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Alesmith Brewing's Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee Speedway Stout has returned. Photo via Facebook/Alesmith Brewing
Alesmith Brewing's Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee Speedway Stout has returned. Photo via Facebook/Alesmith Brewing
Cheers! North County Columns Food & Wine

October Beer Roundup: Thorn’s new CEO, The Gärten grand opening, more

There is also a lot of local beer and spirits news, and so much gets missed every week. Here is your monthly round-up of craft beer updates from around the San Diego region for October.

Thorn Brewing Co. announced the addition of San Diego beer veteran Marc Martin as the Thorn team’s new CEO. Former GM and “beloved-beer-man-about-town”* Tom Kiely recently departed Thorn to move back to the East Coast.

“I am truly fortunate to join the Thorn Brewing Co. team and am confident we will achieve great things together,” said Martin. “Thorn’s production brewery, neighborhood-focused tasting rooms, and co-manufacturing capabilities all help to differentiate them and provide plenty of opportunity ahead. Thorn is already one of San Diego’s finest breweries, and our plan moving forward is to focus on quality and becoming a top regional iconic brand.”

Martin spent thirteen years as the vice president of beer at Karl Strauss Brewing before working as a beer consultant at Rincon Reservation Road Brewery, Second Chance Brewing Co, and Westbrew, among others.

*This is despite his insane fandom of the New England Patriots.

Meadiocrity Mead is hosting Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) on Thursday nights. If you are interested in participating, sign up on their Discord channel to register each week. All experience levels are welcome.

• Several beverage companies have combined forces to create The Gärten, which will be celebrating its grand opening on Oct. 8. Lost Cause Mead, Deft Brewing, and Oddish Wine have partnered with Pizza Cassette to create a destination in Bay Park. The Gärten takes its inspiration from European beer gardens and features communal tables on a shared patio where live music and entertainment will take place more than 150 nights each year.

Lost Cause Mead, Deft Brewing, and Oddish Wine partnered to create The Gärten. Photo by Jake Takeo
Lost Cause Mead, Deft Brewing, and Oddish Wine partnered to create The Gärten. Photo by Jake Takeo

• I want to shout out to the Solento Surf Festival for hosting a successful four days of community building through films, live music, and surf, not to mention spirits. The local tequila company used the event to raise funds for Changing Tides Foundation and Sustainable Surf. Solento’s founder, surf filmmaker and entrepreneur Taylor Steele is also partially responsible for this writer’s newfound willingness to drink tequila. He guided me through a virtual tasting back in 2020, which set me down a new slow spirits path.

• This is just a reminder that SD Beer Week is coming. This year the celebration of San Diego craft beer runs from Nov. 4-13. The breweries for the closing event, The Beer Garden, have just been announced. This year the event will be held on the Arroyo Terrace at the Torrey Pines Lodge and feature 28 breweries and 14 chefs. The beer list is a who’s who of local craft. Tickets are available, and the complete list can be seen on SDBeer.com.

• 7 Mile Kitchen has started a new mid-week special, Wine Down Wednesdays. Wine specials—including half-price bottles and discounted wine by the glass, live music, and sunset views overlooking the nearby pool can all be enjoyed at the Carlsbad restaurant every Wednesday from 5-10 p.m.

• The San Diego Brewcycling Collaborative recently hosted a happy hour gathering at AleSmith Brewing to promote the fifth annual California Clean Air Day. Attendees took the clean air pledge while spreading awareness of initiatives the San Diego brewing community is engaging in to help make San Diego more sustainable.

San Diego Brewcycling Collaborative recently hosted a happy hour gathering at AleSmith Brewing to promote the fifth annual California Clean Air Day. Photo by Ryan Woldt
San Diego Brewcycling Collaborative recently hosted a happy hour gathering at AleSmith Brewing to promote the fifth annual California Clean Air Day. Photo courtesy of San Diego Brewcycling Collaborative

The clean air pledge is a commitment by organizations like breweries to encourage businesses and individuals to take simple actions to help clear the air in their community. The next #CleanAirDayCA will take place on Oct. 5.

After taking the pledge and enjoying some delicious AleSmith beer, San Diego Brewcycling Happy Hour attendees experienced a behind-the-scenes tour of the brewery. They were able to see the waste streams Alesmith is already recycling, as well as have a roundtable discussion about what other challenging materials the Brewcycling Collaborative could help AleSmith to further divert from landfill.

Follow @SDBrewcycling on Instagram and Facebook for updates on future community happy hour get together events and ideas on how to make your beer drinking more sustainable. You can already drop beer can Paktechs (the plastic ring holders on a six-pack) off at more than 40 local locations. What better reason than recycling to go enjoy a local craft brew?

• Speaking of Alesmith, Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Coffee Speedway Stout is back. If you know, you know. It is a classic for a reason.

• National Taco Day is Tuesday, Oct. 4. Don’t worry if you missed it. At Puesto (Mission Valley, San Diego, La Jolla), Douglas Hasker’s lagers will still pair well with their October Taco of the Month (TOTM), the Shrimp & Pumpkin Mole taco. You may recall from an interview in this column with Brewmaster Hasker that he has been brewing in the Mission Valley Puesto location for more than two decades—previously as Gordon Biersch Brewing.

The October TOTM features a handmade corn tortilla, Mexican shrimp with a pumpkin mole, and pico topped with queso fresco, pickled fresnos, and…You know what? I’ll just meet you there for a taco and a Mexican Lager.

Stream the Roast! West Coast coffee podcast on the Coast News Podcast page, and be sure to follow and share your drinking adventures with Cheers! North County on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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