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Cosimo Sorrentino’s final San Diego beers?

“Austin checked all the boxes for me”

Cosimo Sorrentino savors a parting gift
Cosimo Sorrentino savors a parting gift

“Austin checked all the boxes for me,” says Cosimo Sorrentino, explaining his impending departure from both Original 40 Brewing Company and his hometown. “A growing city with young residents who have expendable income. The culture is thriving, with live music and other activities everywhere. The beer scene is well established, but still has significant room for growth. It is a short flight back to San Diego to see family and friends. Also, BBQ ...”

Place

The Original 40 Brewing Company

3117 University Ave,, San Diego

After initially making his mark at Monkey Paw and South Park Brewing, Sorrentino left for Europe before eventually returning and landing at Original 40. Now he will be leaving San Diego once again on May 7 to join Lazarus Brewing in Austin, Texas. But before he goes, Original 40 is releasing his final two creations: Exit Interview and Rafiki’s Ritual. Steve Billings, owner of Original 40, explains: “Exit Interview will be the final beer released that Cosimo saw start to finish. We will drop this beer on Friday, May 6.” Fans can expect hints of citrus, berry, and passionfruit along with an earthy, slightly piney aroma from the 5.4% ABV West Coast IPA brewed with Strata and Simcoe hops.

Original 40 opens its doors to a new brewer

As for Rafiki’s Ritual, which is available now for pre-order with a May 7 release, Billings says that “Rafiki’s release coinciding with Cosimo’s departure ended up being a coincidence. This is a project that has been planned for several months, and he wanted to see it through, so he will stick around just long enough. His flight to Texas leaves that Saturday evening and he jumps into his new role Monday morning.”

A 12% ABV Imperial Stout, Rafiki’s Ritual was aged for 30 months in bourbon barrels, and a portion of it was accentuated with copious amounts of Madagascar vanilla bourbon beans, plus three types of cocoa (Fijian RakiRaki, Wild Bolivian Tranquilidad, and WIld Bolivian Itenez). As a result, the stout features a strong nose of bourbon and chocolate and delivers decadent flavors of crème brulee, roasted coffee, and marshmallow before finishing with sweet hints of bourbon. (For collectors who may be considering grabbing some bottles, Rafiki’s Ritual is available with both an orange and a maroon label, with both versions signed on the bottom by Sorrentino.)

For a small brewpub, losing a brewer is never easy, even moreso when it’s an award-winner like Sorrentino. However, Original 40 has successfully dealt with such change before, having found Sorrentino after its first brewer, Chris Gillogly, moved to Newtopia Cyder. Billings hasn’t chosen a successor yet, but has optimism as he faces the future. “Cosimo is a San Diego legend, and filling his shoes is no easy task. However, he is incredibly thorough and detailed, and has created flawless Standard Operating Procedures. We have been pleasantly surprised by the number of responses” to the announcement of a job opening, “and humbled by the quality and qualifications of candidates. We have interviewed quite a few, and feel very fortunate to have several local San Diego brewers who could continue what Cosimo has created and, in their own right, continue to take Original 40 further.”

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Keeping downtown quiet with Hofmann & Wofford

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Cosimo Sorrentino savors a parting gift
Cosimo Sorrentino savors a parting gift

“Austin checked all the boxes for me,” says Cosimo Sorrentino, explaining his impending departure from both Original 40 Brewing Company and his hometown. “A growing city with young residents who have expendable income. The culture is thriving, with live music and other activities everywhere. The beer scene is well established, but still has significant room for growth. It is a short flight back to San Diego to see family and friends. Also, BBQ ...”

Place

The Original 40 Brewing Company

3117 University Ave,, San Diego

After initially making his mark at Monkey Paw and South Park Brewing, Sorrentino left for Europe before eventually returning and landing at Original 40. Now he will be leaving San Diego once again on May 7 to join Lazarus Brewing in Austin, Texas. But before he goes, Original 40 is releasing his final two creations: Exit Interview and Rafiki’s Ritual. Steve Billings, owner of Original 40, explains: “Exit Interview will be the final beer released that Cosimo saw start to finish. We will drop this beer on Friday, May 6.” Fans can expect hints of citrus, berry, and passionfruit along with an earthy, slightly piney aroma from the 5.4% ABV West Coast IPA brewed with Strata and Simcoe hops.

Original 40 opens its doors to a new brewer

As for Rafiki’s Ritual, which is available now for pre-order with a May 7 release, Billings says that “Rafiki’s release coinciding with Cosimo’s departure ended up being a coincidence. This is a project that has been planned for several months, and he wanted to see it through, so he will stick around just long enough. His flight to Texas leaves that Saturday evening and he jumps into his new role Monday morning.”

A 12% ABV Imperial Stout, Rafiki’s Ritual was aged for 30 months in bourbon barrels, and a portion of it was accentuated with copious amounts of Madagascar vanilla bourbon beans, plus three types of cocoa (Fijian RakiRaki, Wild Bolivian Tranquilidad, and WIld Bolivian Itenez). As a result, the stout features a strong nose of bourbon and chocolate and delivers decadent flavors of crème brulee, roasted coffee, and marshmallow before finishing with sweet hints of bourbon. (For collectors who may be considering grabbing some bottles, Rafiki’s Ritual is available with both an orange and a maroon label, with both versions signed on the bottom by Sorrentino.)

For a small brewpub, losing a brewer is never easy, even moreso when it’s an award-winner like Sorrentino. However, Original 40 has successfully dealt with such change before, having found Sorrentino after its first brewer, Chris Gillogly, moved to Newtopia Cyder. Billings hasn’t chosen a successor yet, but has optimism as he faces the future. “Cosimo is a San Diego legend, and filling his shoes is no easy task. However, he is incredibly thorough and detailed, and has created flawless Standard Operating Procedures. We have been pleasantly surprised by the number of responses” to the announcement of a job opening, “and humbled by the quality and qualifications of candidates. We have interviewed quite a few, and feel very fortunate to have several local San Diego brewers who could continue what Cosimo has created and, in their own right, continue to take Original 40 further.”

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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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