When I heard about a new brewery who would be incorporating the names and imagery of the genre that is so near and dear to my heart, I knew I would be unable to resist the opportunity to go and check them out.
Intergalactic Brewing is located at 9835 Carroll Centre Rd #108 San Diego, CA 92126. It’s a little tricky to locate but some recently added signs will keep you going in the right direction and you can probably still make the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.
Going to a new nano brewery is something of an adventure because you just don’t know what to expect. I’d heard some positive buzz beforehand so that was encouraging but until that liquid gold touches your lips you just don’t know what you might be in for. What I found while there was nothing short of excellent. I was optimistic the beers would be good but I didn’t have any clue they were going to be as great as they are.
Alex Van Horne is the owner and head brewer of Intergalactic and he’s a super nice guy to chat with while I was drinking my way through a flight of his creations. Not only did he answer my silly brewing questions but he was more than happy to talk some Star Wars and what we think J.J. Abrams might have in store for the franchise. You can read a really nice article about Alex by Brandon Hernandez of the San Diego Reader here.
On my visit they had eight of the twelve taps flowing and I was eager to sample them all. The usual suspects of styles were to be found. A porter, a stout, a red, an IPA and so on, but upon taking a longer look at the beer board, I instantly had an appreciation for the names of the beers on hand. As you’ll see, Intergalactic Brewing has a theme and they stick to it.
Red Shirt #1, an English Brown Ale that comes in a 5.4%ABV proved to be another excellent example of taking my notions of what a brown ale normally tastes like and putting a new spin on it. Very tasty as well. Now move a little more into my comfort zone as I decide to try the Black Sun IPA, an 8.5%ABV monster, this is a black IPA that again avoids all the things that I don’t particularly enjoy about the black IPA style. I am specifically referring to the roasted, sometimes burnt flavor that pervades many of them. It’s not here. At all. Alex told me how he avoids that flavor and while I don’t think it’s a huge secret to most brewers, I’m not going to be the one who tells you just in case it is. Suffice to say, if you’ve been trying to find a black IPA this might be the one for you. Now here is where I made a tactical mistake that I’m still kicking myself over. I have to tasters left and I decide to save the IPA for last, that’s just how I normally roll. Now big deal right? Well, when the other taster in your hand is Reentry Smoked Ale, a 5.1%ABV rauchbier with smoked Serrano peppers… you might be able to see where this is headed. As for the Smoked Ale? My God, it’s fantastic! It’s peppery flavors are bold and assertive but you still taste the rich ale underneath. I loved every single sip of this one, it is hands down one of the best pepper beers I’ve had, and I’ve had several very good ones. So that leaves us with the Andromeda IPA, a 6.8%ABV. Listen, bottom line is I liked this beer, but by drinking the Reentry Smoked Ale first, it left me with a bad case of pepper breath (which in my house has double meaning because my K-9 life partner is named Pepper) so any subtleties or complexities of the beer went completely undetected by my wrecked palette. Alex warned me, but if you only knew the power of the dark side…