Tag Archives: Rip Current

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.

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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).

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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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A Hoppy Visit to Rip Current and Belching Beaver

Sometimes as a blogger I am not able to try every single beer at a brewery, either because certain styles aren’t interesting to me or because there are too many beers on tap, or other times because I plan on visiting two places in one trip. In this case when I visited Belching Beaver and Rip Current together in their North Park locations, especially because of their proximity, I mostly tried the hoppy beers available at both.

At some point I may go back and update the blog with information about some of the other beers they have but for now this will be the first in what may become a series of Hoppy Visit series of posts primarily aimed at telling hop-heads what is good at a brewery.
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Before I get into the beers though I wanted to make an observation about the atmosphere at Belching Beaver North Park. Like other bars in the area I found Belching Beaver to be the sort of place I would not want to spend much time, due to loud music, often in the form of hip-hop that made me leave as soon as I finished my four tasters. The music was thankfully not as loud as I tend to encounter at Toronado but not something I like to see at a tasting room.  I’m sure I will en joy Belching Beaver’s beers in bottles elsewhere but I probably won’t be returning to the tasting room anytime soon.
Belching beaver is known for the peanut butter milk stout and horchata imperial stout because they get the most buzz. If you like flavored stouts these are great but I did not try them in this visit. I tasted the Hop Highway IPA, Rabid Beaver Rye IPA, Great Lei pina colada IPA and Damned Imperial IPA. As you will see in the photo, Belching Beaver uses some interesting tall skinny taster glasses.
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The Hop Highway IPA was a solid balanced west coast style IPA with lots of citrus and not too bitter. It is a nice easy drinking beer. Compared to hop highway, the rabid beaver is a bit more bitter and has some of the additional bite from the rye but is otherwise a very similar flavor of beer. I prefer the rabid beaver personally and think it is more of what I look for in an IPA.
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I actually really liked the great lei pina colada IPA with its light body and low bitterness and plenty of great coconut flavors. It did a great job creating the pina colada flavors without making it too sweet. Finally, the Damned, a boozy double IPA with plenty of caramel malts and tart apple flavors that are balanced by some intense bitterness. This is much more interesting when you get to sip a larger pour, like in a 22oz bottle I have tasted before, but it is still an interesting beer overall and a solid double IPA.


Next came Rip Current where I tried their Impact Zone, Lupulin Lust, Double Impact Zone, and In the Curl. I also added the Palomar Chocolate Porter and Vanilla Coffee Stout after that. Rip Current was noticeably less busy and more importantly less noisy. I was able to relax and take my time to sip my beers.
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The Impact Zone IPA was a solid basic IPA with plenty of good citrus and low bitterness. Though here as well I preferred the Lupulin Loop sporting much more flavor and a nice balance of citrus and resin.
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Next came up the Double Impact Zone which was much more flavorful though a little boozy and more what I like to taste. The higher alcohol intensified the citrus flavors, making it more tasty. Then came the In the Curl, another double IPA that was very similar to the Double Impact Zone. Both were quite good.
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Finishing with some dark beers, the Palomar Chocolate Porter had some nice dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors. The beer was overall good and smooth, a solid porter. The vanilla coffee stout was a bit higher on the alcohol but it really hides it well. It had some great tastes of nutty coffee and vanilla like you typically see from this style.
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Though both breweries had some solid offerings I found myself favoring Rip Current due to the more relaxed atmosphere and lack of loud music. If you are a fan of IPAs or stouts you will find plenty at both though the flavored stouts at Belching Beaver are not for everyone.

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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