Welcome to BeerMaverick.com, a blog about my year-long quest to visit all 140+ craft breweries in San Diego County, California.
[Note added 8/2/2018: I am surprised and honored to have won the “Beer Blogger Geek” award in BrewDog’s 2018 Beer Geek Awards. I am even more surprised and even more honored to have also been given title “America’s Biggest Beer Geek” as the top winner of the seven categories in the competition. I’m looking forward to the beer-y trips that are the prizes: to Denver for the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, AND to Brussels, Belgium, for general beer-related mayhem. Don’t worry, I’ll blog about it!]
My plan is to review every craft brewery and brew pub based on sampling at least one flight of beer at each location. It is impossible to be completely comprehensive and try every beer at each brewery: Many craft breweries have 12 or more different beers on tap at a given time, and typically they rotate beers in and out often. But I will try to figure out what the best or most representative or best-loved offerings are at each place and I will usually include those in my flight. That way hopefully my evaluation of each place will be a fair representation. And at 4 to 5 beers per location, I’ll be reporting to you on 500-600 beers this year! In addition to beer and brewery reviews, you can expect occasional philosophical digressions and social commentaries.
I like beer in general. I also admire the impulse to be create high quality craft beer. That means I’m inclined to want to like anything I try. That said, I believe in high standards, and in particular I believe that there are so many good craft beers nowadays that there is no reason to drink a lackluster product. So I’ll let you know of any places or beers that don’t impress me. Do keep in mind though that your tastes might be different than mine, and it could have just been an “off” day–either for me or for the beer. Besides, most craft brewers are aiming to continually improve, so it is quite likely that the beer you drink will be different (hopefully better) than the one I had at some time earlier.
San Diego is the capital of craft beer. New breweries and brew pubs pop up all the time. Fortunately the good folks at the San Diego Brewers Guild have their finger on the pulse of the local industry. They print a map of breweries and beer bars that you can pick up at any craft-friendly place around the city, and they keep the web version of the map up-to-date with openings and closings. I’ll be relying on them to know who I’ve got left to visit.
[Update 7/27/17: Since about 17% of local craft breweries are not members of the SDBG, I started relying on WestCoarterSD.com’s brewery listing. Eventually, I came to think there was a better way to organize the list, so now I publish my own monthly update on the number of breweries in San Diego County.]
The Brewers Guild also hosts San Diego Beer Week and helps with various other smaller beer festivals and competitions around the city and county. I’ll be attending some of those, too, and I’ll let you know what I think. Check out the SDBG Events Calendar for interesting beer events going on around the city almost every day.
There are lots of other beer blogs out there, including several specifically related to San Diego craft beer in its various manifestations. I don’t see those other bloggers as competitors; I’ll link to them and hope that they link back to me. There’s a huge brewing ecosystem out there with a place for anyone who has a passion for good beer. San Diego craft brewers themselves model a collaborative and cooperative attitude that I see as the heart of the movement.