It's one of the biggest times of the year for San Diego! Comic-Con International is here again, and it's bringing hundreds of thousands of people to our beautiful city.
Since San Diego is one of the beer capitals of the United States (if not the world!) it makes sense that there's a lot of beer coming along with the crowds. But brewers aren't the only ones who are coming through! Check out the Comic-Con offerings, because cons are thirsty work!
First and foremost, Schmaltz Brewing Company is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary (!) of Star Trek with a theme beer called The Trouble With Tribbles, a golden ale. Yum! You'll be able to find it at the following locations in San Diego this week:
Golden Anniversary Ale: The Trouble With Tribbles will be available throughout the San Diego metro area at Neighborhood (777 G St.), Burgers, Bate & Beer (200 Marina Park Way), Hopping Pig (748 Fifth Ave), Tipsy Crow (770 Fifth Ave), Gaslamp Tavern (868 Fifth Ave), The Safehouse – North Park (2930 University Ave), Newport Pizza & Alehouse – Ocean Beach (5050 Newport Ave), Balboa Tap House – Clairemont (4421 Genesee Ave), Goldfish Point Café – La Jolla (1255 Coast Blvd), Eureka! – La Jolla (4353 La Jolla Village Dr), Woodstock’s Pizza – SDSU (6145 El Cajon Blvd), Ugly Dog Pub (6344 El Cajon Blvd), Craft Kitchen – La Mesa (4253 Palm Ave), and The Hills – La Mesa (8758 La Mesa Blvd). Please refer to this interactive map for additional locations selling The Trouble With Tribbles.
Schmaltz is also putting out another brew in the fall called: Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale: Voyage To The Northeast Quadrant.
There's also a metric ton of beer and comics related events all weekend long! It starts with Hop-Con 4.0, and the fun continues all the way through the weekend with the Heroes Brew Fest as one of the annual highlights.
There are quite a few Comic-Con-themed cocktails out there, too. Check a sampling of `em out right here. Because San Diego Comic-Con is thirsty work!
Father's Day has arrived. It's a great day to take your dad (or any dad in your life) out for a pint and tell him how much you appreciate him. You know that, of course, and maybe you're already doing that.
But what if you want to take it to the next level, and give your dad something truly memorable? How about not just one beer, but a whole beer tour of San Diego? You don't have to schedule it for today (although you can call or email us any time you like) but just gifting the dads in your life with the experience of a chauffeured beer or wine tour, or one of our new guided distillery tours, will make today that much more special.
Giving gifts can be difficult, especially for people who are picky or hard to please. Science makes it easier, though: give experiences, not things. Material things can cause clutter or be forgotten (let's never forget the white elephants we have to haul out when our relatives come to visit) but experiences last a lifetime.
The experiences we offer aren't just some of the best you can get. As you're dining and drinking like royalty and sampling wonderful foods, you're also participating in some of the most environmentally friendly activities you possibly can. All of our food and drink, wherever possible, is locally grown and made, and by taking the train, walking, or participating in a chauffeured tour, you're doing your part to clean up the air and prevent further pollution.
What could be a better gift than that? You're not just honoring the dads in your life. You're also honoring the generations yet to come.
Happy Father's Day!
Brooke B., Wine Taster
Happy Mother's Day!
Here at San Diego Beer and Wine Tours, we love our mothers (and your mothers, too). Everybody has one or two, whether it's your biological mom or someone who filled that role. We honor you, mothers and people who love them!
Mother's Day started out as an attempt to reduce deaths due to violence and unsanitary conditions during the Civil War, and quickly became a day to honor mothers and their tirelessness and bravery everywhere. It's celebrated in just about every country in the world, and rightly so.
Our Shira Bliss not only respects and loves her mother, but she also knows just how hard they work — she's raised five lovely children of her own! That means we at San Diego Beer and Wine Tours have an innate understanding and respect for mums, and how they sometimes might want to unwind with a glass of wine and some really delicious food.
And that's where we come in. We love treating your mothers just as much as we love treating our own, and if you're a mom, that applies to you as well. Join us for one of our famous winery or brewery tours, and relax as we chauffeur you all over San Diego. All you (or you and your mom) have to do is sit back, drink in the scenery, and enjoy some of the best food and drink you've ever tasted, all responsibly sourced and locally made.
And don't forget: Beer is the mother of us all.
Happy Mother's Day to you all!
Brooke B., Mamacita
Photo courtesy: FritasShack.com
It's one of the hottest holidays of the year for lovers of food and drink — in the United States, at least. Cinco de Mayo (known affectionately as Cinco de Drinko) can be an excuse to drink tequila until you hit the floor, or it can be celebrated the right way: by sampling some of Mexico's world-class food and drink.
Here's the best part: you don't even have to leave San Diego to do it!
San Diego is right on the Mexican border, and so it's dripping with some of the best Mexican foods, brews, and wines that you've ever tasted in your life. Whether you're sampling some of the high-end moles and tequilas of Cantina Mayahuel, or you're enjoying the arts and scenery of Barrio Logan at Border X Brewing, or even checking out the lucha-themed splendor of Lucha Libre Taco Shop, this is one of the only places to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in an authentic way!
Cinco de Mayo isn't hugely celebrated in Mexico, and it isn't Mexican Independence Day — it's the anniversary of the Batalla de Puebla, in which Mexican troops scored a long-odds victory against the French. It is acknowledged with parades and parties in Puebla and elsewhere around Mexico, but it isn't a national holiday. It didn't become a big party (much like St. Patrick's Day) until it hit the United States! From there, of course, it spread.
So for an authentic Cinco de Mayo experience, you should look within the US. We know just the places to go. (And, as always, please drink responsibly!)
Amadora de Cerveza y Vino
Happy National Beer Day!
While you could argue that really, any day is National Beer Day (who wouldn't want an excuse to tip back one or two?) there's actually a really good reason that it's today, on April 7th. That reason stretches back into the last century, all the way back to Prohibition.
A little history is in order. Don't worry, it's only a little! In 1920, a national Constitutional ban on alcoholic beverages was signed into law in the United States. Alcohol was thought at the time to be a major social vice, and so it was made illegal. Of course, that didn't really stop any dedicated drinkers, and instead of turning the country into a utopia, it opened the door to organized crime and booze cartels, the creation of speakeasies, and had other interesting effects on the drinking culture. But one thing it didn't do was keep Americans from drinking.
The United States admitted that it was wrong thirteen years later, starting on April 7th, 1933. That's when a ban on alcohol was partially lifted, allowing for beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 percent or lower (thought too low to be intoxicating) to be sold in so-called "wet" states. (Prohibition was fully repealed December of that year.)
And the country rejoiced!
It rejoiced so much, as a matter of fact, that it never really stopped. Now we have beer culture (with more than 3,300 brewers in the U.S., a thriving industry that brings approximately $253 billion into our economy every year) and Wine Country and cocktails and, oh yeah, things like San Diego Beer and Wine Tours, none of which would have been possible but for some far-thinking politicians who reversed the ban on alcohol.
So, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate April 7th (also called New Beer's Day.) If you're feeling like a beer, it's right in the name. Open one up and celebrate with some friends! But if you're feeling more historical, try a French 75, one of the more enduring cocktail recipes to come out of Prohibition. We're sure you'll find it absolutely delicious. Or what the heck, why not mix the two and try a delicious beer cocktail on for size? The ideas are absolutely endless.
Oh, and hug a local brewer today. They've been through a lot!
Brooke B., Molly Pitcher
Photo Courtesy: Lauren Manning/Flickr
Happy Leap Day!
This special day only comes around once every four years, and it originates from Roman times, when then-emperor Julius Caesar decided to add an extra day to the year periodically to make up for discrepancies in the calendar. The tradition started in 45 B.C.E., which means that leap days have been around even longer than our current calendar.
Because leap years are relatively unusual, recurring only twice a decade, February 29th has an air of the mysterious and the unusual about it. Businesses that are started on this day are supposed to be successful, according to legend; another legend states that this is the day women can propose to men (that's an old one though, of course — women proposing to men nowadays raises nary an eyebrow, although it's still generally customary for marriage-minded men to make the proposal.)
Antiquated customs aside, Leap Day is still a special day. It's February 29th, after all, and that demands something special. Since we are of the mindset that every special occasion should be celebrated with delicious food and drinks, we dug up this Leap Day cocktail:
It combines 29 millilitres each of Pisco, Campari, and Lillet, two dashes of Angostura Bitters, and a couple of icecubes. Swirl and enjoy!
If you'd really rather have a beer, we've got your back on that one, too. A number of breweries across the country have planned events for this very day, and if you really feel like pulling out the stops, Philadelphia's 2SP Brewing puts out Hop Leap IPA today, and Untappd put out a special badge for this exact day. If wine's more your thing, we couldn't find any especially leap year specific tipples, but we did find a handy list of leap-themed wines.
Hopefully, you now feel prepared for the unusual fun that will undoubtedly come your way tonight. Happy celebrating, and happy Leap Beer! Or Leap Year! Oh, whatever, we'll drink to them both. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow will be March.
Leap Day Lovely
If you're in San Diego, you probably have noticed the fact that it is raining. Not just any rain, either — it's a true-blue El Niño, one storm after another lined merrily up to dump some long-overdue moisture on our parched and cracking soil.
While the rain is undeniably good for everyone in the region, it can put a damper (pun intended) on outdoor activities. The animals are almost all in hiding at the San Diego Zoo, walking around Sea World is a chore, and hiking up a steep and muddy hill? Forget about it.
But, of course, that's what we are here for. Whether you're visiting or you live here, we have delightful and delicious ideas for your activities, all of which, of course, involve wonderful wines, lip-smackingly delicious beers, and some of the best food you've ever had anywhere to pair with it.
We understand that the last thing you probably want to do in one of America's sunniest cities is traipse around in the rain. But we wouldn't make you do that. We'll just come pick you up or meet you, and then take you on a warm, dry tour of the best breweries, wineries, and restaurants in beautiful San Diego.
Brooke B., Rainy Day Friend
Memorial Day is almost here!
In case you were wondering why that’s a big deal, well – first of all, it’s a way to remember those who gave their life for the United States’ armed forces. It’s a solemn day, but that solemnity is tempered by celebrations: after all, it’s also the first official day of summer.
When you balance out the two, Memorial Day is a day of togetherness, of friends and family, and of barbecues. It’s also a day that’s traditionally full of beer – the best thing to drink with those backyard burgers and new memories you’re creating together is a growler of great beer. And now you can enjoy your beer and wine and also honor the troops! Here’s a few ways to do it.
50 Back American Lager is a beer that, as promised, gives 50 percent of all its proceeds to charities that support U.S. military veterans. Crack open a frosty one and know that half that bottle’s going to people who served your country!
You can also buy your beer from veteran-owned craft breweries! If you’re looking to expand your palate, here’s a handy starter guide from CraftBeer.com. If all you need is a bottle opener, a local company called Bullets2Bandages is in your corner too.
Have a great Memorial Day. We’ll toast to you, to a great summer, and – as always – to the troops.
Brooke B., Star Spangled Brewer
Image Courtesy: Flickr user Darren Moloney
The season has begun!
We're not talking about springtime, although that came in last month with scattered showers and even a hint of some May flowers. We're not talking about sports, although there are various events and seasons going on there, too.
No, what we're talking about is that most important of seasons in southern California: that of the craft beer festival. It kicked off this year with the acclaimed Citybeat Festival of Beers, an afternoon fair that offered music and food as well as local beer that ranged from the mainstream to the obscure.
Starting May 1st, and continuing through the 3rd, Temecula is hosting its annual Southern California Homebrewers' Festival at Vail Lake. It ran into some problems last year because of legislative issues, but this year it's going strong and promises to be a fun time, so get yourself out to the campground and see what's brewing!
In June, the San Diego International Beer Festival will be held in tandem with the San Diego County Fair. Nearly 200 breweries from all over the world will be represented, and since knowledge is power, it's your moral imperative to go find out as much as you can about each one! It includes free fair admission, so have fun – and hold on to your hat.
That's just a brief entree into southern California's wonderful beer world. But you don't have to wait until the festivals to have fun – give us a call and book yourself a beer train or chauffeured tour. We'll pair your drinks with delicious meals and show you the best of San Diego.
This is serious business. Kinda.
It's that dreaded or delightful day again, depending on your perspective, the day that no press release or news story can be taken seriously lest you become an April Fool! (Or, as they say in France, Italy, and Belgium, an April Fish.)
Brewers are a funny bunch anyway, and breweries have been having fun with April 1st for many years. It seems like only yesterday, but was really more than a decade ago, that Stone Brewing Co. cooked up its first of many classic pranks, 2002's “Extreme LemonyLime,” featuring a new “soda-like” malt beverage. Boy, was the internet mad, until everyone figured it out.
And we're actually a little bit upset that this wonderful self-refilling beer can from Canada's Cask Brewing Systems doesn't actually exist. It re-brews the beer right in the can! Why can't we make this happen?
And in 2014, Samuel Adams shocked everyone who wasn't paying attention to the date with their "new beer": HeliYum, which makes your voice sound like you've been sucking on – you guessed it!
But here's something that's decidedly not a joke, they swear. A dress made from beer and bacteria will debut at the World Expo 2015 in Milan later this year. The bacteria eats, or, well, drinks the beer and converts it to solid fibers in the process. How cool is that?
It just goes to show you it's like we always say. Beer is magic. No joke!
Brooke B., Poisson d'Avril