Category Archives: Festival

Top 10 List at the 2017 SDBW VIP Takeover (That aren’t IPA)

My last SDBW Guild Fest I attended was 2013

As an outsider to San Diego, I don’t always have the wherewithal to marinate myself in the brewery du jour inside the 150ish brewery-thick county. Luckily there are several resources I dive into before waving hand at non-jiggly nuclear boobies and socal’s spectacular coastline. There’s The West Coaster (which interviewed me in their SDBW 2013 issue), SD Beer Talk Radio Podcast (which I support on Patreon), The Full Pint (click the sidebar —>), and of course, my prized San Diego beer docent: Erin Hill.

Along with Matt Olesh, I’m not sure the good people of San Diego know that Erin Hill is craft beer royalty up here in Orange County. Her penchant for sarcasm, utter lack of bullshit, and switchblade-like middle finger is second to none…but not only that, we have the same taste in beer. When I did a travel-guide to San Diego for, she sent me to breweries like Little Miss, where I recall playing darts over various clean smash beers. She sent me to Small Bar for brunch where I sat next to the jukebox and annoyed everyone’s earholes for a solid hour over eggs and bloody mary’s. She’s like my own personal cicerone.

Erin Hill spinning pearls at The Bruery’s Black Tuesday party, 2013.

When it comes to SDBW VIP Takeover, I was as shocked as anyone there were only 31 IPAs listed. What the hell can a guy do with only 31 IPAs? So I asked Erin, “what should be my top ten list of beers to try that aren’t IPA?” And she responded:

  1. Eppig – Moment of Weakness
  2. Wild Barrel – SD Vice w/pink guava Berliner
  3. Booze Bros. – Brothers Keeper Berry Patch BBA sour ale
  4. Gordon Biersch – Marzen
  5. Pizza Port- Bacon & Eggs
  6. Rock Bottom La Jolla – Oat to Jim: NBA Imperial Oatmeal Stout
  7. North Park – Mocha Massage
  8. Monkey Paw – Back in the ESSA
  9. 3 Punk – Brick Top w/Nomad Coffee English Brown
  10.  Alesmith – Hawaiian Speedway

And so, my list is born. Catch John Holzer and I at the Friday VIP takeover! Saturday we’ll be recording a session with Jason as well at the big SDBW festival. Stop by and say hi! Matt can’t make it. Oh goddamn.

Tickets and stuff here:

-Greg @ocbeerblog/@fourbrewersshow

[S4/E37] California Craft Beer Summit 2017

Season 4, Episode 37 – Summer is coming to a close and that can only mean one thing: it’s time to go to the California Craft Beer Summit in Sacramento, California!

The story begins in Newport Beach, California, at six o’clock in the morning. John was hustling at work to get out of work an hour early to get home in time to pick up Matt and Greg for their soon-to-be six hour trip to Sacramento, California. As life usually is, though, nothing can go perfectly, and John was late to leave work by over an hour. After fighting an hour and a half of traffic due to a last minute trip to Anaheim, John finally arrived home with just enough time to load up his gear and take a three minute shower. The rental car was picked up yesterday, luckily, so John immediately got on the road to pick up Matt Becker in Riverside.

It wasn’t long before John arrived at Matt’s house. Fortunately, Matt was locked and loaded, and the two were off to West Covina, California where they would rendezvous with Greg Nagel who was already on the move from Orange County, California.

Knowing the trip was already delayed, Greg wasted no time in claiming his spot in the back seat of the Chevrolet Suburban the three had rented for the weekend. As if he could read their minds, Greg was equipped with fresh nuts and berries that he acquired from a local, budget-friendly neighborhood shop.

All was good. The boys were on the road. After a solid five hours of driving, John grew weary. Sustenance was badly needed and Quesadilla Gorilla came to the rescue. The quesadillas were quite tasty.


Greg took over the drive. After three more hours on the road, they finally arrived at their destination in Sacramento, California. Exhausted from their journey, they parked the car, unloaded the luggage, and found the lockbox that was attached to the back gate that secured the Airbnb’s house keys. The three wandered into the poorly-lit backyard of an old Victorian-style home. The faint light from a lone candle burning in the window of their room was spotted from the gate. The boys knew they were home…temporarily.

The three would soon discover that their adventure was far from over. Self-inflating mattresses were to be purchased. Basic necessities were meager at best. Soft drinks glasses at the local Greasy Spoon were not glasses at all, but were Mason Jars. The HORROR.

These things ultimately did not matter to Matt, John, and Greg. They had priorities. They were here to drink craft beer. The were here to learn about craft beer. They were here to drink craft beer with others who liked to drink craft beer. They were here to learn about the craft beer industry from those who worked in the craft beer industry. They were here to tell the story.

They were in Sacramento to get to the California Craft Beer Summit.

The Mexican Lager Showdown

This week’s episode was recorded in the Airbnb rental where John, Matt, and Greg were staying. Beers were consumed and the California Craft Beer Summit was discussed.

Their mission was accomplished.


Beers from this week’s episode:
Chapman Crafted Beer – Old Towne Block Party
Silva Brewing – 525 Pine
New Glory Craft Brewery – Gummy Worms

Direct audio: MP3

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