What You Missed: An Evening of Hoppy Supper-Stition

Last Friday, July 13, The Dana on Mission Bay played host to a unique San Diego beer event. The “Evening of Hoppy Supper-stition” brought together some of the best of San Diego craft beer, culinary talent, food, and local artists for one night. Check out what you missed out on:
San Diego Beer Dinner

Art display at The Dana on Mission Bay

Stained glass art by San Diego artist Anne Jackson

Art display at The Dana on Mission Bay

San Diego Artist display at The Dana on Mission Bay

San Diego art by Chris Schaie

San Diego Artist display at The Dana on Mission Bay

San Diego Artist Showcase

San Diego art by Zach & Cody Young

San Diego Artist Showcase

San Diego art by Cody Young

Beer Can Surf Board

The Beer Can Surfboard, created by local San Diego artist Richard Morrison

Enviro Surf Art - Beer Can Surf Board

Dragonfly Sculpture by Kelly Tracy

Dragonfly sculpture by local artist Kelly Tracy

Bottlehood

Repurposed glasses, tumblers, and shot glasses made out of recycled beer bottles by Bottlehood.

Ballast Point Booth at The Dana

Coronado Brewing Company Booth

Cheese & Charcuterie Display

Karl Strauss & Imperial Stout

CBC

Hamachi

Hamachi

Stone BBQ Ribs

Stone BBQ ribs with chipotle cornbread & kale salad

Scallops

Scallops with crisp pancetta & edamame sauce

Veal Short Rib

36-hour veal short rib

Gourmet Jello Shots

Bramble jelly shots made with raspberry liqueur & gin sour.

Yuzu Apple Petit Fours

Yuzu apple petit fours with orange yuzu apples, orange creme brulee, shortbread & candied lime.

Lolipopsicle

Crème anglaise lollipopsicle, made on an antigriddle, with vanilla bean rum, crème anglaise, and CBC Blue Bridge coffee stout.

Blue Bridge Coffee Stout Popsicle

Blue Bridge Coffee Stout Lollipopsicle

Blue Bridge Coffee Stout lollipopsicle

The Dana on Mission Bay

Categories: Beer Dinners, Food, San Diego Craft Beer, San Diego Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Bacon Thrives and Vodka Goes to Die

Craft & Commerce San Diego“There was once a time when people cared about things of true value.” This is how you will be welcomed when reading the introduction to the dinner menu at Craft & Commerce. Put simply, Craft & Commerce introduces you to their vision by shooting down the direction our society has taken in regards to commodities and mass production. Their goal is to show people, through their food, drinks, and craft, that it is time they demand good and quality products. Craft & Commerce supports local farm and breweries as well as craft breweries and craft spirits from around the world while rejecting any mass produced goods. Sound familiar? 

Craft and Commerce Restaurant San Diego

Giddy-up!

Craft & Commerce is located in the heart of Little Italy in San Diego. You will feel like you are stepping back in time (or maybe just stepping into your grandparents house) when you enter the restaurant. The walls are lined with bookshelves full with old books, knick knacks and so many stuffed country critters that it would make any taxidermist feel at home. The staff are all dressed in plaid shirts, suspenders, and even some in bowler hats. Don’t let the get-ups fool you, these people care so much about their craft that it doesn’t sound proper to call the staff behind the bar “bartenders” or “mixologists”. “Elixer Alchemists” is more fitting. We just made that up.

Craft & Commerce Craft Cocktails

Our customized rum-ginger-mint craft cocktail

If you cannot decide what you want to drink, ask your “Elixer Alchemist” to customize a drink for you. Don’t be ashamed; they love doing it. It will be a short game of 20 questions as they ask you what liquor flavors you enjoy, what drinks you usually prefer, and even what vegetables you like. Before you know it, they will have concocted a beverage tailored to your refined taste. There is one catch to their cocktail craft; they do not serve vodka what-so-ever. Don’t even ask as you may be offended by their response. They only serve liquor and food with great flavor. In fact, if you are a vodka enthusiast, don’t walk towards the restrooms. If you do agree with Craft & Commerce, then you might be amused by their creative “Absolut Hype” wallpaper plastered on the walls.

Craft & Commerce’s menu features a creative take on American cuisine with dishes like smoked ribs, bacon cracker jacks, buttermilk biscuits, fried pickles, pastrami sandwiches, broiled oysters, mini corn dogs, and fried chicken. Their baked Mac and Cheese is made with aged cheddar, roasted garlic beech mushrooms, and lemon zest. The “Devils on Horseback” appetizer is a trio of bacon-wrapped bites including bacon-wrapped cheddar-stuffed dates, bacon-wrapped asparagus and garlic, and even a mini bacon-wrapped apple-bleu cheese-mushroom sandwich. Can’t get enough bacon? End your meal with a house-made ice cream sandwich complete with candied bacon.

Bacon-Wrapped Appetizer at Craft and Commerce

Devils on Horseback

Mac and Cheese at Craft and Commerce San Diego

Mac and Cheese baked with aged cheddar, garlic, mushrooms, and lemon zest

It’s easy to see why the staff of Craft & Commerce are so proud of their craft. It shows in the quality and flavors of their food as well as the amount of work they put in to their craft cocktails. In their menu introduction, they state, “if the streets are quiet enough, and if you are listening closely, you will hear the voice of the people in a unified, steady resonance. You will hear them call for change. You will hear them call for good.” All you need to do is walk by Craft & Commerce in Little Italy and you will definitely hear the call for good, even though it may not be exactly unified. It may be hard to get a table, but it’s worth the wait especially if you love bacon and hate vodka.

Craig Jimenez, Executive Chef of Craft & Commerce, will be one of the featured chefs at the Hoppy Supper-stition beer dinner event at The Dana on Mission Bay on 7/13. 

See more photos from Craft & Commerce on our Facebook page!

Categories: Craft Spirits, Food, Gastropubs & Local Restaurants | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

My Beer in a Box

Mission Brewery in Downtown San Diego near Petco Park

Mission Brewery in the historic Wonder Bread building

The crew here at BeerSunFun knows that to find some of the most unique and best-tasting food and beer around San Diego, one has to seek out hole-in-the-wall establishments. Little did we know that we would find ourselves circling blocks and resorting to GPS to find this next brewery. Although it’s not exactly a hole-in-the-wall, if you’re not looking up (or looking for Wonder Bread), then you will probably miss this brewhouse. A few Google-map searches later, we stumbled upon Mission Brewery in downtown San Diego.

Mission Brewery occupies what was formerly a Wonder Bread factory warehouse just blocks away from Petco Park in downtown San Diego. Their tasting room is popular among suits in need of a watering hole after work and baseball fans who are looking to toss back a few beers before a Padres game. They have flat screens televisions so you can watch the Padres game even if you forget to make it in for first pitch, a shuffle board table, and a foosball table to keep patrons occupied and happy. However, when you brew your own beer, there isn’t much you have to do to keep people happy–just make sure you don’t run out of pint glasses.

Mission Brewery Ale Taps

Mission Brewery Ale Taps

Mission Brewery flight of beer

Mission Brewery’s full flight of San Diego craft beer

Mission offers an award-winning arsenal of 7 craft beers on tap daily as well as a cask beer every Friday night. The Mission Hefeweizen, standing with a 5.3% ABV, will satisfy those looking for a light, refreshing summer beer. Straying away from the usual citrus notes Hefeweizens are associated with, the Mission Hefeweizen tantalizes the palate with a surprising banana flavor. Their popular Shipwrecked Double IPA offers the intense hop aroma usually associated with India Pale Ales balanced with a smooth finish. Toss back one too many of these 9.25% ABV IIPAs and it’s no surprise how Mission Brewery came up with the name. You may not have a ship, but you will probably find yourself wrecked. Be careful about purchasing a Shipwrecked growler; you will definitely want to have someone to share it with.

Mission Brewery Gallon of Boxed Beer

Take that, boxed wine!

Breweries have long been known to offer beer growlers to guests so that they can enjoy their favorite brew at home after they leave. Mission Brewery offers growlers as well, however, if you’re not looking for a breakable glass container for your beer, they also offer a unique alternative that no other San Diego brewery has yet to distribute. Say hello to a tailgater’s best friend: beer-in-a-box. Given Mission Brewery’s location, just blocks away from Petco Park, and across the street from Petco’s tailgate parking lot, beer-in-a-box is an ingenious solution for those who are tired of drinking Coors Light cans or hiding their glass bottles from the ever-roaming security guards. If only Mission Brewery was selling beer-in-a-box before the beach alcohol ban… The 1-gallon boxes have the same shelf-life as a standard growler, which is typically up to 5 days.

Mission Brewery sells Bullet Bottle Openers for Charity

Imagine showing up to a party with one of these bottle openers.

In addition to beer-in-a-box, Mission Brewery also proudly sells belts and bullets in support of local veterans charities. Don’t worry, these bullets aren’t meant to be loaded into a shotgun. The bullets, re-purposed by Bullets 2 Bandages, are actually bottle openers. 15% of the proceeds from the sale of the bottle openers and bullet belts go to charities like Green Beach America. Green Beach is dedicated to providing housing for disabled veterans in San Diego.

Next time you find yourself looking for a place to tailgate before a Padres game or in the need of some great San Diego craft beer to drink in the tailgate lot, stop by the Wonder Bread factory and try Mission Brewery. You can tailgate, challenge your friends to shuffleboard, donate to charity, get a bottle opener made out of a real bullet, and take your favorite beer to go…in a box. You can even bring your pup- Mission Brewery is dog-friendly.

See more photos of Mission Brewery on our Facebook page!

Categories: Dog-Friendly, San Diego Breweries, San Diego Craft Beer | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Way to Trick Wine-o’s into Drinking Beer

Stone Brewery’s Old Guardian Barley Wine

Aged beer is a concept that many people are not familiar with. Whereas you probably shouldn’t lock up your old Pabst Blue Ribbons into your wine cellar just yet, there is a style of beer that local San Diego craft brewers are including in their repertoire of ales that you may want to consider letting age for a few years. 

Barley Wine has been around for centuries and originates from England. As the name suggests, it is a style of beer that bears striking similarities to wine. Barley wines evoke flavor profiles similar to that of wines and are aged like red wines to allow the flavors to mellow out. Barley wines tend to be bitter and hoppy with stronger alcohol notes than other beers. Like wine, they tend to have high alcohol by volume percentages compared to other beers. The ABV’s are typically over 10%.

Stone Brewing Co brewed a barley wine named “Old Guardian” in 1998 and most recently released a modified recipe of the brew back in February of this year. This malty beer has a fruity and nutty flavor finished with the strong alcohol notes. Old Gurdian sports an 11% ABV.

AleSmith Brewing Company has a barrel-aged barley wine named “Old Numbskull” (we sense an “old” trend here…) that they dub a “West Coast-style barley wine”. They pack their barley wine with premium domestic hops and age it in bourbon barrels. Talk about complexity- a beer that tastes like wine and aged like wine in whiskey barrels. We definitely won’t be playing drinking games with barley wine, and with an ABV of 11%, we’re not sure if anyone would want to.  These types of beers, like most San Diego beers, were meant to be sipped and enjoyed.

Barley wine is definitely not for everyone. It is, however, one step closer to converting all of those wine-o’s into true beer lovers. We can only hope.

Categories: San Diego Craft Beer | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Size Does Not Matter After All…

Hess Brewing Company in San Diego, CA

Hess Tasting Room

San Diego is well-known for their micro breweries (small-scale breweries), but there is a new brewery on the craft beer scene that has the distinction of being San Diego’s first licensed nano brewery. That means smaller-than-small. Meet Hess Brewing.

Hess Brewing is the brainchild of Mike Hess: founder, proprietor, and brewer. Along with only four other staff members, Hess runs the entire nano brewery out of a four-kettle, single-tier brewery in Miramar. Hess Brewery prides themselves in creating beer by brewing in very small batches. When we say very small, we mean only 1.6 barrels at a time. To put this in perspective, Stone Brewing Co.’s brewing system can produce 120 barrels at a time. Don’t count the little guys out yet, Hess’ five flagship beers are packed with not-so-nano flavor and are sure to give the big guys a run for their money. Each of their beers has a name with origins in latin and influences from Germany, Austria and Mexico.

Hess Tasting Room San Diego

Ex Umbris

Their darkest beer is aptly named Ex Umbris, meaning “out of the shadows”. Dark-beer lovers will enjoy this stout made with seven malts, three American hops, and displaying an un-sobering 9.8% ABV. For those looking for something lighter and refreshing, Hess brews Claritas (“clarity/brightness”), a crisp pilsner. Hoppy beer lovers will enjoy the Amplus Acerba, (“large, sour”) a double IPA, loaded with hops added at every stage of the brewing process. Amplus Acerba tops Hess’ ABV totem-pole at 11.3%.

Hess has not started distributing their beers yet, so the only way to try a Hess beer is to visit their nano tasting room off of Miramar Road. Due to it’s location near other San Diego craft breweries, it is a must-stop along local craft brewery tours. You can leave the magnifying glass at home. Do come in thirsty and hungry as food carts can usually be found parked in front of the brewery.

Hess Brewery Tasting Room in Miramar, San Diego

Tasting Room

Hess Brewing San Diego, Take me to your Litre

Who doesn’t love a good alien reference?

Categories: San Diego Breweries, San Diego Craft Beer | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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