Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Brewery Project: 2kids

Who are the "two kids" of 2kids Brewing Co.?  Rob and Sam Dufau, a husband and wife who have a passion for craft beer.  After homebrewing in their small apartment for several years, they finally decided to share that passion with the rest of us by setting up shop in Miramar, an area that is no stranger to great craft beer.  Each with their own unique beer style and preference, the beers they brew will cater to a wide range of tastes, assuring you will always find something to please your palate.  On deck and in my tasting cups were an interesting assortment of brews, including One Twenty Three Cream Ale, which I'm guessing was named after the suite number in their address, Incredulous Ordinary Bitter, which was a new style classification to me, but proved to be my favorite of the bunch, Obligatory IPA, which is probably the best name for an IPA I've ever heard, especially here in San Diego, Reginald ESB, a kicked up version of Incredulous, and Pirlie-Winkie Scottish Ale, a low 3.2% alcohol version of the style.  Open just 4 days, the quality of the beers and enthusiasm of the owner/brewers was infectious, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.  Go check out these new "kids" on the block, and you'll see what I'm talking about!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

It's National Drink Beer Day!

The question is how to celebrate this special day.  Hmmm.

Friday, September 27, 2013

That's got to be one fine barleywine!

Check out this article about a rare barleywine from Hair of the Dog Brewing Co. that sold for $2000 per 12.7 ounce bottle!  I am definitely a fan of this style, but that's a bit too rich for my blood.  Perhaps someone will give me a sip of theirs?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Don't do it, Greg!

Putting my personal affection for the scruffy version of Stone Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder Greg Koch over the clean-cut one, I must respect his reasons for going under the scissors in the name of Movember and men's health issues.  You can donate to the "Shave Greg" Beautification Campaign here.  Will he really do it?  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Brew Dogs!

Tonight is the premier of BrewDog's brilliantly titled new show, Brew Dogs.  Check out the extended first look here.  If you don't get Esquire Network, the show is also running on Bravo and CNBC later in the week.  Tonight the boys visit Stone Brewing Co., so it's bound to be a good time.  Let's hope it does better than Dogfish Head & Sam Calagione's short-lived show, Brew Masters.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Alcatraz closes, again

Like the once great fortress the brewery was named for, Orange County's Alcatraz Brewing Co. has closed its doors.  Read more about it here.  I've been to this brewery a handful of times, and although I was never blown away by their beer, am still sad to see them go.  As always, I wonder what leads to a brewery closing and what could have been done, if anything, to prevent it.  The article mentions that there are plenty of good breweries in the area to fill its void, but that is of little solace for the owners, staff, and patrons of this defunct brewery that brewed in the same location for over a decade.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Brewery Project: Acoustic Ales

About a year ago The Brewery Project took me to Mission Brewery Plaza, where I found an abandoned brewery with dormant brewing equipment.  I'm happy to say that the brewery, along with all of its equipment, has come out of hibernation and is in the capable hands of Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment!  Their newly opened tasting room is located in a prominent suite across the plaza the from the actual brewery, providing a separate place to relax and enjoy their brews.  The word "swanky" came to mind as I entered the space, which features dark, rich wood tones, a large copper-topped bar, and comfortable chairs and couches throughout.  I was a bit intimidated at first, but the friendly staff put me at ease quickly, and were happy to make recommendations for my personalized beer flight.  The 4 beers I chose were Surly Mosh Pit Imperial Red Ale, a cask version of the same beer with the addition of whole cone Citra hops, Run for the Hills Double IPA, and The Groupie Belgian Style Strong Blonde Ale.  I cannot say enough good things about each of these beers.  They were all excellent and highly recommended.  This was my first time experiencing their "Experiment", and it certainly won't be my last.  I look forward to many visits to this San Diego historical landmark, and enjoying the beer flowing from it that's sure to make history of its own!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Who said that?

"Don't drink to get drunk.  Drink to enjoy life."
- Jack Kerouac

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Brewery Project: Oggi's Carmel Mountain Ranch

Visiting yet another Oggi's Pizza & Brewing Co. location, I made my way to their Carmel Mountain Ranch store, where they also brew.  Located in a small shopping center in a residential area right off a freeway, but not visible from the freeway, this spot appears to be more of a locals hangout, and is somewhat difficult to find if you're not looking for it.  With a small, cozy dining room and ample bar area, I felt very comfortable even though it was my first time there.  I'm pretty familiar with all of their core beers, so I'm always hoping to find a limited release, specialty, or one-off brew on tap.  I found just that in Surfside Monk Belgian Triple Ale.  Not available anywhere else, I was surprised to see this 8.9% alcohol creation served in a pint glass.  Being a fan of the style, I was hoping they would do it justice.  They did.  True to style, it combined just the right amount of sweetness with just the right amount of alcoholic kick.  Smooth and delicious, I would come back for this beer alone.  However, this beer may not be available the next time I'm there, so hopefully I'll find something equally as tantalizing.  Something that will bring me back again.  And again.  And again.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Don't stand up Stone!

I'm a huge fan of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station, as you can tell from this Brewery Project post, and am looking forward to another wonderful experience there tomorrow night with family.  This is the first time I've called in ahead of time, as a party of 8 or more is required to make a dinner reservation.  I was a bit shocked to learn that a credit card is needed to make the reservation, and if you don't show up they will charge your card $100!  On top of that, they will only hold your table for 15 minutes past your reservation time.  I really don't have a problem with this policy, as I never plan on standing up Stone.  Be warned if you do, it's no Stone for you!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Brewery Project: Backstreet

Pizza and beer are a classic combination, one that Vista's Backstreet Brewery, along with its counterpart Lamppost Pizza, seem to have mastered.  About as casual and laid back a spot as you'll find, this no muss, no fuss establishment features a large dining room with plenty of TVs, games for the kids, and lots of communal seating, a la Pizza Port.  The bar area has a unique identity of its own, trading bustling families and video games for serious beer drinkers and 2 levels of brewing equipment.  They truly offer something for everyone.  I was really impressed with their pizza.  Opting for a classic, the large cheese pizza was one of the best pies I've had in a long time.  The crust was the star, but the pizza as a whole was absolutely delicious.  The daily special of $4 off any large pizza was pretty tasty as well!  I use the term "solid" quite often when I describe beer.  That typically means that the beer was good, and lived up to its particular style.  This beer was solid.  I enjoyed 2 IPA's on my visit.  Cale's Ale, an American IPA, and My Peeps, a Black IPA were both very good.  Each were extremely drinkable and paired perfectly with the pizza.  I look forward to trying other selections on future visits.  Future visits that are guaranteed, as this will be a regular stop on my growing list of North County pizza and beer go-to spots.  It should be on your list, too!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Who said that?

"I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking a beer."
- Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Drink it or save it?

A fair question brought to light by beers that are suitable for aging, such as The Bruery's Smoking Wood that I sip even as I type this.  Pulling this massive, delectable brew out of storage after over a year in hibernation was a difficult decision to make.  Knowing that a beer like this will actually improve over time, when is the right time to drink it?  The answer is really quite simple.  Drink it when you want to drink it!  A Thursday, to me, seemed as good a time as any to treat myself to something special.  For you it may be a job promotion, an anniversary, or just because it's Monday!  Whatever the occasion, don't be afraid to pop open that special beer you've been saving for "just the right moment", for that moment may never come.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Brewery Project: Karl Strauss Carlsbad

After a long day with the family at LEGOLAND, a beautiful visit to The Flower Fields, or an exhausting day of shopping at the Premium Outlets, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. has you covered with their Carlsbad location.  Within walking distance of these popular destinations, this brewery restaurant features cozy indoor or airy outdoor seating, and the same stellar food and beer you've come to expect from this San Diego mainstay.  Of special note this visit was the Poutine avec Pork Belly.  Calling it a dish of fries covered in cheese, gravy, and bacon would be doing it a disservice.  An unbelievably good dish, you simply have to try this one for yourself.  Pairing perfectly with my Conquistador Doppelbock, I was a happy, happy man.  If you find yourself in the area, stop by for a pint or two.  Oh, and don't forget the fries, er, Poutine.  Trust me!