Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Brewery Project: ChuckAlek

It's been years since I've been through the remote, sleepy community of Ramona, and I've never had reason to actually stop there.  That reason presented itself when I heard about ChuckAlek Independent Brewers.  Open since January, this small, family-run brewery specializes in what they call "Heritage Infused Brewing", using Old World brewing techniques to bring historical beer styles into the 21st century.  Grant, the owner and brewer, was happy to answer questions and chat about his creations, and even took me on a behind the scenes tour of the small, but well-equipped, brewing facility.  I was impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm for the craft, and his infectious energy showed in the final product.  I sampled 7 of his brews, including a Düsseldorf Altbier, Pale Ale, Berliner Weisse, Porter, Grodziskie Ale, Baltic Porter, and another Porter they called "East India Porter".  Each beer was unique and delicious in its own way.  I really enjoyed Conductor, the 9% alcohol Baltic Porter, which had a hint of blackberry in the finish.  Another standout was the East India Porter, a hoppy, 8% alcohol, 96 IBU brew which is deserving of further attention.  Further attention is what this brewery will be getting as word gets out about what's going on in this area otherwise devoid of fresh craft beer.  You may not have planned on visiting Ramona anytime soon, but I recommend putting it on your itinerary now!  You'll be happy with the change of scenery in both landscape and liquid form.


  1. Sounds like a great way to end a nice day trip to Julian or a mountain hike!