Fast forward to earlier this month. I had entertained the idea of brewing a beer to benefit the San Dieguito River Park for years but it was just not in the cards until recently. With the help from Jess Norton from the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy we started to reach out to different breweries around the parks focused planning area. Jess was contacted by head brewer Devon Randall of Pizza Port Solana Beach and a plan was put in motion. Devon had brewed a beer in the past that reflected the style we were looking for and most importantly she was open to the idea of using California Sage and joining forces with a local park in an effort to raise funds.
Myself and Jess were invited to take part in the brewing process and as a home brewer I was elated at the thought. Until then my biggest batch was 10 gallons usually done at home in my apartment. A 7 barrel system is huge. We arrived at 6 o'clock in the morning fired up and ready to brew. We immediately got to work on the mash tun and started adding the grains.
|I heart grains!|
The hops were added after some boiling and at the end of the boil the star ingredient California Sage was added. Jess, Devon and myself gathered the sage the day before within the park corridor so that it was nice and fresh.
|Devon and Jess picking sage.|
|Coast to Crest Trail Ale w/ sage!|
Overall it was a great experience for a great cause. I want to thank Devon and Pizza Port brewery for the opportunity to work with them on such a fun endeavor. I also want to thank the Jess and the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy for bringing two of my passions (brewing and trails) together. I think this is the first time at least in San Diego that a partnership like this has happened and hopefully not the last.
The first ever Coast to Crest Trail Ale brewed with California Sage will be ready for release this coming Monday, April 27th. Pizza Port will be having a "Hoppy Hour" from 5 to 8pm and there will be a special CTC ale t-shirt available. Hike, bike or get yourself there somehow and enjoy a unique beer created for a great cause.