From the Beer Writer: San Diego is drowning in IPAs…and that’s a good thing. But given that hoppy truth, what could make one special enough to represent the hoppiest time of year in our fair county? Camaraderie, cooperation and conviviality, that’s what. They’re the classic C’s of San Diego’s brewing industry and are on full display with this year’s edition of Capital of Craft IPA, a collaboratively conceived India pale ale brewed to celebrate the tenth edition of San Diego Beer Week. Today kicks off that ten-day period, which will see breweries, bars, restaurants and some less likely venues hold hundreds of beer-related events throughout the county. That’s a big deal, making the task of forging a beer to toast it a sacred undertaking of sorts. That job belonged to the eight breweries nominated to do so by the brewing companies that brewed last year’s Capital of Craft IPA, and included Benchmark Brewing, Mother Earth Brewing, Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey / The Hop Concept, Pure Project Brewing, Second Chance Beer Co., Societe Brewing, Thorn Brewing and Karl Strauss Brewing. The latter hosted the brew at their production facility, inviting collaborators over to take part in the construction of this iconically “San Diego-style,” 6.5% alcohol-by-volume IPA. Bright gold in color, it erupts with strong aromas of peach, nectarine and lemon-flavored Jolly Rancher candies. On the palate, it’s all citrus rind with a touch of grassiness and a super-dry finish. Bold yet drinkable, it’s fittingly everything one would want from an IPA brewed in San Diego, and perfect for toasting all the great things that will happen here from today through November 11. You can find Capital of Craft here, and the official toast is tonight at 7:30 p.m.
From the Collaborators: “2018 Capital of Craft IPA represents all that the San Diego brewing community is about—collaboration and cooperation with different breweries in our region. Without collaboration in our industry, beer would just be another product. Instead, it’s a liquid form of artistic expression. Karl Strauss Brewing is one of the breweries that helped shape the craft-beer scene today, so participating in the Capital of Craft IPA by hosting the brew day and donating our tank space is an honor and testament to our collaborative spirit as a brewing community.”—Matt Johnson, Brewmaster of Brewery Operations, Karl Strauss Brewing
“We were honored to be included in this collaboration and for the opportunity to work with many of the same breweries and brewers who inspired us from the beginning. This sort of open communication and collaboration is what is so special about San Diego County’s brewing community and we are humbled to be a part of it.”—Winslow Sawyer, Head Brewer, Pure Project Brewing
“The Capital of Craft IPA signifies and captures what has made the beer industry in San Diego successful: business competitors getting together to share ideas and help each other out, knowing that when we all stand together we can create something more than the sum of our individual parts. The close-knit brewing community and friendship that exists in San Diego is like nowhere else in the world.”—Doug Constantiner, CEO & Co-founder, Societe Brewing
“As the ‘family tree’ that is San Diego indie craft beer has grown and grown over the years, it becomes even more important for us to remember and honor our heritage. Capital of Craft IPA does that by acknowledging the global juggernaut that is San Diego craft, drawing from our original roots while also including the latest new emergence of breweries that keeps San Diego green and growing. It is a true honor for Mother Earth to have been nominated by last year’s group and a pleasure to have been a part of the recipe development and brew day. Now comes the best part…enjoying the beer with fans and celebrating us all during San Diego Beer Week!”—Kevin Hopkins, Vice President, Mother Earth Brewing
“When brewing a beer to celebrate San Diego, it’s only natural that the crew would make an IPA. Being able to include New- and Old-World hops for brewing 2018 Capital of Craft IPA means a lot to us as a dual-brewery brand. We use a fair share of old-school hops in the Belgian-inspired beers from The Lost Abbey, and with Port Brewing and The Hop Concept, we’re experimenting with every new hop varietal we manage to get our hands on.”—Adam Martinez, Director of Media & Marketing, Port Brewing / The Lost Abbey / The Hop Concept
“We are very proud to be a part of the San Diego beer community, which continues to work with each other to grow the community as a whole. It was an honor to be selected to participate in a collaboration that so perfectly symbolizes what makes craft beer so meaningful. We are an industry proving that small businesses can drive an economy, promote community and have fun while doing it. If we are selected again in the future, we will make sure to show up for the group pictures. Whoops!”—Tom Kiely, General Manager, Thorn Brewing
“2018 Capital of Craft IPA showcases why San Diego has become known by the same name—the capital of craft. We collaborate, recognizing a rising tide floats all boats, and our award-winning brewers challenge each other to be better with every batch of IPA and more. Second Chance Beer is incredibly honored to be chosen as a Capital of Craft IPA collaborator because it is an acknowledgement by our beer brethren that we are meeting the high standards set forth by our community! On a more personal note, it is touching that Second Chance Beer was chosen this year. San Diego Beer Week is having its tenth anniversary and, 10 years ago, [our brewmaster and co-founder] Marty Mendiola asked me to a Beer Week event for our first date at the same brewpub where he and [co-founder] Curtis Hawes worked together. Fast forward to today: Marty, Cutis and I toast the same event that brought us to create Second Chance…oh, and led to mine and Marty’s marriage!”—Virginia Morrison, CEO & Co-founder, Second Chance Beer Co.
View this post on Instagram