Brewery visit: Manzanita Brewing Co.

7 Apr

Last Friday was a beautiful day in San Diego. The sun was shining. The birds were singing, well the crows by the dumpster were cawing; and it was the perfect day to head to Manzanita Brewing after work. After trying their Jazz Man at the Mission Valley Craft Beer Festival, my friend Aaron and I knew we had to get out to Santee to check it out in more depth. One of my favorite things about visiting a brewery for the first time is finding it. Most breweries are tucked in a suite of an industrial complex, and finding them is akin to finding the secret door to a speakeasy. In this aspect Manzanita did not disappoint. Apart from the bacon wrapped hotdog guy setting up outside, the façade looks just like any other business front in the building. Stepping inside the door was a pleasant surprise; there was a cool little bar hiding in there. The back wall has a big manzanita tree painted on it, and the six tall tables with chairs gave it a comfey vibe. So we made out way to the back of the room, and ordered a pint of Jazz Man at the bar. Coming back to this beer after a taster at a fest, it still managed to impress me. It’s a pale ale that’s brewed with Jasmine flowers, so it had a really nice floral aroma and a citrusy taste that the hints of flowery sweetness went well with. I moved on to the Gillespie Brown Ale next, another beer that I really enjoyed. It was sweet and roasted and a little chocolatey, but still has a bit of a hoppy bite. After one more Jazz Man and a bacon wrapped hot dog, we were on our way. But not without some beer to go. I took home a growler of Gillespie Brown and Aaron sagged some Jazz Man. I found out that they have a Growler Gold Club Card: buy 9 and get your 10th fill free. I am now an official Manzanita Brewing Gold Card carrier.  I want to take a moment here to give props to the staff in the brewery; they were extremely friendly and patient. They actually came out from behind the bar to get us refills and the growlers were delivered to the table. This is the main reason why I felt like a total dick when I realized that we were going to be short on tip money. The woman behind the bar handled it with humor and forgiveness, telling us a story of the woman who went out to her car to get a tip and came back with 75 cents. So with a promise of proper tipping on our next trip, my visit to Manzanita Brewing had come to an end. It was a fun afternoon that was worth every second of the 15-minute drive from my office, and one I hope to repeat again soon.

4 Responses to “Brewery visit: Manzanita Brewing Co.”

  1. Jay Anderson April 9, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I am kind of a regular at Manzanita (I am in the picture in your review) I would like to welcome you to the Manzanita family.

    • shelikesbeer April 9, 2011 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks, Jay! I’ll see you around there sometime I’m sure 🙂

  2. Alex April 11, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    Thanks for coming by Leah! Glad we got to hang for a bit!

    • shelikesbeer April 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

      Good to see you too, Alex! I’ll be back soon: empty growler.

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