Show 256, January 13, 2018: Conner Watts, Founder, Los Muertos Brewery, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Conner WattsSurprisingly craft beer is still a bit of a novelty in Mexico due to some odd distribution regulations. Fortunately (due to very hard work among dedicated & patient beer aficionados) these archaic regulations have been relaxed in the last few years and local craft beers can now reach restaurants and bars. In Sunny Puerto Vallarta the first craft brewery and brewpub to gain traction is the growing Los Muertos Brewery.

“For years during the proliferation of tourism in Mexican beach destinations like Puerto Vallarta the beer scene was completely dominated by smooth drinking Mexican lagers. As demonstrated by every Corona commercial ever this is great for sitting on a beach. To this day many tourists think of a “local” Mexican beers as Corona, Pacifico, or Dos Equis XX. But as a growing number of beer drinkers are pushing craft tastes into the mainstream these standard macro beers definitely leave many connoisseurs wanting more. Upon relocating full time to Puerto Vallarta, the founders of Los Muertos could not have agreed more. Driven by the thirst for flavorful varieties of beer, bringing Vallarta its first craft brewery became their dream.”

Los Muertos Brewery has become a popular destination for locals, visitors from other parts of Mexico, South America and the US, as well as American ex-pats now living in Vallarta.

Expansion is on the way. A new building a few doors away from the existing brewery restaurant has been secured. It will be expanded brewing capacity alongside a different food concept. Stay tuned…

We’ll enjoy a cold one with founder & restaurateur Conner Watts.


Show 233, July 22, 2017: Otto Radtke, Great Society Cider & Mead, DINE LBC – Long Beach Restaurant Week

Ottto RadtkeDINE LBC Long Beach Restaurant Week is set for August 5th through August 13th, 2017. More than 60 diverse Long Beach restaurants spanning 12 neighborhoods will offer special multi-course menus at affordable prices. New to DINE LBC is Great Society Cider & Mead, Southern California’s first all-cider pub located on Broadway at the edge of Downtown. They serve an unusual selection of draft ciders and meads in addition to the expected craft beers.

“A social house where fine food, craft cider and mead set the stage for conversations between old and new friends alike, Great Society has the largest selection of craft cider and meads in all of Southern California. Featuring 20 draughts and more in bottles, our extensive cider and mead list showcases craft producers from nearly every corner of the world. You’ll find flavors and profiles ranging from sweet to sour, still to sparkling, barrel-aged to hopped, rare to near-impossible to find.”

“Complementing this incredible list, our food menu fuses seasonal offerings with unexpected spicing to create dishes that don’t just taste great, but pair well with whatever profile you choose. Try our signature burger with an unfiltered whiskey barrel-aged cider from Michigan; or an artisanal cheese plate with a tart, lightly sparkling Sidra from the Basque region of Spain. There’s a variety of pairings to tantalize your taste buds.”

“With its origins lost in history, cider remains the most noble of beverages, having played a role in Old and New World alike. These ancient elixirs, fermented mainly from apples, have been the drink of kings and presidents, farmers and the working class. Though its fortunes have occasionally wavered, cider’s incredible diversity, and close connection with the land, has led to an amazing renaissance. Cider is a beverage that deserves homage and we are the first restaurant and taphouse in Southern California to feature it!”

We’ll meet the proprietor, Otto Radtke.


Show 228, June 17, 2017: Brandon Hernandez, Food, Wine & Craft Beer Journalist, San Diego

Brandon HernandezBrandon Hernandez is a savvy local beer, food & wine journalist based in San Diego. He contributes to a bevy of publications including Celebrator Beer News, USA Today, San Diego Union Tribune and San Diego Magazine. Brandon joins us with an expert’s overview of the dynamic and evolving San Diego craft beer scene.

We’ll tap the keg on the new Urge Common House in San Marcos, San Diego’s first organic brewery, the best beers to pair with chili and lots more.



Show 227, June 10, 2017: Commander Robert Durant (retired) & Bill Sutton, Inland Wharf Brewing, Murrieta

Commander Robert Durant of Inland Wharf BrewingOne of the newest craft breweries in the Inland Empire, Murrieta’s Inland Wharf Brewing Co., is part of today’s Microbrew Festival for the very first time. Their specialty is cask conditioned ales which are served (in the English-style) at a higher temperature of 50 degrees than conventional beers on tap.

“The calling card for Inland Wharf Brewing Co. is the unique and labor intensive, Cask Conditioned Ales served via Beer Engines.  In addition, Inland Wharf serves other beers on regular carbon dioxide and nitrogen regulated draft beer taps. Even though our Cask Conditioned Ales and Draft Beers use the same ingredients and recipes, their processing techniques vary widely.”

“The time-honored brewing and serving methods followed by Inland Wharf Brewing Co. ensures the development of exceptional appearance, aroma, and flavors in both its Cask Conditioned Ales and its Draft Beers.”

Inland Wharf Brewing poured their Murrieta Pride English Pale Ale and their West Pac West Coast IPA at the Pechanga Microbrew Festival.

Owners Commander Robert Durant, Brewer (retired) and Bill Sutton (Director of Operations) are our guests.



Show 226, June 3, 2017: Shannon Sager, CEO & General Manager, Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside

Shannon SagerIf you’ve been wanting to try out the burgeoning Southern California craft brew scene, this June in Temecula is your chance. Craft beer makers throughout Southern California and beyond will all come together in Temecula Wine Country for a festival in support of Habitat for Humanity. The 9thAnnual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off is Saturday, June 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom.

One of the new participating craft breweries at the Microbrew Festival is Breakwater Brewing Co. in Oceanside. The restaurant started brewing on-site in early 2009. Their 6.8 per cent Rye Dawn (a Brown Ale brewed with rye, oats, wheat and barley) won a Gold Medal at the 2016 World Beer Cup.

Founder Shannon Sager (CEO & GM) is our guest.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. For tickets or for more information, visit Pechanga’s Website or call (877) 711-2946.


Show 225, May 27, 2017: Executive Chef Duane Owen, Pechanga Resort & Casino, Temecula

Duane Owen of Pechanga Casino and ResortIf you’ve been wanting to try out the burgeoning Southern California craft brew scene, this June in Temecula is your chance. Craft beer makers throughout Southern California and beyond will all come together in Temecula Wine Country for a festival in support of Habitat for Humanity. The 9thAnnual Pechanga Microbrew Festival and Chili Cook-off is Saturday, June 10, from 1 – 5 p.m. inside the Pechanga Resort & Casino Grand Ballroom.

Beer enthusiasts can taste unlimited samples of craft and small production brews from San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as selections from Northern California, the Midwest and even the East Coast. Ticket holders also can enjoy limitless tastes of eight varieties of homemade chili, fired up by the award-winning chefs at Pechanga Resort & Casino. Pechanga chefs go head-to-head each year to determine the AAA Four Diamond property’s best chili maker.

In addition to sampling some of the best craft beers and chili varieties and enjoying live music, the 9th Annual Pechanga Microbrew Festival features a silent auction with prizes including getaway stays, golf outings, sports memorabilia, fine wine and beer gift baskets, and much more. Proceeds from the event support Habitat for Humanity Inland Valley programs including homebuilding, free Healthy Homes and Financial Wellness workshops, neighborhood revitalization, and home improvement on behalf of veterans.

VIP festival tickets are available and are a great choice for guests who seek a more intimate environment to taste and appreciate the more than 100 beers and chili varieties on hand. VIP tickets are $65 and allow pass holders an early entry at 12 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. for general admission.

General admission Pechanga Microbrew Festival tickets are $50. Guests receive a two-ounce souvenir glass to sample unlimited beer tastings. Designated driver tickets are available for $30. Both ticket levels allow guests to indulge in the homemade chili and other gourmet food samples, enjoy live music by San Diego’s Safety Orange and participate in the extensive silent auction.

Guests must be 21 or older to attend. For tickets or for more information, visit Pechanga’s website or call (877) 711-2946.

Pechanga’s executive chef, Duane Owen, joins us with a thirst-quenching preview.


Show 222, May 6, 2017: Tim Rooney, Proprietor, Rooney’s Irish Pub, Orcutt, CA

Tim RooneyRooney’s Irish Pub and Shanty Irish Brewing Co. are the pride of Orcutt, CA. Also famous (Orcutt) for “Old Maud,” a gusher of an oil well discovered there in 1904. With a superb culinary team, Rooney’s is recognized as a “gastropub,” known for its excellent gourmet pub fare.

Rooney’s is also a ‘brewpub,’ proudly introducing the area to freshly made craft beers. Rooney’s turns out some of the freshest ales; Ambers, Blonds, Porters, IPA’s and other seasonal specialty ales, lagers, and pilsners. Rooney’s also offers an extensive ‘cellar’ list of fine craft brews, sharing Tim’s love of some of his other favorite breweries.

“Being of Irish heritage, I have always loved everything Irish. Much of our inspiration developed as our family traveled to Ireland where we toured much of the Emerald Isle. I’m not sure if we missed many Irish pubs along the way, but we loved the people, countryside, and “craic,” as they say. “

“Our love for craft beer began in the early 1980’s where finding anything beyond the basic lagers was difficult. Finally discovering Sierra Nevada, Anchor Brewing, and Sam Adams it opened a new world of freshly made, hoppy greatness.

“For as many Irish pubs we have visited, we have probably discovered more craft breweries, brewpubs, and micro brews throughout California and beyond. Our love for both had us filling a need in the Santa Maria Valley; an Irish Brewpub! Although the original vision was that of a small humble establishment, Rooney’s opened in July of 2010, and has been recognized as one of the most beautiful and authentic Irish pubs on the Central Coast. “

There is no better place to eat well, drink deep, and celebrate every good day than at Rooney’s Irish Pub, where “There are no strangers, only friends we’ve never met.”

Proprietor Tim Rooney moves out from behind the long bar and is our guest.


Show 216, March 25, 2017: Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table, Oceanside, CA

Staci MillerOne of the most distinctive and personal restaurants in the new wave of Oceanside’s chef-driven establishments is Chef Staci Miller’s The Miller’s Table. Her beverage goal is to compliment the vibrant Oceanside craft beer scene with her extensive knowledge of fine wine. It’s very hands-on and intimate with all of 24 seats. Most of the seats are at one, large Family Table.

The Miller’s Table is an intimate community experience, with simple, fresh fare, unique wines, craft beers and beverages all brought to a centerpiece of a family table. With all of the fresh produce available in North County, a large portion of Staci Miller’s menu is dedicated to Inspired Vegetables, balanced with Cheese & Charcuterie, and a creative cadre of Sandwiches, all fresh and made in house.

“Of note; our albacore confit tuna and house-made potato chips. With 24 seats, the service is very personal, with no waiters, but rather a culinary team that delivers the food they just prepared. Wine is presented as flights for exploration, with a wine list that changes weekly.”

We’ll meet the passionate Chef Staci.


Show 215, March 18, 2017: Rick Reich, Proprietor, W.I.N.O, Brix at The Shore, Long Beach

Rick ReichWhen it comes to personable characters with their own sense of style on the Long Beach dining scene, Rick Reich of Brix at The Shore in Belmont Shore wears the befitting crown. It’s a taste of the Big Apple with its iconic, piled-high pastrami sandwiches, intimate wine bar ambiance and a standout rotating selection of craft beer. It’s all of 65-seats.

Brix at The Shore offers something the area is lacking: a place that caters to Generation X and Baby Boomers where these forty to sixtysomethings can make their own hangout with music from their era, everything from ‘80s alternative to Sinatra; a rotating wine list with an impressive and thoughtful selection of vintages; a collection of taps that pour craft beer; and an intimate environment that provokes casual conversation among its guests.

“I call Brix at The Shore an adult amusement park,” says owner Rick Reich, who also doubles as the restaurant’s sommelier. “Belmont Shore has plenty of places that appeal to college kids, but what the area was lacking was a hangout for a more established crowd who needed a place to unwind after work, enjoy a good glass of wine or beer, grab a bite to eat, and occasionally break out into song – trust me, it’s happens. We’ve had the entire restaurant singing to Dean Martin on a Saturday night. And that’s what makes Brix so appealing.”

The menu features an array of shareable plates, flatbread sandwiches, salads, deli sandwiches, artisan pizza, burgers and entrees.

We pull W.I.N.O Rick out of the kitchen (and from behind the well-stocked bar) to tell us all about it.


Show 211, February 18, 2017: Glen Hutton, Co-Owner, Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks, Richmond, B.C.

Glen HuttonYou have to appreciate a young, upstart craft brewery whose slogan is “Keeping Beer Weird.” The talk of Richmond, B.C.’s craft beer enthusiasts is Fuggles & Warlock Craftworks. There is really a “Fuggles” and there is a “Warlock” which Glen explains.

“We try to invent styles, and nothing is done true to style”

The friendly Tasting Room at The Brewery also offers a variety of satisfying local street food specialties including samosas (beef, chicken and vegetable) and a cheese & onion pie.

One of their distinctive and popular styles is Beam Me Up – Espresso Milk Stout. “This is the perfect marriage of espresso coffee and a delicate stout with a smooth, creamy sweetness from Lactose. Made in collaboration with Notch Coffee Co. out of Vancouver.”

We’ll tap a keg of their popular “The Last Strawberry” (a Belgian wit brewed with local strawberries) with co-founder Glen Hutton, a Richmond, B.C. local.