Saturday, February 14, 2009

Another San Diego Wrap Up

We got to O'Brien's right at opening and enjoyed a few hours of fun there. I started off with an Alpine Pure Hoppiness (right) and Kevin went with a Blind Pig (left). I have been staying away from the Pure Hop for a while, even though it is one of my favorite beers. I was reminded today how delicious it was. As a side note, one of the best glasses I've ever had of Pure Hop was when I poured it into a big tulip glass. The smell was amplified using that glass. In a pint glass you don't get maximum aromatics coming out of it. I tried the grilled cheese for the first time, pretty f'ing good, except it's quite small. The garlic fries ALWAYS come through. I could eat like 5 orders of those things.


As we waited for the Blackburn vs. Coventry City game to come on we needed another pint. I went with the Alesmith My Blood Valentine while Kev went with a Pliny the Elder. The Alesmith was an interesting beer. Not sure what style it was, I would maybe say more towards a Red Ale with some small porter character in it. There was very slight roastiness and actually an interesting hop component as well. It came across as juicy, even with the darker malt. Interesting, enjoyable, but probably not one I would go back to.


The last beer we went with at O'Brien's was Green Flash West Coast IPA. I had this beer when I first got into craft beer, loved it, then never had it again till a few weeks ago. Now I must say it's without a doubt one of the best IPA's out there (in the world). I would have to say when it comes to single IPA's it's all about Russian River IPA, Blind Pig, and Green Flash West Coast IPA. After many chants of "Oh Nottingham (clap clap clap), Oh Nottingham (clap clap clap), Oh Nottingham is full of fun, it's full of tits, fanny, and forest, oh Nottingham is full of fun" and "He's here, he's there, he's swearin' everywhere, Joe Kinnneeeear, Joe Kinnneeeear" we packed up and headed over to Hamilton's.


Hamilton's Tavern had a cool special going on today. $3.50 glasses of Karl Strauss beers (they had like 6 or 7 on tap, and 1 on cask) as well as a free buffet!!! First we started out, from left to right, with the Karl Strauss Tripel, DIPA, and Saison. The tripel and saison were very nice, in the little bit I had of them, the DIPA was not so much. At first I thought it had an awesome smell, something I didn't really expect from Karl Strauss (yes a bit of maybe unwarranted prejudice in there). However, as I kept drinking it, it just wasn't good. It was sweet, syrupy, maybe vegetal... very strange overall. Kevin snapped a cool picture of the saison by itself...

Now, onto that free buffet. Damn it was good. White rice with shrimp, spicy red beans and rice, garlic bread, cornbread and boiled seafood mix- crawfish, corn on the cobb, and potatoes. We each had 2 plates and I'm still burping shrimp. Accompanying the food is the Karl Stauss Chocolate Oatmeal Stout on cask. It was not too shabby. Kinda thin in body overall and lacked the full amount of roastiness I expected but it was good, especially to put out the fire from the spices in the food.

A good day overall. Somewhat of a quick trip, as we got down there at noon and got back home at 8:30. It's always a good day when you get to spend time at O'Brien's and Hamilton's. I'm also happy to report Steve was on time to pick up his girlfriend from work this time.

8 comments:

Kevin said...

And we were debating whether to get a 2nd order of garlic fries. I, too, am burping up shrimp, but it's a good thing.

Kevin said...

Oh yeah, what a pisser about Stone. Too bad that smoked porter with vanilla bean was out in an hour.

Steve said...

The vanilla bean porter went on for growler fills on Friday, so it was on all Friday and then ran out this morning. They would never go through their kegs of vanilla bean porter in one hour. Oh well, next time we'll get some.

J.Rhode said...

Sorry we missed you guys, next time. We should meet up for the next Hamilton's "Second Saturday," I wonder who the next brewery will be. Can't beat the free food and beer specials.

Steve said...

Will keep this 2nd Saturday thing in mind for next month. Although, that day might be my sis's bday gathering... Missed my uncles bday party at the house today because they told me about it the day before I leave for SD. But I'll pencil it in just in case it's not. And as for the brewery... let's hope GREEN FLASH!

Rational Realist said...

Your post tells me I need to revisit Green Flash's West Coast IPA. I had it a few years ago and I remember it being so bitter and unbalance that it verged on undrinkable, and I have passed on it since. I have the same prejudice against Karl Strauss, but I am thinking that it is taking brewing more serious and realizing that it is located in one of the great beer capitals. Bringing its production back to San Diego is a positive for Karl Strauss.

J.Rhode said...

Alesmith for Hamilton's 2nd Saturday, 3/14 per the San Diego Brewer's Guild site.

Steve said...

Damn, sister's bday is gonna be that day. $3.50 pints of Anvil, Horny Devil or Yulesmith woulda been nice