Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Brewery Project: Helm's

On this outing I stopped in at one of San Diego's newest breweries, Helm's Brewing Co.  So new, in fact, that they have yet to open!  Thanks to my buddy Neal, who often accompanies me on my weekly beer adventures, we were able to get a sneak peek at this burgeoning brewery.  Brian, the brewer, opened the doors for us to see and taste what he has in store for San Diego in the very near future.  The aesthetics are still basic, but the moderately sized Kearny Mesa industrial space is decked out with everything needed to start and maintain production for thirsty craft beer seekers the county over.  I was impressed with the passion the young brewer showed.  Upon sampling his IPA, of which I actually quite liked, he told me that it wasn't "perfect", and said that a revamp of the recipe was already in the fermenter.  He also wasn't happy with the current incarnation of his Coffee Coconut Ale, which I found to be quite tasty.  He felt the coconut got lost in the brew, which I would agree with, so his next attempt would incorporate black pepper in place of the coconut.  Lesser breweries would simply rush a beer to meet an opening date, but here the end product is the focus, as it should be.  I had the privilege of sampling a young 100% Brettanomyces sour right from the fermenter.  Aging for only a few months, wonderful sour cherry flavors are already developing into a mouthwatering brew that should be fantastic in a year or so.  The care that's being put into these beers is what will put, and keep, this young brewery on the map.  Like the beer, the whole visit left me with a good taste in my mouth.  I can't wait to try the final versions of these beers, and I look forward to the success they will be brewing up as well.

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