Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Brewery Project: Monkey Paw

I kicked off The Brewery Project at a spot I'd heard a lot about and driven past many times, but never been to.  Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery was opened in downtown San Diego on August 23rd, 2011 by local craft beer bar legend, Scot Blair.  All of the brewing is done out of sight of the pub, which has a welcoming, familiar feel to it.  I counted 30 taps and 3 beer engines.  The bottled beers are stored in a brightly lit cooler, and looked extensive.  As I sat sipping my first brew, their Rich Man's IIPA, I was overtaken by the complete atmosphere of the place.  It was the ultimate visceral experience.  The aroma of beer mixed with a strong smoke smell pouring in from outside.  The roar of patrons enjoying their beer and nosh overpowered the music playing from the pub's self-themed jukebox.  The patrons themselves were very diverse, from a guy sitting at the end of the bar wearing a "Got Satan?" t-shirt to a great number of people wearing Padres attire, most likely going to the game later on that evening.  As I sipped on my second offering from the fledgling brewery, Sweet Georgia Brown, my eye was drawn to an "IPA" tattoo on the arm of one of the bartenders.   This is the all-in-one craft beer bar package, complete with an in-house brewery in the back.  The beer was great, and I can't wait to try more of their concoctions.  The IIPA and Brown were both recognizable for their individual styles, yet different enough to stand out on their own.  With 11 beers in their current repertoire, additional visits will definitely be a must.  Rumor has it they will be canning some of their beer soon, as well.  I highly recommend a stop by one of San Diego's newest craft beer establishments, and will be keeping an eye out in stores for them as well.

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