Thursday, August 18, 2016

Round Two of Exploring San Diego Breweries

With a second trip to San Diego this summer, I was eager to use theCompass Winery, Brewery, Distillery Locator Mobile App to explore the bounteous San Diego craft beer scene. Over 80 tasting rooms with a few knocked out during our Nationals-Padres trip.  And the first brewery listed in the location search was only two blocks from out hotel: The Beer Company. This brewpub is a bar first, pouring several other local beers, as well as a decent portfolio in house. These include the SD Wheat, San Diego Blonde, Cream Ale, Elimination IPA, and Pacific Beach Pale Ale. The last was my favorite, very balanced, then the IPA and Blonde.

After a long day at the magnificent San Diego Zoo, I noticed on theCompass app that South Park Brewing was only a few miles away.. Yes immediately I thought of the Comedy Central show, but the brewery is named for the community that lies southeast of Balboa Park.  It is owned by Hamiltons Tavern and Monkey Paw Brewing Company proprietor Scot Blair, with award-winning brewer Cosimo Sorrentino responsible for the taps. On this night, there were plenty of beer on tap - particularly the C.R.E.A.M. Ale (my Father's choice) and the Who Tarted? Vol 1, Cherry Edition.  How could I pass that beer up? It was light, and tart with the sour cherries enveloping the palette. Well down. The Cream Ale was also very nice, less vanilla than at The Beer Company and more refreshing.

My son discovered Pokemon Go this month so as the price for using my phone and a two hour meander through the Gaslamp District, Southport, and the Pier we concluded with a stop at The Local - home to Resident Brewing. I'm not sure if it was due to finally sipping a beer after walking all morning but these beers were fantastic. Particularly when there are two gose beers such as the Die Gose and Die Gose - Raspberry/Backberry. The latter is even more tart with a slight fruit sweetness and the original tart and salty. The Perky Blonde also carried some minerals and the Oatmeal Stout and Back Alley Porter nailed their respective styles.But the meisterstuck was the Vacation Coconut IPA - completely balanced with ample malts, coconuts, and Citra and Amarillo hops. Is there time for a third?

A trip to San Diego must include a trip to Old Town and to avoid the overcrowded restaurants head not to far to Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, the prize of the trip. Not only is the venue spectacular but they pour the complete Stone portfolio brewed at their four locations. This Liberty Station location opened May 2013 in Point Loma’s now-historic Naval Training Center with the restaurant located in the former mess hall. "The restaurant encompasses more than 23,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor dining and bars, as well as a bocce ball court, outdoor cinema space and an 11,315-square-foot garden.".  Pretty impressive. While devouring a large and oozing grilled cheese sandwich, I chose a sampler of Liberty Station brewed beers; all truly unique and fascinating. It started with the Stone Liberty Station Arrr & Arrr!!! Table Beer at only 3.5% ABV and quite backed with flavor. The came the Stone Alright Hamilton Amber Lager with a little more hop character. The Stone Liberty Station Wittier Moron Imperial Black Witbier was both spicy and complex and the Stone Liberty Station Oatworthy Oatmeal Pale Ale a treat. This spot is highly recommended. Cheers and safe travels.

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