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Stories by Ian Anderson

Operation: make organic beer

Former SEALs launch first-of-its-kind SD brewery

As beer company origin stories go, it doesn't get more badass than Miramar's new Protector Brewery. In 2010, then-Navy SEAL Sean Haggerty brewed his first batch of beer in a five-gallon Gatorade cooler while serving ...

This pizza might consume your senses

Not-so-simple pies, cooked at 700 degrees on white oak

I don’t know if it’s fair to judge a neighborhood on the quality of its neighborhood pizza joint, but I have to think it’s fair to judge a pizza joint on the quality of its ...

10 Barrel to be a 20-barrel operation

And Bud Light's marketing head among those licensed to brew there

It's new brewery season in San Diego. As many as six new operations are opening to customers in May alone. That includes the new brewpub 10 Barrel, which plans to close off a couple of ...

Coronado Brewing Company backs borderland beers

Ryan Brooks gets bosses' blessing (and bucks) to start the SouthNorte wort

World Beer Cup champion brewer Ryan Brooks has stepped down as brewmaster of Coronado Brewing Company — though for the moment he'll remain in the building. Brooks left his position to start a new brewery ...

Spicy chicken sandwich commands respect

No cash? See you next time!

I stood in line twice for a single sandwich last week, and it was worth it. The first time, I didn’t know Chez Nous is a cash-only establishment. I put my order in, gave my ...

Align arises in Beeramar

From the ashes of abruptly shuttered Pacific Brewing...

When Miramar's Pacific Brewing abruptly closed last July, Andrew Heino was left holding the bag. "It was instant," he says of the end of his partnership with Pacific cofounder Chris Chalmers. The brewery was open ...

Difference-making fresh tortillas

Usually, I preach all corn tortillas, all the time. But for Don Pollo, I make an exception.

Tacos La Mezcla (at Fall Brewing) In Spanish, mezcla means mixture, and this mobile kitchen may be best known for mixing it up with a fusion twist, filling tortillas with carne asada recast as sweet ...

Chula Vista's neighborhood beer

"I'm more focused on this community than the masses."

With the official opening of Chula Vista Brewery on May 5th, the City of Chula Vista finally has the central, Third Avenue brewery it's been hoping for, to help revitalize its downtown village. For brewery ...

Mineral mastery brings barista bronze

Mr. Coffee doesn’t know anything about tofu coagulants

A local barista was named one of the nation’s best in April. Competing at the U.S. Coffee Championships in Seattle, Bird Rock Coffee Roasters quality control manager Jacob White placed third in the Specialty Coffee ...

Fewer burritos, more Mediterranean

International market has tarama, sangak, and mast`o musir

A buddy of mine recently made a shift in his eating habits: fewer burritos, more Mediterranean. Even though I didn’t imagine finding the ingredients for a Mediterranean diet would prove challenging — it is what ...

Cutwater sets sail

Miramar distillery/restaurant opens its doors

As the number of craft breweries in San Diego nears 150, the number of distilleries approaches a mere 17. However, in the relatively young world of craft spirits, 17 apparently counts for a lot. When ...

Handmade dumplings in Hillcrest?

Chinese food is on the rise in San Diego

My opinion has long been that there aren’t any great Chinese restaurants in San Diego, but I’ve either softened my stance or things are changing for the better. For one, we’ve started to see an ...

Cider house rules are for fools

Julian fermenter says fruit origin irrelevant — "We make fresh cider"

Founded in its namesake mountain town, Julian Hard Cider has been a local company since its inception in 2009, with a tasting room just outside of Julian, in Wynola. However, the bulk of its cider ...

Lack of bottles

Napa wine, straight from the barrel

A couple of years ago, while researching San Diego urban wineries, I interviewed Lowell Jooste. He’d moved here a while back from South Africa, where his family has been in the wine business for four ...

AleSmith three-peats the San Diego International

Seventy more medals to decorate local tasting rooms

The results are in for the 2017 San Diego International Beer Competition, and as usual the home team just wanted these medals more. Of 168 medals handed out, 70 of them went to local breweries ...

For fans of meat, mayo, and styrofoam

Put all thoughts of nutrition out of your head

A lot of the time, when I eat out, I spend longer than I should deliberating over a menu to find the right balance between meat and vegetables. This was not one of those times. ...

What's brewing at Stumblefoot?

New owners have ears wide open to fellow locals' requests

Stumblefoot Brewing Company isn't new — it's been making beer in southwest San Marcos since 2012. However, it's not exactly the same company anymore. In January, the business changed hands, when founding owner Bill Randolph ...

ICMonster specializes in rolled ice cream

And they have butterfly-pea flower tea

There I sat, in a Mira Mesa ice cream shop. It was around 3 p.m., and suddenly the shop went from virtually empty to packed with elementary school children — laughing, wiggling, and too excited ...

The curse of 3825 Fifth Avenue

Can Crave survive this tough spot in Hillcrest?

They say “location location location” is important in the restaurant business, and if that’s the case, 3825 Fifth Avenue must be a bad location. Although thrift shops seem to thrive there, the block between Robinson ...

Big yays for San Diego beers

Five dozen medals awarded at Los Angeles International Beer Competition

San Diego breweries ramped up their domination of the Los Angeles International Beer Competition, picking up 60 of the 258 medals awarded, and a full quarter of the golds handed out — 22, to go ...

On the cerveza to craft beer transition

Horchata and hibiscus flavors fine, but Hispanic segment not so simple

A Texas company has compiled market analysis suggesting craft-beer producers have been missing out on a potentially valuable market segment: Hispanic millennials. Gerry Loredo, director of business analytics for Houston advertising agency Lopez Negrete Communications, ...

Frankenpizza

You can get a large pizza with a different topping on each slice. But don’t.

Between Lefty’s, Berkeley, URBN, and Tribute, there’s no shortage of great pizza in North Park. Still, when popular Pacific Beach pie spot Mr. Moto Pizza House decided to open on 30th Street, I paid attention. ...

Smoking Cannon Brewery dwells in the foothills

"The bigger the cannon, the bigger the beer.”

Brewer Mike Nelson is starting the small company with longtime girlfriend Natallie Phillips. The San Diego natives both grew up on the coast but moved to Ramona about 20 years ago. "We moved up here ...

Lucky Charms? Trix? Cap’n Crunch Berries?

Milkshakes + sugary breakfast cereal at North Park’s Milk Bar

Having conquered the unlikely combination of fried chicken, coffee, and donuts, the proprietors of North Park’s Streetcar Merchants could have sat on their hands and waited for chicken to fry. But instead they turned the ...

Come for the beer, stay for the punchlines

With a countywide tally nearing 150, breweries use yuks to draw patrons

San Diego has surpassed the 140-brewery mark and seems likely to hit 150 by the end of the year. With that much competition, breweries have found creative ways to attract customers, ranging from hosting donut-beer ...

A duck walks into a bar...and does not walk out

Subtle fusion makes for a new experience

I’ve heard plenty of jokes that begin “a duck walks into a bar…,” and none have ended with the duck being eaten. So any thirsty mallards reading this take note: Whistling Duck Tavern does feature ...

Aargh ye scallywags ready for beer whiskey?

Pirate's Breakfast makes use of ugly brew

In San Diego, we've seen collaborations between breweries and between breweries and coffee roasters. Add another to the list, as a Spring Valley spirits producer is working to convert beer into whiskey. "I'm really trying ...

Nifty bottle design leads local liquor lineup

Swinford Spirits' invitation: add bacon

When Jason Swinford opened Swinford Spirits in late 2016, he really launched three craft-spirit brands. From a single production facility and tasting room across the parking lot from the Home Depot in Grantville, Swinford releases ...

The appeal of a neighborhood coffee shop

That third place

Third wave shops and coffee roasters have proliferated rapidly the past several years in San Diego, but a flurry of recent openings in the first quarter of this year shows the idea of a neighborhood ...

Green tea, leaves and all

Matcha hits North Park

I’m an every day, any time of day coffee drinker, and as long as I am physically able to lift a cup of joe to my lips, that will be the case. Still, while I ...

Soccer stadium investors deal hops from New Zealand farm

The Kiwi connection

A San Diego–based investment group has taken a stake in New Zealand–grown hops. La Jolla's FS Investors bought a New Zealand hops farm last year for $9.8 million, more than $32,000 per acre for the ...

San Marcos grows around a brewery

"We're basically the anchor tenant of the whole city."

From Vista to Chula Vista, craft breweries have increasingly been seen by local cities as cornerstone businesses capable of anchoring economic development projects. Perhaps no project has taken this concept to heart more than the ...

From cult brand to everyday beer

Nelson could be the next wide-released Alpine IPA

We're not even four years removed from a time that Alpine Beer Co. beers were hard to get. Prior to 2013, the small, way–East County brewery only made 1500 barrels per year, and craft enthusiasts ...

Try the zwiebelrostbraten

Tip Top European lunch on the cheap

“I’m going to send a lot of money here,” I thought to myself as I entered Tip Top Meats. The Eurocentric market and counter service restaurant has been operating in some form since 1967. It ...

Best fish and chips in the U.S.

Shakespeare’s vs. everyone

I got a press release the other day notifying me that Shakespeare’s Pub had won a contest held among 160 British-style pubs to determine who makes the best fish and chips in the U.S. My ...

Rouleur pedals into Carlsbad

Cycling enthusiast plans a tour de flavor in his brewery

"I'm way into cycling and way into beer," says Rawley Macias, brewer and sole proprietor of Rouleur Brewing Company, the latest craft beer maker to open in Carlsbad's budding scene. While the branding of Macias's ...

Ebb and flow in local craft

Changes to San Diego's small beer map

The Brewers Association's beer sales and production numbers for 2016 reflected adjustments to the industry due to massive corporations buying very large craft breweries, but most of the change happens on a smaller, microbrewery level. ...

Strawberries and eight balls

This year's berry crop said to be "one of a kind"

It’s strawberry season for San Diego farms, meaning baskets of the bright, red fruit will be plentiful in April. Expect to find many locally grown strawberries at farmers markets across the county, and taste the ...

All Comals are not the same

Each restaurant has its own kitchen, its own staff, its own soul

I haven’t eaten often in Chula Vista, so when I found myself with 40 minutes left on a Third Avenue parking meter, I looked around to see what looked good. And El Comal looked good. ...

Craft beer numbers held steady amid defections in 2016

The craft kids are all right

On March 28, the Brewers Association released the 2016 results of its annual survey on craft brewery growth, revealing the effects that high profile craft breweries being sold to "big beer" corporations have had on ...

Thirsty for craft beer in East County

When life hands you Lemon Grove, make beer

Out of 18 incorporated cities in San Diego county, only two do not have a craft brewery or tasting room in the works. One of them is trying to change that. The city of Lemon ...

Stone brews one with reclaimed water

“Toilet to draft” would have been a tasteless headline

At a March 16th event, Stone Brewing served pours of a beer called Full Circle, a pale ale made with dark malts, all New Zealand hops, and reclaimed water — that is, reclaimed from San ...

It starts with biscuits and ends with gravy

Taking the fancy out of Eggs Benedict

I enjoy eating oxymoronic foods, so when I was looking for a place to eat breakfast in Alpine I zeroed in on a place called Janet’s Montana Café so I could try the country-style Eggs ...

Wiseguy had yeast lab in apartment

"My dad saw I wasn't doing it just to get hammered with buddies."

The latest brewery to start pouring beers in Carlsbad soft-opened March 18th. Wiseguy Brewing Co. is the work of Brett Gent, a longtime homebrewer who moved down from Costa Mesa to take advantage of the ...

Attuned to ramen life

Exploring the Underbelly of North Park

Take a look at the noodle landscape surrounding San Diego’s urban core these days, and you’ll find a dozen dedicated ramen bars. But when Consortium Holdings opened Underbelly in Little Italy five years ago, most ...

Pro sports to pro coffee

Aha! coffee moments for Cory Withrow and Elliot Reinecke

The Chargers may have left San Diego, but former NFL center Cory Withrow is here to remind us most of the athletes on the team would have preferred to stay. “I feel for the players,” ...

Ballast Point surpasses Stone

Former craft company now the 13th largest brewer in the nation

National craft beer trade group the Brewers Association released its annual lists of the top 50 American breweries by sales volume last week. While all four San Diego breweries included on last year's lists remained ...

It's all about hard pours for San Diego nitro beers

Do not pour gentle into that good pint...

San Diego beer hit another packaging milestone in January, when a couple of local breweries released nitrogenized beer in bottles and cans for the first time. Modern Times kicked it off with a nitro version ...

Blissing out on chicken pot pie

Just like mom and Roman soldiers used to make

When Pop Pie Co. opened in University Heights last fall, its single-serving pie concept roused a social media sensation that drew lines out the door. But it’s not alone in the pie-as-entrée space. Betty’s Pie ...

Belching Beaver’s change of art

Brewer renews logo, makes case for old one’s non-sexist origin

With a March 12 party at its Vista brewpub, Belching Beaver Brewery celebrated a brand refresh that includes a cleaner redesign of its can and bottle labels; also the punny new slogan, "Dam Good Times." ...

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