Category Archives: Nickel Beer News

Happy 4th! Tasting Room is Open Inside and New Beers!

Hello Nickel Beer Friends!

I am happy to announce that we have opened up the tasting room this week for the first time since March of 2020!  It is good to be getting back to the way things were – which up in Julian was never normal to begin with.  Julian’s 4th of July Parade will be back this year kicking off at Noon on Sunday which is another sign things are getting back to “normal”.

We are going to be open every day over this 4th of July holiday weekend.  Here are our hours:

Friday – 1 pm to 7 pm
Saturday – 11 am to 7 pm
Sunday – 11 am to 5 pm
Monday – Noon to 6 pm

We will then resume our normal 7 day a week hours on Tuesday.  We are open 1-6 pm during the week, 7 pm on Fridays and then 11 am to 7 pm Saturday and 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday.

The Beer

We have a great line up of hoppy beers right now that includes the new Cheat Sheet IPA.  This 6.8% alcohol IPA was made with “cheater” hops – Citra, Simcoe, Strata and Mosaic.  It is light colored and full of tropical fruit flavors with hints of Guava, Mango and Passion Fruit.  If you can’t join us in the mountains, look for this beer on tap at O’Brien’s in Kearny Mesa this weekend.

Our popular Apple Pie Ale is back on tap and we have a sour cider from Julian Cider Works flowing as well.  For you spicy beer fans we will have a keg of our Habanero Chinook IPA on tap thru Friday and then the Jalapeno Gold will return for the weekend on Saturday.

We will have Beer Cheese, Pickels, Beef Jerky and Chips for your snacking enjoyment.  As always, you are welcome to bring your own food to enjoy on the patio.

On the horizon we have a new lager coming out for the summer, a soccer inspired Pale Ale for the Gold Cup and a new single IPA based on our Hopster Douchebag Double IPA.

That is your Nickel Beer update for now.  We’ll see you soon for a great Julian Brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom

Nickel Beer Open For To Go Beer – Growlers and Gift Certificate Specials!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans,

So here we To Go Beer again.  In compliance with state and county orders, our tasting room will be open Thursday thru Sunday for To Go Beer, Merchandise and Gift Certificates.  We also will be running a Growler Give Away Special for the rest of the month and a special on Gift Certificates.  Oh, and we have lots of amazing beer on tap for you to enjoy!

December Specials

We will be doing weekly Growler Give Aways for the rest of December.  For any purchase over $20 you get an entry into the weekly drawing.  If you post about your purchase and tag @nickelbeerco at while you are at the tasting room, we will give you a second entry!  You can use the growler fill for your self or get it as a gift certificate for a special someone in your life.

And we will be running specials on Gift Certificates.  Any gift certificate purchase of $50 or more will be 10% off the entire month of December.  They make great stocking stuffers or you can just gift it to yourself – I am sure you deserve it.

Great Tap Line Up – Barrel Aged Goodness

We have a great line up of beer right now that includes several vintage and barrel aged beers.  We have both a 2017 keg and a Red Wine Barrel Aged version of our North Star Tripel.  The red wine barrel came from our neighbors at Blue Door Winery and it had the winery’s Petite Sirah in it.  There are really noticeable grape aromas and flavors and a distinct red wine barrel tannin/oak note in the finish.

For you dark beer fans we have our regular and Bourbon Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout.  This award winning stout packs quite a punch after aging in a Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel.  The dark roast notes of the stout intertwine beautifully with the barrel and spirits flavors.

And one of our more unique barrel aged offerings is a sour Red Wine Barrel Aged Cider collaboration with our friends from the now closed Julian Cider Works.  The cider has plenty of fresh apple acidity and bite with a nice balance of barrel notes that do not overpower it.

Normally these beers would not be available to go due to our limited quantity, but here is a silver lining of the shutdown for you – we can ONLY sell them To Go.

Of course we have many of our regular offerings like Jalapeno Gold, CC O’Neill’s Irish Red and Warrior Contribution.  And we still have lots of Wet Hop beer including the recently release Hop Country Estates Pale made with San Diego grown hops and the unique Nebula Red made with Cashmere hops from Michigan.

Down the Hill

While many of the locations we used to sell beer at have limited their operations we do have beer on tap available to go at a few places down the hill if you can’t make it up to Julian.  In La Mesa both West Coast Smoke and Tap House and Garden Kitchen carry our beer and both have great food.  O’Brien’s in Kearny Mesa also has our beer on tap – check them out for great beer themed holiday meal ideas.

That is your Nickel Beer news for now.  Thank you very much from all of us for the support during this difficult year.  We look forward to sharing a beer with you all again very soon.  Happy Holidays!  Cheers, Tom

Nickel Beer Now Open Every Day! Special Beers On Tap For Father’s Day!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

Our tasting room is now open every day of the week again! Here are the current hours:

Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: 2 – 6 pm
Tuesday: 3 – 6 pm
Friday: 12 – 7 pm
Saturday 11 am – 7 pm
Sunday 11 am – 6 pm

Right now we are planning to be open on July 3rd but closed on July 4th. We will be open normal hours on Sunday, July 5th. You can enjoy a pint on our spacious outdoor patio. Per California guidelines we ask that you wear a mask while walking around but you can take it off while seated and enjoying your beer.

This weekend we are tapping some special beers in honor of Father’s Day and we will have BBQ food at the brewery featuring pulled pork and mac n cheese starting around 1 or 1:30 until roughly 4 pm – feel free to call to see if they are set up yet – 760-765-2337.

To help celebrate Father’s Day we are tapping a couple of special beers. Today – Friday – we will be putting on our Darkside of the Moonlight Imperial Honey Porter. This massive, pitch black porter is 10.2% alcohol but is deceptively easy drinking. It is a collab with our friends at Moonlight Meadery back east and since we were brewing with honey guys we threw in 100 pounds of local dark amber Avocado Honey. The beer is not sweet but you get the honey aroma from it. This will be available for growler fills and enjoyment on site all weekend.

On Sunday the 21st we are tapping a keg of our cult favorite Whiskey Soaked Oak Chip Irish Red. We take charred oak chips and soak them in Scotch Whiskey for several weeks. These saturated oak chips then get added to our C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red to give it an almost barrel aged character with notes of oak tannin and vanilla. This is only a five gallon keg so enjoy it while you can!

That is your Nickel Beer News for now. A very Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads out there (especially Chuck Nickel – my incredible dad, without whom there would be no Nickel Beer Co.) We’ll see you soon for a great Julian Brewed Beer! Cheers, Tom

Nickel Beer is Pouring Again!

Hello Formerly Quarantined Beer Lovers!

After nine long weeks I am happy to announce that Nickel Beer will be opening today.  We will be open 2 – 8 pm on Friday, 12-6 pm on Saturday and Sunday and then 12-5 pm on Monday.  Per county guidelines, you will need to wear a mask and make a food purchase in order to have a pint at the brewery.  We will still be selling beer in 32 oz and 64 oz growlers and we have both 5 and 15 gallon kegs available to go.

New Beers

We do have some new beers on tap despite the shutdown.  We have both Banner Grade IPA and the hulked up version Bruce Banner Grade Double IPA on tap.  We brewed Gold Strike Kolsch with Julian Beer Company in honor of Julian’s 150th Anniversary.  The original brewery in Julian in 1888 was opened by German immigrant Frederick Meyerhoffer so we thought this light German-style ale would be an appropriate tribute.

And we have our new First Ryesponders, made with Amplified Ale Works with ingredient donations from Skagit Malt and Hops Bauer.  The beer is a Rye IPA brewed with Nelson and Vic Secret hops.  A portion of the proceeds will go to support retreat programs for First Responders and Health Care Workers at the Inner North Start PTSD Retreat Center here in Julian.

Down the Hill

As for our sister locations, O’Brien’s in Kearny Mesa will also be open this weekend – 11 am to 9 pm on Saturday and 11 am to 6 pm on Sunday and then also closed on Monday for Memorial.  We are still figuring out next week’s hours for there as well.   West Coast Smoke and Tap House in La Mesa will be opening for dine in tomorrow, on Saturday from 12-8 pm and then they will open the same hours on Sunday.  They too will be closed on Memorial Day.

Both O’Brien’s and West Coast have Nickel Beer available for growler fills with a food purchase as does Garden Kitchen in La Mesa.  Look for Banner Grade IPA at O’Brien’s and West Coast and our new First Ryesponders IPA at O’Brien’s and Garden Kitchen.

I would like to say a big thank you to all of the employees and to the folks who have been patronizing the brewery these last two months – your support means the world to us.  We are hopefully through the worst of this and I know that we all will act responsibly to ensure everyone’s safety.

We look forward to seeing you soon for a great Julian brewed beer!  Cheers, Tom

Vintage and Barrel Aged Beers this weekend at Nickel Beer Company!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

Happy New Year!  We have a great weekend of Julian brewed beers for you.  We are tapping some vintage and barrel aged beers for the holiday weekend – and we will be opening up early on Monday the 20th for MLK Day.  There are some new food options at the tasting room (yes, this means pickles!)   We have a Super potluck coming up in February and a special beer release on the 1st that honors the work Home Depot does for Veterans.  Read on for all of the delicious details….

Rare Beer Weekend

On Friday afternoon (the 17th) we will be tapping 3 beers from deep in our cellar – 2015 Kupfernickel Barleywine, 2015 Bourbon Barrel Aged Kupfernickel Barleywine and 2019 Rum Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout.  We recently did a full inventory of the cold box and decided to tap a few gems that we found along the way.  These beers will be very limited in quantity but as a special treat for this weekend, we will be offering 32 oz grumblers to-go of these three rare beers.  Get some while you can!

And for your snacking pleasure we are happy to announce that Nickel Pickels are back in stock at the brewery!  These spicy garlic dill pickels are made at O’Brien’s in Kearny Mesa and they have a one of a kind flavor.  If just eating pickles is not enough for you, we will also have our Pickel Weisse beer on tap which is made with 1 gallon of pickle brine in each keg!  We’ll also have Beer Cheese and Crackers available in addition to chips and beef jerky to munch on.

Blood, Sweat and the Super Bowl Potluck

On Saturday, February 1st we will be releasing Blood, Sweat and Orange IPA to honor the work that the Home Depot Foundation does for Veterans.  This past summer the Poway Home Depot led a team of nearly 100 volunteers to do work at the Inner North Star PTSD Retreat Center here in Julian.  The Center provides no cost retreats to female Veterans and First Responders suffering from PTSD (  The Home Depot Volunteers spent the day on a dozen different improvement projects on the grounds of the Retreat Center and this beer is our way of saying to thank you to them.  It is an IPA with local Blood Orange zest and juice added into it.  Join us on the first to enjoy this delicious beer and to say thank you to the men and women who helped donate their time for the benefit of our Veterans and First Responders.

The very next day we will be hosting a Super Bowl Potluck.  Super LIV kicks off at 3:30 and we will start the Potluck at 2 pm so that everyone can get a big plate of food before the game – and more importantly the good commercials – starts.  You don’t need to be a fan of the teams involved to have fun on this day.  We will be showing the NFL Playoff games this coming weekend on Sunday.

That is your Nickel beer news for now.  We are starting to do some more distribution down the hill now.  Look for Nickel Beer at places like Hamilton’s Machete Beer House, Garden Kitchen, Tiger Tiger, Rose’s Tasting Room, West Coast Smoke and Tap House, The High Dive, Blind Lady Ale House and O’Brien’s.  If you work at a bar and restaurant and would like to carry Nickel Beer on tap – please reply to this email and let us know!

Thank you for all of the support in 2019 and we look forward to serving you even more great beer in 2020!  Cheers, Tom

6th Anniversary Weekend Starts This Weekend!!!

Hello NickelBeer Fans!

It is hard to believe that it was six years that we brewed our very first batch of beer – which was Julian Pale Ale for the curious.  We are going to celebrate the entire week with specialty beers on tap and new releases.  We will be open regular hours every day except Thanksgiving when we will be closed.  The tasting room will be staying open an hour later on Wednesday the 27th until 9 pm.  We will then re-open at 11:30 am on Friday the 29th.  Read on to find out about line up of vintage and barrel aged beers….

Anniversary Beers

Today (Friday the 22nd) we will be releasing our 2019 North Star Tripel when we open.  This 9% alcohol Belgian-style beer was brewed with 100% Polaris hops and fermented with the Westmalle yeast strain.  It is light colored with a dry finish but a good body making it a fantastic food pairing beer.  It is my perfect Thanksgiving Day beer.

And then by tonight we will be adding an incredible line up of vintage and barrel aged beers.  We will be rolling out kegs of our 2014 Kupfernickel Rem Barrel Aged Barleywine, Respect My Aciditie Sour Ale and 2017 Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout.  The Rum Barrel Barleywine has a noticeable rum aroma and flavor with a velvety maltiness. For you sour fans, the Respect My Aciditie is the base sour beer we use to make our Sour Apple Pie Ale.  It has a light amber color with a very well balance sour punch.  And the 2017 Constantine’s is now more than two and a half years old.

I expect all of these beers to be on tap all weekend and through the holiday.  If any of these three specialty beers do run dry though we have more great specialty beers to back them up including Red Wine Barrel Aged North Star Tripel, Rum Barrel Aged Constantine’s Imperial Stout and our Darkside of the Moonlight Imperial Honey Porter.  Stay tuned to our Facebook page ( to find out when these get tapped.

Other News

We have a new batch of our Nebula Red T Shirts in stock – be sure to check them out when you are next in the tasting room.  We will have our Jalapeno Gold on tap along with a few of our wet hop IPAs made with locally grown hops from Star B Hop Ranch in Santa Ysabel.  And look for our collaboration with Colby Chandler from Ballast Point – Crystal Pier Double IPA.  This is the prototype beer that eventually became Dorado Double IPA.

It is supposed to rain on Thanksgiving Day and at the higher elevations there might be some snow around Mt. Laguna along Sunrise Highway.  Please be safe out there during the holiday weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving and we look forward to seeing you in Julian to celebrate six wonderful years of Nickel Beer with many more to come!  Cheers, Tom

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend and Charity Open Brew Day!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

We have lots of great brews to tell you including an opportunity to help a Veteran come brew a batch of beer at Nickel Beer.  We just tapped a new batch of our award winning Bruce Banner Grade Double IPA.  This beer is a hulked up version of our popular Banner Grade IPA brewed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops.  The DIPA version is 8% and packs a full hop punch.

Also new on tap right now is a keg of Habanero Grapefruit Volcan IPA.  This is a creation of our brewer Brian Scanlon and it is super tasty.  The grapefruit citrus flavors and aromas dominate the beer while the habaneros provide some nice background heat and flavor without overwhelming.  This is a must for all spicy beer fans.

St. Patrick’s Day

We will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a Potluck Party on Saturday, March 16th from 3-6 pm.  We will have our Stonewall Stout and C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red on tap along with a special Whiskey Soaked Oak Chip version of the Irish Red.  Look for the Filthy Paws Porter and Darkside of the Moonlight on tap for additional dark beers. over the weekend.

Down the hill we will have the C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red and Filthy Paws Porter on tap at O’Brien’s in Kearny Mesa.  You can also find our beers on tap at West Coast Smoke and Tap House in La Mesa.

Open Brew Day for Veterans

We are hosting a very special Open Brew Day at Nickel Beer on Saturday, April 27th for Veterans and Active Duty Military.

So how can you help?

We are asking people to “Sponsor a Vet” for the brew day.  This will give a Veteran or Active Duty Service Member the chance to come into the brewhouse for the day and help brew a batch of beer.  Nickel Beer will provide lunch and beer for the day along with the full brew day experience and each participant will get a growler of the finished beer to take home when it is ready.

All of the money raised from this Open Brew Day will be donated to the Inner North Star PTSD Retreat Center in Julian.  It provides no cost retreats to Veterans and First Responders suffering from PTSD.

So how do you sponsor a Vet?  For a $150 donation to the Inner North Star PTSD Retreat Center you can sponsor a Vet or Service Member that you know or the donation will be used to provide the opportunity to a Veteran in your honor.  For your donation you will receive 2 tickets to an exclusive Release Party to be held on Saturday, May 18th at the Inner North Star Retreat Center in Julian.  It will include light appetizers, a personal tour of the Retreat Center with a chance to learn about its programs for those with PTSD, a commemorative Warrior Contribution Beer T Shirt and of course the beer from our Open Brew Day.  You will also get a growler of the beer to take home!

If you would like to Sponsor a Vet, please go to: to donate.  You will be contacted via email to find out who you will be sponsoring by your donation or if you would like us to choose someone in your honor.

If you are a Veteran or an Active Duty Service Member, you can sign up for the Open Brew Day for $100 which will include a ticket to the public Release Party at Nickel Beer on Saturday, May 18th from 1 to 3 pm, a commemorative Warrior Contribution T Shirt and a growler of the finished beer to take home.  You can use the same link above to make the $100 donation.

Spaces are limited so please help us raise money for those who need and deserve our support. Donations of any amount are welcome and are fully tax-deductible.  You can donate and find out more about the PTSD Retreat Center at:  Thank you for your generosity!

On Tap Soon

We have some great brews in the fermenters right now.  A new batch of our Tahoma IPA was just transferred and it will be on tap early next week.  This beer is made with Tahoma hops that have a unique melon flavor and aroma.

We brewed another batch of our collaboration with Alpine Beer Co – 79 to Alpine.  This strong IPA was brewed with the new Strata hops – similar to Mosaic – for the pub’s 25th Anniversary and released from Alpine back in January.  We liked it so much that just had to brew more of it.  Look for it on tap in 2 weeks.

And we have a batch of Pale Ale brewed with our friend Eric March that used 100% Southern Hemisphere hops including Southern Cross, African Queen and Southern Passion.  This beer just went into the fermenter and I am really excited to see how it comes out.

That is your Nickel Beer News for now.  Thank you for your support of our Military Service Members!  We’ll see you soon for a great Julian – and Veteran – brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom

Wooden Nickel Weekend with Barrel Aged Beers!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

It is going to be a fun weekend at the brewery.  We are hosting our first Wooden Nickel Weekend featuring 4 barrel aged beers going on tap today!  We will have our Cutwater Rum Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout, Blue Door Winery Red Wine Barrel Aged North Star Tripel, Sour Apple Pie Ale and for the first time ever at the tasting room, Respect My Aciditie (which is the base barrel aged sour beer we use to make the Sour Apple Pie Ale).

And as a special bonus, we will tapping a keg of Cutwater Single Malt Whiskey Barrel Aged Darkside of the Moonlight Avocado Honey Imperial Porter on Saturday.  These beers will be on tap all weekend and due to limited quantities we will not be selling any of these to-go.

Beer Down the Hill

We will be bringing some of these beers down the hill to tap at O’Brien’s Pub in San Diego.  On Saturday the 23rd we will be tapping the Rum Barrel Imperial Stout, Sour Apple Pie, Red Wine Barrel Tripel and Single Malt Imperial Porter along with Resilience IPA – part of the Sierra Nevada Brewing fundraising campaign for victims of the Camp Fire.  All of these beers will be on tap when the pub opens at 11 am and be on tap throughout the weekend.

A little closer to Julian we will be doing an event at Reds, Whites and Brews in Ramona on Saturday the 23rd as well.  We will have 4 beers on tap including our Apple Pie Ale and one of our IPAs.  After this we should regularly have a beer on tap there.

We brewed the West Coast Smoke and Tap House 7th Anniversary beer – Larry’s Place IPA.  We will be tapping that along with Resilience IPA and one of our barrel aged beers over President’s Day weekend starting on Friday the 15th at the pub in La Mesa.  Check out our Facebook page for the final beer list next week.

Helping Those Who Deserve It

I have had the honor to become involved with a charity up here in Julian, the Inner North Star PTSD Retreat Center.  It helps Veterans and First Responders with PTSD and also trains these people to be able to go out and help others who are suffering.  There are nearly 2 dozen Veteran suicides every day.  We all have an obligation to help take care of those who have answered the call to help protect us.

The Retreat Center has partnered up with Amazon as a registered charity for the program (the retreat center is a 501c3).  If you would like to help support the efforts to help those with PTSD with no cost to you, please consider making the Inner North Star PTSD Retreat Center your chosen charity on  It changes nothing about your Amazon account, just the web address you shop at.  And then Amazon automatically donates .5% of every purchase you make – they have donated over $105,000,000 to charities across the county.

If you would like to find out more about the Inner North Star PTSD Retreat Center and its mission or to make a donation please visit the website at: and please like and follow the Facebook page at: Thank you for your consideration and support.

Other News

The brewery will be open regular hours over the President’s Day weekend and we will be opening early on Monday the 18th at Noon for the holiday.

We have been busy brewing collaboration beers this year.  You can find our Dubbel on the Rocks collab with Lost Abbey, Rouleur and Gravity Heights on tap at Gravity Heights.  Next month Bitter Brothers will be releasing the 2019 O Brother Where Tart Thou.  And we just brewed a German Lager with our friends at Viewpoint Brewing in Del Mar.  We have collabs with Kern River, Second Chance, Iron Fire and Rip Current coming up in the next few weeks.

Nickel Beer will again be participating in the Taste of Julian on Saturday, May 18th from 1-5 pm.  This is a self guided tour of Julian’s eating and drinking establishments that is a true taste of the back country.  Get all of the details and ticket info at:

That is your Nickel Beer news for now.  If you are coming up this weekend, be careful –  they are forecasting snow for the Mt. Laguna area.  We’ll see you soon for a great Julian brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom

San Diego Beer Week with Nickel Beer!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

The biggest beer celebration of the year starts today – San Diego Beer Week.  We will have beer around town over the 10 days with several new releases and collaborations coming out.  And right after Beer Week we celebrate 5 years of making great beer in Julian!  It is hard to believe that it has already been five years – thank you so much for all of the support since 2013!

Beer Week Events

We have our first Beer Week event tonight – Friday the 2nd – at O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa.  Nickel Beer will be part of Back Country Beer Night along with Alpine and Burning Beard.  We will be pouring 5 beers including the new batch of Hopster Douchebag Double IPA, All About the Soft Side Winter IPA (collaboration with Pat Korn of the soon to be opened My Yard Life brewpub in San Marcos), Thunderkick IPA (pine needle IPA collab with Thunderhawk Alements), Das Brut Belgian-style Golden Brut (collab with Fall Brewing Co.) and Wettanomyces (wet hopped Brett ale with Cellar 3).  Lots of new beers to try – some that are not even on tap in the tasting room yet!On Saturday the 3rd we will again have beer on tap at O’Brien’s for the pub’s Muther Pucker Sour Weekend.  We will be pouring Respect My Aciditie, a 6% amber sour that is the base sour beer that we use to blend the Sour Apple Pie Ale.  We don’t often release just the sour beer so enjoy this one while you can.  I expect it to be on tap Saturday and Sunday at O’Brien’s.

Friday the 9th we will have beer on tap at both O’Brien’s and West Coast Smoke and Tap House (FKA West Coast BBQ and Brew).  At O’Brien’s we will have Cutwater Rum Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout – say that even 2 times fast!  Our award winning Imperial Stout has been again all year in a Cutwater Rum barrel and it has developed some amazing flavors.

Over at West Coast we will be part of a Thunderhawk Alements night featuring the Thunderkick IPA collab and Pine and Bine, a wet hop beer that also was made with pine needles.

Beer Week Fests

Our brewer Brian will be pouring the Hopster Douchebag DIPA and Thunderkick IPA at the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival at the Guild Booth on Saturday the 3rd.  Next weekend we will be pouring at Collabopalooza in North Park.  Look for the new Commonwealth IPA – A British inspired IPA brewed with Karl Strauss and South Park using British and New Zealand hops, All About the Soft Side Winter IPA, Das Brut and Thunderkick.  There should also be a keg of our Burning Beard collab Room 101 on tap at the Beard booth.

And then to close out Beer Week we will be pouring at the Brewers Guild Beer Garden at the Torrey Pines Lodge.  We will be pairing the Stay Inland Brown with food from Stone Liberty Station.  For more details on this incredible event, check out:

And since the last day of Beer Week is Veteran’s Day we will be offering $1 off any pint to all current and former military as our way to say THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!  There is even a pamphlet at the Julian Town Hall that lists all of the businesses in town that offer a military discount.  You can also find the information at the Visit Julian website at:

Turning 5!

As if that is not excitement for the month, we will be celebrating our 5th Anniversary the weekend of November 16th, 17th and 18th.  We will have an insane line up of beer on tap for the weekend including the tasting room release of the Rum Barrel Constantines, our annual Belgian-style Tripel release and of course the Hopster Douchebag.  Make plans to stop by anytime over the weekend and toast to five great years and many more to come!  Thank you again for all of the support.

As we look ahead, the tasting room will be CLOSED on Thanksgiving day but we will be open regular hours every other day this month.

In addition to the Thunderkick IPA, we have the new Pride of Chops IPA on tap.  This is a recipe from our friends at Beachwood Brewing that was created for O’Brien’s 20th Anniversary.  It is brewed with Nelson, Mosaic and Amarillo hops.  It has massive citrus notes with hints of pineapple.  We still have a number of wet hop beers on tap as well including the delicious Hook in Mouth Chinook IPA.  Look for a new batch of Apple Pie Ale to be on tap by the middle of the month.

I look forward to seeing you during San Diego Beer Week for a great Julian brewed beer!  Cheers, Tom

Wet Hop Beers, Labor Day and Grape Stomp Fest!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

It is my favorite time of year in the brewing calendar – hop harvest.  We have been busy brewing with locally grown hops all picked the same day we make beer with them.  These fresh, or wet hops, create a unique flavor in the beer and certainly hops grown here in San Diego county are going to be different than those grown in the Pacific Northwest where most commercial hops are grown.  Hops are only harvested once a year so be sure to enjoy these beers while you can.  In addition I have news on other new beers, the annual Grape Stomp Festival and a series of blind Beer and Wine tasting events happening in Julian.  Read on for all of the frothy details….

Wet Hop Beers

As of today we have two wet hop beers on tap – Ted Nugget wet hop Kolsch and Golden Nugget wet hop IPA.  Both were brewed with Nugget hops from the Star B Hop and Bison Ranch in Santa Ysabel.  The Ted Nugget Kolsch is a light colored 4.6% alcohol beer that is a perfect warm weather thirst quencher.  It was brewed with only fresh picked Nugget hops used just after the boil for flavor, aroma and bitterness.  The beer has a clean finish with a light malt sweetness.

The Golden Nugget IPA is full of earthy and lightly spicy hop flavors.  It is 6% alcohol with medium bitterness from the use of Nugget pellet hops added at the beginning of the boil.  Though both of these beers use the same local Nugget hops the flavors could not be more night and day different.

We have 3 more wet hop beers in the fermenters right now with two more being brewed in the next few days.  Look for our next wet hop beer – My Way Wet Hop IPA – to be on tap by Monday, August 27th.  Coming soon we will have Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA, Star B Wet Hop Pale, a wet hop brown ale collaboration with South Park Brewing and Nebula Red Wet Hop Red IPA brewed in collaboration with local band Nebula Drag (check them out at:

In addition to lots of wet hop beers happening in Julian, we have been busy doing collaborations around town as well.  We have made a Wet Hop Session IPA with Viewpoint Brewing (on tap now), an IPA with fresh picked hops grown in Mexico with Agua Mala in Ensenada, a Wet Hop IPA collaboration with Newtopia Cyder, a Brut Style Wet Hop IPA with Bitter Brothers and a Wet Hop IPA with fresh pine needles made at Thunderhawk Alements.

We will have new Wet Hop beers coming on tap through the end of September and I expect to have at least a few wet hop beers to be on tap through the end of the year.  In all, we should make 17 different wet hop beers during the local hop harvest.

Other New Beers

In addition to great wet hop beers we have some fantastic beers on tap.  Our collaboration with Moonlight Meadery, Darkside of the Moonlight Imperial Honey Porter, is pouring on nitrogen right now.  This 10.3% alcohol pitch black beer used more than 100 pounds of local Avocado honey and drinks way too smooth for a beer this strong.

These other fine beers are also pouring in our Julian tasting room.  We just tapped the new batch of Dime Piece, our cider/beer hybrid collaboration with Newtopia Cyder.  We have the last keg of Childhood’s End Double IPA pouring right now, our collaboration made at Stereo Brewing.  Continuing with the collaborative theme we brewed Das Brut Belgian-style Golden Ale with our friends at Fall Brewing.  This beer is bone dry and well hopped with Hull Melon and Mosaic hops.  And finally we have Lion’s Blood Triple IPA made for the Beer to the Rescue campaign to benefit the Southern California Lupus Foundation with my friend and local beer writer Brandon Hernandez.  To find out more about this great campaign or to donate, please visit:

Grape Stomp Fest and Labor Day Weekend

We will be pouring 3 of our beers at the annual Grape Stomp Wine Festival at Menghini Winery on Saturday, September 1st.  The event will take place from 11 am to 6 pm and you can find ticket info and more information at:

The tasting room will be open additional hours on Monday, September 3rd for the Labor Day holiday.  The tasting room will be open from Noon to 8 pm on the 3rd.  And expect us to stay open later on Sunday the 2nd as well.

I am working on a potential food vendor for the holiday weekend.  Please check our Facebook page for updates on possible food options on Saturday and Sunday next weekend.  You can find that here:

Beer and Wine Tasting Events

Nickel Beer is participating in a series of blind Beer and Wine Tasting Competitions at the Inner North Star Retreat Center in Julian.  On Saturday, September 8th there will be a blind tasting of 4 Nickel beers anytime from 2-5 pm at the Retreat Center.  During that time I will be giving short talks on how to taste and judge beers.  There will be two additional weekends of blind tasting competition, one for white and one for red wines from Volcan Mountain Winery and Menghini Winery in October and November.  Grab your friends and enjoy a fun afternoon in a beautiful mountain top setting testing your tasting skills.

The cost for the tasting competition is $25 per event and there are lots of great prizes including a hosted party at Inner North Star’s one of a kind 1920’s themed Champagne Room, growlers and bottles of wine and gift certificates for the participating wineries and Nickel Beer.  The goal is to correctly guess the style or varietal of each beer/wine, write 3 flavor descriptors and correctly guess what beer/wine you are drinking from each location.  There will be light snacks to go along with the blind tasting.

For tickets and more information on the tastings, please visit Inner North Star’s website at:

That is your Nickel Beer news for now.  You will be able to taste a number of our wet hop beers in San Diego at the San Diego Wet Hop Beer Festival at O’Brien’s Pub from September 13th-16th.  I will have more information on that in the next email.  In the meantime, we’ll see you soon for a great Julian brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom