Tuesday, November 4, 2008

San Diego Trip This Friday - Mixing Things Up

My last day of this rotation in Fontucky is Friday and my preceptor isn't making me come in so what better way to spend a day off than hanging out down in San Diego? So while I've done more San Diego beer trips in the last few years than I can count on my hands and toes there are still a bunch of places I have yet to hit, namely those places that are further down in the heart of SD. It's only Monday but it's not too early to start thinking about the day's agenda.

There are the obligatory old stops to hit such as Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, O'Brien's Pub, and Stone, I really want to throw in some new stops such as the tasting rooms of Green Flash, Ballast Point, and Lightning, with bar stops at either Hamilton's Tavern or Toronado or Downtown Johnny Brown's. I haven't exactly decided which yet.

A stop that is almost a must right now is to the Brigantine seafood restaurant during happy hour for some of their excellent Fish Tacos. I would have never known about this if my friend The Baltimore Beer Guy didn't take me there when he use to live in SD. I'll probably try to get to the Escondido location.

I won't be going way off the beaten path out to Alpine because right now the only hoppy beer they have on for growler fills is Pure Hoppiness, which is one of my favorite beers, but I probably won't be driving out there just for that. The city of Alpine has a great 1-2 punch with Alpine Beer Co and the Liars Club only a minute away, but it's an extra 25 miles or so east of all the stuff in SD.

I'll be aiming to arrive down there around 11am when O'Brien's opens. I will have to get back home in the early evening as we are having joint birthday celebrations at the house, but I should be able to squeeze a bunch of stops in this trip, and fit in a couple good beers ;-)

Thanks to all these places having their tap lists updated regularly online, here are some of the beers I've got on my radar for this trip:

  • O'Brien's - Alpine Ichabod, Drake's Hopocalypse (if any left on cask after Thurs night)
  • Toronado - Pizza Port Pint to Plant
  • Hamilton's - Deschutes Hop Trip, Green Flash Palate Wrecker
  • DJB's - Pizza Port Hop Suey, Alpine Duet


JRhode said...

I think Hamilton's rivals Obrien's. Not as cheap as Obrien's though. I frequent them both, often.

Ballast Point usually has something on in addition to their regular beers, but I have only been to the Home Brew Mart (Linda Vista) location. They were pouring Whiskey Barrel Aged Sea Monster Stout (growlers too) for a while.

The Lightning guys are great, but I have been a bit underwhelmed by the beers. See my review of Ionizer here: http://www.boozereviews.net/beer/lightning-brewery-ionizer-lager

The Alesmith tasting room isn't that far from Obrien's, but is only open on Fridays from 3-5.

Still haven't been to Toronado yet. It is pretty close to Hamilton's, maybe a couple of miles. They are finally updating the tap list online though.

Airdale Brewing Co tasting at Obrien's on Friday. Never tried the beers as they are a new outfit.

This is one long comment!

Steve said...

Thanks for the info J. I wanted to stop by Lightning, but I'll probably pass this time. Lighter beers have actually really been appealing to me the last couple months, I'm getting tired of the huge alcohol beers, so I'll have to make my way to Lightning soon. I do like their Thunderweizen, and I thought the Elemental Pilsner was good in a taster I had once.

I'm thinking this will be my sequence:
1. O'Brien's
2. Toronado
3. Hamiltons or Downtown Johnny Brown's
4. Head back up north towards Brigantine in Escondido.
5. Hit Green Flash or Lost Abbey or both.

I'm a little worried about traffic down in that North Park area on a Friday afternoon. I hope the freeways aren't packed when I'm heading back up to Escondido probably around 4pm or so.

I think I'll do Ballast Point, Lightning, and Alesmith in another trip... they are all pretty close together.

Rational Realist said...

The traffic in North Park should not be too bad as Toronado is not far off of the 805, and it's probably a 10-15 minute drive from O'Brien's. Parking can be tough. Ritual, which I've never been to, is a stone's throw from Toronado but it may not open until evening. The Brig's fish tacos are good. Have fun!

J. Rhode said...

My brother had Hopocalypse last night at Obrien's and thought it was sickeningly sweet.

Palate Wrecker is a beast, toes the line as far as sweet/malty/boozy. Could never handle more than one.

This current batch of Duet had a weird metallic taste to me, I usually love it.

Interested to hear your take.

J.Rhode said...

You should plan a San Diego trip around the release of Alpine's Boris Stout. Should be available within a week or so. Whiskey (Heaven Hills) Barrel Aged. Email said 22 oz. will be 7.99, not sure if it will be available for growler fills. With any luck you might be able to pick up growlers of Pure Hop, Duet (new batch 11/8/08), Ichabod, and Boris. I also keep begging them to bring back Nelson; supposedly the (New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops) hops are hard to come by right now. Best rye beer I have ever had.

Steve said...

Lately I haven't been too enthused about barrel aged stouts. Imperial stouts are hard enough as it is for me to enjoy, and barrel aging doesn't help it most the time. The only one I think I've REALLY liked is Older Viscosity. I have a bottle of GI Bourbon County Stout to test at some point.

I'm also getting worn out of special releases. I truly enjoyed going to all the Lost Abbey special releases in the last 1+ years but I just don't have the motivation, or money for those beers anymore.

I love going to Alpine but I've been there enough to know I really only want to go down there if they have certain things on tap- which is rarely- like O'Brien's IPA or Nelson (and believe me, I LOVE Pure Hoppiness, and like Duet IPA). My next trip to Alpine likely won't be until one of these is on tap again.

I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on BORIS though, if you get some.