Hopped Up: The project begins

I moved from Seattle to San Diego in late 1993. At that time the northwest had a very active micro-brew scene. I was particularly smitten with local breweries Red Hook, Pyramid and Pike Place Brewery and spent many a night tasting their latest offering. When I arrived in San Diego the locals seemed happy with swilling MGD and Bud Light and the Corona (with a lime!) came out for special occasions. Maybe this lack of true ales and lagers is what turned a handful of San Diegans into home brewers, lighting the fuse to something that would put the city on the map for more than a beach town or retirement community.

This project aims a spotlight on the San Diego brewing culture: The home brewers, craft beer makers, pub owners, alehouses and individuals that have been key players in defining San Diego as a world class beer region.

Hopped Up is inspired by my side-project Thursday Happy Hour and the many great beers introduced to me by our contributing editor. As I started to search out more unique beers and taste new styles, surprisingly often the path to great craft beer led back to San Diego.

By exploring the passion of these individuals, hearing their stories and seeing their dedication I hope to create a portrait of San Diego’s unique face as a world-class craft beer producer.


Gary Allard