san diego – PorchDrinking.com
Of all of the beer events that are out there today, only a handful are as important and meaningful and well as educational as Brewbies. Started just about 11 years ago by Melanie (Mel) Pierce, it was the idea to help the community become more educated about breast cancer and checking for early signs while you get to support research foundations fight against the big C. (while of course drinking some rad brews!)
You know the scene in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure where he’s saving pets from the burning pet store, and he keeps passing over the snakes because they gross him out? Eventually he bites the bullet, grabs the snakes and runs out screaming. Sometimes that’s how I feel about the Sours in my cellar. I know I’m going to drink them all eventually, but aren’t there any Barrel-Aged Stouts I can rescue first?
That’s probably a little dramatic. Just like with Sours, some snakes are pretty cool. I used to have an empty field by my house where we’d go and collect garter snakes to take to school and put them in teachers’ desks. That’s not really relevant other than now you know I was kind of a dick as a kid. I’m sure I’ve outgrown that through the years. Anyway, to push myself out of my cozy, hoppy, comfort zone, several times a year I like to sit down and get personal with a bottle of funky tartness. This month’s offering to the Sour Gods is Karl Strauss‘ fan-favorite Queen of Tarts.
Once in a while, some news story comes out talking about how the Northern Lights are visible from not-too-far away. This excites us sky geeks. For most of us in the U.S., unfortunately, the caveats are extreme (e.g. hiking three miles into un-mapped forest in the hopes that the sky is clear enough during the five-minute window when the Aurora Borealis can actually be seen). Finding a good location that’s dim enough to see this spectacle of nature is a challenge if you live in the lower 48.
On the other hand, if you live in a hot craft beer city like San Diego, it’s real easy to find quality beer. So save the skywatching for your bucket list vacation to Iceland, or if you have to lay low for a while and need to move to Alaska. We’re not here to judge; what you do in the privacy of your own back-alley gambling hall is your own business. Beer though…that’s our business. And business is booming, dammit.
Anyone that’s familiar with the craft beer scene knows that San Diego is one of the best places in the country to go for a beercation. The official number of breweries constantly fluctuates, but there are approximately more than 150 operational breweries in San Diego County. That number doesn’t count the numerous satellite taprooms that many breweries have around town.
One thing that’s great about the San Diego area is that with the seemingly endless amount of breweries there isn’t a bad place to start your brewery tours, regardless of where you’re staying. Many breweries you probably already know, such as Modern Times, Coronado, Karl Strauss, Stone Brewing, Pizza Port and, well, there are so many it’s hard to name them all. San Diego offers several, diverse beer experiences. For instance, North Park has smaller, cozier taprooms and Miramar has larger (and sometimes massive) production breweries. So, here is a quick guide to just a small number of the area’s numerous breweries — some you know, some that may be new to you. We hope it helps you when you visit San Diego.
The Beatitude series of Saisons by Council Brewing Company is kind of a thing in San Diego. That is to say that the fruity Saisons pop up in various kegs and bottles throughout the city with a distinct notoriety and a high demand. This beer has existed, to be exact, in Mosaic dry-hopped, Citra dry-hopped, raspberry, apricot, passion fruit, cherry, three berry, pineapple, blueberry and, of course, mango versions, all of which are bottle-conditioned. We discovered the Beatitude Mango fresh on tap when we visited the brewery location.
Modern Times’ can first caught my eye because it reminded me of a classic baseball uniform, inviting in that vintage American summer day feeling (I guess it’s like that every day in Southern California). This can is beautiful, simple, classic, and awesome. In the beer world, looks can deceive, but Modern Times Beer has it all: perfect inside and out.
While I must admit that I am not the type to usually fall for big names that make large boasts, especially when it comes to hops and bitterness, breweries like Green Flash are the exception. Hailing from southern California in San Diego, hop heads all over recognize the great quality and diversity of IPA in their regular rotation. For today’s showcase, I hoppily introduce Palate Wrecker….and it is no misnomer.