Born Nov. 6, 2009, San Diego Beer Week was a strapping babe, loud, wet and up all night. In 10 fluid days, there were 200-plus events, from a guided tasting of vintage Stone beers at Escondido’s Holiday Wine Cellar to a Frisbee golf tournament of brewers and beer fans at Morley Field, followed by a 19th hole blowout at Hamilton’s Tavern.
Now in its 10th year, the Week has become a sturdy kid, big and brash — but with many of the same features that marked its infancy. The party still gets started with Guild Fest, featuring more than 100 local beers, and concludes with an upscale food-and-beer pairing, this year’s Nov. 11 Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines.
Still, expect a few new wrinkles. Guild Fest’s VIP party, Nov. 3, begins with an 11:30 a.m. cruise on the bay, then 1:30 p.m. entry to the party at South Embarcadero Park. (Non-VIPers have to wait until 2 p.m.) For tickets, $90 for VIPs and $50 for others, go to sdbeer.com.
Another hoppy new development: the Capital of Craft IPA, a collaboration by eight local breweries. Available around the county during Beer Week, this is San Diego-style India pale ale with five varieties of hops — Centennial, Cascade, Comet, Idaho 7 and El Dorado — classic two-row pale malt and some wheat malt, plus some drops of agave syrup.
Brewed at Karl Strauss’s Rose Canyon headquarters, C of C also used the talents of brewers from Mother Earth, Second Chance, Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey, Societe, Pure Project, Thorn and Benchmark.