Pizza Port 100 (Volume 2) – May 18, 2024


2024 route – South to North version

Pizza Port is a long beloved pizza and beer business in San Diego. May 18, 2024 we’re going to be riding bikes to hit all 6 locations and enjoy the beautiful SD coastline. Map link below, if you’d like to join please email or text me. Cheers!

Pace will be in the 10-15 miles an hour range, below is the estimated timing for each stop, based on Google Maps projection (which is about 10 mph pace).

Approx. 100 miles, maybe a bit more or less. Will take all day and plan to stay in San Clemente or have a ride back home from there. Hopefully train will be operating to SD at that point in time, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

We’ll start in North Park at 6:30 AM then head south to Imperial Beach before turning North and ending at San Clemente. Note: We may not be able to access Camp Pendleton and if so would be riding on the freeway shoulder for approx. 12 miles to end the day.

2023 edition Strava summary

Ride for the River Park – 5th Annual – October 1-2, 2016

This weekend, Oct 1 & 2, 2016 – hope to see you there!  Sign up via following link and please pass on to anyone that might be interested in having a great time this weekend.



2016 marks the 5th Annual Ride for the River Park, benefiting the San Diego River Park Foundation (SDRPF).  This 2 day, 1 night tour begins at the Pacific Ocean in the neighborhood of Ocean Beach, and follows the path of the San Diego River from the ocean to the headwaters in the mountains near Julian.  This is a challenging ride of 70 miles each direction, with about a mile of elevation climb on the first day.  At the summit in Julian we’ll enjoy dinner and craft beers at Nickel Beer Company.  The return trip on Sunday, October 2 is all downhill – a well deserved easier return trip.

Registration cost is a $30 donation to the River Park Foundation but please feel free to make a larger donation if you’d like! The event organizer and volunteers will provide snacks and water along the way and a support vehicle for carrying small overnight bags and gear.  Food and drink  are the responsibility of each participant as is accommodation in Julian on Saturday night.  Julian is a popular tourist destination so reservations are recommended as soon as possible.  There are a variety of hotels and other accommodations and many options on VRBO or Airbnb.  There are also nice campgrounds nearby like Heise County Park and Lake Cuyamaca.  Please note that the campgrounds are a few miles from Nickel Beer Company where we will end the first day’s ride.

* Lake Cuyamaca will be the location for a number of participants to camp.  There are showers located at the Chambers Park location at Cuyamaca.

Big thanks to our event sponsors!

  This ride is challenging and is on open roads, some with fast-moving automobile traffic.  We welcome participants of all skill levels but please be aware that this will be a difficult ride for those not used to elevation gains or long-distance riding (more than 50 miles).  Please note that the average group pace for the first day is 10 mph and 15 mph for the second day.  If you’re not comfortable with this pace for a long day’s ride please bring a friend to ride along – we don’t want to leave anyone riding alone.

Notes and Itinerary:

Ground Rules

  1. Show up early so we can depart on time – we roll out at 7 AM on Saturday, 10/1/2016
  2. Bring needed gear – sunscreen, helmet (if you want), lights, spare tire tubes, WATER, bicycle, human body, snacks, cash, phone.  If you have clothes, camping gear, etc. you can put in support van to take for you.
  3. Book your accommodations in Julian in advance of the event or secure a camping site at Cuyamaca
  4. Great attitude, smiles, be ready for a great time!


Route Map – Click image for dynamic Google Maps version.

Day 1 Stops – Saturday, 10/1/2016

  1. Starbucks Coffee – 10406 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92120 (Grantville)
  2. 7-11 – 10195 Riverford Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040 (Just before Highway 67)
  3. Thai Time (Lunch Stop) – 2330 Main St, Ramona, CA 92065
  4. Dudley’s Bakery / Santa Ysabel Grocery – 30218 California 78, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070
  5. Nickel Beer Company (Finish Line!) – 1485 Hollow Glen Rd, Julian, CA 92036. All are welcome (non-riders included) to enjoy a pint at Nickel Beer Company from 6-8 PM with a portion of each sale going to the River Park Foundation.

Day 2 Stops – Sunday, 10/2/2015

  • Breakfast – Location TBD – Alpine, CA 91901
  • 7-11 – 10195 Riverford Rd, Lakeside, CA 92040 (Just before Highway 67)
  • Mission Trails Visitors Center – 1 Father Junipero Serra Trail, San Diego, CA 92119
  • Finish Line – Mike Hess Brewing (Ocean Beach Tasting Room) – 4893 Suite A Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107.  All are welcome (non-riders included) to enjoy a pint at Mike Hess Brewing at end of ride, estimated arrival time is 3:30 PM on Sunday, Oct 2.

Hope you can join us for this great event and even if you can’t enjoy the ride you can support the work of the SDRPF by learning more and making a tax-deductible donation at: 

San Diego Brewery May Be “Selling Out”. Does It Matter?

San Diego County has a large beer industry, there are currently more than 110 active breweries.  Along with high numbers, San Diego has earned a reputation as a leader in the craft beer industry.  Many would rank it as the top craft beer city/region in the United States – whether it is the top dog or in the top five isn’t especially important.  It’s a leader however you measure – top ranked beers, top ranked breweries, number of breweries, or gallons produced annually.

As craft beer has exploded it has increasingly come at the expense of the “big brewers” – InBev and MillerCoors.  In 2014 craft breweries saw production growth of 18% while beer overall saw an increase of only .5%.  Read between the lines and that means that the “Big 2” are losing market share while smaller craft brewers are experiencing a decade  of double digit annual growth.  Many places in the U.S. have embraced craft beer as a marketing tool and part of civic identity – San Diego, Fort Collins, Grand Rapids, and Portland would certainly fall into this category along with many others.

In response to loss of market share, the big brewers have adopted a strategy of purchasing craft beer brands to get a share of the sales and production growth.  With enormous assets and resources why don’t the big brewers simply establish new craft beer breweries in markets with potential?  Most likely because craft beer brands are typically tied to local markets and seen as the “little guy” or underdog that embraces the community and builds a loyal band of followers.  It’s hard for InBev sell beer as an underdog.

So InBev and MillerCoors come to town and write a check with a bunch of zeroes, hope someone takes the offer, and then do their best to make sure that as few people as possible know that a big brewery now owns the “little guy”.  Craft breweries purchased by “Big Beer” have included Goose Island of Chicago (2011 for $39 million), 10 Barrel of Bend, Oregon (2014 for undisclosed amount), Elysian in Seattle (2015 for undisclosed amount), and many others.  Redhook, Widmer, and Kona breweries are owned by Craft Brew Alliance – a publicly traded company with substantial share (more than 30%) owned by InBev.

So does it matter if a brewery is owned by a person in your neighborhood or a large corporation like InBev?  For many it does.  In San Diego the economic impact of the craft beer industry was estimated at $600 million in 2014 and growing at a substantial rate.  This number might be sustained if a brewer (or a few brewers) were sold but the profits earned would be sent to the corporate shareholders, not to the pockets of local owners.  There would almost certainly be a reduction in headcount for administrative positions like marketing and sales and possibly in the brewhouse as well, if production is moved to larger, more efficient facilities.

Do consumers care?  If the beer is good, the beer is good.  In Chicago it does not seem that Goose Island selling to InBev has had a negative impact.  Their annual release of the acclaimed Bourbon County Stout is a huge event.  Does it matter if the beer is brewed in Chicago, and Fort Collins, and Portsmouth?  Perhaps not.

And there are enormous advantages to the brand.  With the increased assets of a large corporation, craft breweries that are sold can afford to buy end caps in Whole Foods (where I’ve found Goose Island prominently displayed here in San Diego).  This success can be multiplied through scale even if the brewer that created iconic beers like Bourbon County has since left to be a cidermaker in Michigan.  (The head brewer for Elysian left soon after the sale of that company as well.)

San Diego has earned a reputation for being a leader in the craft beer world.  From Stone’s early role in super hop-heavy beers, which has become the signature calling card for San Diego and inspired it’s own style: San Diego IPA or San Diego Pale Ale.  Ballast Point has brought hot pepper beers to the mainstream and constantly is experimenting with herbs, citrus, and other flavors.  White Labs is located here in town and allows brewers to access top-quality yeast strains, and new experimental strains as well.

The current rumor is that Saint Archer is being sold to MillerCoors.  This would be the first San Diego craft brewery to be sold to “Big Beer”.  (There have been other sales like the recent acquisition of Alpine by Green Flash.)  Losing one brewery out of 110 isn’t a large percentage.  The bigger risk is that utilizing bigger assets the San Diego brand will be eroded.  If Saint Archer, or any brewery, is sold what will happen when that brewery buys premium space in grocery stores?  If the label says “San Diego beer” and is next to Stone, Green Flash, and Modern Times will a person in Texas or Wisconsin know which is owned by San Diegans and which is owned by a faceless corporation?  Maybe they won’t care.  Worse yet, if the quality of the beer is reduced to drive sales and is affiliated with San Diego it could damage the overall reputation for quality currently enjoyed by the industry here.  Whether Saint Archer is actually selling or not, a sale is likely to occur in the near future given the trend of purchases by the large brewers and the reputation of San Diego beer.

For me, the ownership of our breweries matters.  When friends and family, or strangers, visit us in San Diego I love highlighting unique experiences that are rooted here.  Local hiking trails, coffee shops, breweries, restaurants, etc.  When I travel it’s the same – there is enjoyment derived simply from the fact that what you are partaking of is part of the place where you are.  The fast food nation America became in the 20th century of universal sameness erased much of the uniqueness of our country and our experiences.  The recent rise of craft beer, craft coffee, and other artisan offerings is a welcome breath of fresh air and a reminder that quality and locality matters.  Is it pretentious? Sometimes, maybe most of the time.  Does that make it bad? Absolutely not.

My hope is that if a brewery is sold to “Big Beer” there will be a penalty to be paid.  Local consumers will choose to support breweries based, owned, and operated here.  Hopefully the San Diego Craft Brewer’s Guild will not allow a member that is not included in the definition of craft beer.

InBev and MillerCoors are welcome to create craft beer.  They’re welcome to buy craft breweries.  But doing so in an intentionally misleading way is wrong.  If drinkers want to buy a McPorter or a McIPA they can choose to do so.  I’ll be sticking with a Stone Enjoy By or Modern Times Black House.  I hope you’ll join me for a round to celebrate the great place we live in.  Cheers.

elysian - sucks
Taste the irony!