Back to profile

Stories by Brandon Hernández

Mission accomplished at South Park Brewing Co.

A good look at the new brewpub and its initial beer offerings

You may remember the sneak-peek construction photos of South Park Brewing Company. Even with planks and sawdust strewn about, it showed great promise. And the finished product shows that promise has been fulfilled. The brewpub ...

Lots of beer events On Tap

Sampler Flight of local beer events for March 3-7

March 6 | Reader On Tap: Kick off a weekend of suds saturation at The Observatory North Park when the San Diego Reader assembles some of San Diego’s best breweries — Ballast Point, Rip Current, ...

Early Look: AleSmith’s new digs

An extensive look at popular “Beeramar” brewery’s expansion project

Like many San Diego beer fans, I’m looking forward to AleSmith Brewing Company opening the doors of its new, much larger facility to the public this summer. Until last week, I could only imagine what ...

LUP'd Up Singel (LUPUS)

Rhubarb and winey hops combine to give Monkey Paw charity beer outlandish character

There we were, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery (and soon-to-open South Park Brewing Company) head brewer Cosimo Sorrentino and yours truly sitting across each other at his East Village stomping grounds. The topic, what to ...

Quad AleHouse coming to Gaslamp

Fifth Avenue address was a former Navy locker facility

The term “quad” can mean several things. My favorite reference is to the burliest, highest-alcohol of the Monastic Belgian abbey-style ales, the quadrupel, but it also refers to central meeting places such as those found ...

Lemonade from charred lemons

After the fires at Pacific Beach AleHouse and Wet 'N Reckless

Last week, a grease fire broke out in the kitchen at Pacific Beach AleHouse. Fortunately, the coastal brewpub is located across the street from a fire station. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze ...

Chocolate, rhubarb & the Younger

A sampler of beer events happening February 24-March 2

February 25 | Beer & Chocolate: Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits is teaming up with local chocolatier Lora Davis from Its Myne to present a quintet of beer-and-chocolate pairings, all of which will be explained ...

Indian Joe's without a home

Vista brewing company on hiatus until it can find a new home

One of Vista’s popular brewing companies is temporarily out of commission. After two years in business, nanobrewery Indian Joe Brewing is in search of a new base of operations. Owner Max Moran’s lease on his ...

Green Flash gets soulful

One of several new IPAs from Mira Mesa brewery has serious style

When people tell me I’m too negative, I reply: “You gotta stick with what you’re good at.” Apparently, Green Flash Brewing Company feels the same way. For some time, they have excelled at producing hoppy ...

Beer and doughnuts…yep, they're that good

UTC’s Draft Republic pours a perfect dessert pairing

The best thing about a restaurant with tons of beer taps is the ability for one to pair their brews directly with the food they order. That’s not to say one has to — many ...

AleSmith partnering locally with Mikkeller

Danish gypsy brewer not quite invading San Diego

While other regions are finding out what it’s like for a San Diego brewing company to expand into their backyards (Green Flash Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Co. are both constructing East Coast breweries in ...

Beers from Belgium to Baja

Sampler flight of local beer events for February 17-23

February 20 & 21 | San Diego Winter Brew Fest: The chill from this winter of ours is pretty much over, but why not drink as though you’re seeking inner warmth to stave off low ...

Beer Touring: Half Door Brewing Company

In the house at East Village’s new, homey West Coast-Irish hybrid brewpub

When I first visited Half Door Brewing Company, it was still being constructed. There was a protective wall around the site, the outer veranda had no floor, and the interior was sheet white, showing zero ...

Yiga, Kim & Joe

Saint Archer brewer duo know their way around coffee and beer

When I first met Yiga Miyashiro and Kim Lutz, they were collaborating on a coffee beer at the former’s former workplace, Pizza Port’s Ocean Beach brewpub. We sat together between the turning of valves in ...

Meet North Park Beer Co.

Outstanding homebrewer Kelsey McNair closing in on professional debut

The first time I heard the name Kelsey McNair was in 2010 when Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits specialty brewer Colby Chandler finished up an email saying he was headed up to Stone Brewing Co. ...

Starting at Rock Bottom

Veteran brewmaster hands reins to go-getter who's into math and spreadsheets

I didn’t go to college, but thanks to some friends of mine who attended UCSD, I got to tag along and enjoy the recreational parts of higher learning. By virtue of geography, many of our ...

SD spells love B-E-E-R

Sampler flight of local beer events for February 10–17

February 14 | Brewbies Fest: This sixth annual fundraiser in support of the Keep A Breast Foundation will once again take place at Bagby Beer Co., but this year, they’re moving it and the oodles ...

Early Look: South Park Brewing Co.

Sneak peek at Hamilton’s Tavern spin-offs brewpub and beer menu

It’s been ten months since we broke the news about publican and brewery-owner Scot Blair’s brewpub project, South Park Brewing Company. Since then, he and his crew have been hard at work converting the former ...

Dank, sticky and impressive

Mission accomplished with first beer from Port/Lost Abbey's "Hop Concept"

In December, Port Brewing Company/The Lost Abbey announced the coming of a third brand called The Hop Concept. This seemed an odd route to go for a house already divided, but this is craft beer. ...

Going pink for Brewbies

Valentine’s Day beer fest to sport charity brews for Keep A Breast

“Every week in San Diego is San Diego Beer Week.” It’s a popular saying among local imbibers seeing how there are so many beer festivals within the county throughout the year (sometimes two or three ...

Early Feb fermentathon

Sampler flight of local beer events for February 3-9

February 5 | Beer Dinner: With a name like Perfect Pairings, guests at Karl Strauss Brewing Company can expect good things from a five-course menu that includes Thai-style curry shrimp served with the rare Queen ...

Bolt Brewery to strike in Little Italy

New La Mesa sudsmiths find a more central locale they can't pass up

It’s the fastest expansion in the history of the San Diego County craft beer scene. Just two months after opening La Mesa’s first brewery, the ownership of Bolt Brewery has taken possession of a property ...

Meet Bay City Brewing

Upcoming Point Loma brewery led by former Monkey Paw talent

The San Diego brewing scene is growing so quickly that the open positions for brewing personnel seemingly outnumber the pool of qualified candidates. This means digging through droves of homebrewers for potential blue chips capable ...

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 ...

Go east, young beer aficionado!

El Cajon brewing rallies local talent for East County beer fest

When URBN St. Brewing Company installed its brewpub in the former home of El Cajon Brewing Company, one of partner Alex Carballo’s major goals was to help move the craft beer needle in East County ...

Beer Touring: Legacy Brewing Tap & Kitchen

Oceanside brewery celebrates opening of San Diego bar-and-restaurant

I wondered how a smaller Oceanside brewery would fare opening up a bar and restaurant in the relatively faraway Miramar community. Whereas larger, better-known North County brewing interests — Stone Brewing Co., Pizza Port, Rip ...

Beer SaturaTION

A sampler flight of local beer events happening January 27-February 1

January 30-February 1 | TION Weekend: It’s good to know people. Thanks to long-standing ties between O’Brien’s Pub and the world-renowned Russian River Brewing Company, the former is able to put on an epic list ...

New projects for New English

Sorrento Valley brewery working on expansion, signature beer for Catania

With the rapid growth of so many San Diego brewing companies, it’s easy to lose sight of those following the less-flashy, slow-and-steady model. One such operation, New English Brewing Company (11545 Sorrento Valley Road, #305, ...

Beer to the Rescue: Hildegard IIIPA

Benchmark Brewing Company goes REALLY big for charity

Last week, I shared news of Beer to the Rescue, a year-long campaign raising funds for the Lupus Foundation of Southern California (LFSC) via sales of specialty beers from local brewing companies. The first of ...

Beer Touring: Wavelength Brewing Company

New nanobrewery gives Old Town Vista its second craft beer dispensary

Most of the time, I try to suppress my enthusiasm over checking out new brewing companies, waiting long enough for them to get on their feet and get some brews under their belts before I ...

Green Flash truckin' along

Mira Mesa brewing company to sate visitor’s hunger with branded food truck.

I remember the day I first met Dave Adams. At the time, he was working to meld the wide-ranging array of beers at Churchill’s Pub & Grille with the venue’s evolving cuisine. Within five minutes ...

Howl at the moon… -light or -shine

Sampler flight of local beer events happening January 20-26

January 23 | Deconstructed Anniversary Ale Night: O’Brien’s Pub is inviting Jeffers Richardson, director of Firestone Walker Brewing Company’s Barrelworks division, to taste through the numerous barrel-aged beers which were blended together to produce the ...

AleSmith & Mikkeller’s geeky collab

Renowned coffee stout experts band together for buzzy brew

It’s nice to imagine two guys who are now giants of the craft brewing movement meeting as homebrewers and forming a lifelong friendship. My, my — the conversations, ideas, and techniques Peter Zien and Mikkel ...

All that…and less

Stone debuts gluten-reduced India pale ale

Prior to my Lupus diagnosis, doctors attempted to determine the cause of my symptoms, which included severe stomach pains and other gastrointestinal distress. At one point, they speculated that I might be gluten-intolerant. My heart ...

Meet Thr3e Punk Ales

Future Santee brewery set to brew inside existing Santee brewery

John Marshall, Kevin Lewis, and Steve Garcia have lived and breathed brewing and punk rock for years. They look back to the emergence and rise of numerous local punk acts during the late nineties and ...

Beer to the rescue

Brewers unite for a year-long lupus research and awareness campaign

The first time I heard about lupus was when a dear friend informed me their nephew had died from it. Needless to say, the term lupus stuck with me after that, but it wasn’t for ...

Eat, drink & Blackout

Sampler flight of local beer events for January 13-19

January 13 | Cooking with Friends: A feast built around friendship, fun and mutual respect will occur in the Crown City when the executive chef at Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge invites his culinary comrade from ...

Beer Touring: Rip Current Brewing North Park

San Marcos brewery extends reach from North County to North Park

To some, it seems like Rip Current Brewing Company’s revamping of the North Park corner spot at 30th Street and Polk Avenue took virtually no time at all. Not so for the people anxiously awaiting ...

Oceanside Ale Works’ sour surprise

Oceanside brewery’s walk on the wild side is a pleasant stroll

San Diegans are fortunate to have a wealth of local sour beer options. Though lambics, gueuzes, Flemish reds and browns, and the like are quite en vogue, increased labor, costs, and lengthy maturation cycles make ...

White Labs expanding to Asheville

Country’s largest yeast producer adding East Coast facility

San Diego is considered the epicenter for American craft beer, so it makes sense the city is also home to the country’s leading yeast production company. White Labs has experienced phenomenal growth in tandem with ...

Happy 100th "beer"thday, Balboa Park

Local brewers celebrate iconic centennial with 100-IBU IPA

The 100th anniversary of Balboa Park is a pretty cool thing. You know what would make it even cooler? A beer brewed to commemorate that milestone. But not just any beer. How about a San ...

A New Year & 100 more

Sampler flight of local beer events from January 6 through 12

January 8 | Centennial Beer Tasting: Brewmaster Paul Segura of Karl Strauss Brewing Company recently invited Lee Chase of Automatic Brewing Company (and Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger! Tiger! Tavern fame) to brew a ...

Bagby Beer a bona-fide Mecca

Oceanside’s much-hyped brewpub is worthy of its lofty reputation

In writing an article expounding the positives at Bagby Beer Company (601 South Coast Highway, Oceanside), I can hear the collective response of my readers: “No duh!” When one of the most famous and award-winning ...

50 beers of the year

San Diego brews that left a lasting impression over the past 12 months.

With more than 100 brewhouses in San Diego, hundreds of new beers are produced throughout the county each year. I have the good fortune of sampling a great many of them, and the following is ...

Best beer futures: Part II

The rest of the county’s most exciting upcoming brewery projects.

On December 18, I shared the top five most intriguing upcoming brewery projects in San Diego County. The following are the seven that fill out the dozen top brewery-owned works in progress. 6. Project X ...

Best beer futures: Part I

A list of the county’s most exciting upcoming brewery projects.

Per San Diego Beer News tradition, I’m closing out the year by taking a look back at some of the best 2014 had to offer, while keeping an eye trained on what 2015 holds. In ...

Most improved breweries

The local brewing companies that upped their game in 2014.

Last week, I shared an article about the improved beers at Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment, and it got me to thinking of other breweries I’ve tasted progress from over the past 12 months. The following ...

Closing out with craft

Sampler flight of local beer events from December 16 through 31

December 18 | Santa’s Secret Stash: Few places not only procure so much fine beer, but also archive it, the way the folks at Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery, Hamilton’s Tavern, and Small Bar do. ...

All I want for Christmas is patience

Karl Strauss releases holiday ale designed to be enjoyed in 2021.

I don’t know about you, but the words “don’t open ‘til Christmas” come across like a mandate not to think about pink elephants. Once communicated, all I can think of is what I’m not supposed ...

Half Door swinging open soon

The Field’s upcoming offshoot East Village brewpub project a family affair

It’s easy to typecast. You hear a tenured local restaurateur has purchased an East Village property in which to install a brewpub for his son to brew at and his daughter to manage, and you ...

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close