Sunday, April 5, 2009

San Diego Saturday Wrap-Up

It hurts to even think of beer right now but as I sit here watching today's Man vs. Food marathon I'll go ahead and try to recap yesterday with some notes on some beers we tried, although I can mostly just remember the ones I had.

Left Upland around 10:30 in order to hit O'Brien's at opening. I stopped at the Ballast Point Old Grove location to pick up a bottle of their newly bottled Tongue Buckler Imperial Red. When I got down to O'Brien's I started out with an Alpine Exponential Hoppiness. It was similar in flavor to what I remember from a few years ago. A pretty delicious beer which is overall fairly sweet but is loaded with hop flavor and that standard Alpine house flavor I pick up in all their hoppy beers. The taste of this reminded me quite a bit of their Bad Boy DIPA. As I finished up Expo, JRhode and JHamel met me there and started to get to work on Plinys. My next choice was a Hollister White Star extra pale ale served on nitro. This was one of the standout beers in the sampler I had when I was at Hollister last Summer. No hoppy beer (other than Pliny the Younger) should be able to stand up to Exponential Hoppiness but this beer was actually still tasty and had a nice hoppiness to it. I'm not sure nitro was the best way to serve it though. Around this time JTH joined us and started himself on a cloudy but still supposedly great tasting Pliny. The last beer I went with was an Avery Maheraja DIPA. Hadn't had this beer for a few years, and didn't love it back then but thought I'd give it a go after reading the recent tasting by Maheraja is still not my favorite DIPA. The alcohol is not well hidden at all, and it's just too hot for me. Thankfully it was only a 10 oz glass... I think I drank about 4 oz of it and the fellas did the rest. That concluded our session at O'Brien's.


We headed down to 30th street and hit the Toronado next. I made a dumb decision to order a Dogfish Head Aprihop IPA. It shouldn't be called an IPA... it's basically a fruit pale ale maybe. Grainy and apricotty, it's just not my favorite beer, especially amongst the great beers we were drinking today. I believe the Booze Reviews crew ordered an Anchor Old Foghorn, Telegraph Reserve Wheat, and Port Hot Rocks Lager. Then JTH ordered up an '08 Cable Car (still need to reimburse you for that!) that we split 4 ways. Light golden and sour it was. Reminiscent of Beatification to everyone. I think everyone really liked this beer and its balance between the sour and funk.

(Blind Lady Alehouse)

The next stop was at Blind Lady Alehouse where we met JHamel's better half. She knows her beer as good as anyone and was already working her way through a Bear Republic Apex IPA when we arrived. JHamel and myself decided to make sure we ordered a beer that would be served in their new .5L glasses so I ordered a Victory Prima Pils and he a Green Flash 30th Street Pale Ale. I would have to reiterate that the 30th street pale ale is basically an IPA. It's 6+% ABV and hoppy as hell. JRhode ordered Lee Chase's house Belgian Single also served in a half liter. This beer, called Automatic #1, is brewed with ginger, coriander, and toasted oak. The small sample I had of that beer was really good and I think it impressed everyone. After this round of beer our pub hopping for the day was over and it was on to the garage session.

We split a growler of Exponential Hoppiness when we got to JHamel's house, though nobody drank out of a boot this time. After picking up some burritos we continued the beer tasting in JRhode's garage where things started getting crazy. We started with the bottle of Ballast Point Tongue Buckler that I picked up earlier. It's a 10% Imperial Red, and someone on BA said it came back from White Labs as having tested to 107 IBU's. From what I've read it's nearly impossible to get a beer to 100+ IBU realistically (lab tested). We expected this beer to ruin our palettes but we were really just left wondering "where are the hops?" Not that it wasn't tasty, but I don't think anyone was able to get much bitterness out of it at all. The other beers tried were listed on the post before. I think we concluded that Stone IRS seems to peak around 3-4 years of age. Oh yeah, and I also learned how good a FRESH Hop Stoopid is, that regular otter pops are still better than "adult" otter pops, and plastic chairs were harmed in the making of this blog.


JessetheHutt said...

Excellent posting Steve. The last shot of the chair made me laugh my ass off. Pizza Port was packed today due to a 5k that had just finished up. They did have Duet on tap though!

BJR said...

I was never really bugged by the pours at BLAH, but I gotta say that the new .5 liter (with extra room for foam) glasses were worth the wait.

Makes me wish Hamilton's, O'Brien's, and Toronado would do the same.

"plastic chairs were harmed..." Classic!

J.Rhode said...

With a tear in my eye, I paid my last respects to the chair and buried her up to her neck in the garbage can this morning.

Steve said...

Man I think the chair could have been saved. A few wraps of duck tape, a split, a push of atropine... I think we could have revived it.

BLAH freakin rules! That place is basically a "must stop" for me now when I'm in the area. Such quality stuff all the way around over there. That makes O'Brien's, BLAH, and Hamilton's pretty much must stops.

BTW- Favorite beer of the garage tasting for you guys?
I would have to say a tie between Tongue Buckler (which was VERY tasty even though I didn't get a hint of the supposed 107 IBU's), and also the Alaskan Arctic Devil, which I know was pretty good but I'm so pissed I couldn't really remember anything about it.

Course, that fresh Hop Stoopid was spectacular... I think that's what sent me over the edge. I didn't feel drunk or anything when I woke up but I had a mighty hard time getting home without pulling over and hurling on the side of the road.

J.Rhode said...

Thought the Arctic Devil was great, but could only handle a few ounces. Tongue Buckler was good, wonder if it will show up on tap anywhere. I was supposed to show some restraint that night, but still felt pretty lousy the next day.

By the way, I just finished up a very uninspired review of FrostShots. It was either write a review, or pay to ship the five boxes back. If you are in the market for some, let me know. Maybe we could work out a trade.