Disclaimer: My brother recently got hired as a beer-tender at the new Green Flash Cellar 3 location so I got to taste the beers listed below during the friends and family preview day at which they did not charge us for the beers.
Cellar 3 is a new tasting room Green Flash opened in Poway (just a few blocks away from Lightning Brewing) where the majority of the beers on tap are barrel aged in some way or enhanced with the addition of fruit and/or brett yeast. They just had their grand opening on May 16, 2015. The indoor location has a very nice modern feel with various artwork on display and plenty of open space and barrels to rest your beers on. You can see many barrels in the background where beers are aging away. There is also an outdoor seating area where you can sip your beers outside or order food from the house food truck. Food available from the house truck here is slightly different from the food available at the main tasting room.
If you aren’t interested in the sours on tap (which make up a majority of the barrel aged beers) there are still some taps with core beers. Because I tasted a total of sixteen new beers (though one or two were available when they released Silva Stout at the tasting room earlier this year) I won’t go into the specific tasting notes of every single beer. Instead, I will focus on describing some of the more interesting beers they had available and some of the beers that I found most delicious.
One set of beers available that I found interesting was the Natura Morta flavors of mildly tart fruity beers. For the opening they had available a plum, strawberry, blueberry, and cranberry version of Natura Morta. I found the cranberry and blueberry versions a bit off with a wet blanket flavor that overpowered the fruit. Of all of these I enjoyed the strawberry the most because it had a nice sweetness that mixed well with the mild tart flavors. This was distinctly different in flavor from the strawberry beers that I had previously at Toolbox and Intergalactic, which both shared a more cloying sweet flavor. The flavor of the plum was not distinct enough to excite me.
I was also glad to see the Flanders Drive flanders red return along with a cherry version. The version available during the opening was more on the sweet side but had a nice mix between the malts and the bourbon flavor from the barrel aging. I was not as much of a fan of the cherry because I thought that it clashed a bit too much with the bourbon barrel flavors. The Flanders Drive was one of my favorites of the new beers.
If you had Super Freak before they are now calling it Le Freak Barrique. This wine barrel aged beer with brett yeast added is a nice addition to the lineup though previous versions were much more tart. Those looking for something tart will enjoy the black currant version, which was quite tart, surpassed in tartness only by the Blanc Tarte, a unique sour blonde ale with a delicious balance of sweet and tart, and probably my favorite of the whole lineup.
Also available was a white IPA aged in Chardonnay barrels that was very much like drinking a glass of wine. I was surprised that this one was not tart at all compared to an intensely tart similar beer that was available at the main tasting room a few years back briefly. They also had available red wine barrel aged dark ale that was both quite smoky and mildly tart, an interesting flavor combination.
There was also an interesting new Belgian Trippel with Brett yeast that was delicious and sweet on its own and served in a red wine barrel aged and bourbon barrel aged version. The red wine aged version was mildly tart and still quite rich. The bourbon barrel version was quite sweet, almost caramel-forward and very nice as well.
For those not interested in sours or Belgians they also had the Silva Stout on tap and available with plenty of bottles. This blended barrel aged imperial stout is quite delicious on its own and they had a fresh batch of the extra strong coffee added version that packs a whopping 13%.
Cellar 3 will also eventually see the return of the Rayon Vert with brett yeast and from the bottles on the wall we should see a bottle release of the Le Freak Barrique and Flanders Drive in the future. Though it is quite a bit out of the way and not particularly easy to reach during weekday rush hour traffic I expect it will become a regular for those in San Diego who crave sours or have come to love the wild yeast beers.