San Diego, California: commonly known as one of the best craft beer destinations on the planet. This was the Pubcast’s first trip to “America’s Finest City,” and it certainly won’t be the last!
Today, Kristine Baker – the creator and chief organizer of the Women’s Craft Beer Collective – hosted us at Culture Brewing’s Solana Beach location (just 25 minutes north of San Diego), where she gave us a rundown of the region’s craft beer scene, and the strong role that women are taking in craft brewing. We covered everything from wet-hopping to the Great American Beer Festival to macramé, and drank some of Culture’s award-winning beer in the process. Conducting the interview while sitting atop kegs and the rest of the equipment in the brewhouse was certainly a unique setting for an otherwise picturesque SoCal beachside interview.
Culture Brewing – Solana Beach, CA
Located about 25 minutes north of San Diego, Solana Beach is a small beach town that’s a good Pacific Coast escape and low-key surf destination. Culture Brewing has multiple locations around the San Diego area, and their Solana Beach location offers a modern tasting room with a spacious patio out back.
- Kristine Baker not only founded the Women’s Craft Beer Collective, but also works at Culture’s Solana Beach location. We take in the sights and smells of the brewhouse, ocean, and the crawfish boil that was taking place on the patio all at once.
- The Women’s Craft Beer Collective started as a monthly event touring the breweries of Temecula, but it eventually evolved into an educational event covering topics like wet-hopping, yeast, and specific styles of beer.
- Wet-hopping is when newly-harvested fresh hops are added to the beer after primary fermentation, as opposed to “dry-hopping” which is done throughout most of the year when it isn’t harvest season. Kristine and the Women’s Craft Beer Collective got to learn this first-hand from Jeff Bagby, a San Diego craft beer legend (Pizza Port, Bagby Beer Company). Most importantly for your senses, a beer that is wet-hopped will typically have a bit more aroma and flavor.
- Events are inclusive and men are always invited, though they haven’t shown up for the “beer & macramé” events yet…of course we then discuss what macramé is (think “knot” art).
- One of the areas that Kristine evaluates a brewery on is their appearance and ambiance, with the quality of the beer following right along with that.
- We talk about the San Diego craft beer scene, including some shoutouts to specific breweries and the camaraderie of the beer community as a whole.
- Kristine has a very responsible, motherly answer for her drinking story…
- “I get critiqued if I “act a fool” on social [media].” –Kristine Baker
- What’s next from the Women’s Craft Beer Collective? Look for them to start branching out into classes on brewing mead, kombucha, and partnering with tiki bars for a mixology lesson.
Drinks of the Show:
- Session Amarillo – We kicked off the show with a sub-5% ABV session brew. Made with Amarillo hops, it drinks surprisingly like an IPA without the high alcohol levels.
- Mosaic IPA – I lied…I started drinking before the interview. My “pre-interview” brew was a 6.6% ABV IPA and another single-hop brew the hit the spot.
- Gold Medal Brown Ale – If you couldn’t tell from the title, this thing won the gold medal for best American brown ale at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival, and boy did it deserve it! It’s chocolaty, and that scent definitely hits your nose right when you pull the glass close for a sniff, providing “aromatic pleasure” if you will…
Kristine’s Favorite Bars & Breweries in the San Diego Area:
- Booze Brothers – North of San Diego and inland in Vista, CA, Kristine describes this place as making you feel “very cool” when you walk in. Their tap room regularly features art shows and live music.
- Pure Project Brewing – A fan-favorite it seems across San Diego these days, Pure has a number of unique styles and a mission statement that Kristine just loves: “To us, beer is art. We believe every beer should tell a story; just like a world-class meal, a perfect cup of coffee or a timeless wine, and we aim to bring that same level of passion, creativity and artistry to the ever-evolving craft beer community.”
- Societe Brewing – A San Diego brewery that emerged out of another SD brewery (The Bruery) where co-founders Travis Smith and Douglas Constantiner worked. They brew unpretentious ales and lagers designed to bring people together, served up in an old-timey tasting room.
- The Lost Abbey – Another fan-favorite microbrewery with a warehouse-style tap room.
- Modern Times – I also love Modern Times. Their North Park taproom (a San Diego brewery neighborhood for lack of a better term) is funky and well-decorated with anything from lampshades on the ceiling to multicolored floppy disks lining one of the walls. Also, their beer is incredible, and they can limited-releases that are only available in the taproom.
- Viewpoint Brewing – Located in Del Mar and overlooking the San Dieguito Lagoon, Viewpoint is a great destination for beer and gastropub fare.
Resources for When You’re Sober:
- Women’s Craft Beer Collective – The Women’s Craft Beer Collective (WCBC) aims to educate women in the enjoyment and art of craft beer. Events range from brewery tours to crafting throughout the Southern California area.
- Also, a special shoutout to Courtney Cordero – better known as Coco San Diego – for facilitating the Insta-intro that made this episode possible. Courtney is a San Diego-based lifestyle blogger that is in-the-know on all things SD. Check her out at com or follow her on Instagram at @coco_sandiego.
Connect/Drink with the Women’s Craft Beer Collective:
Visit Culture Brewing:
Culture Brewing is located at 111 S Cedros Ave. Suite 200, Solana Beach, CA 92075. Tasting room hours are 12pm-9pm everyday.