Oct. 26 2012 07:07 PM

How to celebrate the brew, from La Mesa to San Marcos


Liver, I owe you an apology. I told you if you helped me survive the rigors of the Great American Beer Festival that I would take it easy on you for bit, maybe even send you off to a spa day for a massage and detoxifying seaweed wrap. I'm still happy to do that, but there's a slight hitch on the timing. You see, San Diego Beer Week is starting next week and—whoa, whoa, hold on! Baby, stop stuffing that suitcase and calm down. Yeah, I lied, but it was only because I was scared that you would leave me. I can't do this without you!

Whaddaya say? Just one more itty-bitty, 10-day festival celebrating the best and brightest in beer's greatest city? No, of course I don't plan to do every event. Probably just these:

BYOB—Brew Your Own Beer Brunch at Karl Strauss, Downtown: There's a private tour and a group-sourced brew included, but you should honestly just go for the Peanut Butter Cup Porter paired with Cream Cheese and Plantain Stuffed French Toast. From 9 to 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 2.

Alpine Night at West Coast BBQ in La Mesa: Access to Alpine brews can sometimes be fleeting, so it's good to capitalize when they're cornered. From 4 to 11 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2.

Latitude 33 Pre-Fixe Dinner at Sublime Alehouse in San Marcos: The dinner is an odd assembly of salad, mac & cheese and pancakes, but the pairings make it particularly enticing. From 5 to 11 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2.

Deschutes Brewery (with vintage releases) at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos: The three-year vertical tasting of Abyss is reason enough to attend, but some of the other samples and menu pairings could make it even better. At 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 3.

SD Brewers Guild Festival: The official kickoff event has been moved to the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier, enhancing access to public transportation and lending more elbow room. From 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

Ultimate Beer & Chocolate at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido: 10 indulgent chocolate truffles likely paired with similarly decadent beers. From 2 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 4.

Beer Roulette at The Range Kitchen & Cocktails in Hillcrest: Undisclosed beers served in opaque packaging to tease and confound the senses. Pass the bottles with friends to share tasting notes and/or diseases. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.

Flanders Drive (Sour Red Ale) Release Party at Green Flash Brewing in Sorrento Valley: For fans of the pucker, this event is a monster. Each guest receives two bottles of the likely-to-be-rare Flanders Drive, samples of the same and multiple other GF bests, a commemorative glass and food pairings. From 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5.

Night of A Million, Zillion Speedways at O'Brien's Pub in Kearny Mesa: If you want to try Kopi Luwak coffee or coconut in your Speedway Stout and are willing to wait very patiently, this event is a must. From 5 to 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Oysters & Beer at Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park: I was recently astonished by the unusual harmony of a briny raw oyster and a roasty stout. Let Beer Week expand your horizons! From 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Beer vs. Wine Election Night at URGE Gastropub in Rancho Bernardo: A nonpartisan fact-finding committee meeting to determine if select wines or Ballast Point beers pair better with a four-course meal. Starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Wing Night with Avery Brewing at Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos: I don't need much coaxing to hit a wing night anywhere, but throw in Avery's vintage 2010 Mephistopheles Stout and double dry-hopped Hog Heaven and this is a must-taste. At 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7.

Societe the Apprentice. Bruery the Master. at URGE Gastropub in Rancho Bernardo: A chance to try two distinct yet similarly off-kilter breweries shoulder to shoulder. At 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8.

Five Years of Four Stone Beers at Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido: Five years of vertical tastings across their beefiest ales, pouring until they're spent. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

Hess Brewing Featured Flights at Local Habit in Hillcrest: A tap takeover from Hess, including its standout Vienna cream ale, a newly minted pumpkin stout and many others. From noon to 11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

Maui Ritual at Ritual Tavern in North Park: A tap takeover featuring the local flavors of Hawaii's only microbrewery. From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

The Flavors of Yeast with White Labs at Sea Rocket Bistro in North Park: Neva Parker demonstrates the power of yeast by comparing strains across the same saison recipe. Snacks and learning provided for free. At 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.

The Beer Garden at The Lodge at Torrey Pines: The official closing event pairing unlimited tasters with unlimited food and a view that reminds us why we live in San Diego. From noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11.

You'll do this for me? Aw, Liver, you're the best. I love you so much.

Write to ianc@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com, or follow @iancheesman on Twitter or read his blog, iancheesman.wordpress.com.


See all events on Friday, Dec 2