GABF Very Small Brewing Company of the Year!


Last week we were fortunate enough to be able to attend the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, CO.  We are always excited to participate in the largest commercial beer competition in the world.  This year GABF received a record 6600+ entries from over 1550 breweries! Each brewery entering GABF was allowed to enter 5 beers from each brewing location plus an optional pro/am entry.  We sent Take Off Tripel, Night Surfing Munich Dunkel, What Would Dave Drink?, Black Lagoon Scottish Strong and Break Line Traditional Bock hoping one might medal at this huge competition. We also entered Delaminator Smoked Doppelbock as a pro/am beer brewed with homebrewer Todd Barrett.

The GABF starts with two huge beer festival days and on the final day includes the competition award ceremony.  After we sampled MANY great beers from around the country for two days, we attended the award ceremony early Saturday morning. We picked seats in the middle of the huge auditorium without really thinking about how difficult it would be to get down to the stage.  Being able to see everything was our priority :) .  


About midway thru the award ceremony they announced the Bock category winners.  We felt like this was our best chance to finally (ok, it was only our second time entering) medal at GABF. After the silver and bronze were announced we had just one shot left, and fortunately they called out Break Line Bock as the winner.  We just went nuts!  At that point we realized we had no direct way to get to the stage, so had to walk out of the auditorium and over to another entrance to get down to the stage.  It was a great, long walk full of congrats from our many friends at other breweries. It was so nice to see how all the breweries support each other particularly the local ones.

After receiving our Gold medal, we relaxed and basked in the moment while the other categories were being announced and cheering for the winners.  Of course we listened when our other categories were being announced and was thrilled to see another of our beers on the big screen.  Black Lagoon Scottish Strong took second place in the Scotch Ale category.  After a seemingly brief (but actually long) walk out of the auditorium and then all the way back down to the stage to receive our second award. On the walk back, it started to occur to some of us that something special might have just happened.  

When we arrived back at our seats, it was just in time to hear the last beer category winners and then the award for the Very Small Brewing Company (and Brewer) of the Year.  This award recognizes a “very small” (but we don’t take it personally) brewery that produced less then 1000 barrels of beer in 2014 that has won the most/highest placing medals at the competition.  We were thrilled and shocked to see that our Gold and Silver was enough for us to win this incredible honor.


We would like to thank all of our loyal customers and friends who have supported us over the least 2.5+ years.  You can look forward to some special customer appreciation discounts coming your way over the next month plus the ability to try both of the medal winning beers at our tasting rooms.  Please keep an eye on our facebook page and twitter for the announcements of these thank  you promotions.

For more information on this year’s GABF competion, please see

Calling all artists!

Here are all four boxes (the fourth is to the right of the two blue ones).

Here are all four boxes (the fourth is to the right of the two blue ones).

We’ve got four utility boxes outside our North Park tasting room and we’re looking for an artist (or maybe multiple artists) to paint original designs on them. So we’re having a contest! The winner(s) will create artwork that we hope will be displayed to the public in a high-traffic area for years to come.

Please submit sketches and descriptions of your design concepts by Nov. 1st. You can drop them off at our tasting room or email them to

We also encourage artists to post their ideas on Instagram, tagging @ripcurrentbrewingNP and using the hashtag #RipCurrentArtContest.

The first-place winner gets to paint his or her artwork on the boxes and receive a $100 Rip Current gift card.

Artist is responsible for any necessary prep work and must supply his or her own paint. Non-acrylic paint must be used.

The design should fit the surf, beach and/or brewing vibe of our location. However, no logos are allowed and neither are any depictions of alcohol (bottles, glasses of beer, etc.).

Here's a closer shot of the three boxes that are to the right of our side entrance.

Here’s a closer shot of the three boxes that are to the right of our side entrance.

The four boxes are on the south side of our building, which of course is at 4101 30th Street (at Polk Avenue). 

From west to east, the approximate dimensions (width x height x depth, in inches) of the four boxes are:

Box 1: 36 x 48 x 39.

Box 2: 49 x 29 x 39.

Box 3: 57 x 57 x 29.

Box 4: 40 x 68 x 11.

The boxes vary a little bit in shape, so feel free to come and look at them if that helps in the design process. Meters on the boxes cannot be painted over.

Preference will be given to an artist who has designs for all four boxes, but we will also consider entries for single boxes.

Judging will be done by the Rip Current staff. Prizes and rules are subject to change.

If you have any questions, please email them to

Our first newsletter


  Rip Current Events

Welcome to the first edition of the Rip Current Events newsletter, where you can get information about what’s going on at our tasting rooms and inside the brewery itself. As a subscriber, you will also see special discounts plus early news about upcoming beers and events.

We are very excited to have rolled out so many new beers over the last couple months. If you haven’t stopped by for a visit, you might want to check out some of our recent favorites and some special limited release beers! Some of our recent additions to the line-up include:

  • Break Line Bock - a traditional Munich-style bock. And yes, it’s a true lager (we make those too!).
  • Black Lagoon Scottish Strong - a robust, dark caramel-flavored style from Scotland.
  • Orange Honey Cream Ale- a sessionable ale aged on sweet orange peels.
  • White Caps Summer IPA - a lower-alcohol, wheat-based IPA that uses “summer” hops from Australia.
  • Cutback Kolsch - our lightest tasting beer that is very refreshing with hints of fruit flavors.
  • Short Board Apricot Saison - a dry, refreshing Belgian-style saison aged on apricots.

Caught in a Rip

What’s Brewing

This week, we are stoked to be releasing our seasonal hop monster, Caught in a Rip Triple IPA. In past years, we made this beast for San Diego Beer Week, but this year we made a batch for the Alpha King Challenge competition (click here for details) in Denver and we’ll be pouring it at the Great American Beer Festival.  By the time your reading this, Caught in a Rip should be pouring our tasting room and some lucky accounts around town.  FYI, you can look forward to a new big hoppy beer coming in November for San Diego Beer Week this year (details to come in the next newsletter!)

Caught in a Rip Triple IPA is a San Diego-style IIIPA featuring crazy amounts of U.S., Australian and New Zealand hops that provide a complex hop aroma and flavor, with both citrus and passion fruits along with significant dankness. We dry hop this beer four times over the span of three weeks to maximize the fresh hoppy aroma and flavor. While our triple IPA does have a substantial amount of bitterness, it’s balanced by the sweetness of alcohol and hints of malt character. We hope you hop heads will love this one as much as we do, but please drink it responsibly. At over 11% ABV its one that will creep up on you very quickly!  We will be making this available in tasters and for a limited time for pint sized pours at both tasting rooms, but don’t expect this beer to last too long as it was a smaller batch.  Sorry, but we won’t be able to fill growlers or it will be gone before you know it!

If you’re looking for something hoppy to sample before stepping up to Caught in a Rip, we will be releasing a new American pale ale called Pearling Pale Ale next week. This beer showcases Mosaic, a super new hop that provide a complex fruity and pine-like character, along with Amarillo, which delivers more orange and citrus character that blends nicely.  This ale as amazing aroma and flavor but is quaffable by the pint at only 5.5% ABV and yes we will fill growlers of it.


VIP Coupon ClubWe’re excited to announce a new e-coupon system called the Rip Current VIP Club. It’s free to join and you’ll receive weekly coupons on your phone for great deals at our tasting rooms. No paper is required as you’ll just use your phone to show the bartender your deal and redeem it.

At your next visit to either of our tasting rooms, you will see posters showing how you can easily sign up using QR code, text messages or a web browser.

If you would like to sign up right away – and why wouldn’t you? – you can:

We hope you’ll sign up and enjoy using this fun and free program!

San Marcos Tasting Room Highlights

Fall is here and the food trucks are back in action! Oscar’s Meat Pies are making a limited-time return. Oscar was one of our 1st food trucks when we opened just over 2.5 years ago and is always a very popular food option. They’ll be here every Friday in September, so grab them while you can.

IMG_2466We have also partnered with California Tap Room hand-rolled soft pretzels to offer a large pretzel with beer cheese paired with a taster from us – your choice of course – for only $4. California Tap Room made their debut with us Sept. 5 and will return on Saturdays Oct. 10, Oct. 24 and Oct. 31. You will also see Filipino Hawaiian Fusion here for the first time on Saturday Sept. 12 and again Sept. 26. Come in to grab a pint or flight and welcome our new vendors!

Don’t forget to check out our new sour and experimental pouring from the brewery’s pilot system.  These are very small batches, so they don’t leave our San Marcos location!  With Halloween coming up, keep an eye out for a special Halloween trick or treat being made available.  Watch our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts or our Newsletter for more details.

– Brianna Benson 

North Park Spotlight

More tap handles coming soon!We are thrilled to be entering our ninth month at our tasting room in North Park. It’s great being part of the 30th Street beer corridor. With about 10 breweries and beer bars located within walking distance, it’s easy to understand why the beer community is so strong here.

We will be adding more taps in the upcoming months, and this will allow us to put more of our house beers on tap without reducing the number of guest taps from other breweries we love. One tap will be dedicated to sour offerings for those of you who love the face-puckering beers. Look for beers from Almanac, Council, and Karl Strauss soon!

Join us in the tasting room on Tuesday nights for trivia AND tacos! Our restaurant partner, Sublime, will be serving up a variety of delicious tacos to pair with our beers. Think of the endless pairing possibilities! Trivia starts at 7 p.m. and is free to play, with prizes for first, second, and third place. Come test your knowledge!

Also, we will have the NFL Ticket so will be showing lots of out of market football games this season. We’ll give preference to the Chargers – at least for this year – but will show other games during other times if there is a group request.

– Lindsay Buckner

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