California Wild Ales:
Bill DeWitt

California Wild Ales | Behind The Mask

Bill DeWitt,
Owner of California Wild Ales

Meet the funky, sour beer enthusiast behind San Diego’s only all barrel-aged sour blendery.

California Wild Ales | Bill DeWitt


What’s your message to your community?

Thank you to the San Diego beer community for our continued love and support. Thank you for having a “sour spot” in your hearts.


How can the community best support you?

Don’t forget about your small local businesses. Craft beer is an industry with a lot of variety. From huge breweries that are distributed worldwide, to small nano breweries that make just enough beer to support their fans. There is something for everyone. Somedays you feel like having an IPA…other day a Barrel-Aged Sour is what is needed.


What has been your creative escape during COVID?

Before I got into the brewery business I was a graphic designer. When the pandemic hit I knew we needed a new way to generate income outside of the tasting room. I quickly built out our online store and started offering curbside pickup and free local delivery. After the shop was up and running I started creating a lot of new beer and artwork for May 4th.

“May the Fourth Be With You” is a cultural phenomenon that started around 10 years ago. We decided to throw a Star Wars event on May the 4th. We created 11 Star Wars-themed beers with fun names like Bananakin Skywalker and Han SoLoquat. I used my design skills to create an online shop full of fun artwork and beer labels. The event was a success and we sold out of most of our beer and brought some happiness to our fans.

After the Star Wars event, we decided that no matter what, we would do another celebration of Comic-Con like we did last year, even if we had to make some adjustments due to COVID-19. We hoped these fun, funky flavors inspire sour lovers to always believe in their inner superhero, and even though they can’t celebrate in costume, they can open a sour and make the most of it. We created 13 beers for the event. Three 500ml bottles and 10 flavors available in 16 oz cans. We had fun flavors like Pickle Rick, SpongeBob Sour Pants, and Cherry Potter. The event was a success and we sold out of all our beer.

Creating all these new flavors with exciting names and artwork gave me a creative outlet which also created a whole new sales stream for the company.


What has COVID taught you about connection?

COVID made people take a step back from the constant rush of life. Instead of going to crowded restaurants and events, we all were forced to stay home to cook and entertain ourselves. I have really enjoyed staying home and playing with my two young daughters. It has been a lot of fun coming up with new ways to have adventures in our backyard.


What place in your neighborhood are you excited to get back to? Why?

Ocean Beach is an amazing community… I am excited to get out and support all the amazing businesses that I love in our neighborhood. I am also looking forward to taking my kids Ebers park. My oldest daughter really wants to play on the monkey bars.


If you were to write a book about 2020 so far, what would the title be?

2020 … It’s Been a Sour Year.


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