Mason Ale’s cross-country collaboration

The beer, called the Sun Session Saison, is a quaffable 3.4 percent table ale with lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. It officially launches June 22, so hightail it up Interstate 5 to get the first tastes on tap.

Cody Reif, R&D brewer for New Belgium, will be at Mason Ale Works from June 22-24, brewing an all new collaboration, purportedly a sour IPA according to inside reports.

DiscoverSD got the scoop from Salazar, Reif and Grant Tondro (Mason co-owner) on this long awaited meeting of the minds:

Q: What’s the history between Mason Ale Works and Lauren Salazar, and how did the collaboration happen?

Tondro: We were hoping to have Lauren brew a beer for Urge’s fifth anniversary last year but the timing just didn’t work out. However, she had a spot open in her schedule this year and we were able to head to Colorado to get the brew done with Lauren and New Belgium’s R&D brewer, Cody Reif.

Salazar: New Belgium has been great friends with MAW before they were MAW. Urge (a gastropub in Rancho Bernardo) has long been an uber favorite spot for our folks that live in the area. I’ve never been to San Diego without visiting. Grant Tondro is such an awesome person, I was so excited to hear he was opening a brewery. We actually talked about collaborating over five years ago (maybe longer?) at the second annual Sour Beer Fest at Stone. How fun that after all those years, we did what we set out to do post-festival after many, many, many beers - only brewers do that! Mike was a bonus, of course, who doesn’t know and hasn’t always had (Mason brewer) Mike Rodriguez on their collaboration bucket list!

Q: How did you decide what type of beer to make?

Tondro: Collaboration beers can be a challenge. The really good ones are greater than the sum of their parts where each brewer brings something from their own experience to the table.

Reif: When I’m creating beers I try and put myself in the mindset of the people drinking the beer. In this case, I picture a hot day in Southern California, and I would want a highly sessionable, refreshing beer but still with some good flavor.

Mason Ale Works

Address: 2002 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside

Phone: (760) 429-7424


Q: Did you use whole fruits?

Tondro: We used a lot of peel. Cody had actually purchased an “as seen on TV” type fruit peeler and went to work. You can see the picture on New Belgium’s Instagram account.

Reif: We wanted to avoid the juice, not because it wouldn’t be delicious, but only because the acidity from the citrus fruit could dominate.

Q: What can fans expect when they taste it?

Tondro: It should be light and super refreshing with more than just a hint of citrus. A perfect beachside summer beer.

Reif: Super refreshing, light but great taste and aroma. Hopefully a perfect hot afternoon beer that can be enjoyed a few at a time.

Salazar: Should taste like a vacation in a glass - enjoy SD Cody!

Q: Tell me more about this upcoming Sour IPA?

Tondro: We’re still ironing out a couple of details. You’ll just have to wait and see!

Head up to Mason Ale Works to try the Summer Session Saison, and stay tuned for more news on their sour IPA collaboration.


With 18 years in the restaurant and beverage industry and more than 850 reviews under her belt, Laurie Delk is a one-stop guide to all things craft beer, wine and spirits. You can follow Delk on Twitter @100beers30days or Instagram @sandiegobeer. Send ideas for featured drinks to

Source: DiscoverSD