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Alpine beer a new favorite in New York City

Also coming soon in 12-ounce bottles

Green Flash/Alpine to begin releasing Pure Hoppiness in 12-ounce bottles in November.
Green Flash/Alpine to begin releasing Pure Hoppiness in 12-ounce bottles in November.

Visiting taprooms and bottle shops in New York City this week, the brands representing San Diego beer in the nation's largest metropolis became consistently clear. Stone Brewing, Green Flash, Ballast Point, and AleSmith have been available in the five boroughs for years. Several of these breweries' core beers are sold at bottle shops and even in a few bodegas.

San Diego beers on the shelves at Good Beer in East Village, Manhattan.

They also show up on draught at taprooms like Pony Bar in Hell's Kitchen, or Blind Tiger Ale House in Greenwich Village, where I even spotted Ballast Point's Grunion Pale Ale with Passion Fruit, on cask.

At "rare, new, and unusual beer" specialist Proletariat, on St. Mark's Place, I was told by a managing partner that the longtime prevalence of these brands have made them appear old hat. "We're trying to move forward," he said, "San Diego was the hub for craft for awhile, but now we're looking at what people are doing around the world." He did then point out that he had a keg of AleSmith's Vietnamese Speedway Stout on deck to pour that weekend.

I found similar sentiment at Tørst, a taproom in Brooklyn's perpetually hip Williamsburg neighborhood, owned by the Danish brewer behind Evil Twin beers, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø. A bartender on duty there said, "We try to get hard-to-find stuff," noting that they'll occasionally put on kegs of Green Flash beers or Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin "as filler."

He did mention one San Diego brewery that they were still excited to feature: Alpine Beer Company. Prior to Green Flash purchasing Alpine last year, the East County beer was only available in-state, mostly in Southern California. But this spring, using Green Flash distribution channels, Alpine beers including Duet, Nelson, and Hoppy Birthday were made available to draft accounts in 31 additional states, including New York.

Only currently able to get a handful of well-known brands, "weird beer" specialist Proletariat is mostly over San Diego breweries.

In September, these three beers were also made available in 22-ounce bottles. While they hadn't yet reached well-stocked East Village bottle shop Good Beer by mid-October, the staff there looked forward to their arrival. "We've started to get Alpine on draught, and hoping for bottles soon," said a clerk operating the shop's taps.

Such bottles have also become much easier to find within San Diego within the past year, and Green Flash has confirmed that they'll begin distributing Alpine beers in 12-ounce six-packs, beginning with Pure Hoppiness, shipping to all 50 states beginning November 1.

As for other San Diego beers that might find a receptive audience in New York, the clerk at Good Beer said, "Modern Times is definitely one we hear about all the time." And over at Tørst, the bartender opined, "We need to get some Lost Abbey here."

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Green Flash/Alpine to begin releasing Pure Hoppiness in 12-ounce bottles in November.
Green Flash/Alpine to begin releasing Pure Hoppiness in 12-ounce bottles in November.

Visiting taprooms and bottle shops in New York City this week, the brands representing San Diego beer in the nation's largest metropolis became consistently clear. Stone Brewing, Green Flash, Ballast Point, and AleSmith have been available in the five boroughs for years. Several of these breweries' core beers are sold at bottle shops and even in a few bodegas.

San Diego beers on the shelves at Good Beer in East Village, Manhattan.

They also show up on draught at taprooms like Pony Bar in Hell's Kitchen, or Blind Tiger Ale House in Greenwich Village, where I even spotted Ballast Point's Grunion Pale Ale with Passion Fruit, on cask.

At "rare, new, and unusual beer" specialist Proletariat, on St. Mark's Place, I was told by a managing partner that the longtime prevalence of these brands have made them appear old hat. "We're trying to move forward," he said, "San Diego was the hub for craft for awhile, but now we're looking at what people are doing around the world." He did then point out that he had a keg of AleSmith's Vietnamese Speedway Stout on deck to pour that weekend.

I found similar sentiment at Tørst, a taproom in Brooklyn's perpetually hip Williamsburg neighborhood, owned by the Danish brewer behind Evil Twin beers, Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø. A bartender on duty there said, "We try to get hard-to-find stuff," noting that they'll occasionally put on kegs of Green Flash beers or Ballast Point's Grapefruit Sculpin "as filler."

He did mention one San Diego brewery that they were still excited to feature: Alpine Beer Company. Prior to Green Flash purchasing Alpine last year, the East County beer was only available in-state, mostly in Southern California. But this spring, using Green Flash distribution channels, Alpine beers including Duet, Nelson, and Hoppy Birthday were made available to draft accounts in 31 additional states, including New York.

Only currently able to get a handful of well-known brands, "weird beer" specialist Proletariat is mostly over San Diego breweries.

In September, these three beers were also made available in 22-ounce bottles. While they hadn't yet reached well-stocked East Village bottle shop Good Beer by mid-October, the staff there looked forward to their arrival. "We've started to get Alpine on draught, and hoping for bottles soon," said a clerk operating the shop's taps.

Such bottles have also become much easier to find within San Diego within the past year, and Green Flash has confirmed that they'll begin distributing Alpine beers in 12-ounce six-packs, beginning with Pure Hoppiness, shipping to all 50 states beginning November 1.

As for other San Diego beers that might find a receptive audience in New York, the clerk at Good Beer said, "Modern Times is definitely one we hear about all the time." And over at Tørst, the bartender opined, "We need to get some Lost Abbey here."

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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
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