The beer community of San Diego is excited to host RateBeer’s 2008 Summer Gathering. Pizza Port - Carlsbad has agreed to host the grand tasting. They have had many large beer tasting events and festivals with space for over 200 people in a private outdoor seating area, and they are familiar with the legal issues associated with these events. They are also located within walking distance of many very affordable hotels.
A growing cluster of some of the best beer establishments are within the close proximity of North County San Diego (including Pizza Port - Carlsbad, Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey, Stone Brewing/Bistro, Green Flash, Oggi’s - Vista, Holiday Wine Cellar, and Oceanside Aleworks), Pizza Port - Carlsbad seems an ideal place to designate as Party Central. San Diego at large has some of the world’s best breweries, who are all very excited to have RBSG in San Diego. Here are some quotes from the some of the breweries who are sure to help make it an outstanding and memorable weekend for all involved:
“Yes! Thanks for thinking of us for this and we’d love to have beer lovers come share some beers here! Please let me know the details and we’ll go from there! Cheers.”
- Gina Marsaglia, Owner of Port Brewing, on hosting the grand tasting at Pizza Port - Carlsbad
"Pizza Port and The Lost Abbey are excited to host the Ratebeer community. We look forward to providing great beers and food for this event.”
- Tomme Arthur, Head Brewer of Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey
“Give me an excuse to dig into our Archives and bring out some blasts from our past and share with fellow RateBeerians? You bet! Sounds like a great time to me. We’ll throw at least a keg or a bottle of something onto our beer menu from each year 2000-2008. Likely multiples!”
- Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing
“Sounds great- count me in. I’ll attend the party and will bring some rare AleSmith bottles and/or growlers for the tasting. Let me know if there’s anything else that I can do to help!"
- Peter Zien, Owner of Alesmith Brewing
- As with all details of the gathering, they can be changed to accommodate different needs. Late July
chosen was because there’s the Lost Abbey Anniversary in May, Real Ale Fest in June,
Independence day in Early July, and Stone Anniversary in August.
Friday, July 25th, 2008
<U>10:00 AM - Leave Carlsbad via Coaster train</u> ($4.50 fare per person)
- Coaster is cool as the station in Carlsbad is just a couple blocks walk, and it’s a half block from Pizza Port in Solana Beach. A quick 18-minute jaunt takes us from Carlsbad to Solana Beach and leapfrogs a potential stretch of traffic, and from there we could then have our bus pick up everyone at Pizza Port - Solana Beach and take us along the rest of the crawl. You can even drink on the train!
<u>11:00 AM - Pizza Port - Solana Beach (Lunch) </u>
- A classic brewpub that helped kickstart the whole San Diego craft beer revolution, and their new brewer, Greg Peters, is still churning out some fine beers even without Tomme Arthur around.
<u>1:00 PM - AleSmith Brewing</u>
- Peter Zien, owner of AleSmith, is perhaps the most avid supporter of RateBeer among all the brewers in San Diego. Expect great things.
<u>3:00 PM - Ballast Point Brewery</u>
- A flexible stop depending on how closely we follow the schedule to this point, but it’s right down the road from AleSmith and the beers are very good, as well as a little more difficult to come by outside of the immediate San Diego area.
<u>4:30 PM - O’Brien’s Pub</u>
- Tom Nickel, owner of O’Brien’s, is another incredible host who has welcomed large RateBeer gatherings many times in the past. This somewhat small neighborhood bar has recently increased their seating capacity in the outdoor patio area, which will help to accommodate the large crowd that night. A hophead’s dream pub.
<u>7:00 PM - The Linkery (Dinner) </u>
- Amazing local food (see the write-up in the October ’07 issue of Gourmet Magazine on the best Farm-to-Table Restaurants in America) with incredible ethos and always cool beer to choose from (with local cask beer on all the time), and not far from Hamilton’s.
<u>9:00 PM - Hamilton’s Tavern</u>
- A newly legendary place in the San Diego craft beer circles, with an owner and clientele as passionate about beer as any place you’ll find. 24 taps and you’ll get very thorough coverage of offerings from some of the great California breweries who will not be part of the tour, like Alpine and the best that Northern California has to offer (Russian River, Drake’s, etc.). The line-up here is sure to fill in any gaps leftover from the visit to O’Brien’s. Closes at 2:00 AM.
<u>11:00 AM Stone World Bistro (Lunch/Brunch) </u>
- A state-of-the-art new brewing facility and a stunner of a restaurant to match it. For those folks who have not been to San Diego in the past 18 months, this is the great monolith that now dots the brewing landscape. Good food, great beers on tap from many local breweries.
<u>1:00 PM - Holiday Wine Cellar</u>
- A quick stop at possibly the best bottle shop in all of Southern California.
<u>2:00 PM - The Lost Abbey/Port Brewing</u>
- Tomme Arthur, three-time Brewer of the Year at GABF, including 2007. Need I say more? He loves what RateBeer has done for him and the business they have grown. A perfect opportunity to show some thanks. Expect to be wowed.
<u>4:00 PM - Pizza Port Carlsbad for the ‘Grand Tasting’</u>
- A double-whammy of one of the most-decorated brewers in the country, Jeff Bagby, and the decadent splendor of the Grand Tasting at Carlsbad’s outdoor patio area. There are sure to be gems available on draft and in their adjacent bottle shop for taking home. Closes at 12:00 AM. Afterparty at Motel 6, as always!
Optional day trips, for the survivors:
1. Alpine, Windy City Liquor (stocks up on local beers with past 1-2year)
2. Oggi’s – Vista, Green Flash Brewing, Oceanside Aleworks
3. Liars’ Club – for those who dare, the Fuego Steak Melt alone deserves its own trip on its own day.
• Jet skiing, Hot Air Balloons, Hand Gliding, Biking and other outdoor activities.
• Birch Aquarium at Scripps, La Jolla
• San Diego Aerospace Museum
• San Diego Natural History Museum
• San Diego Model Railroad Museum
• Temecula Wine Tasting Tour by Grapeline Tours (excludes Saturdays)
• Petco Park Guided Tour, or possibly a Padres baseball game.
• Tour to Tijuana, Mexico with Contactours (9:00 AM departure)
• Red Line Tours (choice of Hollywood or Downtown LA)
San Diego is spread out, so it can be difficult to get between some areas without a car. The itinerary arranged minimizes long stretches of travel in the middle of each crawl, but some mass transportation arrangements are still in order. We plan to rent a private bus for a target of around $25/person for 40 people, and could look to secure even cheaper travel arrangements with the help of some locals (cquiroga and wetherel have volunteered) who could act as designated drivers of large rented tour vans. Transportation won’t be needed for the grand tasting. It is possible to stay near Hamiltons Friday and Carlsbad Saturday night to minimize nightly transportation. Savings on the conference room and reduced hotel costs will offset the $25/person private bus fare.
We will make a 40-50 Event T-Shirts at $11-15 each, for a Hanes Beefy-T, with 1 color on the front, and 3 colors on the back.http://www.customink.com/
Within walking distance are 10 or motels of all levels to service the beach vacation crowd. Motel 6 in downtown Carlsbad is $54/night. Other nearby options include a Super 8 Motel with comparable rates and a nicer but still reasonable Extended StayAmerica (sharing the parking lot with Motel 6) and a Hilton Garden Inn a mile or two away.