The club, through his brewery connections, arranged for the members to receive a private tour of the Ballast Point Brewery in San Diego. With the tour arranged and confirmed, the next few months were used to lay out the plans for a club cruise down the coast.

West Coast Challengers club members met up at one of the four designated meeting spots that we arranged for them; one in Los Angeles for our members in that area, one in Corona for our Inland Empire members, one in Lake Forest for our Orange County members, and one final meeting spot in San Clemente for our club members in the south and where all of the groups would merge for a caravan and cruise down the coast to San Diego.

The Los Angeles group hooked up with the Orange County group and both headed down to San Clemente together, while the Inland Empire members crossed over the Ortega Highway headed for San Clemente as well. The groups all merged, as timing and chance would have it, where the Ortega Highway meets the San Diego Freeway, and all rolled into the San Clemente meeting location together. Picking up a few more club members in San Clemente, the club prepared to caravan down the coast.

Rolling with 31 Dodge Challengers for this event, doesn’t sound like many — until you try to get them all onto the Southern California freeway system together. Traffic congestion, slow moving vehicles, 18-wheelers, and others obstacles laid in our path but the club members pulled it off with precision and within minutes a line of Dodge Challengers stretching more than a mile long were cruising down the coast attracting the attention of other motorists as our club does whenever it caravans anywhere. The club members all enjoy the waves, thumbs up and honks of the horn we get as we roll down the highway in single file. So popular are our caravans, that fellow motorists often photograph and speed ahead to pull over on the side of the road to video record our passing by, which if you have ever seen us in caravan is quite impressive. Dodge Challengers of every color, model and unique modifications makes for a spectacular show of our car club.

One scheduled stop along the way was a road side rest area. Upon arriving, we found it almost full and unable to support 31 more cars in the parking spaces provided, so taking matters in hand, our club president pulled into one of the extended truck spaces and the others club members followed suit parking four Challengers deep in each truck space. One after another space was filled, and when no more truck spaces were available, we parked our cars in front of those parked already. Within minutes, it seemed like everyone at the rest area were crowded around and taking pictures of our cars. After 15 minutes, we rolled out and through a gauntlet of people on both sides of the road who were photographing and video recording our departure.

After a fun 50 minute drive, the club members transitioned onto the 805 freeway and into San Diego. Arriving at Ballast Point Brewery, the club was warmly greeted by the brewery’s staff. Because we had well over 50 people in our group, we split the members into 2 different groups for a more personalized tour.

The tour of the brewery consisted of an introduction to the history of the brewery, its growth and many of its achievements. Then the club members were escorted around to the different areas of the brewery, from the large stainless steel fermenting tanks, to the very cold storage area, as well as the bottling area. After viewing the various areas for beer production, the club members were escorted to where wooden casks of whiskey were fermenting and learned about that process. Club members were inquisitive and asked many questions which the staff were happy to answer and were well informed.

After the tour of the brewery, those club members not driving indulged in the many different flavors and styles of beer that the brewery had to offer. From 4 ounce samplers to pints of ale. For those club members driving and those under the age of 21, the club brought along “root beer” and other non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy. The brewery recently added an outside patio area as part of its recent expansion and the club members thoroughly enjoyed the use of it in what turned out to be a perfect day weather wise.

Having enjoyed the brewery tour and its samples, the club members rolled out for lunch a short distance away. The club chose Bangin’ Burgers for its award winning burgers and menu. The restaurant’s owner was contacted in advance and was happy to host the club. The club pretty much took over the place upon arrival and filled every inch of the restaurant as we often do with events such as this. We think that if the club offered a trophy for “Best Burger,” that Bangin’ Burgers would win it hands down. Even in the parking lot after lunch, club members were still talking about the burgers, they were that good.

Even with a great tour of the brewery and a fantastic lunch, and the success of yet another club event, this event was saddened with the news that club members Kirt and Jennifer, and their son Alex, were moving back to Texas and this would be their last event with the club for quite a while. As our club does, the club members rallied together to sign a photograph collage of events that Kirt, Jennifer and Alex attended with the club and all of the club members present signed it, and as it was presented to the family as a memory of their Furious Fuchsia fun with the club. The club also purchased a checkered flag cake trimmed in fuchsia to honor of the family and adorned with a “Good Luck” inscription. The family was always a joy to have at events and their presence at future events will surely be missed. If there was a moment to overcome the sadness of their leaving, we should take solace in the fact that the family is already preparing for a Spring Fest 8 appearance with the club, so we will all be seeing them again in the future. :)

As the club members departed, good byes were said, hands were shaken, hugs were passed around, and we all departed San Diego in various groups for the drive home. Another great member suggested event.

More photos from the event can be found in our club photo gallery.

While some would attempt to copy and re-create our club events, including this one, in the hopes of sharing our success, try as they may, they cannot reproduce the enthusiasm and club member turn out that our club enjoys. It should come as no surprise that the club recently adopted the motto “Often imitated, never duplicated,” which instills a sense of pride that our members share in the club. We do it best, we do it first, and we do it large. It’s what we do — every month!

Want to experience the thrill of caravanning with the World’s Largest Dodge Challenger Club? Tired of the lack of unique events and leadership, low club member turn outs, and drama? Come enjoy an event with West Coast Challengers and see for yourself what sets us apart from other clubs. Our professionally run club, friendly club members and our explosive growth all speak for themselves. We are the #1 Dodge Challenger car club for reason. Come find out why. :)

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  1. […] “Tour de Hops” – Coastal Cruise and Brewery Tour […]