San Diego Beer Week Journal: Part 1

15 Nov

Well, San Diego Beer Week has come to a close, and I’m happy to say I’ve done my part to help make it a success. Here’s the rundown of what I’d been up to:

Friday November 5th: I had a date, and what better way to show him what I like to do with my free time than take him to my local favorites? We wanted to keeping within walking so we started the evening with a jaunt up to Toronado for dinner and some tasty beers. I had Plant to Pint from Pizza Port Carlsbad. I liked it! Granted I didn’t pay a ton of attention to smelling and tasting, but I remember a piney and citrusy aroma with that grapefruity aftertaste. As I was chowing down on the Kettle Nachos Deluxe I ordered Alpine’s Pure Hoppiness. I’m not sure if it was the food I was eating or my still recovering taste buds but I got a really biscuty taste mid sip. We were having a nice time, finishing up our drinks, and then the Bar Crawl came in. I don’t remember what charity they were crawling for, but I think golf and cancer were involved. Here’s what I learned: take a group of about 15 middle-aged men in matching T-shirts, have one of them order beers for the whole group at once, and your bartender gets a little frustrated. After they started the group cheersing and “Wooo!”-ing behind my head, we decided to wander across the street to Ritual Tavern. It was a beautiful evening, so we parked it outside and I sipped on a bottle of Stone’s Vertical Epic 10-10-10. Great way to start beer week!

Saturday November 6th: This was the day I was most looking forward to for Beer Week. I got the opportunity to attend the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival with I got there around 2:30, and meandered over to the far side of the lawn to work my way back to the Taphunter table. I started with Manzanita Brewing from Santee. This was the first time I’d had anything from this relatively new brewery, and I was pretty impressed. Their brown was delicious. From there I moved on to the new brews from La Jolla Brew house, intrigued because I knew they recently got a new head brewer and had revamped what they were making over there. I tried the Max, their holiday vanilla porter. The vanilla came through the chocolate in a delicate way that it was really palatable. This was when my friend Aaron showed up, and relieved me from standing around and drinking alone. It was also at this point that I really forgot to pay attention to what I was drinking. I know I got a Lost Abbey Dubbel, a Ballast Point Sculpin, a Stone Arrogant Bastard, A Pumpkin Ale from Manzinita, A Hop Head Red from Coronado Brewing, a Green Flash Silva Stout (Yum!), and more that I can’t think of right now. After having fun with Aaron for a while we ran into a few other friends, and spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around, drinking, enjoying the music and just having a blast. At about 5 I made my way to the Taphunter table to serve my duties on their Street Team.

Anyway. The Fest. This was probably one of the best beer festivals I’ve been to. Besides there being amazing beer, the food selection was great, and the entertainment was fun. The crowd was reported at over 3000 people, but it was laid out so nicely that it never seemed crowded. The vibe there was just nice and laid back, everyone working and attending were super friendly, it was just a really good day. A HUGE “Great Job!” high five to the San Diego Brewers Guild for putting on a great event.

 Stay tuned to see what happened the rest of the week…

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