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Karl Strauss Celebrates 25 years with Changing of the Barrels

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Karl Strauss recently celebrated 25 years of brewing by celebrating the annual Changing of the Barrels. An event that honors the life and reputation of Karl Strauss' beers and the release of their 25th anniversary "Barrel Aged Doppelbock." It was held Saturday, February 8th at the Karl Strauss Brewery and Tasting Room at 5985 Santa Fe Street in the brewery's hometown of San Diego, California.


This was our first visit to the Karl Strauss brewery and we had a blast enjoying all of the great offerings for their anniversary party. For being around 25 years and seeing so much change in craft brewing, it's hard to remain humble. Somehow Karl Strauss still retains it creativity and generosity for propelling a movement and a mainstay in San Diego County craft beer. The Karl Strauss website does a great job of explaining their story and inspirations.

The 20 taps for Changing of the Barrels

With 20 taps flowing with core beers like Amber, Red Trolley and Tower 10. While also offering patrons seasonal's, barrel aged goodies and an addition of two casks for extra variety; one being the Pintail Pale Ale with Wai-Iti (a New Zealand hop) and a preview of next years anniversary ale, a belgian strong dark ale, before it's year long slumber in oak barrels. These beers show the wide variety and vitality of Karl Strauss' beer program. I don't want to get ahead of myself but I predict the 26th anniversary ale will taste magnificent after it's barrel aging.

While enjoying the fine wares of Karl Strauss. Guests were able to wander around the tasting room, relax in the brewery's backyard, shop Karl Strauss merchandise, chat with brewers and employees, eat delicious cupcakes infused with KS beer provided by PubCakes and much, much more.

The tasting room was wide and I somehow only needed to squeeze by a few people to get from one end to the other even with a line. Behind two large glass windows you could see their bottling area which was just moved their to make more space in the brewery. A photo booth provided by Pixster was situated in the back between two racks of barrels. When you step outside into the brewery's backyard it's very easy on the eye, it felt like the neighborhood BBQ's I would attend as a kid growing up. Crisp air, sounds of laughter and the smell and taste of food. And with a soft tone that would perfectly accompany the vibe, the Brothers Grim played a wonderful acoustic set.

Brewery tours were provided at allotted times and welcomed guests into the brewery area. A great opportunity for people to ask questions and get background information on their favorite beers. Head Brewer Matt Johnson showed us around the warehouse and made for an excellent guide about the man Karl Strauss, the brewing process of KS beers, and what's ahead for the brewery.mattjohnsonkarlstrausscotb

After our tour, we enjoyed a few more beers and decided it was time to head our friends house for the night. We had a blast and by the looks and overhearing attendees, Karl Strauss definitely did this event right. If you have not had a Karl Strauss beer, they have brewery restaurants all over southern California and distribute to many areas in the state as well. I look forward to what's down the line for Karl Strauss and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.


I love traveling, drinking craft beer and writing about it. I strive to provide readers with an inclusive, educational and fun experience about craft beer. I also write @ chasecraftbeer.com


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Guest Sunday, 25 February 2018

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