Sunday, March 2, 2008

Another San Diego Marathon

Everything went pretty much as planned yesterday for our beer run into Alpine and San Diego. I picked up my friend Steve and we made our 2 hour drive to Alpine on Chik-fil-A and Girl Scout Cookies as fuel. When we finally made it down to Alpine around 12:30 we went to the Liars' Club. I ordered a Moonlight Sour Puss (pictured left), which I found is a sour version of their black lager Death & Taxes. The sourness was not hard to find in this beer and when I first tasted it I could easily notice its uniqueness which contained roasted malt in the finish. It was quite good. The next beer I ordered was an Alpine Ale (pictured right), an extra pale ale. Well it wasn't extra pale, as it had a nice golden color to it, but it was extra pale in taste. I couldn't get a whiff of hops at all, or in the taste either. Mainly what I got was a pale malt graininess, and that was about it. It was hard to finish such an uninteresting beer. My friend Steve ordered an Alpine Pure Hoppiness and a Stone 10th Anniversary with his fuego melt that destroyed his mouth and probably everything else along his GI tract.

After lunch we headed down the street to Alpine to pick up some growlers and bottles. Got 2 growlers of Pure Hoppiness, 1 growler of Captain Stout, and some bottles of each. Although it was pretty overcast all day I didn't want them heating up in the trunk so we stopped by a liquor store and got some ice, and I taped the growler screw tops up with electrical tape I had brought since I don't want to drink them for a couple weeks. And we had to keep to girl scout cookies cold too...

After the liquor store we drove over to O'Brien's in San Diego, and got there around 3:30. We ordered some garlic fries and I had a Mission IPA, which won a bronze medal at the 2007 GABF. Very citrusy, with a little grapefruit and a lot of orange, but also the most bitter high citrus IPA I've had. Usually I find the really citrusy IPA's to be lacking in the bitterness category but this had a real harsh (in a good way) bitterness. It was a very good IPA. I wasn't trying to overdo it while I was driving so this was my only beer at O'Brien's and Steve wasn't feeling like having more at this point so we drove our way up to Escondido.

At this point it's about 5:00 and the whole point of staying this late was to get a growler of 2005 Stone Russian Imperial Stout that they were going to fill from 8-10pm. Since we had some time to kill we stopped by Holiday Wine Cellar a few blocks away from Stone. I bought a few things here, the most exciting of which was the Coronado Idiot IPA which I've heard the guys at Pacific Brew News talk about with great applause.

After spending a while in there we got over to a very crowded Stone with 2 hours to kill, and we were tired. It didn't actually turn out to the be longest 2 hours of my life as I thought it would have. I ordered up an 8oz glass of Pure Hoppinees which came served nicely in a warm mini-pint glass. After that we got a bottle of Jolly Pumpkin Maracaibo Especial, a brown ale made with cacao, orange peel, cinnamon, and of course funkified in those barrels they use for all their beers. This beer was actually the least funky I've had from JP, though it did have the standard amount of sourness that all their beers have. I tried hard but couldn't pick up any orange peel or cinnamon, and if anything some of the chocolate character made it though way deep in the background. What I found it to be was a very nice sour beer on a brown ale body. After this beer and a buffalo burger it was almost 8pm so we headed over to the Stone Company Store and got our growler in the queue for the '05 RIS. I'm planning on bringing that to a tasting at a friend's house next Saturday.

That pretty much wraps up that trip. I'm beer'd out right now (yeah right) and have to study today and pretty much every day this week as usual without any extra time for fun, but should be able to get to some good beers next weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jolly Pumpkin makes some fine beers, my favorite of which is the Oro De Calabaza. Check it out if you get a chance.