Here’s something worth a toast: a new batch of craft beer inspired by San Diego Padres baseball icon Tony Gwynn will be available to fans this Saturday, on what would’ve been Mr. Padre’s 55th birthday.
Last year, AleSmith Brewing Company 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.
Now, the brewery has created an imperial version of the Gwynn-inspired brew dubbed Hall of Fame: Imperial San Diego Pale Ale .394.
On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the brewery will celebrate the late Gwynn’s birthday with an all-day event at the AleSmith Tasting Room on Cabot Drive featuring the imperial .394 brew and others on tap, including Project 19, a collaborative creation with Alicia Gwynn, and Tony’s Take, the .394 beer infused with grapefruit and orange.
There, fans will also be able to pick up their own bottles of Hall of Fame: Imperial San Diego Pale Ale .394. One-hundred percent of proceeds from the beer will go directly towards building a future Tony Gwynn Museum, which will then raise funds for the Tony & Alicia Gwynn Foundation, according to AleSmith.
The brewery said San Diego Pale Ale .394 was envisioned by Gwynn himself in early 2014, when Gwynn’s camp approached AleSmith to create a distinctive brew for the Major League Baseball legend.
Gwynn wanted the beer to be “light with a kick,” according to the brewery.
This imperial version of the brew is described as “bursting with even more American hops, lending the beer a diverse palate of citrus, tropical fruit and pine.”
It’s meant to be a tasty tribute to both Gwynn and the city that he loved.
"Tony Gwynn was incredibly proud to be a member of the San Diego community; he impacted lives all over the world. He was the heart, soul, and flavor of San Diego for so many years and now you can taste his passion with every sip," Gwynn’s wife, Alicia, has said of the beer.
AleSmith said fans can purchase up to four bottles of the limited Hall of Fame: Imperial San Diego Pale Ale .394 and pick up the brew from May 9 through June 21 at the tasting room. The beer costs $25 per 750 ml bottle.
In addition to craft beer, Saturday’s celebration at the brewery’s tasting room will feature the Gwynn’s Gourmet Food Truck serving some of Mr. Padre’s favorite snacks and Lil’ Miss Short Cakes selling .394 cupcakes.
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.
Gwynn died on June 16, 2014, after a long battle with cancer.