Black Plague Brewing – Oceanside San Diego

Black Plague’s address is Oceansidse but they are so inland they are almost Vista. They have a large tasting room space where they serve a variety of beers and occasionally have live music, like the Friday I visited. Thanks to some help from industry veteran Bill Batten they have a great lineup of clean quality beers. I tried 8 beers when I visited and they were all quite good. I was a little put off by the name but the beers are of high enough quality that I am willing to overlook that. Though it may look like they have a ton of beers, they have six different versions of their core IPA with various flavors added.

I started with a flight of mostly hoppy beers. The 1347 IPA was classic bitter with balanced biscuit malt backbone and not a ton of aromas. I got some hints of alcohol taste near the end but nothing overpowering. The Hazy Scandal was not particularly hazy as expected by a newer brewery. It had a light amount of turbidity and tons of tropical fruit flavor with a medium bitter finish. Though it wasn’t hazy it was a good example of the modern juicy West Coast IPA. The Pandemia with Nelson was an excellent single hop Nelson beer with tons of melon and citrus notes and a light malt base.

The Tropic Thunder IPA with grapefruit added had a powerful grapefruit flavor that overpowered the base beer but the flavors worked well together. It was clean and easy drinking. The Samba Cookie nitro stout was smooth and creamy with a light body and mild sweetness from the coconut and chocolate. The various adjuncts worked well together and none dominated giving it a clean easy-drinking flavor.

For my second flight I went for the stronger beers which were mostly over 8% alcohol. The imperial red was intensely bitter but balanced nicely by the roasty base malts. It was smooth with notes of red grape and a dry finish. I was glad that it didn’t have an overly thick sweet body to it. The bourbon barrel aged version of the same beer was quite tasty with a strong bourbon nose and tons of caramel flavor and a dry finish. I was surprised to see they already had bottles of this beer for sale.

The scotch ale had a dark red color with tons of roast and notes of raisins and plums. It was a well made beer. The imperial stout on nitro was excellent with tons of coffee and caramel notes and a thick creamy body from the nitro. If I hadn’t already had so many strong beers I might have ordered more of this. I ended with the habanero version of the 1347 IPA. The beer had a strong spicy bite. The fruity hops complemented the spice though I don’t recommend this for anyone who is not excited by the mention of habanero as it was quite spicy.

Black Plague is quite the drive for me but I am glad I visited because they have an excellent lineup of beers for a young brewery. They had a large open space with tons of seating and a lineup that has a good balance of styles. For the people who live nearby, Black Plague is a great spot to visit for IPAs or stouts. Nothing they brew is so amazing that people down in Southern San Diego must make the long drive but it is a great addition to the neighborhood.

Top 2:
Imperial Stout
BA Imperial Red

Paul McGuire

Paul McGuire is a craft beer enthusiast. He likes to travel with his husband and enjoy the great outdoors. In his day job, Paul is a divorce attorney focusing on serving the San Diego LGBT community.

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