Happy Independence Day!
We can't believe that it's already July, but here we are. The rainy season is over and the world is sunny and sparkling. It's such a great time of year to get out and start exploring San Diego, whether you live here or are just visiting!
There are fireworks displays all over San Diego County, so finding a show shouldn't be too difficult. But the really hard part comes after you've plotted out where you plan to go: deciding on the best drink to accompany a fireworks show.
Don't worry, we've got you covered! First, you have to consider the weather. It's probably going to be pretty cool on the night of July 4th, which means you won't have to spend the day chilling white wine (unless, of course, you really want to). Because it'll be pleasantly cool, we recommend a brightly-flavored wine to watch the fireworks by, like Cordiano Winery's Trinity blend, or one of San Diego's famous local beers, like Mike Hess's Grim Ave Session IPA. Are you feeling a little more festive?
You aren't limited to anything in particular, though. There's also a great selection of spirits in San Diego these days. Since you're going to want to stay up a bit later than normal (hooray for the long weekends!) we recommend Kill Devil Spirit Co.'s wonderful Ugly California Rise and Shine moonshine. It's brewed with coffee beans, giving it a natural caffeine kick in addition to the roundhouse blow of 90 proof liquor. Delicious!
We think tippling one of these wonderful choices (or any of the other many, many wonderful options available to you in San Diego) will really add a kick to your firework watching. We'll be out there too, and if we see you, we'll raise a glass to you. Alternately, you could always join us! Give us a call at (858) 551-5115, and we'll tell you all about our tours.
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
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 Saint Patrick's Day!
Today's the traditional day to celebrate your Irish roots (real or imagined) alongside hundreds of thousands of Irish and Irish-at-heart who are doing the same. Today started out as a religious celebration (and a celebration of Ireland itself) but got exported to the United States, where it became a big, drunken holiday and celebration of Irish-Americans.
We love big, drunken holidays, at least when they're celebrated responsibly! In this case, one of our pet peeves has, for years, been the prevalence of green beer. Take a stand against green beer!
There's actually a reason for this that isn't aesthetic. The reason is this: the most Irish beer around is stout, and stouts are delicious, thick, and dark. Those three factors all but guarantee nobody will dye them green. For one thing, since they're already delicious, they won't need any adulteration — even of the colorful variety. For another, the best stouts are so thick and dark, you can put all the green dye into them you want, and it won't make any difference at all in the color.
Since that's what you should be drinking anyway, green beer sort of becomes a moot point. Green cocktails are another matter for another post. But in honor of Saint Patrick's Day:
Our beer tours are, of course, an amazing way to get to know the rich variety of excellent stouts (and other beers!) that San Diego has on tap. Give us a call. We'd love to talk to you about it! We have Shira Bliss on staff, and she's our resident expert. She should be — she was born in Ireland, after all, and in case you still had any doubts, today's her birthday. She's about as Irish as you can get!
Happy St. Shira's Day! Erin go bragh!
Brooke B., Irish Lassie
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
Bon soir, mes amis! It's almost time for one of our favorite days, Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras (same thing, but French.) The holiday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, which signifies the beginning of Lent; that means it's a great excuse to party.
You don't need to be in New Orleans to enjoy yourself, though. San Diego's beer scene is the stuff of legend, but its food and wine are great, too. Also, there's a pretty rockin' music scene here, so it's not too difficult to find places to really get into the Mardi Gras mood by getting your zydeco on.
But you need a guide if you venture out on Mardi Gras, whether you're a San Diego lifer or you're visiting for a weekend. One who knows the byways and secret alleys of the town, all the best places to have a meal and a glass of wine or beer, and then find a great spot to dance the rest of the night away (or watch others do the same.)
That's us! We possess esoteric knowledge about where to find the best places, and most importantly, the tastiest food and drink you'll find anywhere. Mardi Gras is all about having a good time, so come with us and let the good times roll!
It’s a great month in San Diego, because not only will we be getting a real spring this year, thanks to some serious rain we’ve been lacking for the past several years, but this is also the month that all the great beer events begin!
Here’s just a smattering of all the fun stuff going on in the first half of March alone.
March 7th: Best Coast Beer Fest. This one-day event, at Embarcadero Park South, is a fundraiser for a nonprofit group called Cancer for College. 100 percent of the proceeds goes to help put a cancer survivor through university. Also, it’s personally endorsed by Will Ferrell, who apparently sometimes shows up and just hangs out doing Ron Burgundy impersonations.
March 12th: Exotic ingredients Beer Tasting. First of all, you should get to the Museum of Man stat anyway, because their Beerology exhibit is a thing of beauty! This beer tasting, curated by the museum and featuring several local brewers, is a great reason to go see it. If you miss this tasting, don’t worry – there will be more. Many, many more.
March 14th: ShamROCK, also known as Saint Patrick’s Day in the Gaslamp. Oh, yeah! This holiday is a beer lover’s dream. Remember, though – you’re in no way obligated to drink green beer, just good beer.
March 15th: El Cajon Brewer’s Invitational. Feel like heading for the hills? El Cajon, which literally means “the boxed,” because of the hills that surround this warm valley, is having its first ever large-scale craft beer event. Just look at this lineup! It’s going to be incredible.
Brooke B., March Hare
The blustery weather has blown through San Diego, rain has come and gone, and for the first time in a couple of years, flowers are nodding in the breeze.
The drought might not be completely over, but this spring is a welcome respite! We think that a little celebration is definitely in order, especially since Easter’s almost here and, as we’ve mentioned before, Easter and beer have quite a lot of history in common.
Bavarian monks used to brew beer for Lent, a fast that lasts about a month and a half. The beer, Dopplebock, was brewed to be “liquid bread,” so it was dark and hearty, offered a lot of nutrients, and packed quite a punch – often up to 13 percent alcohol! This probably made the Lenten season, which ends with Easter, a lot easier to bear.
Beer, it’s widely theorized, was the reason agriculture was invented. People could hunt and gather food, but you had to work to brew beer. But, as any local brewer can tell you, the end result is completely worth it! Beer was the impetus for civilization, which makes perfect sense, and Easter was adapted from various farming and agricultural celebrations. So without beer, there would be no spring planting festival.
So here’s a hearty “cheers” to your favorite beers. Bottoms up, and happy spring!
Brooke B., Flower Power
Mardi Gras is almost here!
This is one of the best times of year to be a lover of food and drink. It’s related to Carnaval, which comes from the phrase “carne vale,” or “farewell to the flesh,” and in the Christian calendar is the time of feasting before the self-deprivation of Lent begins.
The Mardi Gras feasting and partying day is also known as Shrove Tuesday, the day that precedes Ash Wednesday. Both days are known as “moveable feast” days, which got their name because their dates move throughout the year in relation to Easter Sunday, which is always held on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Northern Hemisphere’s spring equinox.
That’s a mouthful, so to speak. But we love moveable feasts so much that’s what we do! Every tour we take you on is a moveable feast, because there’s so much deliciously good food and drink in San Diego that we can’t limit you to just one place. That’s why we have our train tours as well as our walking and chauffeured tours. We can’t choose just one.
Best way to celebrate Mardi Gras? Book one of our February tours, and laissez les bon temps rouler! We’ll even find you a chicory coffee and a beignet to wash it all down, but you may have to bring your own beads if you want some lagniappe.
Happy Fat Tuesday!
Brooke B., Krewe member
Today's the day!
Superbowl Sunday always gets people worked up, whether they're fans of the teams, enjoying the high drama (especially this year), or just watching the Puppy Bowl instead. Either way, beer and food are integral parts of Superbowl (or Puppy Bowl) Sunday! We know this, love this, and think everyone should make the most of it.
Since salty foods are a big thing for any football game, here's our tips for enjoying every moment of today:
Get bitter! San Diego's signature Double IPA style is a great match for Superbowl foods. Salty burgers, fries, and chips and guacamole are all perfect foils for your favorite hoppy brews. Try Alpine Beer Company's Exponential Hoppiness for a breathtaking match for your game viewing. Not hoppy enough for you? If you look very, very carefully, you may be able to find Russian River's elusive Pliny the Younger, their limited-edition Triple (!) IPA, in the wild. This superb and complex Sonoma County brew is difficult to find at the best of times, however, so best of luck!
If you aren't a hophead, go sweet. But not too sweet. A sweetish American Brown Ale like Monkey Paw's Sweet Georgia Brown has caramelly notes that are also ideal for savory red meats, anything with cheese, and vegetables. Ritual Brewing Company's Brown Ale is also a fantastic choice, and AleSmith Nut Brown a perennial favorite. Watch out, though — these ales go down easier than a linebacker on a slippery field!
These beers are a great starting point for today's parties. Please drink responsibly, and may the best team win! But you're drinking great beer, so you know who the real winners are no matter what.
Brooke B., Baller