National conference returns to Mission Valley
By Cody Thompson
With more than 100 breweries in operation and countless more in the planning stages, San Diego has solidified itself as the craft beer capital of America. That being said, it’s no surprise that craft beer fans and brewers alike from all over the world look forward to visiting our suds-soaked landscape any time the opportunity presents itself.
The latest occasion is Brew’s Up San Diego — the 2015 National Homebrewers Conference, running through June 13. The conference is an educational gathering that gives homebrewers the chance to learn new skills and techniques, or expand their knowledge of brewing while increasing camaraderie.
“This will be our second time hosting the National Homebrewers Conference at the Town & Country Resort in Mission Valley,” said Gary Glass, director of the American Homebrewers Association. “Their space works very well for our event and the Town & Country staff is great to work with.
“There is really nothing else like the National Homebrewers Conference. Anyone who knows a homebrewer knows just how passionate they are about great tasting beer. The friendships made and knowledge gained from attending this event with 3,000 fellow homebrewers and beer lovers will last a lifetime.”
While the conference is taking place in Mission Valley, the North Park hipster neighborhood was graced with many events leading up to the big event, inviting visitors to sample some of the best San Diego has to offer in craft beer and food.
Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street, filled in the details.
“The neighborhood of North Park is pleased to play host to beer enthusiasts from all over the nation. North Park has worked hard to put itself on the map as a destination for locals and travelers and these pre-conference events are the perfect chance for North Park to shine,” Landsberg said.
“San Diego, and especially North Park, is a hub for craft beer. By bringing enthusiasts together, it gives people from many different regions a chance to see what this community is doing to support the economically successful craft beer industry.”
Visitors on June 9 were invited to sample food and taste special craft beer offerings during a special edition of Taste of North Park. The event was a self-guided walking tour through the popular 30th Street craft beer corridor, where guests could sample food from 10 of the area’s most popular restaurants and sip on special pours from five breweries in the area.
On June 10, Waypoint Public hosted a Ballast Point Progression Dinner, a three-course meal prepared by Waypoint’s partner Brian Jenser and Ballast Point’s Executive Director and Specialty Brewer Colby Chandler. The dinner will highlight Ballast Point’s progression from homebrewer to San Diego fan favorite.
Also happening June 10 was the North Park Mobile Brew Hop, a free shuttle from the Town and Country Hotel to some of the greatest beer destinations in North Park. They include Mike Hess Brewing, Rip Current Brewing, Ritual Tavern, Toronado and Fall Brewing Co.
Glass talked about the impact the conference will have on North Park and its surrounding neighborhoods.
“It means great exposure for the incredible beer scene you have in North Park and San Diego. The area’s breweries and beer bars are going to experience a wave of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic beer geeks (a term of endearment for us) from all over the U.S.,” he said.
Landsberg echoed that theme. “San Diego has a wide variety of brewers and styles, large to small and everything in between. Along with its great weather, diverse communities, good food and friendly people, San Diego is the perfect place an event like this.”
—Contact Cody Thompson at email@example.com.