The 2nd Annual Sore Eye Cup Vote Down – The Search for San Diego’s Best Craft Beer


The Prestigious Sore Eye Cup

The Prestigious Sore Eye Cup

Welcome to the vote down of The 2nd Annual Sore Eye Cup, an award for the best regularly produced craft beer in San Diego! Last year was a resounding success, Speedway Stout from the mighty Alesmith dominated the competition with an average score of 47 out of 50 and is the only beer not eligible for this year’s award. We will honor the winning craft beer with an actual cup (over 64oz capacity) they can lord over all other breweries in town, drink their amazing suds out of, smash in total victory, or all the above!

Let’s get to it! Below is a list of the 51 nominated San Diego craft beers. You can vote for up to 3 beers, once per day. Don’t see your favorite beer on the list? It’s not too late, simply email me and nominate your favorite, regularly produced, suds. Voting will run for one month establishing our ten finalist beers that will be judged by our panel and awarded the Sore Eye Cup!

2nd Annual Sore Eye Cup
What is the best, regularly produced San Diego Craft Beer?

Beer Camp San Diego – One Festival To Rule Them All

Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America is the official title of the craft beer festival that took over North Embarcadero last Sunday, July 20th. The name of the event was easily shortened to Beer Camp by everyone attending, but what can’t be ignored is how amazing this festival was planned, managed, and operated. I have only experienced a staff as prepared for a festival a few times in my life and only at the extinct MVCBFF (please reincarnate this event!). The event layout, the detailed information provided to all attendees, the great (actual glass) sampler snifter, the amount of water stations, the simplicity of finding the breweries you wanted to because they were in alphabetical order, and the large areas left undisturbed by booths to hang out and enjoy the beauty that we so often take for granted in this town are just some of the examples why I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

BeerCamp15 Continue reading

Hess Fest – Mike Hess Brewing’s 4th Anniversary

HessFest15On Saturday, July 19th, the 4th anniversary party for Mike Hess Brewing, Hess Fest happened right outside the brewery. They closed down Grim St., invited a dozen breweries, 8 food vendors and 1000 of their closest friends to help them celebrate. With collaboration casks for VIPs, unlimited beer samples, 4 food dishes, and a 4th canniversary glass for everyone, this was a fun way to spend an afternoon. For a break down of the breweries and food vendors in attendance, check out the event page.

Walking into the festival area you were greeted by a T shaped space lined with the standard booths serving delicious San Diego craft beer and excellent food from local establishments. The event featured several Sore Eye Cup nominated breweries (including Hess, nominated for Grazias and Habitus), and a number of offerings from the birthday brewery itself. If you’re a craft aficionado, you definitely wanted to be inside the brewery with the VIPs. 12 one off cask collaborations of Hess beer awaited those with the vision to step up to premiere ticket level. I was really happy with wait times for beer, many booths had 2 servers and handled pouring quickly. Most lines were less than 10 people deep until more than 3 hours into the festival, which is impressive. Continue reading

San Diego Beer Camp Festival Guide

BeerCamp12I hope everyone is coming to the Beer Camp Across America Festival this Sunday in Embarcadero. This event is going to be huge! Sierra Nevada just sent me this awesome festival guide covering everything you need to know from parking to what breweries will be attending.

They don’t mention me personally but I’ll be there anyways! Download the guide and surf through the waves of lost people like Kelly Slater. No reason to be one of the people walking around like a zombie wondering what to do next. With over 100 breweries expected you need to get in the game, study some film (read the guide), get a plan together, and be ready to take down your opponents (the dazed and confused) like a Team 6 Navy Seal.

Let me know if you’re coming; let’s hang out and have a beer(s)!


Here’s a video to get you hyped!

The 2nd Annual Sore Eye Cup – San Diego’s Best Craft Beer

The Prestigious Sore Eye Cup

The Prestigious Sore Eye Cup

Welcome to the launch of The 2nd Annual Sore Eye Cup, an award for the best regularly produced craft beer in San Diego! Last year was a resounding success, Speedway Stout from the mighty Alesmith dominated the competition with an average score of 47 out of 50 and is the only beer not eligible for this year’s award. We will honor the winning craft beer with an actual cup (over 64oz capacity) they can lord over all other breweries in town, drink their amazing suds out of, smash in total victory, or all the above!

Here are the rules: Beers nominated must be brewed here in San Diego County by a recognized brewery (If you’re a homebrewer I’m more than willing to try your beer, anytime, maybe even trade for some of mine). They must be regular beers the brewery makes year round; seasonal, special versions, one offs and casks are not allowed. We’re looking for beers that are available to everyone in SD.

Nominate your favorite beer(s) by emailing me at, tweet me (@mkbain) or tag your nomination #SoreEyeCup in Twitter or Facebook. Nominations are open until the end of June, and then we will move into the voting round. The top ten beers (at least), as voted by you, the best followers on earth, will be blind tasted/judged by our panel of 10. The judges range from craft beer enthusiasts to certified beer judges. We are truly looking for the best regularly produced craft beer San Diego has to offer. The best craft beer, as chosen by us, will be awarded the esteemed Sore Eye Cup and receive all the prestige and glory one blog can bestow upon a brewery!

Current Nominated Beers:

- Oatmeal Stout from Benchmark Brewing Co.
- The Apprentice, The Pupil & The Butcher from Societe Brewing Company
- Lupulin Lust & Vanilla Storm from Rip Current
- Beeruccino, Hop The RIPA & Wicked As Sin from Helm’s Brewing Co.
- Nelson & Duet from Alpine Beer Company
- Sculpin & Big Eye from Ballast Point Brewing
- Go To IPA & Levitation from Stone Brewing Co.
- West Coast IPA from Green Flash Brewing Company
- Nut Brown, X-Extra Pale Ale & Wee Heavy from Alesmith Brewing Company
- Dark Seas & Shipwrecked from Mission Brewery
- Ponto from Pizza Port Brewing Co.
- Voyager English Ale from Arcana Brewing Company
- American Strong Ale from Culture Brewing Co.
- Gavel Drop from Council Brewing Company
- Habitus & Grazias from Mike Hess Brewing
- Riverwalk Blonde & Gillespie Brown from Twisted Manzanita Ales
- Cali’ Creamin’ & Kismet from Mother Earth Brew Co.
- Shake Your Money Maker from Acoustic Ales
- Peanut Butter Milk Stout from Belching Beaver
- Gatling Gun from BNS Brewing
- IPA from St. Archer Brewing Co.
- Zumbar & Brewer’s Special Brown from New English Brewing Co.
- Blue Bridge Coffee Stout & Islander IPA from Coronado Brewing Company
- Marzen from Gordon Biersch
- Tower 10 IPA from Karl Strauss
- Vanilla’s Porter & Camel Corps IPA from Latitude 33 Brewing
- Elemental Pilsner & Thunderweizen Ale from Lightning Brewery

Jack in the Box – Jack’s Blazin’ Chicken Through Sore Eyes

JIBLogoJack’s latest invention, Jack’s Blazin’ Chicken Sandwich, is here and waiting to heat things up! This new sandwich features spicy, crispy chicken, jalapenos, and a ghost pepper ranch sauce. I’m a big spicy food guy so I was more than happy to try out this sandwich and share the good fortune with you guys.

SpicyI enjoyed the sandwich; everything combines really well to make a filling and flavorful sandwich. Combined with the curly fries and the iced tea I ordered, I would say it was a really good combo. I was, however, slightly disappointed with the spiciness level. When you mention ghost peppers I get a vision of Homer Simpson melting after trying the Guatemalan Insanity pepper. I’ve spent a life time eating super spicy Mexican food, am the type of guy that can eat habaneros and really enjoys a good pepper sweat. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fiery sandwich, especially for a fast food restaurant, I was just hoping for a little more kick.

So here’s the good part for you. I have five $10 Jack Cash Cards to giveaway so some of you can try it (or anything else at Jack in the Box) for yourselves. Three ways to enter this contest: 1. Share this post to Facebook and tag (@) Sore Eye Sports, 2. Share this post to Twitter and include @mkbain somewhere in your tweet, 3. Comment on this post that you want to win. 5 winners will be chosen randomly next Friday, May 30th, at 6pm pacific time. Check out the commercial below, get entered and good luck to you all!

*Disclaimer: Jack In The Box contacted me directly, asked me to review this burger, gave me Jack Cash to check it out with and to give away to you. The photograph is the actual food I purchased with the Jack Cash provided as a regular drive thru customer without stating the nature of this article. Thank you to JIB for their generosity.

Sync – Tony Hawk Doubles – 2014

Yes, it has been forever since I posted a skateboard video. To be honest, I have hit a weird lull in my enthusiasm for the videos being pumped out lately but I’m super stoked on this one. Tony Hawk and Andy Macdonald are the greatest vert doubles team in history and you can see their 20+ years of experience skating together highlighted here. Tons of NBDs in this, be ready to click your pause and rewind buttons. The real treat here is everyone else he skated with for this part, people and tricks you would not expect. If I had to choose my favorite clip that doesn’t include Andy Mac, it would have to be Tony airing over Lance Mountain as he hops through the pool ladder. I’ll shut up, click that triangle and enjoy!

R Gang Eatery’s First Beer Dinner

RGang-01Has it really been a month since I posted an article? So sorry for my lack of attention to you, the awesome readers that support my efforts. Sometimes I can get so busy doing fun stuff I forget to talk about it; I’ll try (and probably fail) to be more regular with new content for you.

RGang-3R Gang Eatery is a great little restaurant that does amazing things with limited space and an even smaller kitchen. Recently, they brought Matt Morrison on as Chef (former sues chef of The Handlery and Stone Liberty Station) and one of his first actions was to set up a tremendous beer dinner with nano brewery (now micro brewery) super star, Mike Hess Brewing. Fresh off winning a gold medal at the World Beer Cup for Habitus, Hess is hitting their stride and finally released their first canned beers. Full pints await the alumithusiast in five varieties, Jucundus, Claritas, Grazias, Habitus, and Solis #27. Continue reading

Council Brewing Co. – Coming Soon

Council Council Brewing Co. will be opening their doors very soon in Kearny Mesa, located at 7705 Convoy Ct., with convenient access from 805 and 163. Council is owned and operated by Liz and Curtis Chism, with Greg Leiser heading up the finances. Liz will be the brew master and manager of brewery operations. This area is becoming another hot bed of breweries putting them right by Societe, Helm’s, and Magnetic.

I visited the future brewery Wednesday, March 19th, and was impressed with the space they have. Being a nano brewery with a 3 barrel, non automated brew system, they could have started with much less square footage but their long term vision includes room to grow. They even have thoughts of opening a small tasting room in a more urban area later, possibly Golden Hills or North Park. Continue reading

Magnetic Brewing – Coming Soon

MagneticI met Morgan from Magnetic Brewing a long time ago. I was at the Mission Valley Craft Beer and Food Festival and noticed he was wearing a brewery t shirt I had never heard of. I asked him about that and found out that he was just starting his endeavor to open. Now, a few years later, he’s on the cusp of completing that goal. He has no backing, partners or employees; simply put, he is building all aspects of his operation from underground up. I had several questions and he was kind enough to answer them all, let’s take a look.

What’s your name? Address of the brewery?

My name is Morgan McCarty and Magnetic Brewing is located at
5595 Magnatron Blvd Ste O
San Diego, CA 92111

Continue reading