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Stories by Brandon Hernández

Meet Prodigy Brewing Company

"Prodigy Brewing is about you, my friend, and you are what really sets us apart." Those were the words handed down to brewer Dean Rouleau from Prodigy Brewing Company founding member Howell Gillogy. With someone ...

April 20, 2015
High on the chai

Vanilla, coffee, chilies…they’ve all had their time in the sun and their time in the fermenter as en vogue beer additives. Some were pretty obvious go-withs, while others (like, say, scorpion peppers and breakfast cereal) ...

Not (yet) enough kegs from the Toolbox

Though my initial visit to Toolbox Brewing Company didn’t yield beers that cashed in on the brewery’s ultimate potential, they were promising, and I’ve made it a point to check out their beers whenever an ...

April 17, 2015
Girl in Port prepares to ship out

Citra-R-Ama, Whale’s Tails, Gingerbread Chateau, May the Port Be with You, Saisian Persuasion — all are beers birthed from the system at Pizza Port’s Solana Beach brewpub…and I’m going to miss all of them. Devon ...

April 16, 2015
The best happy hour for a beer hound like me

The Bellows This wood-fired-oven-driven, casual-yet-upscale bar and resto has one of North County’s most conscientiously cultivated beverage assortments. From a beer list that features specialties, one-offs, and Bellows Forge, a smoked oatmeal stout developed especially ...

Not bulky but bueno

Since the Cork and Craft debuted late last year, beer fans have awaited the debut of its onsite brewery’s ales. This has a lot to do with the fact that the man at the brewhouse ...

St. Paddy's Day's dark star

There’s never a shortage of fun imbibing opportunities come St. Patrick’s Day. Most involve Guinness, green beer, or whisky and car-bombs of Irish attribution. Being a beer locavore, I gravitate to March 17 celebrations involving ...

April 11, 2015
La Jolla’s Catania restaurant rolls out Italiano beers

“Everybody’s doing the local beer thing, so we’re going another direction.” This was my introduction to the beer menu at Catania, the coastal Italian spinoff of the restaurant group comprising Whisknladle and Prepkitchen. Despite this ...

April 10, 2015
Green Flash opening doors to Cellar 3

Most expansion news concerning Green Flash Brewing Company has revolved around the construction of their upcoming Virginia Beach brewery, but today, the company announced the opening date for another venue — a 12,000-square-foot combination barrel-aging, ...

April 9, 2015
Moving, shaking, brewing

It’s been nearly two years since Urge Gastropub co-owner Grant Tondro announced a grand scheme to convert a former Vista fitness center into a combination brewpub, bottle shop, and bowling alley. That ambitious interest was ...

The milk stout route

I felt like I’d unwrapped a foil-sheathed candy bar to reveal a golden ticket and been ushered to the site where some of my favorite things are made — specifically, the exotic specialty beers of ...

Centennial suds

In January, I reported on a beer commemorating the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park named Centennial IPA. Karl Strauss Brewing Company brewmaster Paul Segura and Automatic Brewing Co. owner and head brewer Lee Chase collaborated ...

April 2, 2015
San Diego breweries among country’s largest

Each year, the Brewers Association releases its list of the country’s top 50 craft-brewing companies based on the previous year’s sales numbers. Each year that I post the rankings and numbers, comment sections go wild ...

March 31, 2015
24-carrot brew

Stone Brewing Co. is known worldwide for its envelope-pushing beers. Stone Enjoy by IPA, Stone Ruination IPA, and Stone IPA are fan favorites that fall in the company’s wheelhouse, but some of its most beloved ...

March 30, 2015
Asia by way of Belgium

I may not be a great beer formulator, but when it comes to flavor combinations, I’m no slouch. In fact, it was my ability to cook and create on a culinary level that earned me ...

March 28, 2015
Beer touring: Barley Forge Brewing Co.

Having so many breweries here in my home county, it’s tough building up the gumption to drive outside San Diego for beer. Throw in the workload of reporting on all those breweries and it's no ...

March 27, 2015
Combing the North 40

A while back (nine months to be exact…time flies when you’re drinking beer), I reported that AleSmith Brewing Company was working on establishing a combination tap room and retail establishment. Referred to as an upscale ...

March 26, 2015
Rolling out the barrels

We’re at the point in the craft beer renaissance where barrel-aged beers are no longer rare. Sure, they’re rarer versions of certain beers in most cases (typically imperial stouts), but many craft breweries have barrel ...

March 23, 2015
Lupulin Against Lupus

Even though it was for the best, I was sad to see Kevin Buckley exit the San Diego beer industry. A former brewmaster at Vista’s Latitude 33 Brewing Company who also logged time at Alpine ...

March 22, 2015
More beers coming to the rescue

In January, I launched a fundraising and awareness campaign for the Lupus Foundation of Southern California utilizing the quality wares of local brewing companies that volunteered to brew beers to raise proceeds for this year-long ...

March 20, 2015
The nature of the yeast

Beer brings people together. Apparently, so do the ingredients used to make it. Local company White Labs, the country’s premier purveyor of yeast for the beverage industry, recently added a new strain to its product ...

March 19, 2015
Beers running hot and cold

Because nearly every beer style imaginable is produced in San Diego County, it would seem to the casual onlooker that the interest level in all ales and lagers is the same, but keeping a close ...

March 16, 2015
For the most insatiable hophead

Two weeks ago, while manning my beer beat at the latest meeting of the San Diego Brewers Guild, I took advantage of the hospitality of our host, Mother Earth Brew Co., and cashed in my ...

March 14, 2015
BagbyFest is nigh

Bagby Beer Company was one of the most anticipated brewpub projects in San Diego. That’s a big deal considering this county is home to the mighty Pizza Port empire, from which Bagby transitioned in opening ...

March 13, 2015
Uni’s best beer bet

It seems like I blinked and University City got wise to the rise of craft beer. As I’ve mentioned in the past, my formative drinking years were spent close to UCSD and consisted mostly of ...

For the love of lagers — and the coast

Until a year ago, the only Vincent Falcone I knew was the character who went by the handle Lieutenant Falcon on the ‘80s’ G.I. Joe cartoon. Now, I know a brewer by the same name. ...

Scorching Sculpin

I’ve been labeled a hot head in my day. No, not for having an incendiary temper. Sure, I get angry, but when you’re slight in stature like me you learn real quick that it’s in ...

New brewer a “Local” product

Time flies when you’re covering a craft brewing scene that, in the past three years, has seen 78 brewery-owned hospitality venues come online within San Diego County. Of those, 55 were the products of completely ...

Mission accomplished at South Park Brewing Co.

You may remember the sneak-peek construction photos of South Park Brewing Company. Even with planks and sawdust strewn about, it showed great promise. And the finished product shows that promise has been fulfilled. The brewpub ...

March 5, 2015
Early Look: AleSmith’s new digs

Like many San Diego beer fans, I’m looking forward to AleSmith Brewing Company opening the doors of its new, much larger facility to the public this summer. Until last week, I could only imagine what ...

March 2, 2015
LUP'd Up Singel (LUPUS)

There we were, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery (and soon-to-open South Park Brewing Company) head brewer Cosimo Sorrentino and yours truly sitting across each other at his East Village stomping grounds. The topic, what to ...

February 28, 2015
Quad AleHouse coming to Gaslamp

The term “quad” can mean several things. My favorite reference is to the burliest, highest-alcohol of the Monastic Belgian abbey-style ales, the quadrupel, but it also refers to central meeting places such as those found ...

Lemonade from charred lemons

Last week, a grease fire broke out in the kitchen at Pacific Beach AleHouse. Fortunately, the coastal brewpub is located across the street from a fire station. Firefighters were able to put out the blaze ...

Chocolate, rhubarb & the Younger

February 25 | Beer & Chocolate: Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits is teaming up with local chocolatier Lora Davis from Its Myne to present a quintet of beer-and-chocolate pairings, all of which will be explained ...

February 24, 2015
Indian Joe's without a home

One of Vista’s popular brewing companies is temporarily out of commission. After two years in business, nanobrewery Indian Joe Brewing is in search of a new base of operations. Owner Max Moran’s lease on his ...

February 23, 2015
Green Flash gets soulful

When people tell me I’m too negative, I reply: “You gotta stick with what you’re good at.” Apparently, Green Flash Brewing Company feels the same way. For some time, they have excelled at producing hoppy ...

February 21, 2015
Beer and doughnuts…yep, they're that good

The best thing about a restaurant with tons of beer taps is the ability for one to pair their brews directly with the food they order. That’s not to say one has to — many ...

AleSmith partnering locally with Mikkeller

While other regions are finding out what it’s like for a San Diego brewing company to expand into their backyards (Green Flash Brewing Company and Stone Brewing Co. are both constructing East Coast breweries in ...

February 19, 2015
Beer Touring: Half Door Brewing Company

When I first visited Half Door Brewing Company, it was still being constructed. There was a protective wall around the site, the outer veranda had no floor, and the interior was sheet white, showing zero ...

Yiga, Kim & Joe

When I first met Yiga Miyashiro and Kim Lutz, they were collaborating on a coffee beer at the former’s former workplace, Pizza Port’s Ocean Beach brewpub. We sat together between the turning of valves in ...

February 14, 2015
Meet North Park Beer Co.

The first time I heard the name Kelsey McNair was in 2010 when Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits specialty brewer Colby Chandler finished up an email saying he was headed up to Stone Brewing Co. ...

February 13, 2015

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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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