About mkbain

San Diego Craft Beer is what I'm all about. News, events, and insights directly from my typing fingers. Let's get in touch and make something happen - @SoreEyeSuds or - brian@soreeyesports.com.

Sore Eye Suds is live!

We’re moving to SoreEyeSuds.com ! This new site reflects my dedication to solely focus on San Diego Independent Beer moving forward. Everything you’ve come to know about my site will continue on, especially the Sore Eye Cup!

Click the new logo to head over there!


Live SD BeerTalk Radio Show at Alpine Pub!

AlpineBoardCome join us as at 7pm on Tuesday, December 29th, while we rock the Alpine Pub! We will be doing a live show right in the middle of all the hustle and bustle that is Alpine Beer Company ! We’ll have a few giveaways and some other fun for you but nothing will compare to how awesome the beers that flow from these taps are. We will be broadcasting our audio live through our new PA speaker so you’ll be able to hear everything going on and interact with us. Come see the show get recorded live and help us fill the pub with fun! You can RSVP here!

The Return of The New Kids


The New Kids festival returns next weekend and will be held at 753 15th St., San Diego, CA, 92101. If you’re not familiar with this excellent San Diego, #IndieBeer festival, it focuses on new breweries in our city that have been open for 2 years or less. Here’s a look back at the last one. The big bonus of this event’s return is that it also includes craft distilleries for the first time! Use the code SOREEYE to save 20% off tickets. That brings the ticket cost down to $24 for unlimited tastings!image

Some of the amazing breweries attending include South Park Brewing, Bay Bridge, Urbn St., Fall, Novo Brazil, Half Door,  and 32 North. There’s always a chance more will be added before the event happens.

Distilleries include Kill Devil, Kalifornia, Malahat, Old Harbor, Twisted Manzanita, Bella Mar, and California Spirits.

The best part? This festival supports a great charity, It’s All About the Kids.

I have 6 tickets I’ll be giving away this week to my awesome followers! Help me spread the word of this awesome festival by sharing it around the social medias. Sharing is your entry to win tickets, nothing more to do. Get sharing and best of luck!

$1 Billion for Ballast Point and the Birth of #IndieBeer

20140711_173830Just in case you were camping in one of the few places left without internet access, Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits was purchased for $1,000,000,000.00 (yes, $1 billion) by Constellation Brands, owners of Modelo, Corona, and many other beer, spirit and wine companies. The dollar amount is an estimate as the actual workings of the deal are cash and debt absorption. This purchase price is very high based on usual formulas used for acquisitions. Ballast sold their company at a premium price, roughly $3,500.00 per barrel produced when recent craft brewery purchases were closer to $1,000.00 per barrel. For more details on the statistics and the actual press release, please read this West Coaster article.

Individual brands of the spirit side, like Fugu Vodka and Devil’s Share Whiskey, are still owned by Jack White and Yuseff Cherney, but the Ballast Spirits trademark was purchased by Constellation. Indications are that Jack and Yuseff will start a new company to continue, making this a complicated issue of the purchase. It makes sense to me, since Constellation has many more spirit companies than beer, that this trademark was enticing for them.

Many people in San Diego found this news shocking and little bit of a punch in the gut. I’m one of them. I completely understand this is a staggering, life changing amount of money. I recognize that the workings of the deal state intent to leave Ballast untouched and allow them to continue making the exceptional beer they currently produce. I’m proud of them for their amazing hard work, development of a valuable business, and their integral contributions to the overall San Diego craft beer industry and community. Continue reading

Sore Eye Sudsmas

ugly_christmas_toilet_santa_sweater_1Come celebrate the holidays! You have supported me all year and this is my chance to give back to you by throwing a great party at one of the most exceptional breweries in our city, Societe Brewing!

Bring non-perishable food to donate to the food drive. San Diego Food Bank will be the benefactor, so your help is staying right here in SD. For every food item you bring, you will receive an entry ticket into a drawing for gifts! If you bring in 25lbs of food or more I will double your entries into the drawings! We brought in 317 pounds last year and I know we can smash that record this year. (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!) Continue reading

SD BeerTalk Radio – I’m Now A Co-Host

SDBeerTalk_Light_BackgroundHello amazing people that support me! I’ve had a very busy quarter and I wanted to catch you guys up on some awesome news. Three months ago I was invited by Greg Homyak to join San Diego BeerTalk Radio as the new co-host. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity to spend more of my time discussing the amazing craft beer we have here in the Capital of Craft. Since I joined, we’ve recorded 11 shows, some of which were split over two parts. I’m going to go through them from most recent to my first show and give you my thoughts on how it went. You can find us on our website, in Itunes, and in most pod cast applications. Make sure you subscribe to our show in your favorite format to keep up with the latest episodes.

Our most recent episode, #31, was recorded live at Common Theory during our first anniversary party. If you weren’t there you missed out on some great berliner weisse variations from Intergalatic and Kilowatt. Shout out to Home Brew Co., Intergalactic, and Kilowatt for brewing a 3 way collaboration, yogurt berliner. It was a truly excellent beer and the watermelon, pomegranate, and passion fruit variants were delicious. This was the first time we pushed our podcast through a monitor so the people watching us could hear everything we were saying better. I have to say it was awesome and I hope we do that more often. Having the interaction with the “crowd” was super fun. We discuss the big news from Lagunitas, St. Archer and Stone among many other topics. BTW, you are always welcome to come witness our shows, we encourage an audience!

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Third Annual Sore Eye Cup Announcement Party

SHawnandtheCupThe time has come to anoint the third Sore Eye Cup winner! Come celebrate all that is awesome about San Diego craft beer! I’m super stoked to throw this year’s party at the legendary Toronado! We’ll take over the new side and have a great afternoon. They’ll be running the $12 burger & pint special for all of you terrific people. Nate is working on a special burger for the party. Come hang out, have a great burger, drink some amazing SD craft beer, and witness the Sore Eye Cup being handed to this year’s winner! Everyone in attendance will also have a chance to win 2 tickets to Treasure Chest Fest and 2 VIP tickets to San Diego Baconfest!

I’ll announce the winner of the Cup at 3pm.

RSVP on the event page so I know you’re coming!

The 3rd Annual Sore Eye Cup Vote Down

The Prestigious Sore Eye Cup

The Prestigious Sore Eye Cup

Welcome to the vote down of the 3rd Annual Sore Eye Cup! The search for San Diego’s best regularly produced craft beer continues and now it’s your turn to voice your opinion. We will honor the winning craft beer with an actual cup (over 64oz capacity)! At the announcement party we’ll fill it up with the winning beer and the winning brewery will drink from the cup right then, as is tradition! The winners can then bask in the glory of victory and have bragging rights for an entire year!

Beers nominated must are brewed here in San Diego County by a recognized brewery. They are beers the brewery makes year round; seasonal, special versions, one offs and casks are not allowed in this contest.

Voting has completed! Thank you to everyone that participated! Due to an unprecedented tie for 10th, we will have 11 finalist beers move on to the judging round!

Ladies and gentleman, your 2015, Sore Eye Cup Finalists!

  • Apprentice by Societe
  • Pupil by Societe
  • Duet by Alpine
  • Pure Hoppiness by Alpine
  • .394 by AleSmith
  • Speedway Stout (first Sore Eye Cup winner) by AleSmith
  • Grapefruit Sculpin by Ballast Point
  • Oatmeal Stout by Benchmark
  • Table Beer by Benchmark
  • Black House by Modern Times
  • 2am Bike Ride by Fall

Congratulations to everyone that made the finals. We’ll be judging the beers very soon!

Join us on August 23rd, 3pm, at Toronado  for the announcement party!




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

soreeyecup2014Welcome to the launch of The 3rd Annual Sore Eye Cup, an award for the best regularly produced craft beer in San Diego! Last year was a resounding success, Nelson from Alpine Beer Co. won 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)! At the announcement party we’ll fill it up with the winning beer and the winning brewery will drink from the cup right then, as is tradition! The winners can then bask in the glory of victory and have bragging rights for an entire year!

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 beers the brewery makes year round; seasonal, special versions, one offs and casks are not allowed. The beers do not need to be packaged (cans or bottles), just made all year long and available for growler fills (so we can get some to judge). We’re looking for craft beers that are available to everyone in SD.

Nominate your favorite beer(s) by emailing me at SoreEyeCup@gmail.com, tweet me (@mkbain) , tag your nomination #SoreEyeCup in Twitter, comment on the post in Facebook, or comment right here on this post. Nominations are open until the end of June, and then we will move into the voting round. The top ten beers, 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! There will be an awesome party in August to celebrate the amazing craft beer culture we have in San Diego and announce the 2015 winner of the Sore Eye Cup!

Get me your nominations and get ready for the vote down! Voting will begin Monday, July 6th and run until Sunday, August 2nd.

Nominated beers:

Pure Hoppiness, Duet & Captain Stout from Alpine
Nut Brown, X, .394 & Speedway Stout from Alesmith (first Sore Eye Cup winner)
The Pupil, The Apprentice, The Publican, The Widow & The Butcher from Societe
Idiot IPA from Coronado
Pale 2.0 from Stone
Gavel Drop & Pirate’s Breakfast from Council
Mosaic Session & Red Trolley from Karl Strauss
Sculpin, Big Eye, Grapefruit Sculpin, Black Marlin & Victory at Sea from Ballast Point
Table Beer & Oatmeal Stout from Benchmark
Pure and Simple, Brewer’s Special Brown & Zumbar from New English
Black House, Blazing World & Fortunate Islands from Modern Times
Cali Creamin’, Boo Koo IPA, Kismet & Sin Tax from Mother Earth
Continental Breakfast Stout from Butcher’s
Board Meeting Brown from Port
Judgement Day from Lost Abbey
Lupulin Lust from Rip Current
Claritas from Hess
IPA & Double IPA from St. Archer
Jetty IPA, Swami’s, Kook, Chronic & Ponto from Pizza Port
Double Stout, Hop Head Red, West Coast IPA & 30th St. Pale from Green Flash
Beeruccino & Batten Down Brown from Helm’s Brewing
Vanilla Porter from Latitude 33
Infinitude & San Diego Nut Brown from San Diego Brewing
The Cruiser & Octo Rye from Pacific Brewing
Fenris & Blunderbus from Barrel Harbor
2am Bike Ride & Plenty For All from Fall Brewing
Founding Father’s Nut Brown & The Daily Stout form Legacy Brewing
Orion’s Stout & Subspace Session from Intergalactic
Peanut Butter Milk Stout & Hop Highway from Belching Beaver

The Fifth Mission Valley Craft Beer and Food Festival

After a year of hiatus, last Saturday, April 4th, San Diego welcomed back the best homegrown craft beer festival we have with open arms. Benefiting It’s All About the Kids Foundation, we even got to do some good while having a ton of fun. Everything that makes this event superior returned improved and ready to rock.

IMG_7556Let’s start with the venue change, moving to the old Chargers’ practice field at Qualcomm turned out great. Free parking, the trolley and most importantly grass! As a seasoned craft beer festival attendee I can assure you it’s much more comfortable than the usual blacktop setting. I would suggest more events pay attention to what these guys do but that would dilute the supremacy of MVCBFF, so I’ll have the judge strike it from the record and instruct the jury to ignore.
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