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Stories by Ian Anderson

Short on seats, big on beer

Encinitas' crowded barstools speak for themselves

The city of Encinitas hasn’t been 100-percent welcoming to local breweries eyeing its downtown retail district along the Coast Highway. The local planning committee is hesitant to permit any brewery presence, and even when it ...

One last drink

San Diegans who end their lives

On the afternoon of October 23rd, in the presence of his family, trailblazing San Diego surfer Bill Andrews ingested medication prescribed to end his life. Within a few minutes the 73-year-old had fallen asleep, and ...

Expect long lines this summer

Ice cream worth waiting for in Encinitas

“By the summer, this line will get even longer.” So says a friend as we wait for scoops at Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream, in Encinitas. The line was about 20 customers deep when we joined, ...

Beauty is in the tamal of the beholder

A feast for the eyes, if your eyes know what's good for them

Prior to writing Feast! stories, I wasn’t someone who frequently took pictures of his food. I figure, being photogenic doesn’t make food worth eating any more than it makes a supermodel interesting. That doesn’t mean ...

A better brewhouse for Pacific Beach

Ten years on, PB Ale House was due for an upgrade

Despite being ravaged by a fire in 2015, Pacific Beach Ale House will celebrate its tenth anniversary brewing beer by the beach on April 25th, and its beer is getting an upgrade. The business known ...

Gin and whiskey hoppers

Craft spirits for a West Coast palate in Vista

Back in 2012, decorated Tennessee distiller Darek Bell published the book Alt Whiskey, which offered recipes and techniques for distilling craft beer into nontraditional whiskies, including the addition of hops. “It got my brain working,” ...

Can carne asada fries be non-traditional?

A Mexican restaurant redux

We were walking around the Gaslamp looking for lunch when my friend spied a waiter, on his way to deliver food to a diner seated on a restaurant patio. It was a large, fat burrito, ...

Oceanside's newest music venue is a brewery

Lines form at Midnight Jack when The Echo Room is bumpin'

Breweries in the city of San Diego are prohibited from hosting live music events by the same license that allows them to brew beer. However, many North County breweries can, and do, and one of ...

Challenge accepted: steamed pork and salted fish

"I’ll make sure to bring you plenty of rice"

The pale wood panels lining the weatherbeaten two-story storefront of China Max may not inspire a lot of confidence to the casual passerby, but during its fifteen years operating on Convoy Street, the Cantonese restaurant ...

San Diego's fastest selling craft beverage might be kombucha

Boochcraft sales doubled overnight

It’s been about two years since Chula Vista brewery Boochcraft introduced the concept of high alcohol kombucha to the craft beverage market. At that time, the mixed fermentation business had the capacity to produce about ...

Hemingway and plantains

Beef shredded, then fried to a crisp in Point Loma

I usually skip the plantains. Oh, I’ll take a courtesy bite, but only to prove I don’t like them. I did something similar in high school, when, struggling to read the unabridged Moby Dick, I ...

Green Flash Brewing sold in foreclosure

No flash of green for its shareholders

San Diego's fourth largest brewery, Green Flash Brewing, is in the process of being dissolved, and with it Alpine Beer Company, the cult beer favorite Green Flash acquired in 2014. That’s the reporting coming out ...

Signs of a maturing craft beer market

The future looks like lots of small breweries

Craft beer trade group the Brewers Association has been releasing its annual trove of data about the industry, revealing a trend in national statistics in 2017 that often, but not always, reflected what we’ve seen ...

Tongue numbing tea

Don’t bother tasting it — just experience the chill

I think it’s safe to say that kombucha’s not a fringe beverage anymore. At least here in California. Once the domain of health food shops, these days I find the probiotic tea in gas stations, ...

Oceanside Ale Works returns — see Apr.4 update below

New owners swept up in ongoing partner dispute

It was only a couple months ago the Reader reported Oceanside Ale Works had shut its doors as the result of a partner dispute. As of March 17th, its doors are officially open to the ...

Council to convene in Santee

Brewery unveils plans for bigger production and new tasting room

Council Brewing Co. announced Tuesday that it had purchased the brewhouse and lease of Santee brewer Finest Made Ales, between Gillespie Field and Highway 52. Council will operate it as a second brewhouse and tasting ...

Shiny medals for local boozemakers

Seven Caves and Cutwater Spirits set the pace

Several local booze businesses have acquired hardware for their tasting rooms, thanks to a slew of medals won at recent competitions. First up, newcomer Lost Cause Meadery earned a silver medal at The Mazer Cup, ...

Like a Danish chicken pot pie

Scandinavian cuisine comes to Hillcrest

Over the past few years, Denmark has gained a reputation as being the happiest country in the world. And that might explain why there’s not an abundance of Danish restaurants here — happy people don’t ...

No more Flash in Virginia Beach

Green Flash shuts down east coast brewery, lays off workers

Over the weekend, several outlets reported that Green Flash Brewing has placed its recently built Virginia Beach brewery on the market to sell. This morning, reports out of Virginia indicate a “closed for business” sign ...

Meals fit for a vegan, gluten-free caveman

Meat, grains, and gluten are optional in Leucadia

What do vegan, gluten free, and paleo diets have in common? Nuts and seeds, mostly. But, if you’re in Leucadia, they also have Nectarine Grove. The counter restaurant opened a couple months ago, and, against ...

Santee getting a taste of Council Brewing

Council buys turnkey brewhouse of Finest Made Ales

Council Brewing Co. announced Tuesday that it had purchased the brewhouse and lease of Santee brewer Finest Made Ales, and will operate it as a second brewhouse and tasting room. In a blog posted to ...

The benefits of a liquid lunch

Just sweet enough that you don’t need to chug it

The last time I passed through this part of Poway, this was a bagel shop. Now the counter service eatery has been converted to a GreensPlease, a mini chain that also has a drive thru ...

Craft beer and Vietnamese food

North Park's latest gastropub dishes bún, bánh, and phở

With the opening of Shank & Bone in February, North Park finally got the contemporized Vietnamese restaurant its hipster heart craved. Taking over the space previously occupied by Japanese gastropub The Safe House, the new ...

Skating, surfing, hot-rodding, and beer

Beach Grease plants beer brand at former SpecHops brewhouse

"We're open!" So shouted a tasting room employee of Beach Grease Beer Co. at noon, Saturday, March 10th as the new beer company opened for business in Vista. A hint of surprise could almost be ...

People here are crazy smart

Rough Draft taps into UCSD grad students

Six years ago this month, Rough Draft Brewing opened as something like the 37th craft brewery in San Diego. Today there are over 150. "I didn't know that we would have 100 breweries open up ...

There's no booze in this gose

Unique fermentations for a beer counterculture

Booze is kind of a nebulous term to describe fermented and/or distilled beverages. So it seems fitting that Vista beer company, Booze Brothers Brewing Co., would spin-off a brand of beverages that hang at the ...

No beef with this corndog

Bagby gives vegan beer fans something to chew on

There are a dozens of good reasons to visit the Bagby Beer Company pub in downtown Oceanside, and most of them fit inside a pint glass. Yes, the gastro-brewpub launched by O.G. San Diego brewmaster ...

Chicken nuggets for adults

Add them to salad to feel healthy

The first thing we learn about the lonely film character Dominique Bretodeau, of the 2001 French cinema masterpiece, Amelie, is that every Tuesday, he roasts and carves a whole chicken for himself. Before he even ...

Communal's granola takes place of Rebecca's scones

South Park coffee turnover

When the new year began, South Park found itself trending downward in the coffee department. The end of 2017 brought with it the closing of longtime community hub, Rebecca’s Coffeehouse. For a quarter century, Rebecca’s ...

History lessons with a side of suds

Longship Brewery's lectures on beer-drinking Vikings and beer topics

Longship Brewery opened in 2016 with two specific areas of interest: Vikings and beer. Thanks to a new lecture series Longship is hosting in its Mira Mesa tasting room, beer fans are getting an opportunity ...

A chicken salad torta

Melted cheese, crisp lettuce, and smashed avocado on grilled telera

Fruit salads, smoothies, açaí bowls: all kinds of stuff we're all supposed to fit into our healthy diets. Those are the offerings I've always associated with Señor Mango's. Back when I lived in North Park, ...

Get drinking — U.S. beer production down

Treasury reports biggest single year decline since 2003

Statistics released by the U.S. Treasury bureau that regulates sales of alcohol indicate that, in 2017, beer production in the U.S. dropped by its highest rate in 14 years — 2.75 percent — to its ...

How is this cold sandwich better than a hot one?

The Reader finally gets to Rock n' Jenny's Italian Subs

It looks like I've missed many opportunities to visit Rock n' Jenny's Italian Subs. The East Coast style Italian deli has been dishing up sandwiches and pasta since 1989, and I've always driven right past ...

Acoustic Brewing's teeth cut, moving on

Latchkey gains entrée into historic Mission Brewing Plaza

The brewhouse at 1795 Hancock Street has produced a lot of beer for a number of breweries over the past two decades, and as of last week it's changed hands once again. Part of the ...

This way to a Better Buzz

A spacious new coffee shop for Hillcrest

Better Buzz Coffee is on the move. The Vista coffee roaster has opened its eighth coffee shop in San Diego, its fourth in just over two years. However, while most Better Buzz shops have been ...

Even a sandwich snob likes a deal

Working Class beer combo gets it a second look

At the North Park street corner where Ritual Tavern sat for the past decade or so, a new, neighborhood-oriented bar and eatery has opened, refurbishing the space and offering a different interpretation of the gastropub ...

Sunshine from a home-built still

"We use Ramona wine barrels for our aging."

It doesn't make moonshine, but no distillery in the county better reflects the history of the backyard still than San Diego Sunshine Craft Spirits. Sunshine opened to the public two years ago this week, in ...

Homestyle Somali food

Faridas makes it easy for a first-timer to eat well

To my knowledge, I had never eaten Somali food prior to walking into Faridas Somalian Cuisine a couple weeks ago. Had anyone bothered to ask, I would not even have been able to identify a ...

Horus Aged Ales gone in two seconds

50,000 vie for 480 bottles

One of Oceanside's newest beer companies sold its first bottles of beer to the public this week, but you probably didn't get one. Horus Aged Ales doesn't have a public tasting room, nor even the ...

Beyond great beer, good people

San Diego brewers' reputation for philanthropy

In late 2014, local journalist (and former Reader “Beer News” columnist) Brandon Hernández was diagnosed with lupus, a chronic, inflammatory disease affecting 1.5 million Americans. When Hernández looked around for information and support, he found ...

Vegan Americana

Anthem goes from farmers market stand to roadside diner

The distinctive A-frame storefront design of 2611 El Cajon Boulevard gives it the appearance of a mid-century motor lodge or roadside diner, and a diner is what it has been for decades, even as the ...

The new jefe of San Diego beer

San Diego Brewers Guild president Paul Sangster

With each coming new year, the San Diego Brewers Guild elects new leadership. For 2018, local craft beer's trade association will be led by Rip Current Brewing cofounder, Paul Sangster. 1. What are the top ...

The Shake Shack debate reaches So Cal

Thanks, New York

Shake Shack has landed in San Diego, and appears to be multiplying. The East Coast burger chain launched in the UTC mall last summer and opened its second Mission Valley location at the end of ...

Stone Brewing goes after MillerCoors

"The Gargoyle does not countenance such misdirection of consumers."

The battle between San Diego independent breweries and Big Beer continues, and this time the fight is going to federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Escondido-based Stone Brewing, long one of the most ...

Pad Thai three ways

There's more than one road to authenticity

Look near the top of any Thai restaurant menu in America, and you're sure to find one Thai dish in particular: Pad Thai. However, as chef Nattapon "Nat" Thitathan explained to me in a recent ...

The Eppig saga continues

North Park brewer sails into Point Loma waterfront

San Diego's got no shortage of bay views or craft breweries, but until now we've been short a bay-view brewery. Enter the Eppig Brewing Waterfront Biergarten, an indoor/outdoor tasting room that directly overlooks America’s Cup ...

Local fish and the people who catch them

Ironside's Dockside Dinner

While snappy terms such as "farm to table" have gone from trendy to passé due to misappropriation and overuse, the locovore movement remains relevant. Personally, I find comfort in the simplicity of knowing where my ...

Beers they see fit

Bell Marker brewers won't be married to particular styles

The Bell Marker brewpub opened in the Gaslamp Quarter late January, having polished up the brewhouse and restaurant space of defunct downtown brewery known as the Beer Company. The Bell Marker is part of Artisanal ...

Foie gras served with strawberry pickled mangos

Pizza and burgers — high minded and friendly

When North Park's D’Angelo Pizzeria closed in late 2017, I failed to notice. The small pizza shop on 30th had a mostly hyper-local following for at least the last decade, and though I must have ...

The Beaver has more to belch about

Vista brewery's Pub 980 revamp features restaurant as star

Belching Beaver Brewery debuted its new Pub 980 concept in January, taking the unusual step of converting the tasting room of its original Vista brewery location into a casual eatery with a taproom bar. Since ...

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