Green Flash Taco Party


Wednesday October 22, 2014

Tonight’s the night. We have teamed up with Tacos and Tarros in Otay Ranch and Green Flash Brewing Company to bring you a Green Flash Taco Party!

Green Flash’s very own Dave Adams will be on hand to discuss Green Flash, its history, beers, and how to best pair those beers with Tacos.

There will be *mug specials (*tarros in Spanish) as well as pitcher specials throughout the event. $6 Tarros and $15 Pitchers of Green Flash 30th St. Pale Ale to be exact! And you get to take home a sweet Green Flash pint glass too. There will be suggested taco pairings too, and, of course, Dave Adams to explain the pairings all along the way.

The event starts at 6:00PM and will be at Tacos and Tarros in the Otay Ranch mall which is located 2015 Birch Rd, Chula Vista, CA 91915

We will be there along with the Green Flash crew. Won’t you join us?!

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q


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Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


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World’s Biggest Bottle Share!


“World’s Biggest Bottle Share”
Tuesday 10/21/14

On Sunday November 9th, 2014 30th Street, from Normal Heights, through North Park, and ending in South Park will host what organizers hope will be “The World’s Biggest Bottle Share.”  Craft Beer Tasters recently met with Omar Passons, lawyer, unofficial Mayor of North Park, and co-organizer of the bottle share event to learn more about his love for craft beer and the philosophy behind the bottle share event.

Craft Beer Tasters: What will this bottle share accomplish?

Omar Passons: “We want to celebrate 30th St. and make a lot of people a part of that celebration. So far there are 8 stops on the bottle share route: 1. Polite Provisions 2. 3. Toronado 3. Waypoint Public 4. Bluefoot Bar 5. Brabant Bar & Cafe 6. Station Tavern 7. Alchemy Restaurant and 8. Hamilton’s Tavern. There are two parts of this event: a bottle share and a “signature tasting”. The bottle share part of the event features 8 venues to share beer – so basically it is a , bottle share on steroids.  The bars and restaurants will host the share simultaneously.” No, Passons confirmed, there will not be any sharing permitted in the streets. “To the contrary, there will be 4 air-conditioned shuttles to carry people between the stops approximately every 15 minutes. We want to see 30th St. lined up with people holding the bottles they are going to share, wearing the same shirt, taking selfies, and having a great time,” Passons remarked. Once inside any of the locations, participants are encouraged to share beer with friends and strangers alike.”

He addes, “Unlike traditional bottle shares that focus almost exclusively on rare beers, this event is designed to be a mixture of “whales” and exposing more people to the everyday quality that makes San Diego County such a great place to enjoy craft beer.

The second part of the event is a “Signature Taste” component that will showcase a beer of choice from specific breweries.  So far, Alesmith, Mother Earth Brew Co., Coronado, and Brewing Company have joined to offer special tasting session.  For the signature taste, pre-registered guests can, for no additional charge, sign up for a small-group tasting at set times and locations and even get to meet some of these brewers.  The Signature Taste portion requires pre-registration  in the name of safety and guest experience, preventing a rush or over-crowding.”


Omar Passons

Craft Beer Tasters: Why a bottle share?

Omar Passons: “The idea is to create an event that is approachable to the entire spectrum of people who enjoy beer. From people who are just learning of craft beer and want to stick their toes in the water, to die-hard aficianados who know names like Tom Nickel and Colby Chandler and Gina Marsaglia, this event is about the communal spirit of craft beer and sharing that spirit with friends as well as strangers.”

Craft Beer Tasters: Where did the idea for this event come from?

Omar Passons: “I was on 30th St. in North Park and rounding the corner to Tiger!Tiger! and looked at the people pulling up with their bikes, on the patio, and in the bar and thought ‘All of these people here are celebrating craft beer, nationally San Diego is being talked about and 30th St.  is the epicenter of great craft beer,  I’d like to showcase that,” Passons recalled  “I like what San Diego breweries, craft beer bars, restaurants and shop keepers are doing not only for the craft beer community, but also for the communities in which they operate. Waypoint Public House has a standing monthly fundraiser for Jefferson Elementary School. Tiger!Tiger! supports pedestrian and biking safety efforts for the community – and brewer Lee Chase even invented a beer called “Give me Three” to remind people in cars of the new state law to require three feet when cars pass bicyclists. Gestures like these help the rest of the business community get on board with creative ideas that shape the community.”

Craft Beer Tasters: Bottle shares aren’t anything new, why this type of event?

Omar Passons: “I was at Downtown Johnny Brown’s for Whoodshop a few weeks ago, it’s kind of like the kind of the bottle shares, I think.  I was there, enjoying the vibe of when someone, whom I didn’t know, came up to me and asked ‘Would you like a taste of my Batch 1 Parabola?’ That gesture blew me away, and it is the type of friendly spirit that many people don’t see when they assume that people into craft beer are just ‘beer snobs.’. Our event isn’t meant to compete with a well-established bottle share such as Woodshop, it’s meant to highlight craft beer and create an easy way for people to enjoy an afternoon out during the busiest beer week of the year in San Diego.  We want people to use this event as an excuse to join friends, old and new, enjoy the community, and use public transportation and shuttles to get around safely.”

Craft Beer Tasters: Safety! That is always a concern, especially when there is a lot of people and alcohol involved. What are you doing to mitigate any safety concerns?

Omar Passons:  “Aside from the 4 shuttles that will be taking people, up and down 30th Street, we are hoping  to have a shuttle that will run from the downtown Coaster Station to Alchemy, and either way, it’s a short taxi, uber or lyft ride from that station – or many other parts of San Diego County – the bottle share route.  All of the beer will be consumed within thet participating locations only.”

Click here to get your $20 ticket!

Craft Beer Tasters: What are some of the social implications of this event, what will the event proceeds go to?

Omar Passons: “The Front Burner Fund will receive a portion of the proceeds from this event. This is a very important organization that serves back of the house staff – the preppers, the line cooks,  andthe dishwashers who make our meals possible –  by providing funding for medical emergencies. This organization helps to ease the financial pain that medical emergencies often create. On a lighter  note, we also have an application in with Guinness Book of World Records for “The World’s Biggest Bottle Share.”  Moreover, I want to showcase the San Diego/Baja region. The border region, aside from tourism, which is huge, is a major contributor to the state and national economy. This region is alive! I am from San Diego, born and raised, and I see the spirit of San Diego and our region as one of being unafraid to do big things. The reason why we have so many industry leaders, not only in craft beer and the culinary arts, but in biotech, engineering, and education is because of the independent and bold spirit that our region fosters. It’s palpable. This event aims high because our San Diego/Baja mega region is increasingly a place where people want to fun and innovative things and to be known for the creativity that makes these events possible.  We want young people who hear about this event – and other major lifestyle events in San Diego – to realize that this is a great place to come and start a career because not only does it have major hubs in wireless and life sciences and aerospace, but it has an after-work culture and climate that makes it the best place in the country to live.”


Event Details:

When: Sunday November 9, 2014 –  12:00 to 1:00 – set the world record with line up and photos; 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. – Share your bottles and ride the shuttles to Signature Tastes

Where (Bottle Share Participants): 30th St. at Polite Provisions, Toronado, Waypoint Public, Bluefoot Bar, Brabant Bar & Cafe, Station Tavern, Alchemy Restaurant, and Hamilton’s Tavern.

Where (Signature Taste Locations): Waypoint Public, Bluefood Bar, Brabant Bar & Café, Alchemy Restaurant – MUST pre-register online.

Tickets: Available by Clicking Here!

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q
Disclosure: Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D. is a co-founder of The Craft Beer Association of San Diego, a cosponsor of this event.


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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Bottle Share, Northpark


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10% Off “The Festival” Tickets


Get your tickets to “The Festival” by clicking here.

Use promo code: craftbeertasters to save 10% on your total purchase!

The Festival 2014: Presented by Shelton Brothers and Sharefest, in collaboration with Brouwerij West will be “crafted” at the Port of Los Angeles, 112 E 22nd St #10, San Pedro, CA.

Session 1: Saturday, November 8, Noon to 4 p.m.

Session 2: Saturday, November 8, 5 to 9 p.m.

Session 3: Sunday, November 9, Noon to 4 p.m.

Session 4: Sunday, November 9, 5 to 9 p.m.

Some of the world’s greatest and smallest artisanal beer, cider, and mead makers will join us to meet festival attendees and share their stories and knowledge. You’d have to spend months and countless dollars for a chance to meet this many world-class brewers. We’ve saved you the trouble and the expense — they’ll all be on hand personally to talk about their work and to pour for you. And many will be creating special brews specifically for the event — you won’t be able to find them anywhere else!

Admission to the festival gets you our special-edition sample glass, plus the opportunity to meet more than 70 of the best beer, cider, and mead makers in the world. The cost of admission also goes to covering the costs of the festival, including bringing these incredible brewers in from all over the world. Additionally, a portion of admission ticket sales will go directly to our nonprofit partner, Sharefest. (Seriously, check them out. They’re awesome.)

Upon arrival, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase drink tickets, the entire proceeds of which will go to Sharefest. Each ticket is worth a two-ounce pour, and the pricing is as follows: $5 for 5, or a special deal of $20 for 24.

International Breweries: Au Baron (France) ▪ Baird (Japan) ▪ Be.Er Brewery (Belgium) ▪ Birra Toccalmatto (Italy) ▪ Blaugies (Belgium) ▪ Brasserie Dunham (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Brekeriet (Sweden) ▪ Brewfist (Italy) ▪ Buxton Brewery (United Kingdom) ▪ Ca L’Arenys/Guineu (Spain) ▪ Cantillon (Belgium) ▪ Cidrerie du Perche (France) ▪ Companyia Cervesera del Montseny (Catalonia, Spain) ▪ De La Senne (Belgium) ▪ De Molen (The Netherlands) ▪ De Ranke (Belgium) ▪ Dieu du Ciel! (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Drie Fonteinen (Belgium) ▪ Freigeist (Germany) ▪ Fyne Ales (Scotland) ▪ Harvest Moon (Japan) ▪ Het Nest (Belgium) ▪ Jandrain-Jandrenouille (Belgium) ▪ Kerkom (Belgium) ▪ Le Trou du Diable (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Les Trois Mousquetaires (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Les Vergers de la Collinne (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Magic Rock (United Kingdom) ▪ Mahr’s (Germany) ▪ Marina (Catalonia, Spain) ▪ Mikkeller (Denmark) ▪ Minoh (Japan) ▪ Moor Beer (United Kingdom) ▪ Nøgne Ø (Norway) ▪ Oersoep (Netherlands) ▪ Oliver’s Cider and Perry (United Kingdom) ▪ Page 24 (France) ▪ Pays Flamand (France) ▪ Peckham’s Cider (New Zealand) ▪ Rappi Bier Factory (Switzerland) ▪ Renaissance (New Zealand) ▪ Ribela (Spain) ▪ Ritterguts (Germany) ▪ Rooie Dop (The Netherlands) ▪ Shiga Kogen (Japan) ▪ Siren (United Kingdom) ▪ Struise (Belgium) ▪ The Monarchy (Germany) ▪ Thiriez (France) ▪ To Øl (Denmark) ▪ Trois Dames (Switzerland) ▪ Weird Beard (United Kingdom) ▪ Westvleteren (Belgium)

U.S. Breweries: AEppelTreow Winery (Wisconsin) ▪ Allagash (Maine) ▪ Anchorage Brewing Co. (Alaska) ▪ Arizona Wilderness (Arizona) ▪ Artisan Beverage Coop (Massachusetts) ▪ Bluejacket (Washington, DC) ▪ Cambridge Brewing Company (Massachusetts) ▪ Celestial Meads (MA) ▪ Crooked Stave (Colorado) ▪ Hair of the Dog (Oregon) ▪ Hanson Brothers Beer Company ▪ Hill Farmstead (Vermont) ▪ Jester King (Texas) ▪ Jolly Pumpkin (Michigan) ▪ Mystic Brewery (Massachusetts) ▪ Oxbow Brewing (Maine) ▪ Prairie Artisan Ales (Oklahoma) ▪ Pretty Things (Massachusetts) ▪ Saint Somewhere (Florida) ▪ Shmaltz (New York) ▪ Side Project Brewing (Missouri) ▪ Tree House Brewing Company (Massachusetts)

Local Breweries: Bagby Beer ▪ Beachwood BBQ ▪ Brouwerij West ▪ Cellarmaker ▪ Faction ▪ Firestone Walker ▪ Monkish ▪ Rare Barrel ▪ San Pedro Brewing Company ▪ Sante Adairius ▪ Tahoe Mountain ▪ The Bruery

Get your tickets to “The Festival” by clicking here.

Use promo code: craftbeertasters at check out to save 10% on your total purchase.

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Brouwerij West to Host “The Festival”

In a previous post Craft Beer Tasters shared information about “The Festival” to be produced by The Shelton Brothers and hosted by Brouwerij West November 8 & 9 at The Port of Los Angeles. Craft Beer Tasters was able to chat with Brian Mercer, cofounder of Brouwerij West, which will host “The Festival” at their San Pedro brewery at the Port of Los Angeles.


Dr. Q: What’s special about the event?

BM of BW: It’s a really amazing time in the craft brewing world right now. So much is changing. Talented new breweries are opening all the time, and brewers old and new are constantly adding interesting and diverse beers to the mix. What makes The Festival stand out, in our humble opinion, is the incredible group of brewers that will be on hand in one place – classic European brewers and brand new breweries; breweries from down the street and from across the globe.  It’s a truly exceptional collection and a great chance for craft beer makers and craft beer drinkers to talk directly to one another about the how and why of each brew that will be poured.

Dr. Q: Why did BW decide to host?

BM of BW: It’s the Shelton Brothers event – we are just honored to be the ones selected to host it. I have been friends and admirers of The Shelton Brothers for many years.  Brouwerij West was fortunate that they loved our soon-to-be brewery home as much as we do. It’s a dream to host the Shelton Brothers and all the brewers and beer fans at our location. Since The Festival is in the West, rather than the Northeast this year, we think it’s also a cool opportunity for Los Angeles-area beer fans to try a lot of beers that don’t typically see distribution here.  On top of that, all these terrific brewers from around the world will be coming to Los Angeles and will get to see the burgeoning craft beer scene we have here. Los Angeles isn’t considered one of the great craft beer cities yet, but we hope that the event is another step in changing that. Add to that that the folks who come down to The Festival will get to see our future home, most for the first time, and get to know Brouwerij West a bit better we hope.  We’re definitely looking forward to meeting lots of new craft beer folks.


Dr. Q: What can you tell me about the BW Founders?

BM of BW: I started working in Belgium about 8 years ago. I had fallen in love with brewing and Belgian beer, and I was lucky enough to uncover a Belgian sugar syrup that was responsible for a key flavor in Trappist beers. I made a partnership with the manufacturers and began importing the sugar to the U.S. That business allowed me to travel to Belgium several times a year and gave me access to Belgian brewing and breweries. I loved learning first-hand about Belgian brewing and process. It was also rewarding to work with all the U.S. breweries using the Belgian sugar and witness a change in U.S.-produced Belgian styles. A lot of that experience in Belgium is what led to the creation of Brouwerij West.

Dr. Q: What is the pedigree of brewery?

BM of BW: I don’t know about a pedigree…. It feels more like a love for process, ingredients and history of brewing, Belgian brewing in particular. Brouwerij West is just that – a brewery in the spirit of Belgium, but here in California. While I have been brewing as a gypsy brewer for the last four years, it has been difficult; without my own brewery and equipment I didn’t have full control over the beer. I think we have done good things, but I am so excited for our new facility to open in L.A. in the spring.

Dr. Q: What are some of your current plans?

BM of BW: We are just beginning construction on our brewery in Los Angeles. Our location is a WWII-era warehouse in San Pedro on the LA waterfront. It’s a stunning building with all the original wood truss architecture. We’ll have a big tasting room with a full view of the brewing process, as well as a curated bottle shop and private event spaces.  And we’ll have a huge dock with seating and a 10,000 sq. ft. outdoor courtyard “beer garden.”  At the moment, we are securing equipment, finalizing our build-out plans and starting to hire our brewery staff. (Know Anyone?) Quality is very important to us, so we will have a great technical brewer.  We’re planning to install a four-vessel brewhouse with a mash filter, do reverse osmosis filtration, and have a killer lab and bottling capabilities. While it will be technically proficient, we also like to follow our noses, get dirty with new ingredients, and take chances. And not take ourselves too seriously – we like to have fun with it. We hope to be up and running in April (and we’d love for you to come down and see it once it’s built out).


Dr. Q: What are some of your future plans?

BM of BW: Our near-term plans include, besides opening the brewery, getting our open-barrel fermentation going, starting our bottle conditioning program, and opening our café in the tasting room. We have a partnership with a talented chef with an amazing background, Brendan Collins. We plan to add some great food to go along with the beer to round out the experience.  We also will be focused on growing our production and in-filling our distribution in the ~30 states and six countries we’ve been distributing to thus far.  We’ll also be offering contract brewing services, to help out gypsy brewers who started out like us – a pay-it-forward kinda thing.

Dr. Q: What do you hope this event accomplishes?

BM of BW: Our hope is that people enjoy meeting these brewers from around the world and leave having learned a bit about a new brewery or a famous brewery they’ve known of forever. Plus, we want everyone to have a great time trying lots of terrific beers and eating some tasty food along with it.  That’s what I plan on doing!  And hopefully people also dig what we’re going to be doing down at our new space, and start thinking of Los Angeles as a true craft beer destination.


Join Brian, the Brouwerij West team, and all the rest of the amazing breweries from around the world at “The Festival” you can get your tickets by clicking here.

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


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“The Festival 2014″


Have you ever inspected the side of a bottle of beer? Perhaps “inspect” is a grandiose term. Have you ever taken the time to read the side of your favorite beer bottle. Sure, there’s the label with the brewery name, beer style, ABV, clever beer name and, if you’re lucky logo and some other fun imagery. There’s also usually the warning from The Surgeon General, as well as some information about the recycled value of the bottle in your hand. There is also usually one more item scribed on the side of the bottle: the importer. For me, when reading the side of the bottles of some of my favorite beers, namely Cantillon, Prairie, Hill Farmstead, to namr a few, and there is a name delicately placed on the label that has long intrigued me: Shelton.


More accurately “The Shelton Brothers” tag has been the this thing of mystery, a strangely visible, yet unknown and unexplained bit of trivia on my favorite beers, until now. The brothers Shelton, pictured above are two siblings that love beer, so much in fact, that they have decided to share the love of beer, and the beer itself, with those of discriminating tastes. So how do they choose what brews to let loose on the beer drinking world?

According to the brothers they pick the breweries and beers which they import based not on value, but a particular set of values.

“The best beers are brewed with a sense of place, a distinctive house character, and an appreciation for tradition, value, and/or the natural art of beer-making. Most often, this is expressed in breweries producing less than 5,000hl per year, though some brilliant exceptions exist, especially in Germany. Beer should have depth, texture, and nuance – it should sometimes even be a little rough around the edges. There are a few (very few) exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, that means the following about a brewery’s beers: Brewed in small batches using traditional methods. Unsweetened. Unpasteurized. Unfiltered. Bottle-conditioned. Little to no use of spices or adjuncts. Slow-fermented. Distinctive house yeast or yeasts. Dry as opposed to sweet.

There’s no miracle to importing good beer – just hard work and a lot of travel. We specifically seek out unmanipulated beer, generally looking to small breweries with craftsmen taking seriously their passion for a natural, traditionally-made product.”


Craft Beer Tasters recently spoke with Ms. Jordan DeFrank of Shelton Brothers who had a lot to say about their upcoming festival to be held November 8 and 9 at The Port of Los Angeles and hosted at Brouwerij West.

Craft Beer Tasters: I’ve heard fables of past Shelton Brother’s festivals that were, essentially, rare beer events. What can you share about “The Festival” coming up next month.

Jordan DeFrank: “Shelton Brothers is hosting its third annual craft beer festival “The Festival” on the West Coast for the first time. The first two years were in Worcester, MA, and Portland, ME. The goal is to feature the very best small craft beer, cider, and mead makers from around the world. What makes our festival unique is that the brewers themselves will be there to pour, meet fest-goers, and talk about their beer. This is a rare opportunity, especially in the United States. We’ll have more than 90 breweries represented from all over Europe, the U.S., Canada, Japan, and New Zealand. Highlights from the list include Cantillon, Struise, De Ranke, Hill Farmstead, Drie Fonteinen, Mikkeller, Crooked Stave, Prairie Artisan Ales, Jolly Pumpkin, and many more.”

Craft Beer Tasters: What “local” breweries that will be represented at “The Festival” ?

Jordan DeFrank: “We’ll also have a very strong California showing, including Brouwerij West, Firestone Walker, Sante Adairius, The Bruery, Beachwood BBQ, and more. Another thing: We’ll be featuring many breweries that have never been seen in the United States before, specifically from Japan and the UK.”

Dr. Q: So how can craft beer fans be a part of the fun?

Jordan: “The event will be Crafted at the Port of Los Angeles on November 8 and 9. We’ll have two sessions per day, noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. We’ll also have an amazing lineup of chefs, including Betty Fraser (from Top Chef) who will be serving up sliders alongside Chef Brendan Collins presenting Fish and Chips, as well as Cheese Monger Andrew Steiner with his cheese and sausage platters, as well as Chef Eric Greenspan who will pair grilled Cheese , and Chef Joe Bonness who will be baking wood fired pizza along with our friends from Tacos Punta Cabras.”

This event is more than a beer festival. It’s more than a tasting. It’s a life experience, and, in a real way. It is a bucket list of an event. When has, and when will, this list of worldwide industry leaders ever be together in one place again?

You can get your tickets by Clicking Here.

Won’t you join me?

Cheers Tasters!
Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.
Doctor Q

International Breweries:

Amager (Denmark) ▪ Au Baron (France) ▪ Baird (Japan) ▪ Be.Er Brewery (Belgium) ▪ Birra Toccalmatto (Italy) ▪ Blaugies (Belgium) ▪ Brasserie Dunham (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Brekeriet (Sweden) ▪ Brewfist (Italy) ▪ Buxton Brewery (United Kingdom) ▪ Ca L’Arenys/Guineu (Spain) ▪ Cantillon (Belgium) ▪ Cidrerie du Perche (France) ▪ Companyia Cervesera del Montseny (Catalonia, Spain)  ▪ De La Senne (Belgium) ▪ De Molen (The Netherlands) ▪ De Ranke (Belgium) ▪ Dieu du Ciel! (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Drie Fonteinen (Belgium) ▪ Freigeist (Germany) ▪ Fyne Ales (Scotland) ▪ Harvest Moon (Japan) ▪ Het Nest (Belgium) ▪ Jandrain-Jandrenouille (Belgium) ▪ Kerkom (Belgium) ▪ Le Trou du Diable (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Les Trois Mousquetaires (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Magic Rock (United Kingdom) ▪ Mahr’s (Germany) ▪ Marina (Catalonia, Spain) ▪ Les Vergers de la Collinne (Quebec, Canada) ▪ Mikkeller (Denmark) ▪ Minoh (Japan) ▪ Moor Beer (United Kingdom) ▪ Nøgne Ø (Norway) ▪ Oersoep (Netherlands) ▪ Oliver’s Cider and Perry (United Kingdom) ▪ Page 24 (France) ▪ Pays Flamand (France) ▪ Peckham’s Cider (New Zealand) ▪ Rappi Bier Factory (Switzerland) ▪ Renaissance (New Zealand) ▪ Ribela (Spain) ▪ Ritterguts (Germany) ▪ Rooie Dop (The Netherlands) ▪ Shiga Kogen (Japan) ▪ Siren (United Kingdom) ▪ Struise (Belgium) ▪ The Monarchy (Germany) ▪ Thiriez (France) ▪ To Øl (Denmark) ▪ Trois Dames (Switzerland) ▪ Weird Beard (United Kingdom) ▪ Westvleteren (Belgium)

U.S. Breweries:

AEppelTreow Winery (Wisconsin) ▪ Allagash (Maine) ▪ Anchorage Brewing Co. (Alaska) ▪ Arizona Wilderness (Arizona) ▪ Artisan Beverage Coop (Massachusetts) ▪ Bluejacket (Washington, DC) ▪ Cambridge Brewing Company (Massachusetts) ▪ Celestial Meads (Alaska) ▪ Crooked Stave (Colorado) ▪ Hair of the Dog (Oregon) ▪ Hanson Brothers Beer Company (Oklahoma) ▪ Hill Farmstead (Vermont) ▪ Jester King (Texas) ▪ Jolly Pumpkin (Michigan) ▪ Mystic Brewery (Massachusetts) ▪ Oxbow Brewing (Maine) ▪ Prairie Artisan Ales (Oklahoma) ▪ Pretty Things (Massachusetts) ▪ Saint Somewhere (Florida) ▪ Shmaltz (New York) ▪ Side Project (Missouri) ▪ Tree House Brewing Company (Massachusetts)

Local Breweries:

Bagby Beer ▪ Beachwood BBQ ▪ Brouwerij West ▪ Cellarmaker ▪ Faction ▪ Firestone Walker ▪ Monkish▪ Rare Barrel ▪ San Pedro Brewing Company ▪ Sante Adairius ▪ Tahoe Mountain ▪ The Bruery

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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Beer Fest, Cantillon, Craftbeer


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Xocoveza Gets Abnormal

Xocoveza Gets Abnormal


On Wednesday October 8, 2014 Stone Brewing Company’s latest collaboration “Xocoveza Mocha Stout” will get Abnormal. Craft Beer Tasters is proud to announce our co-production of the first-ever “meet the brewer” event at Rancho Bernardo’s newest fine dining restaurant: The Cork and Craft. Special appearances will be made by Mike Richmond, Cellar Tech at Stone Brewing Company San Diego as well as The Morales Brothers, co-founders of  Cerveceria Insurgente de Tijuana who will join the beer’s creator, and Award-winning home brewer, Chris Banker.

These craft beer brewing geniuses will be on hand to taste and talk about the stellar craft beer that is “Xocoveza.” Before we get into the event details, however, let’s talk about this innovative beer and some of the people who brewed it.

What follows is the commercial description of “Xocoveza,”brain-child of the aforementioned perennial home brewer Chris Banker, as asserted by Stone Brewing Company. “The impact of home brewers on the American craft beer industry has been immense. The comfort level and lack of inhibitors provided by a domestic brewing environment fosters a near limitless brand of experimentation, allowing home brewers to push the beer envelope to its breaking point.

Many of the professional brewing world’s best recipes – from West Coast IPAs to imperial stouts and even sours – began as homespun standouts so spectacular they had to be unleashed on the world in order to improve it.

With this in mind, each year we hold an American Home brewers Association sanctioned home brewing competition, the champion of which gets their recipe brewed and distributed nationwide by Stone. This year’s winner, Chris Banker, helped keep us grounded to our home brewing roots by introducing flavors consistent with our regional palate. His chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, chile pepper, and coffee-infused milk stout was built to mimic the flavors of Mexican hot chocolate, a beloved specialty from our neighbors to the south, as our collaborators from Baja California, Cervezeria Insurgente, will attest.

Layered with tiers of earthiness, spice, and roast, this creamy, semisweet blue ribbon beer confirms that the spirit of the American home brewer is not only alive and kicking but thriving at an all-time high.”


Those “collaborators from Baja California” mentioned in the above description are brothers, and brewers, Ivan and Damian Morales co-founders of Cerveceria Insurgente in Tijuana, BC Mexico, established in 2011. Craft Beer Tasters first had the pleasure of meeting The Morales Bros. in Tijuana when on assignment for West Coaster San Diego magazine back in the summer of 2012 at the Tijuana Craft Beer Festival held in the bustling streets of TJ on Avenida Revolucion. Since that time Insurgente has achieved a great deal. Popularity has lead to the creation of a new brewery in Tijuana as well as market growth throughout Mexico. In September of 2014 at ” Cerveza Mexico” (essentially The GMBF (The Great Mexican Beer Festival)) Insurgente won Brewer of The Year, Beer of The Year, and 3 Gold Medals for their IPA, Brown, and Golden Strong!


So, just what exactly will make “Xocoveza Mocha Stout” get abnormal? For those unaware, The Cork and Craft houses one of San Diego’s newest craft beer breweries: The Abnormal Beer Company. Abnormal’s Head Brewer/Beer Curator Derek Gallanosa sahred his thoughts on why he chose to celebrate this beer as the first meet the brewer event at The Cork and Craft “I chose this event as my first to celebrate the close knit craft beer community we have here in San Diego. “Xocoveza” was a collaborative effort that gives home brewers a chance to fulfill their dream of brewing on a commercial scale. Having my roots in homebrewing, this beer means a little more to me than all the rest. Also, I am a big proponent on incorporating other local business into the Craft Beer Community. With the addition of coffee from Mostra Coffee Roasters (whose Head Roaster is also our restaurant’s Executive Chef), this beer exemplifies the notion that putting together separate but related products can result in one beautiful piece of art. I look forward to pairing this beer with food from The Cork and Craft as well as celebrating with the local communities of craft beer and beyond.”

Derek went on to add “Not only will “Xoxovexa” be on draft that night, but it will poured alongside some specialty beers from Stone Brewing as well!. Also, anyone in attendance will be lucky enough to try some very unique food pairings including The Cork and Craft’s house-made French-style beignets. If that wasn’t enough a special version of the coffee brewed for “Xocoveza Mocha Stout” will be cold brewed and served on nitro by Mostra Coffee Company’s head roaster Mike Arquines who will be on hand to discuss the cold-brewing process and the role their coffee had in the beer!”


Who: Meet The Brewers

What: A Craft Beer Tasting Event

When: Wednesday October 8, 2014 at 5:00pm

Where: The Cork and Craft

Located at 16990 Via Tazon San Diego, CA 92127 just off of The 15 in Rancho Bernardo

See you there, Tasters!

Doctor Q


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Posted by on October 6, 2014 in Craftbeer, Stone


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Beer & A Movie: Big Trouble in Little China x Alpine Exponential Hoppiness

Beer & A Movie is back.

Something special has happened during our hiatus!

Not only are Cody Thompson of Three B Zine and Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore back in the mix, but so is our newest teammate Matt Smith of Who Goes There Podcast!

This week’s movie?

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)


John Carpenter’s Big Trouble in Little China is the best film of 1986. Not in that pesky Oscars™ sort of way, but the best as in how your mom makes the best spaghetti. If you’ve never seen or heard of this film here is the IMDB synopsis that really undersells the story:

“An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.”

Wait. That’s actually pretty clear and concise… Good job! There’s so much more to this story, though. It’s like a live-action comic book or video game. That may sound cliche or done to death, but it was unlike anything of the era. Kurt Russell plays the aforementioned “All-American trucker” Jack Burton who, after a night of drinking and gambling in San Francisco’s China Town, finds himself headed to the airport with his Chinese American friend (Wang) to pick up said friends’ mail order bride at the airport.

While at the airport, and just before we meet the bride, some San Francisco China Town street toughs known as “The Lords of Death” kidnap our (mail order) bride to be, but only after Jack steps in to help his (soon to be) love interest lawyer (Kim Catrell) and her plucky side kick whose name doesn’t matter. All you need to know is she’s poorly cast; she looks thirty something and the part clearly is for someone trying to do what it takes to make it as a journalist. Also the character has all the narrative lines, in fact, I’m pretty sure she’s reading stage notes, but it helps us make sense of this sometimes hard to follow action/comedy/adventure/fantasy/martial arts film.

Moving on…

Our heroes, Jack and Wang, trace the street thugs back to China town where they get stuck in the middle of a centuries old war. What the what?! The details aren’t really important just know that there’s awesome kung fu fighting scenese, Gods, demigods, beasts, and multi eyed flesh orbs all up in this piece! In fact, a beer helps you to make sense of it, I’m certain. Well, I’m certain that it won’t hurt the experience.

It’s all so much fun though! This movie tanked at the box office, which ended up shaking John Carpenter’s confidence for (some say) ever, which I don’t quite understand. What’s there to egt? It’s in the vein of Ghostbusters, a film that came out 2 years earlier, a film that is undeniably bizarre. It’s not the weird audiences don’t get, it’s the how it’s weird. I think the Chinese mysticism and kung fu threw some people off. Really, though, just go with it. It’s called “Big Trouble In Little China” don’t expect bloody Shakespeare. You should, however, expect a good time, and lines like this…

“I’m a reasonable guy, but I just experienced some unreasonable things.”


That line uttered by our hero Jack Burton sums up the feel of the movie watcher, and the film all together. Like I said, just go with it. Sit back and enjoy the ride, a ride that ends with a climactic kung fu battle the likes of which you’ve never scene… in 1986. Speaking of said battle, just before our rag tag bunch of misfits goes into battle Egg (the Yoda of the story) gives them a sip of a potion that enables our heroes to “See things no one else can see… do things no one else can do.”

Which brings me to my choice of pairing for today’s “Movie & A Beer Post.” That line made me think of a beer unlike anything I have ever had before. It’s not a pale ale, an IPA, or even a double IPA. No. The beer I am speaking of has a lupulin level so gigantic that it could only be called one thing: Exponential Hoppiness!


According to our friends at Alpine Exponential Hoppiness is a “West Coast Triple IPA (that is) Very popular. A complex hopping method where each hop addition is double the previous amount. More hops in the hopback and then two dry-hop sessions. The second dry-hop session is with whole hops and oak chips. 1.093 OG 10.75%ABV”

Embibing this “twice a year if we’re lucky” triple IPA is a rare experience. The high ABV is hidden by the high level of Hoppiness which is in hand mellowed out by the addition of oak chips which this beer rests upon alongside a “body bag” of hops. When you drink this beer you are magically transported to Alpine where you frolic amongst the trees where beer brewing natives call home.

But I digress.

This film is currently available on Netflix, but the beer was only available, most recently, via Brown Paper Tickets. If you can’t get a friend to share their bottle find yourself some Pure Hoppiness from Alpine. It’s not exponentially hoppy, but you’ll still ve exponentially happy.

The Good: It doesn’t take itself seriously, but it is well executed.

The Bad: The dialogue, but I’ll assume it was supposed to be like that.

The Ugly: Flying eyeball orb guy… gross.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q

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Posted by on October 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


West Coaster San Diego – October, 2014

The following article was first published in the October, 2014 issue of West Coaster San Diego.

The entire article issue is available by Clicking Here.


Imagine a place in your neighborhood where you could go to the counter and order a taster, flight or even a pint of craft beer. A place where you could purchase a rare or limited edition beer in a 22oz bomber, a six-pack, or even a magnum. A wonderland that could fill their growlers or a growler from any brewery, or even sell you an entire keg! The place described above is not a bar or restaurant, liquor store or bottle shop, and not a brewery. No, this seemingly fantasy world is, in actuality, the reality of the newest trend sweeping San Diego: satellite tasting rooms.

What is a satellite tasting room? In simple terms, a satellite tasting room is an extension of a brewery where the final product, beer, is sold to the consumer in an environment far from the actual brewery itself. The intended usage of a satellite tasting room is to act as a retail location for a brewery where only their wares will be on display and for sale on draft, in bottles, growlers, or kegs. The benefits of satellite tasting rooms to the craft beer community are many. For example; a brewery that is in north county San Diego can have a tasting room in mid-city or south county thereby enabling them to reach an audience that might not have easy access to their brewery or beers otherwise.

The benefits of a tasting room to the community are the ease and convenience of having a local watering hole that can cater to their craft beer consumption needs. The measure of the benefits to the environment are also great: growler filling stations at tasting rooms make use of reusable containers, the emissions brought upon by distribution as well as travel to the brewery and its visitors may also be reduced.

How does a satellite tasting room come to be? West Coaster spoke with San Diego’s “Craft Beer Attorney” Candace Moon, Esq. about what enables breweries to have satellite tasting rooms. “There is a law that allows a Type 23 to have basically a “duplicate” of its license these duplicates allow for all the same rights as the main license with the exception of brewing.” According to Strike & Techel Alcoholic Beverage Law, a San Francisco based law firm that practices exclusively in the field of alcohol beverage law, California law “contains an exception for small brewers that allows them to also own up to six on-sale licenses.” An interesting note to make about tasting rooms is that they, for the most part, are south of Interstate 8, and west of The 805 freeway, save for Santee’s Twisted Manzanita which has a tasting room just north of I-8 in Pacific Beach. Vista based Belching Beaver has a tasting room in North Park as does Point Loma’s Modern Times Brewing company, and soon they will be joined by Rip Current which is opening up a concept on 30th St. Head south on 30th to Southpark and you will find the very first Stone brewing Company tasting room. West of Southpark, in Barrio Logan, is Border X Brewing Company’s satellite tasting room, which will soon be joined in the barrio by Iron Fist. Nearby Stone also has two additional tasting rooms in downtown San Diego.

West Coaster took an opportunity to talk to some industry professionals who are taking full advantage of the replicate their Type 23 license with satellite tasting rooms, a trend started in San Diego by Stone Brewing Company, and one that does not look to slow down any time soon.

West Coaster San Diego was able to speak with Chris Carroll, Director of Merchandise at Escondido based Stone Brewing Company which has tasting rooms located in Southpark, as well as Downtown San Diego. I also chatted with David Favela of Otay Mesa based Border X Brewing Company which has a tasting room located in Barrio Logan. Paul Sangster, co- owner of Rip Current Brewing in San Marcos, discussed his thoughts on how Rip Current’s future North Park facility will impact the community. Daniel Cady, brewer at Santee’s Twisted Manzanita, which has a newly opened tasting room located in Pacific Beach, chimed in on this matter as well. Publican Karen Blair, co-owner of Southpark mainstay Hamilton’s Tavern as well as Downtown San Diego’s Monkey Paw Brewpub, City Height’s Small Bar, and the soon to open Southpark Brewing Company, also spoke from the perspective of bar and brewpub owner and operator, a position that may be at odds with satellite tasting room operations.

WC: What is the advantage of having a tasting room?
Stone: Tasting rooms allow us to educate fans about our offerings while in a relaxed and intimate environment. With our Stone Company Store locations, we’re able to participate in community events, raise money benefitting local causes and become an integral part of Southern California neighborhoods.
Border X: We have a vision for our beers and our role in the community, and a tasting room enables us to craft that experience in its totality and in a way that you never could with advertising or even tasting booth at a beer festival.
Twisted Manzanita: A tasting room allows us to showcase beers that are special to customers in an area where our footprint is small. These specialty brews are opportunities for us [brewers] to be creative and further advocate the magic of craft beer.
Rip Current: There are many advantages for a brewery to have its own tasting room. We can control the handling of the beer, serving line condition, glassware type, glassware cleanliness, etc. so we know that our beer is being presented in the best possible way to the customer. On the business side, the brewery is able to make more money from the retail sales – that allows us to spend more money on ingredients, equipment, and other items to improve the customer experience.
Karen Blair: Higher profit margin. There’s no distributer or delivery driver to pay. You get people right into your space and they get to try as many of your beers as you can offer, as opposed to a bar that maybe only picks up one or two types at a time. They also do not have to worry about needing a kitchen (which often comes along with the alcohol license for a bar).

WC: Why now?
Stone: Our first tap room, Stone Company Store – South Park, just celebrated its third anniversary in June so we’ve been at this for a while now. Craft beer enthusiasts are eager to check out brewery tap rooms because they offer opportunities to try new and unique beers, chat with the brewers and/or staff, and relax in a casual environment.
Border X: When we started in South San Diego county, we were nearly the only brewery in the this part of the county, while there are almost a hundred breweries from city center to north county. People often tell us how happy they are that they do not have to drive 30-45 minutes north.
Twisted Manzanita: We decided to begin this project at this point in time because of the ever- increasing desire around us to serve good beer. To help assuage this thirst, we wanted to expand our footprint to an area with a deep demographic. By doing so, we can share upon many different palates: tourists, locals, new advocates, craft beer aficionados, etc.
Rip Current: We’ve been open for just over 1.5 years and this is the soonest we could make it happen.

WC: Do you think tasting rooms will compete with bars and restaurants that may be selling beer near your tasting room?

Stone: Our Stone Company Stores provide a different ambiance and experience than the typical amenities people find at bars and restaurants. They aren’t meant to compete with our retail, restaurant and bar partners. Instead, we use Stone Company Stores to promote the thriving craft beer scene.
Border X: No, not at all. We provide a one on one experience with our beers, and for many it’s the first time they’ve tried a craft beer. When they understand we start from scratch and produce these beers, they are astounded and engaged. When we tell them about inspiration for the flavors and our vision for future beers, they become emotionally engaged and anticipate our next release or flavor.
Rip Current: We are near some stellar beer bars, restaurants and other breweries. The greater North Park area is quickly becoming an important hub for craft beer in San Diego and attracts many beer fans as well as the huge pool of locals. We hope that our new location will add to that interest so will have a positive impact on other craft beer oriented businesses.
Twisted Manzanita: That is less of a concern; we have spent a lot of time building relationships with bars and restaurants and we never want them to feel that we are infringing. So far we have been met with support from the community around us. We have also assured everyone that we will not be serving food, but rather encouraging guests to dine at the many great places nearby. Already we have created great partnerships with the restaurants in the area and we are certain they will continue. But certainly, our focus is the beer.
Karen Blair: This isn’t a question of the chicken or the egg. We know which came first. These satellite tasting rooms are choosing exactly where they want their locations and are choosing to plop them right across the street from a bar. So of course brewery tasting rooms do compete and very directly with all bars. The problem is not that they have a tasting room; the problem is that they serve full pints, install TV’s or games, and create a bar-like atmosphere. That’s not a tasting room. A tasting room should be a place you go to *drumroll please*… TASTE. You maybe purchase a flight, choose your favorite(s), and then get your growler filled, grab a six- pack or t-shirt, or keg to take home for a celebration.

WC: Have you had to face opposition from the community or city?

Stone: An overwhelming majority of our experiences have been very positive, with few bumps along the road. More and more cities are seeing the value in the tasting room model and are quite accommodating throughout the entire process.
Border X: No, the city has been incredibly supportive. I think different tasting rooms create their own vision of what they stand for. For us, the community, and specifically local artist and activist engagement was never a marketing strategy or after thought, it was part of our vision and mission. I think the community of Barrio Logan and City of San Diego recognize that it is done right. Tasting rooms are an asset and can help develop sense of community and spur economic growth.
Rip Current: Not yet.
Twisted Manzanita: We have been thoroughly honest with our goals. All of the feedback we have been receiving has been positive and encouraging.

WC: What do you hope to accomplish?

Stone: The mission of our Stone Company Stores is to create excitement for what we, as craft brewers, are doing and to engage fans on more personal level.
Border X: We set out to create something that reflected and celebrated the incredibly rich mix of culture on the border, and we have with our beers and our tasting rooms. We hope to continue on this path, going broader and deeper in our commitment to the communities we operate in.
Rip Current: Our most frequently asked question is how to get our broader beer line-up in San Diego proper, so we’re responding to these questions by opening our second tasting room. We hope to share the full breadth of our beer line-up (normally at least 20 different styles) with those customers who live/work just too far away to drive up to San Marcos very often to see us.
Twisted Manzanita: This tasting room services a purpose that is twofold. Primarily, exposing more people to our beers. Coupled with creating new brews, we want people to feel that they are getting a unique experience while at Twisted Manzanita Ales.

WC: As San Diego county breweries have established tasting rooms throughout the county, with many others in planning, it would seem that satellite tasting rooms are a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future. Take into account brewery owned restaurants that feature beer programs that focus primarily on their own beers, this trend is not only continuing, but evolving into something else entirely. Like anything in this free market economy these ventures will only be as successful as community support allows. Karen Blair shared some additional thoughts on this matter and spoke to the issue of community. “It seems to me we have lost sight of the bigger picture, and, unfortunately, there’s no eloquent way to say this, it is due to the high profit a tasting room can make. I am absolutely not saying there.should be no tasting rooms at all. Part of the fun of a tasting room is being in a room surrounded by big, shiny, glorious brewing equipment, and having the actual brewers right there, saying hello and talking about their product. When you decide to own a brewery, you become a manufacturer. A manufacturer builds partnerships and sells their products to retailers. What we see is a proliferation and a circumnavigation of the three-tier system due to a loophole. It’s a brew-your-own-bar scenario without having to go through the myriad of challenges and regulations associated with opening a bar, restaurant, or brewpub.”

Written by:

Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D.

Doctor Q

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Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Tacos and Tarros in Otay Ranch


Otay Ranch San Diego, also known as East Chula Vista, is one of South San Diego’s newest communities. It’s a town that is perfectly manicured, crisp, clean, and makes you feel like you need to pay HOA fees just to get in. It is, in a word  “modern-suburbia” as we know it. Built upon master planned streets, roads, green belts, and central business districts, Otay Ranch still has that new-car smell and is practically perfect in every way. Chula Vista, however, is one of San Diego’s oldest communities and its “town square” could be argued to be 3rd Ave. in downtown “west” Chula Vista. There is, however, no argument that the town square of Otay Ranch is Otay Ranch Mall. There’s an AMC movie theater, an R.E.I., and a Cheesecake factory, all the markings of a high-end suburban mall. Near the main entrance to this outdoor mall, however, is something that you might not expect. An authentic Tijuana style taqueria: Tacos and Tarros.


Tacos translates to tacos. Tarros translates to mugs (Of beer? Who’s to say?). Tacos and Tarros is not a fast food taco shop, nor a small taco stand. On the contrary. Tacos and Tarros is a sit down casual dining restaurant that offers the tastes of Tijuana in the comforts of Otay Ranch mall. Voted “the best tacos” in Chula Vista, the Landeros brothers are new owners of what could be considered an institute in the young town of Otay Ranch’s history. Craft Beer Tasters spoke with brothers Eduardo and Roberto Landeros, owners of Tacos and Tarros, about the restaurant, its legacy, as well as what they hope for for the restaurant’s future.



Brother Roberto Landeros asserts “I am a big believer in supporting the local economy. It may seem impossible to overcome the power and influence of corporations, but I, we, support the local economy best we can. We are doing that here at Tacos and Tarros by introducing San Diego craft beers on draft and in the bottle!

Tacos and Tarros has been a part of Otay Ranch for nearly 5 years, we took ownership about a 3 months ago, and in that time we have increased our presence by providing great customer service. Part of that customer service means listening to customers. That means we have made some changes to our food menu, our beer menu, which has resulted in a new craft beer program. We want to give the customers what they want. Maybe we will make existing customers happy with a new product, but we also want to let people in Eastlake and Otay Ranch know that they have a really great Mexican restaurant nearby that has San Diego craft beer as well. I love the satisfaction that comes with making customers happy. My passion is producing great food. When I see customers happy, that instant gratification, the smile on their face when they eat and drink something we gave them, that really drives me.”


Dr. Q (L) with Eduardo Landeros (R)

Co-owner and Landeros Brother Eduardo Landeros added “I want to attract people that want craft beer, local beers, San Diego beer. I am trying to offer something different to the area. A lot of businesses were struggling during the recession, but our neighbors in the mall are doing well, we see more people working, earning, and spending money again. This is a very TJ/Mexican type of bar. Not the tourist conception of Tijuana, but the local TJ experience. We are seeing a lot of growth, but I am trying to bring in new people and the craft beer crowd.

We want to make something clear, we aren’t your typical “taco shop” we offer high end food made with high end ingredients. Some very unique styles like Marlin, or our New York taco that is made with shrimp and arrachera (flat steak) are some items that set us apart. We grew up in the Southbay, graduated from Montgomery High School, I went to and taught at Southwestern college and are a part of a hidden demographic. We grew up in Tijuana as well as in San Diego. We are people of two worlds, a hidden demographic that actually consists of a lot of people, just like us. That is what has made us successful. Now, we want to share our restaurant with the rest of Otay Ranch, East Lake, Chula Vista, and San Diego. We offer quality food, a cool ambiance, and excellent service. That’s what we want for ourselves and expect for our customers. We are now offering amazing San Diego craft beers, but, we also want to share our extensive list of Mexican beers with our customers, new and old.”

Starting in October Tacos and Tarros will feature San Diego based Green Flash Brewing Company as their “Craft Brewery of the Month” with $6 pint and $15 pitcher specials all month long.


I will be joining Tacos and Tarros on Wednesday 10/22/14 for a special Green Flash Beer and Taco Tasting with Dave Adams of Green Flash. It will be an evening filled with food, folks, and fun …and something Never done before in Otay Ranch!


Won’t you join us?

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q


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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Do they sell beer at Disneyland?

Disneyland. The name needs no explanation. Just hearing it, you likely get whisked away to a sweet memory in your mind. Perhaps you recall the summers spent driving to Anaheim with your mom, dad, and siblings – packed in like sardines amongst the luggage and road trip snacks like boxes of raisins and pb&j sandwiches. You barely slept a wink the night before, and were still far too excited to doze off during the drive there. You were headed to the happiest place on Earth, after all, a place where Mickey Mouse and his friends would meet you between rides on The Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, and Pirates of The Carribean. Over the years, perhaps you became less interested in frolicking on Tom Sawyer Island as life got in the way, as it tends to do, and you grew up. Now you’re an adult, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have adult fun at “the happiest place on earth” – on the contrary. The happiest place is even happier because California Craft Beer has infiltrated Disneyland Resort at Disney California Adventure.

Now, it is true that beer, wine, and spirits have previously been available at Disneyland, but that was only through the very exclusive “Club 33” experience. A $10,000 annual membership fee plus other monetary obligations probably make Club 33 an unattainable experience for most. I’m sure there are people who have beaten the system and used various methods to smuggle adult beverage in to the park and for that I both condemn and commend. However, there is no reason to risk getting caught, losing your park ticket, and face possible arrest and even deportation! Just visit my top picks for adult beverage consumption at Disney’s California Adventure.

CARTHAY CIRCLE: Located about one hundred yards from the park entrance, Carthay Circle is quite an experience in and of itself. It is, without a doubt, the truest fine dining restaurant experience in either park. Inspired by The Golden Age of Hollywood the stunning architecture and beautiful decor transport you to another time and place. It’s beauty and attention to detail that set this venue apart from anything in most any them park, the world over. You can enjoy craft beer with your meal, to be certain, but, for my time and money I enjoy visiting the bar just off to the right of the building’s entrance.According to the good folks at Disenyland Resort “The dimly lit, elegantly appointed Carthay Circle Lounge is found on the first floor, serving swanky signature cocktails, craft beer, California wines, seltzer sodas and a full bar… Elegant bar bites and snacks inspired by Southern California’s diversity play a strong supporting role and include the Vietnamese twice-cooked beef taco, warm Spanish pimentos with imported chorizo, Santa Monica deviled eggs with smoked salmon and lemon crème fraiche, and the ebi shrimp roll with red jalapeño and soy. Darling finger desserts, including trios of cake pops and mini mousse cones, are likely to draw a standing ovation.” My wife and I shared a Fort Bragg, CA brewed beer “Brother Thelonious” from North Coast Brewing Co. According to the good folks at NCBC they are “proud to partner with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in support of Jazz education. The Brewery makes a donation to the Institute for every bottle of Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale sold.” It was served in clean and proper glassware at the proper temperature poured by the waitress from the bottle at the table. It was quite a swanky experience at a swanky place.


Photo by Doctor Q

Karl Strauss Beer Truck (AKA Pacific Wharf Distribution Co.): Founded in 1989 this San Diego, California based craft beer brewery has been an industry pioneer for nearly over a quarter century. The ingenious design of using a delivery truck as a cold room gives it that touch of Disney Magic and shows that Karl Strauss pioneering spirit. The disguised cold room from which Karl Strauss beers are poured via a direct draw system add to the magic with the beautify graphics adorning the truck. This casual walk up beer station is a craft beer oasis nestled between Cars Land and Paradise Pier in the food court area known as “Pacific Wharf.” I enjoyed a fresh and hoppy Tower 10 IPA for $8! That’s a great deal anywhere, especially a theme park. Yes, it was poured on draft into a plastic cup, which is not ideal, the fact I could walk around the park with a beer in my hands was quite priceless.

Wine Country Trattoria: Sitting al fresco at this Napa inspired restaurant is the only way to go. Starting with the quality of the food, coupled with the service as well as its design and layout, you would not believe you were not having a meal at a northern California winery. As shared by the good folks at DCA you can “Experience the Napa Valley’s passion for wine and fresh seasonal fare in an idyllic Mediterranean garden setting. A hand-carved limestone fountain welcomes you to a rustic retreat where elegantly prepared Italian specialties await. Fresco-painted plaster walls, tiled floors and wood-beam accents reminiscent of a Tuscan villa create a tranquil setting for relaxing afternoons and romantic evenings alike.” I enjoyed a plate of Broccolini Aglio Olio which was “lightly tossed with Spinach, Arugula, Tomatoes, Garlic, Chili Flakes, and Olive Oil” which I paired with a butter bomb that was a California Chardonnay which I ordered by the glass.

There are other places that offer California Craft Beer, California Wines, as well as spirits scattered throughout the park, but you’ll have to find those hidden Mickeys on your own. Do yourself a favor. Take a day off, get some friends together, split a hotel room (you’re going to need it) and get some day drinking done in between rides on “California Screaming” at the craftiest place on earth – Disney’s California Adventure.

Cheers Tasters,
Doctor Q

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Posted by on September 17, 2014 in Disneyland


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