Division 23 is one of the newest breweries in the Miramar area. They opened officially on May 16, 2015 and have been pouring beer on Saturday and Sunday for a few weeks now. Like Intergalactic brewing they are hiding in the back of an industrial complex but they do a good job of giving you signs to send you to the right place. Like most breweries you enter through the back entrance where deliveries would normally drop off. (Hint: If you see typical glass doors like an office building you need to go around the back.) It is quite close to the new Ballast Point restaurant and the newly opened Reckless Brewing.
When I came by on June 6, 2015 they had 8 beers on tap with an interesting variety of styles that are likely to satisfy everyone. They had a lager, hefeweizen, saison, English style pale, berliner weiss, coffee stout, and two IPAs when I visited. Along with the berliner weiss they offer the traditional fruit syrups to add to your own beers to cut down on the sour flavors and give it a more interesting flavor. Eventually they plan to make some of their own syrups as well.
I started with a taster of the berliner weiss (with raspberry syrup), the lager, and the hefeweizen. The base berliner weiss was not too tart, good and middle ground for that. When adding the syrup it really helps balance it out. Some people ended up trying four different flavors of this beer. The lager was nice and smooth with a nice sweet creamy flavor. The hefweizen was more fruity than usual and lacked the typical spices that are often added. I wasn’t a huge fan of this but it was popular with people around me.
Next I got tasters of the English Pale Ale, Saison, and Coffee Stout. The English Pale was very interesting with a lot of fruity apricot flavors going on and some nice caramel malts in the background. It was very balanced and smooth. The saison was good with mostly fruity flavors coming through. It lacked the typical pepper flavors that you sometimes see in a saison. The coffee stout was my favorite of all of them. Made with Kona coffee, it was very smooth and had a nice forward coffee flavor that really hit the spot.
I ended with the two IPAs. The Bitter Foreman IPA had an interesting combination of lemon and pine flavors with a solid bready malt background. The Freight Damage IPA was a bit stronger in alcohol and had more of a light malt bill with more fruit and tropical flavors going on. Neither one was what I would consider west coast style but they were both solid. I preferred the freight damage just slightly, though it was just tapped when I visited so it was super fresh.
Overall I think Division 23 is off to a good start. They have a solid lineup and will be keeping the two IPAs, the stout, and the berliner weiss on tap as core beers. They may end up doing some versions of the berliner weiss witih fruit additions at some point as well, which would be very nice. They have a great setup inside with plenty of bar stools at the bar and other seating inside plus games to play and popcorn popping.
English Pale Ale