Julian Stories

News from San Diego's smallest beer scene

Bailey BBQ closes, Julian Brewing still at it

Julian's oldest operating brewery will be without a tasting room for a few months. Pizza Port and Port Brewing/Lost Abbey founders Vince and Gina Marsaglia have closed the Bailey BBQ, the mountain town's longtime pit-barbecue ...

Julian residents object to Linden Blue’s backcountry development plans

General Atomics co-owner’s plans for 1416 acres

Regardless of how you slice it, if approved, a proposed development of 1416 acres of untouched wilderness in Julian, known as the Hosking’s Ranch Development, violates state law, reads a February 4 letter from California’s ...

Protect livestock — save a mountain lion

Penning project in Julian aims to minimize wildlife conflict

On Saturday, June 11, mountain-lion conservationists will join the Santa Ysabel and Julian 4-H Club to build a lightweight and inexpensive pen designed to protect goats, sheep, pigs, and other domestic animals from mountain lions. ...

Folks get caught up in old ways of thinking

Love of god and neighbor

"I was called by God. I tried to say no and God didn’t take that as an answer."

Dogs and snow and patio seating

Things heat up at the Julian Grille

When the snow hit the mountains towards the end of the year, I got together with some friends and our dogs to drive east and make some memories. Afterward we dropped in on Julian in ...

Sixty miles for a Nickel beer

Apple Pie and IPA served up in Julian's green-brick brewhouse

At an hour-and-15-minute drive, Julian's about as far as I can go from my house and still drink beer in San Diego County. That's not a drive I make often, so when I found myself ...

Early end to Apple Days

Premature harvest due to weird weather

At the heart of Julian’s charm, many would say, lies the little historic district’s beloved apples. However, for many orchards, this season proved to be another difficult one, with early budding, low apple counts, and ...

Pick an apple, any apple

Galas are sweet, Jonagolds are a little tart, and Grannies are really tart

It's not a bit like fall, but pick apples and pretend.

Views of wildfire recovery

See how it grows on the once-scorched Pine Ridge Trail

A hike in the Cuyamacas with views in a wilderness setting.

360 degrees of spectacular

Plenty of color on the journey to Cuyamaca Peak

Hike to the roof of San Diego County and see Mexico and Arizona from one spot.

Nickel Beer makes it a double (dubbel)

Collaborating with Julian brewery for Beer to the Rescue charity beer

Last year, I had the pleasure of collaborating in the brewing of an English-style extra special bitter (ESB) aptly named Bitter Beer Writer. It was the idea of Tom Nickel, the owner and brewmaster at ...

How y'like them apples?

Julian Hard Cider being sued for alleged abuse of trademark

In July, I introduced readers to Brian Kenner, an orchard owner working to open a cider and perry company called Julian CiderWorks in the community of the same name. When reporting on this, I wondered ...

Julian's mascot beer

Nickel Beer Company brews ale-cider hybrid with local apples

I love the Padres and Chargers, but a balding, portly friar and buffed out lightning bolt are hard to get excited about. San Diego isn’t known for cool mascots. Fortunately, it is known for exceptional ...

The crew did a heroic job clearing Kelly Ditch Trail

Popular hiking trail in the Cuyamacas is open again.

The Kelly Ditch Trail is a 5.6-mile hiking path extending from William Heise County Park to Lake Cuyamaca. Prior to 2003, it passed through one of the most magnificent oak and coniferous forests in San ...

Lake Cuyamaca loop

Cuyamaca is a Spanish corruption of the Kumeyaay phrase “Ekwiiyemak”

An easy stroll around the shores and meadows of this picturesque mountain lake that abounds with alpine plants and wildlife.

Meet Julian CiderWorks

Homebrewer-run packaged cider operation sprouting in Apple-ville

Stan Sisson’s love affair with hard cider dates back even longer than his decades-plus homebrewing career. Inspired by his grandfather-in-laws forays into tangerine wine-making using bread yeast, Stan added champagne yeast to apple juice to ...

I believe that we will drink

No matter the outcome, Nickel Beer’s World Cup pale’s a winner

Tom Nickel isn’t one of those bandwagoners who become infatuated with futbol every four years. He follows soccer year-round, travels the world to take in matches at storied arenas, and has made his bar, O’Brien’s ...

Third annual Julian Wild & Scenic Film Festival to be held this weekend

“It is in the wild places — in the damp, clean air of an ancient forest; on a heavy ocean in unpredictable winds; on a snowy summit at the top of the world — that ...

The Bailey, Julian Brewing Co. for sale

Julian’s first brewpub has been put on the open market

When news broke in early 2012 of two families with deep local brewing ties teaming up to bring Julian its first brewpub, the townspeople — and most of the beer fans in San Diego County ...

Digital detox in Julian

Unplug with this guide to the East County mountain town.

A digital detox vacation is one where you can’t get cellphone, satellite or internet service of any kind. Ok, I might've just sent you into a panic attack with this thought – so take a ...

Coast to Crest Trail — Old Coach Staging Area to Raptor Ridge

Hike to Raptor Ridge and see many species of raptors from this viewpoint.

Kumeyaays’ “valley of the eagles” still worthy of the name.

Embracing my Bitter Beer Writer status

The skinny on my collaboration with Nickel Beer Co.

I bet you thought that miraculous, playoff berth-clinching Chargers victory was the coolest thing to happen on December 29. Well, you’re probably right about that. But nearly 60 miles east of Qualcomm Stadium, something big ...

Holiday fur fix

Petting tour of San Diego

The awe of nature or the snuggle of a warm snout or cute paw give us a fill of joy that we're looking for around this time of the year. For those of us without ...

2013’s Most Anticipated Projects

Did new brewery venues live up to the hype?

One of the biggest parts of my job as a beer journalist is keeping up on work-in-progress brewing companies looking to come online throughout the county. The current number of upcoming breweries I’m monitoring is ...

Leery drone-zone denizens convene in Julian

Back Country Voices aims to be heard

A crowd of about 30 gathered at the Julian Town Hall on Wednesday night (December 4) for the second official meeting of the newly formed Back Country Voices, a group that sprung up in opposition ...

Beer Touring: Nickel Beer Co.

World Beer Cup award-winning brewer debuts solo project in Julian

Gazing downhill at a former jailhouse, being met by a cuttingly chilly wind carrying with it the scent of freshly cut cedar — this was my introduction to Nickel Beer Company (1485 Hollow Glen Road, ...

Old Banner Road, Julian

Explore San Diego’s backcountry history on this hike.

Julian’s Old Banner Road, now a hiking trail, starts in a suburban-like setting among Coulter pines and black oaks and descends through lush chaparral, providing a chance to explore a fascinating bit of San Diego’s ...

Airplane Monument

Trail to past tragedy in the Cuyamacas

Hike this year-round trail through chaparral and oak woodland to stunning views and to see a mounted 12-cylinder aircraft engine. 

Doyle Reno's "blind reverse" sculptures

Julian-based sculptor creates works in acrylic that he doesn't see until they are complete.

“I’ll try not to be too verbose,” says Doyle Reno, “but it does take some explaining.” He’s trying to define his sculpture process, by which he completes large-scale works of art that he doesn’t see ...

Top 10 on tap

Updating the brewing projects I’m most excited about

Earlier this year, I shared the local brewing projects I was most highly anticipating. Most of them (Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, Benchmark Brewing Company, Hess Brewing ...

On the Trail of San Diego History: The Box Canyon That Got Away, Part Two.

Field Notes: Fifty, 100, even 200 years after a historical event, you can get the feel of a place just by being there. Stand at the ruins on Presidio Hill, for example. Erase all the ...

On the Trail of San Diego History: The Canyon That Got Away, Part One.

Somewhere in the Cuyamacas there’s a box canyon wide enough to include 50 armed men on horseback and tall enough to conceal at least 200 Kumeyaay warriors lying in wait around the rim. But try ...

Nickel and diming to debut of Nickel Beer Co.

An update on a highly anticipated WIP brewery in Julian

Earlier this year, I named some of the upcoming brewery operations I was most excited about. That included big businesses like Pizza Port Bressi Ranch, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Liberty Station, Hess ...

Are smaller brewpubs over and out?

Local brewpubs closing at unprecedented rate

Readers of San Diego Beer News are hip to the fact new brewing companies are opening at a rapid clip, with a glut of other businesses working their way to their public debut. But the ...

East County trekking (and sliding)

Hike to Devil's Punch Bowl and Three Sisters Falls, both near Julian.

I love hiking, but I forget to do it again for months at a time. It usually plays out like this: 1) I trek along a path (or non-path) getting lost in the moment… sometimes ...

Green Valley Falls Loop

Easily accessible falls and multiple crossings of the Sweetwater River through chaparral, riparian, and meadow habitats.

Are the volunteers getting hosed?

Firefighting is no less than an American tradition in Julian.

County government is poised to take over the Julian Cuyamaca Fire Protection District. Whether that’s good or bad is an open question, even to those residents who are emotionally involved.

From sheep to sweater in 12 hours

The idiot-proof alpaca

Interviews with alpaca owners, spinners, and weavers who live in San Diego’s East County mountain region.

Aerial view of Julian’s snowfall, February 22

Winter wonder mesmerizes our guy in the sky

Plenty of snow in downtown Julian this morning. I flew over at 9 a.m. in a light plane at 8000 feet above sea level, about 2000 feet above the ground, and was mesmerized by the ...

Desert View Trail, William Heise County Park

Hike up to 4927 feet for Glen’s View, with panoramic views that include North Peak, Julian, and the desert.

Julian apple pruning class

You can’t make money growing apples

The December 8 meeting at the Peacefield Orchard on Wynola Road was described by the Julian Apple Growers Association as a lesson in pruning trees. About 30 people showed up. Ray Meyer, acknowledged as the ...

Monumental: Airplane Ridge

On the eastern slope of Japacha Peak, in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, is the location of a little known and most unusual monument anywhere in San Diego County. This piece of history began 90 years ...

Beer and Barbeque, in That Order

Go gobble on the mountain — a revisit to Julian’s Bailey Wood Pit Barbeque.

Pedal, pedal, pedal the boat

Against the current

I rearranged my legs with more force than necessary. The wooden bed-frame creaked, and I followed the note with an overtly audible adjusting of my half of the comforter, balling it up so I could ...

Brew and ’Cue in Apple Country

San Diego flatlanders open a brewery in the local mountains.

Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve

This 2195-acre preserve offers an array of seasonal wildflowers in oak-pine woodland and spectacular views of the lower elevations.

Sixty-two miles away from downtown San Diego, a strenuous three-mile hike on Five Oaks Trail. No. Dogs. Allowed.

Animal Rights Group Unable to Suspend Turkey Hunt

This weekend's turkey hunt at Santa Ysabel Preserve will go off without, or rather, with a bang, despite pleas from the Animal Protection and Rescue League to suspend the hunt. According to a report from ...

Julian Apple Farmer to Fly Around the World with His Son in Homemade Plane

We’ve always wanted to fly around the world in a small plane — my pilot’s license dates back to 1978. But we couldn’t afford a plane, so we had to build one. After taking six ...

Unforgettable: Banner Challenges Julian's Supremacy

Drury “Drew” Bailey and the Founding of Julian City, Part Two In 1858, asked to write about why “A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss,” Drury “Drew” Bailey compared it to “the wanderer who starts…with bright ...

Julian? Who's Julian?

Drury Bailey and the Founding of Julian City, Part One On November 10, 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno sailed into San Miguel Bay. He renamed it “San Diego,” after his flagship and the saint of Alcalá. For ...

Jumpin' Julian, Way Back When

Civilization and Its Malcontents “Julian was never the hell roarin’ town commonly associated with mining camps,” wrote Dan Taylor in 1939. And that’s been pretty much the image ever since. Even so, the lure of ...

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