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San Diego County breweries

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by sandiego67, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. Obviously, Stone, Green Flash, Ballast Point, Alpine, Alesmith, Lost Abbey and Port get 90% of the publicity around the country. What are your thoughts on the smaller, regional breweries popping up every week?

    I think that I have been to every tasting room except Rip Current, Mad Labs and New English (unless one popped up this week.

    We have several that have hit their 2nd anniversary so they apparently are making enough to cover their bills.

    Which breweries (without regional distribution) would you recommend to beer drinkers outside of the area?

    Karl Strauss?
    Iron Fist?
    Mother Earth?
    Oceanside Ale Works?
    Back Street?
    Rip Current?
    On the Tracks?
    Lattitude 33?
    New English?
    Rough Draft?
    Wet N Reckless?
    Money Paw?
    Off Beat?
    Belching Beaver?
    Indian Joes?
  2. SageO

    SageO Savant (455) California Jul 13, 2010 Verified

    From your second list, Societe is the definite go-to for me. And I haven’t been to Rip Current yet, but from everything I’ve heard they're going to also be a definite go-to brewery.
  3. rrryanc

    rrryanc Savant (470) California May 19, 2006 Verified

    How is this thread different than the hidden gems thread?
  4. vapodge

    vapodge Aficionado (235) Florida Nov 24, 2009

    Societe seconded. Great atmosphere.

    Also, Coronado gets out to FL — they're kinda big.
  5. Pecan

    Pecan Savant (480) Arizona Dec 20, 2012 Verified

    I just moved to town and have had to buckle down on prepping for an exam, so I'll slowly visit pretty much every place on that list... but for now

    Societe: Nice atmosphere, a couple solid beers (Butcher and Dandy were my favorites). On the couple trips I've taken, all of the same beers on tap and nothing in bottles. Food trucks sometimes, but not always food on-site. If you're going here and might need to eat, make sure there will either be a food truck or you know the area's food offerings. 7/10

    Coronado: Decent place but PACKED when I visited. None of the beers were something I wanted to take home, but were good enough that I enjoyed them on premises. Friendly environment and helpful staff. 5/10

    Just for reference, other bigger places' ratings on the experience of visiting...

    Stone: 9.5/10
    Lost Abbey 8/10
    Green Flash 8/10
    Alesmith: 7.5/10
    Ballast Point: 7/10
  6. hophead247

    hophead247 Savant (475) California Jan 27, 2008 Verified

    Because he got it right by saying Alpine is in San Diego county, and not San Diego?

    That's all I got...
  7. pinkgrenade and hophead247 like this.
  8. pinkgrenade

    pinkgrenade Savant (380) California Aug 19, 2011 Verified

  9. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (850) New York Mar 21, 2010 Verified

    I think repetitive threads could be said about 98% of the threads on BA :)! If not, what else would we be doing as we drink our beer on a Saturday night ?
  10. rrryanc

    rrryanc Savant (470) California May 19, 2006 Verified

    I mean that's fair, but normally they're at least somewhat different, or at least reposting something a week or more old...
  11. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Savant (315) California Dec 10, 2011

    Manzanita: No
    Coronado: Yes
    Karl Strauss: No
    Aztec Time Permitting
    Iron Fist: No
    Mother Earth: Yes
    Oceanside Ale Works: No
    Breakwater: Time Permitting
    Back Street: No
    Rip Current: yes
    Stumblefoot: No
    Fezziwigs: beats me
    On the Tracks: Jesus Christ NO!
    Lattitude 33: Yes
    New English: No
    Rough Draft: Time Permitting
    Hess: No
    Wet N Reckless: No
    Societe: Yes
    Money Paw: Yes
    Off Beat: Haven't been there
    Belching Beaver: Heard it's good
    Indian Joes: Heard it's bad
    HopHead84 likes this.
  12. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    I've been to a few. I would recommend:
    Manzanita - Yes, good stuff.
    Coronado - Yes if you want to go for a meal. Its more of a restaurant.
    Karl Strauss - Same as Coronado, but IMO Coronado has better beer.
    Iron Fist - Yes, one of my current favorites. Their standard releases have been better than their one offs though.
    Lattitude 33 - Decent, but only if you have extra time.
    Hess - Yes. Another one of my current favorites.
    Societe - Yes. Good stuff here, but not as good as Hess or Iron Fist, in my opinion again.
  13. I think we need a polling function with choices tied in to the BA rating database. It wouldn't be infallible, but it would be a good starting point.
  14. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Savant (315) California Dec 10, 2011

    You have got to be kidding me.
    domtronzero and jeff1973 like this.
  15. djaeon

    djaeon Champion (755) California Oct 2, 2006

    You have got to be kidding me.
    Retsinis and jmgrub like this.
  16. jmgrub

    jmgrub Savant (475) California Nov 20, 2010

    I love (Mike) Hess Brewing...I know it doesn't get a ton of love for whatever reason, but I'll continue to visit every time I'm down in the area.
    Retsinis likes this.
  17. There really are only a few reasons:

    1. A lot of people don't think their beer is quite up to "production" quality. Some of them think this will change with the North Park brewery.

    2. The industrial park feel of the place isn't for everybody.

    3. A few people have been rubbed the wrong way by a certain person's personality, or lack thereof, and when the nice person associated with Hess took off they saw little reason to come around.
  18. tyrsis

    tyrsis Savant (460) California Mar 13, 2009 Verified

    I've been beating around the bush a bit with Hess, because I don't want to offend my friends that like that place. But fuck it.

    Hess sucks. Don't waste your time when a world class brewery like Alesmith is 2 minutes away.
    domtronzero likes this.
  19. SageO

    SageO Savant (455) California Jul 13, 2010 Verified

    Hah, I hope you don't mean me – as MacNCheese can attest, I don't get offended at all. If we all were to get offended anytime someone disliked a brewery we liked, then BA would... oh wait...
  20. tyrsis

    tyrsis Savant (460) California Mar 13, 2009 Verified

    Nah, someone else.
  21. jtmartino

    jtmartino Advocate (515) California Dec 11, 2010 Verified

    I know FAR more people that really like Hess than dislike it. It's not the place to go for an IPA, but some of their beers are really solid.
    Retsinis likes this.
  22. jmgrub

    jmgrub Savant (475) California Nov 20, 2010

    It seems that Hess is really just a polarizing place. I go there occasionally when I'm down in SD; I personally enjoy some of their beers (Brunus Induresco, Ex Umbris, Quercus, blended Torulus). I also like going to their tasting room...there's a certain charm to its "down-and-dirty"-ness. I can't speak to the personnel departure, but I've only had positive experiences the half-dozen or so times I've been there. I'm curious to see how the new production facility will affect the beer quality.

    I like Societe-they have a nice, big open space and the beers are solid. I think the place will continue to get better and am curious to track their development over the next few years, especially their sour program. However, I still don't understand why they spelled their name the French way if they wanted it to be pronounced the English way.
    jtmartino and Retsinis like this.
  23. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poobah (1,440) California Mar 18, 2010 Verified

    How do you feel about the IPAs at both places?
  24. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Savant (315) California Dec 10, 2011

    I'm in this camp. I don't hate Hess, I just don't understand the bonerific lovefest people have for their beer. It's B quality beer and I think they've learned a TON and when the new place in North Park opens they'll be making much better beer. If the quality of the beer goes up, then I'll be a patron. Easy Peasy.

    Given that most production breweries are in industrial parks, that's not the case for me.

    Still don't know the whole story behind that, do we? I'm clueless. I've only ever been there twice.

    There's also the fact that Hess was busted by the City for illegal dumping of cleaning/sanitizing chemicals into the storm drain in the parking lot. This rubs me really the wrong way, if you want to be part of the community then don't fuck up our ocean by cutting corners with disposing of harsh cleaners. Total dickbag move.
  25. dcgunman

    dcgunman Savant (460) California Jul 1, 2009 Verified

    We all have our opinions and our favorite brewery's, pubs, etc. I think it all depends on our taste and what we like and how we are treated when we go to these establishments. Here in the LA/OC area we don't have as much as you guys down in Sun Diego but what we do have is great to good to not so good. Again all in my opinion. Like Sun Diego we have Golden Road Brewery (over a year old) and its the hottest Brewery/Pub in LA. Not in my opinion. But alot of peeps are going there and saying good things about it. There beers are all over the place including LAX. I think their beers are average. Nothing to rave about. And I think most BA's thats been here a while will say the same. I've been to a lot of brewery's and establishment here in OC/LA and I have my favorites (Beachwood BBQ SB). I've been to a dozen places down in your beautiful town of Sun Diego and I still find Alpine to be my favorite go to place. I'll always go to Alpine first then head to another spot before driving back to OC. Yeah I know Alpine is not really in Sun Diego but to drive the extra miles its worth it. Again, IMO. Best to go to where you think you'll enjoy yourself. And if you didn't, then don't go back. Check out another joint. There is a bunch of new places in Sun Diego that's new that I haven't been to yet that I will have to check out myself.
    stawn likes this.
  26. I wasn't talking about location, but the tasting room itself. Which really isn't a tasting room - it doubles as their production space. Some people like that vibe, some don't.
  27. jmgrub

    jmgrub Savant (475) California Nov 20, 2010

    I've had the Amplus Acerba at Hess-thought it was fine/standard. I've had all three in the normal Societe rotation (Apprentice, Pupil, Dandy). I thought they were all solid to very good, with the Pupil being the best. That's a good thing, because if you don't like IPAs, you are SOL at Societe.
    jtmartino likes this.
  28. I think that The Widow is a pretty solid Belgian Dark, and The Butcher is a somewhat different (and pretty good) take on the Russian Imperial Stout.
  29. jmgrub

    jmgrub Savant (475) California Nov 20, 2010

    My poorly-phrased post seemed to suggest I thought their non-IPA offerings were bad. It's not that, just that IPAs comprise around 50-66% of their draft list, so if you are looking for a wide variety of styles, it's not the best.
  30. Definitely. At this point they are doing IPAs, Belgians (of the non-sour variety), and a Belgian inspired RIS. That's it...
  31. stawn

    stawn Savant (370) California Sep 16, 2008 Verified

    Interested in why you think their RIS is Belgian inspired?
  32. Because I thought it had a much lighter "body" than most beers of the RIS genre, and simply guessed that was why. It is possible that I don't know what the [edit] I'm talking about, though.
  33. stawn

    stawn Savant (370) California Sep 16, 2008 Verified

    I personally think it's very chocolatey with a good amount of roast. Not thin at all. They also don't use a Belgian yeast, nor add Belgian candy/syrup, etc.
    We all have different tastes though. I was just curious.
  34. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Advocate (525) California Aug 30, 2012 Verified

    I'm heading to Stone Brewery for the first time today. I don't have any questions, just wanted to brag.
  35. jtmartino

    jtmartino Advocate (515) California Dec 11, 2010 Verified

    The best beers at Stone are guest taps/bottles. Just wanted to opine.
    MacNCheese likes this.
  36. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Savant (315) California Dec 10, 2011

    Nothing to brag about, brah. You're hitting a 2nd tier brewery in this County. But please drink all the Vert Epic 12.12.12 and get that stuff gone.
    joloje and jtmartino like this.
  37. Stone:San Diego craft brewing = Sam Adams:Nationwide craft brewing
  38. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Advocate (525) California Aug 30, 2012 Verified

    lol, bitter I see.
  39. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Savant (315) California Dec 10, 2011

    Bitter? No, I avoid that place. In the last 5 years they've had 2 good new beers: Highway 78 Scotch Ale (collab and I give credit to that beer to the 2 other brewers) and Drink By. The rest: meh at best.
  40. I like the Lukcy Basardt, though that could be considered more of a new take on an old beer.