Rip Current Brewing was born in 2012 from the passion of two San Diego home brewers (Paul Sangster and Guy Shobe) with an unrelenting desire to offer the highest quality, award-winning beers from across the globe. Over the years, we have had owners and team members who have helped us create some amazing beers that we are thrilled to share with our friends and patrons in our two tasting rooms. We hope you will stop by and say hello and joining us for a brew. The following are the owners of Rip Current, so you can recognize us when you visit.
Paul Sangster has been a craft beer lover since consuming his first real craft beer back in the late 1980s. His passion for craft beer led to home brewing in the early 1990s as a way to learn more about how beer was made and how to increase his pursuit of more flavorful beers. In 2009 he stepped up to all-grain brewing and began brewing multiple batches weekly. In order to objectively evaluate the quality of his beers, Paul started entering the most respected blind, judged competitions like America’s Finest City (AFC) run by the QUAFF homebrew club. He joined QUAFF and started training to be a beer judge to help with the competitions. After judging many homebrew and commercial events (including the Great American Beer Festival (GABF)) plus receiving 90% on the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) written exam, he was awarded the rank of BJCP Master beer judge.
On the competition side, Paul set out to create award-winning recipes in every BJCP beer style guideline category. Along the way, he was fortunate to have won many big awards including: best-of-show at several events including the California State Fair, the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Brewing Machine awards for the most medals won at San Diego’s AFC event, California Homebrewer of the Year (most medals at the three most important events across California) and the Top Homebrewer in the World (Ninkasi award) for the most medals at the National Homebrewer’s Competition (NHC). At the close of Paul’s home brewing career, he was proud to have won over 170 medals in 3 years of competing and more importantly won a medal in every BJCP category. This focus on a dialing-in a broad variety of beer recipes gives Rip Current the ability to offer a wide portfolio of styles to appeal to the greatest number of customers.
Over the next decade, Rip Current has released over 200 different beers leveraging his home brewing recipes. We are proud to be able to say that we have won commercial beer awards across the beer spectrum including in styles as light as Munich Helles and Czech-style Pilsner lagers, Mexican lagers to Belgian-style ales, IPAs, Scottish Strongs, English Stouts and even massive Bourbon Barrel-aged beers. Along the way Rip Current has won a World Beer Cup, several US Beer Open and five GABF medals. In 2015, we received the ultimate award taking home the GABF Very Small Brewing Company and Brewer of the Year. We also display the California Cup for the best-of-show winning beer at the 2019 California Craft Beer Cup championships. Every day we offer a wide range of beers to appeal to as many potential customers as possible on our 20+ tap system at each location.
John started homebrewing in 1995 after going to Quaff meeting with a colleague. By the next month, he joined Quaff and jumped head first into brewing. His first setup was the basic five gallon bucket homebrewing kit purchased from Homebrewmart in Solana Beach. Armed with some Malt, hops, yeast and Papazians Complete Joy of Homebrewing, he was in search of the perfect Sierra Nevada clone. After dialing that recipe in after dozens of batches, he built his own 10 gallon all grain system and started expanding his recipe portfolio. Joining a BJCP study group in 2000, he became a Recognized Beer Judge in 2001. Fast forward 10 years, after a decade of collecting ribbons and medals for his homebrewing, actively judging around the country, and continued education from his Quaff fellows, he advanced to the BJCP rank of Certified. The next logical step was, of course, to get involved in the growing San Diego brewery scene, he reached out to his well-respected, long time Quaff friend Paul Sangster and joined the Rip Current team.
Manny’s craft beer journey began in the mid-90s while in college. A big fan of Sierra Nevada, he purchased his first malt extract homebrew kit and attempted to replicate their flagship pale ale. The one thing he remembers about his early batches is that his friends always complained about his homebrew, but somehow it was all gone by the end of the night.
After graduating from college, homebrewing took a back seat, but a trip to San Diego in 2001 re-invigorated his passion for craft beer. While at a backyard BBQ he was handed a Stone IPA. “I had never tasted anything like that” says Manny, “the hop aroma and flavor just blew my mind, and it was so fresh”. Back home in Houston, Manny searched for Stone IPA bottles but came up empty and the idea to replicate at home once again popped up in his head. Manny bought his 2nd malt extract homebrew kit, then things quickly spiraled out of control, eventually graduating to a 10-gallon all-grain system along with a 4-tap kegerator. He moved to San Diego in 2010 and immediately joined QUAFF. As a member of QUAFF, Manny took every opportunity to absorb the technical details of brewing a great craft beer and brewed a few award-winning beers (Silver Medal – Maibock – 2011 AFC; Bronze Medal – IPA – 1st Round 2014 NHC; Gold Medal – Traditional Mead – 1st Round 2014 NHC). His homebrewing days are now behind him, but as an owner of Rip Current Brewing his passion for craft beer remains stronger than ever.
Matthew got his first homebrew kit for Christmas back in 2011 and the less said about that first batch the better. Curious about what went wrong he was not ready to give up. Undeterred, he tried again and that second batch was delicious and he was hooked. Inspired by the thriving local beer community he was soon making holiday brews for friends and summer brews for parties. Soon he was reading brewery magazines and dreaming up new flavor combinations to satisfy his alchemist tendencies. He began reading equipment reviews and shopping for gadgets in his free time. Homebrewing soon took over his weekends and his garage in what is a familiar story in the craft beer world. Many years and a few awards later, he started to seriously consider opening a brewery. His Management Science degree from UCSD and years working in accounting and finance gave him the background he needed to launch a business, but he returned to school and the SDSU Business of Craft Beer program to add to his brewery specific knowledge. He graduated with a clear vision for the future and an undiminished desire to open his own place.
After years of looking for the right opportunity, the chance to become an owner at Rip Current and combine his passion for great beer with his years of experience in the finance world was too good to pass up. He can often be found behind the bar talking beer styles and baseball to customers, and putting his kids to work cleaning tables.