Four Brewers | On Location at Belching Beaver Brewery
Season 2, Episode 24 – This week, we’re visiting one of the many breweries along the Hop Highway, Belching Beaver Brewery in Vista, CA.
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Belching Beaver is one of many breweries along the legendary Hop Highway in San Diego, California, which is home to many other notable breweries like Stone Brewing Co., Port Brewing Company, Toolbox Brewing Company, and Iron Fist Brewing Co.. Opening just three years ago, they’ve already set themselves apart with their unique takes on classic styles. They really skyrocketed in popularity with the release of their delicious Peanut Butter Milk Stout.
During the course of the episode, we sample six different beers from the brewery, and discuss them with Belching Beaver brewer, Sean Laidlaw. Sean started in the beer industry at Mission Brewery after returning from a stint at Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, which is also where he met our own Greg Nagel. After working at Mission Brewery for just over a year as an assistant brewer, he decided to just ship and start brewing at Belching Beaver.
The first two beers we try on the show are Me So Honey and Beaver’s Milk, both of which are very well crafted and awesome beers. But when we get to their coconut and pineapple infused IPA Great Lei, our minds are blown. Typically, coconut is used in stouts and porters. The roasted notes and tropical sweetness from the coconut really lends itself well to those styles. But when the coconut is paired with pineapple and the right variety of matching hops in the IPA style, it works amazingly well. For those who aren’t keen to IPA, this beer introduces hops and bitterness in a very approachable way by masking the bitterness with the pineapple while enhancing the fruit characteristics of the hops. The coconut really takes it over the top to make it a refreshing and tropical experience.
Next up is a beer whose name is a tribute to San Diego’s stretch of beer-legend highway, Hop Highway IPA. India Pale Ale in San Diego is nothing new, so for a new brewery to launch with an IPA named after such a legendary stretch of road, it’d better be great. This beer delivers. Made with Citra, Nelson, and Galaxy hops, this beer delivers lasting, clean bitterness and tropical hop bite. IPAs these days tend to trend more toward less hop bitterness with massive hop aroma and flavor. This beer pays tribute to the classic style, but also delivers the modern characteristics that IPA lovers today demand.
Belching Beaver recently announced that they will be canning their beers, which is music to our ears. Cans are super-portable and protect beer very well from light and oxidation. Belching Beaver is currently using a mobile canning line, but plans on installing their on canning line when the new brewery in Oceanside, California is built.
We can’t thank Belching Beaver enough for having us at the brewery. Next time you’re in North County, pay them a visit.
BREW THE SHIT OUT OF IT.
Links to things from this week’s episode:
S2/E24 Show Outline
Beers from this show: Me So Honey, Beaver’s Milk, Great Lei, Hop Highway IPA, Rabid Beaver Rye IPA, and Old Smokestack.
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