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Stories by Ian Anderson

Craft beer numbers held steady amid defections in 2016

The craft kids are all right

On March 28, the Brewers Association released the 2016 results of its annual survey on craft brewery growth, revealing the effects that high profile craft breweries being sold to "big beer" corporations have had on ...

Thirsty for craft beer in East County

When life hands you Lemon Grove, make beer

Out of 18 incorporated cities in San Diego county, only two do not have a craft brewery or tasting room in the works. One of them is trying to change that. The city of Lemon ...

Stone brews one with reclaimed water

“Toilet to draft” would have been a tasteless headline

At a March 16th event, Stone Brewing served pours of a beer called Full Circle, a pale ale made with dark malts, all New Zealand hops, and reclaimed water — that is, reclaimed from San ...

It starts with biscuits and ends with gravy

Taking the fancy out of Eggs Benedict

I enjoy eating oxymoronic foods, so when I was looking for a place to eat breakfast in Alpine I zeroed in on a place called Janet’s Montana Café so I could try the country-style Eggs ...

Wiseguy had yeast lab in apartment

"My dad saw I wasn't doing it just to get hammered with buddies."

The latest brewery to start pouring beers in Carlsbad soft-opened March 18th. Wiseguy Brewing Co. is the work of Brett Gent, a longtime homebrewer who moved down from Costa Mesa to take advantage of the ...

Attuned to ramen life

Exploring the Underbelly of North Park

Take a look at the noodle landscape surrounding San Diego’s urban core these days, and you’ll find a dozen dedicated ramen bars. But when Consortium Holdings opened Underbelly in Little Italy five years ago, most ...

Pro sports to pro coffee

Aha! coffee moments for Cory Withrow and Elliot Reinecke

The Chargers may have left San Diego, but former NFL center Cory Withrow is here to remind us most of the athletes on the team would have preferred to stay. “I feel for the players,” ...

Ballast Point surpasses Stone

Former craft company now the 13th largest brewer in the nation

National craft beer trade group the Brewers Association released its annual lists of the top 50 American breweries by sales volume last week. While all four San Diego breweries included on last year's lists remained ...

It's all about hard pours for San Diego nitro beers

Do not pour gentle into that good pint...

San Diego beer hit another packaging milestone in January, when a couple of local breweries released nitrogenized beer in bottles and cans for the first time. Modern Times kicked it off with a nitro version ...

Blissing out on chicken pot pie

Just like mom and Roman soldiers used to make

When Pop Pie Co. opened in University Heights last fall, its single-serving pie concept roused a social media sensation that drew lines out the door. But it’s not alone in the pie-as-entrée space. Betty’s Pie ...

Belching Beaver’s change of art

Brewer renews logo, makes case for old one’s non-sexist origin

With a March 12 party at its Vista brewpub, Belching Beaver Brewery celebrated a brand refresh that includes a cleaner redesign of its can and bottle labels; also the punny new slogan, "Dam Good Times." ...

Wizards, warriors, and the magic of beer

Homebrewing educators add to Vista's brewery ranks

The brewery in Vista continues to rise. Battlemage Brewing Company enjoyed its first brew day on March 8th, making it the 16th beer company in the city of 100,000. There will be more opening this ...

Year of the woman distiller

"These are things I know how to do."

A new spirits company debuted in East Village with the March 9th opening of the You & Yours Distilling Co. tasting room (1495 G Street). You & Yours is the brainchild of founder and distiller ...

Careful who you’re calling a vegan!

Plant-based hits Bankers Hill

In the food world, “plant-based” has become a buzzword of late, and I’ve been using it interchangeably with the term “vegan.” But it turns out members of both communities like to draw a distinction, and ...

Rain damages crops, but washes away salt

A hail storm that blew through Escondido a few weeks back ruined a few important crops.

It’s not news to any of us that this winter has been the wettest in roughly a decade. While San Diego area farms typically do enjoy year-round growing conditions, the parade of “atmospheric rivers” and ...

The whopping return of Indian Joe

After two years dormant, the Vista brand comes back big time

In most cases, shutting down a business for two years would probably not be good for its growth. But don't tell Max Moran and Geri Lawson. When their Vista nanobrewery, Indian Joe Brewing, reached the ...

Coronado Brewing announces plans for new brewpub and distillery

Beer for the literal South Bay

On March 2, Coronado Brewing Company announced it will build a new ten-barrel brewpub in the city of Imperial Beach, located at the southernmost tip of San Diego Bay and Wildlife Refuge, where it meets ...

Pita Guys, not to be confused with Pita Pit

Independently owned, halal, and tasty

Pita Guys barely registered at first. I probably mistook it for a Pita Pit, the fast-food chain that seems to open anywhere there might be college students. There’s a Subway franchise right next door, after ...

Symbiotic relationship fuels Kuracali

...a beer and sake dynamic place

There's only one bar at Kuracali Sake & Beer Brewery, but it serves two distinct tasting rooms. Due to the quirks of state law, Kuracali owner and brewer Chuck Perkins doesn't just have to keep ...

Corn husk takes on banana leaf

Two tamales enter, both get eaten

One of my favorite parts about living in San Diego is that I can be cruising down a street on just about any day and spot a little cart selling tamales. I noticed Tamales el ...

A distillery in a barn in a brewery

Brewery & Distillery lives up to its name, gets into spirits

Making liquor, in addition to beer, has been a part of the business plan since the beginning for Santee's BNS Brewing & Distilling Co. — it's right there in the name. Despite an early change ...

Marine intelligence yields better brews

A tributary place to drink craft beer

As any recruiter will tell you, military service provides on-the-job training and work experience that may be applied to future careers. While those recruiters likely don't have brewing in mind, David Casperson makes a convincing ...

Spring beer boom

Those looking to call the craft bubble burst may have to wait until next year.

Over the past five months, news of brewery closings, layoffs, and sales have seemed to outpace the opening of new breweries in San Diego. With only six new brewhouses opening in that time, it was ...

The best veggie burger, for real

A vegan, soy-free, scientifically formulated veggie patty. But it’s good.

In my experience, there’s a fair amount of self-deception involved in applying the term “veggie burger” to anything. I mean, can just any mushy puck of vegetable fiber, grains, and/or nuts be slapped on a ...

To the banishment of Ren faire mead — huzzah!

Golden Coast strives for sunshine and flowers in a glass

Frank Golbeck recalls the moment in 2011 that prompted him to open a meadery and tasting room in Oceanside. Golbeck and his Golden Coast Mead cofounders had spent their first year in business contract-brewing at ...

A pleasantly fun fish house

Hello Betty's signature dish comes with a side of beach buggy flair

My server's answer surprised me, so when she walked away, I flagged down another waitress to ask for a second opinion. Which dish, off the entire dinner menu, did she recommend for someone after the ...

Frankly, they had me at sausage

German deli brings gemütlichkeit to Lakeside

It didn't really matter to me what the "More" referred to, when I found myself parking it in Lakeside to eat at a small, casual spot called Sausage & More European Deli. For the record, ...

Bird Rock Coffee merges with Kansas company, Lofty Coffee opens in Little Italy

February's coffee news

Points of origin In early February, San Diego’s award-winning Bird Rock Coffee Roasters announced a merger with the Topeka, Kansas, business PT’s Coffee Roasting Co. While each brand will retain its own identity, PT’s cofounder ...

The road to great flavors passes through Poway

Like eating a home-cooked Persian meal

A lengthy list of ingredients greets you on the front wall at Silk Road, a late 2016 addition to Poway's shopping center food scene. Three generations work the family business, led by a mother and ...

More rain means more Calico cider

Creeks are flowing through Julian's organic orchard for the first time in five years

For well over a century, the mountain orchards in and around Julian boasted a reputation for producing fine, flavorful apples and pears. More recently, the area's become better known for apple pie and hard cider, ...

This hog's still smokin

Hillcrest BBQ spot showing promise, despite inconsistencies

I visited The Smok'd Hog a couple of years ago when it soft-opened as The Whole Hog. Back then I had a mixed experience at the little BBQ spot at the three-way intersection of Park ...

Groundswell Brewing rides a big wave into east county

Brewery moves from Grantville to Santee

Groundswell Brewing Co., formerly of Grantville, has officially made the move to Santee. In mid-February, the beer company hosted an opening event at the 12,000-square-foot, 30-barrel brewhouse and tasting room left behind by Twisted Manzanita ...

Italian gets interesting

Get your pasta on — with or without cheese

Over the past few years, I've happily jumped on the pork belly trend, the game meat trend, cured and smoked meats, bone marrow, and pretty much anything confit. Creative chefs embracing unusual cuts and oleogustus ...

North County brewer shuts down

Six-year-old On the Tracks got clipped on a technicality

Carlsbad's brewery scene has been on the rise, with two new breweries opening in 2016, and two more due by the spring. However, the North County city lost one in December, when On the Tracks ...

Pariah Brewing says no Fruity Pebbles here

But North Park's newest suds center serves up a milk-urchin stout

North Park's brewery count is up to ten. Pariah Brewing Company officially debuted its beers to the public at select taproom events the first weekend of February, followed by a ticketed grand opening scheduled for ...

Former Ballast Point execs get way into the liquors

West Coast's largest distillery? "That's kind of what we're shooting for."

When Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits sold to Constellation Brands in fall 2015, a small part of the business wasn't included: the spirits. For the moment, Ballast Point no longer produces liquor. Instead, a new ...

Craft spirits heads to North Park

619 Vodka to open distillery, restaurant, and bar this spring

Craft spirits are coming soon to North Park. 619 Vodka has started building out a distillery at the former site of a produce shop just off 30th Street (3015 Lincoln Avenue). Slated to open by ...

Finding Oscar’s

Smoked fish tacos worth seeking out

Even when I couldn't find the place, my friend was about to miss the train, and a Rubio’s was staring at me from across the street, I pursued the siren call of the smoked-tuna taco. This family-run Pacific Beach taco stand started in 2011 and recently added East Village and Encinitas to its lineup. The Encinitas shop is so new it didn’t even have a proper sign up yet.

Viking feasting hall opens in Vista

Drink mead and cider from a horn

Vince Obarski recalls first hearing about mead as a kid, referenced in fantasy games such as Dungeons & Dragons. He associated it with beer, and medieval times, but didn't grasp how far back it actually ...

Mexican beer, craft beer, and the Trump effect

Industry bigwigs discuss beer's future at Beer Summit

The 2017 Beer Industry Summit took place at the Hotel del Coronado January 29 and 30, bringing together brewing company executives, distributors, financiers, and media for a series of panel discussions and networking opportunities. Among ...

Pasta your way

Sauces are most important here

I wouldn’t imagine a little pasta restaurant in Miramar could be the start to a chain of restaurants, but it could happen. Pastalini is offering franchise opportunities. The shop has been around eight years, and ...

Dessert still Heavenly in North Park

Just add gelato

It wasn’t much more than a year ago that longstanding North Park dessert spot Heaven Sent moved from its 30th and University corner location into a smaller space two doors down. So I was surprised ...

Council Brewing's kiss of tartness

Something spontaneous, something new at the Magic Factory

Council Brewing Company is set to launch a spin-off sour brand. The Magic Factory was initially the name given to Council's second production suite, which sits across the industrial park from its main Kearny Mesa ...

San Diego mead boom ahead?

Seven honey-wine brewers to barrel into the scene in 2017

The success of craft beer has inspired new local ventures into cider and even sake in the past year, but it's a third beer alternative that is suddenly exploding in San Diego: mead. Oceanside's award-winning ...

What's brewing in the local bean scene

Coffee presence warms up

Coffee Barons With the opening of its seventh store in North Park last month, regional grocery chain Barons Market introduced a new concept it calls the Local Coffee Corner. A dedicated display at the end ...

Making yeast in Beer City USA

White Labs launches its East Coast hub

This spring, local yeast purveyor White Labs will join the ranks of San Diego breweries producing beer on the east coast when it builds a brewhouse in prominent craft beer destination, Asheville, North Carolina. Of ...

A small batch experiment every week from Mikkeller SD

Raspberry coffee tart and other creative concoctions...

Speaking to a sales rep from Mikkeller Brewing in 2014, one stat line he was quick to point out was that brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø had produced 600 beers in eight years since founding the ...

Beer, sports, and toddlers

Twisted, a bar for the whole family

Over the summer a new sports bar and restaurant opened in North Park, across from the Lafayette Hotel at the original corner location of Pomegranate, the Georgian restaurant that has since moved into a larger ...

South Park mainstay says it's time to go

"People would have to ring the bell if they wanted to come in."

Maureen Ceccarelli has decided to retire. At the end of January, the longtime pillar of South Park's business and arts community will close the doors of her adjacent Beech Street storefronts, Studio Maureen & The ...

Little Miss Brewing moving into Normal Heights and O.B.

They should call it Getting Bigger Miss Brewing

Since before Little Miss Brewing began churning out beers from its Miramar brewhouse in August, the plan was to open a satellite tasting room in a San Diego urban neighborhood. Now, as the business hits ...

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