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#088: A Family’s Pursuit of Hoppiness – Alpine Beer Co

Alpine Beer Co Podcast with Behind The Smoke

Shawn McIlhenney – Alpine Beer Co – @AlpineBeerCo – Alpine, CA

Podcast recorded live above the butcher shop at Valley Farm Market in Spring Valley, California.

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Shawn McIlhenney is the head brewer at Alpine Beer Co; known as “The Home of Pure Hoppiness” it’s located 30 miles east of downtown San Diego. Opening in 1999, Alpine Beer Co’s trend setting approach to craft brewing has earned them many awards on their range of offerings from IPAs to small batch sours.  Being the first brewery to have the Nelson hop; Shawn shares how his parents Pat & Val discovered the hop while on vacation in New Zealand. How Shawn strives to brew every style of beer and the ways he keeps the beer lineup innovative.  The growth of the craft beer community in San Diego and how it has become more competitive now that there are over 150 breweries.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Alpine Beer Co.
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Instagram –

Twitter –

World Beer Cup –

New Zealand Hops Limited –

Council Brewing –

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Shareable Quotes:

“It’s not always right and wrong, it’s just who you are and what works.” {2:01} – Derek Marso

“The intention was to supply beer to the community of Alpine.” {8:02} – Shawn McIlhenney

“I don’t want to stop brewing beer until I have brewed every style.” {22:18} – Shawn McIlhenney

“Our brewery, in particular, is more trend setting rather than trend following. We just try to keep making beers that are interesting to the consumer and interesting to us.” {25:30} – Shawn McIlhenney

“Our motto has always been the beer will tell us when it’s ready. We don’t force anything.” {41:37} – Shawn McIlhenney

Get in Touch:


Shawn P. Walchef – @shawnpwalchef  on Twitter

Derek Marso – @marsoderek on Twitter

Cory Wagner – @iamcorywagner on Twitter

Bryan Abou Chacra – @kinglordbryan on Twitter

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Graphic Design – Ricoy Creative
All music provided by Jet West Band

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