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If you’d have told me one of the best new breweries of the past year would be a nano operation based in the back of a beachfront kebabery, I’d have given one of those snide, unconvinced raised eyebrows I’m all too famous for, but lo and behold, California Kebab’s Amplified Ale Works (4150 Mission Boulevard, #208, Pacific Beach) is one high quality operation.

That’s why, when I started seeing social media posts from brewer Cy Henley talking about working with the staff at another new and much larger brewing operation, Saint Archer Brewery, I became concerned and got in touch for confirmation/denial. Henley replied that he’s “still kicking ass at Amplified.” This is true, but so is the fact that he’s joined the brewing team at Miramar-based Saint Archer. California Kebab owner JC Hill says it was a matter of getting Henley more hours as well as experience brewing on a larger system, so he is highly in favor of his skilled shared resource.

So far, there’s no shortage of work at Amplified. Hoppy beers like their exceptional Electrocution IPA sell out in less than a week and their other brews don’t last much longer. Henley and Hill wish they could offer a greater variety of beers at a time, but admit keeping up with such a demand is a nice problem to have.

To help move things along, Hill ordered a seven-barrel fermenter and four brite tanks. The latter will be used primarily as serving vessels, which will allow them to get a better yield on volume. The goal is to have four house beers on at any given time, and this should help get Amplified to that point.

For now, the focus is on celebrating a successful first year in business via an anniversary party on Saturday, May 18. That affair will feature numerous Amplified beers including a fresh batch of Electrocution, a cask of Accesso Stout with cinnamon and vanilla bean, Bourbon barrel-aged Rare Form Belgian dark strong ale, Harmonic Saison, Pig Nose Pale Ale and Bearded Guard biere de garde. On the food side, three words: grilled...Bourbon...sausages. I’ll toast to that!

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