Tabula Rasa is the 4th Annual Sore Eye Cup Champion!

20160806_152358In a crowded, world renown, craft beer bar last Saturday the Sore Eye Cup champion was announced to zealous, sweaty, San Diego, indie beer fans. This year, Tabula Rasa, from Second Chance Beer Co. , is that victor! They reign for a full year as the Sore Eye Cup winner, and with that comes all the glory and prestige a local blog can bestow upon an amazing brewery. 2nd Chance’s motto is Seize. Sip. Enjoy. and boy did they ever seize the cup, sip from its mighty depths and enjoy the spoils of triumph with us on Saturday.

tabula RasaLook at the can on the left. Second Chance self distributes Tabula Rasa in pint cans so you can easily get your hands on some, something that you should certainly do very soon! I also suggest you visit their awesome tasting room/brewery in Carmel Mountain Ranch. Plenty of space to enjoy their offerings, play an intense game of darts, or lounge around. I’ve enjoyed both of my visits their and think you would dig hanging out there too!

SoreEyeCupSecondChanceTo review, more than seventy people nominated 82 beers for the contest. We had 14,111 legitimate votes to get us to the top ten beers. Both of those statistics exceeded previous contest records. The beers were picked up the day before judging, during something I call the Sore Eye Tour. The top ten beers were judged by people ranging from craft beer fanatic to Advanced Cicerone. Those judges chose Tabula Rasa as San Diego’s best, regularly produced, indie beer for 2016!

Thank you to our host, Toronado, and our sponsor,, I couldn’t have done it without you!


SD BeerTalk Radio about #IndieBeer and 10 Barrel

SDBeerTalk_Light_BackgroundLast week, while recording a show with the What’s on Draft TV guys, Greg and I took sometime in the middle of the show to address some hot topics, mainly #InideBeer and our opposition to 10 Barrel. We also squeeze some current beer news in there. Have a listen and let me know your thoughts on any of the topics we discuss.

There are definitely those outside of San Diego that are seriously vocal about opposing the hashtag, and that’s their right as Americans. I’m stoked the conversation has grown but want to remind everyone we’re talking about beer and hashtag here; I think we can take the seriousness down a peg. I’m fully aware this conversation is not for everyone, but for those that produce, support, and love craft beer this is an important discussion and I hope that aspect of the situation continues.

The message of knowledge and supporting quality, independent breweries (when you can/want) is what’s important here, not a perception of what you think #IndieBeer is or should be. We’ve made a decision about what we want to support, nothing more (or less).

Serious Food and Silliness at Mad House Comedy Club

IMG_8906Tuesday, February 2nd, was the night to be at Mad House Comedy Club for a great Stone Brewing dinner. I know, you’ve never thought a comedy club is somewhere you would go for good food, let alone a 6 course craft beer pairing meal, but get used to it!

When Chef Karl joined Mad House, I knew it would only be a matter of time until he got his amazing friends together for something like this, it’s like assembling the Avengers to destroy the aliens, except, in this case, the aliens are the taste buds in your mouth. If you have gone to any of his past events or were one of the 45+ people that had the vision to attend, you completely understand what I mean.
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Live SD BeerTalk Radio Show at Alpine Pub!

AlpineBoardCome join us as at 7pm on Tuesday, December 29th, while we rock the Alpine Pub! We will be doing a live show right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that is Alpine Beer Company ! We’ll have a few giveaways and some other fun for you but nothing will compare to how awesome the beers that flow from these taps are. We will be broadcasting our audio live through our new PA speaker so you’ll be able to hear everything going on and interact with us. Come see the show get recorded live and help us fill the pub with fun! You can RSVP here!

$1 Billion for Ballast Point and the Birth of #IndieBeer

20140711_173830Just in case you were camping in one of the few places left without internet access, Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits was purchased for $1,000,000,000.00 (yes, $1 billion) by Constellation Brands, owners of Modelo, Corona, and many other beer, spirit and wine companies. The dollar amount is an estimate as the actual workings of the deal are cash and debt absorption. This purchase price is very high based on usual formulas used for acquisitions. Ballast sold their company at a premium price, roughly $3,500.00 per barrel produced when recent craft brewery purchases were closer to $1,000.00 per barrel. For more details on the statistics and the actual press release, please read this West Coaster article.

Individual brands of the spirit side, like Fugu Vodka and Devil’s Share Whiskey, are still owned by Jack White and Yuseff Cherney, but the Ballast Spirits trademark was purchased by Constellation. Indications are that Jack and Yuseff will start a new company to continue, making this a complicated issue of the purchase. It makes sense to me, since Constellation has many more spirit companies than beer, that this trademark was enticing for them.

Many people in San Diego found this news shocking and little bit of a punch in the gut. I’m one of them. I completely understand this is a staggering, life changing amount of money. I recognize that the workings of the deal state intent to leave Ballast untouched and allow them to continue making the exceptional beer they currently produce. I’m proud of them for their amazing hard work, development of a valuable business, and their integral contributions to the overall San Diego craft beer industry and community.

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