Double Peak Brewing Co., in San Elijo hills, released beer in cans for the first time to improve take-out sales during the pandemic.
Rollercoaster 2020 continues to hammer home the message we have little idea what’s coming next. At this writing, San Diego somehow escaped being one of the 19 California counties the governor ordered or recommended bars, breweries, and wineries be re-shutdown.
However Covid-19 cases have been mounting in Los Angeles and Arizona, both of which have ordered their bars to close. Thousands of people from both places appeared likely to cruise into San Diego for the long weekend. So San Diego County made the move once again to ban on-premise drinking in bars, breweries, and wineries that don’t serve food.
So local fans of social drinking may have to settle for spreading the virus at backyard barbecues for another few weeks.
It’s tough to see the re-opening move backwards, but this time around at least we know the drill, which includes picking up take-out cocktails, and to-go cans and crowlers from our local breweries.
That now includes a few breweries you might not expect. When they closed to drinkers the first time, in March, San Diego’s micro- and nanobreweries found themselves relying on packaged beer more than ever. Those already canning, started canning more. And several began releasing beer in cans for the first time.
Double Peak Brewing Co., for example. The small San Marcos brewery, which opened early last year, says it had planned to put beer in cans eventually, but“Covid 19 rushed us into it a lot faster then originally planned.” Since March, Double Peak has released no fewer than eight of its beers in 4-packs, including its best sellers Whodunit IPA, Intergalactic Haze, and Day Hike Pilsner.
Chula Vista Brewery had sold all its beer in person, so when that was disallowed in March, “We had to get canning quickly,” says co-founder Tim Parker, “We weren’t even doing crowlers.” Now, crowlers and limited 4-packs are available, including Guerita blonde ale, Beautiful View pale ale, and medal-winning brown ale, Browner Than Ivan. Canning should increase soon, including limited retail distribution, as the brewery has picked up its own canning line.
Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Co., another popular neighborhood hangout in Chula Vista, has long offered crowlers, but the July 4-pack release of Emo Brown coffee brown ale is its first official can release. Co-founder Steve Garcia says Thr3e Punks had always planned on putting beer in cans at some point, but calls it “Much more of a priority now.” Next up are 4-packs of Kill the Pour IPA, La Flama Blanca Mexican lager, and a watermelon hard seltzer dubbed SandíaGo.
White Labs Brewing Co., the small beer-making extension of the San Diego’s global yeast purveyor, didn’t seem like a likely candidate for canned releases. Much of the value of drinking in its taproom is educational: a chance to drink multiple versions of a single beer recipe, brewed with differing yeast strains, to compare and contrast each yeast’s distinctive results. However, the brewery has found a clever way to recreate this at home. Its first ever can release is called Tabberer IPA and features two versions of the beer: a piny west coast IPA made with the company’s California ale yeast, and a tropical hazy. Brewed with East Coast ale yeast. White Labs will post a guided video tasting of the two beers to its YouTube Channel.