Though there are quite a few Miramar breweries now they have been growing in clusters. I found it refreshing when I saw where Longship opened because they are close enough to the others though far enough away to attract a different crowd and much easier to find than Wet and Reckless was in a similar area (before they re-opened in a different location as Reckless Brewing). Longship has a viking theme to their brewery and I find their logo to be very nice as well as the various shields on the walls around the tasting room. They just opened so they have a very small tap list at the moment and only four beers. I tried the IPA, golden ale, Belgian style wit, and San Diego style dark ale.
The IPA is closer to a session IPA with low alcohol and also fairly low bitterness. It showcases fruity hop notes and is a pretty standard session IPA. The golden ale is a very interesting take on the style. A hefty 7% alcohol it is sticky sweet and showcases tons of spice from the yeast and various tropical fruit notes from the hops including guava sometimes. The Belgian style wit was super cloudy pale yellow. It drinks ridiculously smooth with lots of banana, vanilla, mild citrus, and even notes of tapioca pudding in the sweet finish. With so many breweries making wits to style I very much enjoyed this variation that stood out as delightfully unique. The dark ale was quite bitter and very hoppy. It reminded me of a style common in Portland where they call it a Cascadian Dark Ale. It has a caramel malt backbone and a mildly sweet finish that balances with the strong hop notes.
My first visit to Longship was on June 30, 2016 just before their grand opening. To give a more accurate picture of their quality, I visited them a second time on October 6, 2016. In October they had added a chocolate stout, brown ale, and dopplebock. Based on recommendations from the beertender I got a fresh taster of the Hoppy Belgian to compare to the previous time.
The Hoppy Belgian golden presented tons of spice with some mild fruity hops and a bitter finish. Gone are the tropical notes that made it so interesting originally but this is what happens when they change the hops. I also didn’t notice as much sticky sweetness to this new batch. I ordered the chocolate stout on nitro. It presented tons of bitter chocolate and roast with a dry finish and super thin body. There is very little sweetness in the beer at all. Though it wasn’t my style the beer was well made. The brown ale presented tons of dark fruits that linger on the finish with some mild caramel in the back. I wasn’t a big fan of this beer. The dopplebock was thick and sticky with molasses and chocolate notes and mild dark fruit. This was one of the most impressive of the bunch because so few breweries locally have managed to make interesting dopplebocks. This is the first one I could actually consider drinking.
Longship gets far with their unique theme and overall solid lineup of beers. They clearly have a following from locals who work around the area and want a place to stop in after work. It is worth stopping by especially if you are interested in trying a few styles that aren’t as common locally.
Belgian style Wit