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Fowler snares seasonal suds

“The beer drinker tends to be more educated in San Diego than in other cities”

A Fall beer perfect for winter weather
A Fall beer perfect for winter weather

“Seasonal beers are a staple for craft breweries to allow consistent creativity and the ability to change what you brew for shifting weather,” explains Erik Fowler, the new Executive Director of the San Diego Brewers Guild. “A lot of breweries will use seasonal or one-off beers as a way to brew beers that may be expensive or difficult to brew all year, but make sense during the right time. And while San Diego is beautiful all year, its residents still enjoy the changes of the seasons.”

Place

White Labs Tasting Room

9495 Candida Street, San Diego


Fowler, who was previously Head of Education & Craft Hospitality at White Labs Brewing Co. and its sister company White Labs, is also a Certified Cicerone® — a certification for skilled beer professionals that is often referred to as the equivalent of a sommelier certificate for wine. As such, he is uniquely qualified to recommend a few of the best San Diego beers to enjoy over the holidays, and to suggest seasonal treats that would go well with each brew.

Place

Fall Brewing Company

4542 30th Street, San Diego


First up on Fowler’s Christmas list is Fall Brewing’s 2am Bike Ride, a 5.0% ABV stout brewed with vanilla and Dark Horse Coffee. The low ABV makes it drinkable any time of day without leading to a nap — or, as Fowler puts it, “Picture drinking this beer from a thermos standing on the driveway Christmas morning as the kids ride their new bikes. If I’m your neighbor, I’m not judging.” Although, 2am Bike Ride is a year-round offering, it suits cooler weather and baked goods — Fowler suggests it would “be pretty phenomenal” with cinnamon buns.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Place

Culver Beer Co.

2719 West Loker Avenue, Carlsbad


Culver’s Meltdown Brown is a one-off, rotating seasonal brew — a toasty ale with notes of toffee. Fowler says that “this is a balanced malt-forward beer perfect for SD winters. Culver has released big barrel-aged beers in place of this seasonal in past years, but I was excited to see something a bit more drinkable — something I could share around the table with a nice meal.” However, Fowler suggests that Meltdown Brown might be best saved for after the main course, “Pair it with decadent desserts like pecan pie or tiramisu.”

Place

Pizza Port OB

1956 Bacon Street, San Diego


Of course, in San Diego, there’s no wrong time to drink the style that arguably put the brewing scene on the map. Or, as Fowler puts it, “You didn’t think you would get through this without seeing an IPA listed, did you?” His final suggestion is Pizza Port’s Finding Paradise, a 7.0% ABV West Coast IPA. He continues, “This dry and balanced bitter IPA with notes of citrus-like hoppy aromas is all that’s good in the world of San Diego beer. Often called ‘cheater hops’ for how good they make IPAs, this beer showcases Citra and Nelson perfectly.” Fowler believes this beer pairs best with roasted poultry, “Try it with a thyme- and rosemary-forward roasted chicken.”

Save Culver's Meltdown Brown for holiday desserts


In conclusion: Fowler believes that San Diego’s beer scene is unique because of the experience and relationship between brewers and imbibers, “The beer drinker tends to be more educated in San Diego than in other cities, and it requires breweries to be at the top of their game.”

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A Fall beer perfect for winter weather
A Fall beer perfect for winter weather

“Seasonal beers are a staple for craft breweries to allow consistent creativity and the ability to change what you brew for shifting weather,” explains Erik Fowler, the new Executive Director of the San Diego Brewers Guild. “A lot of breweries will use seasonal or one-off beers as a way to brew beers that may be expensive or difficult to brew all year, but make sense during the right time. And while San Diego is beautiful all year, its residents still enjoy the changes of the seasons.”

Place

White Labs Tasting Room

9495 Candida Street, San Diego


Fowler, who was previously Head of Education & Craft Hospitality at White Labs Brewing Co. and its sister company White Labs, is also a Certified Cicerone® — a certification for skilled beer professionals that is often referred to as the equivalent of a sommelier certificate for wine. As such, he is uniquely qualified to recommend a few of the best San Diego beers to enjoy over the holidays, and to suggest seasonal treats that would go well with each brew.

Place

Fall Brewing Company

4542 30th Street, San Diego


First up on Fowler’s Christmas list is Fall Brewing’s 2am Bike Ride, a 5.0% ABV stout brewed with vanilla and Dark Horse Coffee. The low ABV makes it drinkable any time of day without leading to a nap — or, as Fowler puts it, “Picture drinking this beer from a thermos standing on the driveway Christmas morning as the kids ride their new bikes. If I’m your neighbor, I’m not judging.” Although, 2am Bike Ride is a year-round offering, it suits cooler weather and baked goods — Fowler suggests it would “be pretty phenomenal” with cinnamon buns.

Sponsored
Sponsored
Place

Culver Beer Co.

2719 West Loker Avenue, Carlsbad


Culver’s Meltdown Brown is a one-off, rotating seasonal brew — a toasty ale with notes of toffee. Fowler says that “this is a balanced malt-forward beer perfect for SD winters. Culver has released big barrel-aged beers in place of this seasonal in past years, but I was excited to see something a bit more drinkable — something I could share around the table with a nice meal.” However, Fowler suggests that Meltdown Brown might be best saved for after the main course, “Pair it with decadent desserts like pecan pie or tiramisu.”

Place

Pizza Port OB

1956 Bacon Street, San Diego


Of course, in San Diego, there’s no wrong time to drink the style that arguably put the brewing scene on the map. Or, as Fowler puts it, “You didn’t think you would get through this without seeing an IPA listed, did you?” His final suggestion is Pizza Port’s Finding Paradise, a 7.0% ABV West Coast IPA. He continues, “This dry and balanced bitter IPA with notes of citrus-like hoppy aromas is all that’s good in the world of San Diego beer. Often called ‘cheater hops’ for how good they make IPAs, this beer showcases Citra and Nelson perfectly.” Fowler believes this beer pairs best with roasted poultry, “Try it with a thyme- and rosemary-forward roasted chicken.”

Save Culver's Meltdown Brown for holiday desserts


In conclusion: Fowler believes that San Diego’s beer scene is unique because of the experience and relationship between brewers and imbibers, “The beer drinker tends to be more educated in San Diego than in other cities, and it requires breweries to be at the top of their game.”

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