Hop Talk: save the date for Untappd Beer Festival

Golden Hill, a Golden Rye India Pale Ale from South Park Brewing Company.
Golden Hill, a Golden Rye India Pale Ale from South Park Brewing Company.
(Sara Butler )

Save the date for Untappd Beer Festival at Petco Park

Beer lovers: have you missed tasting events during the pandemic? Get your taste buds ready for Untappd Beer Festival, happening next monthat Petco Park.

More than 70 breweries will take part in the stadium event hosted by Untappd, a social networking platform that began hosting tasting events in 2019. At Untappd’s San Diego debut, ticketholders have the opportunity to try unlimited beer samples and chat with brewers.

While participating breweries are coming from all over the country, the event celebrates San Diego suds with 14 participating local breweries: Abnormal Beer Co., AleSmith Brewing Company, Alpine Beer Company, Ballast Point Brewing, Bear Roots Brewing Co., Creative Creature Brewing Company, Green Flash Brewing, The Lost Abbey, Mikkeller Brewing San Diego, Modern Times Beer, North Park Beer Co., Stone Brewing, TapRoom Beer Company, and Wild Barrel Brewing.

Untappd Beer Festival in 2019 at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Courtesy Untappd)

Tickets are $65 for general admission, which includes 3.5 hours of unlimited beer tastings plus a souvenir tasting cup. For an elevated experience, $150 VIP tickets offer an extra hour of beer tastings, along with access to the VIP Section overlooking right-center field; special tappings and exclusive beers from national breweries; and more.

There will also be food from local vendors like Carnitas’ Snack Shack, Buona Forchetta, Hodad’s, Grand Ole BBQ and Seaside Market. Plus live music from a The Vegabonds, Arson Daily and Okey Dokey.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Untappd Beer Festival will operate at reduced capacity, offer QR code menus and socially distance guests in line for tastings, as well as follow all local and state health and safety restrictions . Check website for updates.

5:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 1, with two sessions on Oct. 2: 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 10 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Tickets available at

West Coast Collab: Societe x Stone

Last month, Societe Brewing Company announced an upcoming “San Diego Super Collab” featuring numerous local breweries and the San Diego Brewers Guild. Details about the “ultimate San Diego IPA” are currently under wraps — but the meantime, the Kearny Mesa brewery is staying busy with the release of another collab.

Societe x Stone West Coast IPA Collaboration is available in a four-pack for $13.
(Societe Brewing Company)

Partnering with Stone Brewing, Societe/Stone West Coast combines the efforts of both IPA-heavy breweries. The IPA collab features hops from Pacific Northwest, along with fruity notes of lemon-lime, grapefruit, peach and more. Find the beer on draft and in cans at or stop by Societe’s tasting room, located at 8262 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

What I’m drinking this week

Name: Golden Hill

Brewery: South Park Brewing Company

Style: Golden Rye IPA

ABV: 7 percent

Did you know Golden Hill doesn’t have its own brewery?

The thought didn’t hit me until I saw a can of “Golden Hill” on the shelf of my local beer shop. Its bright-hued label art makes the neighborhood look like the setting of a comic book, featuring a dude hunched over his phone and a woman walking her dog, with the outline of Balboa Park’s California Tower behind them.

South Park Brewing Company decided to honor its neighbor with this artsy brew, and the creativity goes past the can label. The style — Golden Rye IPA, sometimes referred to as RyePA — is less common on San Diego shelves.

The hoppy beverage certainly tastes like an IPA, but the added rye gives the golden beer a bready taste. Though I couldn’t detect the spiced peaches noted on the can’s descriptor, the pine flavor was strong and covered my taste buds with an earthy taste that lingered between sips.

Unlike the summer sours I prefer by the beach, this RyePA compels me to plan a camping trip with a Golden Hill in hand. Be it the pine flavor or need to enjoy at a slow pace — the medium-bodied beverage is drinkable, not chuggable — a getaway to the mountains feels like the best setting for this beer.

I can also see myself sipping this can sprawled in the grass of a Golden Hill park — perhaps with the friendly folks featured on the label — but alas, the neighborhood doesn’t have any alcohol-friendly public areas. Just another reason for a brewery to join the neighborhood ...