Awesome Stuff That Happened In 2014 In A Totally Biased List

SESv12014, the most recent year to end! Sore Eye Sports had an amazing year full of fun and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I attended a ton of events, hosted some myself and more importantly, made a lot of new beer friends along the way. I’m truly grateful for all the support from you guys and hope 2015 is the best year this planet has ever seen!

Let’s get into the stuff I seriously enjoyed and will stick with me as we move ever faster into the future. No data, polls or any other outside information source was used or considered when making this list; I’m just writing down what I remember as being awesome!

Last year started with big news for my buddy Albert Mercado. After years of dedication and amazing BMX skills he got bumped up to the pro teams for both Shadow and Kink! Al’s a genuinely epic human on and off the bike. Here’s his most recent edit from New Year’s:

downloadIn March I wrote a coming soon article about a small new brewery owned by Liz and Curtis Chism, Council Brewing. Wow, did these two hit the ground running! The best small brewery to open in 2014, hands down. Liz (brewmaster) has done extremely well brewing clean, balanced beers and maintaining a great variety of beers are available at the brewery. Personally, I’m a big fan of every tart saison variety, Chizzam! and Gavel Drop. A great place to hang out, terrific people doing what they love and a beer selection that’s way deeper than anyone could have expected for such a young brewery. If you haven’t been I highly advise you change that right away!

In May, Tony Hawk released a new doubles video part. After a lifetime idolizing the best vert skater of all time I was/am completely stoked to see what he and Andy Macdonald can do after 20 years of skating together. Throw in a few randoms at the end and you have the best doubles vert edit ever released.

heroIn July, the greatest craft beer festival this city saw in ‘014 happened, Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp. This event rocked the Embarcadero and went off without a hitch. I had a blast and was really impressed with all aspects of the biggest celebration of craft beer the world has ever seen.

Cup1In August we crowned Nelson the winner of the 2nd Annual Sore Eye Cup! What a great night and the freshest keg I’ve ever tasted was drained! Alpine Brewing had an amazing year. After beginning a new partnership with Green Flash, they were eventually purchased by them. They get to maintain their independence, provide benefits to their employees, and now have the financial and logistical backing of one of the biggest breweries in San Diego.  Our selection of Nelson was also (much later) backed up by Westcoaster fans.

Our hometown brought home 14 medals (again) from the Great American Beer Fest! It’s nice to see our over the top beers starting to get the recognition I feel they deserve.

WBBS_EcoSan Diego Beer Week was a grueling 12 days (yes, 10 officially) but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Amazing events all around! I’m very proud to have been part of the group that brought you the World’s Biggest Bottle Share. What a day of amazing craft beer that was only eclipsed by the magnificent people sharing it! I’ll let you know for sure in a few months if we’re going to do it again but it seems like we are.

Sore Eye Sportmas was upgraded to an actual, real event this year and it could not have gone better! Societe Brewing was nice enough to let me hold the event there and it was a great time. Grill Fellas made us some phenomenal food, there were some great ugly sweaters worn, and most importantly we donated over 300 pounds of food to the San Diego Food Bank. Our event brought in half of the food from Societe’s month long food drive and I’m very proud of that! Thank you, seriously, for being the awesome people you are. We were a big part of Societe having to release a keg of the Highbinder (on my wedding anniversary btw, thanks!). Finally drinking a real sour from these guys was one of my favorite beer moments of the year.

I went on an epic 5 day beercation with my wife and 6 seriously wonderful friends starting the day after Christmas. We drove 1378 miles, hit 9 breweries, had amazing food everywhere we went and I tried 58 new beers. More details about that soon!Beercation

Some other random thoughts swirling around in my head about 2014 that I feel I need to immortalize include:

  • Bagby Beer Company  gets my nod as brewery of the year. The facility is shockingly huge, the beers are just as good as you would expect from one of the most award winning brewers San Diego has produced, the food is great, service is on point and they have a full liquor license so you can take your non craft beer friends with you.
  • This was definitely the year of the session beer. Even a company that used to brag about not making session beers released 3 this year. Ponto from Pizza Port is the best of them this year for me, just barely beating Benchmark’s Oatmeal Stout.
  • Societe Brewing continues its just barely under the radar dominance of the San Diego Craft Beer scene. No gimmicks, no hooks, just consistently amazing beer every day for you to drink. I cannot wait for the actual release of their sours.
  • Normal Heights Tavern (or True North North as we called it) was completely ignored by Normal Heights and closed down after less than 6 months. It was reincarnated as the Rabbit Hole with upgrades to all aspects of the place; it seems much more like an establishment that belongs in my neighborhood and I wish them success.
  • The people behind Blind Lady Ale House and Tiger! Tiger! opened Panama 66 in Balboa Park. I live so close to BLAH and T!T! I haven’t even been there but it’s significant that a local craft beer establishment is in this location. I will get there soon.
  • The San Diego craft beer community is teaming with excellent humans! This year really showed me the strength of the community supporting the craft boom in our city. Having a blast drinking and sharing the amazing beer SD has to offer with even better people is what I’m all about. Cheers to each and every one of you!
  • Fall Brewing opened its doors very recently in my neighborhood as well. Their initial beers are tasty, I totally dig the brewery, and am stoked to see the owners get their shot to do their own thing. I expect to spend a lot of time there this year.

There you have it, another end of the year recap post. Hopefully I reminded you of a few cools things that happened. You can expect a few more events from me in 2015. I’m going to focus on more collaborations, community strengthening evenings, and fun. Cheers to this year!

San Diego Beer Week Through Sore Eyes

logo-c828f31f1295cc3d6a4236564c4e6032San Diego Beer Week is huge and on the horizon. There are more events than one person can possibly attend so I decided to talk about some highlights for me. The official list of events can be found here. There’s even a handy online planner you can create for yourself here. This article is in no way a complete list of the events available, these are my favorite sounding events. Each day I’ll recommend something that will be expensive and amazing as well as something that’s free (other than what you eat/drink) and amazing. One of the good things about beer week is the variety of events allows you balance this long, long week with your wallet.

Thursday, 11-6. Beer Week Eve gets the super long week started! My favorite of the night is Rare Local Taps at Ritual. Cuvee de Tomme leads an impressive tap list head first into the 10 day week! Continue reading

Sore Eye Sportsmas 3

Ugly_sweater_17Come celebrate the holidays! You have supported me all year; this is my chance to give back to you by throwing a great party at one of the most exception breweries in our city, Societe Brewing! Sore Eye Sportsmas happens on Wednesday, December 10th at 6 pm.

Bring non-perishable food to donate to the San Diego Food Bank, helping people right here in SD. For every food item you bring, you will receive an entry ticket into a drawing for gifts! (food donation is not required, at all, however, shame and ridicule will fall upon those that think helping others isn’t cool – yes, you have to be there to win)

Here is what they need us to donate:
Canned Meats (Tuna, Chicken) – tuna in water
Dry or Canned Beans – Black, Pinto, Kidney, Low Sodium
Cereal – Low Sugar, Whole Grain or Bran
Rice – Brown, Wild Rice
Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, Unsalted, Flax seeds
Peanut Butter – No Sugar Added
Canned Soup – Low Sodium, Low Fat
Canned or Dried Fruit – Packed in water or own juice
Canned Vegetables – Low Sodium or No Salt Added
Powdered Milk – Low or Non-Fat
Pasta – Whole Grain
Infant Formula

They are unable to accept: glass jars, including baby food, home-canned, or baked products.

grillfellas_vector_logoGrill Fellas BBQ will be on hand, so come hungry. They have also donated a fully cooked tri-tip as one of the gifts for the drawing! The winner can decide to take this amazing gift home or donate back to the party and they’ll cut it up for everyone.

The first 100 people that show up will receive a free taster pour from me personally!

 

Bring a wrapped gift ($10 maximum value) to participate in the Secret “Holiday Guy That’s Not Specific” gift exchange. Cannot be alcohol – think funny, weird or random.

Contests for best holiday costume and ugliest holiday sweater! (possibly more!)

Ready for the best part? It’s free for the the best followers on Earth!

These tremendous people have also donated gifts for the drawing, thank you to all of them in advance:

San Diego Bacon Fest
The Homebrewer
CRAFT BEERD
Musashi Designs
Helm’s Brewing Co.
Crazed Imaginations
Brew it Yourself

If you’re interested in sponsoring a gift to be given away at the party or making a dish to share with this awesome group of humans, email me @ brian@soreeyesports.com.

Feel free to invite anyone, this is a public event! Get RSVPed here!

More details on exactly what all the gifts are soon.

Jack in the Box – Jack’s Munchie Peel Through Sore Eyes

Jack has done it again! His new Munchie Peel and win game takes the amazing value of the Munchie Meal and adds the awesomeness of winning free stuff! If you’re not familiar with the Munchie Meal it’s a meal that’s only available after 9pm and offers inventive takes on the traditional fast food. I really dig the meals in general and adding a chance at winning great stuff is just more encouragement to make it a late night foody call.

The first way to win is to buy one of the meals, peel the sticker, hit up the site, enter your code and see if you’ve won! You can also just enter at that site for your chance, you don’t actually have to buy anything. With one in 4 entries winning you have a great chance of taking home some terrific prizes.
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World’s Biggest Bottle Share on 30th St. – San Diego Beer Week – Nov. 9th

On the 3rd day of beer week, there shall be the sharing of bottles! Join hundreds of your friends during San Diego Beer Week as we set the record for the World’s Biggest Bottle Share on 30th St.! On November 9th, from Normal Heights to South Park, partake in what will be a benchmark beer week event. Spreading the enjoyment of amazing craft beer is what San Diego, The Capital of Craft, is all about! Come celebrate by sharing some of your favorite craft suds at one of 9 stops along 30th. For $20 you get a t shirt, tasting glass (yes actual glass!), unlimited shuttle riding and the guarantee of a great time. This event will be great for inexperienced and experienced craft beer bottle sharer alike. For the aficionados out there, sign up for the special shares after you purchase your ticket to hang with one of our county’s brew masters as they share something special with the few that register fast enough!

Let’s dig into the official press release:
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I was on San Diego Beer Talk Radio

San Diego Beer Talk Radio is a local pod cast hosted by Greg Homyak and Melinda Hooker. Also on the show was Geoi from Bine & Vine and Cody from Three B Zine. Bine & Vine just celebrated their third anniversary with an amazing IPA brewed by Alpine Brewing. We talk about that, the craft beer scene in San Diego in general, the occasional Charger game update, and several other random things that came up along the way. This is episode #5 for SD Beer Talk with much more on the way from them, so make sure you subscribe on Itunes or follow them on Twitter to stay updated.

I had a great time; being on the pod cast was really fun. This was the first one I ever participated in and wasn’t sure what to expect. In the end, it was just like hanging out with my friends, sharing some amazing San Diego craft beer, (and some on my homebrew) and jawing about the scene. It’s a long show, grab a SD craft beer, get comfortable, and hit that play button!

ChukAlek wins Brewing and Business Experienceship from Sam Adams

The good news from The Great American Beer Festival for San Diego continues. ChukAlek was selected for this year’s Sam Adams Brewing and Business Experienceship! Big congratulations are in order for one of our more original breweries! Here’s the official blurb about what that includes:

BOSTON, Oct. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Samuel Adams today announced that San Diego County-based craft brewery ChuckAlek Independent Brewers has been selected as the winner of the 2015 “Brewing and Business Experienceship,” a unique mentoring opportunity awarded to one craft brewer annually as part of the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program.

Similar to an extended internship, the Experienceship provides hands-on educational and enrichment experiences tailored to the winning brewery’s needs. As part of the program, ChuckAlek Independent Brewers will receive a trip to the Samuel Adams Boston Brewery for coaching and mentoring from a variety of Samuel Adams experts and brewers, including those involved in ingredients sourcing, sales and distribution, package design and more. Additionally, winners have the opportunity to brew a collaboration beer with Samuel Adams, and receive funding to attend industry events such as The Great American Beer Festival.
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San Diego Brings Home 14 Medals from #GABF

San Diego, The Craft Beer Capital, continued it’s winning ways at the Great American Beer Festival (#GABF). Here’s a list of the local winners and my thoughts on each beer. There are tons of amazing craft beers I’m not going to talk about, I focus on SD, so here’s the link to the complete results for the serious suds geek to review.

benchmarkLet’s start with the clean sweep in category 14, Session Beers. What is a Session beer you ask? A session beer is a beer that has the characteristics of the style of the beer being made but with a lower alcohol content. These beers focus on drinkability while staying true to the original style. This is a newer category and Benchmark winning Gold was an awesome surprise.

Gold: Oatmeal Stout, Benchmark Brewing Co.
Silver: Guillaume, Pizza Port Ocean Beach
Bronze: Mosaic Session Ale, Karl Strauss Brewing

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Vote San Diego Best Beer Town

SanDiegoBannerMedWe live in the Craft Beer Capital and are always surprised when a poll or article doesn’t put San Diego at the top of their beer town list. We all know we’re head and shoulders above the cities that end up on top of these things and we can do something about this one. USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Beer Town contest is live and we’re getting our ass handed to us by Grand Rapids in the voting right now. I’m not saying Grand Rapids is a sucky beer destination but it doesn’t stand up to San Diego at all, we’re talking about Michigan after all. Let’s change that, you can vote every day until October 13th. Show your support for America’s Craftest City and vote!

4th Annual Treasure Chest Fest

Last Saturday, those that attended the Treasure Chest Fest at Green Flash were treated to a truly successful and marvelous event. In its fourth year, benefiting breast cancer charities, a small beer fest has grown into a national campaign including actual festivals here and on the site of their future Virginia Beach brewery.

Tres1As this is Green Flash’s flagship rare beer event, 19 barrel aged and one off cask beers awaited us. One of the many reasons this event stands out from a typical beer fest, 11 phenomenal San Diego restaurants made pairing dishes; expertly matching the flavor strength of this brewery’s craft beer. Intermixed with the serving stations, many local vendors were present for your shopping pleasure. Continue reading