Poor House had a smaller taplist and so I didn’t try as many. I stopped by here on my way home from Thorn Street Brewing so I didn’t try as much as I might have if this was my first stop. I ended up with three tasters, the Experimental #6 IPA, the Bitter Side Imperial IPA, and the Cluster Fukk IPA.
Keep in mind this brewery only accepts cash, which I haven’t seen at any other brewery in San Diego before. Also, they serve their beers in mason jars. The tasters are smaller mason jar pours.
The Experimental #6 IPA was quite impressive. It had all the flavors I come to expect from San Diego IPAs with some nice grapefruit flavors at the front. It is a nice light colored IPA and quite tasty. The Bitter Side Imperial IPA was tasty though a bit heavy on the malts for me. It mostly had a strong caramel malt flavor at the front with some tropical fruit hops at the back. It is pretty low on the bitterness so it should hopefully satisfy hop fans who don’t like bitter.
I really enjoyed the Cluster Fukk. The flavor that came through strongest was lemon, most likely from the Cluster hops. It made the beer very crisp and refreshing. This one was my favorite of the night followed by Experimental #6.
Though Poor House didn’t have any stouts of porters when I was there, they said they do tend to have some versions of one or the other at times. I was quite impressed by the IPAs they had on tap.
Thorn Street Brewing has a relaxing atmosphere and many delicious beers for every taste. I decided to stop by after a failed attempt to visit Mission Beach left me frustrated and in need of a beer. With so many beers on tap, I didn’t get to try every one but the ones I tried gave me a good taste of the selection.
To start with, I tried their Session IPA, a Spicy Session IPA, and the Oatmeal Stout. The session IPA had a nice pine flavor with some nice citrus, similar to the Lagunitas Session. It is mellow enough that it should be nice to drink on the beach. The spicy session was a bit on the hot side, which surprised me. It wasn’t as hot as the Habanero Sculpin but still hotter than a lot of other similar beers. The oatmeal stout had a nice mellow flavor with some sweet caramel and hints of chocolate. This one would likely satisfy fans of the style.
Next I got tasters of the Relay IPA, Tropic Daze IPA, and Red Headed Hop Child. The Relay had a nice crisp flavor to match the light color. It was more piney than citrus though it did have a light citrus on the back. The Tropical Daze had a heavy tropical fruit flavor with a bit of pineapple flavor up front. This was one of my favorites of the night. The Red Headed Hop Child disappointed me because it was a lot heavier on the malts than the hops. I thought it could use a lot more hops so what I had didn’t satisfy me at all.
To finish it off, I had some Rye Stafari, Menace, and the Barrel Aged Imperial Porter. The Rye Stafari gave me a heavy dose of smoke with roasted malts up front. It was pretty boring and dry tasting and didn’t impress. The Menace was almost a double version of the Tropic Daze though it did have some other varieties of hops to give it a different flavor. This was an impressive double IPA that went down smooth. The Barrel Aged Imperial Porter had the right amount of bourbon flavor to match the sweet coconut and went down smooth.
IPAs have become so popular that everyone wants a piece of the pie. Samuel Adams decided to make a West Coast style IPA so I had to give it a try to see if it was any good. I question the use of the name rebel to describe it because it has almost become an act of conformity to make an IPA in this style. Still, this beer has an alluring packaging and claims to use many of the hops that are popular on the west coast. Is it any good?
The rebel IPA pours a light amber color and has a strong pine scent on the nose. The first thing I tasted was a strong malt flavor with some pine hops. I checked the bottle and noticed it is one month away from the enjoy by date. This tells me that this beer might have had a bit more citrus flavor if I had tried some sooner after the release. Still, my second beer had a bit more citrus flavor and both had plenty of hop flavor. Considering my general dislike for all things Samuel Adams, the Rebel IPA is surprisingly good. It didn’t blow me away as much as my favorites but the freshness could be a big factor in that. It is as close as I have tasted from Samuel Adams to the West Coast style and for that I applaud them.
I am still trying to figure out exactly what is the freak part of Green Flash’s Little Freak and Black Freak. It seems the sour flavors are a big part of that. After all, sour beers are not very common in San Diego. I had to rush to Green Flash to try some Black Freak once it was announced on the Facebook page. This is essentially a sour version of a bourbon barrel aged double stout. And boy is it sour!
Typically a bourbon barrel-aged beer will have a smooth flavor of bourbon. While still present in a way, the bourbon flavors here are mostly overpowered by the sour flavors. This is not a beer for everyone but if you like sour you will enjoy the interesting mix of flavors. Once I got used to the sour flavor, I noticed that it made a good compliment to the bourbon flavors.
Not everyone who loves Green Flash’s Double Stout will enjoy Black Freak. Sour Beers are an acquired taste and I am still acquiring that particular taste. Still, it was an interesting beer to taste and I’m glad I stopped by.
I made the mistake of visiting Brooklyn Brewery on a Saturday because it turns out that is when they offer free tours. I was a bit annoyed while I was there at how crowded it was and didn’t realize why until after I left. It is a huge brewery and has been around for quite some time. Getting there from New York City on the subway can be a challenge because there are quite a few sections of walking required before you reach it. Even more walking is required if you decide the food truck isn’t up to snuff and go in search of Brooklyn Pizza instead.
I was disappointed by their use of plastic cups. I also didn’t like how they charged 2 tokens ($5 each) for the double IPA while everything else was one token. They also don’t offer taster flights so if you are planning on trying all of the beers in one visit you better bring a bunch of friends.
Despite all of the negatives, I went straight for the double IPA because I didn’t want to try to order both the IPA and the double IPA on an empty stomach. The double has a nice citrus/grapefruit bite with some smooth caramel malts flavors. Though I really enjoyed it I’m not sure I would suggest paying $10 for a pint of it.
I ended up eating at a nearby pizza place called Vinny’s Pizza because I didn’t want to wait for the food truck. Though it was a decent walk to get there, it was worth the distance because the pizza was fantastic. I suggest you stop by Vinny’s on your way to the brewery so you are able to stay as long as you want once inside and don’t have to leave to grab something from a food truck.
I recently made a short trip to New York City with my husband for sightseeing. Of course one of the most important sights is beer. This series of posts will focus on the different beers I was able to try while I was in the area. Part 1 will discuss a few of the single beers I ended up drinking at certain places. Part 2 will discuss a bar called The Stag’s Head where I spent a good amount of time. Part 3 will discuss Brooklyn Brewery, a huge draw because it has been around so long.
To start with I enjoyed some local beer while at the Embassy Suites near Newark Airport our first night. The hotel has a fantastic happy hour that we just barely missed with $2 pints. They have a few local beers on draft and others in bottles available. I got to try Cricket Hill Lager while I was there. It had a nice smooth hop flavor and was overall a solid lager. I didn’t find out until later that I could have gotten an IPA from the same brewery.
Later at Heartland Brewery in the Theater District of New York City, I ordered their IPA. It had a high amount of bitterness, possibly up to 70 IBU. A tropical fruit flavor came out pretty nice on the front. I was quite satisfied with this one though it did seem that the bitterness left it without much to taste. At the same brewery my husband ordered the oatmeal stout. He enjoyed the coffee and chocolate flavors and thought it was one of the better stouts he has had.
For a video review of these beers, check out this video I took while we were in Heartland Brewing.
After biking around Central Park New York City, we stopped by 3 Monkeys for a pint. They had a fairly large tap list with a number of different IPAs. I eventually settled on Single Cut Billy 18 IPA from Watt NY. It had a good pine hop flavor and tropical fruit with a mellow bitterness around 40 IBU. I enjoyed this one but it wasn’t anything particularly special.
I won’t have any posts up this weekend but I will be gathering material for some upcoming reviews of beer from New York and nearby areas.
I’m staying at a hotel right next to a craft beer bar and hope to visit at least two breweries while I am in town. Are the east coast ipas up to West coast standards? We will see.