San Diego Beer Week: Tour San Diego One Pint at a Time

San Diego Beer Week 2011

Beer Week returns to San Diego

Good things are brewing in San Diego! With nearly 40 craft breweries located across the county, San Diego is a top destination for beer lovers any time of the year, but the annual celebration of all things brewed kicks off on Friday, Nov. 4. From special limited edition releases, to beer pairing dinners, to countywide pub crawls, San Diego’s 2011 Beer Week is a 10-day extravaganza of sudsy goodness.

San Diego Beer Week comprises more than 400 individual events at locations all over San Diego County, so choosing which ones to attend can be a little daunting, even for a seasoned festival goer. Here’s a guide to a just a few of the libation celebrations you’ll find around San Diego between Nov. 4 – 13:

San Diego Brewers Guild Signature Events

The San Diego Brewers Guild offers two big events to open and close the beer festivities. The San Diego Brewers Guild festival gets the party started on Nov. 5 with tastings from more than 20 different brewers, food from some of San Diego’s most iconic restaurants, and live music by 90s alternative darling Matthew Sweet. The Brewers Guild wraps everything up on Nov. 13 with a chef blowout at the scenic gardens of Lodge at Torrey Pines, where some of the region’s most celebrated chefs will offer beer-paired culinary creations.

Brewmaster Dinners

San Diego Beer Week offers beer connoisseurs several opportunities to get up close and personal with the masters that brew up their favorite drinks. Ballast Point’s Colby Chandler will dine with guests at O’Brien’s Pub on Nov. 6, Terra American Bistro welcomes the brewers from Manzanita Brewing Co. on Nov. 7 and Steve Beaumont and “Dr.” Bill Sysak will hold a beer-pairing showdown over a 5-course dinner at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens on Nov. 8.

Sweet and Savory Beer Pairings

We all know that beer pairs well with a full dinner, but what about a cheese course or with dessert? San Diego Beer Week gives you the chance to find out. Urge Gastropub, La Valencia Hotel and Venissimo Cheese are a few of the sites for beer-and-cheese pairings while Eclipse Chocolat, Small Bar and Chuao Chocolatier present pints alongside the sweet stuff.

Beer for Breakfast

That’s right, you don’t have to wait until lunch to enjoy a pint. During San Diego Beer Week, beer with breakfast (or brunch) is encouraged at Stone Brewing Co. on Nov. 4, Karl Strauss Brewing Company on Nov. 6, Alchemy on Nov. 11 and Sea Rocket Bistro on Nov. 13.

For a complete list of all the San Diego Beer Week events, visit

With so many San Diego Beer Week events to choose from, which ones will you be attending?

Brent Bernasconi

September Restaurant Week 2011 Extended

Did you want to try second restaurant or did procrastinate for too long and now can’t get a reservation for the last night of restaurant week? Well fear not, San Diego Restaurant Week has been extended for a second week running from September 25th to the 30th, 2011. Now you have no excuse.

If you can’t decide, you can see all of our previous suggestions here, here, and here.

Follow this link to view the list of participating restaurants…



Restaurant Week Picks: Explore North County’s California Cuisine

The birthplace of California Cuisine may be attributed to Berkeley, but San Diego chefs are pushing the envelope of culinary innovation, fusing the freshest local ingredients with unexpected influences, and creating dishes that are as unique as the destination itself. Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to take in some of the freshest and most inventive flavors that San Diego has to offer.

Take in sweeping views of La Jolla Cove at George's California Modern.

George’s California Modern

If you look up “California” or “seasonal” cuisine, there should be a photo of Trey Foshee. For over a decade, the award-winning chef of George’s California Modern has been reinventing California Cuisine season after season, creating dishes that you just can’t find anywhere else. Using ingredients that are only at the peak of season, the menu changes as offerings at local markets do.

From the Restaurant Week menu, I would recommend starting with the Chino Farms Tomato Salad. What is likely the highest honor for a tomato, perfectly vine ripe picks from Chino Farms are presented with fresh basil and artfully prepared eggplant romanesco. For the main course, go with the Local White Seabass served with artichokes, baby leeks, fennel, pan con tomato, all finished in black olive oil and preserved lemon, this dish will have you savoring the last bit of San Diego’s summer. End with the Souffle Cheesecake that’ll make you want to lick the plate (but please don’t). The combination of rich cream cheese ice cream with the deep flavor of matcha streusel, all balanced with the sprite fragrance of yuzu curd and sweet Chino Farms strawberries, this fresh take on the classic soufflé will make your taste buds soar.

Nestled atop Del Mar Plaza, the views from FLAVOR perfectly compliment their inspired cuisine.

Nestled atop Del Mar Plaza, FLAVOR offers enchanting views that match their inspired cuisine.


This is the perfect occasion to try Del Mar’s hottest new restaurant. Nestled atop Del Mar Plaza with a pitch perfect ocean view, dining at FLAVOR is a full sensory experience. Acclaimed chef Jason Maitland offers a youthful and inspired approach to California Cuisine, creating a simple, yet unique blend of flavors and fragrances that are as fresh as the Pacific breeze.

Kick off your meal with the Tiger Prawn Ceviche, done up FLAVOR style with a confetti of cherry tomatoes, capers, cucumber, feta cheese. For the main course, try the Slow Cooked Scottish King Salmon, served with an immaculate ginger-soy sauce that perfectly complements the sweet and tender salmon. For dessert, go for the sweet and creamy Corn Panna Cotta, served with crème Anglaise, macadamia nut brittle, and white peach sorbet.

333 Pacific's Surf-n-Turf offerings come with a classic California sunset.

333 Pacific

Before acquiring my deep knowledge of California Cuisine (last week when I got this assignment), my impression of it was the classic Surf-n-Turf: succulent seafood and savory steaks, complemented with the finest California wines, enjoyed over sweeping ocean views in a pair of flip-flops. It turns out I wasn’t too far off. If you’re looking for the best Surf-n-Turf experience, seek no further than Cohn Restaurant Group’s inspired pier-front establishment in Oceanside, 333 Pacific.

After a walk on the Oceanside pier, warm up with the Sweet Potato Bisque with peppar vodka cream that’ll have you glowing like the sunset view from their patio. For the main course, go for 12-ounce Boneless Ribeye, an immaculate cut grilled to perfection, served with fried leeks and horseradish mashed potatoes. If you’re in the mood for a fresh catch from the surf, try the Pecan Encrusted Sea Bass with edamame bean succotash and roasted fingerling potatoes. And for dessert, what could be more classic than a Cinnamon Apple Tart, à la mode?

San Diego Restaurant Week ends Friday, September 23, so get out there treat your senses to San Diego’s best California Cuisine!


Restaurant Week Picks: (Re)discover Some San Diego Gems

Having moved back to San Diego last year, I am still exploring the San Diego culinary scene. A foodie at heart, I look forward to experiencing some San Diego dining hot spots, revisiting well-known establishments, and discovering local gems during this year’s San Diego Restaurant Week. Here are my top picks:

Kensington Grill

Kensington Grill
My number one choice for a night out with the girls (or guys) is Kensington Grill, a hip neighborhood eatery on Adams Avenue. The award-winning restaurant from the Urban Kitchen Group is known for exceptionally executed rustic “New American” cuisine served up family-style or traditionally coursed. Their special Restaurant Week menu includes your choice of the pepper bacon corn chowder (as a starter), salmon with tomato braised cauliflower and basil butter (entrée), braised short ribs in a pinot reduction with honey glazed baby carrots (entrée), apple cobbler with vanilla sorbet or chocolate banana bread pudding with rum flambé (dessert). I’m ready to order!

George's at the Cove

George’s at the Cove – California Modern
When you think of George’s at the Cove, world-class views, romance and amazing seafood are just a few of the attributes that come to mind. So it should come as no surprise that my “date night” pick for Restaurant Week is California Modern (the main dining room at George’s). Featuring an ever-changing menu with ingredients at the peak of their flavor, California Modern claims to offer the culinary essence of San Diego on a plate.

Knotty Barrel

Knotty Barrel Gastropub
Knotty Barrel, located in San Diego’s East Village, features delicious locally-sourced traditional British pub-grub and more than 60 local, domestic and imported beers from around the world. Located in the East Village, the people-watching is top-notch. With more than 16 craft beers on tap (and a great wine selection to boot), Knotty Barrel is the perfect place for a low-key dinner-and-drinks night out with friends.