The Brewery Project: Karl Strauss Pacific Beach (main brewery)
I was excited to welcome the grand opening of the Karl Strauss Brewing Co. tasting room at their main brewery in Pacific Beach, but even more excited to visit it for myself! Skipping the crowds that flooded the newly renovated space on the first day of operation, I paid my visit on the second day of regular business, allowing me a more relaxed environment to explore every nook and cranny they set aside for tasting and enjoying the beer San Diego has been quaffing since 1989. Having seen this area pre-renovation, I had a greater appreciation of the thought and work that went into the finished product. It is, in a word, beautiful. Lots of room to mingle, inside and out, retail sales of beer and merchandise, windows into the lab, brewing floor, and bottling line, and of course a large bar area all work together to create a unique tasting room experience. Plenty of tables and seating are available, as are board games to play while enjoying your beer (also helping to keep younger visitors entertained). Walls lined with barrel-aging beers provide multifunction and visual interest as well. A great design to compliment great beer. I sampled their American (Union Brick) and English Barleywine, and while both were good, the English won my heart. I am already a fan of the style, but I could drink this one every day and not tire of it. I also tried Aged Mouette, an aged version of last year's holiday release, Mouette À Trois Holiday Fruitcake Ale. I wasn't a huge fan of this beer when it was first released, but aging has soured it a bit, making it fruity, tart, and refreshing. I would get in to try this one before it's gone. An all around great visit, I look forward to spending some quality time here every chance I get. I encourage you to do the same!