With San Diego hailed as the “Capital of Craft” and independent beer, there are a plethora of big and small award-winning breweries to satisfy any thirst. And, once you find that brewery that tickles your taste buds, sticking close for all of the exclusive releases and benefits made for special patrons is a tempting proposition.
Enter the beer club. Designed by select breweries, local clubs offer tantalizing perks to tempt craft beer lovers with a range of delights, including specialty and barrel-aged beers only released to members, events, goodies and even a road trip.
PACIFIC has rounded up a few clubs that are noteworthy as possible gift ideas for birthdays, anniversaries and the upcoming holiday season (or for treating yourself).
AleSmith Order of the Anvil
Doubling the lineup of exclusive releases for 2019, this AleSmith club offers 10 specialty Order of the Anvil barrel-aged beers (750ml), including a range of Speedway Stouts, wild ales and barleywine. Members also receive a custom Order of the Anvil Teku glass, exclusive growler fills, access to member-only events, and choice of a membership-exclusive bottle bag, hoodie, or work shirt.
Registration: Now open (until spots sold out) for January 2019 through December 31, 2019 memberships.
Cost: $375 + tax
9990 AleSmith Ct., Miramar, 858.549.9888, alesmith.com
Mikkeller Viking Club
With something for every taste and level of commitment, this club offers three tiers, including Viking, Berserker, and Jarl. Tier 1, Viking includes nine 500ml exclusive bottles of the barrel-aged, oak-fermented and fruit-sour varieties, $30 merchandise credit, access to exclusive Mikkeller events and releases, discounts at the tasting rooms, and crowler fills. Tier 2, Berserker, offers all the perks of Viking, plus four 750ml exclusive bottles, an exclusive beer locker, a Berserker glass, and access to blending events. Tier 3, Jarl, is for the Mikkeller devotee, and is by invitation only for current Viking members. Along with all the perks of Tier 1 and Tier 2, Jarl adds on an additional four 750ml bottles, and Jarl glassware, tickets to a bottle waxing event, and a trip to Mikkeller DTLA (downtown Los Angeles) from Mikkeller San Diego.
Registration: Opens April 1 and runs until sold out for one-year term.
Cost: $275 for Viking (Tier 1), $375 for Berserker (Tier 2), $500 for Jarl (Tier 3)
9366 Cabot Dr., Miramar, 858.381.3500, mikkellersd.com
Modern Times League of Partygoers and Elegant People
Coming into its fourth year, this club promises, “a glorious avalanche of new money magic, next-level reissues, life-changing VIP privileges, exclusive events, sexy merch, and much more are coming down the pipeline.” At $350 its perks include twelve exclusive 22oz and 375 ml bottles, priority access to all online sale beers, including a score of 2018 releases, a tulip and taster glass set, a member logo insulated tote, and an invite to the welcome party.
Registration: Now open and will run until it sells out. Membership term is January to December.
Cost: $350 + tax
Midway District: 3725 Greenwood St., 619.546.9694; North Park: 3000 Upas St., 619.269.5222; Encinitas: 470 S. Coast Hwy. 101, 760.452.4304; moderntimesbeer.com
Burning Beard Distinguished Delinquents Club
This fledgling club declares, “Come ye miscreants, minstrels, beer nerds, and barflies! Come ye troubadours, punks, thespians, and metal heads!” The inaugrual membership included stein pours, birthday beer, growler/crowler fills, exclusive bottle releases, and Burning Beard swag. June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019, so look out for the next.
Registration: The current term started on June 1 and runs through May 31, 2019. An initiation alert for the next year-long membership term will be anounced in spring 2019.
785 Vernon Way, El Cajon, 619.456.9185, burningbeardbrewing.com
The Lost Abbey Patron Sinners and Saints: You’ll have to get on the waiting list for this highly sought after club membership, which was once on hiatus but revived in 2017. If you do manage to get in, you’ll be rewarded with 13 750ml bottles, including Cable Car, Veritas, and a variety of specialty selections. In addition, you will have first rights to purchase the coveted Duck Duck Gooze, discounts for tasting room purchase, exclusive glassware, and admission to the membership welcome party at the start of the year.
Registration: To join the waiting list, go here.
Cost: $400 per year with opportunity to purchase additional bottles.
San Marcos: 155 Mata Way #104, 800.918.6816; Cardiff: 2007 San Elijo Ave., lostabbey.com
Are you part of a beer club that readers should know about? Let us know by dropping a note at email@example.com.