The Trail Crew pilot system is meant to “Blaze the Trail” for all Benchmark Beers.  This is a 20 gallon system so all Trail Crew Beer will only be served on site in the tasting room, and will not be available for growler fills.  This system was used by our Master Brewer Matt Akin to refine his recipes in preparation for brewing on Benchmark’s 10 barrel system that arrived in in March of 2013. 

Now that the four standards are in full production, the Trail Crew system is used for experimentation and to develop celebration beers. Trail Crew recipes can be found here.



  1. TABLE BEER - A sessionable Belgian in the tradition of the Trappist brewer’s beers. This 4.0%ABV beer is citrusy, peppery, and refreshing. It pairs nicely with a turkey dinner or a sunny afternoon in the back yard.

  1. BLOND ALE - Low alcohol, light in color, and focused on a gentle malt flavor. Anyone can enjoy this easy drinking 4.5%ABV ale; it is clean  and refreshing with a touch more bitterness than your average blonde. The style has appeal for both beer enthusiasts and beer novices because of its highly drinkable character.

  1. BROWN ALE - Another 4.5%ABV beer, rich brown in color with a carmely and biscuity flavor profile. This beer is refreshing and appealing, it pairs wonderfully with gooey mack and cheese or a sharp cheddar. Light toasty notes and a gentle hint of roastiness leave this beer dry at the finish making you want to take another sip.

  1. INDIA PALE ALE - Widely considered to be the benchmark of any San Diego brewery. Our IPA is focused on drinkability rather than on bitterness and with a 5.1%ABV you can enjoy a couple. The hop profile is citrusy with some pine undertones. A bright and truly hoppy San Diego IPA. 

  1. OATMEAL STOUT - Rich and creamy, this beer is a mouthful that can satisfy any beer lover. The flavor is chocolatey, roasty, and reminiscent of coffee with cream. The oatmeal provides a luscious body while the roasted character helps create a clean finish. This stout has been called “life changing” and at 4.8%ABV you can tuck in.


HOP CHUNKS - This Double IPA is bright and citrusy. It is surprisingly refreshing considering it is 8.5% ABV. Look for it around town.

OFFSIDES  - In celebration of the World Cup we are brewing up a San Diego Dark Ale. Look for it’s release mid June.

SAN DIEGO 71 - Finally back on the brew schedule. Look for this IIPA to make an appearance for our first anniversary at the end of June.