Late San Diego Padres icon Tony Gwynn would’ve turned 55 on Saturday and one local brewery celebrated his birthday with a party featuring a craft beer inspired by Mr. Padre himself.
AleSmith Brewing Company celebrated Gwynn at its Tasting Room with an all-day party where patrons could pick up bottles of a brew dubbed Hall of Fame: Imperial San Diego Pale Ale .394.
Last year, AleSmith created San Diego Pale Ale .394, a beer that pays homage to Gwynn’s long career with the Padres and his 1994 career-high batting average.
This new, imperial version was released for the first time Saturday as a tribute to the Padres icon who died on June 16, 2014 after a long battle with cancer.
San Diegans lined up to get their own bottles and celebrate Gwynn.
“It’s just a testament to how much people in San Diego love Tony. They’re showing up today in big numbers,” Peter Zien, owner of AleSmith Brewing Company, told NBC 7.
“Tony lives forever in the hearts of San Diegans. He is Mr. Padre,” added Zien. “We are just so honored and privileged to be brewing a beer for Tony.”
Zien said the imperial version of San Diego Pale Ale .394 was inspired by talks with Gwynn back in March 2014. The brewery describes the beer as “bursting with even more American hops, lending the beer a diverse palate of citrus, tropical fruit and pine.”
The brew costs $25 per 750 ml bottle and can be purchased here. Fans can pick up the brew now through June 21 at the AleSmith Tasting Room.
Gwynn played for the San Diego Padres for 20 seasons, from 1982 to 2001. The 15-time All-Star’s legacy includes the league’s 18th best batting average of all time, plus 3,141 career hits, eight batting titles, five Gold Glove Awards and induction into the MLB Hall of Fame in 2007.
Zien believes Saturday’s turnout would’ve made Gwynn smile that unforgettable Mr. Padre smile.
“We’re throwing a party for him – and I’m sure he’s watching us,” he added.