Superbowl, O’Bryen’s and Cask ESB!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

It almost feels like Winter up here this morning – rainy and cold, though it is supposed to stop raining in the next few hours and then be sunny through the weekend.  At least it will cool off a little bit so perhaps we will be able to fire up the wood burning stove.

This weekend we have some new beers to tap.  Today, Friday the 31st, I will be tapping a cask of Bitter Beer Writer ESB.  When I tasted the beer out of the fermentor I immediately thought that it would make great cask beer.  We have tapped two casks already down in San Diego and both were fantastic.  The flavor of the cask beer sits somewhere in between the nitro version (super creamy) and the regular draft (drier, more hoppy).  The cask is dry hopped with some extra Styrian Golding hops for a little added punch.  I think that the ESB is so far, the best cask I have done.  It will be flowing all weekend.

I will also be tapping a new draft beer – O’Bryen’s 20th Anniversary Ale.  It is a collaboration that was brewed at Sierra Nevada’s Beer Camp for our pub O’Brien’s 20th anniversary this year.  The beer is amber hued, 7.2% and has a dry roasty flavor that comes from the use of roasted rye malt.  We barrel aged most of the beer in Rye Whiskey and Bourbon barrels and those versions were just released a few weeks ago at O’Brien’s.  We have a good amount of the barrel aged beer and it will be making its way on tap around town in the coming months.  West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa will be tapping the barrel aged versions of the beer in February as part of its 2nd anniversary celebrations.  Find out when by signing up for their email newsletter:

Tapping the O’Bryen’s keg today will fill up our taps for the very first time.  We will have 11 drafts, 1 cask and Julian Hard Cider all flowing.  It will be good to see the tap tower full – hopefully I can keep it that way from now on.


I will begin prepping the brewery for our Superbowl Potluck Party today.  We will be setting up an additional big screen TV in the brewery to watch the game.  We’ve brought in extra bar stools and I will be bringing in some benches from our picnic tables to put in the brewery.  Hopefully there will be plenty of seating.

For the Potluck part of the gathering, we are asking folks to bring something easy to share and that people can eat with their fingers.  We’ll be putting out a buffet table with plates, napkins and silverware and we will have a power strip available for warm dishes.  We do not have a kitchen, so please do not bring anything that requires any on site cooking or prep.  Lindsey is bringing some home made pickles, Nickel beer mustard, cheese dip, chili cheese dip and beer cheese.  Her parents are bringing their famous pickled shrimp (which is absolutely delicious).  I have no idea how many people will be showing up, but I figure we will have at least 2 dozen people (and probably even more) there throughout the 3 pm to 7 pm time frame.  The kick off is at 3:30 pm and we will be open until roughly 30 minutes past the end of the game.

If you can’t join us for the game, consider bringing a growler to your party.  Lindsey also has some half pound containers of Beer Cheese for sale to-go in all three flavors – Traditional, Cracked Black Pepper and Habanero Cheddar.  We also have 4 oz sizes to-go.

Coming Up

The Apple Pie Beer continues to ferment along.  I knew the apple juice would take a little longer to ferment out.  After adding 60 gallons of raw apple juice, it is finally tasting like beer again.  It will still need a good amount of time to condition and clarify, but I am hoping to have it on tap by President’s Day weekend.

The new Porter is perfectly black and tasty.  It too is fermenting along nicely.  I used a large portion of Black malt in the beer in addition to Chocolate malt and the flavors are rich and smooth.  I also added some very dark crystal malts to the beer and the effect of them with the black malt gives a slight impression of smokiness though I did not add any smoke malt.  I was hoping for this effect as I like a little smokiness in dark, strong beers.  I expect the Porter could be on tap also by President’s Day weekend.

Since I seem to be focusing on President’s Day weekend, we will be open Monday, February 17th from 11:30 am to 5 pm.  I also expect because of the holiday weekend we will be staying open a little later on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – I will post details as we get closer.  And we will have our first food truck at the brewery Saturday, Sunday and Monday!  I am still working on the exact times, but I guessing somewhere in the 12-4 or 12-5 pm range.

Right after President’s Day I will be bringing up a keg of our current collaboration beer, Wrathchild, brewed with the good folks from Monkey Paw Brewing Company.  It is a smoked weizenbock brewed with a hefeweizen-style yeast.  It should be malty, fruity and smokey.  I am really looking forward to it.

We have a new tap handle for the Devil’s Copper made by our own Fix It Paul –  And Lindsey put up an American Flag pallet at the brewery that is now hanging outside the tasting room –  And if you have not seen our new Buffalo Nickel metal pub sign, you have to check it out –

We will be tapping a cask of Bitter Beer Writer ESB at the Toronado in North Park in February.  And towards the end of the month, we will be doing an event at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa as part of Larry’s 2nd anniversary celebrations there.  Keep up with what’s happening at the brewery between emails at our Facebook page: and I post updates on our San Diego events and new beer tappings on Twitter – @nickelbeerco.

That is your Nickel beer news for now.  Thanks to everyone who came out to O’Brien’s this past Wednesday for our event – it was great to see so many friendly faces.  We appreciate all of the support.  We’ll see you soon to share a great beer.  Cheers, Tom

Tom Nickel

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