By Kai Oliver-Kurtin
The eighth annual San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) is on tap Nov. 4–13, bringing together nearly 20,000 people for 10 days filled with more than 500 individual beer-centric events.
Produced by the San Diego Brewers Guild (SDBG), SDBW 2016 will include events from the guild’s 51 new members who have joined in the last year.
“The best part of SDBW is that every year is different and unique,” said Jill Davidson, SDBG president. “Every year our brewery and allied members continue to raise the bar and bring new, innovative and engaging events to the loyal San Diego beer community — as well as all the excited beer enthusiasts who make the pilgrimage to experience what we have to offer.”
SDBW events include tap takeovers, exclusive releases, beer dinners with limited-edition brews, beer bike rides and runs, and anniversary parties, among others. The opening and closing events are sponsored by the guild and are consistently the week’s largest events.
For opening night on Nov. 4, Guild Fest begins with the VIP Brewer Takeover on Broadway Pier. Guests can expect to sip on the finest rare and specialty beers from 70 local breweries, including some made especially for the intimate event. Tickets include unlimited beer and food samples.
“I’m excited to see what our new brewery members bring to Guild Fest,” Davidson said. “The energy of the event — especially the VIP session — is pure magic and I cannot wait to see our new members experience it for the first time as brewers. It’s a truly powerful moment to realize that we’re all part of something great.”
On Nov. 5, Guild Fest continues with another unlimited beer tasting event at Broadway Pier. Attendees will receive a commemorative tasting glass and can enjoy live music and food for purchase. Joining the 70 breweries will be representatives from SDSU’s Business of Craft Beer program and UC San Diego’s Brewery Certificate program, to provide educational sessions during the event.
“The San Diego brewing industry generated $851 million in sales in 2015 and employed 4,512 workers,” Davidson said. “The economic impact is large, and SDBW is a heavy contributor to those statistics.”
Davidson — who works at Pizza Port Brewing Company as a sales and brand ambassador — is the guild’s first female president. For SDBW, she said the Ocean Beach Pizza Port location will have a full 40-beer tap takeover, a rare and barrel-aged beer night, and an event featuring dozens of sour beers that’s historically the restaurant’s busiest night of the year.
“The San Diego community is very aware of its 128 local breweries these days,” Davidson said. “San Diego itself has become a brand known all over the world for its high-quality beer and collaborative spirit. The guild’s goal is to maintain that reputation. We provide the support and resources that our members need to grow responsibly, sustainably — and most importantly — collectively.”
The beer-filled week concludes with The Beer Garden tasting event at The Lodge at Torrey Pines on Nov. 13. A collaboration between SDBW and the Chef Celebration Foundation, the Beer Garden features 14 local chefs, each paired with two different breweries for unlimited food and beer samples.
“SDBW is truly a wonderful tribute to the hard work our brewers put in all year long, and really gives our community a time to shine,” Davidson said.
For more information on SDBW events and to purchase tickets, visit sdbw.org.