Behind the Beer

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Although a lot of different things go into running a successful brewery, perhaps the most important aspect of any brewery is the brewing team. That’s because when you wipe away the rest of the craft beer culture, you are really left with one thing…the quality of beer. It doesn’t matter how cool the tasting room looks, who’s pouring the beer or what kind of glass is used to serve the beer. If the beer isn’t great, then it’s just another brewery in a packed-house industry that some say is already reaching its tipping point. That’s where talented brewers come in. They are the backbone of any good brewery and responsible for creating the delicious elixir that we have come to love so much.

Here at Thorn Street Brewery, we stand behind the quality and taste of our beers and have these three guys to thank for it. So without further ado, here are the brewers responsible for some of your favorite TSB beers…

Eric Shelley ~ Brewer

Eric Shelley is the newest member of the TSB brewing team but he is already making quite an impact. He began brewing in 2011 when he was working as the draft tech and beverage manager at Toronado, an iconic bar in San Diego’s craft beer scene. There he collaborated on many of their anniversary ales while perfecting his own beer recipes on his home brew system. Eric started competing in home brew competitions in 2013 and has amassed over 35 medals since then.

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Some of his more prestigious wins include three medals at the 2015 AFC Competition, where he won gold for a Krystal Weiss, silver for an imperial IPA, a gold for an IPA, and “Best in Show” for that IPA, called Bart’s Bully. He also won big at last year’s Master’s Championship of Amateur Brewing where he won a gold medal as well as the Grand Master Award for his imperial IPA. At the Pacific Brewer’s Cup last year, Eric pulled down another three gold medals for his session IPA, ESB and grapefruit blonde ale. Here at TSB, Eric has been instrumental in brewing both our award winning Alpenglow Imperial Red IPA and the newest beer on the block, OG HighPA Session IPA. Speaking of the recent World Beer Cup win, Eric says he feels “a great sense of accomplishment for the brew team at TSB.” He adds, “Cheers and thanks to everyone that has been supporting the TSB beers and brewery. We really appreciate it.” Look for more exciting beers to come from Eric including the recent double IPA that he brewed for Toronado’s anniversary.

Scott Smith ~ Head Brewer

Scott Smith came to us from Ballast Point’s Home Brew Mart, but his love affair with craft beer started back when he was in high school and working in a liquor store that had a “microbrew” section. He credits Sierra Nevada and Pete’s Wicked Ale for introducing him to the full-flavored style of beer that is his profession now, but he caught the home brew bug when he became friends with Lee Chase, brew master and owner of Automatic Brewing Co. and Blind Lady Ale House, who at the time had just started brewing at Stone Brewing. Lee show Scott the process of brewing and the still slightly-under-age home brewer was born.

While working at Home Brew Mart, Scott’s team was responsible for brewing Ballast’s first brett beer. Brett is a type of wild yeast known for creating bold and unruly flavors in brews. It was an all brett IPA with strong pineapple characteristics that was a delicious, funky success.

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Although Scott doesn’t have time to brew at home anymore, the recent EM-50 IPA was a home brew recipe of his and he was the head brewer responsible for the WBC winning Alpenglow. When asked how he felt about the recent WBC win, Scott had this to say…

“It feels great to have won a silver at WBC. There are a lot of breweries in San Diego now and a medal makes us stand out that much more and adds a legitimacy so people know we are the real deal and take what we do seriously. GABF is next, and I am working on a few things to enter. Other than that, I am just really excited about the new place and being able to have our beer in liquor stores when it is all up and running.”

Though Scott has been out of the brewery over the last month because of a foot surgery, Jeremiah May has stepped in to help out and has become a valued member of the brewing team. This is Jeremiah’s first stint brewing but has made a name for himself in San Diego as both a experienced boat captain and in the San Diego Disc Golf scene, where he was the Mature Champion twice at Morley Field.

Eric O’Connor ~ Brew Master/Co-Owner

Eric is one of the founding brewers here at TSB. He started the brewery with his childhood friend and fellow home brewer Dan Carrico (who now heads up the sales team) and Dennis O’Connor, the San Diego Taxman and owner of the home brew store that resided in the spot that is now the brewery. He started home brewing seriously six years ago when he brewed the first batch of Relay IPA. The recipe has had a “couple of tweaks and reboots since then, but it’s really not that different from the original recipe.”

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Under Eric’s leadership Thorn Street Brewery has built a name for itself as a quality craft brewery that is known for a wide variety of beer styles and innovative recipes. The brew team is never afraid to try something new, as evidenced by the recent OG HighPA Session IPA (4.20% ABV) that was released, using cannabis extracts to flavor the beer while adding no THC.

Next on the horizon for the brewing team will be moving the 7 barrel process to a much larger brewing system at the Barrio Logan production facility, which is still under construction. “Man I’m super excited to get the Barrio Logan brewery up and running,” says Eric, “it will be a huge task, but we will be able to make beer more consistently and on a bigger scale.  I’m also very excited about some sours and barrel aged beers that are coming out soon. Stay tuned for more, but we will have a Geuze style sour, as well as Bourbon barrel aged Alpenglow and Dark Tsar Imperial Stout coming out soon!”

The next time you are at the brewery make sure you raise a glass to the guys who created the beer you are about to drink. Cheers to the talented and dedicated TSB brewers!

 


Say Yes to Craft Beer in the Can

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Photo from Comacgroup.com

Whether or not beer is better in the bottle or the can is a hotly debated issue among craft beer enthusiasts. There is no denying craft beer in cans have been sweeping the industry since they broke out of their mass-produced, beer rut after being seen as lower-brow than bottles for years. More and more breweries are offering their beer in cans along with bottles, and many breweries are choosing to only can their beer. With so many “can” puns available to us, let’s take a look at some of the real reasons why getting it in the can is better…

First let’s break down the love affair that many breweries have with cans. There are two main reasons why canning might be chosen over bottling for a beer. Cans are better for the environment for a few different reasons. They are lighter and more compact to ship than bottles, allowing for more to go in each shipment and requiring less fuel to move them. This lowers transportation costs as well as their impact on the environment. Also, cans are recycled at a much higher rate than bottles. Cans contain on average 40% recycled material compared to the 27% average in bottles.

Another reason why many breweries have moved to canning is that cans are a superior package to bottles when it comes to the beer. Head Brewer here at Thorn Street Brewery, Scott Smith, explained it simply, “No air, no light, cans just better for the beer.” Light and oxygen are two factors that play a crucial role in the flavor of the beer, so if they are better controlled with canning, then that means less waste and less of a chance that someone’s going to get a skunked beer.

Consumers have been embracing the craft beer in a can trend because they are lighter, stronger, and can be taken places like beaches, pools, golf courses, and parks with less of an issue than bottles. But does the beer taste the same? Smith says, “Yes. It tastes exactly the same.” Blind taste tests that were done pretty much agreed, but when the tests were not blind, some drinkers tended to perceive a bottled beer tasting better than cans.

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Here at Thorn Street Brewery we will be canning our beer within the next year because it’s better for the beer, better for the brewery and in the end, better for you guys, the beer drinkers.

Tell us what you think about beer in cans vs. bottles? Do you have a preference? Do you taste a difference and are you ready to take it in the can?

Anna Brigham

5/25/16


Explore Northpark’s Spotlight on Thorn

We are gearing up for the North Park Festival of the Art and the good people over at Explore North Park wrote a recent blog post about TSB, Vokab Kompany and what our brewery all about. Read on to check out what blogger, Haley Grosenheider, had to say about Thorn Street Brewery…

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We look forward to taking part in the North Park Festival of the Arts each year and this year is no exception. This festival is the perfect example of how vibrant and fun our community is and this is one of the biggest events in our little hood. Not to mention, it’s free!

We are super excited for our very own, Rob Gallo, and Vokab Kompany to be performing Saturday night and don’t forget to stop by TSB, 3-5 pm, rocking your Vokab Kompany swag for $1 off all pints and a chance to hang with the band. Then walk on over to the main stage at 6:30 and watch them tear it up. Don’t forget to get your craft beer block tickets too, which has extended hours this year–all the way to 10 pm!

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ShoreRider Catches a Wave in La Jolla Shores

La Jolla just got a dose of summer…Opening this weekend is the newest beach hangout on the block, ShoreRider. This laid-back eatery sits just a couple of blocks from La Jolla Shores, features a sun-soaked patio and offers wine, craft beer and SoCal inspired beach fare. The vibe ShoreRider gives off is simple…everyday feels like summer.

 

Owners, Darren and Lauren Moore (from Confidential, Lincoln Room, Alibi Mission Gorge and La Puerta) and Dennis O’Connor (from Thorn Street Brewery and Home & Away) bring years of combined experience to this new project and recently answered some burning questions about their new spot.

 

What was the concept behind ShoreRider?

Dennis, Darren & Lauren – The concept behind ShoreRider is to be an extension of the beach – casual and fun, where life is simple. We want people to bring their friends & family and have a day at the beach with us. Great food, cold beers, delicious wine, sangria, poke, local fish, a top-notch burger, and the list goes on. We do have a strict dress code though…you have to wear a smile.

 

What would you say is the design aesthetic of ShoreRider?

Dennis – I like to say “Paul Pinterest” designs all of my spaces. Thorn St, H&A, and the Rider are all born from a great team and ongoing collaboration efforts. No plan except an open mind, hard work and thorough execution. I think you need to start with a blank canvas and chip away at details as you go. Let the space speak to you. 

 

What drew you to La Jolla Shores?

Darren & Lauren – La Jolla Shores is beautiful.  The soul of La Jolla resides here. The people are amazing and the opportunity to be right off of the beach is great. We look forward to helping spread the word about the gem that is The Shores. We hope ShoreRider can bring some character and a unique element to the community here.

 

Dennis – I was born and raised in San Diego and spent a lot of time at the Shores. My dad, Patrick O’Connor, is a retired lifeguard and that was his beach from ’69 – ’77. I learned how to surf at The Shores as a kid, and this beach and the cove go back as far as my memories do. When the opportunity presented itself, the only answer was “f*ck ya!”

 

What do you want ShoreRider to be known for?

Dennis, Darren & Lauren – The most fun place in La Jolla Shores! ShoreRider is a community sandbox. Locals gets to enjoy their home with everyday pricing and tourists get a taste of what San Diego is really all about. We also want to thank our all-star friends/crew who helped bring ShoreRider to life:

Brittany Lang – BL Design

Pat Wilkening – RedCraft Customs –

Jimi ‘The Welder’

Daniel, Jose, the Pastor, and cousins

Jonathan Frank

Joe Ebner

 

 

So get your summer started and stop by ShoreRider! It’s kid and dog friendly (as long as they don’t pee on the floor) and has a full menu of beach-eats including poke, nachos, wraps, guacamole, fresh salads, handcrafted burgers and more. Check out their expansive menu here.

 

With so much heart and soul going into ShoreRider, it’s “shore” to be a summer-loving good time!

 

 

Location:

2168 Avenida De La Playa (199 steps from the beach)

La Jolla, CA

 

Website:

http://www.shoreridersd.com/

 

Hours:

Open daily -11am – Close

 


Five Reasons Thorn St. is Winning

Coming off of our World Beer Cup Silver medal, we realized that we have a lot to be thankful for over here at Thorn Street Brewery. Not only do we have incredibly delicious beer, but we also have amazing people working for us here at the brewery that are big winners in their own lives. We thought we would take the time to celebrate the wins that our TSB family has had over the last couple of months…

1. Scott Kaplan – 2nd Place in the Ocean Beach Pier Surf Classic ~ Men’s Longboard Division

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Scott is both beer-tender and brewer at TSB. He was brewing full time when last year he decided to pursue his dream of shaping surfboards and started his company, Sik Shapes. His 2nd place win in the recent OB Pier Surf Classic was a perfect example of the hard work and dedication he puts into his craft. The funny thing about this win was that Scott never intended on entering this surf competition, or any for that matter. While in Mexico with TSB a few weeks back, his friend entered him in the contest and paid his entry fee. Scotty isn’t a competitive surfer by nature, instead he surfs to “clear (his) mind, to exercise and to enjoy nature.” This contest was his second one ever and the first one in the last 24 years and he’s looking to enter more surfing competitions in the future.

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Not only does Scott brew some of our specialty beers (most recently Leggo My Keggo a beer made with waffles and maple syrup) but you can also find him beer-tending at our tasting room Tuesdays and Friday nights, offering up his quick wit and dry sense of humor, free of charge, to TSB patrons.

2. Ryan Creamer – 2016 Mountain West Hockey League (MWHL) 2016 Cup Champions 

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Ryan is known for being a nice guy as much as he is for his piercing baby-blues, here at TSB. He beer-tends as well as lends us his skills as a behind-the-scenes Social Media/Marketing rockstar. His recent win was with the San Diego Skates, a Senior A minor hockey club based in the greater San Diego, CA metropolitan area. Although he has been playing Right Wing on this team for only two years, he has been playing hockey since he was in 3rd grade and has always had a dream of playing in the pros.

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The cool thing about Ryan’s big win is that he has helped the San Diego Skates win back-to-back championships in his two years of playing with them, which is a first for this league. You can find Ryan at TSB beer-tending Tuesdays and Fridays, so stop in and say congrats next time you are in!

3. Paulina Granados – Exchange LA MMA Fight Win – Atom Weight

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Paulina is the newest member of the TSB team but she has started out with a bang! She has been training in mixed martial arts for almost 8 years. She has trained in Muay Thai, Boxing, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Greco Roman wrestling and freestyle wrestling. She is currently under contract with Combate Americas which airs on NBC Universo and UFC FightPass. Paulina fights at atom weight and she recently fought at Exchange LA in Downtown LA and won her fight. Not only does she have a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but she has also spent time in Thailand to learn and compete in Muay Thai. Competing at this level is no joke and she spends 18-20 hours a week training, year-round. She currently trains at Alliance Training Center, which is considered one of the best gyms in the world, home to many UFC & Bellator fighters and many championship titles.

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Paulina is definitely the one you want backing you up in a street fight, should you ever find yourself in one. You can hang with Paulina at the brewery pouring beers on Thursdays and Sundays, just don’t give her any lip!

4. Brittany Lang – Silver in San Diego’s ADDY Awards for Graphic Design

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We are sure some of you have noticed our kick-ass graphic design over the last year or so and we have Brittany Lang to thank for this, a local, award-winning, graphic designer and marketing extraordinaire. Britt has always loved art and grew up in the newspaper industry in Arizona. She tells us she was “born with ink under (her) nails.” and she “dreams about design 24/7.” In March, Brittany’s talent was rewarded when she won a Silver medal at San Diego’s Addy Awards for her Women in Fashion and her work was displayed at the Westfield Mall.

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We are so proud of her successes and are lucky to have her on our team…look for more creative designs from Brittany as we continue to grow!

5. TSB Brewers – Silver Medal – World Beer Cup – Imperial Red Ale Category

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Winning a silver medal at one of the most prestigious beer competitions in the world is no small feat and we are so excited for our brewers that Alpenglow (December Nights in the competition) won silver in the Imperial Red Ale category. Head Brewer, Scott Smith brewed the winning batch of Alpenglow, along with TSB brewer Eric Shelley, who is well known throughout San Diego for his home brew medals. This superstar brewing team puts their heart and soul into each brew and can often be found tossing back a pint at the bar and chatting up customers at the end of their work day. When asked how the big win felt, Brewmaster/Co-owner, Eric O’Connor said…

“It feels great, I mean we are all local kids that grew up here, and have watched our neighborhood transform from a sleepy San Diego neighborhood into what appears to be a booming craft beer and slow food scene.  Of course it’s a great transformation but a lot of the businesses are owned by investment groups that own multiple businesses and out of town interests etc….so it’s cool for us as SD natives to bring this one home to the hood.  I mean just 4 years ago we were all home brewing and our brewery was our home brew store.  We really didn’t think we would be bringing home a medal like this, but I guess it just goes to show that it isn’t the size of your brew system that matters….”

We are pretty sure that drinking TSB beer is what caused all of these wins, so stop on by for a pint soon and uncover your inner-winner too.

Cheers!

Anna Brigham


Budweiser Hopes to Cash In on Patriotism

“America” will replace “Budweiser” on the company’s new cans.

We have gotten used to Budweiser’s antics over the last few years, from their anti-craft beer videos, to the DOJ investigation into how AB-InBev is trying to crush smaller craft breweries through distributors, to the flurry of craft beer buy-outs in a big “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” move.

Well, they have done it again…Budweiser just announced that it’s rebranding itself simply as “America” for the summer. That’s right, from late May to early November, people who want to order a Bud at a bar will have to ask for a bottle of America.

What makes this summer so special? Ricardo Marques, VP at Budweiser explained the move in a recent press release, “We are embarking on what should be the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen, with Copa America Centenario being held on U.S. soil for the first time, Team USA competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Budweiser has always strived to embody America in a bottle, and we’re honored to salute this great nation where our beer has been passionately brewed for the past 140 years.”

Allow us to…

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This is just another desperate move of Budweiser to improve their severely lagging beer sales.

As ridiculous and hilarious this move is, it also reeks of desperation. Budweiser’s revenue fell 10% this past year from 2014.  It’s no secret that they have been scrambling to stay relevant in the craft beer boom and this is just one more way to pander to Americans during a year where, although the Olympic games are big, the Presidential election is even bigger. It’s no small wonder why they are keeping the American label until the November elections, or which party will likely take the newly labeled “America” under their wings.

There is a lot of humor in this though and it can’t be overlooked. Twitter has been going wild with reactions from the announcement. Here’s one tweet that sums up the stupidity of the whole thing perfectly…

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Jokes aside, this whole marketing move is incredibly insulting to us as Americans. Not only are they not an American company anymore, but to position themselves as a beer that embodies what makes our nation great is weird and exactly the opposite of what that company actually stands for. Budweiser sold to InBev in 2008, a international company based in Belgium and Brazil, and from there has effectively made fun of, crapped on and actively tried to push out small business owners (craft breweries), which is what our nation was actually built on. Some people might argue that selling out and squashing the competition is pretty “American,” but it’s pushy and pandering for a multinational company to just decide that it’s going to name itself after our country to try and be seen as patriotic, American made, while aiming “to inspire drinkers to celebrate America and Budweiser’s shared values of freedom and authenticity.”

Who knows how this marketing strategy will pan out. Hopefully, people will see it for what it is, a desperate attempt to claw a stronghold in the American beer market again like Bud had in its glory days. We will leave you with a few other tweets that tickled our funny bone…

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Anna Brigham

5/13/16


San Diego Brewers Win Big at the World Beer Cup

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We have been saying that San Diego has the best beer in the world for some time now, and apparently judges from around the world think so too. This past weekend, the ceremony to announce winners of the World Beer Cup was held in Philadelphia. 1907 breweries from 55 different countries entered 6596 beers into competition hoping to win gold, silver or bronze. San Diego breweries continued to live up to the name of “Craft Beer Capital” by bringing home 14 medals, including 5 gold medals. Although there are a plethora of beer competitions now, ranging from regional to worldwide, the World Beer Cup stands with the Great American Beer Festival as one of the premier craft beer competitions.

With all of these world class entries, the competition is fierce.”It’s so competitive these days.” Mike Sardina, the San Diego Brewer’s Guild President told the Reader recently, “Fourteen medals is impressive.”

The West Coaster summed up the big winners for San Diego breweries nicely in a recent blog. Here was how they broke it down:

GOLD

  • Amplified Ale WorksWhammy Bar Wheat – Category 1 (American-Style Wheat Beer)
  • Breakwater – Rye Dawn – Category 13 (Rye Beer)
  • Fall – Bourbon Barrel Aged Jinx Remover – Category 26 (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer)
  • Monkey Paw – Ashes from the Grave – Category 31 (Smoke Beer)
  • Mike Hess – Claritas – Category 49 (German-Style Koelsch)

SILVER

  • Mother EarthEnd of Summer Beer – Category 70 (Extra Special Bitter)
  • AleSmith Wee Heavy – Category 78 (Scotch Ale)
  • Ballast Point Brewing & SpiritsPiper Down – Category 82 (Irish-Style Red Ale)
  • Thorn StreetDecember Nights (aka Alpenglow) – Category 92 (Imperial Red Ale)

BRONZE

  • Legacy – That Guava Beer – Category 3 (Fruit Beer)
  • Ballast Point Scripps RanchPumpkin Down – Category 6 (Pumpkin Beer)
  • Toolbox Bramble on Rose – Category 28 (Wood- and Barrel-Aged Sour Beer)
  • New English –  Brewers Special Brown Ale – Category 73 (English-Style Brown Ale)
  • NOVO BrazilCorvo Negro – Category 79 (British-Style Imperial Stout)

 

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We want to give a special shout out to our North Park neighbors (and South) for their big wins, including Fall, Mike Hess and Monkey Paw.

So what makes San Diego beer so amazing? It does help to have some big hitters in our midst, including Ballast Point and Alesmith both of which have been around for decades. They were brewing craft beer before craft beer was cool and their beers taste like it. In fact, Ballast Point gets the honor of the only San Diego brewery that won more than one medal.  San Diego breweries also know international beer, as evidenced by Mike Hess Brewing winning gold with their Claritas Kolsch against 265 German breweries. Sure, the U.S. entered more beers than any other country, but only 25% of the judges came from the U.S., so the international judges appreciate SD beer too, it seems.

But it’s especially exciting when smaller places, like Amplified Ale Works, Fall, Monkey Paw and TSB, get their beers recognized on this world stage. We love our beers and think they taste great, but it’s hard to not be biased. A win at the World Beer Cup is validation for the blood, sweat and tears that our brewers put into each and every beer brewed.

These World Beer Cup wins highlight how San Diego breweries are on the cutting edge of craft beer. The United States craft beer industry is second to none and after being the butt of international beer jokes for so many years (we like to call them the Budweiser Years), this success is oh-so-sweet.

Thorn Street Brewery entered our Winter Warmer (at the time called December Nights) Alpenglow Imperial Red Ale and feel incredibly honored that it won a silver medal. Alpenglow is big, bold, malty and hopped with Citra, Mosaic and Cascade hops. It’s definitely a fan favorite in the tasting room and won’t be around much longer since it’s a seasonal winter brew, so get it while you can!

Anna Brigham

5/11/16

 


Thorn Invades Valle de Guadalupe

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Recently, TSB staff took a south-bound trip to Baja, Mexico, to relax in the sun and take advantage of one of the coolest things about living in San Diego: the short distance to an entirely new country and culture. We stayed in a cliff-side house in La Mision, which is just a few minutes south of Rosarito, the town probably best known for 18 year olds celebrating spring break in all of it’s booze-soaked glory. Baja is possibly the best weekend getaway for San Diegans. It’s super close and inexpensive with beautiful ocean views and insanely delicious eats.

We definitely drank a lot of beer while we were in Mexico. Mostly Pacificos and Modelos, often with a splash of Clamato thrown in for good measure. However, one of the days we rented a van and driver and took a tour of one of the true gems of Baja; Valle de Guadalupe.

Valle De Guadalupe has become the wine and gastronomic center of Baja, producing world-class wines as well as cutting edge cuisine, from some of the best chefs anywhere.

L.A. Cetto (the one with the long driveway)

L.A. Cetto is the biggest winery in the Valle and easily one of the most picturesque. They are the biggest producing winery in the region and even make their own olive oil which is exquisite and sells for only $11 (USD) a bottle. We went on a tour of the expansive facility and tasted four different wines, all with a knowledgeable guide.

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Encuentro Guadalupe (the one with the pods)

Although this place isn’t a winery, Encuentro Guadalupe one of the coolest spots in Valle De Guadalupe. Not only do they have gorgeous views of the valley, but their hotel “rooms” are actually pods that sit up on the cliffs overlooking the valley and are specifically designed so that, although each pod isn’t that far from the next, there is a feeling of seclusion and privacy that would make any romantic getaway worth the $300 and change for the room.

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Here, we decided to taste craft beer because it’s rare for us to find so many different craft beers from Mexico all in one place. We bought 12 different bottles and poured out some in everyone’s glass. Then one of our brewers talked us through the different styles and we compared and contrasted with out own brews.

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Monte Xanic (the one that was closing for the day)

Although we didn’t get to taste at Monte Xanic because they were about to shut down for the day, we certainly enjoyed the view. We were here in wine country on a Monday and while there were plenty of wineries open during the day, as the afternoon wore on many of the spots closed at 5 pm and 7 pm at the latest.

 

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This is the look that you get when 12 people traipse into a winery 5 minutes before they close…

Baron Balch’e (the one that’s underground)

Although we aren’t picking favorites, Baron Balch’e was really amazing in that they have built all of their wine cellars below-ground. For the tour they take you down below the depths of the restaurant and gift shop into the bowels of the winery. The air cools immediately when you reach the level below and you feel transported into another realm. A realm where a guide is constantly pouring wine for you as you are led through the winery. The wine was delicious at all of the stops but our favorite wine was hands down the 2010 Baron Balch’e Zinfendel that they poured us. So smooth and velvety, and a steal at $26 a bottle for something that would easily cost you $100+ north of the border.

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All in all, the trip was a fantastic time and a great reminder of the travel gem that Baja has become. Although beer is our first love, the wine that we tasted in Valle de Guadalupe was delicious and we will definitely be making the trip back soon and tour more of the wineries. With more than 30 wineries to make it to, we better get started!

Anna Brigham

5/6/16

 


Craft Beer Gave Me Moobs!

“I’m a 42 year old man and my tits are out of control!” Glenn, from Wilmington, CA, recently stated in an interview. “I am speaking out today to warn all craft beer drinkers of this debilitating issue. It started out with my children making fun of my jiggly pecs, but I just thought it was kids being kids. I did wonder who taught my 6 year old the term ‘B*tch Tits,’ but he is very advanced for his age. It all came crashing down, though, when my wife wanted to motor boat me as a part of our foreplay. I hate my tits…”

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Little did Glenn know, this is a growing phenomenon among avid craft beer drinkers and is compounded by the already well-known, “Brewers Droop.”  Brewer’s Droop is the common side effect of alcohol over-consumption, better known as “Whiskey Dick,” which Glenn vehemently denies ever happening to him.

How does craft beer give dudes man-boobs? It all starts with the the high amounts of phytoestrogen, estrogen for plants, found in hops. Craft beer, particularly the ever popular IPA, has lots and lots of hops. The hoppier the beer, the more phytoestrogen it contains. This hormone is responsible for breast tissue growth as well as lactation. That means tough decisions for male craft beer drinkers everywhere. Do you keep drinking the oh-so-delicious elixir at the risk of growing a couple of cup sizes in your breast area?

Glenn has decided to embrace the change. He loves his IPA so much that he recently made a pilgrimage to Nordstrom (not the Rack…the nice one) and bought three over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders, or as he has taken to calling them, Manssieres.

Upon further research, our investigators discovered that not only does craft beer contain phytoestrogen but coffee and Marijuana also contains levels of this hormone. Levels! We can’t in good conscience recommend that you cut out craft beer, coffee AND marijuana, so we advise craft beer drinking men to embrace the change, just like Glenn has.

Next week look for part two of this series, “Women Should Drink More Craft Beer….Like, All The Time.”

– Ralph