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Sessions Public keeps the craft beers flowing

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Following a career in real estate development and construction management, Point Loma native Abel Kaase fulfilled a lifelong dream by opening his own bar, Sessions Public, in July 2010.

Sessions Public, whose name references both going surfing and going out for drinks with friends, is about friends and family, farm-to-table global comfort food, craft beer and good times.

Q: What is craft beer? How is it different from regular beer?

A: Craft beer can generally be defined as better quality beer made in small batches. It's brewed using traditional methods without corn or rice, keeping taste and creativity top priority versus mass appeal. We have some great, award-winning craft breweries here in San Diego, including Ballast Point, Stone, Port Brewing and Green Flash, to name just a few.

Craft beers are steadily gaining in popularity. While mass-market beer sales were down slightly nationwide during the first half of 2010, craft beer sales were up almost 10 percent during that same period, according to the Brewers Association.

Q: Sessions Public is your first foray into being a bar and restaurant owner. What made you decide to open your own place?

A: I love food and cooking, and I really always wanted to have my own place. When the opportunity presented itself a little over a year ago to open something that would be an asset to my own neighborhood, I couldn't pass it up.

Q: What goes into selecting the beers that are offered on tap? How often do they change?

A: I try to keep the beer list balanced between bolder, hoppier beers and lighter beers that are unique and creative. I am constantly trying new beers to find ones that will keep the list balanced and complete.

Q: If you're not a knowledgeable beer drinker, how should you go about trying craft beer for the first time?

A: I would recommend coming in and talking with one of our bartenders or servers, or myself -- I'm almost always there. Let one of us know what your tastes are. We will be able to make a recommendation that can ease you into the world of good beer.

Q: How is Sessions Public doing since you opened in July?

A: The welcome we've received from the community and San Diego in general has been phenomenal. Specials like Cask and Mussels Night and Grilled Cheese Tuesdays are a big hit, and there was a phenomenal response to our special San Diego Beer Week events. We're making new friends every day.

Q: Plans for the future?

A: We just launched a Sunday brunch, and we're looking forward to celebrating New Year's Eve with a special dinner and midnight celebration. We're always looking for ways to connect and give back to the community, like our recent participation in the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program and fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. And we'll keep the good beer flowing.

Connect with Abel on Twitter @SessionsPublic.

Grab your kids and an unwrapped toy, and head over to Manchester Grand Hyatt's Toys for Tots Gingerbread Village through Dec. 27, where dozens of gingerbread houses surrounded by a six-foot-high gingerbread replica of the Hyatt.

The houses were created by San Diego students working with Hyatt chefs and volunteers. The public votes for its favorite house and Manchester Grand Hyatt donates $1,500 to the local Make-A-Wish Foundation in the names of the winning students.

Tapestry Resorts, a San Diego hospitality management company, recently announced Debbie Jaloma as director of business development.

In her new position, Jaloma will be instrumental in new business and lead generation, as well as maintaining existing client relationships, for Tapestry Resorts' core products.

Coronado's Glorietta Bay Inn recently won for best guest relations program in a statewide competition. The award was presented by the California Hotel & Lodging Association in its annual "Stars of the Industry" awards.

The inn has won the award for best guest relations on a statewide or national level for eight of the past 11 years.

Get ready for the ultimate battle of the bands planned for 6 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 21, when the free Poinsettia Bowl Gaslamp March, sponsored by Westfield Horton Plaza, takes over the Gaslamp.

The marching bands from each of the competing schools in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the U.S. Naval Academy and the San Diego State University Aztecs, will be facing off in a musical showdown on Fifth Avenue.

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