Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Brewery Project: Pizza Port Ocean Beach

You may remember my excitement here, here, and here leading up to the opening of Pizza Port Ocean Beach.  They offer the same family friendly, laid back atmosphere as the other locations, but this one has the closest proximity to where I live.  I've enjoyed many a visit here, and this time was no exception.  I tried their OB Spaceman Series Saison, a new one for me.  I also had Burns' Night Scotch Ale, another one I had never tried, and Just One More Scotch Ale, an old favorite.  I took advantage of their Lunch Special for the first time, which I think is quite a bargain.  A generous slice of pepperoni (or cheese) pizza, garden salad (which was huge), and a soda for only $4.99.  You can upgrade the soda to a house "regular" beer for just $1, or a house "strong" beer for $2.  You can never go wrong here, and I urge everyone I know who hasn't yet been to go.  Have you been here yet?  Then go!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Thursday, July 26, 2012

You had me at "Wil Wheaton"!

The following is from a Stone Brewing Co. Facebook post yesterday.

"Tomorrow from 6-7pm, we invite you to hang out with Sam from Dogfish Head Beer, Bill from Victory Beer, and Greg as we host our first Google+ Hangout!  It's a live video stream where they'll taste all three versions of Saison du BUFF side-by-side, chat about craft beer collaboration, and field fan questions!  Annnnd, it's being moderated by the illustrious Mr. Wil Wheaton!  More details:"

Remember, this post was from yesterday, so this is going down tonight!  Who's going to ask about Greg's new beard?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Project 12

This is an interesting article about Anheuser-Busch's new Budweiser line called "Project 12".  I don't know how these beers will taste, but at least it's nice to see some innovation from one of the "big guys".

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thanks, Tom & Cherie!

As a belated anniversary gift, my sister & brother-in-law brought me these gems from Colorado.  I profiled Odell Brewing Co. here last year, and it remains one of my favorite Fort Collins breweries.  I'll be saving these beauties for a special occasion!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Brewery Project: The Brew House at Eastlake

As many times as I've been to The Brew House at Eastlake, like here, it wasn't until this visit that I found out they don't actually brew at the "Brew House".  The beer is actually brewed in another part of Chula Vista under the name of Bay Bridge Brewery.  As pristine as the tanks look, I should have realized before now that the beer is brewed off-site.  I typically like to feature actual working breweries in these posts, however, since this is the only location their beer is available I will include it.  I always enjoy a casual meal here with the family.  The booth we had this time was right across from the small game room, which allowed peaceful beer sampling while the kids kept themselves entertained.  The word that comes to mind when I think about their beer is "solid".  Each style is properly represented, from Bonita Blonde to America's Finest Amber to Star of India IPA.  Their Wolf Canyon Wheat even took home a gold medal at the San Diego International Beer Festival this year.  What I have yet to see, and maybe I've just missed them, is specialty releases or one-offs.  I would love to try a strong IIPA or a nice barleywine.  Perhaps someday I will.  Until then I will continue to enjoy my visits and good, solid beer that they offer.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Beer-Con 2012

I missed this event last year, so I'd love to be there this year.  The following is from the official website.

"Beer-Con is a unique beer conference open to the public where attendees will get exclusive insider access to the world of craft beer.  A line-up of industry pros from around the country has been assembled in order to bring you a full day of learning, sharing, and tasting of great craft brews!"

The cost is $149 for a 2 Day Pass (August 24 & 25) which includes brewery tours and the conference or $119 for a 1 Day Pass (August 25) for just the conference.  Use the code "TapHunter" to save $20!  Let's go!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Green Beer

Check out this article about the steps Stone Brewing Co. is taking to save the planet.  Who knew green beer could be so good?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Öl Mörk Lager

I usually need a beer by my side when I'm putting together furniture that I purchased from Ikea.  Somehow it helps me through the scraped knuckles, sore hands from screwing in the 847 screws that came with the item, and the frustration of broken or missing parts.  Ikea must know that beer is a necessary part of the assembly process, as they are now brewing their own.  Read all about it here.  I wonder if it will come in a plastic pouch with the bottle, cap, and label in a separate box?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Brewery Project: Mad Lab

A tiny suite in an industrial park way out in Otay.  No money or investors, just a husband and wife with a dream.  Fermenters sitting in kiddie pools on the carpet of a small office.  Growlers and 22 ounce bottles labeled by hand with homemade labels.  Are they mad?!?  Actually, they are Mad Lab Craft Brewing.  Owners Mike & Daphne McFarland, who live in Imperial Beach, wanted to bring great craft beer to South Bay, an area of San Diego that has yet to open up to the craft beer movement.  With their grand opening yesterday, the floodgates have opened.  What the new location lacks in fluff is more than made up for in the passion of the husband and wife team.  Mike, who is also the brewer, artist, marketer, etc., can't hold back his enthusiasm as he explains the ingredients and brewing process of each of his "babies".  I was highly impressed by I.B. Blonde, a style that I don't usually like, which weighed in at 6.5% alcohol.  Sultry Venus, an Abbey Ale, also stole my heart and taste buds with its 6.9% alcohol punch.  With 6 beers currently on tap including an IPA, Scottish Red, Porter, and a Stout, there's something for every taste.  The fact that my group won a couple of growlers and a t-shirt while we were there was just the icing on the cake!  Don't let the drive scare you away from checking out San Diego's newest brewery.  As they say, "Release the Madness"!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Manzanita grows!

The following is a Manzanita Brewing Co. Facebook post from yesterday.

"You've waited long enough!!
This weekend we will have a "Soft Opening" of Manzanita's New Tasting Room.
Same Hours Thurs. 4-8, Fri. 4-10, Sat. 1-10 & Sun. 1-6
Come see the new place 10151 Prospect Ave. Santee!
We'll see ya soon."

Let's go check out the new digs!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Brewery Project: Ballast Point/Home Brew Mart

Whether you're a fan of this staple San Diego brewery, like to brew your own beer, or both, a visit to Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits/Home Brew Mart is a must.  I have done numerous posts about this nautically themed brewery, and paid them a visit here.  Where else can you taste world-class beer, brewed right on premises, while shopping for your homebrew supplies?  I think the standout for me is the friendly, knowledgeable staff.  They are always more than happy to give you brewing advice, suggest products to try or brews to taste, or just hang out and talk beer.  Whether you're new to the world of homebrewing or you've been doing it for years, you'll get the same attention, same care, and same service.  No stress, no worries.  I do suggest, however, that you keep an eye on the clock if you plan on sampling any of the award-winning beers they are featuring during your visit.  Due to their licensing, they are only allowed to serve tasters of their beer during certain hours.  On this particular visit I got there too close to the last call.  I was able to taste Sculpin, their local favorite IPA, and Navigator, an extremely tasty Dopplebock, but missed out on Dorado, a local favorite IIPA which hasn't been bottled since 2009.  I was bummed, but know that I will just have to make another trip again soon.  Will you join me?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

2012 Zymurgy Best Beers in America

Zymurgy readers have spoken once again, the lists have been compiled, and results can be found here.  For the second year in a row, Alpine took the top spot in the "Spirit of Homebrew" category, edging out Russian River, The Bruery, AleSmith, and Jolly Pumpkin for the honor.  Regardless of position, all of the breweries and beers on these lists are winners in my book.