Category Archives: Nickel Beer News

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

6 Fresh Hop Beers on Tap This Weekend!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans,

It is my favorite time of year to be a beer drinker – fresh hop season.  Hops are harvested only once a year and then dried and stored near frozen for use throughout the year.  Only at harvest time do brewers get the opportunity to brew with fresh, wet hops right when they are picked.  And we are very fortunate here in San Diego to have a high quality local hop industry with 15 registered hop farms.  This means that I got to brew 6 different beers with San Diego grown hops right as they were picked – and now all 6 are on tap in our tasting room and you will be able to find them at the O’Brien’s San Diego Wet Hop Weekend event starting tonight.

Here are our fresh hop beers:
Star B Fresh Hop Pale:
This light colored 5% Pale is made with hops grown around Julian from Star B Ranch, Hopportunity Farms and local wild hops that grow behind the town hall.  It is primarily Chinook, Cascade and Julian Gold.  Julian Gold is the name given to the wild town hall hops that are believed to be a Cluster type variety dating to the original town brewery in 1888.
Fresh Mountain Crystal IPA:
Brewed with fresh picked Crystal hops from Star B Ranch in Santa Ysabel and dry hopped with more fresh Star B Crystal.  This 6.1% IPA has lots of citrus and stone fruit flavors.
Standing Eagle Fresh Hop IPA:
Brewed with fresh picked Cascade and a little Nugget from Star B Hop Ranch in Santa Ysabel.  This 6.2% IPA was dry hopped with fresh Star B Crystal, Cascade, Mt Hood and Nugget.  Named after the biggest bull in the herd at Star B Hop and Buffalo Ranch.
My Way Fresh Hop IPA:
Cascade from Star B in Santa Ysael and Chinook from Nopalito Farms in Valley Center were used the same day that they were picked in this 6.3% IPA.  Dry hopped with fresh Crystal from Star B.
Green Truck Fresh Hop Double IPA:
This light colored 8% alcohol hop monster used over 70 pounds of San Diego grown Columbus hops from Nopalito Farms in Valley Center and Star B Hop Ranch in Santa Ysabel.  Massive hop flavors of pine and citrus.
Buffalo Paw Fresh Hop Brown Ale:
This 4% alcohol brown is a collaboration with Scot Blair, owner of Monkey Paw & Hamiltons.  It was brewed with San Diego grown Glacier, Horizon, Nugget from SD Golden Hop Farm in Fallbrook and then dry hopped with Neo Mexicanus hops – a native wild variety from New Mexico – grown at Star B in Santa Ysabel.

And as an added bonus our pepper IPA is currently made with the Standing Eagle Fresh Hop IPA.
Deathtöngue IPA (Scorpion Pepper IPA)
Fresh Scorpion peppers are chopped and added to the Standing Eagle Fresh Hop IPA.  Scorpion Peppers are from Trinidad and they are the world’s second hottest pepper.  Spicy!  I figure we are the only brewery in the world doing a fresh hop Scorpion Pepper IPA.  I mean, it is a little insane, right?  For the truly crazy, try to eat our Scorpion Pepper beef jerky with this (my mouth just started watering thinking about that).

And while not truly a fresh hop beer, our Triple IPA does have fresh Star B Cascade as the main part of the dry hop addition in the serving tank:
Lions Blood Triple IPA
This hop monster is 11% alcohol and was brewed with Simcoe, Citra, Mosaic and German Blanc hops. It has huge citrus and melon notes and was dry hopped with Star B Cascade.

All told right now, 9 of the 16 beers we have on tap use hops or apples grown in San Diego county.  All of these beers are on tap now in the tasting room and I expect the 6 fresh hop beers to be on tap through at least the end of October.  After that, they will start to disappear until next year, so enjoy them while you can.  We are doing to-go growlers of all 6 as well and even the Scorpion Pepper beer.

Down the Hill

Tonight, Thursday the 15th, you can also find all 6 of our fresh hop beers at O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa (  There will be five draft kegs and the Standing Eagle IPA will be on cask – all of the beers will tap at 5 pm.  The pub will also have a keg of the Deathtongue IPA.  The beers will then be on tap all weekend as part of the pub’s San Diego Wet Hop Weekend featuring beers brewed with San Diego grown hops.  The pub expects to have 26 or 27 beers all made with locally grown, fresh picked hops on tap starting at 5 pm Friday and running through Sunday while they last.  I plan to be there Friday night to enjoy the fresh hop beers.

Later this month we will be kicking off the 10th Anniversary celebrations for our friends at Hamilton’s in South Park.  On Friday, September 30th we will be tapping 10 beers and 2 casks including all 6 fresh hop beers.  As the Buffalo Paw Brown was a collaboration with Hamilton’s owner Scot Blair, we are doing 2 different cask versions of the beer for the night.  The first will have fresh Neo Mexicanus hops in the cask.  The second is a play on Mexican Hot Chocolate and has Cacao Nibs, Mexican Cinnamon, Vanilla Beans and a single Scorpion Pepper (for the “hot” part).  We’ll have kegs of the Lion’s Blood Triple IPA, nitro Stonewall Stout, Crab Apple Pie Ale and Jalapeno Gold.  In addition to beer, look for Nickel Pickel food specials from the Hamilton’s Cafe.  I will certainly be enjoying both the beer and the pickels on the 30th at Hamilton’s.

In the meantime, I will be bringing down the Standing Eagle IPA, Fresh Mountain Crystal and Buffalo Paw Brown Ale to West Coast BBQ and Brew in La Mesa on Thursday the 22nd.  We already tapped the Star B Pale, May Way IPA and Green Truck Double IPA there and they did not last 48 hours.  You can check out West Coast at:

Looking ahead to San Diego Beer Week, we will be participating in the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival on Saturday, November 5th.  And we have an event at O’Brien’s on Friday the 4th with Alpine Beer Company.  If all goes well we will also be releasing a collaboration brew with Kern River Brewing.

Around Julian

This weekend you will find our beers on tap at the 47th Julian Music Festival at Menghini Winery on Saturday the 17th.  The Music Fest runs from 1-7 pm though the doors open at Noon.  It is a benefit for the California Wolf Center, which is a great place and worth checking out (  You can the info on the music fest and see the line up here:  Local favorites Sara Petite and Gregory Page both play in the afternoon.  Look for Back Country Gold, Weekender Wheat, Crab Apple Pie Ale and Buffalo Paw Brown Ale on tap plus possibly one more bonus beer during the Sara Petite Show around 2:30 pm.

Next weekend we will have beers on tap at the annual Apple Days Festival, also hosted at Menghini Winery.  The festival is two days, Saturday and Sunday, the 24th and 25th and will run from 10 am to 5 pm both days.  We’ll have beers on tap both days including lots of Crab Apple Pie Ale.  The line up is not set yet, but I will certainly post up on Facebook what we will be bringing by next Friday.  You can find out all of the info about the Apple Days Festival at:

Locally, you can find our beers on tap at both Jeremy’s on the Hill and Wynola Pizza Express.

NFL and Expanded Hours

The NFL season has started and the Chargers have already found new and innovative ways to disappoint us.  The team’s next opportunity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory will come this Sunday the 18th at 1:25 pm vs. Jacksonville.  We are regularly open until 7:30 pm on Thursday, Sunday and Monday however, we will be staying open until the end of the game as long as there are people there watching the game.  No matter what we will show the first two hours of each Thursday, Sunday and Monday night NFL game and assuming people are hanging out enjoying the game, we will stay open to show it but we won’t stay open until the end of the game with an empty tasting room.  So if you want to watch the game, get there before half time and you will be fine.

As part of our new hours, we are open until at least 7:30 pm Sunday thru Thursday and 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday.  We will open early on Monday, October 10th which is Columbus Day.  And we are planning to be open in the afternoon on Thanksgiving this year.  The plan right now is to open from 4 pm to 7 pm on Thanksgiving Day.  We will also be open late on Wednesday the 23rd, the night before Thanksgiving – probably until 8:30 pm.  I will confirm all of the details as we get closer.

Finally, we have re-stocked nearly all of our brewery merchandise.  We are still waiting on a few women’s shirts to come in but men’s shirts both long and short sleeve, all sweatshirts, women’s tank tops and hats are all in good supply.  We will have some new items coming in with the next round of merch next week including some tie dye shirts.  New right now though we have Nickel Beer wooden coasters that have a built in bottle opener underneath.  These are locally made from maple wood and are $6 each or 2 for $10.  Check them out next time you are in the tasting room.

That is your Nickel Beer News for now.  We do not have any food vendors confirmed for the fall right now, but that can change at the last minute, so be sure to check our Facebook page for updates at:  Keep an eye out there as well for info on upcoming barrel aged tappings as we just kegged up some Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout.  We’ll see you soon for a great San Diego hopped beer.  Cheers, Tom

Fresh Hop Beers on Tap in Julian and Tonight at West Coast BBQ!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

It is my favorite time of the year to be brewing beer – hop harvest season in San Diego.  I managed to brew 6 different beers all with fresh picked San Diego grown hops and 3 of them are already on tap.  We have Star B Pale Ale made with hops from Star B Hop Ranch in Santa Ysabel and some other locally grown Julian hops including the wild hops growing behind town hall.  My Way IPA is a blend of Chinook and Cascade from Star B and Nopalito Farm in Valley Center.  It is then dry hopped with Crystal hops from Star B.  And our hop monster, Green Truck Fresh Hop Double IPA was brewed with Columbus from Nopalito Farm and then dry hopped with Columbus from Star B.  The beer is 8% alcohol and packed with hop flavor.

All three of these beers are on tap in our Julian tasting room.  Tonight, Thursday the 1st, you will also be able to find them at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa – In addition, West Coast will have the Lion’s Blood Triple IPA on tap.  All of the beer should be on tap by 4 pm today.  The kitchen at West Coast will have their soon to be famous Burnt Ends sandwich on special and I will be there to enjoy one and sip some fine fresh hop beer starting around 4:30 pm.  If you have never been to West Coast BBQ, this is a perfect excuse to try it out.  They have 28 taps and very tasty food.

Our local NBC station came up to Julian last week as part of a spot on the local hop growing scene.  They watched us brew our new fresh hop brown ale made with hops from SD Golden Hop Farm.  You can check out the very cool video here:  Look for the beer on tap by September 9th.

Labor Day Weekend

We will be open regular hours over Labor Day weekend – Friday and Saturday from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm and Sunday from 11:30 am to 7:30 pm.  On Monday the 5th, we will open earlier and be open from Noon until 7 pm for the holiday.  On Sunday the 4th, the popular Taco Cart will be serving up Carne Asada, Chicken and Al Pastor Tacos and Quesadillas from 12-5 pm.  They will only be at the brewery on Sunday, so be sure to stop by for some great food.

Also happening this weekend is the 20th Annual Julian Grape Stomp out at Menghini Winery.  The event will be Saturday the 3rd from 11 am to 7 pm and in addition to lots of local wineries, you will find Nickel Beer on tap.  We’ll be pouring Back Country Gold, Weekender Wheat and C.C. O’Neill’s Irish Red at the Grape Stomp.  You can find out more here:  We will also be pouring Nickel Beer at the 47th Julian Music Festival on Saturday, September 17th featuring Sara Petite and Gregory Page.  Get all of the details here:

And if you happen to be at Bacon Fest down at Liberty Station on Saturday, you will find Take A Hike at the O’Brien’s Pub booth.  Our GM at O’Brien’s, Tyson Blake will be cooking up beer braised slab bacon with pickled watermelon to pair with our hoppy Extra Pale Ale.  Get all of the details on Bacon Fest at:

Looking Ahead

We have three more fresh hop beers in the fermenter – a fresh hopped brown brewed with Scot Blair of Monkey Paw and Hamiltons, and two fresh hop IPAs – one with Cascade and one with Crystal hops.  I expect to have both the Brown and the Cascade IPA on tap by Friday, September 9th.  And we will have Jeremy’s on the Hill serving up food on Saturday, September 10th from 12-3 pm.  When I confirm the menu I will post it up on our Facebook page.

We will have our entire line up of fresh hop beers on tap at the San Diego Wet Hop Weekend at O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa on September 16th, 17th and 18th.  The three day fest will feature beers brewed with San Diego grown hops.  There should be about 25 locally hopped brews to taste.

Look for barrel aged beers to be coming on tap later this month including Bourbon Barrel Aged Kupfernickel Barleywine and Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout.

And at the very end of the month we will be doing a 10 beer, 2 cask tap takeover at Hamilton’s in South Park.  I will have more details in the next email, but expect this to be a great night.

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

New Hours, Open on July 4th and Jeremey’s Food This Weekend!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans,

Happy almost 4th of July.  We have a few special treats for you on this most patriotic of holiday weekends.  On tap you can enjoy 3 different versions of our Stonewall Stout – regular draft, nitrogen and Chocolate Vanilla Bean.  Jeremy’s on the Hill will be setting up shop and selling Fried Chicken plates on Friday the 1st from 4-7 pm and Saturday the 2nd from 1-5 pm at the brewery.  And we will be open from 11:30 am until 6 pm on Monday the 4th for tasters, pints and growler fills.

The annual 4th of July Parade will start at noon down main street.  It includes fly overs by WWII vintage fighter planes.  After the parade the American Legion will be hosting its 75th 4th of July deep pit BBQ complete with live music.  We will also have Nickel Beer on tap at the Legion BBQ.

Our gold medal winning Constantine’s Imperial Stout is on tap and we are filling 32 oz growlers of it to-go.  I currently have two barrels of this beer aging – one Bourbon and one Rye Whiskey.  The Rye Whiskey barrel is just about ready to keg up so keep an eye out for it in July.  The San Diego hop harvest is coming up soon so look for Fresh Hop beers to be on tap in August along with our first ever Triple IPA that will be over 10% alcohol and loaded with hops.

In addition to all of that goodness, we will be open a little later now on the weekends.  We will be staying open until 8:30 pm every Friday and Saturday night starting this weekend.  We will also be open until 7:30 pm every weeknight.  Summer evenings on the patio are a perfect way to enjoy Julian with a tasty beer.  So our hours will look like this:

Mon-Thurs 2 pm to 7:30 pm
Fri-Sat 11:30 am to 8:30 pm
Sun 11:30 am to 7:30 pm

When the NFL season starts we will stay open to show the Monday, Thursday and Sunday night football games.  We will also open at 10 am for all early morning Chargers games.

Take A Hike

Take a Hike is the name of our collaboration brew with the Volcan Mountain Foundation.  We hosted 8 folks in the brewery to help with the brew day and the result is a hoppy Extra Pale Ale brewed with Cascade, Citra and Mosaic.  It is a perfect summer hoppy beer – lots of flavor, light colored, dry without being bitter and 100% refreshing.  We are hosting a special fundraising release party to benefit the Volcan Mountain Foundation on Saturday, July 9th at 5 pm that includes beer and light snacks.  There is even an optional pre-party hike led by VMF board member Eric Jones to  the Banner Canyon Overlook.  You can find all of the details and sign up through the VMF website at:  Help us support the Volcan Mountain Foundation while enjoying a fantastic beer in beautiful Julian.

Coming Up

We have a few other events planned for July.  On Thursday the 21st we will be doing our first beer dinner at West Coast Barbecue and Brew in La Mesa.  The dinner will be four courses and include 6 beers for just $40.  The dinner will start at 6 pm and I will be there to talk about the beers and the food pairings.  You can sign up for the dinner by contacting West Coast BBQ at 619-462-3660.

At the end of the month we will be participating in the annual Sip of Julian.  It is a self guided tour of Julian’s diverse tasting rooms including locally made cider, wine, beer and mead.  Each stop will have light snacks in addition to offering samples of their wares.  The event will run from 11 am to 5 pm on Saturday the 30th.  Tickets will be available online soon through the Julian Chamber of Commerce.  In the meantime, you can see the complete list of participating tasting rooms here:

Finally, I am also working on an Apple Pie Ale tasting event for both the tasting room and at O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa.  It will feature multiple versions of the Apple Pie Ale – Wholly Crab!, Pearfect and regular Apple Pie Ale along with Sour Apple Pie and a collaboration Pear Mead made at Julian Ciderworks with pears from the brewery property.  When we settle on dates and times, I will let you know.

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

Hopster Cask, Mead Blends and Charity Brew Day!

Hello Nickel Beer Fans!

I have a few quick updates from our last email.  This weekend we are going to tap both of our mead (honey wine) blends done with Redstone Meadery.  The Leap of Passion Mead/IPA blend did not make it through the weekend last time we tapped it so I have blended up nearly a full keg for this weekend in hopes that it will last longer.  It is a blend of our 100% German-hopped Leap Day IPA and Redstone’s Passion Fruit Mead.  The result has both IPA and honey wine flavors with layers of fruit and melon woven in.

Also on tap this weekend will be Redstonewall Stout – a blend of our Stonewall Stout with a Vanilla Cinnamon Mead.  The blend reminds me of Horchata with big cinnamon and vanilla aromas and just the right amount of sweet roast in the finish.  Look for both of these unique beers to be on tap by 4 pm on Friday the 20th.  This time I expect both to last through at least Monday.

Brew at Nickel

Have you ever wanted to participate in a brew day at a brewery?  Well now you can.  We are partnering with the Volcan Mountain Foundation for a charity brew day.  The brew day will be Sunday, June 12th and it will run from roughly 9 am until 1 pm.  We will be brewing a new, as of yet unnamed beer to release in July at a special party with the Volcan Mountain Foundation.  Participants will get to be involved in all aspects of the brew day and lunch will be provided.  When the beer is finished you will get a 64 oz growler to go and an invite to the VIP release party.  The cost is $100 and all of that money goes directly to the Volcan Mountain Foundation.  You can sign up at the Volcan Mountain Foundation website:  It is limited to 8 spots and already 4 have been sold so if you are interested, please sign up soon.

Stay tuned for the announcement of what we will be brewing.  The release party will be Saturday, July 9th at 5 pm.  You can sign up to be a part of the release of this new beer at:

Last Sips

Tonight, Thursday the 19th, O’Brien’s Pub in Kearny Mesa will be tapping a cask of Hopster Douchebag Double IPA with Mosaic Hops at 5 pm.  I just brewed a new batch of Constantine’s Russian Imperial Stout and when it is ready we will be selling growlers to-go.  Look for Tahoma IPA on tap next week by Wednesday the 25th.  Our annual Penalty Shot Pale will be out by June 1st, just in time for the start of the Copa America Centennario taking place in the USA.  And speaking of annual brews, Weekender Wheat is coming up next in the brew schedule and will be on tap in early June.

We will be pouring beers at the San Diego International Beer Festival at the San Diego County Fair on June 17th-19th.  You can find out more about the fest and get tickets at:  I will be on the FM 94.9 Rock and Roll Happy Hour promoting the festival on Friday, June 3rd from 7-8 pm.  Look for the popular Taco Cart to be serving up fantastic street tacos on Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend.  And we just res-stocked all of our brewery merchandise including hats, sweatshirts, tank tops and t-shirts.

That is your brewery news for now.  We’ll see you soon for a great Julian brewed beer.