Perhaps you suffer from acrophobia, the fear of heights. Or maybe it’s a case of gephyrophobia, the fear of bridges. Or maybe you just get easily distracted by scenic views of San Diego’s skyline. These are all reasons why you might try to avoid the Coronado Bridge. So how else would you get to Coronado Brewing?
For the sake of this blog we will also assume you have a fear of the South Bay and the Silver Strand, and since Imperial Beach is more or less my hometown, I’m kind of offended by your irrational fear so I would thank you not to mention it while in my company.
So, again, how would one make it over to Coronado Brewing without actually having to go to Coronado?
Did you know Coronado Brewing has a tasting room in Bay Park? Well, I didn’t so thanks for telling me. Somehow this news completely missed my ears, I blame school for this oversight. When the news did finally reach my previously occupied brain, I wanted to make arrangements to head over at the first opportunity. Fortunately, that opportunity was a lot easier to come by do to the fact that I live more or less around the corner from the location in question. Also making it easier is the fact my wife loves to go to places that are in a less than five mile radius of our home.
After a few rights and a left we found ourselves outside of a very understated yet elegant design to the front of the brewery and tasting room. We made our way inside and were immediately impressed with the layout and the design of the place. On the right hand side of the impressively large space are the tools of the trade, this is where they make the magic happen. On your left is a really nice bar area with stools and tables along the invisible line separating brewing area from tasting. They have a refrigerated unit just around the corner so you can load up on your favorite 22oz’s and small area for any merchandise that may have caught your eye.
Located at 1205 Knoxville Street in the Bay Park neighborhood, Coronado Brewing originally opened this location in 2012 as a 20,000 square foot, 30 barrel brew house to help keep up with the increasing demand for their beers. Judging from the beautiful tasting room I’d have to say it has been money well spent.
The beers we selected were mostly of my wife’s choosing, but she is an IPA girl so it’s not like a pilsner was coming across my lips anytime soon. We started with Rambler Red, a nice easy drinking red ale the clocks in at 5%ABV. Next we moved to the Mermaid Red this one has a 5.7%ABV and while still very tasty I think I preferred the more brightly colored Rambler. To complete the warm up round we went ahead and had People’s Choice Pale #3, a very mild pale, light hops and strong notes of citrus. This was also only in 5%ABV range, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
For the IPA portion of the program we dove head first into the Rye Dogg IPA, spoiler alert its a rye and its pretty tasty. At 6.2%ABV, I thought this beer handled its flavors well and showed some complex characteristics to boot. Next we went to the Sting Ray Point IPA, this one has a 6.8%ABV and comes along with a light body and a crispness to its taste. I found this to be a very refreshing IPA. Finally, we had to try the Frogs Breath IPA, the name alone beckons to me, this is a very fragrant brew, it has a floral aroma that I found pretty inviting and the citrus notes really pop off your taste buds. I liked this beer quite a bit as well.
Now, you probably have noticed that we stayed away from the Islander & Idiot IPA’s. This was done for the sole reason that those are two beers that have been a staple of Coronado Brewing for quite some time. If you have not had one yet, I say have at it and give it a go, they are rock solid and that’s why they have been around since Coronado Brewing opened their doors almost 20 years ago.
All in all, I’m really happy that we made the time to go and check this place out. As much as I love some of our more famous craft beer neighborhoods, it’s nice to see a respected brewer like Coronado Brewing opening their doors in Bay Park, which has a pretty decent craft beer scene of its own happening too. The best part is I can drive there without having to worry about tossing my burrito off the side of the bridge and accidentally hitting a motorcyclist who looks like Jack Black and is then going to kick my dog off said bridge. I hate it when that happens.