Desire for San Diego County beer is insatiable in the San Francisco Bay Area; enough so that even a recent 6-0 San Diego Padres victory over the San Francisco Giants could not stop a tap takeover night by Coronado Brewing Co. at San Francisco bar, Garaje, only a few blocks away from the Giants’ home turf at AT&T Park.
Riding a growing wave of craving for Coronado beer in the Bay Area, Coronado has been running events in San Francisco and Oakland that feature their staple beers, as well as more rare and one-off brews.
The Coronado Island-based brewery tapped their best-known brews at the tap takeover San Diego-themed night, as well as two that have only been available at their taproom: an 8.9 percent alcohol smoked stout, Beechy Keen, and a 4.8 percent alcohol session IPA, Biggie Smalls.
The Beechy Keen, an American stout, described by Gordon Brown, Coronado’s northern California brewery representative, as a “smoky dessert beer,” boasts a hoppy backbone, and boosts the prominence of the chocolate and nutty elements.
The complexity in the Beechy Keen allows different flavors to shine through as you drink more of the glass.
“You can take a sip, hang out for 10 minutes, take another ship, and it will taste completely different,” Brown said.
Coronado’s Biggie Smalls, a prominently Simcoe and Mosaic hopped session IPA, tasted more like a hoppy pale ale, while carrying a lot of the fruitiness and citrus aspects that drinkers of heavier IPAs usually desire.
A brewery known for their quintessential examples of San Diego India pale ales — Idiot and Islander IPAs — Coronado has seen a 72 percent increase in their northern California beer sales since last June.
“Just the past year-and-a-half we’ve expanded production by four times as much as three years ago,” Brown said.
In addition to hosting one event per month in the Bay Area, Coronado is poised to release their 18th anniversary beer this year; a 10% ABV double IPA to follow in their previous anniversary’s hop bombs.
The brewery will be holding an event at San Francisco’s Fat Angel on July 1, which will feature two rare offerings: Barrelman’s Brown Ale and Silver Strand Saison.