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FOODfare: Mother's Day Can Cancer Tailgate

Beach to Brewery 2010
Beach to Brewery 2010
Courtesy Photo


With publication of this FOODfare column falling directly after Cinco de Drinko and less than 48 hours before Mother’s Day (I don’t know about you, but this annual maternity-fest always brings on a bit of anxiety for me as I do my best to ensure the happiness of not one, but three of the most important women in my life), I find myself both reaching for a beer and inspired to write about the artisans who craft that fantastic libation on a local scale.

Yes You Can, Can Can

Many distinguish TailGate Beer as the lone company (for now) that packages its liquid refreshment in cans as opposed to traditional glass bottles, but come Mother’s Day, many will come to know the three-year-old brewing operation that set up one of the most noble tailgates of all time. Inspired by his mother’s current fight against breast cancer, TailGate owner Wesley Keegan rounded up a score of professional tailgaters to help put on the first annual TailGate to Can Cancer event at PETCO Park’s Tailgate Park. All proceeds will benefit City of Hope, a charity that helps out numerous San Diegans battling life-threatening diseases (including Keegan’s mom). As if helping out a great local organization weren’t enough, there’s plenty you’ll get in return for your contribution to the cause; namely, world class tailgate food from guys like Jay the Tailgate Guy and Dave Lamm of Tailgatingideas.com. They’ll be serving up mammoth breakfast offerings including pancakes, quesadillas and stick-to-your-ribs burritos and, of course, hot dogs (Chicago-style, that is…get plenty of napkins), because after all, what experience, in or directly outside the ballpark, would be complete without a red hot? There will also be a silent auction where participants can win, among other things, a tricked-out Padres Freedom Grill BBQ or even their very own tailgate spread provided by Jay the Tailgate Guy. The event will take place on May 8 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and tickets are available online. General admission is $35 and includes an event t-shirt, two cans of TailGate’s Blacktop Blonde, brunch and a ticket to the 1:05 p.m. game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, or guests can decide to skip the game and just hang in and soak up the sun and suds ($20 for adults, $15 for kids 10 and under although those under 36 inches in height get in for free). 13th Street and K Street, East Village

Party On, Karl

Each of San Diego’s breweries has their own unique flavor, but none bring an altruistic taste of America’s Finest the way Karl Strauss Brewing Co. does when they hold their annual Beach to Brewery event; an outdoor celebration of music and all things Karl (i.e. – beer!) in the parking lot of their main brewery in PB. This year marks the eighth year for this event and it figures to be the biggest yet with four bands on stage and 22 Karl Strauss beers on tap (one for each year the company has been in business). Some of the more special suds available include the 22nd Anniversary Vanilla Imperial Stout, the newly released Blackball Belgian IPA, Flan-Diddly-Anders Flemish-style red sour ale and Parrot in a Palm Tree, a Baltic porter that was the company’s 2010 holiday concoction and figures to only get better as it ages. Cuckoo Chaos will headline and be ably backed by Little Deadman, Blackout Party and repeat offenders Stranger, who have opened the past several B2B’s and never fail to get attendees in the groove with their smooth reggae stylings. The event will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, and free shuttles will begin picking up partygoers at 1:45 p.m. from the Pacific Beach Library and Dusty Rhodes Park. Tickets are available for $25 online or $30 at the door. 5985 Santa Fe Street, Pacific Beach


Mission: Downtown

When CEO Dan Selis set out to revitalize the Mission Brewery brand, paying homage to San Diego and its pre-Prohibition brewing past was always part of the equation, but one of the hardest aspects of the business to realize. After getting the name back out there, they brewed for a while in the old Mission Brewery Plaza on Washington Street, before moving south to Chula Vista to get the job done on a scale that worked for them. It wasn’t long before they started to get that itch to move back toward San Diego’s historic epicenter and, in April, they were able to do just that. Mission has set up shop at the corner of 14th and L Streets in a brick building that screams old SD and now features a tasting bar to go with a fully operational brewhouse where guests can sample everything from the mild and sessionable Mission Blonde Ale to their intensely hopped Shipwrecked Double IPA. Even if you can’t get there right away, mark your calendar for a visit on June 18 when Mission has its official grand opening and anniversary party, featuring some special small-batch beer releases and food from Blind Lady Alehouse, Café Chloe, Hamilton’s Tavern, The Handlery and Neighborhood. Admission is $15 online and $20 at the door. 1441 L Street, East Village


Going Public

OB’s little slice of gastro-pub bliss, Sessions Public will be holding their very own public session with their first ever Brunch and Brewery Tour on Sunday, May 15. Five hours of fun, food and adult beverages will kick-off at noon with a mimosa-fueled brunch featuring such decadent items as duck fat Eggs Benedict, French toast and a Breakfast Burger, followed directly by load-in to a bus for an express trip to three of North County’s most lauded brewing establishment—Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey (San Marcos), Green Flash (Vista) and the reigning Best Small Brewing Company in the World, Ballast Point Brewing Co. (Scripps Ranch). The cost per person is $80 (if you pay cash…bust out the plastic and it’s $85) and seating is limited. For more information, call the restaurant at (619) 756-7715. 4204 Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach