Brewmasters Create ‘Capital of Craft' IPA for 2019 San Diego Beer Week

For the first time ever, the “Capital of Craft” beer is being canned in time for San Diego Beer Week, which runs from Nov. 1 through Nov. 10

There’s a lot on tap for 2019 San Diego Beer Week and that includes a new approach to a collaboration beer created by several of the city’s beloved craft breweries.

Each year, some of San Diego’s independent brewers get together to create the official “Capital of Craft” IPA for the big, 10-day event highlighting the city’s thriving – and very much unified – craft beer scene.

About a month ago, the group got to work concocting this year’s “Capital of Craft” batch at Second Chance Beer Co. in Poway. The collaboration included these members of the San Diego Brewers Guild: Second Chance; 3 Punk Ales Brewing Co.; Amplified Ale Works; Bagby Beer Co.; Burgeon Beer Co.; Gravity Heights; Nickel Beer Co.; and North Park Beer Co.

Virginia Morrison, CEO and co-founder of Second Chance Beer Co., told NBC 7 she was proud to host the brewing event at her brewery and tasting room.

For the first time, the Capital of Craft IPA would also be canned and sold during San Diego Beer Week. The canning project also went down at Second Chance a couple of weeks ago.

“We are privileged enough to have our own canning line here, and so we said, ‘Why not put this delicious nectar in a package that can be more accessible for people out in the market?’” Morrison told NBC 7.

Morrison said the cans are available at both Second Chance Beer Co. locations in Poway and North Park and across local bottle shops. Only 125 cases were produced, and are being sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Marty Mendiola, a brewmaster at Second Chance Beer Co., described the IPA’s unique flavor profile to NBC 7 as he worked up a batch alongside San Diego craft beer pioneer Skip Virgilio, now of Gravity Heights.

“In this particular case, we really wanted a more complex malt profile to give it little bits of malt flavor and then hitting it with some of our favorite hops – Amarillo, Chinook, Cashmere,” Mendiola explained.

“I think it’s gonna be a delicious beer,” added Virgilio.

Morrison said the IPA project essentially “epitomizes” the craft beer industry in San Diego, an industry where being collaborative is more important than being competitive.

“The Capital of Craft IPA by its very nature is a collaboration among seven different breweries,” Morrison told NBC 7. “And we all come together and create this delicious beer.”

Virgilio, AleSmith Brewing Company co-founder and current brewmaster of Gravity Heights in Sorrento Valley, said the process really is all about mixing and mingling the talents of those in the industry.

“It’s pretty cool to have that mix of guys that have been around for a really long time and new players and some women from the Pink Boots Society, so it’s a little mix of everybody,” he told NBC 7. “We’re all learning from each other, and hopefully, coming out with a great beer.”

San Diego Beer Week 2019 runs now through Nov. 10, offering dozens of beer-centric events across the city, including this past weekend's main event: the SD Beer Guild Fest at Embarcadero Marina Park North along downtown’s waterfront.

The San Diego Brewers Guild, founded in 1997, is currently made up of more than 130 local craft breweries. The group’s ongoing mission is to promote San Diego breweries and the industry they have built in America’s Finest City, together.

Morrison said that in this city, there is always room for more well-made, craft beer.

“If you make an amazing product and you have good business sense, we’re always going to welcome you into this community,” she said. “And the people will always want to drink you.”

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