When you talk about America’s greatest beer cities, several names immediately enter the conversation. We always talk about Portland, Oregon, Asheville, North Carolina, Denver, Colorado, maybe even Chicago. But one name that always makes the list is our home for this episode, San Diego, California. Long an ambassador of great beer with breweries setting the style for the rest of the country and indeed the world, San Diego has a storied brewing history that I’m excited to explore today. I also can’t wait to talk with our two local experts today as it’s been about a decade since I last graced the sunny shores of southern California.
To help us capture the essence of San Diego’s beer scene, we are joined by Jenny Mann and Brandon Hernandez.
Beer writer and marketer Brandon Hernández has been deeply plugged into southern California beer for more than a decade. He has helped direct marketing at some of the area’s best known breweries, including Stone, Alesmith, and Societe. In 2019, the long-time writer decided to focus his efforts on creating a new interactive resource for fans of the area’s beer scene with the founding of San Diego Beer News.
The site is a bit of a throwback to the earlier days of beer blogs and local brewspapers. Instead of doing deep dives into broad, weighty topics of national import, Brandon focuses on providing detailed and tangible information about San Diego breweries and beer bars. SD Beer News offers brewery maps, tap lists, interviews with local brewers and beer players, and lots of local beer news.
A native San Diegan, Brandon is one of the most informed sources you’re going to find about that beer scene.
When you research San Diego beer, Jenny Mann is one of those names that keeps coming up. For more than a decade she has worked for and with some of the top breweries and craft beer bars in the city. She has bartended, led brewery tours, taught draft beer maintenance programs, and helped breweries navigate the confusing world of social media. She is also a professional photographer who has captured many of the city’s breweries through her lens. Jenny is a brewery coach and well-regarded speaker who often presents to local brewery guilds. She and her partner recently departed for the Pacific Northwest but she still considers San Diego home and she has a wealth of knowledge to share.
We’re excited to jump into an exploration of the history and present day bounty of the San Diego, California beer scene on this episode of Beer Travelers.