HOPTOLOGY

San Diego Beer, Local & Independent!


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Ballast Point/COEDO – West to East IPA : A beer that Godzilla would approve

This past Tuesday I decided to make a rare indulgence and go for a beer in the middle of the day on what was simply a beautiful day here in San Diego.

I’d call it a spur of the moment decision, maybe even impulsive, but after reading this wonderful story over at Westcoastersd it sort become a mission for the day.

This mission was easily accomplished thanks to the good people over at The Local Habit in Hillcrest – if you’ve not been over there, they do a really excellent job of putting together a great tap list.

The beer in question that I was hunting for was the new collaboration beer from Ballast Point, here in San Diego, and COEDO Brewery, from Japan, on a beer they are calling “West to East”

It may be named that due to Ballast Point specialty brewer Colby Chandler going to Japan to brew it. Just a guess.

Well after drinking the final product I’m hoping he has plans to go back because this is an IPA that I found to be very enjoyable indeed.

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I got a great 16oz draft with a nice frothy head on top of a nice golden color. This brew has a really great nose on it. I’m pretty sure I was able to pick up the distinctive smell of Nelson hops, which I’m kind of crazy about, so that got things off to a really nice start. With the first sip you get that great hoppy flavor right up front that really gets your palette popping. The citrus is what I noticed the most of the back end of, but just the perfect amount. I’m not a fan of too much of that citrus flavor, but I may be in the minority on that. Regardless, it doesn’t even factor into this IPA. This was impressive, although I shouldn’t be surprised at this point, Ballast Point is probably my favorite brewery in town and I’m eagerly awaiting the day when I can get Sculpin in a can.

West to East comes in at 6.8%ABV, so it’s up there, but it right in line where it should be. It gives you a little kick in the teeth but not enough where you are sleeping at the bar.

I can’t recommend this collaboration beer enough! Quite a few of the best craft beer bars in town will be having it this week. Some are listed in the link above, or just put that great Taphunter app to work and track it down as soon as possible.

Well done to Ballast Point and COEDO Brewing in Japan. This team up is almost as good as when Godzilla and Mothra saved the world, remember that? Good times.

Cheers,
Tom

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Hunting for Craft beer with Taphunter

In this modern day and age in which we live, people as a society are more plugged in to technology than at any other point in the history of civilization. If current trends hold and we don’t all cease to exist when the Mayan calendar runs its course, technology will continue it’s strangle hold on stealing all of our attention.

Whatever.
This blog isn’t to debate sociological issues, so let’s talk about something great that technology has brought to craft beer enthusiasts  in several different parts of the county.
I’m talking about my favorite smart phone application – Taphunter.
This app has become my best friend over the past several months. Ever since I upgraded from my crapberry phone, I’ve been using this app to find the beers I want when I want them. The concept is straight forward – look up the bar you are going to and see what they have on draft. Or, look up the beer you are craving and see what bars in the area are serving it. In my case, I generally will use the option to search which bars I’m currently close to and then see who has the beer list that makes me happiest.
Now there is the one rub, if the bar you are looking up hasn’t updated their tap list in several weeks than I’m less inclined to go there. The listing has a “freshness” rating next to the bars listed to help you know which places are most up to date  which helps quite a bit, but it isn’t perfect. Yet.
The most recent update for Taphunter has added a few neat features where you can “favorite” a bar or a beer and by accessing your favorites you will know what is on draft there or where you have to go to find that hard to locate glass of Mongo. You also have the ability to check off which beers you’ve had and you can rate them as well. This comes in very handy when maybe you are beginning to “feel the effects of the high” and you can’t remember if you like that Rogue Chocolate Stout or not (you loved it!)
I see this app getting better and better as time goes on and I also see it becoming more and more valuable to the consumer who knows what he wants and isn’t in the mood to stumble all over town to find it.
Just remember, it isn’t flawless. It doesn’t have real time stats to account for when a bar blows a keg and has to replace it with something else on short notice. The app is still dependent on humans to keep it updated. Taphunter has not become self aware just yet. Although, I suppose if an AI were to go rogue, one that could tell you where to get good beer isn’t all that bad right? “Come with me if you want to drink!”

“I know where the good beer is”

Back to the point … I’d really like urge more of the bars and brew pubs to take advantage of this app – update your beer list regularly. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who is basing my beer drinking choices knowing ahead of time what’s on draft.
See? Technology isn’t so bad! Wait…what’s that giant robot with the gun doing? Oh no…
Taphunter is a FREE download from your app store. It works in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Austin, Chicago, Denver/Boulder, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco Bay area, Seattle, Vancouver.

Prost,

Tom