Non-alcoholic beer. Not even worthy of an exclamation point, right? Kind of ick-inducing? In most cases, that’s sadly the case, but there’s a N/A beer company with a local presence that’s making taking a break from all the ABV kind of cool. That interest goes by the name Athletic Brewing. Born in Connecticut, they moved to the left coast in 2019 to set up a brewery at Ballast Point’s former barrel-aging facility on Trade Street. Since then, they’ve brought aboard a number of well-known San Diego brewers who are working together to produce N/A beer that’s a cut above and displays diversity of flavors and styles. Join us as we talk to Athletic founder John Walker and Director of Brewing Kevin Henschel about their bi-coastal beer biz and what it’s been like making a home in the beer capital of the US.
What They Drank Upside Down | Golden Ale
Downwinder | Gose
Run Wild | West Coast IPA
In the craft-beer world,, few names are as big as Deschutes Brewery. Opened in 1988 as a small brewpub, this Bend, Oregon operation has grown into the tenth-largest craft-brewing company in the country behind a variety of beers, ranging from sessionable mainstays to barrel-aged specialties and hop-driven pales and IPAs. The crew talked about about them all while diving into the hop-laden latter with Product Development Director Veronica Vega and Brewer Jeff “Verno” Johnson. A great deal was also shared regarding hops, agriculture and more in an episode jam-packed with info…and a lot of fun!
What They Drank: Squeezy Rider | West Coast IPA w/ Strata Hops (7%)
Symphonic Chronic | West Coast IPA (7.2%)
Haze Tron | Hazy Imperial IPA w/ Cryo Hops (8%)
Their brewpubs dot the SoCal coastline like beacons beckoning ale and lager fans to good beer…and also pizza! You know them, you love them, you’ve had way too much fun at their picnic-tabled outposts. We are, of course, talking about Pizza Port. We had the pleasure of spending some time with Head Brewer Sean Farrell and Senior Sales and Brand Development maven Jill Olesh and Marketing Manager Joe Arguello, all of whom play key roles within this iconic company and gave us a peek behind the curtain while calling out other key members of the Pizza Port family, past and present.
What They Drank: Swami’s IPA | West Coast IPA (6.8%)
Coastal Access | West Coast IPA (7%)
Share the Ride | West Coast IPA (7.5%)
Nestled within The Local Eatery and Drinking Hole in the Gaslamp Quarter, Resident Brewinghas long been a hangout for game-going Friars fans. Pre- and post-gaming Padres die-hards have been hitting the brewpub up even more of late following Resident’s recent collaboration with right-handed starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, AKA: the first Pads hurler ever to throw a perfect game. The result of that meeting of the minds is No-No Joe, a mega-hopped Double IPA that we’ll be drinking along with some of Resident’s other beers when they join us on the podcast.
What They Drank: No-No Joe | Unfiltered West Coast Double IPA (8.2%)
Fleeting Glimpse | Gin & Tonic-inspired Barrel-rested Saison (8%)
Barrel-aged Baby Sips | Bourbon Barrel-aged Imperial Stout w/ Toasted Coconut, Vanilla Beans & Mostra Coffee (14.5%)
There’s no substitute for experience, and Daren Rudy, the co-founder and brewmaster at recently opened Ataraxia Aleworks has plenty. He cut his teeth on the brew system at legendary Ballast Point Brewing, picking up the skills and techniques he’s now putting to work at his own business. Daren came on the show to tell us all about what visitors can expect when they visit his zen-focused Kearny Mesa tasting room, and shared some of his very first drafts.
What They Drank: Harambe Helles | Helles Lager (4.5%)
Cowbell IPA | Double Dry-hopped Hazy IPA (6.5%)
The Great Deliverer | Porter (7%)