Where to start with San Diego...well, the whole area is absolutely fucking insane, yeah.
Lost Abbey/Port - lots of activity going on in the whole area, they were moving barrels all over the place. Simple setup, the two people behind the bar didn't come off too friendly. Wasn't too crazy about any of the beers besides Serpents Stout.
AleSmith - same sort of deal as Lost Abbey, with a much more polished interior. Nice breeze flowing through the open doors made it pleasant to sit at for a while. I was hoping for a nice Speedway coffee variant, but it was thai chiles instead. Some serious heat going on.
Ballast Point - lots of business people on the patio in the late afternoon. Not much to say about it, Sculpin was nice fresh for once, I didn't care for the Even Keel or Dorado. Kind of a boring place, we didn't hang around long.
Pizza Port - Fun atmosphere in Solana Beach, really busy, but the pizza was ready quickly and very good. The Kook IPA was great, not too many guest taps, oddly. Bressi Ranch was a bit different. Lots of families, looked far more modern. Appeared as though they did all of the brewing/bottling there. Played some deer hunting game with a few others there for a while. The IPA's were all good (Swami's, Wipeout, Barney).
Churchill's Pub - Just down the road from Lost Abbey, stopped in for lunch. Excellent service, standard pub vibes. Tap list was IPA heavy, they had just tapped Blind Pig when I got there. Bottle list was no joke. All heavy hitters and no fillers (off-sales on most). Unfortunately when we went back it was packed beyond belief. The only promotion that appeared to be on was 55 cent wings.
Alpine - My kind of place. Small town vibes, world class IPA's, great food and very nice people. Huge hearty chicken wings. Nelson is just out of this world. I have no complaints about anything, even the drive was pretty nice as an out of towner. Hit Antonelli's deli on the way out and get a reuben. There was a nice bottle shop around Antonelli's as well, but I just can't think of the name. They had Supplication, Consecration, and Temptation all in the fridge.
Societe - Great spot to stop in for a few drinks. Similar to most other breweries in the area, order beer and go grab a stool. They have a nice looking barrel room and a decent amount of open space on the brewery floor. Good vibes.
Green Flash - Was in the area, thought we should stop in. Massive, massive tanks, and a nice seating area outside (with heaters...despite it being 20C out. They had a parking spot for a food truck as well. Unfortunately, the bar staff was quite rude, to the point where I ordered a Rayon Vert and couldn't be bothered to talk to them again. Too much other beer in the area, nothing that interesting on the list at GF.
Toronado - Not what I was expecting. Great tap list, and certainly some nice bottles but all the menus they had were way out of date. I was given a menu with Cable Car at $40, which I was all over...until they told me it was actually $60 (as I had expected, but when you hand me a menu saying otherwise...). They actually sold two bottles of it while I was there. Good spot otherwise.
O'Briens Pub - Another one we popped into since we were in the area. Excellent tap list with a friendly crowd. I had Pliny...and then left. Would like to re-visit.
Stone - Seriously impressive and beautiful place, that part of the experience was unmatched anywhere else. Unfortunately, everything other than Enjoy By wasn't really tasting all that great. We actually didn't spend much time there, one more day extra and I'm sure we would have done it again.
I can't really recommend any bottle shop over another, they were all just very good. All kinds of sours on the shelves, it blew my mind. Bottle dates on IPA's everywhere appeared quite fresh.
All this on top of never seeing a cloud in 6 days, warmer than average weather, very nice locals, and an endless amount of good food. A decent amount of driving, but nothing too lengthy besides Alpine, and the scenery was nice. San Diego is the best.
Last edited by Kekumba
on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.