SoNo Beer Garden: More Brewery Love…

It’s almost here…SoNo Chili Fest! This weekend is the big one and we are working to make sure everything is set for our always-epic fundraiser. We wanted to make sure to give a last shout out to some more of the awesome breweries who have donated to our beer garden this year so without further ado…



Green Flash is near and dear to our hearts because their newly promoted Brewmaster, Eric Jenson, is a Mckinley parent. They also happen to make some great beer and have been growing their business, bringing San Diego style brew to the rest of the country.



Rip Current Brewing kicked ass at this year’s Great American Beer Awards and it’s easy to see why. Paul has been brewing quality beers for years and we love having a tasting room in our own North Park, back yard.



Ballast Point has had an outstanding year. Their $1 billion price tag speaks for itself, and Constellation were no fools to put their money on Ballast Point moving forward. We can’t wait to see what good things are coming for this San Diego craft beer institution.



Pizza Port is another San Diego craft beer pioneer and also another big winner at this year’s GABF. Their many locations throughout San Diego bring together two of our favorite things…pizza and beer!



Coronado Brewing Company also won big in 2014 at the World Beer Cup when they won for Best Mid-sized Company and Brewmaster. They are always willing to help out in our beer garden and we couldn’t be more excited to have them pouring on Sunday.



Stone Brewing is the biggest craft brewery in Southern California and true pioneers in the craft beer industry. Not only do they have some of the best beer around (I’m looking at you Ruin Ten) but they have perhaps the best name in the industry with their Arrogant Bastard Ale. They have just recently expanded overseas to Germany, and we are excited to have such a fantastic brewery representing San Diego Beer over there.



Modern Times opened their tap room, the Flavordome, in North Park a little over a year ago and they are a fabulous addition to the neighborhood. If you haven’t been over to their Lomaland Fementorium in Point Loma, you should definitely make the short trip soon. They tons tasty beers on tap, including variations on core beers, pilot batches and down right delicious experiments.



Mission Brewery has a rich history dating back to 2013. Suffice it to say they are passionate about the craft with over 30 national and international awards to prove it. Their renovated brewery, in the old Wonder Bread building in East Village, is gorgeous and a destination for any beer lover looking for an excellent beer in a cool space.



Latitude 33 Brewing is bringing the Vista love along with their delicious beer to SoNo Fest’s beer garden. They took over the North County space after Green Flash expanded and have been making a name for themselves in both San Diego County and L.A.


Absolution Brewing Company came all the way down from Torrance, CA to lend their support and we couldn’t be more appreciative for their delicious beer and their generosity. Although this brewery is one of the little guys, they produce high quality, small batch beers that are seriously terrific.


and last but not least…


Thorn Street Brewery opened its doors during SoNo Fest, three years ago and has been a T-32 hub since, for family, dogs, and friends alike. Although they only have a 7 barrel system presently, they manage to turn out an impressive number of beer styles that are sure to please any palette. You can often find SoNo volunteers and Mckinley parents in TSB unwinding or planning the next fundraiser.


We really want to thank all of the breweries that are participating in SoNo Fest this year. We couldn’t do it with out them, and their generosity and strong sense of community spirit are heart warming to say the least.

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Rocking Out With Acoustic Ales

Located in the historic Mission Brewery Plaza, Acoustic Ales has been brewing delicious, one-of-a-kind, craft beer since 2012. Owner/Brewmaster, Tommaso Maggiore, spent years traveling all over the world learning about different brew styles, systems and brewing techniques. With this experience, he is able to create unique and delicious recipes using the freshest of ingredients, that will delight any craft beer lover.


If you like a hoppy beer, you have to try their Run for the Hills double IPA. This incredibly drinkable beer packs a punch, clocking in at 8% ABV, and has hints of ripe pineapple, orange marmalade throughout, with a bright, clean finish. If you like something a little darker, grab a pint of their Shake Your Money Maker, nut brown ale. This 6.25% ABV brown ale is nutty and chocolaty, finishing with notes of roasted coffee.


We really appreciate Acoustic Ales for their support at this year’s SoNo Fest and look forward to having one of their tasty beers in our beer garden on the 6th!


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Getting Lost with The Lost Abbey


For craft beer aficionados and newbies alike, The Lost Abbey is San Diego’s go-to brewery for sours, barrel aged beers and Belgian styles. Co-housed in the same facilities as Port Brewing Company in San Marcos, The Lost Abbey has been brewing high quality, specialty beers since 2006. This monastic themed brewhouse boasts a library of more than 1000 oak, bourbon, brandy , sherry, and wine barrels that help them to curate one of the most impressive barrel-aging programs in the world.


The Lost Abbey has won a plethora of awards over the years, for both individual beers and as a company. One of my favorite beers from these guys is Avant Garde Ale, a Biere de Garde. What is a Biere de Garde, you ask? It’s a traditional, French, farmhouse beer that was historically brewed in the winter months to help control the yeast process of the brew. Avant Garde is golden in color with malty notes of caramel, and freshly baking bread. This 7% beer is a must-try when you visit the brewery or are lucky enough to see it in a restaurant.


We are really excited to be able to include this San Diego brewery power-house in our SoNo Beer Garden lineup this year, so make a trip up to San Marcos soon and taste your way through some of the best craft beer in San Diego at The Lost Abbey!


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Five things you might not know about Mike Hess Brewing…


Another North Park brewery that is near and dear to our hearts, is Mike Hess Brewery. Located on Grim, just below University Ave, Hess Brewing is a large and airy space filled with all the production equipment necessary to grow produce some of the most popular beer in San Diego. Open and airy, long community tables allow for conversation to flow between parties and there is often a taco cart serving food in the back. There is so much to learn about Mike Hess Brewing, we thought we would break it down for you in five, bite sized, pieces:


1. After tasting all of the delicious beer, you can get a 32 oz draft beer of your choice to take home in what is known as a “purrowler,” a large can that is sealed right there while you watch!


2. Their Rye IPA, Habitus, took gold at the 2014 World Beer cup and just happened to unseat the reigning champ, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye.


3. Mike is considered a national expert when it comes to opening and running nano-breweries and is sought out for advice from brewers across the country.


4. Mike Hess Brewing was named San Diego’s most popular brewery in a 2011 poll.


5. They are the first brewery to purchase a canning line for their beers and their cans can be found in stores and bottle shops all over California as well as Arizona.


With over 26 beers across 14 different styles, Mike Hess Brewing is must visit brewery here in San Diego. They are also awesome all around for joining us in our beer garden at the SoNo Fest this year. Stop by and taste their delicious beer on December 6th!

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GABF Award Winners at SoNo 2015

Beer, brewers and breweries! Hold onto your hops, because The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) was held this past weekend in Denver, Colorado. Brewers from around the country gathered to enter their beers in 92 categories and host booths at what has become the biggest beer festival in the United States. With more than 1500 breweries in attendance, the competition was incredibly fierce. Brewers entered their best beers in a wide variety of categories in the hopes of winning a GABF medal, considered to be one of the highest honors in the industry.


One of the most exciting things about this year’s GABF is the fact that 15 San Diego breweries won medals. Even better, seven  of the breweries that won medals are donating their beer to the SoNo Fest Beer Garden and we couldn’t be happier for them!


Here’s a list of our beer garden participants who won GABF medals and the beers that got them there:


Gold Medal Winners

Rip Current Brewing – Break Line Bock

Green Flash Brewing Company – Le Freak, American Belgo-Style Ale

The Lost Abbey – Veritas 015, Wood and Barrel Aged Beer


Silver Medal Winners

Rip Current Brewing – Black Lagoon Scottish Strong, Scotch Ale


Bronze Medal Winners

Pizza Port Brewing (won four bronze medals in all!)

– Shark Bite Red, American Style Amber/Red Ale

– Guillaume, Session Ale

– Grambo, Double Red Ale

– Z-man Stout, Export Stout

Stone Brewing Company – Witty Moron, Other Belgian Style

Urbn St. Brewing – Saison, French/Belgian Style Saison

Ballast Point – Pale Ale with Serrano, Chile Beer


Rip Current also won Very Small Brewing Company and Very Small Company Brewer of the Year. Congrats to Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe on this incredible win! So make sure you stop by the beer garden this year and imbibe in some award winning beer!




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