The Coast News Group
Capital of Craft IPA is a collaboration of eight local breweries. Photo by Ryan Woldt
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Cheers! North County: Epic beer collaboration for San Diego Beer Week

In this time of political turmoil and pandemic restrictions and the bitter cool winds of winter (it dipped below 60 degrees at our place this week), there is still one thing that can bring people together: Beer.

Despite the roadblocks 2020 set before them, eight local, independent brewers collaborated to create the Capital of Craft IPA to kick off San Diego Beer Week 2020, which begins with a countywide tapping of the new beer at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 6.

The breweries, including North County’s Five Suits and Northern Pine, came together at Burgeon Beer in Carlsbad to create a 7.0% West Coast-style IPA for the San Diego Brewers Guild. SDBG describes it as “…tropical and citrusy fruit-forward aromas & flavors with an impeccably clean finish,” which I will vouch for after sampling a tall boy can.

Anthony Tallman, co-founder and head brewer at Burgeon Beer, shared a little bit about the experience of creating this collaboration, and why these collaborations matter to the San Diego beer community.

The Coast News: How were you able to work around coronavirus this year to create this collaboration, and is there any sense that successfully presenting this beer to the community means something different than in years past?

Anthony: Like most collaborations the recipe development was done collectively. However, this year it was conducted via Zoom. Each participating brewery was supplied with malt and hop samples from the donating suppliers. Our local White Labs yeast supplier was on the call to discuss yeast options as well. I think the beer community will have a different level of appreciation for this year’s iteration of Capital of Craft because of what we’ve all endured during 2020. The SD Brewers Guild and all the collaborators had to make a shift in their approach to bring this year’s batch to fruition.

TCN: Why is collaboration a valuable asset to you, as brewers, within the SD Beer community?

Anthony: Collaborations are all about the experience, learning something new and utilizing all of the amazing brewing minds and talents that we have in the San Diego community. It allows for sharing approaches, techniques and knowledge. Sharing the why and how about your perspective towards making the best beer possible.

TCN: Anything else we should know about the collaboration IPA?

Anthony: This year we approached the recipe concept with the desire to utilize a little bit of old school and new hopping techniques, as well as a mix of more OG hop characteristics, but with a new age flare. We combine Idaho 7 as a first wort addition, more Idaho 7 in the whirlpool and then Cashmere, El Dorado and Galaxy in the dry hop.

Nick Corona, owner of Five Suits Brewing in Vista, shared, “2020 has seen its fair share of divisiveness and this collaboration effort is in stark contrast to all of that noise. We’ve been extremely fortunate to partner up with an incredibly diverse group of industry pros all focused on one very worthy cause — GREAT BEER! As this IPA hits your lips and your taste buds tingle with delight, give pause to consider the glorious goodness that can result when we work together as friends.”

James Hodges, head brewer at Chula Vista Brewery, added, “Brewing is a very close-knit community, especially here in San Diego. So being able to get together to brew an awesome beer, and to discuss what everyone has been doing to shift how they operate their respective brewhouses and taprooms, was beneficial on every front.”

Well said, Nick and James.

During San Diego Beer Week 2020 you’ll be able to give the limited edition Capital of Craft IPA a try or pick up some cans at one of the eight participating breweries — Chula Vista Brewery, Modern Times Beer, Resident Brewing Co., Automatic Brewing Co., South Park Brewing Co., Northern Pine Brewing, Five Suits Brewing Co. and, of course, Burgeon Beer Co. — until it is gone!

Details on the San Diego Brewers Guild collaboration available here.

Be sure to check out the upcoming episode of the Cheers! North County podcast featuring my conversation with Tommy Kreamer, head brewer at Gravity Heights Brewing Co., which comes out Friday, Nov. 6. And don’t forget to follow Cheers! North County on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Got an interesting story about your drinking adventures? Reach out! I want to hear it.