Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Fastest beer in the west

Chasing a whale to Rancho Bernardo

A five-ounce taster of Velvet Speedway Stout offered for the Urge Gastropub fifth-anniversary celebration
A five-ounce taster of Velvet Speedway Stout offered for the Urge Gastropub fifth-anniversary celebration

At 11 a.m. on July 20, 450 bottles of Velvet Speedway Stout became available for purchase on the website BrownPaperTickets.com at $35 apiece, with a two-bottle limit. According to multiple sources involved with the beer, the entire run sold out in five seconds. Perhaps more shocking, as many as 110,000 unique web users attempted to buy it, meaning at best any individual seeking to buy a single bottle of $35 beer had a 1 in 250 chance of succeeding. Given the two-bottle availability, the actual odds were probably much higher.

In beer geek circles, the term whale — or sometimes white whale — refers to a particularly sought-after and hard-to-come-by beer, usually small-batch special releases made by world-class breweries with a well-established following. AleSmith has been responsible for more than a few of these over the years — in particular with variations of its award-winning Speedway Stout. But by anyone's standards, this is a whale of epic proportions.

The Miramar brewery has sold a couple dozen special bottle releases via Brownpapertickets since 2012, and one-off Speedway releases have become increasingly popular. A January collaboration with Danish gypsy brewer Mikeller is said to have sold out within five minutes. Last November, a Barrel Aged Vietnamese Speedway Stout (made with Vietnamese coffee) sold out in three. This barrel aged Velvet Speedway — and this warrants repeating — was gone in five seconds!

A collaboration between AleSmith, Carmel Mountain roaster Mostra Coffee, and Rancho Bernardo restaurant Urge Gastropub, Velvet Speedway is said to be the brainchild of Urge owner Grant Tondro. He brought up the idea last year, around the time of Urge's 4th anniversary. Alesmith responded simply enough by aging some Speedway in 23-year-old Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels for a year.

Head roaster Mike Arquines says Mostra had sourced some high value Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee for an earlier Speedway collaboration released February 2014. When the project left him with a surplus of cold brew, he aged it in bourbon cooperage.

Meanwhile at Urge, Tondro added vanilla beans to bottles of rye for several months to create a "concoction" to add into the mix. The resulting 12 percent ABV blend was given the Velvet moniker and finally released on Friday, July 24, beginning with a one-sixth barrel keg tapped at 10:30 a.m. to kick off Urge's three-day fifth anniversary celebration. That keg was empty by 10:50 a.m., and a second tapped at 5 p.m. later that day didn't even last that long.

To get a taste of this whale, I returned to Urge Sunday July 26 at 9 a.m. to sample the imperial coffee stout, which features subdued notes of vanilla, boozy complexity, and both a marshmallowy aroma and finish. Urge manager Scott Fecteau says the gastropub and AleSmith each have a few bottles and kegs left in reserve for future occasions. Otherwise, bottle trade negotiations are active online, with one person reportedly offering to swap a $500 TaylorMade golf club for a single bottle.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The Tobacconist: Stogie story

His job is to sell pleasure and desire, cigars “hand-rolled tenderly by beautiful women on their thighs.”
Next Article

Oceanside – eclecticism reigns

Oceanside Blvd. beach rip-rap, Fire Mountain incursion, airport death, growing up in Camp Pendleton housing, Oceanside Pier, Samoan gangs, Saint Malo, harbor vs. surfers
A five-ounce taster of Velvet Speedway Stout offered for the Urge Gastropub fifth-anniversary celebration
A five-ounce taster of Velvet Speedway Stout offered for the Urge Gastropub fifth-anniversary celebration

At 11 a.m. on July 20, 450 bottles of Velvet Speedway Stout became available for purchase on the website BrownPaperTickets.com at $35 apiece, with a two-bottle limit. According to multiple sources involved with the beer, the entire run sold out in five seconds. Perhaps more shocking, as many as 110,000 unique web users attempted to buy it, meaning at best any individual seeking to buy a single bottle of $35 beer had a 1 in 250 chance of succeeding. Given the two-bottle availability, the actual odds were probably much higher.

In beer geek circles, the term whale — or sometimes white whale — refers to a particularly sought-after and hard-to-come-by beer, usually small-batch special releases made by world-class breweries with a well-established following. AleSmith has been responsible for more than a few of these over the years — in particular with variations of its award-winning Speedway Stout. But by anyone's standards, this is a whale of epic proportions.

The Miramar brewery has sold a couple dozen special bottle releases via Brownpapertickets since 2012, and one-off Speedway releases have become increasingly popular. A January collaboration with Danish gypsy brewer Mikeller is said to have sold out within five minutes. Last November, a Barrel Aged Vietnamese Speedway Stout (made with Vietnamese coffee) sold out in three. This barrel aged Velvet Speedway — and this warrants repeating — was gone in five seconds!

A collaboration between AleSmith, Carmel Mountain roaster Mostra Coffee, and Rancho Bernardo restaurant Urge Gastropub, Velvet Speedway is said to be the brainchild of Urge owner Grant Tondro. He brought up the idea last year, around the time of Urge's 4th anniversary. Alesmith responded simply enough by aging some Speedway in 23-year-old Evan Williams Bourbon Barrels for a year.

Head roaster Mike Arquines says Mostra had sourced some high value Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee for an earlier Speedway collaboration released February 2014. When the project left him with a surplus of cold brew, he aged it in bourbon cooperage.

Meanwhile at Urge, Tondro added vanilla beans to bottles of rye for several months to create a "concoction" to add into the mix. The resulting 12 percent ABV blend was given the Velvet moniker and finally released on Friday, July 24, beginning with a one-sixth barrel keg tapped at 10:30 a.m. to kick off Urge's three-day fifth anniversary celebration. That keg was empty by 10:50 a.m., and a second tapped at 5 p.m. later that day didn't even last that long.

To get a taste of this whale, I returned to Urge Sunday July 26 at 9 a.m. to sample the imperial coffee stout, which features subdued notes of vanilla, boozy complexity, and both a marshmallowy aroma and finish. Urge manager Scott Fecteau says the gastropub and AleSmith each have a few bottles and kegs left in reserve for future occasions. Otherwise, bottle trade negotiations are active online, with one person reportedly offering to swap a $500 TaylorMade golf club for a single bottle.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The Red, White, and Blue can never tell a lie: San Diego was the place to be for the Fourth of July!

America’s Finest County
Next Article

The unsinkable Linda Broyles

“I mean, when they said I couldn’t go home, I could see Coronado!”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close