Newer beer destinations in the San Diego area?

Discussion in 'Pacific' started by corby112, Feb 9, 2013.

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  1. corby112

    corby112 Poo-Bah (3,908) Nov 19, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I'll be coming into town in March and am looking for recommendations of places that have opened since the last time I visited, around a year and a half ago. I looked at the recently added section of the SD place page but there were barely any reviews yet for the latest entries. Societe and Latitude 33 look really cool. Anything else?
  2. NickMunford

    NickMunford Savant (978) Oct 2, 2006 Wyoming

    Helms is really new, and pretty close to Societe. Haven't been there yet though, so I can't say more than that. Just figured I'd mention it because it's so close to Soceite.
  3. Zbeetleman

    Zbeetleman Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2012 California

    I heard Hess is good and Belching Beaver in North County is pretty good. Weird name but decent brews.
  4. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Rip Current (San Marcos) seems to have a good buzz about it.
  5. ManaKarma

    ManaKarma Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 California

    Societe and Hess are the two standouts for me, and close to each other. Haven't been to Rip Curl or Latitude, but their offerings I've tried have been underwhelming.
  6. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,190) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Rip current, latitude, societe
    hoserking, ehammond1, ryno09 and 3 others like this.
  7. corby112

    corby112 Poo-Bah (3,908) Nov 19, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thanks a lot for the info guys. I appreciate the suggestions and am really looking forward to checking out some new place during my trip.
  8. Xul

    Xul Crusader (760) May 18, 2008 California

    Solid beers, and worth stopping in for some tasters if you're at Societe and have extra time, but not at the level of the three that HopHead84 mentioned. Nothing wowed me, but there also weren't any glaring flaws in the beers I tried and they've only been open a couple months...given some time, I expect them to find a niche.
  9. HopHead84

    HopHead84 Poo-Bah (3,190) Nov 29, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    I agree. I have nothing negative to say about Helm's but I think they need a little time to get familiar with their system and hit their stride. They're not making bad beer, though.
  10. ManaKarma

    ManaKarma Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 California

    Not sure there's much buzz re: RipCurl and/or Helm. Can't think of an exceptional from either... anyone? Maybe they will get it together, but the others mentioned, while maybe lacking in aesthetics and hospitality, have delicious BEER!
  11. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Who the hell is "RipCurl"?
  12. ManaKarma

    ManaKarma Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 California

    whatever, rip current... guess it shows how relevant they are so far
  13. SageO

    SageO Initiate (198) Jul 13, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Everybody I know (myself included) have been champing at the bit forever for Rip Current to open, and have been nothing but impressed with his beers now that it is open. Seriously, the pale ale kinda blew my mind the first time I had it.
    JustXBeer, stawn and ehammond1 like this.
  14. DrtyBvrJuce

    DrtyBvrJuce Initiate (0) Jan 17, 2013 California

    They've been open 2 months. Every brewery gets a year to figure things out and work through the kinks and dialing in new beers. Also sounds like you haven't been there. I don't understand your comment on not having been to the breweries and bashing them for hospitality? Dick move bro.

    Along 8 Societe and Helms are the 2 to hit. Hess is still a nano, their production facility in North Park hasn't opened yet.

    There's more going on in north county. Rip Current and Lat 33 are fairly close and Aztec is also nearish to Lat 33. Butcher brewing is also new and I enjoyed their beers.
    MacNCheese likes this.
  15. ManaKarma

    ManaKarma Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 California

    I wasn't bashing anyone's hospitality. The breweries I mentioned, Societe and Hess have the BEST BEER that I have tasted that fit OP criteria. I have been to both breweries, and was commenting that they might "lack" certain charm/hospitality, probably due to being new, and in Hess' case, to not being open in North Park. These two spots are great for sampling and filling up, but might not spend hours hanging out.

    As far as Rip Current and Latitude, I have had 2-3 beers from each, and none were standout. That's all... no comment regarding their other beers, and no comment regarding their breweries (people around here make some presumptions)

    Helm's beers needed some tweaking based on my sampling at the brewery, again nothing spectacular as far as the industrial setting.

    They are all good and just getting going, but with so much competition it is hard to fill up on stuff that is not exceptional - we San Diegans are spoiled.
  16. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    You went out of your way to bash Rip Current, almost as if you had a bone to pick. It isn't just a presumption; it's the tone of your post. A good number of beer critics in San Diego (for all the value they have) have written columns about them. I'd call that "relevant", wouldn't you?

    If I didn't know better, I'd almost suspect you are either a Hess employee or one of their groupies, hurt about somebody stealing the buzz that formerly went your way. You know that Societe is out of reach now so you have to "like" them, but those other places make convenient targets.
  17. ChazMania

    ChazMania Aspirant (272) Jun 13, 2006 California

    I think Mother Earth (Vista) has improved significantly; their latest Double IPA release called Primordial was excellent. I also like Breakwater Brewings DMJ IPA that place doesn't get much love around here.
  18. Xul

    Xul Crusader (760) May 18, 2008 California

    Are they still on schedule to open this month? I've had several people (both on BA and in person) tell me to wait until he gets the new system running to judge Hess, but at the same time they try to tell me the beer he's brewing now is great. I'm willing to give them another shot once they're in the new facility, but the fact that people keep recommending Hess in its current incarnation is confusing at best.
  19. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    You are asking for a consensus opinion, but you will not get one. I take it by the tone of your message that you have tried them in the past, but were not impressed? What did you try?

    I don't think I've been there once where there wasn't a beer or two that I enjoyed, though sometimes I've had to taste 3 or 4 before hitting them.
    jtmartino likes this.
  20. jtmartino

    jtmartino Initiate (0) Dec 11, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Can you describe the flaws you found in their beer? I'd consider myself a pretty seasoned beer drinker with a very sensitive palate and I think a lot of their beers are pretty damn tasty. Their dry-beaning of the beers is really nice, and a far superior method of adding coffee flavor to beer than throwing beans/grounds/coffee in the kettle. I've been impressed with most things they create, and can't find any glaring flaws in their beer aside from heat-related byproducts during peak summer temps.

    But in general, their stuff is good. A friend just brought up a couple of their growlers to a recent tasting (Deceptio and Grazias) and everyone though the beers were solid. They also get generally good reviews on this site and RB. But there are a handful of San Diegans (like you, MacnCheese and others) who bash on their beer pretty regularly. Can you explain why?
  21. Xul

    Xul Crusader (760) May 18, 2008 California

    I've tried Claritas, Deceptio, Ex Umbris, and Grazias, spread across their tasting room and a couple of different beer fests. Out of those, Ex Umbris was solid, but 1) I'm a sucker for imperial stouts and 2) it's a style that lends itself to covering up imperfections.

    If you enjoy it, great, but if you have to try three or four beers to find one you enjoy, is that a brewery you would honestly use the word "best" about? Maybe we use the word "enjoy" differently, but if I don't enjoy three out of four beers I try, the fourth beer would have to be sex in a glass for me to start using superlatives to describe the brewery.

    It's been long enough that I can't give you a detailed analysis, but their beers overall tasted a bit green. I recall that the IPA's hop aroma and flavor seemed rather underwhelming and unbalanced, and that wasn't after wrecking my palate with a bunch of other hoppy beers.

    Most of their beers are under 4.0 on BA...considering the high rating bias that most reviewers have, that's not a glowing recommendation.

    I don't bash them, so much as question why people keep hyping them over other breweries that put out a more consistently polished product. They're brewing on a system that's glorified homebrew, and it shows in a final product that's not particularly refined. I'm sure that some of his batches are quite good and once they're brewing in North Park, I plan to try their beers again, but their output thus far hasn't justified the praise that some people heap on them.
  22. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Where was I using superlatives? The topic of the thread was "newer beer destinations", not "best places in San Diego". I was simply asking out of curiosity what you tried at Hess. It isn't like it is on my normal rotation or anything, especially since the guy that would give me free half tasters (you know, "just a swig") left and I had to start ponying up for full tasters just to see if I liked something. I'm cheap that way.
  23. ManaKarma

    ManaKarma Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 California

    My only experience at the current Hess included trying 8+ beers. In my opinion... some were great, some were spectacular, and a few were something special and exceptional! I have had a few of their offerings around town, and none have disappoint. That being said, the current location is nothing more than a garage and a bunch of beer lovers standing around - I sorta like the nano-low-key vibe they got going, though I can imagine some folks prefer having other nice amenities (so the North Park location should provide that). Sometimes they have a BBQ or food truck swing by, to spice things up.

    I am looking forward to Hess being around for a long time. The only other "newer" brewery I can say the same for is Societe. The others mentioned might get to that level for me, but I'll need to see/try more from them first.

    As far as non-brewery destinations, try Fathom Bistro on Shelter Island - just opened in the last week or two.
  24. Xul

    Xul Crusader (760) May 18, 2008 California

    You didn't say "best," ManaKarma referred to them as one of the best new spots in San Diego...I was responding to multiple points at once, should've been more specific.
  25. ManaKarma

    ManaKarma Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2012 California

    Back to my point about presumptions.

    I don't work for Hess. I don't know anyone from Hess. In fact, I have zero connection to anyone in the beer industry. I just have lived in San Diego for 12 years, and enjoy good beer.

    I only comment from my own experience. I have had good, but not great beer from Rip Current. I have had only decent beer from Helm. I have had a good IPA (but not in the same world as Alpine, Societe, BP, AleSmith, Stone, etc...) from Latitude. That being said, I look forward to trying all of the beers from all of them and re-evaluated MY OPINION when the time comes. Until then, keep your judgements that I am bashing these breweries to yourself. In fact, I asked for someone to point me in the direction of their best beers.... and the conversation keeps coming back to Hess and Societe.

    BS, sorry I stated my opinion (and yes, every opinion is biased when we talk about TASTE)
  26. besaunders

    besaunders Initiate (0) Nov 8, 2007 California

    Yeah, that isn't a bashing comment at all. I see you have conveniently ignored my evidence that there was a buzz about the place, too. I wasn't suggesting the place was amazing; I was suggesting that it is a new place worth a try, based on what I've tasted and what I've heard/read.

    Not impressed with their beer? Well, not everybody has to be - as you said, taste is a subjective thing. I liked their Red Flag DIPA, but found their Milkstache stout to be too sweet (almost to the point of being a bit gross - guess it needs to be paired with the right food).
  27. MacNCheese

    MacNCheese Initiate (0) Dec 10, 2011 California

    Hess isn't really 'new' either. They've got to be close to 2yrs old now.

    Amazing that, according to you, they had nothing less than great beer. From a joint that ferments in plastic and is glorified homebrew. As I've said in many other threads, I look forward to their North Park brewery, but am not a fan of the nano which consists of green, rushed beer, cloudy, off flavors etc...
  28. mrkrispy

    mrkrispy Initiate (0) Apr 5, 2006 California

    For the OP if he still wants advice on where to go in San Diego:

    Central: Societe is a MUST, Pizza Port OB if you didn't make it there on the last trip.

    North County: Rip Current and Belching Beaver. I have only been to Latitude once right when they opened and it showed promise.
  29. corby112

    corby112 Poo-Bah (3,908) Nov 19, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Thanks man. I did make it to Pizza Port OB last time and really enjoyed it. Hopefully I'll get a chance to go back and hit up Olivetree while I'm in the area.
  30. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2008 California

    If in OB and you want to try some Belching Beaver without going to north county I highly recommend going to Issara. It is a Thai restaurant in Point Loma (borders OB). They usually have 2 or 3 Belching Beaver beers on and their food is really good.
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