San Diego Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn may be gone, but his legacy in San Diego continues to flourish as Alesmith Brewing Company is set to release its first six-pack in commemoration to the Padres’ icon during its annual San Diego Beer Week on November 16.
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The .394 Pale Ale six pack references Gywnn’s .394 batting average that he put up in the strike-shortened season of 1994, when many believed he could have been the first person to crack .400 since Ted Williams‘ .406 back in 1941.
Gwynn, who passed away June 16, was an eight-time NL batting champion and 15-time All-Star and holds almost every Padres’ offensive statistic. Even after his retirement, he remained involved with the city of San Diego and the local community.
Gwynn was working alongside the company to formulate the beer’s recipe. Some patrons were able to taste the beer at Beerfest, held during one of the festivities at the Del Mar Fair this year. In a statement by the Alesmith last May:
"Originally classified as Project 394, AleSmith covertly formulated a completely new recipe with Tony Gwynn’s direct input. Following Tony’s evaluation of the test batches, AleSmith dialed in the recipe resulting in an extremely drinkable 6% ABV Pale Ale with light bitterness and accentuated hoppiness designed to fill the gap between AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale and AleSmith IPA. This San Diego Pale Ale will showcase abundant piney and citrusy hop aroma and flavor from an intense dry-hopping schedule. A balanced malt profile will round out these hoppy flavors with a biscuity finish to enhance drinkability throughout the innings."
During a pre-launch fesitivies, Tony Gwynn Jr. and his family will be at the ceremony where 119 packs of the beer will be available for purchase. Will Padres’ fans be able to grab one of these limited edition beers? There is a only a small supply of .394 Pale Ale that is going to be available to the public, but it will still be available through the brewery.
If one looks back at the career of Tony Gwynn, he always was denied that national recognition he rightfully deserved as the best hitter of his generation. Besides playing in a small-market in San Diego, he was denied the chance to sit alongside Williams as the last two players to hit .400. In addition, his 3,000th hit came in front a crowd of 10,000 in Montreal in 1999, so it is only fitting that the city honor the greatest Padre by toasting his life in a week where many patrons will, more likely, be toasting one another.