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Bagby Beer has launched its Holiday Cocktail Challenge. Photo via Facebook/Bagby Beer
Bagby Beer has launched its Holiday Cocktail Challenge. Photo via Facebook/Bagby Beer
Cheers! North CountyColumnsFood & Wine

Roundup: Bagby’s holiday cocktails, Burgeon to throw ’80s party

It’s the holidays, but you knew that, didn’t you? Don’t let the stresses of family, flu, politics, and gift-giving overwhelm you. Take regular breaks. I recommend breaks that roughly last the time it takes to drink a pint of local craft beer or cocktail.

A craft beverage is a good meter for measuring time, but you could also use a cup of coffee, taco, etc.

The point is to take a moment for yourself to decompress. While it isn’t summer at the beach, we’re not shoveling snow either. Life is good! Spread the goodness. While you’re at the brewery (or coffee shop or taco stand), be nice to your servers, bartenders, baristas, and hospitality workers.

Trust me, they’ll appreciate it.

If you’re giving gifts, look first to those local breweries, coffee roasters, or restaurants that make your community feel like home. Share what they do with those you love. Here are some gift ideas:

  • Swap out the major brand holiday gift packs — the ones that come with a pair of shot glasses that will never get used — for something local. Bundle a six-pack with some sweet, sweet Hoppy Beer Hoppy Life.
  • Individually wrap cans from a variety of North County breweries and play “mystery” beer with your family and friends.
  • Give a subscription to your favorite coffee roaster. Let people know you care for the long haul with a monthly delivery of great coffee. Steady State, Zumbar Coffee, and Ascend Roasters offer great subscription offerings.

    Bagby Beer launches holiday cocktails, including egg nog, for December. Photo via Facebook/Bagby Beer
  • Did you know there are more than 25 local distillery brands? Instead of swapping car wash kits and lottery tickets in a White Elephant gift exchange, host a Bring-A-Bottle, Take-A-Bottle event with local spirits.
  • Give gift cards to your favorite spots. You’ll be helping a local business and sharing the best of San Diego with the people you love. Plus, lots of companies are offering gift card bumps right now. If you buy a $20 North Pine Brewing gift card, you’ll get $25; if you buy a $40 gift card, you’ll get $50! Available at both the Oceanside and Del Mar locations.

Here are a few noteworthy items that stood out from the past month:

  • The SD beer industry does so much more than provide tasty beverages. I reached out to SD Beer News founder and beer celebrity Brandon Hernandez to find out what charitable beer events he’s supporting this holiday season. If you’re looking for a way to combine your passion for beer with a chance to do some good, check out the links below.

    As part of the San Diego Beer News Gives Back campaign, he reached out to every brewery in the county to find out what charitable efforts or non-profits they support in the community. He then chose four to feature for December in collaboration with the breweries that nominated them, including San Diego Humane Society (Five Suits Brewing), Anvil of Hope (Alesmith Brewing), Beer for Boobs (White Labs Brewing), and Paving Great Futures (Chula Vista Brewing).

  • Oceanside’s Pacific Coast Spirits won a gold medal and Best of Category at the ADI 2022 International Spirits Competition for its California Blue Corn Whiskey. I don’t want to say I called it, but there is a bottle of this gem on my liquor cabinet right now. Pacific Coast recently celebrated its fourth anniversary. “We only strive for excellence at Pacific Coast Spirits,” said founder and distiller Nick Hammond. “We are really excited to celebrate all that we have achieved this year.”

    Burgeon Beer will celebrate its sixth anniversary on Jan. 14 with an 80s-themed party. Courtesy photo
    Burgeon Beer will celebrate its sixth anniversary on Jan. 14 with an 80s-themed party. Courtesy photo
  • Bagby Beer has launched its Holiday Cocktail Challenge. Collect all six on your holiday cocktail game card and get rewarded with a bonus holiday cocktail. This is an excellent excuse to get together with friends for a sampling event.
  • The Camp Store at the Carlsbad State Beach Campground has gone all out with The Sound of Light holiday light show. Holiday lights are set to blink and flicker and twinkle to the sound of music. The show goes through 1/2/2023. Details here.
  • Burgeon Beer is turning six in January with an ’80s-themed beer festival featuring 36 breweries. Look for the I Like Beer the Podcast team there representing Cheers! North County. The event is expected to sell out. Tickets are $65 and are already available here.

Don’t forget to follow Cheers! North County on Instagram.

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