The beer landscape is always changing in San Diego. Here’s a look at what’s new on the brew scene (and a couple of events) in December.
Do me a flavor: New beers to cheers
Fresh from being named “best midsize brewing company” in the country at this year’s Great American Beer Festival (where it showcased four medal-winning beers), Karl Strauss has released the seventh annual beer in its 12 Days of Christmas series, which began in 2010 and will be wrapped with a bow in 2021. A chocolatey imperial smoked porter brewed with smoked malts to evoke beach-bonfire memories, Seven Sharks-A-Circling references the winter migration of leopard sharks vacaying in the warm waters off San Diego’s coast.
Karl Strauss Brewing Co., multiple locations, karlstrauss.com
Bottled as part of Societe Brewing’s holiday food-drive, this wine barrel-aged ale was matured on New England cranberries before being blended into its eventual balanced, tart and tannic end-form. This exquisite rare beer is currently on sale at the company’s tasting room for ... $50! But there’s a way around this cost-prohibitive price-tag: Donate 50 pounds of food between now and Dec. 31 for the chance to purchase a bottle of this sour ale for five bucks.
Societe Brewing Co., 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., Santee, societebrewing.com
December beer events
Dec. 4 | SoNo Fest and Chili Cook-off
This test of culinary skill and intestinal fortitude offers the opportunity to wash down one- through five-alarm chili goodness with quality craft beers from some of the county’s finest breweries. Read more here.
11 a.m., Thorn and 32nd streets, North and South Park, sonofestchilicookoff.com
Dec. 31 | Stone NYE Celebration
While champagne may be the quaff of choice for most New Year’s Eve events, this beer-, food- and music-fueled evening of revelry shows that all’s well that ends in ale ... including a year.
8 p.m., Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station, 2816 Historic Decatur Road, Point Loma, stonebrewing.com
Coming to a head: What’s new in brew or coming soon
Burgeon Beer Co.
The head brewer at Vista’s Backstreet Brewery, Anthony Tallman (a veteran who’s also logged time at Stone Brewing and Rough Draft Brewing), is working with longtime friends on his very own brewery. Scheduled to open in Carlsbad, south of McClellan Airport, Tallman’s passion project will offer a wide-ranging array of suds styles ranging from India pale ales and lagers (IPAs and IPLs, as they are more commonly referred to) to lesser-seen Belgian-style beers such as singels and grisettes.
6350 Yarrow Drive, Suite C, Carlsbad, burgeonbeer.com
Depot Springs Beer Co.
Brewing at this future La Mesa brewery will be handled by a learned fermentationist whose CV includes vaunted local op The Lost Abbey. But even without beer, this 20,000-square-foot work in progress is cause for great anticipation, as it will house a restaurant, distillery, coffee shop, game room, outdoor courtyard and live music venue. With so much to offer, beer almost seems like a (much welcomed) bonus.
9176 Fletcher Parkway, La Mesa, depotsprings.com/beer