Evans Mission Bay Magazine Issue 2 - Page 31

Bay City Brewing Co. offers a relaxed atmosphere. Between 1989 and 1995, San Diego’s bur- geoning craft beer scene was known among locals, but it wasn’t until the formation of the San Diego Brewers Guild in 1997 that the rest of the state, country and world began to take notice. Dedicated to creating aware- ness and increasing visibility of locally and independently made beer, the organization hosts gatherings such as the annual Rhythm & Brews Music and Craft Beer Festival and San Diego Beer Week, solidifying the city as a world-class destination for beer producers and drinkers. Along with this increased vis- ibility, local breweries have racked up many national and international awards for their high-quality lagers, ales and the like. While craft breweries can be found in several towns across the U.S., there’s some- thing special about San Diego that makes it a hub for beer enthusiasts. And while the locals in the industry struggle to pinpoint exactly what makes San Diego the “capital of craft,” a common theme pops up when discussing why so many brewers have flocked to the city: a sense of community. “We have a strong foundation of pioneer breweries who pushed the envelope to make San Diego understand that you actually could drink beer made in our community, by people you knew, with local ingredi- ents, and that it was good,” Davidson says. “These breweries work together in their “ We have a strong foundation of pioneer breweries who pushed the envelope ... —JILLIAN DAVIDSON endeavors—brewing together, sharing ingre- dients and techniques and supporting one another along the way. The ‘borrow a cup of sugar from your neighbor’ adage is real, but in this instance, the sugar is a bag of grain. Or a few pounds of hops. Or yeast.” Scott Friedli, tasting room manager at Bay City Brewing Co., agrees, and says that while competition among breweries can get “fierce,” it always remains friendly thanks to the city’s laid-back attitude. “We get multiple customers every week who were sent our way from someone at Stone or Modern Times [Beer],” Friedli says. “The San Diego culture is the main reason. Although this city is full of trans- plants, they all adapt to the mellow vibe that is San Diego. Being born and raised here, I’m not only proud, but consider myself lucky, to be a San Diegan.” CRAFTING A LEGACY With so many establishments turning out top-notch beer, it may be difficult to decide which one to visit, but no matter where you choose to raise a pint, it’s nearly impossi- ble to go wrong. Of course, any beer tour should include a stop at Karl Strauss for its deep roots—more than a quarter century— in the region. The company was started by college friends Chris Cramer and Matt Rattner, who shared a vision of launching a handcrafted, locally made beer brand in San Diego. On a trip to Australia, Cramer Bay City Brewing Co.’s beers include Sour Wheat, ’Merican Stout and more. 31