Chargers, Devil’s Cask and New Beers!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

As everything around here is new and mostly happening for the first time, I have a few updates for you this week.  The first one is that we will be opening on Thursday the 12th this week from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm or so for the Chargers v. Broncos game that kicks off at 5:25 pm.  Next football season I hope to be open for all Chargers games and in an ideal world both Monday Night and Thursday Night football games.  We’ll be doing our first Happy Hour for the game on Thursday and taking $1 off pints of draft beer while we are open.  We’ll be pouring JPA (Julian Pale Ale), Devil’s Copper (both Draft and Nitro versions), Chinook IPA and Stonewall Stout.  And the weather will be nearly 20 degrees warmer than this past weekend!

The next update is about our beer line up for the weekend.  Friday afternoon we will be tapping our new Strong Pale Ale (which has a name, I am just waiting for the weekend to release it).  The style is a tweener that is hoppier than a Pale Ale but not as big and bitter as an India Pale Ale.  So it will fit nicely between the JPA and the Chinook IPA at just under 6% alcohol.  The hop profile includes lots of grapefruit flavors and aromas along with hints of tropical fruit.  It is hopped with Crystal hops predominantly along with some Simcoe and Amarillo.  So far it is tasting great and I can not wait to taste all chilled and carbonated.  I am planning on doing a Nitro keg of this beer as well, which is dispensed on a blend of nitrogen and CO2 like Guinness for an extra creamy texture and finish.

And I have more on this weekend’s beer line up.  We will be tapping a cask of the Devil’s Copper, our 6.7% alcohol all Centennial hopped red ale.  To do something a little different, I dry hopped the cask with some Amarillo hops.  There are no dry hops in the main batch of beer, so this ought to pull out the hoppiness a little more.  If you are not familiar with it, cask conditioned beer is the method that was used to dispense beer in England before the use of compressed gas.  Naturally carbonated beer was drawn up to the bar through a beer engine instead of pushing it to the tap with CO2.  The cask allows for dry hops to be added directly to the cask for extra flavor.  Our Stonewall Stout cask opening weekend I added Vanilla Bean to.  The softer carbonation of the cask beers gives it a different feel and finish than regular draft beer and allows me to play around with some different flavors.  I am trying to tap a different cask beer each weekend, but the casks are only 5 gallons, so be sure to try it while it lasts.

We will be serving up some of Lindsey’s Beer Cheese this weekend made with our beer.  Look for it while it lasts on Saturday and Sunday.  We also have bags of Kettle Chips to snack on.  I am hopeful that we can soon have the food truck from Jeremy’s on the Hill in our parking lot on the weekends.  Jeremey’s is a great place to get a meal and it is just 2 miles west of Julian down the 78 Highway in Wynola.  In addition to great food and boutique wine, Jeremy’s has a fine selection of bottled beer including lots of local favorites.  You can check them out online at:

Finally, I have some news on upcoming brews.  I have a new IPA in the tank that I suspect will be more along the lines of what our full time IPA will be.  It should be just under 7% alcohol and it is hopped with Centennail and Columbus hops for big piney and citrusy aroma and flavor.  It tasted fantastic going into the fermentor on Monday.  It won’t be ready until after Christmas though, so think of it as a bonus present that you didn’t open on the 25th.  It should be pouring when we open on Friday the 27th after a week or two of dry hopping with more Centennial and Columbus.

I will be brewing some of our house beers again and then later this month I will be doing a brewing collaboration with local beer writer Brandon Hernandez inspired by our trip to London last year – Bitter Beer Writer, which appropriately enough will be in the style of an English Bitter.  If you are not familiar with Brandon’s work, check out the wonderful things he said about us on his San Diego Beer News blog:

We have lots of great merchandise for the brewery with men’s and women’s shirts, long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts along with pint glasses, logo mason jars and stickers.  We just ordered some new men’s shirts that should be in before Christmas and re-ordered some items that we are already sold out on.  Speaking of the holidays, this year they will not affect our hours, so we will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday thru the end of the month.

For more news on what is happening, please follow us on Facebook.  And you can always find out about other businesses, events and places to stay in Julian on FB at:  Please help spread the word about Nickel Beer Company.  I hope to be bringing some beer down the hill in January once we get a full line up going at the tasting room.  If you stop by this weekend, Lindsey and Corrine may con you into making a Pomander (, just so you have been warned.  We’ll see you soon for a great mountain brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom

Tom Nickel

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