Custom beers for Churchill’s and The Bellows

Local breweries craft specialties for pair of connected San Marcos restaurants

Churchill's Pub and Grill

887 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos

Rip Current Brewing

1325 Grand Avenue #100, San Marcos

AleSmith Brewing Company

9990 Alesmith Court, Miramar

There are specialty beers, and then there are specialty beers. On the more common end of the spectrum, there are seasonal offerings that are readily available to the general beer-drinking public. When it comes to the truly rare stuff, it doesn’t get much more specialized than when a brewery produces a beer especially for a cherished account.

San Marcos restaurateur Ivan Derezin has merited venue-specific creations from breweries from Vista to Healdsburg who respect his North County craft beer oasis, Churchill’s Pub & Grille. One of them, Churchill’s X from Bear Republic Brewing Company even came close to being named the hoppiest beer around at the Alpha King Challenge during last year’s Great American Beer Festival festivities. But it’s not a lust for hardware that drives brewers to hook Derezin up, it’s their respect for the publican and the beery enthusiasm of his loyal clientele.

In the case of the brewers creating special beers for an event on June 7 at Churchill’s, it might actually be a lust for lupulin and capsicum that’s driving them. Several local operations, including Societe Brewing Company, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Pizza Port, Mother Earth Brew Co., and Rip Current Brewing Company, are brewing beers for Hops and Heat, a day celebrating India pale ales and extra-spicy food. Rip Current owner and brewer Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe describe their offering a “different” kind of IPA based on recipes they’ve tried out on their pilot system. Expect distinct melon flavor provided by hard-to-get Australian Summer hops.

But there’s more special beer in store for Derezin. His new business, a casual luxury eatery located near California State University, San Marcos called The Bellows, opened recently. To celebrate the occasion, AleSmith will create its first venue-specific beer since its last run of Liar’s Brew for the now defunct Liar’s Club in 2004. The primary motivation is owner and brewmaster Peter Zien’s relationship with and respect for The Bellows’ executive chef, Schuyler Schultz, who served as a culinary consultant to AleSmith for several years.

Zien worked with head brewer Ryan Crisp to bring to life Schultz and Derezin’s rough concept for a dark and smoky beer fitting the image conjured by The Bellows’ name. The recipe has yet to be finalized, but Derezin says to expect something along the lines of a smoked oatmeal stout that may involve some blending with barrel-aged beer. Talk about getting by with a little help from one’s friends.

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