By Brandon Hernández
Do Me a Flavor
New beers to cheers and brews to peruse
Gose to Charity: Utilizing citrus and wordplay, Coronado Brewing's mainland brewery crafted up a San Diegan take on an Old World gose to benefit the Beer to the Rescue campaign supporting the Lupus Foundation of Southern California. A lesser-seen wheat ale, goses are brewed with salt to mimic the saline profile of the water in Goslar, Germany, where the style originated. Further enhancing the beer is a heaping helping of orange peel that plays well with its inherent lemony character. Coronado Brewing Company, 1205 Knoxville St., Bay Park, coronadobrewing.com
X Out Lupus: Vista's newest brewery is also getting in on the Beer to the Rescue action, releasing the campaign's only bottled offering. Originally nicknamed the BLT (blueberry lupus tart), it's a blueberry-infused sour beer that's fermented exclusively using Brettanomyces, a breed of wild yeast that's abhorred in wine-making for its degenerative effect, but has become en vogue in the beer world thanks to its ability to dry beer out while simultaneously funking it up. Toolbox Brewing Company, 1495 Poinsettia Ave., Ste. 148, Vista, toolboxbrewing.com
Downtown" src="http://www.pacificsandiego.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/0H3J9358.jpg" alt="Jeff Josenhans, Certified Cicerone and Sommelier, The U.S. Grant, Downtown" width="278" height="370" />Meet Your Maker
Jeff Josenhans, Certified Cicerone and Sommelier, The U.S. Grant, Downtown
He's the first co-certified wine and beer specialist in the county and has competed on a national level in the spirit world. That's a lot of adult beverage know-how... at least a barrel's worth. Jeff Josenhans recently collaborated with the East Village's Mission Brewery on a beer he siphoned into barrels from fellow conspirators at High West Distillery to create something extremely unique, even in suds-soaked San Diego.
Brandon Hernández: How did the idea for this beer come about?
JEFF JOSENHANS: It was an evolution of beverage innovation going back to when I was charged with reinventing the hotel's beverage program in 2009. One of our industry firsts was barrel-aging a Manhattan cocktail for 100 days at High West Distillery in Utah. It became a huge success. One day, it dawned on me to ask High West if they still had the barrels we used. They did and shipped them out to us. They are the only barrels in the world that were first seasoned with high quality American rye whiskey, then finished with Manhattan ingredients - rye, red vermouth and old-fashioned bitters. We considered funneling sauces or maple syrup in the barrels, but once I started studying for my Cicerone certification, a light bulb went off... beer!
Explain the beer and what drinkers can expect.
We call this imperial red rye ale 'Gentleman Grant.' The concept is a result of a meeting with Mission brewmaster John Egan and owner Dan Selis. They heard me out on my intentions, then we threw ideas at each other over some of the U.S. Grant's Centennial Manhattan. The beer has rye in the grain bill to tie to the rye in the cocktail. The beer is fairly balanced in regards to hops to let the unique characteristics of the barrel come forward. High in alcohol and robust, it's finished with luxardo cherries that we smoked with cigars in the Grant Grill kitchen.
How can people get a taste?
It will be available exclusively at Grant Grill in very limited quantities.
How else have you upped the Grant's beer program?
Due to storage, we can't get too extensive with our selection, but we do have what I believe to be, by far, the best beer selection you will find at any hotel in California... or maybe even the country. We cover a wide range of styles and have chosen with a local-first mindset. That said, there are some heavyhitting classic brews that beer geeks will appreciate. And soon, we'll be the first hotel in the country to serve cask ale.
In addition to Mission, what are some of your favorite local breweries?
The Lost Abbey, AleSmith and Stone, all for different reasons and styles but throughout their line-ups there are beers that are just solid.
Coming to a Head
What's new in brew or coming soon
Bolt Brewery Tasting Room: Though they've been in business only six months, the founders of Bolt Brewery (the reincarnation of the first San Diego County brewery to open post-Prohibition) are so bullish on their young (old) business that they've taken over the corner spot in Little Italy that formerly housed the North End Tavern. That space is being transformed into a kitchen-equipped satellite tasting room that will trade a club vibe for an everyman (and woman) atmosphere made extra appealing courtesy of outdoor seating right along India Street. 1971 India St., Little Italy, boltbrewery.com
Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Company: There are more than 100 breweries in San Diego, but this will be the county's first brewery within a brewery. A trio of entrepreneurial brew buds has signed a one-year lease with the owner of Butcher's Brewing that will allow them to use that company's brewing equipment to produce a line of beers that figures to wide-ranging and outside the box. The owners plan on directing money they would have spent on brewing and cellaring apparatuses to marketing instead. 9962 Prospect Ave., Ste. E, Santee, 3punkales.com
Let's Go to the Hops
May beer events
American Craft Beer Week: Yes, every week in San Diego is technically beer week, but for one enchanted seven-day span in the middle of May, the Brewers Association (the organization championing awareness of the U.S. craft brewing industry) declares open season on American-made craft ales and lagers, resulting in hundreds of spirited events across this great nation. Not to be outdone, San Diego's best beer bars, breweries and restaurants tend to go at this marathon kegger in a big way. May 11-17, Various Locations, Countywide, craftbeer.us
Chef Celebration: Thirteen local chefs - from spots ranging from Table 10, Florent, and Leroy's Kitchen and Lounge to Sublime Ale House, Small Bar and O'Brien's Pub - will descend on the expansive gardens at Stone Brewing Co.'s Liberty Station to pair their creations with 13 beers, hand-picked by food-and-beer expert "Dr. Bill" Sysak. Proceeds from the event will help create scholarship opportunities for aspiring culinary school students. May 3, 12 p.m., Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station, Point Loma, stonelibertystation.com
Kings of the Craft: Telling a story as epic as San Diego's craft beer industry is no small task. In addition to time, energy and passion, it requires a significant chunk of change. The U.S. Grant's upscale bar/ restaurant, Grant Grill, is helping to foot the bill for such a project by offering unlimited refills from its custom Spring Bloom Beer Punch Bowl and pouring 35 percent of proceeds from that all-you-can-drink libation to the producers of Kings of the Craft, a TV show about the SD beer scene debuting later this month on KPBS. May 25, 8 p.m., Grant Grill (at The U.S. Grant), Downtown, grantgrill.com