The Springboard West Music Festival takes flight from Jan. 10-12 in Ocean Beach and with it, a group of local brewers are debuting a specialty collaboration beer for thirsty fans. While the festival itself will run for three days, the Springboard Pale Ale, the limited edition, festival-only beer will be served on draft exclusively during the Band & Brew Crawl, which takes place on the final day.
With its notes of passionfruit and citrus, the beer recipe was specifically designed to fit in with the tropical theme of the festival, according to Heather Hudson, director of partnerships for Springboard West Music Festival. The impressive lineup of collaboration brewers includes Jim Millea from OB Brewery, Alex Pierson and Sebastian Widman from Amplified Ale Works, Troy Smith from Belching Beaver, Jason Stockberger from Hess, Steve Kozyk from Kilowatt, and Matt Palmer from Pizza Port OB.
Ahead of the main event, PACIFIC chatted with Hudson, along with Millea from OB Brewery to find out more about the crawl and collaboration beer set to please hop-loving palates in San Diego.
What exactly is the Band & Brew Crawl?
HEATHER HUDSON: The Band & Brew Crawl is an opportunity for the 50 participating artists of Springboard West to take what they've learned during the first two days of the conference and festival and put on the show of their careers for the community. Attendees purchase a ticket for $20 and get to see 50 of the hottest, emerging artists perform on five stages in Ocean Beach (OB Theatre, Winstons, Mother's, The Harp, Te Mana Cafe). Each ticket includes a full day of music discovery, entrance into all venues and a lanyard with a game card to mark off the bands they see perform then redeemed at the end for prizes. All proceeds benefit our three non-profit partners (Sustainable Artists, The Autism Tree Project Foundation and The Pioneer Foundation).
How were the particular breweries chosen for the collab?
HUDSON: We chose breweries who have a presence in Ocean Beach, who have a heart for helping support the local community and a passion for music.
How was the decision made to do a pale ale, versus say a blonde or IPA?
JIM MILLEA: We chose a pale ale so it would be lighter in body and more easy going than an IPA, but also with more hop flavor than a blonde — we do love our hops in San Diego! The Springboard Pale Ale should be smooth, crisp, drinkable and not too high in alcohol so you can have a couple. While it keeps it simple to call it a pale ale, this beer will actually be more of a "strong pale ale." According to the Brewer's Association guidelines, pale ales cap out at a maximum of 5.4% alcohol whereas the Springboard Pale Ale will come out a bit higher at 6.0%.
How was the recipe decided? Did all of the brewers have ideas and you did test batches?
MILLEA: It mostly came together through discussions with Belching Beaver, Pizza Port OB, Amplified Ale Works, and OB Brewery. We first decided on the pale ale style, talked about the malts and hops we wanted to use, and then put the recipe together with everyone having the chance to make some comments. We didn't do any test batches so we'll all be testing it out officially during the event! Another cool thing about the collaboration was that not only did we work on the recipe together, we also collaborated on ingredients. OB Brewery provided the malts, Pizza Port OB and Belching Beaver provided the hops, and Belching Beaver also provided the yeast. Pretty cool.
Where does the idea for the tropical theme of Springboard come from?
HUDSON: We choose a tropical theme for branding each year to give guests a true representation of San Diego. We want to celebrate our city by giving guests, artists and mentors who may have not been here before a real taste of what we have to offer; beach, surf, sand, music and craft beer. This tropical theme is communicated through our graphics, media and decor — even down to the beer in their glass.
Where did the passionfruit and citrus flavor come from — fruit or hops?
MILLEA: The passionfruit and citrus flavors both come from the hops. The hops used in the Springboard Pale Ale bring forth these fruity and citrusy characteristics.
For hophead fans out there, what hops are being used?
MILLEA: We used Galaxy, Nelson and El Dorado hops. The first addition of hops was just after we finished boiling, so the bitterness would be present but low while maximizing the fresh hop flavors and aromas. In addition, a couple weeks after brew day we also "dry hopped" the beer to get even more fresh flavor and aroma.
Provide readers a flavor profile for the Springboard Pale Ale.
MILLEA: The Springboard Pale Ale should be crisp and drinkable with a light malt sweetness balanced with a low level of bitterness and tropical fruit flavors including notes of passionfruit and citrus.
Band & Brew Crawl
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12
Cost: $20 (includes entrance into all five participating venues, a lanyard and game card. Limited-space tickets can be purchases on Eventbrite)
More info: springboardfest.com