Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beer Tasting Trip to San Diego

On Saturday, we headed down to San Diego for a beer tasting tour of San Diego. We made it to The Bruery Provisions in Orange, Pizza Port in Carlsbad, Iron Fist Brewing in Vista, Lost Abbey in San Marcos and Stone Brewery in Escondido. We had originally planned to also hit up Alesmith, Ballast Point and Alpine, but that proved to be too aggressive of an itinerary and we headed back to LA after Stone as beer fatigue started to set in. Favorite overall was probably Iron Fist Brewing. Pizza Port was also really good, although the pizza itself wasn't that good. Stone was pretty but just felt way too commercialized and was way too busy; it took me about 20 minutes to order a beer and we originally wanted to get a table for dinner but they were all fully booked and not taking walkins for a couple of hours. All in all a great trip; we tried probably 15-20 beers in a variety of styles that we had never tried before. I was amazed at how many different beers each brewery made; before the trip, I had tried plenty of Bruery, Port Brewing and Lost Abbey beers, but I'd say that I was unfamiliar with the majority of the beers on the tasting list. We came home with a couple of bottles from the Bruery (unfortunately they didn't open for tastings until noon), a growler of Poor Man's IPA from Port Brewing and two bottles of the Velvet Glove from Iron Fist Brewing Co. We'll be back down to San Diego next weekend for Stone Brewing's 15th Anniversary party.
We got to the Bruery at 11am but unfortunately they weren't pouring until noon, so we just went shopping
Quick stop at the San Juan Capistrano Mission (we didn't actually go inside)
Pitcher of Great American Brown Ale. First beer of the day, perfect after a long car ride (traffic was terrible on the way down)
Bubonic Chronic (meh), Poor Man's IPA (really good), Whambo American Pale Ale (pretty good), Night Rider
The pizza at Pizza Port. Not great, very thick, Pizza Hut-ish pizza. Fine for eating with lots of beer though
Growler of Poor Man's IPA
Iron Fist and Lost Abbey were both in random warehouse areas which were all closed for the weekend except for the breweries which were packed. Lots of limo tours and shuttle buses, a bit of a frat party atmosphere
The Hired Hand (Saison), Gauntlet, Uprising and Velvet Glove
Witch's Wit (wheat beer), Red Barn (spiced saison), Lost & Found (I think), Road to Helles (German Lager), Serpent's Stout and a bottle of Framboise de Amorosa to take home
We took a tour of the facilities at Lost Abbey which was of interest to my brother who homebrews
Beer bottling equipment, converted from old wine bottling equipment
Nice indoor / outdoor dining area at Stone. Note: tables must be reserved in advance
Pretty gardens at Stone
Some sort of Belgian "biscotti": excellent
Stillwater / Mikkeler Two Gypsies: very good
The dogs came along with us on the trip

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