Take it from the Tap


By Brandon Hernández

New beers to cheers and brews to peruse

Rainbow of Fruit Flavor IPA: Fueled by a big heart and a nostalgically childish soft spot for multi-colored candies, Stone’s Liberty Station brewing manager Kris Ketcham devised a recipe for a Belgian-style tripel, paying homage to Skittles and paying out a portion of proceeds to the Beer to the Rescue campaign benefiting the Lupus Foundation of Southern California. Strawberries, orange, lemon, lime and wine grapes combine to produce golden, refreshing, strong ale brimming over with scrumptious flavors that swirl into each other like a beer-lover’s psychedelic dreamscape. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., Point Loma ,

Two Legit Double IPA: English brewmaster Simon Lacey has endeavored to provide San Diegans with an authentic taste of beer styles from his homeland, and he’s done a right nice job. But over the years, living in hop-obsessed San Diego has slowly altered his brewing M.O. to include the manufacture of beautifully bitter IPAs, leading up to his latest creation, New English’s very first double IPA. Big, bright citrus and tropical fruit flavors burst on the nose and palate. New English Brewing Company, 11545 Sorrento Valley Rd., Ste. 305, Sorrento Valley,

What’s new in brew or coming soon

Pacific Islander Beer Company: Representing the pride and culture of the prosperous Pacific Island nations, especially in a brewery setting, is no easy undertaking, but that’s the mission behind this new addition to Santee’s growing brewery landscape. Outfitted with Polynesian flair, Pacific Islander Beer Company makes it easy to lay back and enjoy a few cold ones, be they light, crisp offerings like their Li’ke Li’ke Blonde Ale; or dark, robust numbers like their macadamia nut-infused Samoan Dark Stout. 8655 Argent St., Santee,

Resident Brewing Company: Downtown’s venerable watering hole, The Local, recently underwent a full facelift that added lots more space, lots more taps and lots more craft beer cred. The cred comes via the addition of an on-site brewery manned by award-winning homebrewer Robert Masterson, who is best known for his brilliant coconut-infused IPA, which he brewed at Stone Brewing Co. back in 2013. Expect that flavorful tropical offering to be on tap with beers both traditional and avant-garde. 1065 Fourth Ave. (inside The Local Eatery and Drinking Hole), Downtown,

August beer events

Stone 19th Anniversary Celebration: Kick off two days of decadence by hanging with brewmasters and some of their rarer specialty creations at a Friday Night Brewers Reception before indulging in sun and suds at the largest annual beer festival on the West Coast (100-plus brews from more than 60 hand-selected breweries). Reception: Aug. 14, 6 p.m.; Beer Festival: Aug. 15, Session A-11 a.m., Session B-3 p.m.; CSU San Marcos, 333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., San Marcos,

Festival of Dankness: The IPA is the drug of choice for most San Diego craft beer addicts, and Point Loma’s Modern Times Beer is playing dealer, bringing primo product from breweries local and far-removed. Hopheads can get their fix via unlimited two-ounce tastes of IPAS from more than 29 breweries. Aug. 22, 2 p.m., San Diego Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Hwy., Marina District,

Brewmaster Q&A

Liz and Curtis Chism
Owners and brewers, Council Brewing Company

The couple that brews together stays together. Or, in the case of Liz and Curtis Chism, the marrieds behind Kearny Mesa’s Council Brewing Company, the couple that brews together enjoys an almost unprecedented rise to sudsy stardom among San Diego’s craft beer intelligentsia. Famous for everything from IPAs to an imperial oatmeal stout and tart saisons flavored with just about any fruit they can get their wedding ring-adorned hands on, they’ve made quite the name for themselves... enough that when asked if they thought it was already time to expand, both replied: I do.

Brandon Hernández: How did you get into beer?
LIZ CHISM: We started going to Hamilton’s Tavern when we were dating. It’s where I had my first craft beer. I’d been living in Argentina where I drank a bitter, tea-like beverage called mate. I had an IPA and it was just like that, so I liked it right away. Curtis was really happy about that. It was there that we first wondered, “How do you make beer?” Later, I cashed in spare change I’d been saving since I was 10 years old to buy Curtis a homebrew kit for Christmas.

How did your immersion into the art of brewing go?
LC: We won an award at the first competition we entered with our 1844 Pale Ale, which was named after the number on our house. Throughout our entire homebrewing career, we never competed in a competition where we didn’t win a medal. And most of those awards came for styles I’d never brewed before, like a Schwarzbier that medaled three times and a weizenbock that also won at three contests including the National Homebrewers Conference competition.

What’s it like working so closely with your spouse?
LC: This business has definitely grown our marriage, but I don’t recommend for just any couple to start a business with their significant other. It takes a very special couple. It helps that we are both very logical and agree on most things. Also, we’re not together 24/7. Curtis runs the business side, and I run the brewery.
CURTIS CHISM: Still, there’s a lot of crossover. We run the tasting room 50-50 and both bartend. Running Council has helped us learn the importance of communication. And we’ve seen couples work well together at other local breweries like 2kids Brewing Company and ChuckAlek Independent Brewers.

What do you see in Council’s future?
LC: We’re aiming to grow from a nanobrewery into a full facility with a 30-barrel brewhouse, stainless steel fermenters, lots more barrels and more quality beer for San Diego and beyond... and a trip to Belgium for me and Curtis... and a foudre* farm.
CC (looks around and surveys Council’s barrelaging warehouse, then smiles and says): We could probably fit a bunch of foudres in here.

** * a foudre is a large oak vat used to ferment beer or wine on a large scale.
** no wonder they’re able to run a business and stay happily married!

Brandon Hernández is a native San Diegan with a fervent passion for craft beer and the talented individuals who produce it. He is the author of Complete Guide to San Diego Breweries, Senior Communications Specialist for Stone Brewing Co. and contributes beer-centric content to national and San Diego-based publications. The first publication for which he ever wrote about beer was PacificSD. Follow him on Twitter: @sdbeernews and @offdutyfoodie.