The IPA Madness Finals Are Here!

The last two weeks of IPA Madness were definitely some tasty, beer-soaked Sundays. With 32 breweries competing to find out who has the best IPA in San Diego it was a lot of beer to get through. Luckily, we had some of the best tasters around (San Diegans) and they cast their vote and whittled down the field to the top 16.

Now, Home & Away will once again be hosting the IPA showdown and this Sunday, starting at noon, they will be getting through the Sweet Sixteen, the Elite Eight, the Final Four and then the final head to head match up to name the best IPA in San Diego!

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As a recap, on the first weekend of competition, Karl Strauss won over Novo Brazil, Rip Current won over Rough Draft, Modern Times won over Iron Fist, Coronado Brewing won over Fall Brewing, Pizza Port beat Duck Foot Brewery, Belching Beaver beat Mission Brewery, Mother Earth won over Groundswell and finally, Green Flash beat out 32 North.

In the second week of the first round we had some surprising upsets that just go to show, big names don’t always make a better beer… O’Sullivan won out over Alesmith, Societe beat Jamul Brewing Co, Legacy Brewing Co.’s Hellfire IPA pulled off a win against Ballast Point’s Sculpin and Acoustic Ales’s Willow Wolf IPA pulled off a surprising win over craft brewery darling, Alpine Brewing Co.’s Duet.  Then Stone beat St. Archer, New English pulled out a win against Butcher’s Brewing, Port Brewing won over Bitter Bros and the most exciting of the wins (in our opinion) was our own Relay IPA beating out Latitude 33.  Here are the final match ups…

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Can Thorn Street Brewery pull off a win against craft beer giant, Stone Brewing? We certainly think so, but of course we are biased so it will get thrown out to the masses to decide!

Now comes the final Sunday of exciting competition. Starting at noon and going until 4 pm, the last four rounds will be held. Each hour will feature head to head match ups and then move on to the next round, so make sure to get here at noon to begin the voting. Competing breweries were invited to set up tents with merch and more at H&A so expect to see lots of industry faces there. There will also be IPA and food specials, the best smoked pork tacos around, tons of games and of course, basketball.

Who will move on to the next rounds? Who will be the final brewery standing? Find out, this Sunday at IPA Madness!


Every Dog Has Its Beer

If you haven’t heard yet, hops can be deadly for your four-legged friend, so giving them a taste of your beer just isn’t a good idea. So far, the exact amount that’s dangerous to dogs is unknown, therefore the official recommendation is that you keep your beer to yourself and if you are a brewer, keep any spent hops far away from Fido.

But what do you do when your dog looks up at you with those dark, sweet eyes, wondering why you aren’t sharing your tasty beverage with him? Well, a few breweries have taken it upon themselves to solve this colossal problem and have been brewing non-alcoholic dog beers, safe to consume and made for canines to enjoy. Here are a few dog beers that you can crack open the next time you want to share a cold brew with your best friend.

1. Dog Beer

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This Brazilian beer is aptly named and is actually pretty popular south of the equator, It’s made with meat, water and malts. Sounds delicious!

2. Bowser Beer

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Bowser Brewing Company specializes in dog beers and have three different flavors for your pup’s enjoyments. Beefy Brown Ale, Cock-a-Doodle Brew and Porky Pup Porter which is packed with malt barley and glucosamine for joint health.

3. Dawg Grog

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Dawg Grog bills itself as not only a beer for dogs but also a delicious and nutritious dog beverage. It’s made from brewer’s wort (malted barley water) from a real brewery named Boneyard Brewery. What this one different is that it’s vegetarian using all vegetarian and or vegan ingredients. Not sure what the benefit of a vegetarian dog beer is but we are sure there is a market somewhere for it.

4. Snuffle Dog Beer

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This Belgian dog beer has canine fans all over the world, from Europe, to Hong Kong, to South Korea. This brew is made with human grade ingredients so just in case you felt the need to imbibe too, go for it. It comes in two flavors, beef and chicken and uses extracts rather than broth as its base.

There you have it! Four different dog beverages that say “I love you” to your four-legged bestie.


Another Banner Year for Craft Beer

The Brewer’s Association recently released the preliminary numbers on craft beer growth for 2015 and what a year it was! The craft beer business is booming and in the past year, craft brewers produced a whopping 24.5 million barrels, which was a 13% rise in volume from 2015.  What this means is that craft breweries now represent a 12% market share in the overall beer industry. The growth is impressive because a few short years ago in 2011, volume share was at 5.7%, so to have it double in 5 years is really quite impressive. Here are 5 more things you need to know about the Brewer’s Association report:

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 1. There are more breweries now than ever before in American history…

There are now more than 4,269 breweries in the U.S., which is a 15% growth over last year.  Independent, small breweries make up 99% of this number with the demographic further broken down into 2,397 microbreweries, 1,650 brewpubs and 178 regional craft brewery. What is a regional craft brewery? Well, it’s a brewery that produces between 15,000 and 6 million barrels annually. Sierra Nevada, Sam Adams and New Belgium fit into this category.

2. 620 breweries opened up in 2015 with only 68 that closed down…

This sort of fast growth can be scary in any market, but we think that craft beer is a bit different. From what we can tell over the last few years one an area is introduced to craft beer, beer drinkers take notice and many convert from drinking the big beer brands that they grew up with. Part of this has to do with the wide variety of different styles that craft breweries are producing. Sometimes the uninitiated think that craft brews are all hop monsters and stouts. But with more and more craft breweries making lagers, pilsners and other light and easy to drink beers, people are realizing that quality is worth paying for.

3. The fastest growing craft beer market is the South…

Building on our last point, the fastest growing markets for craft beer are all in Southern states. In fact, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and Texas each had a net increase of more than 20 breweries open this past year. This is exciting news and suggests that even in places where Budweiser is still the King of Beers, people are deciding that quality, craft beer is more suited to their palette.

 

4. Craft breweries added more than 6000 jobs to the market this year for 122,000 jobs provided in total…

Craft beer also helped to add more than 6000 jobs to the market this past year. Already employing more than 122,000 jobs at breweries and brewpubs, the craft beer sector is a legitimate employment opportunity for many people across the country.

5. Although the total U.S. beer market was down 0.2%, craft beer was up 13%…

This goes back to our second fact…even though beer is losing market share to liquor drinks and wine, the craft beer market was up 13%. That sort of growth means that although a smidge of fewer people are drinking beer overall, more and more of those beer drinkers are turning to craft beer to quench their thirst.

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So keep on keeping on and drink up!

 

 


IPA Madness: Who has the best IPA in San Diego?

San Diego has long been known for its sunny skies, expansive beaches and delicious fish tacos. However, in the last 20 years, it has also emerged as a craft beer Mecca with more than 120 breweries and counting. Not only that, but West Coast IPA, as a style, was pioneered and honed here in SoCal. OG breweries like Stone BrewingGreen Flash Brewing Company and Coronado Brewing Companypioneered the hop-heavy trend and now west coast IPAs are becoming world famous, thanks to San Diego craft breweries expanding into Europe. Although all IPAs are hoppy, west coast IPAs are known for being hop-forward while also light on the malt, with a hoppy nose and a blistering ABV.

Every San Diego brewery puts out their own IPA and most will tell you their’s is the best with many local breweries winning awards in all sorts of beer competitions both near and far. Most of these contests are judged by experts and as exciting as it is to hear that your favorite brewery won…it’s way more exciting to taste test the delicious craft beer and decide for yourself!

1496143_973073089449389_5241698617886522066_oGet ready for IPA Madness, kicking off this week at craft beer bar, Home & Away, in Old Town. This is the the ultimate IPA competition with 32 of the best breweries in San Diego going head to head to find out who has the best IPA in San Diego. This a bracket style competition where the people’s choice takes it all!

For the next three Sundays, from 1 pm to 6 pm, you will be able to head to H&A and cast your vote for what you think is the best IPA in town. This Sunday, 3/20, the first 16 breweries will compete and then next Sunday, 3/27, the last 16 breweries will go head to head. After that, the winners from the first round will go head to head on 4/3 with the finals happening that same day!

Here’s a look at the first round match-ups…

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Breweries were seeded based on their date of opening. So the oldest breweries were seeded 1st and the youngest were seeded 8th, with a few last minute entries paired up not based on this metric. Thorn Street Brewery isn’t competing until 3/27, but you better believe we will there tasting on 3/20 too!

This is a blind taste test too, so you are sure to see a lot of local brewers and staff coming in to vote!

Any way you slice it, there are going to be some exciting, beer-soaked, Sundays coming up. We would love to see North Park Breweries prevail and, of course, hope that our own Relay IPA makes a strong showing on the 27th.

The real winners of this contest are all the lucky judges (that’s you!) who get to taste the best IPAs in San Diego, under one roof, over the next three weekends!

Where: Home & Away, 2222 San Diego Ave, San Diego 92110

www.homeandawaysd.com

When: 3/20, 3/27 and 4/3 from 1-6 pm

Who: See list of competing breweries below…

LIST OF COMPETING BREWERIES:

Karl Strauss Brewing Companys
NOVO Brazil Brewing CO.
Rough Draft Brewing Co.
Rip Current Brewing
Iron Fist Brewing San Diego
Modern Times Beer
Coronado Brewing Company
Fall Brewing Company
Pizza Port Brewing Co.
Duck Foot Brewing Company
Belching Beaver North Park
Mission Brewery
Mother Earth Brew Co.
Groundswell Brewing Company
Green Flash Brewing Co.
32 North Brewing Co.
AleSmith Brewing Company
O’Sullivan Bros. Brewing Co.
Jamul Brewing Co.
Societe Brewing Company
Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Legacy Brewing Company
Alpine Beer Company
Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment
Stone Brewing
Saint Archer Brewing Company
Thorn St. Brewery
Latitude 33 Brewing Co.
New English Brewing
Butcher’s Brewing
Port Brewing Co / The Lost Abbey
Bitter Brothers Brewing Co.

 


An Afternoon Delight with Prepkitchen

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Little Italy is a historic, San Diego neighborhood famous for its delicious Italian cuisine, fine art galleries and boho-chic shops. There is a plethora of fabulous restaurants in this culinarily-focused neighborhood, and we were incredibly lucky to collaborate with Prepkitchen, one of the few non-Italian restaurants in the district and a stand-out spot for artisanal, farm-to-table cuisine .

Recently, we got together with the staff of Catania, another restaurant alongside Prepkitchen in the Whisknladle Hospitality Group, to brew a beer here at Thorn Street Brewery that would pair well with the fresh seafood dishes they are known for. The resulting brew was the Children of the Thorn, hoppy American Wheat ale with 6% ABV.

For the restaurant’s beer release, Chef Johanna Rockwell put together a delectable trio of fresh seafood bites to go with the crisp Wheat ale. The pairing was light and refreshing and consisted of ruby red ahi crudo, a Kumamoto oyster and a yellow tail ceviche.

74eba732-ed19-4934-99c0-1f1386c46718The ahi was epic in its freshness and clean flavor profile. The oyster was briny, yet mild in an oh-so-light foam to compliment it and the ceviche was bright and citrusy with lime and pineapple curing the yellow tail perfectly. The whole trio paired wonderfully with the beer. The citrus notes complemented the bites without overpowering them, and it also managed to go well with the wide range of flavors displayed in this tasting.

After the tantalizing trio, we decided to get a few more appetizers while we enjoyed the afternoon sun streaming through the open-air patio. Starting us off, the chili-lemon, head-on shrimp were impressive and savory…

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The ginger and soy chicken wings were crunchy and spicy delights…

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And a true surprise were their PK Tots and Tarragon Dip. These “tots” were a breaded and fried crisp, marriage of fontina cheese and polenta. The creamy inside juxtaposed nicely with the crunchy outside coating and when dipped in the accompanying tarragon sauce, it was both tasty and creative.

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Another happy surprise was that since we were gathered during Prepkitchen’s happy hour, which is held daily from 3 pm to 5 pm, all of these tapas were only $5.55! They also have a large list of craft beers, specialty cocktails and wines for $5.55, making this a must-stop spot on any happy hour tour.

The next time you are looking for an afternoon delight, stop by Prepkitchen for bite and a drink. You won’t be disappointed!


SD Beer Forum ~ Part 2: The Real Issue with “Selling Out”

There was so much to discuss after this past weekend’s San Diego Beer Forum that we had to split our blog post into two parts. Part one touched on issues like, what does it mean to be “craft?” and transparency in labels/ownership of breweries. This brings us to the question, why is transparency important? Does it really matter who owns your favorite brewery?

It matters because even in the world of Big Beer, owners, partners and parent companies can be a confusing labyrinth of who owns who. The big three beer companies are AB InBev (Budweiser), SABMiller and Molson Coors. Additionally, Molson Coors and SABMiller have a joint venture called MillerCoors which they created in 2007 to sell all of their American beer brands together to try and compete with AB InBev in the U.S. beer market.

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Right now, AB InBev is the bad-boy of big beer. One reason is because it’s being investigated by the DOJ for pressuring its distributors to sever ties with small beer companies and only distribute their brands of craft brews. Although this investigation focuses on illegal, anti-competition practices, that’s nothing compared to the legal incentive programs that AB InBev puts out to its distributors, encouraging exclusivity. According to the Wall Street Journal,

“Distributors whose sales volumes are 95% made up of AB InBev brands would be eligible to have the brewer cover as much as half of their contractual marketing support for those brands, which includes retail promotion and display costs.”

Furthermore, if their sales volume is 98% AB InBev brands, they are eligible for up to $1.5 million and the company estimates that most distributors who participate in the program will receive annual benefits of approximately $200,000. When AB InBev owns 17 American distributors, works with more than 500 U.S. distributors, and uses incentive programs to encourage these distributors to exclusively carry their brands, it’s a pretty grim outlook for small breweries trying to get their beer distributed on a larger level.

This isn’t the only Department of Justice investigation into AB InBev, however.  There is another DOJ investigation happening that is looking into the looming takeover of SABMiller by AB InBev. This investigation centers around anti-trust laws surrounding this merger between the two beer behemoths and is trying to distinguish what it means for the beer industry when this new super-company would account for 1/2 of all worldwide beer profits as well as control 1/3 of all beer sold, worldwide. In order for the merger to go through, SABMiller has to unload MillerCoors to Molson Coors, or else the deal would never get approved being that AB-InBev and MillerCoors are already the two biggest distributors in the U.S.

In fact, MillerCoors controls 26% of all beer U.S. beer sales. Alongside AB InBev’s 44% control, that’s 70% of the U.S. market, already controlled by two companies.

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Referring back to one of the topics that was brought up a few times at the SD Beer Forum, in the end, it’s not about whether Saint Archer or Ballast Point should be able to call their beer “craft” or not. It’s about the fact that big beer companies are consolidating and trying to gain market share. When small breweries sell to these giant companies who are in control of such a huge part of the market, sure their brands will be distributed on a much larger level, but at what cost to the community as a whole?

The real issue isn’t that big beer is buying up craft breweries, as irksome as that is being that Budweiser takes every opportunity to mock craft beer in their marketing efforts. It’s that big beer is engaging in anti-competitive practices (i.e. distribution incentive programs), buying up craft beer breweries  AND buying up distributors like crazy. When AB InBev and Molson Coors control almost all of the distributors across the country, AND have a full portfolio of craft beers to fill taps, it’s going to make it even harder for the smaller craft breweries to get their beer out there in bars and stores.

This is why transparency matters. Because although 10 Barrel Brewing, Saint Archer, Lagunitas, and the multitude of other craft breweries that were bought out by big beer companies, aren’t trying to kill independent craft beer themselves, their parent companies are. These breweries may still hand mash and put their blood, sweat and tears into their beer, but that stuff doesn’t matter. Once they sell out, it’s not about their beer anymore. It becomes about and what sort of business practices their parent companies engage in that hurt the craft beer industry as a whole and if that’s where we want our dollars to go when we drink a craft beer at the local watering hole.

Here’s the What’s on Draft? video of the recent #SDBeerForum is you missed. It’s definitely worth the watch. We can’t wait for the next one!

San Diego Beer Forum – Episode 1 from WhatsOnDraft on Vimeo.

By Anna Brigham

3/11/16


SD Beer Forum ~ Part 1: What is Craft?

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On a recent Sunday afternoon, San Diego beer brewers, workers and advocates crowded into the East Village’s Mission Brewery to talk about beer, buy-outs and what makes a craft beer, “craft.” This meeting was the brainchild of Monkey Paw brewer and beer-buyer, Cosimo Sorrentino.  He recently engaged in a long conversation with Greg Peters, a brewer/manager over at Saint Archer Brewery, about “selling out” and what it means to be “craft.” After their discussion, he decided to put together the very first San Diego Beer Forum to expand upon their conversation while including other members in the craft beer community. By giving industry insiders a chance to come together and talk about some of the issues they are facing, he hoped to create a dialog between breweries, distributors and the media. Well, his idea worked and although not as much ground was covered in this first meeting of the beer-minds, it was a great idea, and a well executed first move.

To prepare for the forum, Cosimo sent out a list of questions to breweries including these..

– What does the word “CRAFT” represent to you?

– What is “local”?

-What do you see as the biggest threat to the “soul of craft”?

Although his hope was to have the panel of seven discuss these and other very specific questions, most panelists took this time to talk about their own experience in the industry and touch on a few of the key questions that they felt were important to their business.

Sitting on the panel was Larry Monasakanian, a sales rep from Firestone Walker, Tom Kiely, head of distribution and sales here at Thorn Street Brewery, Alex Von Horne, owner/brewer from Intergalactic Brewing, Brian Beagle, a self-professed craft beer fanatic and host of SD Beer Talk Radio, Daniel Drennon from Beer Paper LA, Tom Keliinoi, brewer from Acoustic Ales and media rep for What’s on Draft? and Greg Peters, a brewer/manager at Saint Archer Brewery.

We could go through what everyone talked about in this post, as there were definitely some interesting comments and discussion, but if we want to get to the heart of the topic, we can look at what was discussed by Greg Peters from Saint Archer. It was really great of Peters to sit on the panel, knowing he was the sole representative of a craft brewery that “sold out” to Big Beer. In essence, that sale, along with Ballast Point’s billion dollar sale and the impending arrival of 10 Barrel Brewing, are what this whole talk became about, no matter what the original questions covered. How is craft beer defined when a craft brewery no longer fits the definition?

Craft beer has a definition which is laid out by the Brewer’s Association. Craft breweries must be small, independent and traditional. Small is never an issue since the brewery has to brew less than 6 million barrels a year and Sam Adams’ Boston Beer Company, one of the 10 biggest beer companies in the world, still is considered craft because they only brew 4.1 million barrels a year. Traditional is also not an issue as this pretty much only excludes hard ciders and the like. It all boils down to independence and that is where Saint Archer, Firestone Walker and Ballast Point fail. Since more than 25% of their breweries are now owned by an entity that is not itself a craft brewery, they don’t meet the guidelines. Some might say, who cares if they are craft or not?

What was apparent from this discussion was that the breweries that were bought out care. They care an immense amount. That designation of “craft” is not only important to their personal identities but it’s precisely why they were bought out by bigger corporations. Big Beer (AB InBev/MillerCoors/SABMiller) has been steadily losing marketshare to craft beer and they don’t like it at all. So they decided, a few years ago, to get in the craft beer game and started buying up craft breweries to the tune of millions of dollars. Craft brewers put their blood, sweat and tears into their beer and if someone comes along and offers them millions to continue what they love to do, one can hardly blame them for taking the life-changing payday. Here’s where things get dicy though. At Sunday’s forum, Peters mentioned that as a Saint Archer brewery, he didn’t get any payday from the buy-out, and someone else mentioned that Ballast Point’s brewers are all still working there happily even though they didn’t get anything from their billion dollar buy-out. They wanted to be patted on the back for not taking money and continuing to do what they do best.

Does anyone else think it’s pretty crazy that Ballast Point and Saint Archer didn’t share the wealth with the people who actually make the beer that sold for so much money? STAB reported that most investors in Saint Archer got around $700k from the buy-out and some as much as a few million. Although we don’t know how the Ballast Point billion trickled down, someone at the forum said that Ballast’s brewers didn’t get a dime. We hope this is not true. Although it was brought up at the forum to illustrate how that brewer didn’t “sell out,” it really just highlighted the discrepancy between the people who brew the beer and the people who own the brewery. Another topic for another day…

So let’s be clear, we are not saying that the hard working brewers from these companies are selling out (though maybe in the future brewers should negotiate bonuses in case buy-outs happen). The issue is with who the company sold to. During the forum, Greg Peters, and others who supported his position like Bobby Matthews from Alpine Beer Co, were taking things very personally when this has nothing to do with their own credibility. Peters listed and name-dropped tons of local, craft brewers to establish his street cred. At one point he looked out at the crowd and asked people to raise their hands if they have ever worked with him and many did. He also said that Saint Archer’s beer was “craft as fuck” and went into detail of how they hand-mash or hand-grind coriander.

But Peters’ credibility as a brewer was never in question. The brewers working at Ballast Point and Saint Archers are still really great brewers and still turning out the quality beers that got them bought out in the first place. Peters said “I can’t say I’m not a craft brewer,” as a means to saying that Saint Archer is still a craft brewery. But it’s not craft anymore, as defined by the Brewer’s Association, and that’s ok.

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In a recent blog post, we discussed 10 Barrel Brewing coming to San Diego. Our point was, there is nothing wrong with 10 Barrel Brewing’s beer, or their people, but when they sold to AB InBev, they hopped into bed with a company that actively is trying to kill the very community that 10 Barrel is trying to claim they are still a part of. You can’t have your million dollar cake and eat it too. That’s what’s happening with Saint Archer. They don’t want to let go of the craft label because they feel that they are still making a craft product. Yet many beer bars including Monkey Paw no longer serves Saint Archer or Ballast Point because they no longer fit their definition of craft beer.

What’s the solution? We could change the definition again, as it was done in 2010 to make sure that Sam Adams could still be considered a craft brewery when they grew beyond the 2 million barrel limit. Although that may happen, it would further water-down what being craft means, making it even harder for consumers to know what they are drinking. What does this label even matter?

It matters because of the need for transparency. Most of the people who spoke at the forum on Sunday agreed that there needs to be an increase in transparency in the craft beer community. That if it’s easy for consumers to know who owns the breweries, they can choose to spend their beer-dollars where they see fit. This is a great point and one that definitely should be explored further. Hopefully, in future forums, a discussion on how to create this transparency will happen.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this discussion, delving deeper into what transparency means within the beer community and what we think the real issue is with breweries “selling out.”

Interested in seeing the forum for yourself? Here you go…

San Diego Beer Forum – Episode 1 from WhatsOnDraft on Vimeo.

 

 


Best Bets for San Diego Burger Week

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Calling all burger lovers! If you are a burger aficionado, then this is your week here in San Diego. March 3rd-12th is San Diego City Beat’s Burger Week, where more than 50 restaurants and bars are offering up their best burgers for only $5! Additionally, restaurants offer a burger combo (add a beer or fries depending on the restaurant) for $10. With only a week to eat your way through San Diego’s best burgers, we thought we would make it simple for you and let you know our picks for the best places to go during San Diego Burger Week, 2016.

1. 57 Degrees 

This one makes our list because they are offering Wagyu beef for only $5! Is this even possible? We don’t know, but are willing to try it out to see what our tastebuds think. Not only that but they offer a local craft beer in their $10 combo!

1735 Hancock St., San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-5757
Neighborhood: Middletown

$5 Burger: The Middletown Burger – 8oz Wagyu Beef on a toasted brioche bun topped with blue cheese. Add Bacon for $2. Double the size for $5

$10 Combo: The Middletown Burger  + a Local Beer

2. The Brew Project

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The Brew Project opened up recently in Hillcrest and has already become a popular spot for great beer and delicious food. Their Bomb-Ass burger is on the list because it has beer-battered onion rings and the combo comes with a decent beer. For some reason, many of the restaurants on the list put out their $10 combo with a domestic, big beer like Coors or Miller Lite. When the burger by itself is $5 and it’s $10 for the combo, is a crappy beer really worth $5?

3683 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 795-7890
Neighborhood: Hillcrest

$5 Burger: The Brew Project Bomb-Ass Burger! 8 oz Seasoned 80/20 Ground Beef, Beer Battered Onion Ring, Blue Crumbles, B.P. BBQ Sauce, Roasted Tomatoes, Diced Red and Yellow Bell Peppers, served on a Toasted Onion Roll

$10 Combo: The Brew Project Bomb-Ass Burger + Legally Red IPA

3. Carnitas’ Snack Shack
This pork centric spot makes the list because their ground pork burger is delicious and unique and, unlike some of the other participating restaurants, they really do give you a good deal on the $10 combo with fries and a soda.

2632 University Ave. North Park, CA 92104
(619) 294-PORK (7675)
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: The Extortion Burger:Fresh ground pork shoulder – pork belly / smoked onion-mushroom confit / house made pimento cheese

$10 Combo: The Extortion Burger + Fries + a Soda

4. Crazee Burger

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Crazee Burger is crazy good. They have some of the most inventive burgers around and they also get points for offering two different burgers to choose from for the $5 deal.

3993 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 282-6044
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: Your choice between The Texas OR The Cajun Burger.
The Texas:  fresh ground angus burger topped with thick cut bacon, house made BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles
The Cajun Burger: fresh ground blackened angus burger topped with sauteed onions and a house made chipotle sauce, lettuce,  tomato,  onion and pickles.

$10 Combo: The Buffalo Burger: sweet and tender buffalo meat topped with a house made creamed horseradish sauce, lettuce,  tomato,  onion and pickles + an order of Crazee Fries that are tossed in parmesan cheese and our house blend of salt.

5. Red Wing Bar and Grill
Not only is the Red Wing the best San Diego bar for Karaoke seven nights a week, but they have quality food. Since their combo offer let’s people choose between any of their craft beers vs. swill, they get our vote!

4012 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 281-8700
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: Our “New Standard Burger” which is our basic delicious Angus Burger On a fresh Sadie Rose Bun.

$10 Combo:  Our New Standard Burger plus a 12 oz. Craft Beer.

6. Royale With Cheese (At Park & Rec)

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New kid on the block, Royale With Cheese, is located in the back of Park & Rec, a hip, new bar in University Heights. The buzz on their burgers has been superior, so we had to add them to the list. Plus they pair the combo with a highly respectable Alesmith .394, so make sure to put this spot on your list.

4612 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 795-9700
Neighborhood: University Heights

$5 Burger: Royale with Cheese –  Wagyu beef patty, Gruyere, bacon, caramelized onion, Dijon, special sauce and pickle.

$10 Combo: A Royale with Cheese plus a pint of Alesmith .394

7. The Rabbit Hole
This is one of our favorite watering holes on Adams ave. Their burger is amazing and they get extra points for adding fries AND a beer to the $10 combo rather than just one or the other.

3377 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 255-4653
Neighborhood: Normal Heights

$5 Burger: Ground Chuck Norris – beef chuck patty, choice of cheese and house louie dressing.

$10 Combo: Ground Chuck Norris, Fries & Domestic Draft

8. Small Bar
This bar is located right next to Royale with Cheese so you may want to plan on a two-for when you visit this hood. Small Bar is known for their craft beer, strong drinks and killer food. Their brunch burger comes with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar and for the $10 combo you can get any local beer with it!

4628 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 795-7998
Neighborhood: University Heights

$5 Burger: Brunch Burger

$10 Combo: Brunch Burger and a pint of local beer

9. The South Park Abbey 

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This one might be our favorite deals of the bunch! Not only is their burger tasty and juicy but for their $10 combo they are giving a basket of their seriously amazing, smoked-then-fried chicken wings. That’s one delicious deal!

1946 Fern St. San Diego, Ca. 92102
(619) 696-0096
Neighborhood: South Park

$5 Burger: Our Harris Ranch Beef Burger, ground in-house.

$10 Combo: The Burger and a Basket of SD’s Best Wings

10. Waypoint Public

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The burger that Waypoint is offering is truly something to experience, but when they pair it with their crispy fries and a side of IPA triple cheese sauce, it’s out of this world.

3794 30th St., San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 255-8778
Neighborhood: North Park

$5 Burger: 1/3 lb. Steak Burger, Mozzarella Cheese, Stout Caramelized Onions, Roasted Garlic Aioli, Lettuce, Bread & Cie Bun, WP Spicy Pickle Spear

$10 Combo: Our $5 burger special, Order of Hand Cut Kennebec Fries, and a side of IPA Triple Cheese Sauce

Sure you might not have time to make it all of these spots, but we hope we at least gave you a game plan to attack burger week. Drop by for a pint while in the hood, here at Thorn Street Brewery, and let us know which burgers were your favorites!


The Real MVPs at Thorn Street Brewery

Pups are some of the best drinking buddies around…you don’t have to buy them beer, they don’t get drunk and emotional, they are way cuter than most drinking companions and they literally have nothing better to do than hang with you and keep you company while you enjoy a cold beer. Dogs are not only allowed here at Thorn Street Brewery but are celebrated. We always have a dog bone and water bowl waiting for your best bud so if you are out for a walk and decide you need a pint (which is always a solid decision), stop by the brewery and say hello.

We thought we would put together some of the cutest pics of our furry friends here at TSB to share with y’all. We tried to give credit where we could, but if you see your pooch in here and we don’t have their name, just let us know. Or if you want your pup added to this post, send us their pic and we will add it!

12295337_790243604436872_6477640503667989083_nJune Bug

12033064_10153643826564670_183756003994130771_nMaisy

 

11390054_710986052362628_794873301066418722_n sophia2 Sophia

12509466_818507204943845_4322816146455074149_n Monkey

11807305_744745958986637_935962916647217606_o 12647342_822491991212033_6647526971116284642_n 12417648_822492011212031_3266668027071803874_n 11865323_744217879039445_4371900265571276162_o 11392850_711890428938857_1107355134686773763_n 12036821_10156054830880285_192083345327455881_n Clapton

11695754_737930229668210_5051186488939047104_n Tibet

12074614_10103727158486371_1234635169286686338_n Sprocket, our 2015 Cutest Dog Contest winner!

12004026_974718332621885_4712565023813932961_n Scully

12654658_822456514548914_5263609880627193446_n Teddy, our 2014 Cutest Dog Contest Winner

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Hankelton

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Kingston

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