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Sports conversations are often opinionated and most topics are up for debate, yet few question Tony Gwynn‘s status as the best player in the history of the San Diego Padres franchise. The Hall of Fame rightfielder spent his entire career with the Friars, amassing an astounding career batting average of .338 while decorating his trophy case with Gold Gloves and Silver Slugger bats in the process.
Admired by baseball fans everywhere for his loyalty and skill, he still calls San Diego County home and coached the Aztecs baseball team in a stadium named after him at his alma mater, SDSU, until medical issues recently forced him to take time away from the game.
As a tribute to all he means to America’s Finest City, local brewery AleSmith Brewing Company has crafted a new beer called Tony Gwynn’s 394. A San Diego Pale Ale, it is the first in AleSmith’s new Signature Series of specialty brews. The name references the highest single-season batting average Gwynn recorded during his illustrious career—.394 in 1994.
AleSmith owner Peter Zien considers this an example of standouts from different arenas conspiring to create something special. Gwynn lent input and direction that the brewery translated into a 6% ABV light copper-colored brew Zien says fills the gap between AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale and AleSmith IPA. Floral and citrusy on the nose, it presents restrained hop bitterness on the tongue followed by a biscuity finish.
Meant to be enjoyed over the course of several innings at a baseball game, AleSmith fully expects Petco Park to offer Tony Gwynn's 394 during the Padres' 2014 campaign. The beer will debut on June 6 at the San Diego Padres Beer Festival, and be directly followed by a launch event at AleSmith’s tasting room on June 7 featuring baseball-themed games and merchandise, plus a raffle featuring items signed by Gwynn.