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BEER WEEK: Remember Your First Fling?

The commemorative flying disc.
Photo by R. Adam Ward

Most of the more than 200 San Diego Beer Week events may have taken place in the dark confines of local bars and breweries.First Fling was a chance to soak up some San Diego sun.

The flying disc tournament at Morley Field Disc Golf Course included 51 participants.

“I wanted it to be social,” says organizer Scot Blair, owner of Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park, and the recently opened Small Bar in University Heights. “And we didn’t want ringers.”

To that end, novice disc golfers were paired with the more experienced, and the two-person teams alternated throws.

Green Flash Brewing Company brew master and First Fling co-organizer Chuck Silva says creating the tournament with a focus on socializing, instead of competition, allowed novices and experts to spend two-and-a-half hours getting to know each other.

But why disc golf?

“The camaraderie of beer and an earthy sport like Frisbee golf,” are a natural fit, Blair says. "The event is really not about beer. It’s about community.”

The prize for the winning team: Tapping a cask of Green Flash’s Palate Wrecker. In the spirit of camaraderie, every team got a shirt and flying disc commemorating the event.

Colby Chandler at First Fling.
Photo by R. Adam Ward

Bill Sweetman was on the winning team that got to swing the mallet and open up the cask for all to enjoy at Hamilton’s Tavern for the tournament after-party. Sweetman, a home brewer, said he heard about the tournament and thought, “Disc golf and beer? What’s better than that?”

He also enjoyed talking with all the beer aficionados and brewers about what beers they like, he said.

But the actual process of tapping the cask? Sweetman said that was “very stressful.” He was glad to have it over so that he could enjoy the beers on tap and barbeque.

Colby Chandler, general manager of Home Brew Mart, has played at disc golf tournaments at Beer Weeks in other cities, and was eager to participate in San Diego’s inaugural event. Dan Flores, the general manager of Vista’s Backstreet Brewery, which is attached to Lamppost Pizza, had fun in the lush setting at Morley Field.

The Fling was also a good opportunity for the group to promote the San Diego beer scene. “San Diego has been underappreciated for a long time,” saysBlair. “It’s about time people start recognizing the world-class breweries that are here. There are more good beer bars per capita than any city--except maybe San Francisco.”

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: (619) 692-3607
  • Name: Morley Field Disc Golf Course
  • Address: 3090 Pershing Dr San Diego, CA 92104