San Diego Beer Week 2012 – Dan’s To-Do List
The Grandaddy of All Beer Weeks is amongst us. I’m not afraid to say it, I’m referring to San Diego Beer Week. Some may disagree, but to anyone who disagrees, I say to you: Alpine, AleSmith,Ballast Point x2,Port Brewing/Lost Abbey, Green Flash, Stone Brewing, Karl Strauss, O’Brien’s Pub, Toronado SD,Hamilton’s, Churchils,PB Tap Room,Pizza Port x 4 and the list goes on and on.
While it’s not a reason to stay home for this years San Diego Beer Week, some might feel they have “been there/done that.” To that notion, I would like to share my San Diego Beer Week “To-Do” List, as the rapidly growing scene has plenty of things for even the most jaded veteran San Diego Beer drinker to venture into. I don’t have first hand knowledge on how great any of these places are below, but they’ve caught my attention for one reason or another, mostly due to their reputation amongst my craft beer friends.
*In no particular order **nobody paid me to write this
Urge Gastropub – This place has been open for a few years now, and we still haven’t stopped by. Our friends at Maui Brewing hold plenty of events there and they seem to love it. By my count, they have over 50 craft beers on tap from local and established national craft brewers. By looking at their website, they aren’t extra casual like Pizza Port for example, so don’t wear your holiest t-shirt. I’ve been recommended to go there, so I plan on it. Website link
The Best Damn Beer Shop – The name “The Best Damn Beer Shop” brings to things to my mind: Aggressiveness and Tom Arnold. Tom Arnold? Yeah, remember “The Best Damn Sports Show?” Anyway, I follow this retailer on Facebook, and they seem to have great direction on what the super geek are looking for. I couldn’t imagine how any retailer can get a leg up on selling beer considering you can go to the source or go to a large retailer, but these guys do it. They also hold seemingly amazing tastings featuring Barrel Aged Beer and Sour Beers.
Link to yelp reviews, their website is having problems
Societe Brewing – I’m usually very leery of the “startup brewery of the week” in San Diego, or anywhere for that matter. Many folks have their heart in the right place when starting up a brewery, but the competition is so strong for a yummy glass of beer that breaking through to that high level of standards is difficult. While I haven’t sampled any Societe Beers, I’ve met the very competent brewers/owners and have been recommended by some very picky beer drinkers to give them a shot as I will likely enjoy it. *Note to friends and readers: Saying a brewery is “trying” or “some of their stuff is solid” doesn’t sell me. Telling me its good, give it a try is enough for me to…..give it a try.
White Labs Tasting Room – Some of the most famous craft beers in the world use White Labs yeast. White Labs put a tasting room right in the middle of beer country, and the concept sounds amazing. Basically, they have a list of in house beers made with their various yeast straights, showcasing that strain. This sounds very idea for the beer geek, how brewer and young pro brewer.
Bine and Vine – Back when we started The Full Pint in 2007, there was South Bay Drugs and Liquor, ran by Geoi Bachoua. Geoi (or as I call him, King G) had a legendary lineup in his family botte shop. About two years ago, he started having problems with the location he was in, and really wanted to try and start his own thing. Earlier this year he did just that and opened up Bine and Vine. While the bottle shop landscape is slightly different than it was in 2007 – 2010 with many more stores, G is a very savvy beer buyer, has a great reputation and is known for his ‘personal touch’ customer service. For those of you who are nowhere near San Diego, he takes online orders!
Blind Lady Ale House – This place is a family owned place that serves hand crafted ales and food. Former Stone Brewmaster Lee Chase and his wife happen to be one of the families that own it which is a draw for me. I haven’t been in the right place at the right time to check it out, but it’s a priority of mine to check out sooner than later. Between Mr. Chase’s track record and the establishments dedication to locally sourced grub, the place seems like it has a lot of love to share.
Iron Fist Brewing – Here is another fairly new brewery, and this brewery is right in that ‘Highway 78 Territory’, close to where Green Flash used to be in Vista, CA. I’ve had very small samples of their beer, but have never gotten to know the beers or visited the brewery. Many of my North County peeps have told me to stop by for a glass, and darnit, I will. If you are doing the Pizza Port Carlsbad, Port Brewing, Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens loop, you are already there!
Monkey Paw Brewing – I knew nothing and heard nothing about these guys until Golden Road said they were the only craft canners in SoCal and these guys said “um pardon.” I guess we both never heard of them =-) Since then, I’ve tried some dank fresh yummy IPA from these guys, so now they have my attention.