One of the signature events of San Diego Beer Week, Collabapalooza is dedicated to the proposition that two or more brewers are better than one.
“This is what has made San Diego what it is, the collaborative spirit that we all have,” said Paul Segura, co-brewmaster at Karl Strauss, the brewery that organized this event.
“It’s a rising tides floats all boats kind of thing.”
At Collabapalooza - noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 at The Observatory North Park - that tide will run high. More than 30 beers will be poured, each the result of a one-time partnership between several local breweries.
These beers often bring together brewers from older and newer operations.
“We’re sharing ideas,” said Segura. “This may be the only industry you’ll see where we all share successes and failures with each other.”
So what can we expect from this sharing? We chat with several collaborators.
Co-founder of San Diego Brewing and the San Diego Brewers Guild
Age of brewery: 24 years
Collaboration partner: Little Miss Brewing, which opened in 2016.
Ties that bind: Matt Navarre, the brewer at San Diego Brewing’s North Park location, worked with Mike Morbitzer, Little Miss’ brewer, at Green Flash.
What does Little Miss Brewing bring to the table?
“Little Miss makes a double IPA that we really enjoy called Hoperation Overlord, an imperial oatmeal IPA at 8.5 percent. We hope old times will flow into a great collaboration beer that everyone can enjoy.”
Which beer is a perfect introduction to San Diego Brewing?
“Old Town Nut Brown. It’s basically a garnet brown in color, has a nice balance of chocolate and caramel malts, and a little bit of roasted barley. We hop it with Sterling and Mount Hood.
“It has a nice mild floral aroma and drinks very smoothly, with just a little bit of sweetness.
“Nut Brown definitely has a following. You don’t mess with it!”
Director of brewing for Pizza Port Brewing Co.
Age of brewery: Pizza Port started brewing in 1992.
Collaboration partner: Pizza Port Bressi Ranch is joining with a seven-year-old, Mother Earth, to make a double IPA, Boo Kook.
Ties that bind: “A lot of our guys go there and hang out on weekends, and vice versa. We’ve got a little friendship going.”
What does Mother Earth bring to the table?
“They make beers very similar to us, very clean West Coast IPAs.”
Which beer is a perfect introduction to Pizza Port?
“It’s got to be Swami’s, one of the original IPAs in San Diego. It’s a classic West Coast IPA - a lot of the C hops. Centennial and Cascade were the originals. Since then we’ve added some Citra and Simcoe.”
President and co-founder, Coronado Brewing Co
Age of brewery: 21 years
Collaboration partner: Mikkeller San Diego, which opened in 2015. “We’re brewing a milkshake IPA to debut at the fest. It’s a hoppy IPA brewed with lactose for a slight sweetness and creamy mouthfeel, and then we’re adding a blend of pineapple, raspberry, and cherries.”
Ties that bind: Tyler Tucker, Coronado’s research and development brewer, is a friend of Chris Gillogly, head brewer at Mikkeller SD.
What qualities do they bring to the table?
“Mikkeller is known for their excellent beer quality and creativity. We’re looking forward to having a fun brew day, and trying a style we haven’t brewed before.”
What beer is a perfect introduction to Coronado Brewing?
“Orange Ave Wit. It’s a beer that we’ve brewed for 21 years, and sometimes people forget about it, but it really is a great beer. It’s sessionable, has a ton of flavor from the orange blossom honey, orange zest and coriander, and goes well with a wide variety of foods.
“After all these years, it’s still our best-selling beer, and one I always go back to."