Meet the team behind this year’s 2022 Capital of Craft IPA
Our annual Capital of Craft IPA is the perfect example of what can be accomplished when passionate people come together for a common cause - to brew great beer! We interviewed our collaborators to gain insight into this year's Capital of Craft IPA.
About Sean Farrell: Sean Farrell is the Director of Brewing at Pizza Port Brewing Company and has been in the industry for over 20 years. He’s worked at some of the most notable breweries in California, including Stone, Coronado, and now Pizza Port. For Sean, one of his most significant and recent contributions to Pizza Port’s selection of beers is updating Pizza Port's Swami's IPA. A staple beer originally brewers in Solana Beach now serves as the flagship beer at Pizza Port Bressi Ranch.
Regarding Capital of Craft: “The Capital of Craft has been a great idea. We got to participate in the very first one, as Pizza Port was one of the original Guild members. Each brewer gets to nominate another brewery for the next year, and it’s the sixth year now. We've been asked to host [Capital of Craft], so we feel very fortunate. We have a lot of friends here that we've known or worked with.”
About Pizza Port Brewing: Pizza Port Brewing is one of the most popular and successful brewpubs in Southern California, with five locations throughout the region. Pizza Port has become a favorite destination for craft beer lovers and foodies alike, with a commitment to delivering the highest quality food and drink and providing outstanding customer service.
About Michael Stevenson: Michael Stevenson is the Head Brewer and Co-Founder of Culver Beer Company. He has been in the brewing industry for ten years, and his favorite style of craft beer to brew is the IPA. Michael got his start in the industry by completing an internship in Germany and landing a job at Manzanita Brewing Company in Santee after returning home. After a few years at Manzanita, Michael set out to start Culver Beer Company in North San Diego County with his business partner Ben Fairweather.
Regarding Capital of Craft: “I'm very excited to be part of the Capital Craft. There's a lot of camaraderie in the industry. Technically we're all competitors here, but we're also very friendly to each other and having all of our names on one label is fun and a joy to be a part of.“
About Culver Beer Co.: Culver Beer Company is a craft brewery in Carlsbad, offering a wide range of beer styles to suit your taste. With over six years of experience brewing high-quality craft beer, this independent brewery is known for its friendly atmosphere and excellent food selection. Culver Beer Company is the perfect place to visit. Their selection of hot and cold sandwiches will satisfy your cravings, and their welcoming staff will make you feel at home!
About Ben "Shaggy" Blaney: Shaggy has been a part of the craft beer industry for many years. He started home brewing with his dad, and soon enough, they got "the sickness." He begged for jobs in the industry until he finally landed one at The Lost Abby. He spent almost eight years perfecting his craft there before moving on to Mason Ale Works in San Marcos. After two and a half years there, he moved to My Yard Live, where he is currently the head brewer. His most personal beer is Flight of the Kiwis, which he brewed first on a home brew scale, tweaking it over time and eventually landing a GABF bronze medal win at the Great American Beer Festival.
Regarding Capital of Craft: “I'm super stoked on it. I've worked at a lot of breweries and beer bars for a decent bit now, but like every year, I've seen Capital of Craft pop up, and it's always been a cool thing to see on taps and stuff. So being a part of it is really rad.”
About My Yard Live: My Yard Live is a unique and innovative community/brewery space that seeks to cultivate a welcoming environment for families and solo drinkers alike. They aim to provide quality food and craft beverages, live entertainment, and a variety of leisure games that encourage socializing, building connections, and fostering a sense of community. Whether it's spending time with friends on their outdoor patio or participating in one of their fun-filled events, My Yard Live is the ultimate destination for those who value meaningful experiences with a nice glass of craft beer to top it off.
About Samantha Olsen: Samantha Olson is the head brewer at Mujeres Brewhouse. She has been in the craft beer industry in San Diego for eight years and has focused on historical beer styles throughout her career. At Mujeres, she always has a rotating lager on tap that you won't find elsewhere. Her favorite style of beer to brew is a lager; it takes delicate care and balances to get the fermentation process just right. The Buenas Vibras pale lager is her favorite beer from the core lineup at Mujeres - it's super drinkable and perfect for enjoying in the brewery's beer garden.
Regarding Capital of Craft: “I'm super excited to be a part of the Capital Of Craft IPA collaboration. It's fun to see what everyone is doing with their different dry hopping techniques and yeast selection based on what they're trying to achieve. It's gonna be great!”
About Mujeres Brew House: Mujeres Brew House is a community-oriented brewery in San Diego, California. Founded by two passionate beer enthusiasts, Carmen Favela and Esthela Davila. This all-inclusive brewery creates a welcoming environment for beer lovers of all backgrounds. At Mujeres Brew House, customers can enjoy an extensive selection of craft beers, delicious tacos and other food options. The brewery also offers regular events and educational programs, allowing customers to learn more about the world of craft beer and connect with like-minded individuals.
About Chris & Ryan: Chris and Ryan are two childhood best friends who share a passion for brewing delicious craft beer. It’s been five years since BattleMage Brewing opened its doors, and owners Chris & Ryan have had to learn the ins and outs of the business, including being proficient bartenders, janitors, and brewers. They both started as homebrewers, honing their skills while working at Ballast Point Brew Mart and as part of the Society of Barely Engineers. With an unwavering commitment to quality craft beer, they are always looking for new ways to experiment with different flavor profiles and techniques.
Regarding Capital of Craft:
Chris: “From what I've been told, it was the quickest recipe selection. Everyone seemed really on the same lines with the malts we wanted to use. I think the beer will be great, and everyone involved knows what they're talking about, so it's going to be a good one.
Ryan: Yeah, I think, you know, everyone that came together has a lot of experience, so decisions are made quickly because we have a lot of background on the different ingredients and everything. So, you know, it was pretty quick to develop a pretty solid IPA recipe, I think. I'm excited to see how it turns out. I think the ingredients are going to be good. We've never done this specific combo, so it should be cool. And hopefully, we'll learn some new techniques. Beer is only four ingredients, but every time you do a collab, you learn how someone's doing something a little bit differently, and it really expands your knowledge.
Chris: Yeah, you can try out what they're doing and be like, this makes sense for our system. We'll try this next time we brew a beer.
Ryan: So there's always something new to learn. We've never mastered everything. There's always something, always places to grow”
About BattleMage Brewing Co.: BattleMage Brewing Company is an epic craft brewery in Vista Business Park. Founded by a group of Dungeons & Dragons aficionados, this brewery brings a new twist to the craft beer scene with its fantasy-themed brews and weekly game nights. Whether you're a craft beer novice or a seasoned beer geek, BattleMage has something for everyone. Stop by their tasting room any day of the week to relive your fantasy childhood dreams or enjoy some good old-fashioned D&D with like-minded enthusiasts.
About Shawn Mcilhenney: Shawn Mcilhenney is the co-founder, head brewer, and doer of many other things at Mcilhenney Brewing. He started in the industry when his dad founded Alpine Beer Company in 2002. Shawn worked his way up to head Brewer in 2007 and was there until 2018. He took a year off and started his own brewery, Mcilhenney Brewing Co. Every beer that Shawn has made or supervised has been a great success. He has a special place in his heart for hops from New Zealand and Australia.
Regarding Capital of Craft: “It's great to be a part of [Capital of Craft]. I like the direction that we're heading. I like that everybody is very passionate about what they do that's involved, and we get exclusive first looks at some ingredients that not a lot of people have access to. So looking forward to the end product here.“
About Mcilhenney Brewing Co.: Mcilhenney Brewing Company is a premier craft brewery in Alpine, California, just 30 miles east of downtown San Diego. Founded by Shawn, Jamie, Pat, and Val Mcilhenney - who are no strangers to the local craft beer community - this family-owned and operated brewery has been producing high-quality beers since its inception in 1999. Led by Head Brewer Shawn Mcilhenney, Mcilhenney Brewing has become a destination for beer lovers across the country. Their taproom is kid and pet friendly, with an outdoor patio that allows visitors to take in the beautiful California mountain scenery. Whether a long-time local or just passing through, check out Mcilhenney Brewing Company for some truly incredible craft beers.
About Dan Ouellette: Dan Ouellette is the Head Brewer and Production Manager at Fall Brewing Company in North Park, San Diego. He started home brewing about 13 years ago. Since moving here from New Hampshire, Dan has been at Fall Brewing for five years. At Fall Brewing, he has helped create A Cold Day in Hell, a cold IPA collaboration with Black Plague Brewing. Dan is a huge fan of lagers, and his favorite style of beer to brew are light lagers - because “there's nothing to hide behind, and you have to really nail everything you're doing."
Regarding Capital of Craft: “I think it's an awesome opportunity, not only for all of us who most likely wouldn't get to brew as a group. It's an awesome opportunity for the collaborative aspect of networking, meeting of the minds, throwing ideas out - all the weird crazy stuff we all want to try but never have. It's a really cool opportunity.”
About Fall Brewing: Fall Brewing is a craft brewery in San Diego, California, doing what they love since 2014. They focus on making the kinds of beer that they love to drink: crisp, clean lagers, hop-forward IPAs, and delicious sours and stouts. At Fall Brewing, the most important thing is having fun while making great craft beer. They believe that when it comes to brewing, you should never take yourself too seriously, and they make sure to always have a good laugh at themselves while they're at it. Despite sometimes struggling to hit its release dates or misspelling things on its labels, Fall Brewing can make light of these mistakes and keep having fun with its brewing process. Whether you're a fan of hoppy IPAs or smooth pilsners, there's something here for everyone to enjoy.
About SD TapRoom Beer Co.: SD TapRoom was founded in the early years of the San Diego Craft Beer Revolution by brothers Kevin and Kyle Conover. As avid homebrewers and participants in the emerging craft beer scene, they came up with an idea of creating one of San Diego’s first local craft beer focused establishments. Their OG beer bar located in Pacific Beach, San Diego offers a unique experience that allows for 150+ local craft breweries to showcase their products, along with elevated bar food and a casual local community vibe. SD TapRoom has made its way as one of the most recognized, respected, and successful craft beer focused establishments in San Diego.
2022 Capital of Craft IPA Sponsors
The success of Capital of Craft would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.
About BSG: As the leading supplier of brewing ingredients and supplies, BSG has been providing brewers with quality ingredients for nearly two decades. With distribution centers across North America (including Oceanside!), BSG is well-equipped to supply brewers with what they need - no matter where they are.
About CanWorks: With its advanced printing technology, CanWorks can provide craft breweries with a waste-free printing solution that delivers unparalleled benefits. Founded by brothers Marshall and Ryan Thompson, CanWorks aims to revolutionize the craft brewing industry with its innovative printing technology.
About White Labs Inc.: If you're a fan of craft beer, then you've probably heard of White Labs. They are one of the pioneers in yeast education and research, and their work has helped elevate the quality of craft beer to new levels. Founded by two home brewers, White Labs has grown into a team of dedicated biochemists constantly exploring new ways to improve the brewing process. They are continually striving for perfection, becoming leaders in the art of fermentation in the process.
San Diego Beer Week festivities begin with the Annual Virtual Kick-Off Toast on Friday, November 5, at 7 p.m. PT. Fans are invited to join the digital bash from their neighborhood brewery, craft beer bar, or tasting room and share content on social media using #SDBEER and #SDBW22.