Eater San Diego recently shared a few sips with Cosimo Sorrentino, Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery's recently installed head brewer, who took over when founding brewer Derek Freese departed for Modern Times.
Sorrentino's forthcoming beers for Monkey Paw are more hop-focused than his predecessor's, although two great beers from the Freese era will remain in the core lineup — Low & Slow, a rauchbier, and Sweet Georgia Brown.
Monkey Paw owner Scot Blair, who also runs Hamilton's Tavern and Small Bar, says that he considers himself a "talent buyer" who seeks out homebrew genius rather than drawing from the pro-brewer pool. For his boutique brewery's flagship pale ale, Blair tapped Sorrentino to craft a clean-drinking, single-hopped beer they're calling Hooked on Chinook.
Another new beer, Brainfood, is a collaboration with local brewers Pat Korn and Doug Hasker, made with local hops from Star B Ranch and South Park's Albert Einstein Academies. The German-inspired Zwickelbier lager debuts today at 4 p.m. at Hamilton's Tavern and at 5 p.m. at Alchemy Restaurant, where they'll be paired with Star B Ranch Bison meatballs and mascarpone polenta; a percentage of the beer's sales will go to support the school's garden program (other spots donating Brainfood proceeds include Station Tavern, Queenstown, Local Habit and Sessions Public).
Sorrentino's also perfecting a Summer Honey Citrus, an unfiltered Belgian ale, and a chocolate/peanut butter porter called Rhesus Monkey. His recipe for Monkey Paw's Bonobos, a San Diego IPA that features four different hop varieties, will be put in a pop top when Monkey Paw goes another round with The Can Van this summer.
Eventually, they may expand the brewery into an adjacent lot or seek off site possibilities; Blair says that he'd also like to explore new food-centric projects, including a deli that'd specialize in house smoked and cured meat.
· Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery [Official Site]
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