Tag Archives: Modern Times

Modern Times Festival of Dankness Was a Huge Hit

Modern Times hosted a beer festival called The Festival of Dankness on August 22, 2015 to benefit BikeSD, a charity that is dedicated to making San Diego more bike friendly. This beer festival focused primarily on hoppy beers but also had a few other styles to taste as well. To make the festival more bike friendly, the festival was held in Downtown San Diego at the new Waterfront Park that is easily accessible by bike, trolley, train, and bus. I was able to grab a ride down and take a bus most of the way home with ease.

Festival of Dankness 09

Among the breweries featured were some big name local breweries (Stone, Coronado, Rip Current, Alpine, Modern Times), some other California breweries (Monkish, Cellarmaker, Noble Ale Works, Almanac, Three Weavers, Knee Deep), and a number of out-of-state breweries (Boneyard, De Garde, Cigar City, Half Acre). Most of them brought along their best hoppy beers and a few brought along some sours or other styles. Rip Current even brought along a bock beer that was very popular as well.

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This was my first time attending a beer festival. In the past I have volunteered to pour beer and enjoyed the experience but I usually don’t want to pay the money or have an easy way to get to the festival without driving. Modern Times did a great job organizing the event and everything ran smoothly. VIPs were given an extra hour before everyone else and even as a general admission ticket holder I didn’t miss out on anything because of it. I found that it was absolutely worth getting in line 40 minutes before the event started so that I could beat the crowds. It is better to leave early after trying what you want than to miss out on things and face longer lines. I left about 45 minutes early once I had what I wanted to try.

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I tasted a total of 37 beers (in 2 ounce tasters) so I won’t try to review everything I tried. However, I will give a rundown of some of the most impressive beers I tasted. Some were predictably awesome, like the two special beers Modern Times was pouring, Floating World (an IPA made with South African Hops) and Mega Blazing (an imperial version of the popular Blazing World) and others gave me some indication that I absolutely have to visit certain out of state breweries at one point (though visiting Almanac is not possible currently because they don’t have a tasting room).

Festival of Dankness 11

My favorite beers from the festival were the following: Modern Times Floating World and Mega Blazing, Boneyard Notorious IIIPA, De Garde Bruinette, Highland Park Raised Eyebrows, Monkish Rara Avis and Selah, Phantom Carriage Mosaic Muis, Almanac Citra Sour, Three Weavers Session IPA and Rye IPA.

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I was already a big fan of Monkish and it was great to try¬†some awesome specialty brett beers that they don’t make available to the public generally. The two they brought were both delicious. Three Weavers surprised me because I hadn’t heard much about them before despite being up in LA so I will absolutely be stopping by Three Weavers the next time I am in town. They are quite close to El Segundo Brewing as well, a brewery I skipped at the festival because I had their beers before. Highland Park brewery surprised me with a complex sour from a small brewery I did not know existed. The brewery¬†opened inside a bar up in LA called The Hermosillo. Based on what I tasted it is worth visiting them when you are in town.

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Overall I was very impressed by the selection of beers offered at the Festival of Dankness and it was a great time to be had by all, though I did leave with some minor sun burns. It was really great to be able to have so many breweries present that I wouldn’t have otherwise been able to visit very easily. I hope they will have a similar event next year.

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 serving clients in San Diego California.

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Some delightful new beers available from Stone, Modern Times, and Alesmith

Part of what I love about this blog is being able to give people some idea what to expect with some new brew they might not be familiar with. Two of these are not completely new, but they are newly bottled recently and might be new to some people. The beers I am going to discuss today are Stone’s new Delicious IPA, which seems to have been flying off the shelves, Modern Times’ City of the Sun IPA, newly bottled, and the 2015 version of My Bloody Valentine from Alesmith.

First up is the Stone Delicious IPA. This new brew is unique in a number of ways. Firstly, it is stronger than the typical Stone IPA, all the way up to a whopping 7.7%. (regular Stone IPA is 6.9%). It is also lighter on the malts and lighter on the bitterness, really focusing on the more delicate hop flavors, including some lemon. It also was brewed in a way that makes it officially gluten reduced.

Stone Delicious IPA

To see just how good this one was, I had to compare it side by side to the original Stone IPA. The first two I compared really did have a stark difference. The Stone IPA was satisfyingly bitter while the Delicious IPA had a lighter citrus flavor supported by some nice juicy flavors. Though the second Delicious IPA I opened was a bit more bitter, so not every single one you get in that six-pack is going to taste as delicate. I would be interested to see if this really converts any new hop-heads but it will certainly satisfy those of us who already exist.

Next up is the City of the Sun IPA from Modern Times. This is the first in a series of bottle releases of IPAs that were previously available only at the tasting room. So if the name sounds familiar, you might have tasted it before on tap. If you had, you will remember just how much this is a delicious burst of flavor. Rest assured those flavors are still very much present in this beer and it will satisfy in the bottle. The only one that might have been better was that delicious fresh-hopped version I got to taste. Still, if you are into IPAs, this one should not be passed up. Also keep an eye out for the upcoming seasonal IPAs from Modern Times to be released throughout the year, including a return of the delicious Rye IPA Aurora later.

City of the Sun 2015

Finally we have the Alesmith My Bloody Valentine, a delicious darker hoppy beer meant to satisfy those who can’t seem to find love come Valentine’s Day in February. This is very similar to the Evil Dead Red that Alesmith puts out in October for Halloween. My Bloody Valentine has some roasted malts with a little chocolate and a nice floral/citrus hop bite. Despite the darker color this is not one for your friends who only drink stouts. My husband would dump this out if I made him taste it and then I might have to celebrate Valentine’s alone.

My Bloody Valentine 2015

 

Bottom line, if you like IPAs, don’t miss these new delicious offerings from Stone and Modern Times. And if you enjoy more complicated black IPA style beers, try the Bloody Valentine.

 

 

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 serving clients in San Diego California.

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My Favorite San Diego Craft Beers Available in Multi-Packs

This is meant to be a guide for the beers worth picking up in the store. To maximize the value I try to buy beers in six packs or greater. The beers here are some of my favorite IPAs that I find myself returning to when I see them fresh.

Modern Times Fortunate Islands
This is one of my favorite sessions on the market. Low alcohol under 5% yet plenty of great citrus hop flavor. This is a wheat beer with a bunch of hops added to bring it similar in taste to a session IPA. The beer is sold only in a four pack of pint cans. I didn’t notice the enjoy by dates at first on here but they are printed on a sticker on the part holding together the cans.

Stone Go to IPA
This is also a great session though a bit more bitter than Fortunate Islands. This also has plenty of citrus flavors though this one tastes much closer to a traditional IPA. Stone provides clear enjoy by dates so make sure you get this one fresh. Leave yourself a month before the date if you buy a bunch of other beers so you drink it in time.

Saint Archer Blonde
I don’t usually buy much outside my level but the Saint Archer Blonde is a delicious brew full of flavor yet nice and light. I prefer this to the pale ale from Ballast Point within the same style. This one is now available in either bottles or cans depending on what you are using it for. I tend to go for cans.

Green Flash West Coast IPA
The latest batch of West Coast is a strong 8% IPA that knocks you out pretty fast. Plenty of hop flavors dominate over the malts and make this a staple in my purchasing for now. This is sold in four packs of 12 ounce bottles and is just at the top of the range for regular enjoyment.

Green Flash West Coast IPA
Green Flash West Coast IPA

Modern Times Blazing World
This is a deliciously dark IPA style presented as a hoppy amber. Plenty of grapefruit in the hops comes through with the pine to dominate the flavor. This is also available in a four pack of pint cans. I didn’t notice the enjoy by dates at first on here but they are printed on a sticker on the part holding together the cans.

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Modern Times Blazing World

Stone IPA
A staple in the industry where IPAs are concerned I recently gave this another try since paying more attention to the enjoy by dates. Great light color beer with plenty of kick. Like the Go To IPA make sure you enjoy this one fresh.

Stone IPA
Stone IPA

New Belgium Rampant Double IPA
Though a double IPA, this one is sold in six packs for a great price. Some delicious tropical fruit flavors dominate Rampant. If this is too much for you, the Ranger IPA is also quite good from New Belgium.

I purposefully kept this list short to avoid getting too long. What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

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 serving clients in San Diego California.

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Stone Go To IPA is Everything I’d Hoped For, Tons of Hops in 4.5% Beer

I’ve been saying for a while that we need a good Session IPA in six packs. Stone Go To IPA hits all the right notes and was released just as the Session IPA demand has gotten fairly large.

I’ve been hooked on Modern Times Fortunate Islands because it was available in four packs of 16oz cans. Then Lagunitas recently released their Session IPA.

Unlike a few other Session IPA beers, Stone Go to IPA is not a good introduction for the IPA hater. Through a technique they call hop-bursting, which sounds like double-dry-hopping on steroids, they cram as much hop flavor into the beer as they possibly can. In true Stone fashion, this is not a beer for everyone. It is more heavy on the citrus hops than the Lagunitas variety, which makes it more my style. Still there is something refreshing about the Fortunate Islands because it only uses a few varieties of hops.

I haven’t yet compared it side by side with the Fortunate Islands but I can see myself returning to this much more than the ordinary Stone IPA or Pale Ale, both of which I consider to be a bit too malty for my tastes. If you haven’t yet gotten over the insanely strong double IPAs you will consider this a sissy 4.5% that should be reserved for the weak. It will be here when you get that craving for IPA at 1PM on a Sunday and don’t want to be weighed down by a 7% IPA.

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 serving clients in San Diego California.

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Modern Times Brewing, Hoppy Beers for Hop Heads

I’m going to try to eventually hit all the breweries out of my area but as you can understand with so many good breweries so close together it is hard to find motivation to make it down to other breweries. Today I went to Modern Times and Acoustic Aleworks because they are so close together. At first I wasn’t sure that I was in the right place even though I knew I had followed the directions exactly. Like many breweries, Modern Times doesn’t have much fancy signage outside. You might walk right past it if it isn’t very busy. Thankfully it is right behind a few nude bars that you see every time you drive down Rosecrans. The parking could be better but considering the area it isn’t surprising.

View of the brewery from outside.
View of the brewery from outside.

Thankfully, the brewery looks much better inside. As soon as you step foot in the door you can feel the unique vibe of the place that comes from the stacks of books under the bar, the comic books on the wall to the left, the 8-bit-inspired art on the wall to the right, and other unique decorations all around. It is unlike any other brewery I have ever visited. If it wasn’t for the few tables near the larger window in the wall it would be as dark as a speak-easy.

Wall of comic-books.
Wall of comic-books.
8-bit-inspired artwork on the wall.
8-bit-inspired artwork on the wall.

The brewery has a fairly small selection compared to some of the places I frequent, but it isn’t hurt by it. The four mainstays offer enough variety that most people should find something to enjoy and they had two seasonal offerings that rounded out the selection nicely. Though they did give me a discount because of my blog I did not learn of this until after I had already written about the beers. It was also small enough that it wouldn’t influence my writings.

I started things off with a flight of four tasters. Though the offerings at first seem typical, I can assure you they are not. They have a saison, a hoppy amber, a hoppy wheat bear, and a coffee stout. The saison is the only one that is what you might expect. I’m not typically a fan of saison beers so I can’t say if it was a good or bad one but it was more drinkable than some I have had elsewhere.

Taster flight. Saison (top left), Hoppy Amber (top right), Hoppy Wheat (bottom left), Coffee Stout (bottom right)
Taster flight. Saison (top left), Hoppy Amber (top right), Hoppy Wheat (bottom left), Coffee Stout (bottom right)
Modern Times tap list as of December 28, 2013
Modern Times tap list as of December 28, 2013

I quite enjoyed both the hoppy wheat and hoppy amber. The hoppy wheat reminded me most of a session IPA or an extra pale ale. It had a nice hop flavor up front and a mellow flavor with the lighter alcohol. This might be a good way to introduce your friends to hops. The hoppy amber most closely resembled a San Diego IPA with the up-front Nelson hop flavors. Nelson hops deliver the familiar grapefruit taste and it was quite prominent here. I left with a four-pack of 16oz cans of the hoppy amber because it was my favorite of the night. To round off the flight, we had some coffee stout, which was a nice lighter alcohol stout. Flavor wise, it was on the bitter side and was close to having a cup of iced coffee. This is not for people who prefer sweeter stouts.

Books stacked up under the bar.
Books stacked up under the bar.

I also tried the IPA, made with bread yeast, and the double IPA before I left. I wasn’t very big on the flavors of the IPA. I tasted a light bitter flavor at the front with a little pineapple behind it. The double IPA was quite drinkable but a bit too heavy on the pine/resin flavors for my tastes. It certainly is well balanced but I prefer double IPAs with more citrus flavors.

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Modern Times is one of the first San Diego breweries to offer to fill blank growlers and sell their own growler-cozies that you can slip onto a growler from any other brewery. Eventually we should see both of these become standard but for now they are the first that I am aware of. If you like San Diego IPAs, it is worth stopping by Modern Times for some of the Blazing World hoppy amber. Look for the Blazing World in stores as well and be sure to grab some.

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 serving clients in San Diego California.

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