Celebrating the life of Nate Soroko

Modern Times Beer teams with other breweries to remember a local beer legend

Last month, San Diego lost one of its most outspoken and beloved citizens with the passing of Nate Soroko. When searching for accurate descriptors for the ever-boisterous individual known as “Big Nate”, labels like chef, bartender and ambassador come up. So, too, do terms such as cheerleader, connector, trendsetter and advocate. He was all of these things, but it’s more fitting to describe him as a respected colleague, trusted confidante and, most of all, a friend.

Like so many, I had the privilege of calling Soroko a friend over the past decade. And like so many, his friendship fed my soul, lent me faith in myself and my abilities, and made me strive to be as good of a friend to others as he was to me. His passing has been hard for many to deal with, even with outpourings of emotions across social media and at various memorial events around town where people have gathered to remember this memorable and irreplaceable figure within the San Diego beer and food community.

Modern Times Beer was among the numerous employers Soroko aligned with and they have put together a celebration of life for their dearly departed teammate. Taking place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 31 at the company’s event space in Point Loma, the ticketed event will be open to the public and take on a pseudo-beerfest format that Soroko surely would have loved, as it will feature beers from his friends at Modern Times as well as breweries he very much enjoyed from San Diego and beyond, such as Russian River Brewing, Moksa Brewing and Societe Brewing. A full list of those operations is included below.

“Nate was a pivotal figure for so many of us in the beer industry, and was an incredible example of the very best aspects of the craft-beer community. He was a truly ebullient and loving person who made anyone in the room feel instantly at home and accepted,” says Modern Times Director of Marketing Dan Reed. “His almost-encyclopedic knowledge of the food and beer scene was complemented by a kind spirit that thrived on bringing people in and teaching them no matter how much of a beer nerd they were or weren’t.”

Tickets to the event are currently for sale online and include eight four-ounce pours of beer as well as a memorial taster glass. All profits from the event will be donated to a non-profit organization selected by Soroko’s family. Though unnamed, that entity provides culinary apprenticeships to people in need of a career and a fresh start.

“Nate shared deep connections with much of the staff here, so when his family mentioned the idea of a celebration of life, we were immediately on board,” says Reed. “Nate will be missed in equally massive amounts and getting together to share what he meant to us and honor him feels like a natural thing to do, and something we all need.”

Modern Times Beer’s private event space is located at 3612 Kurtz Street in Point Loma

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