Duck Foot Brewing grew out of a desire of one of the brewers to make beers he could drink. As someone with Celiac, a disease that makes gluten harmful to consume, he wanted to open a brewery where all the beers are safe to consume for someone like him. Though this is not the first brewery to add the enzyme that makes the beers gluten reduced–Stone used it in their Delicious IPA–they are the first brewery to use that inclusion as a central piece of their marketing.
Duck Foot is currently in the soft opening phase and when I visited them on Saturday, May 9th, it was the first day they were open to the public. Still, I enjoyed most of their beers and will be looking forward to seeing the sorts of things they come up with going forward. When I visited I got to try the blonde, wit, porter, IPA, and Double IPA. There was a stout available earlier that day that blew (ran out) before I got to taste it.
The blonde had a nice light citrus hop flavor that balance with the typical flavors of the style. Still a very crisp drinkable beer. The wit was also nicely done to style. It had nice crisp citrus and spice flavors as you would expect. The porter had a nice mix of bitter chocolate and coffee with a nice sweet caramel back. There is also a smooth nutty flavor in the back from some added hazelnuts. I thought this one could be a little thicker but it is solid.
The IPA was a nice Simcoe IPA and not overly bitter. It had good citrus flavors and tropical fruit with a moderate bitter after taste. The Double IPA was a bit sweeter with some tropical fruit flavors and good citrus. Both were very much in the San Diego style both in the flavors presented and the lighter malt bill giving the hops a prominent spot in the beers.
For a new place I was also quite impressed by the size of the tasting room. They feature a long bar and more bar seating near the windows. Indoors they are somewhat similar to 32 North in look though they feature some unique artwork on the wall that will help them stand out from the rest. All of the beers I got to taste will be core beers except for the wit. As they get closer to the grand opening I will update you on the different beers I get to try from Duck Foot.
Disclaimer: I was given the tasters of beer free of charge when I stopped by for my tasting. I did not modify my thoughts in any way because of this.
Update from Media Party:
I came back to Duck Foot for their media party that took place on June 2, 2015 when I tried three new beers that were not available previously. These were the Cali Honey Ale, Saison, and Red Ale. I thought the honey ale had a nice balance. It was not too sweet or medicinal like many honey ales get.
The saison is a solid basic saison with a light body and some Belgian yeast flavors. It lacked the typical spice of a saison but they mentioned that it will be available in different fruit variations going forward so they wanted to keep it simple. Finally the Red Ale was a nice dark amber color with flavors of roasted malts and light coffee. If it had a thicker body it could have easily passed for a porter. A very nice beer.