beer Festival at the County Fair is at the end of the month on the 26th and 27th. So with lots going on (much of which I am helping to organize) I am going to try and keep this short and sweet this week (we’ll see how that works out).
Real Ale Fest
The VIP session for this weekend’s San Diego Real Ale Festival is almost sold out. Just over 30 tickets remain and you only have today to buy them as sales will be cut off Wednesday night. We are expecting 51 beers for the festival from 49 different breweries and 7 cask beers for the VIP session including Port Older Viscosity, Green Flash Grand Mantis, Ballast Point Ginger Big Eye, Three Floyds Robert the Bruce and Sierra Nevada Southern Hemisphere Harvest. VIP Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at www.pizzaport.com (you can also find directions to the fest on the website).
Tickets for the normal festival hours of 4 pm to 11 pm Friday and 11 am to 11 pm on Saturday will be on sale at the door for $25 – there are no advance ticket sales for the general festival. Admission includes a festival glass and 8 taster tickets each good for a four ounce pour. Additional tastes are just $1. This is truly one of the best cask ale festivals in the country – and one of the largest collections of cask ale outside of the UK. Everything from Milds and Bitters to IPAs, Double IPAs and even Imperial Stouts will be served up cask conditioned for your drinking pleasure. There are plenty of nearby motels and campgrounds and the Coaster runs until 9 pm on Friday and 6:30 pm on Saturday. Did you know that you can bring your own beer on the Coaster? Makes it an even better way to visit Pizza Port…
At the Pub
Back at the pub, on Thursday, June 11th we will host a pre-party for the fest at the pub – Casks of DOOM! On cask we will have AleSmith 2008 Decadence English Barleywine, Alpine Exponential Hoppiness and Port 3rd Anniversary double IPA – all over 10.5% alcohol. Due to the very high alcohol of all of these casks and their rarity, we will be limiting pours to 10 oz so that everyone can enjoy them safely and comfortably. We will also have several specialty beers from Sierra Nevada including Brown Saison and the collaboration brew Empire Strikes Black Imperial Stout – brewed with myself, Tomme Arthur and Jeff Bagby among others.
Look for specialty Sierra beers on tap all weekend at the pub including the fantastic 2009 Bigfoot and our house blend Big P – half Pale Ale, half Bigfoot. We also have the Ommegang Grand Cru Rouge Flemish Ale and Ballast Point Sour Wench Blackberry Ale on tap and a very rare keg of J.W. Lees Harvest Ale, which is a massive English Barleywine (my favorite description is that it is like drinking a plate of buttermilk pancakes with syrup – along with 12% alcohol!).
On the Kitchen front, Lindsey will have her great Sierra Nevada Beer Chili for Thursday along with a Southern Hemisphere Harvest White Cheddar Beer Cheese for both burgers and Sausage plates. She also has lots of Beer Cheese flavors packed to-go including Guinness and Cheddar, Guinness Chipotle and Cheddar, Affligem 5 Cheese Italian Blend and for the first time our regular Russian River IPA White Cheddar beer cheese. The stuff is great with crackers, on a sandwich or bagel and is absolutely divine on a baked potato. Other great food specials to keep an eye out for – Focaccia Patty Melt, the insanely good Roast Beef Cobb sandwich and Beer Brats, which were so popular last week, I didn’t even get to try one.
Working backwards here, Wednesday the 10th will be Saison night at the pub with Ballast Point’s Brother Levonian Saison and Sierra Nevada Brown Saison both on tap. The Brother Levonian is a traditional saison inspired by a homebrew recipe of the late Dave Levonian. The Sierra Brown Saison is a light brown in color with a dry spicy finish that reminds me of some of the Fantome saisons. Look for a discount merchandise box at the pub starting Wednesday night as well. We have a lot of shirts, both mens and womens, that we only have one left of and we are heavily discounting them to make room for our next order.
Looking ahead to next week, we will have the Confederations Cup on TV with the USA playing Italy live at 11:30 am on Monday the 15th. Most of the tournament will be shown on the ESPN networks – I will post a new soccer email next week. We might have some cask beer left from the fest at the pub early in the week – if so, I will post it up on the website. I won’t know until at least Sunday night though, so check in on Monday. No matter what, we’ll tap a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA cask on Thursday the 18th at 5 pm with a draft keg for when the cask blows. Friday the 19th look for an Allagash night with some great specialty beer including Hugh Malone (Belgo-IPA), Victor (red grapes with beer) and Victoria (white grapes with beer). Further ahead, Thursday the 25th we will tap a cask of Stone Ruination IPA.
Just a reminder about some upcoming days that we will be CLOSED – Sunday, June 21st for Father’s Day and Saturday, July 4th for Independence Day. We’ll be open normal hours all other days until Labor Day in September.
Beer and Cheese
Our Malheur Beer and Cheese Pairing on Sunday, July 19th is more than half sold out. If you would like to go, I would suggest saving your place in the next 10 days. We may start a waiting list for a possible second class – not sure yet though. Cost is $40 and will include 5 different Malheur beers: 6, 10, 12, Brut and Dark Brut expertly paired with 7 different cheeses. Sign up at the pub, or contact Taste (find them on our Friends page on the website) to use a credit card.
That is your good beer update for now. We’ll see you soon for a great cask conditioned beer. Cheers, Tom
20 Taps – Tons of Hops
4646 Convoy Street