Comic-Con 2016 wouldn't be complete in San Diego without a bit of craft beer influence. After all, holding the biggest comic festival in the country in our brewing mecca is bound to result in a few sudsy events.
Here is the can't miss lineup of (mostly) Comic-Con related beer happenings this week:
Hop-Con 4.0: W00t Stout fans rejoice, your favorite geeky beer is back! Get your tickets now for the annually sold out Hop-Con featuring the Stone Farking Wheaton W00t Stout at Stone Brewing Liberty Station. The event is hosted by collaborators Wil Wheaton (of "Stand By Me" and "Star Trek: The Next Generation"), Fark.com creator Drew Curtis and Stone CEO and founder Greg Koch .
Tickets to the event include a commemorative glass, 15 3-ounce beer samples, complimentary food and access to the Hop-Cade. There will be 80 beers on tap at five bars, with all four vintages of W00t Stout and six cask variations of the 2016 installation. There will also be three beers brewed exclusively for Hop-Con with Liberty Station Brewing Manager Kris Ketcham. Those wanting a piece of memorabilia can purchase a signed lithograph of the bottle artwork designed by artist Amanda Conner, with 100 percent of proceeds going to Hero Initiative, a charity organization that provides financial assistance to comic book creators in need.
This year's W00t Stout is an exact clone of the wildly popular 2013 release, and will be available in 22-ounce bottles and on draft in select bars, shops and restaurants nationwide. The 13 percent heavy-hitting imperial stout is brewed with wheat, rye and pecans, and partially aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels. Take it from me, this is not a beer you want to miss out on.
For more information and tickets, visit stonebrewing.com/hopcon.
The Science of Beer: It's time to play mad scientist during Comic-Con with UC San Diego Extension's Brewing Certificate Program. A range of beer science activities will be available at the SILO at Makers Quarter along with tastings from nine local breweries, including Rip Current, Automatic, Stone and Lightning. There will also be brewery demonstrations and industry talks from well-known brewers Lee Chase of Automatic and Jim Crute of Lightning. Munch on tasties from food trucks Dos Bandidos and Pomodoro Rossa and get your game on with beer pong and giant Jenga, while swaying to the live music.
For tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
Heroes Brew Craft Beer Festival: Dress up in your Comic-Con best for this fan favorite annual gathering. Forty craft breweries will showcase more than 100 beers at Waterfront Park, including San Diego classics AleSmith, Pizza Port, Ballast Point, Mike Hess, and Coronado. Join in the Caped Crusader Costume Contest with music and dancing, all benefiting Warrior Foundation Freedom Station.
San Diego Brew Fest: This one is technically not related to Comic-Con, but is timed perfectly if you are on a beer festival quest this week. Now in its sixth year, this fest is a combination of, you guessed it, brews, food and music at Liberty Station. Breweries range from local to nationwide, including San Diego's Fall, Mission, Belching Beaver, Helm's, and Pure Project, and Ninkasi, Bell's, and Magic Hat from outside of California, among many others. Dog lovers, take note: proceeds benefit Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue, which aims to heal, rehabilitate, nurture and find homes for retrievers. Oddly enough, no pets are allowed at the festival.
To see a video of past festivities and purchase tickets, visit sandiegobeerfest.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.