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Craft beer-palooza

Posted: November 6th, 2015 | Feature, Featured, Food & Drink | No Comments

See what’s on tap during San Diego Beer Week

By Kai Oliver-Kurtin

The seventh annual San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) is set for Nov. 6 – 15 and is expected to be the biggest celebration yet.

Produced by the San Diego Brewers Guild, the weeklong beer extravaganza includes more than 500 events taking place in San Diego County within the span of 10 days.

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Beer lovers offer a salute during a previous San Diego Beer Week. (Courtesy of Rascon Media)

The guild represents all 115 breweries in San Diego, with another 40 currently in development. It’s the largest guild within any region of the U.S., and according to Kevin Hopkins, SDBG president, about two new breweries open every week in California (based on applications filed).

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A San Diego Beer Week volunteer stands by, ready to serve a brew. (Courtesy of Rascon Media)

“We represent a large number of well-known, high-caliber breweries that are distributed not only throughout the U.S., but internationally as well,” Hopkins said.

Kicking off SDBW is the VIP Brewer Takeover on Nov. 6 from 6 – 9 p.m., featuring rare specialty beers, barrel-aged brews and unlimited food samples — with many of the major players in the craft beer industry expected to be in attendance.

The following day from 2 – 5 p.m., SDBW continues on Broadway Pier with even more breweries during the Guild Festival. Selling out for the first time last year, the Guild Festival draws more than 3,000 people to enjoy craft beer, live music, food for purchase, and a ceremonial tapping of the cask.

“The craft beer industry is really burgeoning across the U.S.,” Hopkins said. “As we continue to grow toward 20 percent of the market share, I think it’s just amazing where we’ve come in 25 years.”

The other major event is The Beer Garden, the official SDBW closing ceremony held on Nov. 15 from noon – 3 p.m. at The Lodge at Torrey Pines. The Beer Garden will feature food and beer pairings from 12 chefs and 24 breweries. Since interest is high but space is limited, breweries had to enter a lottery system to participate in the event.

“We’re extremely proud to represent $600 million worth of impact to the local area, bringing business to the hotels and restaurants in and around the Downtown San Diego area,” Hopkins said.

The SDBG establishes the dates and framework for SDBW, but brewers and retailers schedule their own events throughout the week. All events are listed on the SDBW website at sdbw.org/schedule.

For more information, tickets or to check out other events not listed, visit sdbw.org.

—Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance writer. She enjoys covering events, restaurant news, culture and entertainment. Contact her at kai.sdnews@gmail.com.

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