The beer run is a time-honored tradition immortalized in films such as Smokey and the Bandit and Strange Brew. The beer run has elevated into brewery tours and pilgrimages to the places where the best beers in the world can be found.
Here in San Diego, beer tourism is a multimillion-dollar industry. With the number of breweries and taprooms and an astonishing variety of beer styles, a trip to San Diego gives beer lovers all they could ask for (including beaches and sunshine).
Brad and Tamara Carvalho have set out on an epic beer run, and of course, they had San Diego on the itinerary. They travel under the handle Two4Brew and publish their story along the way.
After selling their home in Anchorage, Alaska, the Carvalho’s loaded up their RV, hitched up Jupiter (their tow vehicle), and headed out on the road. They aim to travel America, visit amazing breweries, and eventually find a new home.
We met in Vista to share a little about what North County offers. We enjoyed a Compadre Mexican Lager at Dogleg Brewing and then headed to Eppig Brewing for their Festbier. I had a lot of questions for the couple on a year-long beer run, and they were happy to share their story.
Cheers!: Tell us about this adventure you’re on.
Two4Brew: Our goal is to find a place to live – that’s the end goal. But we wanted some destination to guide our travels. We love craft beer and national parks, so those destinations have taken precedence. That’s what we’re doing; we are traveling the country to as many craft breweries as possible.
Cheers!: Where did this passion for craft beer and brewery tours begin?
Two4Brew: That’s our story. We’ve been on a beer journey since we first met.
Cheers!: A love story based on the love of beer?
Two4Brew: Tamara wasn’t a beer drinker when we met. But when we first started dating, we decided to do a thing called “Around the World in 80 Beers”. We drank beers over 80 days together, and after that, Tamara loved beer.
Cheers!: You loved all 80 beers?
Two4Brew: Well, probably 78 of them.
Cheers!: And your desire to visit craft breweries?
Two4Brew: I [Brad] was in the Air Force and stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, while the craft beer exploded. We traveled all across the state, probably visiting 40 breweries.
Cheers!: And you worked at a brewery for a time?
Two4Beer: [Brad] Yes, it’s part of the Department of Defense program called Skill Bridge. It gives you six months to learn a trade at the end of your military career.
Cheers!: Where did you intern?
Two4Beer: I called Zip Brewing in Anchorage, and he took me in.
Cheers!: Was there a beer you brewed that you are especially proud of?
Two4Beer: Yes, a Chai Imperial Stout that turned out amazing.
Cheers!: What was the route to San Diego?
Two4Beer: We traveled through the Yukon and British Columbia. A little extra time in BC because their brewing scene is amazing. From there, we went across Washington, Idaho, Montana, and the Dakotas to Brad’s hometown in Tennessee. We knew we wanted to be in San Diego to celebrate our 10th anniversary, so we worked our way across the country to get here.
Cheers!: Happy Anniversary! Where are you staying?
Two4Beer: On Coronado Island at the Fiddlers Cove and the Del.
Cheers!: Where have you visited? Any standout beers?
Two4Beer: We’ve been to Dogleg, Eppig, Helia, 5 Suits, Burgeon, Border X, Coronado, Thorn, Novo, Mujeres Brew House, Alesmith, and Viewpoint. The Cucumber Lime from Border X and Strawberry Shores from Coronado Brewing were standouts.
Cheers!: How do you navigate the brewery visits, beer tastings, time and safety?
Two4Beer: [with a giggle] We’ve learned to plan our route, use public transportation and be realistic. Three breweries a day is the max. And we share a flight. Oh, and stick to the budget.
Cheers!: Where are you headed next?
Two4Beer: San Diego was the last planned stop. We have no real plans or map for the next year or so. This is the Beaches and Beer leg of the tour, so we will take our time as we head toward Spokane, Washington.
Cheers!: And the ultimate goal?
Two4Beer: To find a new hometown, open up a brewery and maybe even a campground attached to the brewery. After all, beer brings people together, and it makes us happy.
Cheers!: Cheers to that!
You can follow Two4Brew’s adventure @two_4_brew on Instagram. To hear the entire interview, check out I Like Beer the Podcast.
Jeff Spanier is the host of I Like Beer the Podcast, available wherever you get podcasts. You can also follow the ILB team’s adventures on Instagram @ilikebeerthepodcast and the website ilikebeerthepodcast.com.