Tag Archives: Out and About

San Diego Beer Week Journal: The Final Chapter

8 Dec

Come, gather round and listen to the much-anticipated second half of beer week post! Sorry to leave you hanging, you’ll soon find out the reason.

Moday, November 8th: I went to Small Bar with Darrin for the Avery Barrel Experience. I chowed down on their deep fried pickles with a DuganA, while Darrin started with a White Rascal and corn dogs. Have I said before how much I love the food at Small Bar? I love the food at Small Bar. I’m getting hungry for the fried pickles as I write this and look at the picture. After that tastiness Darrin went for the Samael’s Ale, it’s a Barleywine and came out crazy sweet from the few sips I had. After some research we found out that Samael was an Arch Angel known as the “Venom of God” so we decided that if you had to suck Samael out of you, teeny little angles would come floating out of your mouth. Yeah, it’s a 15% beer.

Wednesday, November 10th: I went to Hamilton’s for Green Flash Night with my friend Bekah and her husband, Mike. Good times had by all. Mike almost got into a fight when some drunk random pushed in front of Bekah and me at the bar, and I enjoyed the Imperial Red. .

Thursday, November 11th: I was off of work because it was Veteran’s Day. Thank you, banking industry. So I went to Toronado for lunch, had a grilled cheese and Flying Dog’s Gonzo Porter. YUM. While getting down on the sandwich, I noticed that my throat was a little scratchy. I chalked it up to a few late nights during the week and went on with my day. So Bekah, Mike and their friend Lenny came and joined me a little later. We had a few more beers, and then decided to head north to get growlers filled at Alesmith. While we were up there, we stopped by the Hess tasting room for a flight and some good conversation with the Hess team. As the day wore on, my throat was getting a lot worse, so I knew I was officially sick. But that didn’t stop me from mowing down on a burger and tots lovingly served up by Darrin at the Station before heading home for some much needed sleep.

Friday, November 12th: I went to the doctor’s office. She swabbed my now giant tonsil, gave me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. That was the end of Beer Week for me. So I took my antibiotics for 10 days, and was feeling basically better by Thanksgiving…until my throat was feeling scratchy again whilst eating turkey and stuffing. Yep. The bacterial whatever that had taken residence on my tonsil was back. With a vengeance. Another trip to the doctor, another round of antibiotics, and a litany of tests. Including one for diphtheria. If you’ve never been tested for this, uncomfortable is a kind way of putting it. My doctor compared it to this scene from Total Recall:

Turns out I don’t have any turn of the century contagious diseases, the antibiotics work. I am now healthy and ready to get some beer flowing in my veins again.

Bar Sheview: Toronado SD

24 Jun

Today I’ll be Sheviewing not a beer, but a bar: Toronado San Diego, or Tornado Alley as my best friend prefers to call it.


 4026 30th Street

San Diego, CA 92104       



Toronado is my local haunt, its about 5 blocks from my house so I tend to go here the most. They just celebrated their 2-year anniversary, so it’s starting to feel broken in and is developing its own sense of character. The sterility of a new place with only beer posters on the wall is wearing off as more and more local band stickers make their way onto the wall and jukebox selection gets a little more neighborhood personal. They have a good-sized tap selection, and a pretty impressive bottle list with a wall of glassware behind the bar to go with it. I like the set up of this place, there’s a nice long bar along one wall, tables along the other and a good-sized patio in the back. And ladies, the bathrooms are clean. If I’m there solo or with a buddy I prefer to sit at the bar. Reasons I like sitting at the bar: purse hooks, stools with backs and listening to everyone order. Listening to the staff dole out recommendations is like going to class, they’re all really knowledgeable and willing to share that with you. In fact, the staff is just really great here. In some beer bars, you get that smug “I know more about beer than you” attitude from the people behind the bar, and nothing makes my beer taste worse than poor service. At Tornado Alley, I’ve never had a bad experience with service. From the bartenders to bussers, everyone’s been kind and helpful. Yesterday when a girl went up to the bar and said, “I don’t know what to have!” the bartender asked her what kind of beer she normally drinks, and brought her something she really liked…oh, and they smile. Weird.

They also serve food here. They don’t have a huge menu, which is nice. They do sandwiches, burgers and have a great selection of sausages. The food is just really good. I’ve had their burgers, sausages and the BBQ pork sandwich. All of which are delicious. Get the coleslaw.

Slight bummers about Toronado are that they close at midnight, and sometimes the crowd gets a little hipster-but that goes with being in North Park. All in all, I am a huge fan of Toronado. You should be too.

There was art there?!

17 May

Today I attended the North Park Festival of Art. A couple of friends and I went with the intent of getting out and about, trying something new, and trying some local fare. Well, we made it as far as the Craft Beer Block. Turns out going to the beer block first kind of hinders your drive to check out any of the arts. Whoops. The Craft Beer Block afforded us the opportunity to try 10 different local restaurants and sample 8 different craft beers. The two that really stood out to us were  Lagunitas’s Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale, an “Imperial Mild” and Julian Hard Cider. Two REALLY different brews, but both very enjoyable. The Lagunitas Ale wasn’t too bitter and had a nice aftertaste and was all around pretty smooth. The cider, just yum. Ciders are usually too sweet and kind of thick for me, but this cider was really crisp, light and nicely refreshing. Both come highly recommended.

We did run into an old friend whose band was playing and spent the rest of the afternoon with him and a local bar. There, I found out that Brewery Ommegang’s Hennepin goes really well with a carne asada burrito.

We’re also still working through Tasting Beer. Right now its covering how taste works. There’s more to it than just your tongue, you use your sense of smell, sight and there are psychological factors involved. Mui interesting.