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San Diego Beer, Local & Independent!


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On a Mission in downtown San Diego

Mission was one of the first breweries I sampled when I was initially cultivating a more advanced beer palette. Some of their beer worked for me, some didn’t, those that didn’t probably had more to do with me not being ready for them. Don’t let that fool you, I was novice craft beer drinker, but even as I novice I could tell there was more going on with these beers than I was able to appreciate at the time.

As the years went on, I would try more and more of their brews, and as my palette evolved, so did my appreciation for those beers.

A little over a year ago, they opened their new operation in the East Village, just a short walk from Petco Park. I would usually rush in to get a beer or two in me before a ball game, not really taking the time to soak it all in. A few weeks back I decided it was time to change all of that.

It’s a great facility, working out of the old Wonder Bread building really lends a nice esthetic to the exterior of the building. I’ve always been a sucker for buildings with history in them. Give me something that feels lived in over this new, shiny almost synthetic feel that comes with most new buildings being put up these days. I like knowing that a little blood,sweat and tears helped put some character in the walls. The high ceilings are something I found personally enjoyable as well.

It was a lazy Wednesday evening, when I decided to roll in with a good friend and similar minded drinking partner. We pulled right up to the bar, which is impressively huge, and ordered up a flight of everything on tap. Let the good times commence. Here are my impressions.

Mission Blonde: 5%ABV – light and crisp, nice flavor and not malty. It’s what you would expect from a quality blonde. Great summer time beer!

Mission Hefeweizen: 5.3%ABV – It’s got a little banana to it and a little clove but still very much tastes like a hef…but on a better level. I’m not fond of many Hef’s but this is one I would gladly order again. I also love that they don’t want you to add lemons or oranges or any other crap. If you need to add stuff to your beer, something went wrong.

Mission Amber: 5%ABV – Big malty flavor offset by nice hops. Very good amber ale, one I’d gladly drink again.

Bohemian Pilsner: 5%ABV – Winner of the Gold at the 2012 San Diego International Beer Festival and Competition. A crisp and refreshing pilsner with a dry hop flavor. Pilsners aren’t necessarily my favorite beers, but if you are looking for something light with a nice taste, this one is hard to go wrong with.

Mission IPA: 6.8%ABV – Great hoppy flavor, not as hoppy as some of my other favorites, but strong flavor and a satisfying finish! I really enjoyed this IPA, but something was a little off. It didn’t taste like I remember the Mission IPA tasting. I mean this in a good way! More on this later.

Shipwrecked Double IPA: 9.25%ABV – A Imperial style IIPA with great hops flavor, a generous amount of Carmel maltiness and hints of grapefruit and citrus towards the end. Enjoyed this beer a lot. Would have gladly ordered a pint of this bad boy, but I had people to drive later in the evening. Boo!

Dark Seas: 10%ABV – A Russian imperial stout with rich chocolate and coffee flavor but you still get a creamy fruit flavor towards the back. I found this to be a very interesting beer. While that coffee flavor still throws me from time to time, I enjoyed this, nicely done. Very dark…like Darth Vader’s helmet.

After finishing up, our bartender Mike, asked what we liked most. We both stated our preference to the two IPA’s which is when I asked if I had gone crazy or was  something different about IPA? We were told that the brewers have been tweaking the recipe for the IPA. I let him know that while I enjoyed the previous IPA this was leaps and bounds more flavorful, and ordered up a pint of that new and improved IPA. Delicious.

Two nights later, I was back downtown with some time to kill before a dinner I was attending, so what better place to kill sometime than back at the brewery where I could get more of that wonderful IPA.

The bar had a great crowd and the Padres games was on, which is nice since I have Time Warner and they aren’t carrying the local team this season. Bastards. Anywho. Went with the IPA followed by the IIPA and struck up several interesting conversations. One with a guy from Australia and the other with a guy from New Zealand. Total coincidence. Oh and some folks had brought their dogs which I always love to see. One of my favorite things about the breweries in San Diego is how open and welcoming they are to dogs… now if they only knew how much my dog loves beer too.

And did I mention Foosball and skee ball tables! Score!

Simply put – Misson Brewery is a great spot for great beers when you venture downtown, and it’s full of real people, not that crazy club hopping douche-bag population that takes over the Gaslamp once the sun goes down. It’s a spot I plan to visit on a very regular basis.

Mission Brewery is located at 1441 L St San Diego, CA 92101

Cheers,
Tom

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When one beer festival lets you down…find a new one!

Several weeks back you might recall I wrote about my day at the San Diego International Beer Festival at the Del Mar fairgrounds.

At the time, I wrote what could generally be considered a positive piece on the show. I pointed out the flaws I found, but I generally kept it more positive and emphasized the fun aspects.

A few weeks has seen me change my tune. Those flaws I found quickly turned into big negatives for me.

Like a rotting wound, my negative feelings continued to fester. The more I thought about those negative points, the more I felt that they were unacceptable.The more I spoke to my friends who attended with me, the more we felt the show had left a bad taste in our mouth.

The main issue that I’m referring to is that with a little over an hour left in our session 95% of the beer was gone. Nothing left. Zero.

If they pulled a stunt like this at Oktoberfest in Germany they would have been drawn and quartered.I’m pretty sure that’s a law there.

Enter this past weekend’s San Diego Brew Festival at Liberty Station.

A chance for redemption or another kick in the crotch?

Spoiler alert – I loved it.

The people who organized this event get it. The tables are in small clusters, spread around the grounds so that massive crowds are not so massive. I enjoyed the open air environment as well. It was a little hot on Saturday, but I feel it added more to the tasting of the beer. Two areas hosted food trucks to keep us beer lovers happy with tasty treats and I enjoyed the cover band as well. I’m biased, they played every song in my car during the late 90’s.

The breweries on hand were some of the very best from the West. From Ballast Point and Green Flash to Deschutes and Shipyard, there is truly something for everyone. The other side of that coin is that I wouldn’t call the beer selection eclectic. If you are looking to try something crazy unique that you can only find at the festival, this isn’t the show for you. If you just want to enjoy drinking great craft beer and making new friends, I think you’ll be very happy at this festival.

Something that I personally enjoyed at this festival over Del Mar was the fact that the people working the tables were actually from the breweries and not some poor schlub making minimum wage to pour beer and can’t answer any of my questions about the beer I’m drinking. My appreciation of that knows no bounds.

Another thing I’d like to mention is that proceeds from this event go to Noah’s B-ark Pet Rescue, a cause that as a pet owner, I will always be happy to drink to.

It’s safe to say the frustration and bad taste that was left in my mouth after Del Mar was washed away with a pint size of awesome fun at Liberty Station. As I mentioned before, if your aim is to find a limited release beer, this may not be the right show for you. At least not yet, and maybe as the show grows over the next few years, maybe that will change, but for the time being you can count on a fun time to be had.

Oh and guess what? They sure as hell didn’t run out of beer with an hour to go.

Victory!

Cheers,
Tom

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Monkey Paw Pub – A tale of two (K)nights!

As promised, the full recounting of my adventures at Monkey Paw Pub.

Adventures. Plural. More than one.

Because once is never enough, I found myself back for more a few days later, and the second time around I was on a mission!

But lets start this tale where most things typically do – the beginning.

For the last few weeks, I’ve had a real itch about getting over to Monkey Paw. It was one of my late nights at Tiger Tiger, I came across one of their beers that, while not my favorite of the evening, certainly got my attention. Which beer that was, however, is lost forever in the haze inside my brain. Suffice to say the name of the brewery stuck with me and I put it on my list. Finally this past weekend, the opportunity arose and it was time to strike.

The bar is located at 805 16th St. on the corner of F St. in the East Village area of downtown San Diego and stands out pretty easily. On my two visits there has been a good amount of street parking nearby as well.

So upon entering the first thing that I notice are the unique windows, sort of a stain-glass look that I found very appealing. The next thing to catch my eye was the massive chalk board of wonderful craft beers that instantly sent my mind twirling with possibilities. The space reminded me a bit of Hamilton’s but with more leg room. They had a pretty decent sized crowd inside for 3pm on a Saturday, but there is room to spread out. I pull up a stool at the bar and quickly order up a flight of the six house beers they had on tap that day. Here is my impression of those six.

Gose Bananas : 3.7% ABV – Another entry in my new experiences with sour beers. This one was a big surprise for me. Tart sure, but the sour in this wheat beer is not as overpowering as my last run in with a sour. You get that, slight but noticeable flavor but it doesn’t destroy your palette for the rest of the day. It’s light and crisp and very refreshing. Delightful.

Bekanton Saison : 5.5%ABV – This beer is a collaboration with Stillwater Brewing, the first word that came to mind while drinking was flowery. The second word was grapefruit. It has a hint of spice, not sure what kind, but overall it’s a nice saison. Not my personal favorite. I’m weird about grapefruit. Sorry.

Pineapple X-Press : 5.2%ABV – An extra pale ale that is big on citrus with a little kick of sweetness to balance it out. Drinking this I felt like there was a lot going on in the tiny 5oz taster I got, and what I got was enough to keep me intrigued for more. Very nice beer and one I felt very appropriate for the summer season.

Mandrill American IPA : 7.3%ABV – Now we start to get into my reasons for walking through the door. Give me those hops baby! This IPA is piny and citrusy and has a bit of a flowery finish. It’s very distinctive from other more well known San Diego IPA’s but this is a solid entry as it stand on it’s own without trying to imitate what has come before it. Will be happy to order again…and again…and again.

Rich Man’s American Double IPA (or IIPA) : 8.7%ABV – Well hello lover! As one of my buddy’s would say “This is chewy!” Outstanding flavor profile, strong balance of malts and hops. Little pine, little citrus and lots and lots of hops. Did I mention the hops? It’s worth repeating. This beer is all kinds of hopped up and I loved it! Some IIPA’s can go overboard or nor get the beer balanced enough… not this one. Simply fantastic!

Sweet Georgia Brown : 5.8%ABV – This is an English style brown, and it was the last beer in my taster flight. Which meant it had the unfortunate task of coming to bat after the two IPA’s. This is a solid brown. Hints of chocolate, coffee and caramel throughout.. Light body and easy drinking with a small hops profile. As you may know by now I’m not much for that coffee flavor, but if you dig it, I think you’ll enjoy this brown.

At this point I should also mention the fridge behind the bar is full of excellent bottle selections as well.

After my flight, I grabbed a pint of the Mandrill and placed an order for food. I wasn’t really sure what to expect out of the kitchen, but the menu looked good and I knew I needed the food in my belly in bad way. I placed an order for the Pulled Pork Roll. Oh boy, did I hit the jackpot here. The pulled pork here is fantastic! Smokey and spicy, tender, succulent. If you have a good adjective, please insert it here. This is bar food to blow you away! Oh and they serve it all up with waffle fries. How sick is that? I already liked the beers, but the food puts this place over the top! GO HERE NOW!

Night 2

As some may know, I’m a bit of a sucker for a good glass night. Just so happen that while in the bar on Saturday, I see that this coming Thursday night would be Monty Python Holy Grail goblet night. I knew immediately that I would move heaven and earth to get this goblet. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was a staple of my childhood, particularly my high school years. Clearly, I was a chick magnet. My friends and I would enjoy reciting word for word scenes from this movie that elevated the art of comedy and I’m not ashamed of that. My fiancee, on the other hand, is slightly embarrassed by it.

Glasses were to go on sale promptly at 5pm, with a little help from my manager at work, I got there at 4:50pm. It was a full house already and you could tell that most of these folks came for one reason. To get the goblet. With a little time to kill I order up an IPA and patiently wait for the clock to strike. A few minutes pass when all of a sudden I see the goblets getting filled. I down the IPA in about a gulp and a half and move back to the bar as the masses surge forward around me as we attempt to get the bartenders attention. I stay patient, I stay calm and I get my goblet. Victory! As I move back to the little area I had secured for myself I turn back to the bar to see that the goblets are no more! They hold sold out in less than 15 minutes. But what’s even more delightful than getting the glass? The fact they are playing the movie on the TV above the bar. Didn’t matter that the sound was off. I knew it by heart.

On a side note, if you follow me on twitter I was tweeting some of the highlights of the night as well as random thoughts. Big fun while I waited for my friend to arrive.

So I actually had to do a little research on the beer that came in the glass. At the bar it was just called Monty Python Holy Grail, No mention of the brewer. After a little digging, I find that it’s made by Black Sheep Brewery from Yorkshire, England. The only thing I know about Yorkshire is what I saw in Braveheart. I’m guessing it’s gotten nicer since then. The Holy Grail comes in at 4.7%ABV I would call it an amber ale, with a strong malty flavor rounded off by some fruit that gives it a pretty dry finish. It was a pretty solid beer. Most important tonight was that this is a beer that would not require me to call a cab.

So I walked out one happy customer tonight. Good beers, great glass and you better believe I had some pulled pork waffle fries. Thanks to my buddy for those!

So if the choice ever comes down to going to Monkey Paw or to Camelot, you pick Monkey Paw. Just remember what King Arthur has to say about Camelot –

King Arthur : “On second thought, let’s not go to Camelot. It is a silly place”

OK, I kind of forced that quote in, but I don’t care, it makes me smile.

Cheers,
Tom

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A Comic-Con Survival Guide or How to drink your way through Comic-Con Weekend.

So Comic-Con has come and gone for 2012 and while it is always great fun it’s also can be quite exhausting.

This year, my approach to the show would more closely resemble my approach to life – how can I incorporate my love of craft beer into this?

What follows is my attempt to make a 5 day beer drinking adventure set around the pure insanity of Comic-Con International, and while I may not have had the chance to rub elbows with Robert Downey Jr., I don’t think I did too bad overall. Let me know if you agree.

Wednesday – Preview night for the convention. My main priority on this night is to pick-up my badge and that is it. Years ago, preview night was great for walking the floor to get a better look at all the massive displays on the show floor before the regular crowds come in to play for the rest of the weekend. It’s not like that anymore. So after getting my badge around 4:30pm, a friend and I decided that a nice stroll over to Mission Brewery was in order. So we lined up tasters of everything on tap while taking in the excellent atmosphere at the brewery. I really enjoy this place, the space is just fantastic and they play awesome music. It’s very hard to go wrong with the gang down here. I have a full write up of my trip here planned for later in the week, consider this your taster.

Thursday – The first full day of the con, well, for everyone but me. I had to go to work for the first half of the day. Once I do make it down in the early afternoon, about 2pm, I make my way into the show to check in with a few friends and see what up. So I walk the floor, chat up some of the nice folks around and snap a few photos before a buddy calls to let me know he’s writing an article for the website he works for and asks me to join him for a drink. Twist my arm why don’t you? I meet him at the Marriott next to the convention center at the patio bar around 6pm. I quickly find my friend and berate the man for drinking a Bud Lite and I place my order for a refreshing pint of Stone’s Arrogant Bastard. We all know this beer is pretty much a staple for any craft beer enthusiast who is worth a damn. Complex, rich, malty with a nice hops profile. In other words fantastic and if you don’t like it, you probably won’t be invited to my wedding.
Here’s were things get interesting, as we are wrapping up, in walks a group of pretty large guys. One of those guys just happens the be LaDanian Tomlinson, the recently retired San Diego Charger running back. Normally, I don’t get excited by celebrities but in this case I was bursting. Luckily, I think I manged to do a decent job of getting composed and approaching him calmly. After shaking his hand and having a short conversation with him, my night was pretty much set and wasn’t bound to get any better. Or was it?
Not really. What can top that? But the night was still really fun.
So I meet up with another buddy who is in the ‘industry’ and he gets me invited to a rooftop party at the Hotel Andaz, where they have a decent selection of craft beers by the bottle. I have a couple Green Flash IPA’s and a couple of Stone IPA’s while I run into a few friends from New York who I had lost touch with. Then low and behold as the party is coming to a close, I bump into Israel Idonije, of the Chicago Bears. Talking to him is considerably easier than LT. After this, we move on to another party, which is fun, but the beer selection borders on travesty so I won’t talk much about it here…except the Grant Hotel needs to figure it out.

Friday – Really should have been a pretty epic day…except I had to go to work again. By the time I made it downtown it was 6:30pm and I didn’t see the point in going to the convention center. But it was far too early to for my dinner plans at 8:30pm, so what is one to do? Well, I headed back over to Mission Brewing because it was close and very tasty. Had two pints of IPA and chatted with two guys from New Zealand while watching the Padres cling to a 1-run lead which they would eventually blow. Sadly this would turn into the end of my beer drinking for the night. Dinner at El Vitral was fantastic but margaritas are the specialty there so…when in Rome…

Saturday – This would be my full day downtown and what better way to get it it started than a great breakfast at Cafe 222 with friends. No beer to start the day as I knew that drinking water now was the best way to prep for what I had in mind for later. So I hit show and see the sights and run into a gaggle of friends along the way before I decide, around 2pm, it’s time to take a break and go get some food/beer in my belly for the next part of the day. Monkey Paw Brewing has been in the back of my mind for the past several days so I decide today is the day and I make the long walk over there. It was worth it, not only were the beers great, but the food in that place is really solid as well! Again, I plan to have a full write up posted soon and will save the tasty details for that. While getting my beer fix, two very close friends from here in San Diego join me at Monkey Paw as we make plans for them to come and check out the convention with me. So we make our way back to the show and take them on a tour of what happens at a typical San Diego Comic Con, I’m pretty sure they were impressed. Maybe in a good way. Maybe not.
After they have seen enough, we check out the Bat-mobiles parked at the Hilton Bay-front and then make our way north up to Market St. It’s about 6pm, time to get more beers, this time from Knotty Barrel. First up we all grabbed the Lagunitas rotation draft selection which was the Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale. The consensus was that it’s a good beer, but a little on the sweet side for us. Next up was Ballast Point’s Sculpin, also from draft. If you’ve not heard me rave about Sculpin IPA before, I’m not sure what else to call it but liquid perfection. It’s an absolute masterpiece IPA.
At about 9pm, my friends decided to head back home and I had to find my buddy who was staying over at my place. On the way, I stopped at a new pizza place downtown, Berkley Pizza, and grabbed two slices of the Chicago style pizza they make there. Not only was the pizza really good, they also have a small but solid selection of handles to choose from while snacking. They are also open late into the night which I’m sure the crowd coming out of Stingaree appreciates. This was basically the end of my night of drinking, as I knew I needed to drive home later and rolling those dice is never a good idea.

Sunday – Sunday didn’t go as I had planned. Due to extenuating family circumstances I had to cancel my plans to head back to the show. Because, if one thing is more important than beer and comics, it’s family.

Otherwise, this was a great way to spend the convention. I’m pretty sure this will be the blueprint for any comic-cons in the years to come. I didn’t get to several spots I was hoping to check out, but I’m sure I’ll be back in downtown San Diego at some point no matter how hard I try to avoid it sometimes.

How was your weekend? Did you avoid downtown or maybe go get a little people watching done?

Whatever you did I hope it was a blast.

Cheers,
Tom

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Beer & Comic-Con

Tomorrow is the kick off of Comic-Con here in San Diego.

This is a big deal.

Whether you a fan of the massive pop culture convention or not, this show is huge for the city of San Diego. This is a tax revenue machine. We need that around here because in case you didn’t know, the potholes are not going to fix themselves.

This will be my 9th year attending comic-con.  Hopefully you are still reading after that admission.

I’ve never really been able to find the right word to express my feelings but it’s kinda neat to see downtown San Diego get overrun with nerdy events like zombies runs at Petco Park when most of the time I try to avoid the gas lamp area due to the high concentration of douche-baggery on the weekends.

So what does this have to do with beer?

A lot actually.

During my misspent youth I was very fortunate to make some amazing friends who happen to work in and around the comic book industry. Most of these people live on the east coast, most of them in New York, so this convention is one of the few times during the year where we can get together and catch up on what’s new in our lives. So I sure as hell am not going to waste that time drinking Miller Lite.

What I like to do with my friends in town is showcase the amazing local craft beer scene to an audience who is most likely not familiar with the majority of them. It also helps that some of these guys who work in the industry know how to down a few.

Sometimes navigating the bar scene in downtown San Diego is tricky. It’s night clubs and cocktails as far as the eye can see. This is where a lot of trendy bars are happy to charge you $7 for a Budweiser. But as the years have passed more and more bars are serving up the good stuff. So here are three of my favorite spots to hit up for good brews when downtown.

The Local – Located on 4th Avenue just above Broadway, this bar has gotten known for serving up killer craft beers and a menu of tasty delights to satisfy anyone. One of the best things about the location during comic-con from my point of view is that for most comic-con goers, crossing Broadway is sort of a unofficial border. Most folks will not want to haul all their schwag from the convention center to this spot unless their hotel is nearby. This is good to know if you are planning to be downtown and want to avoid the convention crowd. 15 taps to choose from, a nice variety on any given night with what is usually a fun easy-going crowd.

Knotty Barrel – 844 Market St, over 20 taps and something around 70 different bottles/cans to choose from make this spot where you are sure to find a brew that will please your palette. It’s listed as a gastropub, so there is food to be found within as well. I’ve not had the opportunity to eat here yet, but what I’ve seen and smelled sure seemed like it would be a nice complement to beers you are able to choose from. Market street is also a spot where the con crowd tends to thin out. Last year was my first visit to this spot and I was pleased to find a seat easily and get my drinking started good and proper.

Mission Brewery – 1441 L St. If your going to be downtown anyways, why not stop off someplace where you can get the beer fresh from the source? 7 different brews to taste and in my opinion it’s always fun to talk to the people who brew the beers themselves. Simple, easy, fun and while I’m not 100% sure of what kind of crowd will be there over the comic con weekend, I can at least say they have pretty good taste in beers.

I’m always hopeful to find new places with craft beer and I’ve been getting some good reports about a few other spots downtown as well. I hope that this weekend will give me a chance to check out a few places I’ve never been before. I’m looking at you Monkey Paw Brewing!  Pretty sure I’ll manage to find some time between long lines at the convention and burying my nose looking for back-issues of Spider-Man. Maybe next year we can get a Ballast Point station set-up inside the convention? Too good to be true.

If you go to show, have fun and try to be patient with the lines and the general orgasm of chaos that ensues when people see free shit. If you are avoiding the show, do it in style and have a few tasty brews with friends. Especially your friends who don’t know their craft beers yet. With any luck I’ll send my friends back home on a quest to find great craft beers in their area for me to sample on my next trip to visit them.

Oh, and let me know where you think I should go this weekend. I always like a strong recommendation.

Cheers,
Tom


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Flight Night @ Local Habit

This past Tuesday was something of an anomaly. With the 4th of July holiday falling on a Wednesday this year, it meant a night to go out and allow myself to indulge more than I normally would during every other work week in the calendar year. This was definitely a unique opportunity, and one I had no intention of squandering.

So after talking with some good friends who were in a similar position, it was agreed that we’d get out and try something new, a place we’ve all thought about checking out, but for various reasons we just hadn’t made it to yet. The place is Local Habit.

Local Habit is nestled in the heart of Hillcrest on 5th St just south of University Ave. The weekend prior to my visit they had just celebrated their 1 year anniversary and I suspect they will be celebrating quite a few more before all is said and done. Under the sign it reads “Organic Food & Craft Beer”, so you know right away this place is more than just your average bar.

I will tell you straight away – I didn’t come for the food on this night. I am a big fan and supporter of the organic and locally grown food movement that is popping up all over San Diego, however, I will leave the food review to my friend and fellow blogger over at www.monkeybreadandsweetpea.com, I suspect she’ll have a write up soon. If you are a foodie like me, you’ll love her site.

So I came for the beers, and beers I did have. Tuesday night at Local Habit just so happens to be Flight Night and for $9 you can sample six of their twelve drafts of craft beer. Being a fan of flights and using my exemplary math skills I quickly calculated that I could have two flights and try every beer on tap. Sounds like a deal to me so let’s line them up.

  1. The Bruery Nottenroth….ABV: 2.0%
  2. Societe The Harlot….ABV: 5.0%
  3. Lightning Elemental Pilsner…..ABV: 5.5%
  4. North Coast Blue Star Wheat….ABV: 5.5%
  5. Telegraph Obscura Vulpine….ABV: 5.5%
  6. Lost Abby Red Barn….ABV:6.7%
  7. Dogfish Head/Victory/Stone – Saison Du Buff…..ABV:7.7%
  8. Hess Loci Habitus….ABV: 8.0% (Ltd. edition for the anniversary of Local Habit)
  9. AleSmith Yulesmith…..ABV: 8.5%
  10. Hess Ex Unbris….ABV: 9.8%
  11. Pizza Port Poorman’s IPA….ABV: 10%
  12. Lost Abby Deliverance…..ABV:12.5%

As you can see the beers run the gamete from very light to high octane. It was also clear that they had a beer that could meet the demands of just about any palette. That said, a few brews really stood out to me. The Saison Du Buff had a light, crisp flavor with a hint of fruit that went down very easy. The Loci Habitus was another well balanced beer from the guys at Hess, very tasty. Big surprise – the Yulesmith was fantastic, very crisp and fresh, just perfect for a warm summer day. The Telegraph Obscura Vulpine was one that really surprised me. It’s a red sour. Sours are somewhat new to me and my experiences thus far have been very mixed. This, however, might be my favorite sour thus far. I’d go so far as to call it tart, but in a good, mouth-watering sort of way. I would however recommend drinking this last if you are having a flight, that tartness stay with you for a while and can easily over-power some of the lighter beers.

The hands-down winner of the night goes to Pizza Port for their Poorman’s IPA. I’m not even sure what to say about Pizza Port anymore. They consistently turn out some of the best IPA’s on the planet and they don’t appear to ever want to stop, which is a good thing because a lot of grown men might break down and cry. Killer hops with bold flavors and sensational wow-factor.

So all in all, a great way to spend a Tuesday night! Local Habit is a place I gladly recommend for the craft brew crowd. The draft selection has a wide range of flavors to choose from which should satisfy just about anyone. They also have nice fridge full of great bottles from AleSmith, Bear Republic, Port Brewing, Stone and more!

Also a big thanks to my friends who joined on this trip, glad I didn’t have to drink alone…not that it has stopped me in the past. Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!

Cheers,

Tom

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