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Friday, July 27, 2012


CHEERS TO WEST COASTER--A relatively new print monthly and social media site has found a niche in San Diego’s blossoming craft beer industry.

Beginning November 2010, two post college friends saw no immediate job opportunities on the horizon so they decided to launch West Coaster and from scratch.

Mike Shess, 26 and Ryan Lamb, 25 haven’t looked back.
The success of West Coaster parallels the boom of small breweries in the San Diego region.

Shess, a communications major out of San Jose State, but a San Diego native, interned locally at North Park News as a sales assistant and San Diego Magazine as a web tech. There he learned the importance of finding the best niche possible and how to run a media venture as a business first.

Lamb, also a San Diegan but with a degree from UC Santa Barbara, introduced his new business partner to the wonders of California craft beer when they were both in college.
Ryan has taken over the editorial department that includes many of the best craft beer and food writers in the area: Brandon Hernandez, Jeff Hammett, Amy T. Granite and Sam Tierney.

Details for West Coaster were born on various train rides and bars throughout Europe in 2010 as the pair hung out while Shess was involved in a year abroad study at the University of Madrid and Lamb was teaching English to grammar school age kids also in Madrid.

Both West Coaster principals agree that it is amazing how much craft beer news is generated out of the San Diego marketplace. And, this blog is focused on informing or reminding readers of the channels of news dispersal that West Coaster offers.

ONLINE EVENTS CALENDAR- The online event calendar is where it all started. Before printing the first issue of West Coaster, we visited many local breweries and asked how we could help keep the public in the loop. One of the main answers: event listings. So check out our calendar, and if you’re a local industry member, please help us by submitting events with this easy form.

WEST COASTER FACEBOOK- The WC Facebook is where we share news from local brewing industry pages, re-post SD beer stories from other bloggers, and upload photos albums from events. Recently, we added photos from Russian River Consecration Weekend at Toronado in North Park, Iron Fist’s tasting room expansion kick-off in Vista, Los Angeles’ Golden Road Brewing’s “SD Launch” at URGE American Gastropub in Rancho Bernardo, the “New Kids on the Block” event at The Handlery Hotel & Resort, Fathom Bistro Bait & Tackle on the pier at Shelter Island (bistro not yet open), and industry night at Manzanita Brewing Company’s new tasting room.

TWITTER ACTION- On Twitter (@westcoastersd), we re-tweet beer releases, events and news from the local industry, and occasionally we have a beer ourselves.

INDUSTRY WATCH- The WC Brewing Industry Watch page helps you keep up with all the breweries opening around the county. Currently there are 53 licensed & operational brew houses in SD, with 31 more in various stages of planning. Just this morning we added Dean Rouleau’s (former San Diego Brewing Company head brewer) Prodigy Brewing Company to the planned breweries list. The next listing to move from the ‘planned’ to ‘active’ category will be Karl Strauss’ 4S Ranch Brewpub, soft opening to the public July 31. Please send additions/suggestions/corrections to WC Publisher Mike Shess via

CRAFT BEER LOCATER- Our online directory is divided into beer bars, bottle shops, brewpubs, breweries, home brew supply shops and restaurants. From there, you can narrow your search by ‘amenities’ such as cans, growlers, kid-friendly, etc. We also print a directory and map on the back two pages of each issue.

IMAGES: West Coaster founders Ryan Lamb, left and Mike Shess in Spain; recent issue of and a cool, cold craft beer on draft in a West Coaster glass.

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