1157 Columbia Street, Downtown San Diego
Twenty-five years ago, Chris Cramer had an epiphany when he entered an Australian brewpub called Sail and Anchor and drank one of its house beers. The concept of brewing beer on-site blew him away, leading him to return home and establish his own brewpub in downtown San Diego, Karl Strauss Brewing Company (1157 Columbia Street, Downtown). Since then, Karl Strauss has grown into the 39th largest craft brewery in the U.S. They even export a small amount of their beer to Australia, where its Pintail Pale Ale reportedly outsells popular American import Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
This week, the company will export something special down under — brewmaster Paul Segura. His visit will be in response to a request by Sail and Anchor to have him brew a collaboration beer called “The Bloke” (a play on Karl Strauss’ eponymous original brewmaster being “the man”). The beer will be an imperial red ale coming in at 6% ABV, and according to Segura, it should come in around 60 IBUs thanks to “a grip” of Cascade and Chinook hops.
The brew will take place at Sail and Anchor’s main production facility, Gage Roads Brewing Company, which is equipped with a 100-barrel system. Two batches of The Bloke will be brewed with almost all of the beer being served in Australia in early February. However, there is a chance some of those special suds will make their way to San Diego for special tasting sessions.
Segura is excited about returning to the scene of Cramer’s initial inspiration. A 14-year veteran of Karl Strauss, he’s especially enthused at the kismet that led Sail and Anchor to call for the collaboration the same year he and his colleagues will celebrate a quarter-century in business. While in Australia, Segura will chronicle his experiences via Karl Strauss’ Facebook page and blog. The Bloke…Australian for beer.