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Monday, November 2, 2015



Five years ago, Ryan Lamb, 28 and Mike Shess, 29, two high school chums returned from Spain to begin looking for employment to go along with their college education.  Finding none in a sad job market for millennials, the two decided to create their own careers.  In 2010, they teamed to launch West Coaster, a monthly print magazine to go along with an active website.  Five years later the craft beer centric publication celebrates its fifth year with the publication of West Coaster’s November 2015 edition.

West Coaster is recognized by the Southern California craft beer industry as the leading source for news covering the well-documented explosion of small craft breweries in the region. 

West Coaster Editor and Co-Founder at the photo shoot for the August, 2011 front cover
The publication’s success dovetails with the historic boom in the craft beer industry world wide, but especially in San Diego.  When West Coaster, a free monthly, hit the proverbial newsstands (distributed at craft beer locations throughout San Diego County) there were 25 craft beer breweries in operation.  Now, there are more than 115 with more in development.

West Coaster’s editorial theme is “it’s all about the beer,” says Editor Ryan Lamb. “Since day one with our first edition (12 pages) we write about craft beer, who makes it, where you can find it, how it is made, where can you can go to enjoy tasty craft beer.”  

Other key members of the editorial team are columnists Sam Tierney, a Siebel Institute Master Brewer program grad, who is a full time brewer with Firestone Walker and Brandon Hernandez, who provides West Coaster with its daily social media presence in addition to his monthly food/beer pairing coverage.

“We lean on all our writers to keep us on top of our coverage, but Sam and Brandon are brilliant in keeping up to the minute on consumer events and beer tech news and views,” says Editor Lamb.

West Coaster Publisher and Co-Founder, Mike Shess, tasting a Cuban IPA in a Havana craft beer brewery, 2015
Today, at 64-pages, the monthly is jammed with advertising thanks to West Coaster’s one-man advertising department led by Mike Shess.  “We’ve found a niche that works for our readers.  We’re a hybrid between providing coverage of the craft beer industry as well as being a consumer publication that loves craft beer, great food and where to go to have fun.”
Adds, Shess, “Our readers and advertisers like us because our coverage runs the social media gamut from instant breaking news via Instagram, Tweeter to our daily website features (, plus we’re a print publication.  People understand the Internet, but we’re told all the time to never abandon our print version. We all still like to hold a magazine in our hands to catch up on the news.”

West Coaster is downloadable for free at

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