Recent heat waves notwithstanding, San Diego is generally a wonderful place to live year-round, but there are a few times when it’s extra awesome to call “America’s Finest City” home. I personally love when the Blue Angels buzz my neighborhood during the MCAS Miramar Air Show, and the colors of Dia de Los Muertos in Old Town make me forget there’s very little fall foliage in Southern California. These occasions pale in comparison to the absolute best time to be a San Diegan: San Diego Beer Week. Every year, breweries and bars roll out the red carpets for this 10-day celebration of all things craft beer, and some big changes are on tap for 2018’s edition of the festival.
At a preview event held by the San Diego Brewers Guild on Thursday, President Paul Sangster (Rip Current Brewing Company) and Director Matt Zirpolo (Burgeon Beer Company) laid out plans for this year’s celebration, which will run from November 2-11. Guildfest, the annual kick-off event, has been moved from Broadway Pier to its new home at Embarcardo Marina Park South. The VIP Takeover, which traditionally took place the night before Guildfest, has been replaced with a 1-hour VIP cruise on a Hornblower ship where passengers can get first access to 2018 Capital of Craft IPA as well as beers from the breweries that collaborated on the brew.
While Guildfest traditionally focuses on craft beer from San Diego brewers, organizers expanded this year’s festival to include guilds from all across California. For the first time, there will also be representatives from the brewing scene in Baja, Mexico, which has exploded in recent years. Thinking big, the San Diego Brewers Guild hopes to one day make Guildfest as big an event as Colorado’s annual Great American Beer Festival.
Another change for this year’s San Diego Beer Week is a county-wide toast, scheduled for Friday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m. Participating locations will take a moment and everyone in attendance will be invited to raise a glass to San Diego craft beer. As always, the closing event to the celebration will be the Beer Garden food and beer pairing event at The Lodge at Torrey Pines on November 11. You can find a full listing of events on the guild’s new mobile app.