HOPTOLOGY

San Diego Beer, Local & Independent!


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Pizza Port, The Burning of Rome & Eukaryst; A Trilogy of Awesome!

Pizza Port has long been one of my favorite destinations in San Diego County. Whether it is the original location in Solana Beach or Carlsbad, or my personal favorite, Ocean Beach, you can always rely on a fantastic array of lovingly crafted beers and ridiculously tasty pizza and other assorted delights. It is a place where I’m happy to go solo, because I’ll always find someone to chat with, but I’m always eager to take a group of friends with me, especially if they have never been to one before. The employees of Pizza Port are a delight. They are nice, friendly and laid back. It help give the restaurants the right feel for a pizza place that is steps away from the beach. Simply put; It’s impossible to not have a great time at any one of their locations.

Pizza Port is also home to a lot of creative people, and I’m not only talking about Ocean Beach’s head brewer Ignacio “Nacho” Cervantes, who is continually whipping up some of the best craft beer in San Diego but it is home to his assistant brewer Gino Fontana, bass player in the local metal band Eukaryst and Joe Aguilar, long-time beertender and guitar player for local legends and kings of “death-pop”, The Burning of Rome.

If the names of those bands sounds familiar but you are not plugged into the local music scene, much like me, it’s possible you know those names from the two fantastic beers which are named for each band. The Burning of Rome IPA is a sensational beer that will measure high on any IPA geek’s stat sheet, and is a personal favorite of mine. Then there is Eukaryst Sinister Imperial Stout, it is simply a monster of a beer infused with darkness, it’s like drinking straight from the abyss where Cthulu resides, and loving every second of it. 

This past Monday, the ThreeBZine podcast crew, consisting of Cody, Dustin and myself were invited to join Joe, Gino and Nacho for a lively discussion about the beers and the bands and how it all come to be at the large production facility and restaurant in Bressi Ranch. We were excited, and we had very moderate expectations of how the session would go. We thought we would sit in a small room private room adjacent to the restaurant to record. Instead we were treated to a huge round table loaded with pitchers of The Burning of Rome IPA and growlers of Eukaryst Sinister Imperial Stout, including the barrel aged version and six-packs of Ponto, Swami’s and Chronic Ale directly in the center of the main production brew house. Not only that but they even filmed the podcast and are putting together a video that I will be sharing with the world very soon. It was a humbling and exhilarating experience all at the same time, and easily one of the best and most exciting things I’ve had a chance to be a part of. The hospitality and generosity of Pizza Port and its crew is second to none. These people work hard and they take amazing care of their guests. Cody, Dustin and myself all agreed it is an experience that will be hard to beat.2015-06-08 18.55.49

The conversation was long and epic! We go deep into the worlds of music and craft beer and how the two intersect. Head over to ThreeBZine to listen to part one of this amazing podcast or download from itunes and please let me know what you think.

If you’d like to get familiar with the bands, here is a link to a great video and song by The Burning of Rome and here is a link to an video by Eukaryst filmed in Pizza Port OB that also shows their beer being brewed.

If you’d like to check out Pizza Port here is the link to their site with all the locations listed, and please call me so we can go together. I’m always up for more great pizza and craft beers.

Cheers,

Tom

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OB Noodle House – A gem of a bar and the food is great too!

I like soup. I really do. It’s one of those food items that I sometimes get a craving for and can eat it all day long. Chicken noodle, cream of potato, tomato, clam chowder maybe even a nice lobster bisque if I’m feeling fancy. But for reasons that I can only assume are based on preconceived notions, I never really had much interest in ever going out and trying pho. That dish just so happens to be the specialty at OB Noodle House, a place of which I’ve heard good things about for years but in times past when I would make an attempt to dine there I would quickly be defeated by the incredible long lines and wait times.

Emphasis on bar!

Emphasis on bar!

Well, I can say with all certainty, ‘that was stupid of me’. Everything that hit our table was instantly gobbled up by our party and met with rave reviews from all around. You can now consider me among the converted, pho is great and they have a pretty extensive menu of other noodle based dishes that I will hazard a guess and say are pretty delicious as well. In case you are wondering, I ordered the OB Special (XL) (as a former resident of Ocean Beach I felt obliged) that comes with rare streak, well done steak, brisket, flank and tripe. It was more than filling and pretty impressive as well.

That is a whole lot of meat!

That is a whole lot of meat!

But I’m not here to talk about the high quality food they serve up, I’ll leave the restaurant reviews to my friend Megan over at monkeybreadandsweetpea.com. Nope, I’m going to tell you about one of the most impressive rotating draft lists I’ve seen at a restaurant in a very long time.

The bar at OB Noodle house is legit. On the night of my visit I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but what I got blew the top of my head straight through the roof. As we rounded the corner to our table adjacent to the bar and I saw the large pink Delirium elephant, I dared to dream that maybe, just maybe, this bar was going to have a decent selection. When the bartender placed the draft list in front of me, a single tear rolled down my cheek. It was magnificent.

Aside from Delirium Tremens, you could find such delight as Petrus aged pale xtra sour, Gulden Draak Belgian Triple, Double Dog Imperial IPA on Niro, Lambic Peche Fruit Beir, St. Louis Gueze xtra sour, Avery “Czar Russian Imperial stout”, The Bruery “Autem Maple”, Dogfish Head 60 & 90 minute IPA, Cuvee De Jacobins Rouge Sour, Uinta Hop Notch IPA, Stone’s 17th Anniversary IPA, oh and a little favorite of mine known as Blind Pig from Russian River.

Blind Pig pairs well with pho

Blind Pig pairs well with pho

That’s just a fraction, they have 40 taps of awesome at this place and if the beer isn’t enough for you they also have sake, of which we saw several table doing sake bombs…of which I have retired from since after my last experience I’m pretty sure I talked to Jesus…or a homeless guy in an ally. It’s very fuzzy.

The place has a great energy and vibe to it. From the lighting to the music and martial arts movies playing silently on the giant TV behind the bar, this place is a really good time.

One of these day I’ll sit down and write more about the underrated craft beer scene in Ocean Beach, but until that day do yourself a favor and check out the offering from OB Noodle House. Go for the noodles and stay for the beers…or go for the beers and stay for the noodles. Either way you’re going to be more than happy with your choice.

OB Noodle House is located at 2218 Cable St San Diego, CA 92107. Reservation for groups of 8 or more are available after 6pm. Also look out for great happy hour deals every day of the week.

Cheers,

Tom

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