Almanac Beer Dinner This Saturday


3120 Euclid Ave
San Diego, CA 92105

Date: Saturday – April 26, 2014

Time: 4:00pm-6:00pm

Cost: $45
Tickets: Available in house or online at

This Saturday Nate’s Garden Grill in City Heights (just off the 805 on the Home Ave. exit) will host one of California’s most sought after breweries: San Francisco’s Almanac Beer Company.  The restaurant is on the same lot as City Farmers Nursery, and will even be sourcing some of the ingredients for the dinner from the farm.  They have old school values; make their biscuits from scratch, homemade strawberry jam, spend over a day braising, brining and smoking the pulled pork and they even brew their own root beer. Needless to say, they are ecstatic to be working with Almanac and support their “Beer is Agriculture” philosophy.

The Almanac Beer Company was founded in 2010 by Jesse Friedman and Damian Fagan, gypsy brewers big on farm-to-barrel brewing.

If you are unfamiliar, farm-to-barrel brewing, according to the Almanac Beer Co., is about “selecting the best in locally sourced fruit and blending it into beers inspired by the great brewing traditions of the world. We aim to create something special and uniquely Northern Californian. Jesse and Damian collaborated to found the Almanac Beer Company—a brewery dedicated to producing seasonal artisan ales, brewed specifically to complement local cuisine sourced and prepared with the same great care and craft.”


According to the good folks at Nate’s Garden Grill, who source as many ingredients locally as is sustainable, they will bring their values to compliment those of Almanac by hosting a food and beer pairing dinner this Saturday. “We are proud to work with Almanac Brewing and local vendors such as Suzie’s Organics & Sadie Rose to bring you a Saturday afternoon Beer DInner! We’ve taken 4 exceptional Almanac Brews and are pairing them with 4 unique courses! The 4 different Almanac beers we will be poring for this event are Honey Saison, Dogpatch Sour, Golden Gate Gose and Farmers Reserve Pluot.


For the First Course we will have Locally Grown, Organic Dandelion & Garden Weed Salad w/ Roasted Sunflower Seeds & Citrus Garlic Vinaigrette Paired with Honey Saison

For the Second Course we will have Grass Fed Beef Slider with Fig Jam, Bleu Cheese and Caramelized Onion on a Sadie Rose Pretzel Bun Paired with Dogpatch Sour

For the Third Course we will have Grilled Salmon with Corn Tortilla, Lemon Aioli, Cabbage, Cotijas Cheese and Home Made Pico de Gallo Paired with Golden Gate Gose

For the Final Course we will have Chilled, Grilled Fruit with Chili, Tripple Cream and House Cured Pork Belly Paired with Farmers Reserve Pluot


THE BEERS: (According to the good folks at Almanac)

Honey Saison – Brewed with Bay Area honey from Marshall Farms, wheat, California two-row barley, French oak and fresh, local ginger root for a hint of spice. Balanced with earthy Mount Hood and Saaz hops, this is a refreshing brew enjoyed best with your favorite seasonal fare. Marshall Farms is based out of American Canyon in Wine Country, but they maintain over seventy hives throughout the bay area. Spencer and Helene Marshall then blend from migratory bee hives placed in wildflower fields to make their Bay Area Blend.  The result is a honey that represents a wide collection wildflowers of the bay area in one unique honey.

Dogpatch Sour – This barrel-aged wild ale is named for our San Francisco neighborhood and pays tribute to the Flanders Red style of beer. Aged in wine barrels, this lightly tart ale is brewed with California Rainier cherries using a house blend of wild yeasts, bacteria and SF sourdough yeast.

Golden Gate Gose – Inspired by the classic wheat beer hailing from Leipzig, Germany.  Traditionally brewed with salt and coriander, our tart California-inspired version is brewed with San Francisco Bay sea salt, lemon verbena and coriander grown especially for us by Dirty Girl Produce in Santa Cruz, California. Fermented with our house saison yeast, this delicate and tart beer is a perfect summer refresher.  Pair with fresh seafood and sunshine.

Fourth Course Farmers Reserve Pluot  - Created by cross-breeding apricots and plums, there are dozens of varieties with an amazing range of color and flavor. All through the summer, Blossom Bluff Orchards picks each variety at its peak: Dapple Dandy, Honey Punch, Flavor Queen, Black Kat & Dapple Jack were all added to a sour blonde ale and aged in wine barrels to create this funky oak-aged brew. Our Farm to Barrel beers focus on the eons-old tradition of aging beers in oak barrels. This American wild ale was aged in used wine casks with our house “Dogpatch” sour culture, a cocktail of wild Belgian and American yeasts, including San Francisco sourdough starter. The yeasts slowly morph the beer from a traditional ale into something wild, creating a mild acidic bite as well as pulling oak and vanilla flavors from the barrel. After maturing, the barrels are blended together—creating a vinous, delicate beer that captures the essence of a particular harvest.

Nate’s Garden Grill
3120 Euclid Ave
San Diego, CA 92105

Date: Saturday – April 26, 2014

Time: 4:00pm-6:00pm

Cost: $45

See you Saturday Tasters!


Leave a comment

Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Beer Dinners


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is The Craft Beer Association of San Diego?

New San Diego Craft Beer “Think Tank” Launches Saturday

Organization to Focus on Raising National, International Profile of San Diego Craft Beer

SAN DIEGO – The Craft Beer Association of San Diego (CBA-SD), a new think tank and economic development/marketing consultancy, will officially launch to the public on Saturday, April 19th. 

Founded in early 2014 by a group of civic minded people who love local craft beer, CBA-SD seeks to raise the national and international profile of San Diego craft beer. Through education, research, advocacy and marketing initiatives, CBA-SD will support the success of San Diego’s growing craft beer community. Specific organizational goals include bridging gaps with policy makers, elevating out-of-market brand awareness, and strengthening economic development opportunities for the local industry.

The CBA-SD leadership team brings together a diverse set of backgrounds and decades of professional experience. Its founding partners are: Tiffany Bromfield, CBA-SD spokesperson; David Lizerbram, Attorney at Law with David Lizerbram & Associates; Omar Passons, Senior Counsel at Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz, APC.; Tim Stahl, Photographer and Owner of Stahl Photographics; Vince Vasquez, Senior Policy Analyst with the National University System Institute for Policy Research; and Dr. Gonzalo Quintero, Ed.D., Professor of Marketing with the San Diego State University Business of Craft Beer Certificate Program.

CBA-SD leaders will introduce their organization to participants at the CityBeat Festival of Beers on Saturday, April 19th, located in front of the Lafayette Hotel at 2223 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, from 1-5:30PM.

“San Diego craft brewers have earned a strong reputation for producing high-quality, award winning beers,” remarked CBA-SD spokesperson Tiffany Bromfield. “CBA-SD is eager to work with local brewers, civic leaders and existing trade associations to achieve greater global recognition of San Diego craft beer.”

More information about CBA-SD can be obtained from their website, The CBA-SD Twitter username is @drinksdbeer. CBA-SD co-founder and spokesperson Tiffany Bromfield is available for media interviews.

Contact: Tiffany Bromfield





Leave a comment

Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


Beer & Movie: Back To The Future III x Dairy Tank


This whole “movie and a beer” endeavor is working like gangbusters!

The first week we tried out this whacky experiment with a collaboration between Craft Beer Tasters and Los Angeles based movie and television blogger Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore fame. Week 2 we added San Diego podcast pioneer and zine writer Cody Thompson of Three B Zine fame. This week we are adding a San Diego (by way of Phoenix, AZ) lifestyle blogger Zack Norris of Wicker Basket Coffin fame, Mark from We Unite – Entertainment fame and Jen from Sounds In San Diego fame. Lot’s of usage of the word “fame.”

This week we are finishing up the back to the future trilogy with the third installment of the film series. This film is by far my favorite in the series. This wasn’t always the case. I remember as a kid being outwardly excited about the prospect of the sequels being released, but inside I was like ‘Why are they doing this?’ Yeah, end of childhood type feelings.

You’re probably thinking – wait a sec, there was a “To Be Continued” at the end of the first Back To The Future film. Guess what, that was an afterthought. In fact it’s not even a part of the original theatrical release. So there. Not sure what I’m saying, other than this was never intended to be a trilogy, just like Star Wars was never intended to be a trilogy.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s discuss the beer I decided to pair with the movie.


In light of the collaborative nature of our heroes “Doc” and “Marty” I decided to pair the movie with a collaboration beer.

Beer: Dairy Tank
Brewed by: Eagle Rock Brewery in collaboration with AleSmith
Style: Milk Stout
ABV: 10%
Brewed at: Eagle Rock Brewery in Los Angeles, California USA

Why is it called “Dairy Tank?” According to the good folks at Eagle Rock “Several years ago, these guys (AleSmith) were kind enough to sell us their old brewhouse when they were upgrading to a new one and thus the story begins… These old converted dairy tanks had been used to make some award winning beers at AleSmith and now with us. AND what better way to honor these tanks than to brew a collaboration beer called Dairy Tank?? This delicious milk stout is sure to please and was brewed in the very brewhouse discussed above.”

So at the end of Back To The Future Part II we see the lightning bolt hitting the clock tower, the DeLorean jumping back to the future, and Doc brown rejoicing. Just then Marty, the Marty who went to 2015, caused a riff in the space time continuum, and had to go to the 1950′s to correct it, yeah that Marty, scares the hell out of Doc and the third trilogy gets going.

The high abv didn’t have an adverse effect on my movie watching experience as part 3 is easy to follow. Also. I feel that stouts are a good pairing with westerns. Stouts remind me of coffee and tobacco. I romanticize the old west as smelling of coffee and tobacco, and death.


This is a western! Yeah, in part 2 the 1985 version of Doc is in the time machine, gets hit by lightning and disappears. Almost instantaneously a shadowy figure drives up to Marty and hands him a 70 year old telegram. In it Doc leaves explicit directions for Marty and his 1955 counterpart to follow. They are to find the time machine in a cave, fix it, send Marty back to the future; where he is to destroy it, and leave Doc in the past where he is living happily as a blacksmith.

Only one thing, Marty and Doc find a tombstone from 1885 with an inscription indicating it belongs to 1985 Doc.

So guess what happens? Despite all of the talk about not knowing too much about your own density (you get it) Doc sends Marty back to 1885 to change Doc’s personal history. Not too bad, I guess, seeing as he shouldn’t be there in the first place.

In the old west Marty meets his ancestors that look like himself and his mom and sound like Irish stereotypes, says I says I. He also meets Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen ancestor to villains Biff and Griff from the other movies. I think the writer/directors of “Cloud Atlas” would have been well served to have watched this trilogy and could have gained some appreciation from the audience by following the ancestral/legacy aspect this film touches on so effortlessly time and time again.

The Good:

Having a time machine in the old west will lead to awesome lines like:

Buck: “Take a gander at them moccasins. What kind of skins is them?”
Stubble: “What’s that writing mean … “Neekay” … what is that, some sort of Injun talk or something?”

Mad Dog Tannen: “What’s your name, dude!”
Marty: “Mar… Eastwood, Clint Eastwood.”

Saloon Patron: “Must have got that shirt off a dead Chinese”

Character developent is great. Marty and Doc have been through so much in just under a month’s time, their bond is really felt in this film. Also Doc meets the love of his life, Clara, with whom he has kids, all of which spend their time time traveling in a sweet hover train. You can almost hear Huey Lewis singing “That’s the power of love!” …can you feel it.

The Bad:
This movie never breaks the fourth wall, but it references itself in a way that makes me want to use the word meta, but I will not. Also, the accents are… yeah. Also, aside from part 1, none of these movies can stand on its own outside of the context of the films, but once you have seen them all, you can totally visit them in any order. Also I would be down to watch a 6 long cut that puts the space-time continuum in order.

The ugly: Nothing, this trilogy couldn’t be any better, I just hope they don’t do a remake too soon, or a prequel, or a sidequel. Don’t… just… don’t.

If you haven’t seen this trilogy, do yourself, and humanity, a favor and watch it. It is a positive movie steeped in family values that really does demonstrate the power of love and friendship, also there are hover boards in 2 out of 3 of the movies.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q



1 Comment

Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Alesmith, Movie and a Beer


Tags: , , , , ,

CBT Baja: Mexicali Beer Fest – Brewery Spotlight: Agua Mala

The Spring 2014 Mexicali Beer Fest was host to over 25 breweries. There were many stellar beers on hand. Tijuana based brewery Helixir had a prototype of their Oyster Stout. Old Mission had bottles of their soon to be distributed in the U.S. “Ensenada Brewing Co.” beers on hand. Local (Mexicali) brewers Puerco Salvaje had a Belgian Dubbel that was as flavorful as it was aromatic. For today’s post, however, I want to highlight the brewery that, I must admit, I made an effort to seek out right away: Agua Mala. I first sampled brews from the Ensenada based craft beer brewery at last Fall’s Mexicali Beer Fest. More recently, I had a chance to work alongside Co-Owner/Operator/Head Brewer Nathaniel Schmidt who helped to coordinate the beer judging competition at this Spring’s Ensenada Beer Fest. Why was I in such a hurry to try their wares? It was due to a competition that took place the night before.

The World Beer Cup (WBC) according to the official website, exists “to create greater consumer awareness around the world about the quality and diversity displayed by the various beers of the world. The World Beer Cup is dedicated to recognizing both the traditions and innovations shared by the entire brewing industry as well as those customs unique to specific countries and regions. The World Beer Cup also promotes the responsible consumption of beer as an alcohol-containing beverage and urges beer producers and distributors to encourage beer enthusiasts to savor the flavor of beer responsibly.” Long story short The WBC is the “Olympics” of beer. It’s the largest, most revered, and most truly international beer competition in the world.

Agua Mala won Silver for “Astillero IPA” in the category of Imperial Pale Ale!

I had a chance to speak with Aurora Novoa and Tomas Fernandez of Agua Mala at the Mexicali Beer Fest and taste their WBC Silver Medal winner. It had a bright aroma, the flavor was piney and a bit resinous, the finish was dry. It was labeled as an 8% ABV IIPA, but drank so much smoother. I asked Tomas about the influences behind the creation of the beer. “We cannot deny that we have influence from beers in California, especially San Diego. However, in Baja California, particularly Northern Baja, we are influenced by many great examples of many fine beers. Brewers in Northern Baja have gone beyond the fun and novelty of brewing  innovative beers for the sake of it. Instead, they have focused on consistency and quality control, all without losing our independence or individual style. The quality of beers from others in our reion inspires us too, but we don’t try to match them, we try to utilize our resources and tastes to match our personal preferences.”

‘What does winning this award mean?’ I asked. Tomas responded “It is very very nice to win a WBC Silver for an Imperial IPA. To have that sort of recognition for our efforts. Brewing is fun, being consistent doesn’t mean not being innovative. There are many good brewers with good beers in our region. Their support shown to us for this win has been great. We share this prize with everybody!”

The folks at Agua Mala could not have been any more humble or gracious. It is this kind of attitude that I have seen time and time again in the craft beer community, wherever I have traveled. The idea of community and how a rising tide raises all ships is alive and well inBaja. It is quite fitting that the first WBC win awarded to Baja California, Mexico is for a beer called “Astillero.”

Cheers Tasters,
Doctor Q

The following comes from Agua Mala’s Official Website.

ASTILLERO (shipyard) IPA, India Pale Ale
“The color of burnished copper, it has a wonderfully hoppy aroma and an intense hoppy bitterness carefully balanced with the malt’s sweetness. It is intense as is characteristic of an Imperial or Double IPA. One might say ‘It’s over the top!’”

O.G.: 1.007 IBUs: 120+ ABV: 8.5% SRM: 7

Suggested serving temperature: :40-55°F (4-12°C) is the ideal temperature for serving this beer. Generally, the darker the beer, a higher temperature is suggested. This reference is based in the ideal, because along with these temperatures the beer’s true scents and flavors can be noticed, although as Mexicans we like and we use to drink it cold.”

ASTILLERO (shipyard)
IPA, India Pale Ale
The color of burnished copper, it has a wonderfully hoppy aroma and an intense hoppy bitterness carefully balanced with the malt’s sweetness. It is intense as is characteristic of an Imperial or Double IPA. One might say “it’s over the top!”

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Baja, Beer Fest


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

CBT Baja: The Spring 2014 Mexicali Beer Fest

Photo credit: Andee Benavides


This past Saturday was Craft Beer Tasters’ fourth trip to Mexicali, and our third Mexicali Beer Fest. In all honesty, the phrase “the city that captured the sun” isn’t just marketing, it’s a warning. Every time I have visited Mexicali, or it’s sister city Calexico in the U.S., I have always expected 90+ degree weather, with a clear sky, strong sun, and no breeze. This past weekend, however, I felt like I was in Sunny San Diego, and not the desert. The sky was clear, the sun strong, and the air cool, it was as if everyone in attendance willed it to be a perfect day for food, folks, and fun in Parque Guerrero located at the heart of northwest Mexicali. Thousands of craft beer tasters partied from 4pm to 2am (wow that’s a long festival) some sampling craft beer for the first time! The atmosphere echoed the call to arms “From Mexicali to the world” which is the tagline of Mexicali based “Big Bad Brewing Company.” I could not agree more with the above sentiment, save for the fact I would say “From Baja to The World.” When I attended the first Mexicali Beer Fest in the Fall of 2012, it was in very limited space with no more than 1,000 attendees. Very few of the breweries on hand were even from Mexicali, and a couple admitted to being no more than home brewers specializing in boutique events, and one-off brews. Through time and effort the beers have gotten better, the techniques and systems used more sophisticated, the passion strengthened, and the demand has risen. Of the beers I sampled most were good, and many were commercial grade, meaning that beer deserved a handle at craft beer loving estabishment. The crowd was sophisticated, diverse, and mixed, including several U.S. visitors – some of which were representatives from San Diego based brewery “Green Flash.” In fact “Coronado Brewing Company” and “Green Flash” were on hand pouring their wares. There were over 25 breweries present at the festival, from throughout Mexico, not only Baja. Mexicali, as host city was well represented by stand outs “Big Bad Brewing Company” alongside “686″ as well as “Urbana” and “Legion” not to mention Tijuana based breweries “Mamut” and “Insurgente” and Ensenada Breweries “Zombie Brew Labs” along with “Old Mission/Ensenada Brewing Co.” and World Beer Cup 2014 Imperial IPA Silver Medal Winner “Agua Mala.”

From Baja to the world indeed.

Cheers Tasters,
Doctor Q

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Baja, Beer Fest, Uncategorized


Movie & A Beer: Back To The Future Part II x Stochasticity Grapefruit Slam


“McFly you bozo. Those boards don’t work on water. …Unless you got powuh!”

This week I continue my collaborative blog series with L.A. Blogger Eugene Abano of Reviews Galore and we welcome Cody Thompson whom you should know from San Diego Based Beer Bike and Beers online ‘zine ThreeBzine
Go check out their reviews and pairings with this movie by clicking the links above…

Welcome back!

Back To The Future Part II – an American big budget indie foreign film, is the focus of this post. Isn’t that phrase awash in a sea of oxymorons? Yes, yes it is. According to imdb BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II is about our friend Marty McFly, who we learned last week is a time traveling ne’er do well. He changed the past, and all lived happily ever after. Or did they? In part 2, according to “after visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985… without interfering with his first trip.”

That’s it That’s your synopsis? How’d we even get to 2015?!

At the beginning of part 2, Doc Brown, perhaps high on life the only way someone who thwarted their own murder thanks to future knowledge can feel, visits Marty (in 1985) from the year 2015 in an effort to help Marty save his future offspring. They travel together to the future and, after flying in cars like modified De Loreans, visiting the retro and nostalgic Cafe 80s, and riding Mattel® hover boards through the futuristic setting of Hill Valley, they save the day, or do they?


Marty is stupid.
Maybe that’s not fair. He’s only been time traveling for about a week. He’s received very little education on the pitfalls of time travel. And, after effing around in the 1950s bettered the lives of his loved ones.

Marty decides to buy a sports almanac in the future with the hope of making bets in his time with future knowledge. Doc Brown warns him of the consequences, or at least scolds him for wanting a better life based on time travel. Which is a contradiction, but whatever. Doc throws away the almanac, and Biff Tannen the villain from part 1 (the villain I didn’t mention in the first post) was listening in all the while! Biff picks up the almanac, follows Doc & Marty, Biff somehow steals the time machine, goes back in time, engages in some nefarious acts, and is wiley enough to return to 2015.


When Marty and Doc return to 1985 it’s a different version of reality where Biff is a billionaire who built a multinational corporation owning jerk who built an empire of scum based on winnings by being “the luckiest man alive.” That shoulda been Marty, making billions off of gambling and spending it on ORVs, amps, guitars, and sugar free sodas.

Marty learns from 1985 Biff version 2, that November 5, 1955 was when it all went down. Future Biff gave 1955 Biff the almanac. Marty and Doc escape rich off Biff’s clutches and head to 1985 to set right what once went wrong, a quantum leap if you will.

Man this movie is weird.

Marty almost effs up what work the other version of himself is doing in 1955, you know, everything that was accomplished in part one! Are we to assume Marty in part 1 was only successful because of off screen shenanigans of the other Marty?

Man I’m confused.

The Beer:
This time I went with a beer just as innovative and confusing as the movie itself: Stone Stochasticity™ Project Grapefruit Slam IPA – Ale with Grapefruit Peel Added.


“India pale ales harness the inherent flavor characteristics of hops to bring forward familiar flavors of pine, resin, spice and citrus. In some cases, those botanicals are so potent, they exactly mirror specific edibles. Such is the case with Centennial hops, which hail from the Great Northwest and come across on the palate like a mouthful of citrus fruit. The sensation is amplified with this, the first beer introduced via the Stochasticity Project, a double IPA brewed with Centennial, Chinook and Magnum hops as well as an immense dosing of fresh grapefruit peel. The result is over-the-top bittersweet grapefuit intensity that is at once refreshing and bracing in its citrusy bitterness.”

That description is as confusing as this movie seemingly is. This beer is more than meets the eye. I know what you’re thinking. “Easy Optimus.” The beer is reminiscent of an IPA, but it’s not. It’s reminiscent of a fruit beer, but it’s not. It’s familiar, yet new. It’s an old style, yet innovative. It’s my Stone “Go To” IPA if you will. It’s pretty much gone, and I want to time travel and get more!

The Good:
The look. 2015 is so real. Nothing about it feels forced or fake. It feels like a real time and place, it is lived in. The past is exactly like the 1985 film, yet made nearly 5 years later. The story. It’s confusing, but it is logical, it makes sense, it makes the viewer feel something for our own humanity based on consequences of decisions we make.

The Bad:
Still really bad make up effects.

The Ugly:
Character motivations still have no real origin, but the story is so good it doesn’t matter. You can thank the whole team: producers, writers, directors, and actors. They tell the story exactly how they meant to. Also, the beer helped a whole lot. I was pretty easy going with the details of the randomness of the movie because, much like the space time continuum, it’s a random process, Stochastic if you will.

The ending is weird. It ends in the past with another version of Marty coming on screen while an other version just left in the time machine. What the what?! Also I ran out of beer, and that made me question the actions of my past self. If only I had bought more Grapefruit Slam :/

This is the second movie of a trilogy. It continues the story and ends on a cliff hanger that doesn’t set up the third act, per se, but leaves you wanting more. Just like that sweet sweet Stochasticity.

Next Thursday we will be reviewing Part 3. Watch it ahead of time, that’d be cool. Also, we will be adding some more guest bloggers.

Cheers Tasters!
Doctor Q


Leave a comment

Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Movie and a Beer



Aside from being the owner operator of Craft beer Tasters, LLC; Gonzalo J. Quintero, Ed.D. (Doctor Q) is a monthly columnist for San Diego craft beer magazine West Coaster San Diego. This Month (April) “The Doctor’s Office” delves deep into the cultural phenomenon that is Bottle Trading. Click here to download the entire mag

Cheers Tasters,

Doctor Q

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 9, 2014 in IN PRINT, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,

CBT Baja: “The City That Captured The Sun”


This coming Saturday Craft Beer Tasters is traveling to the capital of the great state of Baja, California Mexico to visit “The City That Captured The Sun” – Mexicali. This will be our 4th visit to Mexicali, but our 3rd visit for a Mexicali beer festival. The last time we visited Baja for a beer fest was last November…

November 9th, 2013 is one of the fondest memories of this Craft Beer Taster. That Autumn day I found myself visiting the capital of the Mexican state of Baja California. I was walking the streets of Downtown Mexicali, specifically Reforma St., to be exact, just across the border from Calexico, CA enjoying a “cheve” of “Cervezas Atresenales” with some of Mexico’s best craft beer brewers. The event I had attended was The Mexicali Beer Fest Artesenal. This event, truly one of the first Mexicali had ever organized. Rodrigo Hernández and Rafael González from Mexicali’s “Big Bad Brewing Company” in coordination with Héctor Corella from “Amante Cerveza Artesanal” produced the festival which featured more than 20 Mexican craft beer breweries from around Mexico and beyond.

Taking place over 10 hours in Mexicali’s beautiful “Centro Historica” - this event was part beer fest, part food fest, part concert, part beer seminar, and all fun. With an entrance fee of $100 pesos (or about $7.50 U.S.) along with an incentive of 5 free tasters for the first 1,000 guests – this event was very approachable, and bustling. Having attended multiple beer festivals around Baja (namely Tijuana, Ensenada, and Mexicali) in the past, I was quite excited in anticipation of the atmosphere of fun and friendship that always permeates these events. What was the biggest surprise, and one that surely added to the excitement was witnessing  the range of participating Mexican Breweries that were pouring at The Mexicali Beer Fest.

Beer from around Mexico, namely Los Cabos, Ensenada, Monterey, Mexicali, Mexico City, Tecate, and Tijuana were featured at this past year’s event! What breweries were on hand? Amante from Mexicali, 686 Cervecería from Mexicali, The Big Bad Brewing Co. (Tres B) from Mexicali, Cerveza Zombie from Ensenada, Cervecería Legión from Mexicali, Veintidos (22) Craft Beer from Mexicali, Cervecería Aguamala from Ensenada, Border Psycho from Tijuana, Cerveza Rámuri from Tijuana & Los Cabos, Cerveza Cucapá from Mexicali, Cervecería Reforma from Mexicali, Gato Gordo from Mexicali, Mi Cheve from Mexicali, Bad Habit from Mexicali, Cerveza Coromuel from Mexicali, Funes Cerveza Artesanal from Tijuana, Hellixir from Tijuana, Cerveza Urbana from Mexicali, Cervezas Riviera from Ensenada, Cervecería Albur from Moneterrey Nuevo Laredo, La Chingonería from Mexico City, Cervecería Mamut from Tijauna, Cervecería Península from Mexicali, Maltería Santería from Tecate, and Picachos Brewing Co from Mexicali were all be on hand to share their wares.


Craft beer, or rather “Cervezas Artesenales” from throughout Mexico were the focus of this event, but there was much more than beer on hand at last year’s fest. Food from local eateries showed off the diverse and eclectic tastes of host city Mexicali. Additionally, there were seminars about craft beer, beer tastings, and pairings for guests on hand. Moreover, special guests were lined up for this event from the The United States, and were on hand to lend their expertise to the already thriving Mexican craft beer culture. These guests included John Palmer author of “How To Brew” fame along with Ryan Brooks, Brewer at Coronado Brewing Co., Carlos Martínez, Brewmaster at Cucapá Brewing Co. (Mexicali), José Melquiades, Brewer from Coralillo Brewing Co. (Mexicali), formerly from Cucapá and brewery owners as well as head brewers from the aforementioned breweries.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 12.54.01 AM

Moreover, journalists from outside of Mexico were present to document the event. These individuals included yours truly Dr. Gonzalo Quintero (Dr. Q) of San Diego based Craft Beer Tasters, along with other groups of journalists and brewers from the LA area including Sarah Bennett of Beer Paper LA, Randy Clemens of Los Angeles Magazine, Erika Bolden of L.A. Weekly, Lynn Lieu of Desert Sun – Palm Springs, Roy Chavoya of Beers In Paradise, and Tomm Carroll of Celebrator Beer News. I give it up for the aforementioned journalists, many of whom were new on the scene. They packed their passports, changed their dollars into pesos, and headed to Northeast Baja last year, some for the first time, and it was great to see the festival from their perspective.




This Saturday April 12, 2014 Mexicali will be celebrating their first ever Spring Beer Fest at Vicente Guerrero Park with 16,000 sq. ft. of beer, music and absolute hoppy-ness.

Tickets for this event will cost you only $150.00 pesos (about $12 USD) and you won´t believe all that you will get.

Following their smashing success last Fall with over 3,400 visitors, 26 breweries, 7 bands and local restaurants and having a blast for over 10 hours; they have decided to host a Spring time party!

There will be 5,000 thousand people coming from all over Baja and So-Cal, 36 breweries (including San Diego, CA based breweries Green Flash and Coronado Brewing Co.), 10 local restaurants, 7 live bands, Audience Awards, and Artist performances.


Cheers Tasters,

Doctor Q











Héctor Corella Vega, Cerveza Amante, Festival Organizer

Rodrigo Hernández Mijares, Cervezas Tres B, Festival Organizer

Rafael González Mosqueda, Cervezas Tres B, Spiritual Guru


Leave a comment

Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Baja, Beer Fest, CBT Baja, Mexico





April 12, 2014


By: Rodrigo Hernández

Are you ready for a 10-hour long Beer Fest? How about Baja´s Finest 10-hour long Beer Fest?

We, The Mexicali Craft Brewers Guild, invite you to the biggest craft beer party in town!
We´re celebrating our first ever Spring Beer Fest next Saturday April 12, at Vicente Guerrero Park with 16,000 sq. ft. of beer, music and absolute hoppy-ness.

Tickets for this event will cost you only $150.00 pesos (about $12 USD) and you won´t believe all that you will get.

Following our smashing success last Fall with over 3,400 visitors, 26 breweries, 7 bands and local restaurants and having a blast for over 10 hours; we have decided to open our Spring party, and you, my beloved San Diegans, have a chance to experience it!

This time around we will party with over 5,000 thousand people coming from all over Baja and So-Cal, 36 breweries (including our buddies from Green Flash and Coronado Brewing Co.), 10 local restaurants, 7 live bands, Audience Awards, and Artist performances. 

Of the 26 Participating breweries you can count on these stand outs:

The Big Bad Brewing Co. (Tres B, 3B) with kick-ass brews such as Hefeweizen, Saison, Cream Ale and Strong Ale
Cerveza Amante
Cerveza Urbana (First Prize Winners with their Crossover IPA at last Fall´s edition)
Hellixir Beer
Border Psycho
Agua Mala… and many more.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 12.54.01 AM

Moreover, we are inviting all Pro and Amateur brewers to register their beers for competition at our First “Mexicali Beer Challenge” lead by a Team of BJCP Judges, to be held next April 25 and 26 (a date extension has been made due to numerous late applications from all over Mexico, Imperial and San Diego Counties).

We are receiving 2 (two) types of applications:
a) Commercial Breweries
b) Home Brewers.

All registered Beers will be evaluated according to their style guidelines as listed by the brewers, under Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) rules. Each style will be grouped according to similar characteristics, and awards will be delivered for each category.

Registration Fee for Commercial Brewers is $1,000.00 pesos (about $76 USD) for either 1 or 2 beer styles. Fee´s for all attending exhibitors will be waived.  Home brewers will pay a Registration Fee of $200 pesos (about $16 USD) for 1 or 2 beer styles.  Please ask for your Registration Documents and send back your forms properly filled at Contestants will be informed on “drop off” details further on.  

Finally we are proud to announce our Lodging arrangements for Exhibitors, Press and Out-of-city visitors. The Base Rate is unbeatable at $654.50 Pesos (about $50 USD) Taxes Included. Single and Double Rooms are available (Quadruple Double Rooms). This Rate will be available from Friday 11 until Sunday  April 13.  It includes 2 Breakfasts per room.

For all Hotel related matters please refer EXCLUSIVELY to Hotel Staff:

Miss Ilse López
Account Executive
Tel. +52 (686) 556-1312 Ext. 505


Héctor Corella Vega, Cerveza Amante, Festival Organizer

Rodrigo Hernández Mijares, Cervezas Tres B, Festival Organizer

Rafael González Mosqueda, Cervezas Tres B, Spiritual Guru


Leave a comment

Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Baja, Beer Fest, CBT Baja


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie & A Beer: Back To The Future x Modern Times


Movie: Back To The Future, 1985, Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Beer: Modern Times, Black House Coffee Stout, San Diego, CA

This post is a collaboration post between me and Los Angeles based Movie and Television review blogger Eugene Abano of REVIEWS GALORE.

Eugene and I are old college buds (SDSU Class of ’05) who, as fate would have it, both happen to be bloggers. Always wanting to collaborate, the opportunity to work with each other presented itself when visiting 5&A Dime in downtown San Diego. We went there to get some vintage sodas, DANG® Butterscotch Root Beer to be exact, and got to talking about how we could review the same movie and share our different perspectives.

One of our most obvious differences in our perspective is that Eugene doesn’t touch fermented beverages whereas Dr. Q has built a business around the premise of being a craft beer Taster. It seemed obvious. I could pair a movie and a beer, and Eugene could pair a movie and a soda… This thing writes itself.


The movie we chose was BACK TO THE FUTURE (BTTF). You can read Eugene’s reviewby clicking here. You’re back? Cool. Here are my thoughts.

First off. I chose a beer that was sessionable. Maybe less so due to Alcohol By Volume, and more so because of flavor and drinkability. Also I thought it’d be clever to pair a movie about time travel with a beer from a company called “Modern Times” oh so clever… I’m sad now. Anyways… I chose Black House Oatmeal coffee stout which, according to the good folks at Modern times is “an oatmeal coffee stout bursting with coffee aroma and flavor. Modern Times is one of the only breweries in the world to roast our own coffee, which allows us to be exceptionally picky about which coffees we use and how we roast them. The result is an abundantly flavorful beer that’s incredibly complex and aromatic, with loads of roast character and a chocolate-covered espresso bean finish.”


Coming in at 116 minutes long this beer kept me in flavor country throughout the duration of the film, and at 5.8% I still would’ve been able to dance to the soothing sounds of “Marvin Beery and The Starlighters” at “The Enchantment Under The Sea Dance” if you know what I mean?

If You don’t know what I mean you don’t deserve eyes because you’ve had your whole life to see this film!

Okay. Let’s assume you have not seen this classic film, that was the highest grossing film of 1985. According to good old “Back To The Future” is about a teenager named Marty McFly (Alex P. Keaton (Michael J. Fox)) who “is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence.”

There you’re all caught up.

I’d describe “Back To The Future” as a movie about this kid who seemingly has no friends other than his 1980s metal band mates with whom he only interacts with while auditioning for school dances, a smoking hot girlfriend who is an enabler – helping him evade authorities on campus and cheering he and his non friend band mates from an empty gym floor.

Last but not least, of course, is Dr. Emmit Brown, a crack pot scientist, at least 30 years his senior, who we see as his only real friend, and accept it at face value. Maybe it was the era, somewhat more naive, but a young boy and an old eccentric scientist has “Law and Order” written all over it.

Doc Brown makes a time machine, grifts some Libyan terrorists, they come to collect, Doc gets smoked, Marty gets in the time machine, which is this sweet Delorean by the way…


…activates it, and travels to 1955. Marty, having been born an idiot as he was raised by idiots, his grandfather’s words not mine, intervenes in the space/time continuum, causing his mom to get “the hots” for him and making it his sole purpose to play matchmaker between his high school classmates/future parents. Hilarious almost incest hijinks ensue and ultimately his folks get together, he goes “back to the future” (squee! I said it!) and what’s his reward for playing god? He lives in a world where he lives in the same house with his parents and adult siblings who are all seemingly happy and successful, yet, for some unexplained reason, are still sharing what can’t be no more than a 2,000 square foot home. Doc Brown shows up at the last second, totally c blocks Marty who was about to take his sweet Toyota ORV (off road vehicle, which was the style at the time) to the lake to spend some quality time with the aforementioned smoking hot girlfriend.

The Good The story flows very well. Take away the snarky nature of the reviewer, this film makes sense from beginning to end. Everything is foreshadowed, but in a meaningful way. It’s filled with classic scenes and classic lines. Lines such as:

“I have your car towed all the way to your house, and all you got for me is Lite Beer?!”

“What are you looking at, butthead?!”

“I’m your density.”

“Where we’re going… we don’t need roads. “

The Bad The only people of color are the Libyan terrorists and the janitor/mayor. Small and personal observation, but worth mentioning. Also. Don’t watch it on DVD on a large format screen as there are some horrible make up effects used to bith age and make youthful the appearance of the actors. Two beers in, you might have to pee during a very action packed scene. Music by Huey Lewis and The News, in my opinion, is the only thing that truly dates the film and takes you out of the fantasy.

The Ugly
Again, the horrible make-up effects. Also, as if having the music of Huey Lewis and The News playing in the background wasn’t bad enough, we have to see Huey Lewis’s ugly mug playing a non funny cameo role.

This movie is a classic, the beer I chose was a little higher in abv than I think I should have used, but it was good regardless.

I hope you enjoyed our posts, but we’re “outta time.”

Cheers Tasters!

Doctor Q


Eugene & Dr. Q



Tags: , , , , ,


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 989 other followers