Mission Brewery has quite a legacy in San Diego County. So, too, does the American pale ale. Early on in our nation’s craft-beer revolution, New World-hopped iterations of this U.K. beer style came on strong, helping U.S. drinkers acquire a taste for hoppy ales and paving the way for the American IPA. So it’s fitting that, for their second straight year participating in our Homebrew Summer program, Mission selected an American pale ale recipe from local homebrewer Chris van Hamersveld. We have the recipe for that hopped-up number available for amateur brewers to try their hands at, and the beer is currently on tap at Mission’s tasting rooms in downtown San Diego’s East Village and Kensington.
New pro-am beers will debut on a weekly basis throughout the summer, so be sure to check back with San Diego Beer News on a regular basis (or subscribe to our free weekly email newsletter and we’ll send all the recipes and release information straight to your inbox). Cheers and happy homebrewing!
Chris van Hamersveld
How long have you been homebrewing and what got you into it?
I have been brewing for four years after discovering some of the most amazing beers in the world in Belgium and Germany. They inspired me to try brewing for myself and I found a whole world of fun, learning and deliciousness!
What inspired this recipe and why did you decide to submit it for Homebrew Summer?
This recipe was inspired by a weekend trip to Arcata, California, up near the Oregon border, where I tasted a Northern California pale ale from the local Mad River Brewing. I lovedthat classic, old-school flavor and immediately wanted to make one for myself. I wrote the recipe right there and then!
How did it feel to have your recipe selected?
I focus my brewing on making historically and regionally authentic beers, so when I found out that one of San Diego’s oldest breweries had selected my recipe and that they brew in the historic Wonder Bread building downtown, I was not only honored, but I saw the stars align. My classic California beer would be brewed in a classic California brewery.
Director of Brewery Operations, Mission Brewing
What led you to select this recipe for Homebrew Summer?
As we looked through the Homebrew Summer beer recipes, we saw a large variety of options, everything from classic styles to funky, over-the-top creative homebrews. In the end, our love for the classic, balanced hop-and-malt character of an American pale ale led us to pick Chris’ recipe.
Brewer, Mission Brewing
How was the pro-am brew day?
Fun, exciting and a bit hectic at times. It was my second brew on our “new” three-barrel system that we acquired when we purchased Kensington Brewing‘s former location. Dialing it in as we went, we made adjustments to the recipe on the fly based on differences in alpha acids for hops used between Chris’ house hops and the ones used at Mission on brew day, as well as better-than-anticipated brewhouse efficiency.
What are your thoughts on the significance of San Diego’s homebrew community to the county’s overall beer scene?
It’s huge. Many of the breweries in San Diego—and in general—are borne of a pride and passion for homebrewing. Without it, the local beer scene would be a shell of itself today, and I, myself, would not even be a San Diego resident.