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The Future is Now! Debuting Downtown After “Doc” Brown


Hops? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Hops

Great Scott! When we first brewed “Downtown After Dark” Brown Ale at our Columbia St. Brewpub, the year was 1989 and hoverboards seemed like a distant but totally plausible reality. It was part of our original lineup, which also included our classic Amber Lager and Gaslamp Gold. The American Brown ale was a shock to a city who had been weaned on American Light Lagers and were legitimately afraid of the world of “dark” beers. Luckily, like hair metal bands, that fear has faded to the annals of history and we find ourselves surrounded by amazing craft beer of all varieties all across the country. It’s been nearly 20 years since Downtown After Dark was brewed, and when we realized that another classic we hold near and dear was going to be celebrating a big anniversary we figured we would join in the party by going back…to the future (of beer)!

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#DrinkCraftLiveEasy Instagram Photo Contest



Merch contest collage


For us here at Karl Strauss, “Drink Craft, Live Easy” isn’t just a statement. It’s a way of life. Whether that’s capping off a long bike ride by the water with a fresh IPA or gathering friends for a BBQ and bottle share, craft beer is a constant companion to our every day enjoyment of life in California.

Win Karl Gear

We’re celebrating the release of our new lineup of merch by giving 1 Guy and 1 Gal the chance to win each week! Check out our Friday Growler Code post on Instagram to see which design we’re featuring for the week and capture a photo of what #DrinkCraftLiveEasy means to you. Tag @karlstraussbeer and #DrinkCraftLiveEasy and our panel of judges will choose 1 Guy and 1 Gal to take their pick of  the featured fresh threads on the KARL store.


10/2: Karlifornia Design

10/9: Make Beer Not War Design

10/16: In Beer We Trust Design

Contest Rules & Legal Stuff


The Drink Craft, Live Easy Instagram contest is open to residents of California who are at least 21 years of age and are following the @KarlStraussBeer Instagram account. Entries will be allowed from Friday, October 2, 2015 through Thursday, October 22 2015 at midnight.

Photos must be created and owned by you, and may not be associated with any other promotion. By submitting your photo, you agree to its use by Karl Strauss Brewing Company for display and promotional purposes. Enter as often as you like.

Award Selection
The following Thursday after each growler code post (10/8, 10/15, 10/22) our panel of judges will select their favorite photo and award 1 male and 1 female winner. Winners will be contacted via direct message on Instagram.

Inappropriate Content
Entries are at the sole discretion of Karl Strauss Brewing Company and may be refused if content is determined to be inappropriate.

By submitting a photo, you agree that your photo and/or your name may displayed on the Karl Strauss Brewing website and other digital media, and may be used for promotional purposes, at any time, without any fee or other form of compensation. We reserve the right to disqualify users, without notice, and for any reason.


Hoppy Beers & Bites: Your Guide to #IPAday Awesomeness

Here in San Diego every day sort of feels like IPA day, but once a year we come together with hop heads from around the world to unite and revel in the excessive IBU’s that have come to define our little corner of Southern California. Why did San Diego evolve to represent the bitter beer revolution? In his book “The Brewmaster’s Table” Garrett Oliver hypothesizes that it may have been our proximity to the spicy, bold flavors of our neighbors to the south. It’s a fairly reasonable theory considering that San Diegans easily account for 65% of the burritos consumed in the U.S. annually.

Whatever the true reason may be, there is no denying that the bright/piney/resinous/dank/sticky/tropical flavors found in West Coast IPA’s lend themselves well to a variety of cuisines, either to complement existing elements of a dish or to act as a palate cleanser by cutting through heat and heaviness. Below you’ll find a few of our favorite matches for our IPA family. As always, these are our preferred matchups but the joy of pairing food and beer lies in experimentation. Take our suggestions, explore, and discover something new and delicious.

Spicy Ahi Tuna & Tower 10 IPA

IPA Day Blog Post 2015-4474

Nothing says summertime quite like fresh seafood and a bright, crisp IPA. Whether seared or chopped into a ceviche, ahi makes for a killer companion to the grapefruit flavors commonly associated with cascade hops. Cascade is arguably the definitive hop of American craft brewers and our Tower 10 IPA provides it in droves. Paired up with a light, refreshing plate of sushi grade ahi, you’ll be in warm weather heaven. Feel like exploring? Try these other options with Tower 10: Red Dragon Mustard Cheese or Spicy Pad Thai.

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KARL Invades LA Beer Week with an Exclusive Collab & a Slew of Special Releases

LABW Hoppywood PosterIt’s been amazing to watch the LA craft beer scene really take off in recent years. Our neighbors to the north are brewing up some amazing beers and we love taking the trip up the 5 to see what’s new. LA Beer Week is a great opportunity to explore the sprawling metropolis and this year we are excited to share not only the places we’ll be visiting but also a special release we brewed up just for the occasion.

Teaming up with the guys from HoppedLA we created “Hoppywood and Bine” India Pale Lager. We wanted to deliver something that  really fit the LA personality. A beer with a light body, high drinkability, and a platform for showcasing a strong West Coast hop profile. Brewed with Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic hops plus a healthy dry-hop with even more Mosaic, the final product packs a ton of hoppy bitterness . You can read all about the awesome collaboration experience at and come out to join us for it’s debut at our LABW Preview and Release Event at City Tavern in Culver City on 6/19. Check out the full list of where we’ll be pouring “Hoppywood and Bine” as well as all our other LABW events below.


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Raising a Glass to Our Roots with “Home” Brew, A San Diego-Style IPA



It’s hard to imagine a time before fresh, local beer was available across the U.S. We can thank homebrewers for kicking off this craft beer revolution. Our own brewers started out brewing at home, using makeshift burners and handmade mash tuns. So to show our love for the AHA, we concocted a “Home” Brew of our own: a San Diego-style IPA brewed with Simcoe, Mosaic, Amarillo and Citra hops. Robust flavors and aromas of pineapple, tropical fruit and tangerine linger through a dry and hoppy finish.

When we were approached by the American Homebrewers Association to create a specialty offering for the National Homebrewers Conference taking place here in San Diego we jumped at the chance. This limited release San Diego-Style IPA will be handed out to attendee’s at the conference and poured at our Brewery Restaurants and select craft beer bars across San Diego starting on 6/11. Keep an eye out, just like your standard 5 gallon batch brewed in the kitchen this one won’t be around long.

Embrace the Heat with a Spicy Summertime Pairing

Though the summertime months can sometimes call for food and beer pairings of a tamer kind, we’re embracing the heat with our monthly offering, Big Barrel Double IPA and Spicy Shrimp & Grits. 

Food Pairing July 1

 “The inspiration is always the beer. Shrimp and Grits is a classic southern dish but we thought we could put our unique spin on it and emphasize the food and beer relationship. Big Barrel is a perfect palate cleanser and we felt it was a great opportunity to incorporate some heat into the grits , so that you get the textures and bold flavors up front but temper them with the tropical flavors that come from the Ahtanum and Nelson Sauvin hops in the beer” -Corey Rapp, Executive Chef

cooking with cory

Big Barrel is packed with assertive hop flavors, which temper the spicy sriracha in the sauce and the grits’ habanero kick. Meanwhile, the sweetness from the shrimp and the creaminess of the grits brings a nice balance to the hop forward IIPA.

If you’re still looking for other pairing ideas for our Big Barrel IIPA, don’t be afraid to go for the bold:

  • Big Barrel cuts right through the “tang” of strong cheeses such as Gorgonzola or Bleu.
  • It tempers the richness from creamy sauces or fried foods.
  • Pair a snack of freshly cut fruits with Big Barrel to bring out the beer’s floral and tropical notes.
  • Big Barrel’s citrus hop bitterness pairs well with a rich, creamy seafood dish…especially one that packs some serious heat like our Spicy Shrimp & Grits!

Give the dish a try for yourself at each of our Karl Strauss Brewery Restaurants and sound off in the comments below to let us know what you think!

Enabling the Next Generation of San Diego’s Beer Pioneers: Meet the First Recipient of our Brewer’s Education Scholarship

For the last 25 years, Karl Strauss has been fundamental in fostering the pioneering spirit that has come to define the San Diego craft beer industry. Beyond brewing our innovative lineup of award winning beers, we have a longstanding tradition of supporting our local community, a core value instilled by our late brewmaster, Karl M. Strauss. In honor of Karl’s lifetime commitment to community service and education, we established the Karl Strauss Brewer’s Education fund in 2007—created to help aspiring brewers pursue an education in brewing science. We are proud to announce that we are partnering with the UC San Diego Extension Brewing Program to fund an annual scholarship through the Karl Strauss Brewers Education Fund to help educate San Diego’s next generation of talented, local brewers.”Taught by leading professional brewers and other industry experts, the UC San Diego Extension Brewing Certificate is a part-time, evening and weekend program that offers academic and practical training for entry-level brewing professionals.”


There are countless stories around the craft beer community of people who have taken their passion for brewing, or simply for beer, to the next level by opening their own breweries and pursuing their hobby professionally. Occasionally, we come across a unique story that underscores how special the people are who become drawn to this industry. We are proud to share that the first recipient of the scholarship is San Diego local, Frank Yepiz.

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KARL Invites You To “Try One, Have A Few” With Our Latest Release: Mosaic Session Ale



Introducing a new beer is always exciting, but our latest brew has us particularly buzzing. The first of our “Tank Tap” series to be called up to the big leagues, it began as a humble one-off brew and has now graduated to a full on commercial release. The story begins back in 2013 when the head brewer at our Downtown Brewpub, Sean Albrecht, crafted the recipe for a small batch release he called “Mosaic Wheat”, an unfiltered American-Style Wheat Pale Ale. The light copper color and cracked wheat/citrus flavor combination was a hit and it was tapped out in a matter of days. “The first time I smelled Mosaic hops, I knew I had to brew a beer featuring them,” says Albrecht. “I was inspired to brew a hop bomb that Californians would love, but something that was drinkable enough to enjoy a few pints at a time. I started with a clean malt profile and then double dry-hopped for big citrus aromatics.”


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Northern Exposure: KARL’s San Francisco Beer Week Event Calender



We are always looking for an excuse to visit our friends and fans in the Northern half of our great state. If there happens to be a plethora of great events and awesome people to share our beers with, even better! Such is the case with the 2014 San Francisco Beer Week. The gang from KARL will be all over town throughout the week hosting tap takeovers, pairing dinners, and reveling in the killer craft beer scene up in SF. The following list is where you’ll find us imbibing over the next 10 days and we invite you to join us as well as explore all the great beers in your town.

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Cracking Open the Cellar: KARL’s 24th Anniversary Beer Re-Release

In honor of our 25th anniversary, we wanted to give our fans the opportunity to get their hands on some of our rarest releases. Each week, leading up to the debut of Karl’s 25th anniversary Doppelbock at our annual Changing of the Barrels event, we will be re-releasing extremely limited quantities of our past anniversary beers. Each will be available exclusively at the Karl Strauss Tasting Room on consecutive Saturday’s in January leading up to the event. Limit 1 Bottle per person.


Anniversary Beer Lineup

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