Pure Project brews Mega-hopped anniversary beer

San Diego Beer News to celebrate three years in business with a collab beer and party at brewery's Bankers Hill taproom...and you're invited!

As has become a fun and tasty tradition, San Diego Beer News has teamed with a local brewing company in celebration of another year of providing all the news that’s fit to drink for local beer fans. This collaborative practice began in 2021 when Burgeon Beer Co. brewed up Cover Story IPA to mark the outlet’s first full year in business and continued in 2022 with Eppig Brewing crafting a second-anniversary beer, Just the Facts IPA. For Year Three, Pure Project Brewing was not only willing to partner with SDBN founder Brandon Hernández, but also take a stylistic detour. The result is a beer that will debut next Thursday, August 10: Finger on the Pulse Saison.

“We have been working with Brandon since our first sneak-peek tasting event in 2015, when we invited some folks from the San Diego beer scene to come try some of our test-batch beers before we opened. As a Northern California brewer,” says Pure Project co-founder and Brewer Winslow Sawyer. “I was very interested in feedback about how local palates would interpret our beers. Milagro, our dry stout with coffee and vanilla was available that night, along with La Vie en Rosé, a French-style saison with hibiscus. Fun times!”

Brandon Hernández adds hops during the brew day

“I remember that event like it was yesterday; a bunch of people who really loved and cared about beer getting rained on in a backyard but having the best time trying new beers from people who were clearly passionate about their soon-to-launch venture,” says Hernández. “The Pure Project team has kept that passionate flame lit and continues to pour so much time, energy and attention into every aspect of their business. It’s no wonder they’ve amassed such a fan base and been able to grow beyond their initial expectations.”

While Pure Project’s earth-conscious ethos and customer service have been key to the company’s success, its beers have been the main drivers. Their “Murky” (i.e., hazy) IPAs are their calling card, but Sawyer and company produce all manner of beer, including some of the best farmhouse, wild and barrel-aged sour ales in San Diego County. It was that specialized expertise that led Hernández to request a saison for SDBN’s three-year anniversary beer. While that may have been a bit of a tough sell for some, Sawyer was immediately on board and had an idea to take the collaboration in a modern direction: Mega Motueka.

A hybrid product from New Zealand’s Freestyle Hops, Mega Motueka blends Motueka hops with dried Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc grape skins (commonly known by the trademarked brand-name from originating company, Phantasm). The latter is a very popular of-the-moment ingredient prized for its aroma-enhancing qualities, and it adds a unique and unexpected bouquet to Finger on the Pulse.

“We love brewing classic farmhouse ales with a modern spin, especially in the height of summer. French saison yeast is a great seasonal ingredient because of how dry it makes the beer,” says Sawyer. “Mega Motueka is a fantastic way to use two agricultural ingredients, Sauvignon Blanc grape skins and Motueka hops. Both of them contain compounds that turn into tropical-fruit aromas once they are metabolized by yeast.”

Finger on the Pulse pours a straw-gold hue with the slightest bit of haze and a fluffy, snow-white head. Aromas of lemon, clove and black pepper give way to a layered flavor profile highlighted by white wine, navel orange, lemon and baking spices. It’s an Old World farmhouse ale given the San Diego treatment by a standout San Diego brewery.

One of the greatest pleasures of following and reporting on such a specialized industry for so long—16 years in total and counting—is meeting driven, creative people at the onset of their entrepreneurial journeys and following through every twist and turn en route to, in the best cases, well-earned success. I remember back to touring the Pure team’s Brewery Igniter space on my lunch break and hearing their plans for the future. By the time I left I was actively rooting for them. Watching people react so positively to their beer and their positive influence on the local beer scene—as well as the planet—has been a joy.”

Brandon Hernández, Founder & Executive Editor, San Diego Beer News

“We are so excited about this beer, and glad that we got to brew something new and out-of-the-ordinary for such a special release,” says Sawyer. “We hope everyone can come out to taste the new brew and toast Brandon’s positive impact on our beer community.”

Finger on the Pulse will be available in cans and on draft Thursday, August 10 at all of Pure Project’s tasting rooms in Vista, Carlsbad, Miramar, North Park and Bankers Hill, and an official anniversary party will take place at the latter from 5 to 9 p.m. In addition to the anniversary saison, there will be a one-night only, five-beer taster flight curated by Hernández, who will be on hand to talk beer over a beer.

Pure Project Brewing’s Balboa Park tasting room is located at 2865 Fifth Avenue in Bankers Hill

Back to top button