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Happy Independence Day from San Diego Beer and Wine Tours!

Hey baby, it's nearly the Fourth of July.  We love this time of year! The days are at their longest and warmest and everybody is in a party mood for Independence Day.  We prefer the annual San Diego rite of passage of heading out to the beach, where you can barbecue next to the surf, but really, there's fun to be had just about anywhere!

We know that you're probably going to have a cookout, so we won't waste our time recommending food.  You know what to do. What we have done, however, is once again sampled some of San Diego's finest in order to help you best pair your favorite local brews with your meals!

We'll start off with an oldie, but a goodie – a classic in the vibrant world of San Diego's beer scene: Karl Strauss's Red Trolley Ale. This venerable red ale is a two-time winner at the World Beer Cup, and it lives up to its reputation and then some.  Its toffee flavor and medium body pair beautifully with red meat and sharp cheese, so don't hesitate to have this on hand when you fire up the grill.

If you like ales but want to expand your palate into something a little more off the beaten path, try out Port Brewing Company's Shark Attack. It's a little more full-bodied than Red Trolley, but will still be delightful with a still-sizzling cheeseburger.  If you want even more, Port's Older Viscosity is black as asphalt and so rich you might even want to forgo the burger. (Just get a little something in your stomach, though. Trust us.)   

IPAs are also good for those hot, hot days by the shore.  There's nothing more cooling than the citrusy finish of a nice, hoppy IPA like Big Eye from Ballast Point.    Salty foods are the best with a lot of bitterness and hops, and so save your Big Eye for a sausage plate or for when you've just come out of the ocean with a mouth full of salt.  Not hoppy enough?  Try Stone Brewing Company's Ruination IPA  or Green Flash's Palate Wrecker.   Their bitterness will make you sing!

If you prefer coffee and caramel notes in a dark beer to cool you down, we would like to take this opportunity to point you to one of our perennial favorite all-around beers: AleSmith's Speedway Stout.  We hate to play favorites, but this outstanding stout goes down so easily and pairs so beautifully with everything from coleslaw to ribs that you don't really need much else while you're watching the fireworks at the end of the night.  

We are, of course, open to any additions that you would like to add. In fact, we welcome it! Any chance we get to try something new is a good day for us.  And if you would like to try something new, put yourselves in our capable hands and join us on a chauffered winery tour, or a brewery and winery train tour.  We're running "Celebrate America" specials from now through the end of July!

Here's to independent spirits!

Brooke B., BBQ Brewery Babe