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Beer Here!


Beer-Pairing Dinners

The Kettle Room {2215 India Street, Little Italy; ballastpoint.com}
This intimate, new venue tucked away behind the brewing system at Ballast Point’s popular Little Italy tasting room and restaurant offers a small but mighty chef-driven dinner menu composed of inspired starters, salads, and entrées like Seared Tuna Niçoise, Grilled Octopus with Green Tomato Kimchee, and Tepache Braised Pork Belly—each with a suggested beer pairing. If you’d rather leave your gastronomic destiny in the kitchen’s capable hands, opt for the daily-changing prix-fixe menu ($55 per person or $75 with beer pairings). Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday; make your reservation via OpenTable.

Sip of the Season

Horchata Beer Slushie from Modern Times
This multi-purpose libation combines the benefits of a sugar rush and caffeine boost with an added buzz. Amy Krone, Modern Times Director of Coffee, says the beer, cold brew, and horchata concoction was a collaborative effort inspired by a tasty horchata from a North Park taqueria. “The idea to add cold brew seemed obvious. The idea to slushify it seemed brilliant,” explains Krone. “Then, when we were developing drink ideas for our coffee and beer festival, The Carnival of Caffeination, one of our baristas decided to pour a splash of barrel-aged stout on top, and a beautiful beer slushie was born.” For the ultimate summer refreshment, head to the Modern Times Lomaland Fermentorium tasting room to experience it for yourself.

Summer Beer Events

Heroes Brew Festival
Saturday, July 22
Comic book fans that appreciate a good brew won’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind festival held during Comic-Con weekend. Expect live virtual reality artwork displayed on LED screens, art demos by illustrators and comic designers, costume contests, a DJ set by Kristian Nairn (who plays Hodor on “Game Of Thrones”), and more. Tickets: $22-99. Visit heroesbrewfest.com for details.

Stone 21st Anniversary Celebration Invitational Beer Festival
Saturday, August 19
Mark your calendar for Stone Brewing’s annual beer tasting extravaganza, featuring unlimited samples of 100 beers from 50-plus breweries at Cal State San Marcos. Serious beer fans can upgrade their experience with rare all-access beer tickets and enjoy 20 additional samples of exclusive brews (and complimentary bites), or book a private tasting with Stone Brewing Executive Chairman and Co-Founder Greg Koch. Event proceeds go directly to local charities, including The Surfrider Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos, and YMCA of San Diego County. Tickets: $55-99 ($15-35 for designated drivers). Visit stonebrewing.com for full details.

San Diego Bacon Fest
Saturday, September 2
This annual festival celebrates two of life’s greatest pleasures: beer and bacon. Held at Preble Field at NTC Park, the event features dozens of local breweries, including Green Flash, Belching Beaver Brewery, North Park Beer Company, Bitter Brothers, Societe, and many more. Tickets range from $45-80 and include unlimited food and beer samples. Visit sdbaconfest.com for details.


Cooking with San Diego Beer

Bratwurst Beer Mac & Cheese
by Whitney Bond

serves two to four

1 lb bratwurst
2 c macaroni noodles
8 oz cream cheese (cubed)
1/2 c amber beer, such as Coronado Brewing Company’s Mermaid’s Red
1/2 c milk
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
herbs, for garnish

Grill the bratwurst, 12-15 minutes, or until fully cooked, then set aside.

Boil a large pot of water and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain the noodles and return to pot. Add the cream cheese, amber beer, milk, spices, black pepper, and kosher salt. Stir continuously as the cheese melts.

Once the sauce is creamy, add the cheddar cheese and continue to stir until it is fully melted. Slice the grilled bratwurst and add it on top. Serve with fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, or cilantro, if desired.

Whitney Bond is a San Diego blogger who specializes in creating tasty recipes that can be made in 29 minutes or less, in one pot or a crock-pot. Read more at whitneybond.com