Monday, December 7, 2015

Ocean Beach Brewery?!?

Ocean Beach Brewery, which stood half-built and looked abandoned for years, is opening by the end of the year.  A Christmas miracle.  San Diego Eater is reporting "that Ocean Beach Brewery could possibly see the light of day by the end of 2015."  The location is about a half block from the beach and across Newport Avenue from Newport Pizza & Alehouse, one of Ocean Beach's original craft beer locations.

Eater provides the following information on Ocean Beach Brewery's brewer:
Now attached to helm the five barrel brewhouse is Jim Millea, an alum of UC San Diego Extension's Brewing Certificate program and a 13-year homebrew vet who interned at Ballast Point Brewing and Benchmark Brewing before being hired on to help launch Scripps Ranch nano, O'Sullivan Bros. Brewing Company. The OB resident, who also works as a civil engineer, will be brewing up his recipes for OB Brewery's lineup, including a hoppy red, Belgian wit, cream ale, stout and an IPA. Expect a menu of pub food, from sausages to burgers and salads.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

New Christmas Beers

There are some new Christmas beers on the way.  AleSmith has renamed what I thought was its holiday beer, Winter YuleSmith, Double Red IPA.  It is a hoppy, imperial red ale.  In news to anyone who has ever purchased Winter YuleSmith as a Christmas seasonal beer, on December 11, Alesmith is releasing what it is calling its "first Christmas beer ever."  I guess the beer that I have been drinking every year for last twelve years or so that came in a bottle with green and red lettering surrounded by a holly design was not a Christmas beer.  The new, official holiday beer is AleSmith Noel.  It is a "Belgian-style holiday ale brewed with wintry spices."  Oh, those tangy wintry spices are my favorite.  While I wait for next week's Noel release, I'll enjoy the beer formerly called Winter YuleSmith, as it is one of the best imperial red ales ever.

Green Flash has opted for an imperial IPA to celebrate the holidays.  I don't expect any mystery from an imperial IPA, especially one from Green Flash.  Green Flash has a poem on its Facebook page that describes Holly Jolly as a "mistake," which makes me think its new holiday beer is a remake of 2012's amazing, actual mistake, Jolly Folly.  If I am right, Holly Jolly is a must try beer. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sad News

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is closing, which is bad news for beer drinkers.  The transient brewer of Jack D'Or and other fine beers is calling it quits in a response to "pay-to-play" tactics that have muscled Pretty Things' beers out of bars.  Pretty Things' owners, Dann and Martha Parquett, have been vocal critics of brewers and distributors buying tap space.  It is a shame that seedy practices pushed a craft brewery to quit.  I have not had a Pretty Things beer in a few years, which is my loss.  According to the article linked to above, bottles of Pretty Things should be available through January.

Like Dann Parquett, Modern Times Beer's founder, Jacob McKean, and Stone Brewing's Greg Koch have not been shy to point out pay-to-play, where brewers pay bars to get their beers on tap, usually at the expense of smaller craft brewers.  The recent wave of craft brewery acquisitions by big brewers and a shrinking number of distributors can only make this situation worse.  It is hard for even an aware beer drinker to know the darker side of the restaurant industry.  When ordering beer out, I try to select the best local beers available.  It is unfortunate that the best tasting beers are not always the beers from which you get to choose.