There is something exciting about Anniversary beers that get beer geeks excited. Perhaps it is just the thought that you get to be a part of the celebration of the brewery you have become so fond of. Perhaps it is just the extra alcohol content that they tend to have. When Green Flash announced the 11th Anniversary IPA, aka the Double Dry Hopped West Coast IPA, I had to go by and try it. Since I went there on my bike I didn’t bother trying to take home the glass. I don’t know if it would have survived.
So how does the beer taste? Pretty much like you would expect from a souped up version of the West Coast IPA. Green Flash took their West Coast IPA and double dry hopped it for a new beer with a little extra hop bite. It’s still the malty darker IPA at its core. Though I prefer more hop heavy IPAs it satisfies my hop cravings. At Green Flash, I have become quite a fan of the Green Bullet Tripple IPA and the Symposium IPA along with the Cedar Plank Pale Ale. Though the 11th Anniversary was good, it didn’t blow me away like a glass of Green Bullet. I’m interested to hear what huge fans of the West Coast think.
It wouldn’t be Green Flash without a food truck and they brought MIHO along for this special release. MIHO brings farm fresh food and always puts a unique spin on familiar choices. The grass fed beef burger they had today included squash and pickled squash giving it a fresh seasonal flavor.
I finished the night off here with a half pint of the cedar plank pale. It is a little hard to fully enjoy after the 11th anniversary but the flavor is just what I needed. Keep in mind that if you come by green flash on a Friday you should expect a large crowd. Today marked the start of San Diego beer week so the crowd was even bigger than usual. Though there are a ton of events out there I don’t plan on going to any of the more expensive ones. I’ll hopefully catch some new releases at other favorites this weekend and share my findings.
Were you there today for the Green Flash 11th Anniversary IPA release? What did you think of the beer?
I’ve been to this brewery a few times in the past. The first time I went there I was satisfied by the Perseus IPA, a solid beer that was primarily a hoppy IPA with a nice yellow color. When I returned later, they were already out of the Perseus but assured me they will have some again later. Most of their beers are pretty small batches so expect to see the menu change frequently. The Andromeda IPA didn’t impress me the first time but when I returned a few months later, the batch on tap tasted closer to what I like. This is quite normal for IPAs because the flavor of a batch can change as it gets older. There is a certain taste when it is fresh and then that changes a few weeks to a few months out.
Many of the smaller breweries in San Diego are hard to find and Intergalactic Brewing is no exception. You might be surprised by the bare look of the building but don’t let that keep you from trying their selections of beers. They have enough of a variety that you are likely to find something you enjoy no matter what you like to drink.
Today when I stopped in, I tried The Companion, an English Summer Ale with Honey, Peaches, and Lavender, and Space Oasis, a coconut porter (6.9%). The Coconut Porter was recently added to the menu and so the coconut is prominent in the taste. It isn’t too sweet and the bartender told me that people who say they don’t like coconut enjoy it as well. After my tasters, I got a pint of Space Oasis. The flavors were outstanding to the last drop of the pint.
Before I left the brewery, I filled a 32oz growler with the Space Oasis to share with my fiance when he gets off work. He only drinks porters and stouts so he should enjoy this one.
I happened to be at Loyola Marymount over the weekend so I couldn’t resist checking out El Segundo Brewing. From their web site I could tell that they were inspired by San Diego IPAs, and I was right!
They had a decent selection of beers on tap. What makes it unusual when compared to San Diego tasting rooms is the tasting room is downstairs from the entrance on the street. At first you wonder if you are in the right place because you see a few offices before you go down and turn the corner to enter the tasting room. The tasting room is not very large but the beer is up there with what you would expect from some of the bigger breweries.
I started with three tasters, the Citra Pale, Bluehouse IPA, and the Tap Tanker Double IPA. My fiance got a taster of the Vanilla Stout on tap. I found the Citra Pale to be solid for 5.5%, though after having some stronger pale ales from other breweries it was a little too light for me. Still, it does a good job with the crisp citrus flavors of the citra hopps. I don’t remember much about the Bluehouse IPA. As you can tell from the color (middle one) it is a bit heavy on the malts. I didn’t taste enough up front hops so I ended up focusing on the double. The Double IPA was good enough for me to follow up with a pint. The beer was well balanced so I didn’t get too much heavy malt flavor and had a nice piney taste with the crisp hopps flavor.
Though El Segundo Brewing is a bit far from where I live down in San Diego, it was good enough that I will absolutely stop by the next time I am in the area. If you like stouts, they tend to have a number of different varieties throughout the year, including an Imperial Stout that they didn’t have when I stopped in. As always, check the hours before you schedule a visit to a tasting room because the hours are not always what you might expect.
Have you been to this brewery? If so, what did you think? Do you have a favorite?
I don’t usually watch sports but I happened to catch a World Series game while visiting El Segundo Brewing. I typically go to breweries to get away from sports but the beer was good enough that I didn’t mind. What I thought was absolutely hilarious was the Budweiser ad they showed. An article on Business Insider describes some of the branding issues currently faced by Budweiser and shows two of the ads (originally aired in April of 2013). Though it is a huge step up from the type of advertising they usually use, suggesting that drinking cheap beer will make you popular, it still won’t make you want to buy it if you have already experienced craft beers.
What I found most ironic about the ad was how they ask people if they know where their beer is brewed. This was even more ironic because I was drinking beer in the building where it was brewed at the time. Not only do craft beer fans usually know where their beer is brewed but when we support local breweries, we know the brewers. Most IPA fans know Greg Koch from Stone Brewing Company even though he is not usually out there greeting fans. When you stop by a microbrewery such as Wet N Reckless the brewer is usually the one pouring your beer as well.
I realize that Budweiser’s new beer ad might be useful to introduce the masses to the process of brewing beer. Simply brewing beer the right way doesn’t insure taste. I’ve had my share of tasteless pale ales from big craft beer names. Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between the big name pale ale and Budweiser. If anything, I hope that baseball fans will be intrigued enough by the new Budweiser ad to search out local craft breweries. Stop by the nearest craft brewery and ask them if they do tours. It might give you a renewed excitement for your beer. Or just stop in for a taster flight and explore the variety of different styles available.
Keep an eye on this blog as I explore over time the many breweries that San Diego has to offer. I don’t take the name hop addict lightly. Thankfully, I have friends who live for porters and stouts so I will share their thoughts on the beer I taste as well.
What did you think about the new Budweiser commercial? Do you think it is good marketing?
I happened to be stopping by University of La Verne so I couldn’t resist checking out La Verne Brewing Company while I was there. The brewery is quite small and has a decent selection of beers. There isn’t a lot of room to sit and like most tasting rooms they only offer beer, no food. Being a hop addict, I went straight for the double IPA. There were no IPAs or Pale Ales on tap when I was there.
The Double IPA was not what I would normally have expected, considering the heavy hop flavor we typically see down in San Diego. Still, the beer had a solid Apricot taste that combined with the malt flavor to give it a nice thick sweetness. Though I normally don’t like my double IPAs too heavy on the malts, this one was enjoyable. Though the beer was good, I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to check it out. It is worth stopping in if you are in the area and craving a pint of craft beer.