Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Karl Strauss is a special brewery to me. I came to San Diego in the early 90s and the bar taps featured your standard mega American beer selections. Nothing with any dimension – just flabby, watery, pale fizz. When Karl Strauss hit the taps in San Diego bars, I was more than excited. This was the dawn of a new beer era in this town.

Scot Blair: Hamilton’s Tavern, Small Bar, Monkey Paw

Scot Blair: Hamilton’s Tavern, Small Bar, Monkey Paw

We step through the door of Hamilton’s and the midday sun dissolves into warm dim light, the corner jukebox jangles out The Stone’s “Aint too Proud to Beg” and suddenly I feel like this is the best place to be – the only place to be – on this sunny afternoon.

The Home Brew Mart

The Home Brew Mart

Colby Chandler and the team of brewers are mad scientists of a sort. They have at their disposal an arsenal of ingredients at all times. I don’t know why it took me so long to get into the Home Brew Mart. If I’d known they serve up incredible beers on tap daily, it may have changed things.

Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Brewing Co.

Passion for beer runs deep at Stone Brewing. It’s immediately evident as Greg Koch and Steve Wagner sit down with their glasses and survey the pour. It’s not quite right. There are some tiny bubbles clinging to the side. Greg gets up and returns to the tap with a new glass. This one is better. ...

The Best Damn Beer Shop

The Best Damn Beer Shop

The name says it all. Sid Mikhail runs this shop-inside-a-shop located in the Super JR Market on 7th avenue. Last week we popped open a Russian River Supplication, spent some time talking about his special inventory, and shot a few frames after the store closed for the night.

Ballast Point Spirits

Ballast Point Spirits

What some people may not know is that Ballast Point has quietly been distilling top-notch spirits– namely gin, rum and whiskey. That’s right. Whiskey. From San Diego. Ballast Point is the first and only distillery in San Diego

Taphunter

Taphunter

I had a chance to share an afternoon with Mel and Flash Gordon of Taphunter.com to hear what they’ve been up to. Turns out, quite a bit. The Taphunters have been hard at work with an iPhone app, adding new cities to their coverage and tinkering with the site to make it even more helpful ...

About Hopped Up

About Hopped Up

I moved from Seattle to San Diego in late 1993. At that time the northwest had a very active micro-brew scene. I was particularly smitten with local breweries Red Hook, Pyramid and Pike Place Brewery and spent many a night tasting their latest offering. When I arrived in San Diego the locals seemed happy with ...