Colby and Friends Part III
In the final installment of Colby’s anniversary series, Jeff and Lord Chandler sit down with local brewing legends Ryan Brooks, founder/brewmaster of SouthNorte Beer Co., and Jim Millea, head brewer at OB Brewery.
These local brewing legends chat about the early homebrewing days that brought them together, their love of Baja, and share a story of the day how they almost died for beer... we’re not joking. Both Ryan and Jim talk about their connection to brewing in Mexico and discuss “business-as-unusual" in the days of COVID-19.
Ryan Brooks is the founder/brewmaster of SouthNorte Beer Co. He’s an internationally recognized beer judge and certified Cicerone. Brooks, formerly a touring metal drummer and award-winning homebrewer, worked at Malt Shovel Brewing Co. (Australia) and Black Market Brewing (Temecula) before starting at Coronado Brewing Co. in 2012. Eventually he worked his way up to brewmaster at Coronado. Under Brooks' leadership, Coronado won the extremely prestigious 2014 World Beer Cup Champion Mid-Size Brewery award. In 2017 Brooks founded SouthNorte at crossroads of Tijuana and San Diego bridging flavors of Mexico the San Diego craft.
Jim Millea is Head Brewer at OB Brewery in San Diego, CA and co-owner and brewer at Cerveceria El Destino in Valle de Guadelupe, Baja California, Mexico. Jim has been brewing professionally since 2014 when he was hired as assistant brewer at O'Sullivan Brothers Brewing Company. Before this, Jim was an avid home brewer and completed internships at Benchmark Brewing Company and Ballast Point Brewing Company. During his homebrewing days, Jim became a recognized beer judge through the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) run by local San Diego homebrew club QUAFF (Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity). In 2015, Jim graduated from UCSD's Professional Certificate in Brewing Program. Originally from Massachusetts, Jim has been living in San Diego since 2000 and in Ocean Beach since 2008 where he currently resides.
Since helping to build-out and now run OB Brewery, Jim has received several awards for his beers including bronze medals for both the Elevator Red IPA and Rooftop Saison at the 2018 San Diego International Beer Festival. At the Great American Beer Festival (GABF), Jim received a silver medal in 2017 for the Hidden Gem Dunkelweizen and a gold medal in 2018 for the B.Right.On Pale Ale. The 2018 gold medal win at GABF also scored Jim and OB Brewery the Small Brewpub Brewery and Small Brewpub Brewery of the year award. Jim hopes to continue making great beer in OB and is looking forward to making beer at the new venture in Baja that is now only in its very beginning stages.