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Stories by Ian Anderson

San Diego brewers fare well, awards-wise

QUAFF wins again, while state fair more than fair to locals

Several San Diego breweries added to their awards caches at the state fair over the weekend. Local homebrewers also made their prowess known, both on state and national levels. San Diego beer companies claimed 25 ...

40 ounces of Alesmith

Fluid commemoration of Sublime's 25th year since breakout album

For a brief time this summer, one of San Diego beer's most recognized brands will be selling brew in a 40-ounce bottle. AleSmith Brewing has teamed up with Long Beach reggae-punk band Sublime to release ...

There goes the Neighborhood — past 10-year milestone

"What's worked for us is that we have a good draft system."

East Village gastropub Neighborhood turns ten this week. As the first business opened by the partnership now called Consortium Holdings, it laid the foundation that has become one of San Diego's most recognized hospitality groups, ...

Local, organic, and rich in that umami flavor

So Cal stereotype

I was cruising through Encinitas, and the words “organic café” caught my eye. I pulled over and parked, and before long I was noshing on a grilled chicken pesto sandwich on a casual patio, trading ...

Del Sur: two steps forward, two steps back

Everything tastes better when preceded by tequila

I’m ambivalent about table-service Mexican restaurants. In a city where great-tasting Mexican food often comes out of taco stand or off the back of a truck, it’s when I sit down and order food off ...

Beer wars come to San Diego

Brewers Guild window decals to distinguish indie beer from big beer

San Diego's independent beer wars started in earnest Memorial Day weekend, as local breweries and their supporters lit up social media and literally took to the skies to voice displeasure about the opening of a ...

Skaters kickflip for beer

Some of the world's best skateboarders have something brewing in Oceanside

The grand opening for Oceanside's newest brewery is slated for Saturday, June 10, but it has already sold out its first batch of beer, thanks to racking up 122 different bar and restaurant accounts. That's ...

The lure of fresh bread in the morning

Torpedo repeat

BMH Italian wasn’t open yet, but I could smell the bread baking, so I parked it on a bench outside and waited. 10:30 a.m. may have been a little on the early side for lunch, ...

New SD brewery already big in Japan

Circle 9 makes craft rice lager to drink while fighting floats

New San Diego beer company Circle 9 Brewing has yet to open. However, it has already served its first beer — in Japan. Cofounders Darren Baker and Andrew Campbell took a Circle 9 beer to ...

Everyone gets what they want — on the menu, anyway

Tacos and sushi under one roof...hmm...

“Something for everyone!” says the website for Craft & Sea, the North Park restaurant now occupying the space that was — as far back as I can remember — Zensei Sushi. I find it interesting ...

Drink a few for female beer professionals

Pink Boots Society conference and festival this weekend

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer has designated June 3rd Pink Boots Society Day in San Diego, marking the tenth anniversary of the nonprofit's mission to encourage the professional advancement of women within the brewing industry. ...

Decadent vegan?

Omnivore seeks satiety on a meatless plate

I live close to South Park’s self-described “decadent vegan” bar and restaurant, Kindred, and most nights as I pass by it bustles with stylishly dressed couples and groups who sip craft cocktails, sample the amaro ...

Henebery brings production home

Legacy whiskey brand opens tasting room and distillery in Vista

Producing whiskey requires fermented grain, a still, a barrel, and patience. Henebery Spirits has shown plenty of the latter. Jesse Fanning launched Henebery in 2013 with his wife Natalie and her family, including parents Annette ...

Let’s give it one more Thai

These are not limp, broken-down-in-the-stir-fry veggies

It was not long ago I wrote about a hot-sandwich shop working out of the back of a Golden Hill corner store and how I thought the succession of doomed, sloppy businesses back there had ...

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 ...

It’s suggested that 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 ...