Category Archives: Nickel Beer News

Wet Hop Beers at Hamilton’s and West Coast BBQ Tonight!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

Our hard brewing work in August is paying off as we now have 10 wet hop beers on tap in the tasting room all made with San Diego grown hops.  And the good news for you is that you don’t have to be in Julian this weekend to enjoy them.  New this week in the tasting room is the Devil’s Kashmir, a wet hop version of our Devil’s Copper ale with Star B grown Cashmere hops.  The wet hops add a fruity complexity to this red rye ale.

Back by popular demand, our local Cajun C.C. will be cooking up Shrimp Boil and Jambalaya on Saturday from 1-5 pm at the brewery.  And in non-wet hop beer news, we have a keg of our Stonewall Stout aged for 3 months in a Bourbon Barrel on tap which is tasting delicious.

Down the Hill

Tonight at 5 pm we will be tapping 9 wet hop beers plus a cask of Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA at Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park.  There will even be a keg of our Room 101 collaboration beer with Burning Beard and Star B.  This beer was just released and I have not even tried it yet so I am very excited to taste it tonight at the event.  It is based on a Kolsch-style recipe and brewed with wet Neo Mexicanus hops from Star B.  Burning Beard owner/brewer Jeff Wiederkehr wrote a really funny blog about how the collab came together – you can read it here:  The name is a reference to the original Matrix movie since we used Neo Mexicanus hops in the brew.
Here is the tap line up for the event at Hamilton’s:

Standing Eagle Wet Hop IPA – 6% abv – with Star B Cascade

Hook in Mouth Chinook Wet Hop IPA – 6% abv – with Star B Chinook

My Way Wet Hop IPA – 6% abv – with Nopalito and Star B Cascade and Chinook

Wet Hop Table Beer – 3.6% abv – collab with Benchmark and South Park made with Star B Glacier, Mt Hood, Nugget, Magnum and Sterling

Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA – 8% abv – Nopalito and Star B Columbus

Buffalo Paw Wet Hop Brown – 3.7% abv – collab with Monkey Paw/South Park made with Star B Glacier, Nugget and Neo Mexicanus

Star B Wet Hop Pale – 5.1% abv – with Star B Crystal, Cascade, Chinook and Southern Brewer

Fresh Mountain Crystal – 6% abv – with Star B Crsytal

Golden Nugget Wet Hop IPA – 6.2% abv – with Star B Nugget

CASK – Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA with Star B Columbus in the Cask

Burning Beard/Nickel Room 101 with Star B Neo Mexicanus

This will be the largest gathering of our wet hop beers outside of the tasting room.

Over at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa we will have My Way Wet Hop IPA, Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA and Buffalo Paw Wet Hop Brown Ale on tap tonight.  The My Way and Green Truck are already flowing and the Buffalo Paw Brown will be tapped tonight to pair up with their Smoked Prime Rib dinner special.  Tomorrow night West Coast will be adding Golden Nugget Wet Hop IPA to the taps.

And if that was not enough happening this weekend, we will be pouring 3 beers plus our collaboration with Burning Beard at a beer dinner at O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa.  There were still a few tickets left as of yesterday for the dinner.  You can call the pub at 858-715-1745 to check on availability.

Looking Ahead

We still have 2 more wet hop beers in the fermenters – Ninja Tune Wet Hop IPA (based on our Ninja Boy IPA recipe) and The Last Star B Fighter Wet Hop IPA which is a mix from the last day of the hop harvest at Star B Ranch.

We will have more collaboration beers coming out in the next few weeks.  We just brewed Triple Mosaic IPA at Karl Strauss yesterday.  Our Ironfire collaboration that was brewed last year and barrel aged will be released in October under the name All. Oak. Everything.  It was barrel fermented, barrel aged and even the brewing water we used was soaked in barrels.  And for San Diego Beer Week we will have a Barrel Aged Blend with Brettanomyces and Star B Wet Hops coming out called WETtonmomyces.  Finally, December will see the release of our Belgian Barleywine brewed earlier this month at Fieldwork in Berkeley.  If that seems like I have been busy doing collaborations it is because I have been.

If you do come to Julian this weekend we will have beers on tap at the Apple Days Festival happening Saturday and Sunday at Menghini Winery.

That is your Nickel Beer news for now.  We’ll see you soon for a great San Diego hopped beer.  Cheers, Tom

Sour Apple, Tom & Perry, Ninja Boy IPA and Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout This Weekend!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

I had to send out a quick email to update you on some fantastic specialty beers that will be hitting our taps this weekend.

When we open today at 11:30 am we will have kegs of Tom and Perry, Sour Apple Pie Ale, Ninja Boy IPA and Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout all on tap!  I expect all of these beers to be on tap through the long holiday weekend.

Tom and Perry is our collaboration with Julian Cider Works featuring pears grown on the brewery property.  It is a blend of Cider from our pears, local Golden Delicious apples and Mead made from high desert honey.  It is utterly delicious and dangerously drinkable despite being 10% alcohol.

Sour Apple Pie Ale is a blend of our regular Apple Pie Ale  with a one year barrel aged sour ale.  I have two sour barrels to blend into this year’s batches of Apple Pie Ale so we will be making much more of this beer in the fall and I hope to have a release weekend where we have it available to-go.  For now though, you will have to enjoy it in the tasting room.

Ninja Boy is our newest IPA brewed for the re-launch of the Ninja Boy comic book series at Comic-Con.  The beer is brewed with Flaked Rice and it is hopped with Sorachi Ace, Summit and Ekuanot hops.  The beer is very light in color with a dry finish and a unique spicy, citrus, herbal hop character.  It is the perfect warm weather IPA and it clocks in at a very drinkable 6.8% alcohol.

And that brings us to the big bad boy at the end of the list – Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout.  This massive stout was aged in the Heaven Hill barrels for over 6 months and picked up lots of big wood and Bourbon notes.  We blended it back with some non-barrel aged beer to create a stout that is perfectly nuanced with barrel aged flavors.  I do have a keg of this that will be served on nitrogen later this year.

Coming up next weekend we will be debuting our first ever Session IPA.  The beer is a collaboration with Kelsey McNair of North Park Beer Company.  We brewed a Double IPA together at North Park and I expect to have that on by Friday the 14th.  We will be doing a beer dinner at North Park Beer Company on Tuesday the 11th featuring both collaborations and 7 other Nickel Beers including Volcan IPA, Stonewall Stout and Pickel Weisse.  For details and tickets, please visit:

Holiday Weekend Hours

We will be CLOSED on Tuesday, July 4th but open extended hours on Monday, July 3rd.  Here are our hours for the long weekend:

Friday, 6/30 – 11:30 am to 8:30 pm
Saturday, 7/1 – 11 am to 8:30 pm
Sunday, 7/2 – 11 am to at least 7:30 pm and probably a little bit later
Monday, 7/3 – Noon to 7:30 pm
Tuesday, 7/4 – Closed
Wednesday, 7/5 – 2 pm to 7:30 pm

And though we will be closed on the 4th, we will have beer on tap at the American Legion Deep Pit BBQ from Noon to 4 pm after the 4th of July Parade.  The event is open to everyone, family friendly and will also feature live music.  The American Legion is right in town on Washington Street just north of the 4 way stop sign on Main Street.

That is your Nickel Beer News for now.  Have a fun and safe 4th of July!  We’ll see you soon for a tasty Julian brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom

A Trio of Double IPAs This Weekend!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

What better way to celebrate a three day weekend than with a massive amount of hops?  We will have THREE Double IPAs on tap starting Friday including the new Fix It and Fugheddabouditt, a Double IPA version of the popular Fix It IPA brewed with Amarillo, Crystal and Simcoe hops (thanks to our Jersey born bartender Alli at O’Brien’s for the proper spelling!).  We’ll also have Hops to the Rescue, our charity beer for the Southern California Lupus Foundation and our last keg of Blue Truck, our 100% Columbus hopped DIPA.  All three beers will be on tap all weekend and available for growler fills.

And if that wasn’t enough hops for you, we will have a fantastic selection of IPAs as well including the new Tahoma IPA, Chinook IPA, Volcan IPA, Grapefruit Bighorn IPA and Banner Grade IPA.  For those into something less hoppy, we will still have a full range of beers including C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red, Stonewall Stout and Tripp’s Tripel.  Jalapeno Gold will also be back on tap for this weekend.

We will be opening at our regular time on Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and then opening early on Monday at Noon for the holiday.  We’ll be open until at least 8:30 pm Friday and Saturday and we likely will be open a little later than our normal 7:30 pm on Sunday.

Food Delivery

The deli at Jack’s Grocery is now delivering food to Nickel Beer!  They have well made sandwiches – including a nice Philly Cheesesteak – along with an eclectic mix of other items including pizza by the slice and burritos.  You can get your meal delivered from 11:30 am to 3 pm on Friday and from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.  They will also be delivering from 12-3 pm on Monday for Memorial Day.  You can pay with cash or they can take a credit card over the phone when you order.  Just ask the bartender for the menu.

Looking Ahead

We will be doing one more Beer to the Rescue event for the Southern California Lupus Foundation on Thursday, June 1st at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa.  Our Hops to the Rescue Double IPA will be on tap alongside Banner Grade IPA and Tahoma IPA.  This is the last of a very full schedule of Beer to the Rescue events.  You can see the full event list here:

Next weekend Tom and Perry returns to the tap line up.  This is our collaboration with Julian Cider Works that features pear cider made from the pears grown at the brewery.  This 2016 harvest version clocks in at 10% alcohol so we are only serving it in 5 or 9 oz glasses.  Look for it on tap by Friday, June 2nd.

And in the very near future, Weekender Wheat will be back on tap.  Our annual summer Hefeweizen is always refreshing in these long, warmer days.  I expect it to be on tap no later than June 9th.

That is your Nickel Beer news for now.  We’ll see you soon for a tasty Julian brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom

New IPA and Double IPA on Tap This Weekend!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

I have some new beers and upcoming events to tell you about including two new beers on tap this weekend and a new collaboration on tap in the tasting room next weekend.  Tonight we have our Beer Dinner at Jeremy’s on the Hill at 6:45 pm.  Since it is Cinco de Mayo the entire menu is inspired by the cuisine of Mexico.  We will be pouring six beers including Jalapeno Gold, Take A Hike, Blue Truck Double IPA, Grapefruit Bighorn IPA, Irish Red and Tripp’s Tripel.  To make a reservation, please call Jeremy’s at 760-765-1587.

This weekend we have two new hoppy beers on tap.  The first is Hops to the Rescue Double IPA.  This beer was brewed as part of the Beer to the Rescue Campaign run by local beer writer Brandon Hernandez to benefit the Southern California Lupus Foundation.  Brandon and I collaborated on the Lion’s Blood Triple IPA last year and we decided to re-make the recipe into a much more drinkable 8% alcohol Double IPA.  The beer uses the same hops and grain ratios as the Lion’s Blood Triple IPA, just with the alcohol toned down.  The beer is full of hop flavor and aroma and finishes with a kiss of malt sweetness – to me it really does taste like the Lion’s Blood, just without the over the top alcohol.

The beer is on tap in the tasting room right now and we will be a few events with it as part of Beer to the Rescue.  Look for it at O’Brien’s on Thursday, May 18th and at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa on Thursday, June 1st.  If you would like to see a complete list of all of the Beer to the Rescue events, check out:

Also new this weekend is the Banner Grade IPA.  This IPA was brewed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops and clocks in at 6.9% alcohol.  It will go on tap when we open today at 11:30 am.  The beer is light colored and dominated by hop flavor and aroma with solid bitterness.  These two hops play very well with each with the punch of Simcoe providing a nice base and the more fruity Mosaic really coming through in the aroma.

While I am talking about our beer line up, Devil’s Copper took a Bronze Medal at the San Diego International Beer Festival this past week.  This beer uses both malted rye and crystal rye malt to create a unique, peppery flavor balance with caramel malt and Centennial hop flavors.  The Devil’s Copper is one of our year round beers and you will be able to enjoy it at the upcoming Julian Dance in June featuring the band Nancarrow.  The event is put on by the Sons of the American Legion and all money raised goes back into the Julian community.  For more details on the bands and ticket info, please visit:

And in case you missed it, the Grapefruit Bighorn IPA was named West Coaster’s Beer of the Week two weeks ago.  You can read the write up here:  We use locally grown grapefruit from Borrego and then zest and juice them into the beer.  The beer is on tap now and available for growler purchases.

We will have beer on tap in Ramona this Saturday, May 6th.  The Chamber of Commerce is organizing a Motorcycle Poker Run that finishes off with a beer garden featuring live music and BBQ.  You don’t have to go on the ride to get inside the beer garden, which opens at 1 pm.  We’ll have Back Country Gold and Take A Hike on tap alongside other east county/back country breweries.  For more info check out:

Anza Borrego Foundation Fundraiser

We are hosting a special 50th Anniversary edition of Hikes and Hops with the Anza Borrego Foundation – for whom the Bighorn IPA was created.  There are two components to the event, a hike in the Laguna Mountains followed by a reception at Nickel Beer.  Here is the write up from the ABF:

10 a.m.-2 p.m. Hike with us
3 p.m.-5 p.m. Hop with us

Enjoy a 5-mile, moderately strenuous hike with fellow Anza-Borrego enthusiasts at one of ABDSP’s higher elevations- Lucky 5 Ranch! Afterward, we will regroup at Nickel Beer Co. in Julian for a taste of our 50th Anniversary Bighorn IPA and a special Borrego Grapefruit IPA.

Don’t fancy an IPA? Don’t worry- there are plenty of others to choose from. Fill your belly with some hearty snacks and hang out on the outdoor patio with your hiking buds while you enjoy your suds!

Registration includes two 9oz pours, delicious snacks, a 50th-anniversary patch and tote bag, and one chance to win our limited edition vintage-inspired Park posters.
So join us on this hopped up Hikes and Hopes to help celebrate 50 years of supporting the Park we all love!

To register for the event, please go to:

Looking Ahead

Next weekend we will tap a keg of our collaboration with Karl Strauss – Double Mosaic IPA.  This is a stronger version of the brewery’s amazing Mosaic Session IPA.  Our version follows the Mosaic recipe but cranks it up to 7.5% alcohol and increases the bitterness accordingly.  I could not be happier with the way this beer turned out.  It is on tap at the downtown Karl Strauss for sure and you might be able to find it at other locations around town.  We will be tapping a keg in the tasting room next Friday, May 12th that will be on all weekend.  You will also be able to find the beer at O’Brien’s and next Thursday, May 11th it will be on tap at West Coast Barbecue and Brew.

At the end of the month we will have a double version of the Fix It IPA coming on tap in time for Memorial Day weekend – it will be called Fix It and Fugheddaboudditt (thanks to Alli for the authentic Jersey spelling).  We are working on having a food vendor for Memorial Day weekend as well and I will certainly post up all updates on our Facebook page.  The brewery will be opening early on Monday, May 29th at Noon for the holiday.

Finally, our summer Hefeweizen, Weekender Wheat, will be returning in early June.  That is your Nickel Beer news for now.  We’ll see you soon for a great Julian brewed beer.  Cheers, Tom

New Double IPA, Grapefruit IPA and Stay Near the Brewery!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

Just a quick update from your favorite mountain brewery.  We have a new Double IPA on tap for this weekend – Blue Truck.  This is the same recipe as our Green Truck Wet Hop Double IPA just brewed with regular Columbus hops instead.  It is 8.5% alcohol and there is really nothing subtle or delicate about this beer.  It hits your face with a sledgehammer of hops and continues to do so until your glass is empty.  If you are looking for carefully balanced and nuanced flavors, this beer is not for you.

Also new for this weekend is the Grapefruit Chinook IPA.  Once again we zested and squeezed fresh Borrego Grapefruit into a keg of IPA and the result is delicious.  I think Lindsey’s mom summed it up best when she called it a great breakfast beer.  The Chinook IPA is 7.2% alcohol and hopped 100% with Chinook hops so it already has a strong grapefruit flavor.  Enjoy these beers while you can as we will only be making them while the Borrego Grapefruits are available.

We are also pouring C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red on nitrogen right now and the Tripp’s Tripel is back on tap and tasting great after aging for a few months.

Speaking of Borrego, there have been tons of people going out to the desert to look at the wildflowers.  They are very impressive but many of the cactus are not yet in full bloom and with our cooler weather expected over the next week or so, I think the flowers will be around for a while.  My advice if you go – go very early or head out towards the end of the day enjoy dusk in the desert.  Around the Julian the Daffodils are still blooming and the Lilacs are just starting to bloom as well.  On the drive up either the 78 or the 8/79 you will see lots of blue and purple Ceanothus on the side of the road.

We’ll NCAA Basketball games all throughout the weekend including games from the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight.  The Final Four games will be next Saturday, April 1st and we will be staying open for the Championship game on Monday the 3rd.

Stay by the Brewery

There is a newly refurbished apartment for rent directly across the street from the brewery.  It has a kitchen so you can cook your own food and a front patio to enjoy the views on.  And the best part is Nickel Beer is only 200 feet away!  You can check out the listing here:  So if any of your friends have used the excuse that they don’t want to drive home after being at the brewery for not visiting Nickel Beer, now you can tell them to just spend the night across the street.

Beer Down the Hill and at the Hill

We will be bringing some of the Blue Truck Double IPA down the hill to O’Brien’s and West Coast Barbecue and Brew.  West Coast will be tapping it on Monday, April 3rd for the NCAA Basketball Championship.  I have been trying to keep at least one beer on tap at West Coast Barbecue all of the time.  As of last night, they were still pouring our C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red.

We will be doing a beer dinner with Jeremy’s on the Hill in Julian on Friday, May 5th and since it is Cinco de Mayo there will be a Mexican theme for the dinner.  I do not have all of the details yet, but when I do I will certainly post them and include them in the next email.  Jeremy’s always has our Take A Hike Pale Ale on tap and this week they are also taking kegs of Stonewall Stout and Devil’s Copper so look for more Nickel Beer there soon.

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

Sour Apple Pie Ale, Pickel Weisse and Triple IPA!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

I felt compelled to send out an email update after updating our beer lists for this weekend.  We will have a bunch of great seasonal beers on tap for you to enjoy.  I have news on where you can find our beers on tap outside of the tasting room.  And we have a beer dinner and several collaboration brews in the works to tell you about.  Our 5 plus inches of rain is past, Lake Cuyamaca is full and overflowing but sunny weather should remain for at least Friday and Saturday.  Here are all of the frothy details…

On Tap in Julian

It is all kind of an accident, but a happy, or perhaps hoppy, one.  I was moving kegs around in the cold box and a keg that I thought was our Tripp’s Tripel turned out to be the last surviving keg of our Lion’s Blood Triple IPA.  The beer is now 6 months old but it still has incredibly bright hop flavors and aromas, albeit, somewhat more balanced with the malt.  But what would you expect from an 11% alcohol beer?  I am really pleased with the way it is still tasting even if I never meant to really let it sit around this long.  The keg is on tap now and will be available while it lasts this weekend.  We will only be selling it in 5 and 9 oz glasses so it is not like it will disappear in a day.

In addition to the Lion’s Blood we have the new round of Sour Apple Pie Ale on tap.  This is a blend of 1 year old barrel aged sour ale with a fresh batch of our Apple Pie Ale.  The result is almost like a pleasantly sour apple candy.  I made several kegs so I am hoping to have this on for a little while.

The craziest beer I have ever made is pouring this weekend – Pickel Weisse.  This is a blend of Lindsey’s Spicy Garlic Dill Pickel juice with our Nickel Weisse Berliner Weisse.  Though only 4% alcohol, this blend packs a massive flavor punch.  It is also out of this world with Bloody Mary Mix, which we just happen to have at the brewery for your imbibing pleasure.

In addition to these rare treats, Stonewall Stout is currently pouring on our nitrogen tap.  Filthy Paws Porter and Hopster Douchebag Double IPA are both still pouring.  As always, we have our Jalapeno Gold which seems just a touch spicier than usual.  On the IPA front, the new Fix It IPA is on tap.  This 6.1% alcohol IPA is full of grapefruit and citrus flavors and aromas.  And there is one more keg of the popular Larry’s Place IPA.

Of course we also have our year round favorites – Volcan IPA, C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red, Devil’s Copper, Back Country Gold, Apple Pie and Take A Hike Extra Pale Ale.  The tasting room is also well stocked on Pickeled goods right now as well with Brussel Sprouts, Spicy Carrots and Spicy Green Beans in addition to the Spicy Garlic Dill Pickels (you get the feeling someone likes spicy?).

Look for Tripp’s Tripel, our Belgian-style Tripel to be on tap later this weekend as well – I would guess by Saturday evening.  When it goes on tap, I will post up on our Facebook page:

The annual Julian Daffodil Show takes place this Saturday and Sunday at Town Hall.  It is amazing how many different types of Daffodils there are.  This is always an impressive display of what mother nature has to offer.

On Tap Around Town

We have two full time tap accounts here in Julian.  Jeremy’s on the Hill always has our Take A Hike pale ale on tap and often will have a second offering as well.  They will be putting on the Irish Red closer to St. Patrick’s Day.  Wynola Pizza carries a rotating selection of our beers and right now has the Apple Pie Ale.

Down the hill I am endeavoring to keep at least one beer on tap at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa all the time.  I know the Apple Pie Ale is on tap there with the Nickel Weisse Berliner Weisse on deck.  I will be bringing down some Irish Red and Stonewall Stout for St. Patrick’s Day.

Monkey Paw currently has our collaboration Nickel Weisse on tap.  The brewing crew from the Paw came up to help brew the Berliner Weisse and decide on how best to turn it into Pickel beer.  Whether this was a good thing or bad thing, you will have to decide for yourself.

For you spicy beer fans, a rare keg of Deathtongue Scorpion Pepper IPA made its way down to O’Brien’s in Kearny Mesa.  It may only be a five gallon keg, but I don’t anticipate anyone ordering pitchers of it, so it should be on until at least early next week.  We will be pouring a cask of Irish Red with whiskey soaked oak chips at O’Brien’s on St. Patrick’s Day.

Coming Up

I have been working with lots of breweries around town on some collaboration beers.  We just brewed a beer with Council Brewing Company that will be a barrel fermented and aged golden sour ale.  In a few weeks we will have a keg of O Brother Where Tart Thou, a brew done with Bitter Brothers that is a Belgian-style Golden kettle soured ale dry hopped with Mosaic hops.  We will also be aging this beer in white wine barrels with stone fruit for release later this year.  Next month I will get to brew at San Diego’s oldest operating brewery, Karl Strauss Old Columbia Brewery.  I am partnering up with my friend and Karl Strauss head brewer Paul Segura to make a strong version of the brewery’s uber tasty Mosaic Pale.  Finally you can look forward to a Double IPA inspired by the flavors of the Lion’s Blood Triple IPA for the Beer to the Rescue program in May.

I will be making a keg of the C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red with whiskey soaked oak chips for the tasting room for St. Patrick’s Day.  There will also be some Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout to tap that weekend.

We will be working with Jeremy’s on the Hill to do another beer dinner at this fantastic local eatery on May 5th.  Yes, it is Cinco de Mayo and you can bet that we will have a Mexican inspired food menu with some Jalapeno Gold flowing.  Spicy food goes very well with hoppy beers so I imagine at least one IPA will be there plus the Stonewall Stout.  As we finalize the details – menu, cost, beer list, time, etc.. – I will definitely let you know.

Next weekend brings us the switch to Daylight Savings Time.  Spring evenings on the patio with the advent of longer days are probably my favorite time of the year.  The trees are starting to leaf out and bloom, the days are warm but the nights are still cool.  I never really understood Spring as a season growing up in San Diego but I sure learned to appreciate it while living on the east coast.  You can always find out what our crazy weather is doing up here at:  The desert flowers are supposed to magnificent this year and well worth a trip out to Borrego.  There is also a very cool hawk migration going on out in Borrego right with the Swainson’s Hawk.  You can find out about it at:

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

Super Bowl Potluck Party, BA Porter and Pickel Weisse!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

Just a quick update this week to tell you about some upcoming beers and our Super Bowl plans.  Every year we host a pot luck party for the big game.  We’ll start putting out snack items at 2 pm and the game kicks off at 3:30 pm.  Show up any time and bring something to share.  We’ll have both big screen TVs going and if you are not interested in the game the weather will be pleasant and I am sure that there will be plenty of folks playing washers.

On tap we will have our Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Filthy Paws Porter pouring on nitrogen.  It is smooth and creamy with a very nice whiskey flavor that does not over power the beer.  We will also see the return of Pickel Weisse on Friday.  This is our 4% Berliner Weisse wheat beer blended with pickel juice from our house made Spicy Garlic Dill Pickels.  To say the flavor is unique would be an understatement.  It is your beer chaser and pickel back all in one (and it is amazing with Bloody Mary mix which will have available).

Coming soon we will have the Fix It IPA on tap just before President’s Day weekend.  On Friday the 17th we will be tapping a keg of our Sour Apple Pie Ale.  This is a blend of barrel aged sour ale with our Apple Pie Ale.  I use the base beer for the Apple Pie Ale – with no apple juice added – to make the barrel aged sour.  It ages for one year in the barrel before blending.  This year we have two sour barrels going to blend into next season’s Apple Pie Ale.

The final weekend of the month we will tap a keg of Tom and Perry on Friday the 24th.  Tom and Perry is a collaborative effort with Julian Cider Works using pears from the brewery property blended with honey and local apples.  The last keg went so quickly that we will only be serving 5 and 9 oz glasses to try and help spread it out a little bit.  Don’t worry, we made much more this past year and the 2016 harvest batch should be ready in the near future.  Julian Cider Works already has some of their 2016 harvest ciders on tap and they are tasting great.

Down the Hill

I am bringing kegs of the Pickel Weisse down to Monkey Paw and Hamilton’s this week.  I am not sure when they will be on tap but as soon as I confirm that the kegs are pouring, I will post it on our Facebook page.

We will have another keg of Larry’s Place IPA at West Coast Barbecue on Saturday, February 11th for the pub’s 5th Anniversary celebration.  If you did not see the very nice write up on the beer and the man behind it by Brandon Hernandez, please check it out here:

And while I am on the subject of Nickel Beer in the media, you can see us on Savor San Diego at the KPBS website.  The show did a whole episode on Julian and visited us along with Julian Cider Works, Volcan Mountain Winery and Jeremy’s on the Hill.  Find the video at:

If you are looking to find a place to stay up here, or somewhere to eat or take a hike – check out the Julian Chamber of Commerce website.  It has lots of information on Julian and the surrounding area and the Chamber office has lists of campgrounds, hiking spots, biking trails, etc..  Find it at:

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

Nickel Beer 3rd Anniversary Weekend!

Hell Nickel Beer Fans!

It is hard to believe as I write this that the brewery is turning 3 years old this weekend.  To celebrate, we will be releasing Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout aged in a Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel.  We will have the regular version of our gold medal winning Imperial Stout plus a Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Version.  The non barrel aged version and Bourbon barrel version will both be tapped Friday afternoon and we will put the Rye Whiskey version on tap when we open at 11 am on Saturday.  All 3 versions will be on tap all weekend.

In addition to massive stouts, we will have a great line up of beer for the weekend including 4 IPAs – Golden Nugget Wet Hop IPA, Tahoma IPA, Volcan IPA and Pride of Chops IPA.  Right now, we have a Habanero version of the Golden Nugget IPA that has a near perfect level of heat and pepper flavor.  Our Pearfect Apple Pie Ale is tasting great and it is made with pears grown on the brewery property.  And the very popular Jalapeno Gold will be flowing all weekend.

The fall color is simply gorgeous right now, especially along Highway 79 by Lake Cuyamaca.  I highly recommend the drive.  If you don’t like the sharp turns, try the Sunrise Highway through Laguna.  The road is much straighter but also provides great bursts of color.  It almost feels like fall up here with temperatures in the mid to low 60s with cold nights.

Thanksgiving Week

We will be open on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday the 24th, from 4-7 pm.  Leading up to Thanksgiving we will be opening a little earlier at 1 pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the 21st-23rd.  Friday and Saturday we will open at 11 am.

Sunday the 27th we get a special treat for the Chargers v. Texans game at 10 am.  We will open at 9:45 am for the game and Buffalo Bill’s will be delivering breakfast for us!  We will place the order between 10:15 and 10:30 am and it should be at the brewery just after 11 am.  We will have the Ballast Point Bloody Mary Mix which goes great with the Jalapeno Gold.  There will also be some OJ on hand if you want to try a Cider Mimosa.  When we know the food menu I will post it up on our Facebook page at:  Expect a combination of breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos and classic breakfast items. I can not tell you that the game is going to be good, but the food and drink sure are.

Looking Ahead

On Friday, December 16th we will be pouring beer at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum’s Ales and Rails Ugly Christmas Sweater Beer Fest.  I grew up going to the Model Railroad Museum and we support this festival every year.  It will be from 6-9 pm and you can get more info and buy tickets at:

Look for our annual Tripp’s Tripel to hit the taps soon.  Other upcoming brews you can look forward to include Filthy Paws Porter, Fix It IPA and the return of the Hopster Douchebag Double IPA.

That is your Nickel beer update for now.  Thank you for all of your support during these past three years – Lindsey and I truly appreciate.  We will look forward to raising a glass with you soon to toast to many more great years – and beers – ahead.  Cheers, Tom

San Diego Beer Week with Nickel Beer!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

San Diego Beer Week begins tomorrow and I have all the details on what we will be tapping in the tasting room and where our beers will be around town during the next 10 days.  We have some fantastic specialty beers that will be coming out and for the first time we will be pouring at the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival downtown.  Jalapeno Gold is back on tap and features in our Beer Week kick off event and we just released the new batch of Tahoma IPA.  This batch uses Tahoma hops grown both in Yakima, Washington and in Goodrich, Michigan.  It has great flavors with hints of Meyer Lemon in the aroma.

SD Beer Week at the Brewery

Friday the 4th we will kick off the first weekend of Beer Week with Hoppy and Spicy.  We will have the very popular Jalapeno Gold and the aptly named Deathtongue IPA – which is made with fresh Scorpion Peppers chopped into the keg.  And yes, it is very spicy.

We will also have the new Tahoma IPA on tap alongside a formidable line up of hoppy ales including: Lion’s Blood Triple IPA, Golden Nugget Wet Hop IPA, Pride of Chops IPA and Volcan IPA.  All of the beers will be on tap all weekend long.  I also expect to have the My Way Wet Hop IPA on Friday but I am not sure that it will make it into the weekend.

Saturday the 5th look for the release of Sour Apple Pie Ale when we open at 11 am.  This beer is a blend of barrel aged sour ale with the regular Apple Pie Ale.  The result is a beer that combines the flavors of Apple Pie with a pleasant sour finish and flavor.  We have been barrel aging a sour version of the base beer we use for the Apple Pie Ale with no apple juice in it for nearly a year.  This will allow us to blend up much more of the Sour Apple Pie Ale than we were able to produce last year.  I am hoping to release versions of the Sour Apple Pie Ale blended with each different version of the regular Apple Pie Ale.  So keep an eye out for more coming soon.

Sunday the 6th we will tap the last keg of the Buffalo Paw Wet Hop Brown at the brewery.  This 4% alcohol brown was brewed with 100% locally grown hops all used within 24 hours of being picked.  It was a collaboration with Hamilton’s and Monkey Paw owner Scot Blair and proved to be very popular on draft.  Come enjoy the last keg with us.  We will have the Chargers v. Titans game on at 1 pm as well.

Saturday the 12th we celebrate Super Stout Saturday.  We will be pouring 3 versions of our award winning Stonewall Stout – draft, nitrogen and a Barrel Aged version with Tart Cherries.  We will have all three versions on tap when we open at 11 am on the 12th and I expect all 3 version to be pouring all weekend.  We will be showing the Chargers v. Dolphins game on Sunday at 1 pm.

You can find our brewery events listed on the San Diego Beer Week website under East County Events:  You will also find a number of great events with our friends at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa listed there.

SD Beer Week Down the Hill

Thursday the 3rd: We start a little early with a Beer Week preview party on Thursday, November 3rd at O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa.  The pub will be tapping a cask of Pride of Chops IPA made with Mosaic hops at 5 pm alongside a keg of Pride of Chops and the original Beachwood Pride of Chops for a 3 way hop extravaganza.

Friday the 4th we will be a part of Back Country Beer Night at O’Brien’s alongside Alpine Beer Co and Green Flash’s Cellar 3.  There should be 10 Alpine beers on tap with another 5 from Cellar 3.  We will have a great line up of beer including: Lion’s Blood Triple IPA, Pride of Chops IPA, Golden Nugget IPA, Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout, Sour Apple Pie Ale, Bagby/Nickel Lion’s Pride Old Ale (now almost a year old) and the release of our collaboration IPA with Kern River, Nick Rivers IPA.  I was at Kern River Brewing a few weeks back to brew the beer which used Amarillo and Tahoma hops.  All of the beers will be on tap by 5 pm on Friday the 4th and the pub will be open until 1 am.  Some of our beers will be on tap during the day as well including the Pride of Chops.

Saturday the 5th we will be pouring beers at the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival at the Broadway Pier.  The fest runs from 2-5 pm with an option for early entry at 1 pm.  You can find all of the relevant details and ticket info at:  We will be pouring a variety of beers during the fest including Barrel Aged Tart Cherry Stout, The Crab Apple Pie Ale, Lions Blood Triple IPA, Golden Nugget Wet Hop IPA and Tahoma IPA.  My assistant brewer Tony Helm will be there pouring beers – please stop by and say hello.

Also on Saturday we will be pouring a non-blended version of our Barrel Aged Sour Beer at O’Brien’s in Kearny Mesa for the pub’s Double Talkin’ Jive Mother Pucker sour event.  The non-blended version has plenty of pucker to it.

Tuesday the 8th we will be back at O’Brien’s as part of Kern River Brewing Night.  The collaboration Nick Rivers IPA will be on draft and cask starting at 5 pm along with an amazing list of Kern River beers that will include JO IPA, Citra Double IPA and Hop Nookie Triple IPA.  We will also be pouring Tahoma IPA for the night.

Wednesday the 9th we will be a part of Tyson’s Big Ass Barrel Aged Beer Night at O’Brien’s.  We reached deep into the cellar to pull out a keg of 2014 Rum Barrel Aged Kupfernickel Barleywine.  It has been over a year since we have served any of this beer and I can not wait to see what it tastes like.

Thursday the 10th we head over to West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa for a Nickel and Friends Night featuring a bunch of our collaborative beers.  We will have Nickel/Monkey Paw Buffalo Paw Brown Ale, Nickel/Star B Golden Nugget IPA, Nickel/Brandon Hernandez Lions Blood Triple IPA, Nickel/Kern River Nick Rivers IPA, Nickel/Volcan Mountain Foundation Take A Hike XPA and both Nickel and Beachwood versions of Pride of Chops IPA.  West Coast will also be pouring several other Kern River Brewing beers.  In addition to the beer line up, look for Nickel Pickel food specials including the incredible Nickel Pickel Patty Melt.

We will also have a keg of the Buffalo Paw Brown Ale on tap at Monkey Paw during Beer Week, but I am not 100% positive when it is getting tapped.  You can find out more at:

For more information on our events at O’Brien’s, or any of the pub’s other SDBW events, check out:

And though it is not really Nickel Beer related, I do want to make mention of one more event at O’Brien’s – Warrior Foundation Bottle Share on Saturday, November 12th.  I will be at the pub from at least 1-4 for this event.  The idea is that everyone brings in bottles to share with their friends.  O’Brien’s will charge a $5 cappage fee to open the bottle and 100% of that money goes to the Warrior Foundation to help our veterans in San Diego.  It is a great way to kick back and enjoy some special beers with friends – and make new friends – all while supporting a great cause.  If you can’t make it by but would like to help out, you can visit the Warrior Foundation website at:

Looking Ahead

The brewery will be celebrating its 3rd Anniversary the weekend of November 18th, 19th and 20th.  The 2016 Tripp’s Tripel – our annual Thanksgiving beer – will be released that weekend and I have a Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrel Aged version of Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout to tap.  It will be a weekend full of great beer.  I will have all of the details in the next week email about what is getting tapped when.  Bring up your growlers as we will be selling the Tripp’s Tripel to go.

And I will confirm this in the next email but it looks like we will be open from 4-7 pm on Thanksgiving, Thursday the 24th.  We will be open normal hours Friday and Saturday, the 25th and 26th.  We will be opening up early on the 27th for the Chargers v. Texans game at 10 am.  Look for Bloody Beers and hopefully a brunch delivery.  The annual Julian Country Christmas Tree Lighting will be at dusk on Saturday the 26th.

That is your San Diego Beer Week update.  We’ll see you soon to celebrate all things beer in San Diego with a great Julian brewed beer.

Cheers, Tom

Octoberfest Cookout and Hamilton’s Tap Takeover!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

It is beginning to feel like fall in the mountains and the trees are just beginning to turn color.  We have a lot going on both at the brewery and down in San Diego this weekend.  Our weekend hours have been changed so that the brewery is now open at 11 am on both Saturday and Sunday.  I have updates on our San Diego Beer Week events and upcoming specialty kegs.  Here are all the details…

At the tasting room the Julian Lion’s Club will be doing a fundraiser cookout for Octoberfest featuring bratwurst on both Saturday and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm on the 1st and the 2nd of October.  All of the money raised goes to charitable projects in Julian.  On Saturday we will tap a keg of our collaboration with Julian Cider Works – Tom and Perry.  It is a blend of pear cider made from the pears growing at the brewery with apple cider and a mead made from local honey.  All 6 of our San Diego fresh hop beers are still on tap and we have a Scorpion Pepper version of the Fresh Mountain Crystal right now.

There are some great match ups in college football this weekend starting Friday night with #7 Stanford taking on #10 Washington at 6 pm.  Saturday we get #4 Michigan v. #8 Wisconsin and #11 Tennessee v. #25 Georgia at 12:30 pm followed by #3 Louisville traveling to #5 Clemson at 5 pm.  #19 San Diego State (can you believe you are reading that?) plays South Alabama also at 5 pm and that game will be on ESPN News.  On Sunday the Chargers play the Saints at 1:25 pm.

Hamilton’s Tap Takeover

Friday night we help kick off the 10th Anniversary celebrations for Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park.  We will have 12 beers on tap plus 2 casks and some great food specials featuring Nickel Pickels and Scorpion Pepper Beer Cheese.  We will be pouring all 6 of our San Diego Fresh Hop beers – Star B Pale, My Way IPA, Fresh Mountain Crystal, Standing Eagle IPA, Buffalo Paw Brown and Green Truck Double IPA.  Owner Scot Blair and I collaborated on the Buffalo Paw Fresh Hop Brown Ale and we will be serving up two different cask conditioned versions of this 4% alcohol brown ale.  One will have local Neo Mexicanus hops in the cask while the other is a play on Mexican Hot Chocolate with Cacao Nibs, Vanilla Beans, Mexican Cinnamon and a Scorpion Pepper (putting the hot in hot chocolate).

In addition to those great beers, Hamilton’s will have a keg of Tom and Perry on tap along with The Crab Apple Pie Ale, Stonewall Stout on nitro, Jalapeno Gold and our massive Triple IPA – Lion’s Blood.  As a special treat, I am rolling out the last of our Barrel Aged Redstonewall Stout.  It is a barrel aged version of Stonewall Stout blended with Redstone’s Vanilla Cinnamon Mead.  The flavor really reminds me of Horchata.

This is going to be a huge event with nearly as much Nickel Beer as we have on tap in Julian.  I plan to be at the pub from roughly 5-8 pm on Friday to enjoy some beer and food and toast to 10 years of Hamilton’s.

San Diego Beer Week

We now have a few events set for San Diego Beer Week.  We will be part of the Back Country Beer Night at O’Brien’s on Friday, November 4th along with Alpine and Cellar 3.  Saturday the 5th we will be pouring at the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival.  And on Thursday the 10th we will be doing an event at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa.

The very exciting news for SDBW is that we will be releasing a collaboration IPA brewed with Kern River Brewing.  I am heading up to Kernville in October to brew the beer and it will be available at select accounts during SDBW including O’Brien’s, Toronado and West Coast BBQ.  We will also be serving it up at the tasting room.  We don’t have a name yet, but I can tell you that the beer will use some Tahoma hops.  Speaking of which, we will have Tahoma IPA around during Beer Week as well.

Looking Ahead

Our popular Extra Pale Ale, Take A Hike, will return next week.  Friday the 14th we will be tapping a keg of Chocolate Vanilla Stonewall Stout.  And later this month look for the return of Sour Apple Pie Ale.

Next week I will be brewing an IPA called Pride of Chops.  The beer was first brewed by Beachwood Brewing in Long Beach as part of the 20th Anniversary celebration for O’Brien’s pub.  Beachwood is brewing the beer again right now and I am brewing a version in Julian.  I hope to be able to do some side by side tappings in late October.  It is a hugely hoppy IPA with lots of Amarillo and Nelson hops.

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