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Posts Tagged ‘San Diego Beer Week’

52 Weeks: Hamiltons Tavern, San Diego, CA

December 30, 2010 1 comment

The Tap List at Hamiltons Tavern. Glorious.

Week 48 of 52- 

 

(4 to go! We are dedicated!)

Hamiltons Tavern

1521 30th St.
San Diego, CA 92102

 

(619) 238-5460

Hours: M-F, 3PM-2AM and Saturday/Sunday 1PM-2AM

Rank: 4.2/5

Type of Establishment: A place to disappear from the sunny outdoors and get lost in a beer or 5.

Visit: This was stop 3 or 4 during out San Diego Beer Week trip. It was Marin Brewing Co. night with tons to offer from the Northern California brewery.

 

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

 

There are so many, but here goes most of them.

Marin San Quentin Breakout

Marin 2009 Old Dipsea

Marin Tiburn

Marin Hoppy Holidaze

Marin St. Brendans

Marin Tripel Dipsea

Marin 2008 Chocolate Porter

Marin Star Brew

Big Sky Moose Drool

Marin IPA

Marin 21 Something Year Old with Brett

Marin 2007 Old Dipsea

Marin 2008 Old Dipea Bourbon Barrel

Green Flash Fizzy Yellow

Bottle List:

With an updated bottle list on their website, Ill let you check it out for yourself! Beers of note: Brewdog / Mikkeller Devine Rebel; Deschutes The Dissident; Firestone Walkers 13th Anniversary; Alesmith Decadence 2009 and so many more, all at reasonable prices!

 

Food Options:

 

Usually there isn’t a menu. The day we went, we were lucky enough to encounter a full spread buffet with cupcakes to top it all off. But on your average day, come full or leave hungry.

 

Bar Opinions:

 

After hitting up several amazing beer locations in San Diego, we wanted to keep the vibe and our buzz going so we headed to Hamiltons Tavern.

The sun was blazing outside, but as we stepped inside, I felt worlds away. Hamiltons Tavern is just that, a tavern. When I think of a tavern, I think of a dark, eclectic space with minimal access to the outside world (maybe a couple of windows in front). Hamiltons is lit in a way that creates a comforting ambiance, one that protects you from the mutation of impending drunkenness. Well not really, but it sure feels that way.

Today, Hamiltons was packed with beer lovers as Marin Brewing Co. was featured across the taps. We had the pleasure of trying Marin’s 21 year old (old ale) with Brett, Brass Knuckle IPA on cask and Old Dipsea Barleywine. We sipped on these amazing brews while chatting with the head brewer of Marin. A passionate, humble man who knows his beer and brews some pretty incredible recipes.

We stayed at Hamiltons for quite some time, admiring the beer while chatting up locals, brewers and bartenders. Hamiltons is spacious (although cramped today) with a long wooden bar, pool tables and high ceilings. A great place to spend a laid back Sunday afternoon or a energetic Friday night.

 

52 Weeks: Blind Lady Ale House, San Diego, California

November 19, 2010 1 comment

A glorious Double Jack in the foreground at The Blind Lady Ale House

Written by Jess R.

Week 41 of 52- still behind

The Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Ave.

San Diego, CA 92116

(619) 255-2491

Rank: 4.5/5

Type of Establishment: Ultimate Beer Bar, First stop of many during San Diego Beer Week

Visit: A whirlwind trip from Seattle to San Diego, we have been anticipating this trip for months. San Diego Beer Week was nearing its end, and we were there as it went out with a bang.

Saturday morning: With the sun shining, we arrived at Blind Lady 15 minutes before it opened at 11:30AM in the highest of spirits. What awaited us?

 

Beers on Tap (at time of visit):

 

Flights of New Belgium beers including,

Trans-Atlantique Kriek

Biere de Mars

Sahti

Belgo IPA

Eric’s Ale

La Folie

Alpine Brewing Co. beers,

Nelson IPA

Bad Boy Double IPA

Duet IPA

Captain Stout

and Green Flash Beers such as,

Le Freak

’09 Grand Cru

Silva Stout

Black Freak

Super Freak

Grand Mantis

along with

Firestone Walker Union Jack Double Jack

There are so many that I am missing. All were top-notch beers. This list was to die for.

 

Bottle List:

 

Couldn’t get past the tap-list.

 

Food Options:

 

Since we were on a time crunch with so many places to visit and so many beers to drink, we did indeed skip the delicious looking menu options. The main fare is pizza with mainly fresh, local, organic ingredients. With ingredients from local markets to near by farmers, the Blind Lady Alehouse cares about the quality of their food and the community they serve.

 

Bar Opinions:

 

As I mentioned, we were anxiously waiting outside The Blind Lady Ale House, peering in the sun-reflected windows. As we waited we read the poster displaying all of the San Diego Beer Week events that had taken place inside these very walls. Mind-blowing stuff. We could only hope that remnants of these events were still on tap.

11:30AM on the dot and we walk in the front door. The space is open with sunlight streaming in, illuminating the wooden picnic tables. Third in line, I gaze up at the chalk board, enamored with the selection. As the guy in front of us took his sweet ass time, I looked around. A wall of old bottles and cans behind a glass casing, exposed brick walls and a ceiling displaying piping and shafts. I am loving the raw look of this place.

Our turn? Sweet! The wonderful and accommodating bartender was nice enough to let us mix up a flight with some Alpine beers and Green Flash beers. Of the Alpine beers we had Nelson Rye IPA, Duet IPA (made with Simcoe and Amarillo hops), Bad Boy Double IPA and Captain Stout.

My personal favorite of these brews was the Nelson IPA which is brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops. This beer is very light in color but upon first sip, the taste is powerful with a profile of citrus, pine and some funk. The hoppiness is balanced by this slight tartness. Even at the brewery, Nelson stole my heart.

Our first beers in San Diego stand before us.

This moment was the moment I fell in love with Green Flash Brewing Co. Of course prior to this trip I appreciated their beers, but not like this. The last two of the flight were Green Flash’s Silva Stout and Grand Mantis. Later on this trip, a bottle of Silva Stout was procured and safely returned to Seattle via cargo.

Silva Stout smells like the sweetest milk chocolate but the taste lends to more bitterness. This beer is well-rounded and the word “calm” came to mind. Perhaps its because when you drink this delicious, thick stout, all of your worries just melt away as the sting of liquor sends the flavors down your throat.

Grand Mantis is a Merlot barrel aged Grand Cru. After reading the description, I had to get this beer. There is a tartness of cranberries with a date or fig-like flavor to follow. A complex beer is an understatement.

Also, a side note, the Blind Lady cares about beer, like really, deeply, truly cares. They use the 20oz honest pint and the Direct Draw System. From their blog:

 

Our Direct Draw System. Direct-draw is a term used to describe a draft system that places the kegs in direct contact to the faucets so they kegs are cooled by the same refrigeration source that cools the beer-line and the faucets. This means that the beer-line is not very long, and that the beer arriving in your glass has only recently left the keg.

 

We only had time for a flight and a Firestone Walker Double Jack – so good, so fresh. But during our experience, we drank amazing beer, chatted up the bartender who explained why she moved to San Diego and why she loves the area. We even came to own some free swag ( lovin’ the free stuff).

I parted The Blind Lady Ale House with hopes of another visit and with the intention to find a better beer bar in San Diego.

 

Back in Seattle, The San Diego Hangover Lingers…..

November 15, 2010 2 comments

starting your day right - lots of cold water & Alpine's Bourbon Barrel Barleywine & Chez Monmee Kreik

We had a hectic weekend, bouncing from wondrous beer excursion to the next. San Diego had its way with us. We will need some recovery time to get over having to leave that beautiful place.

But quickly, I wanted to check in and thank those of you that followed us during our excursions, via Facebook and Twitter. I realize that the updates trickled off by Sunday. That’s for good reason, as our energy had faded.

San Diego Beer Week was a smashing success, according to most of the bartenders, brewers and owners that we spoke with during our trip. But, I’m fairly sure the 10 day event wore them thin, and they were pleased to see it end.

We met some pretty amazing people, including Marin Brewing’s Arnie Johnson, Allagash Brewing’s Rob Todd, and the wonderful bar staff duo of Steph and Bob at Alpine Beer Co. During the next week, we hope to discuss more about where and what to do next time you visit San Diego.

For now, my favorites from our visit:

 

Coolest Place to Have a Pint –  Hamilton’s Tavern – Awesome atmosphere, excellent grub and just an amazingly cool place.

 

Best Staff to Cure a Hangover -  Alpine Beer Co. Brewpub – Steph and Bob helped us out of our slumber, thanks to amazing sour beer, the best IPAs and some smoked chicken wings.

 

Best Bar Experience –  Blind Lady Alehouse – Serving flights via amazing bartenders will hook you everytime.

 

The Full Day –  Stone World Bistro – The first place I have visited (since Water Street – RIP) where I could spend 12 hours. Not the hippest place, but a world of its own.

 

Best Brewery to Visit –  Port Brewing/Lost Abbey – No food, little culture – all brewing. Check out the barrel room and die.

 

Best Place to Eat (and drink beer) –  Small Bar – Something called Pork Desayuno (eh?) rocked my world.

 

Stay tuned for more on San Diego Beer Week 2010.

 

Off To San Diego Beer Week, But What The Hell Is The Full Rack?

November 12, 2010 1 comment

 

oh how you tempt me, Full Rack.

Airplane headed to San Diego – I love you. Get

me there quick and safe, for I have drinking to do.

The Beer Blotter squad is off to San Diego to enjoy a little San Diego Beer Week before it fizzles out (its ends on November 14th). We should get a few spots in – nothing crazy (completely psychotic).

The list of intended venues: Hamiltons Tavern, O’Brien’s Pub, the Linkery, Live Wire, Toronado, Ritual Tavern, Blind Lady Alehouse, Pizza Port Carlsbad, Pizza Port Bottle Shop, Alpine Beer Company, Stone Bistro & Brewery, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing, Alesmith Brewing, Ballast Point Brewing…….I mean, we’re not crazy or anything – just motivated.

So, expect to hear a little about San Diego and its amazing beer scene in the coming weeks. I cannot wait to get my hands on some Alpine Beer Co. IPA.

 

The Full Rack

 

But, what of last night? What is the full rack you ask (or you don’t but I’m telling you anyways)?

The full rack is a name we gave to the best beer experience ever at Uber Tavern. Uber recently decided to add 4 oz servings to their beer menu – an unbelievably amazing and genius concept.

Well, Uber has 17 taps. 17 taps + 4 oz servings = The Full Rack. Get it.

We had the ultimate in beer tasting last night. Our Full Rack included Southern Tier Oat, Echte Kreikenbier, Cascade Autumn Gose, Cascade RyePA, Deschutes Hop Trip and another 12 delicious beers.

There is no better way to enjoy a plethora of beer in one sitting. Visit Uber Tavern and thanks to Charlie for having us last night.

 

Beer Events for Week of November 1, 2010

Armsby Abbey will showcase an amazing Lost Abbey tap list this week

So sorry for the delay. I am finally recovered from Halloween weekend as a shark attack victim. As far as beers go, it was pretty low key: Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale, New Belgium Ranger IPA and some homebrew. But now for your week in beer.

Skipping Monday, old news.

 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

 

Victory Brewing Co Takes Over the Taps: New York, New York

4:30PM-2:30AM @ Rattle- N- Hum

A must stop beer bar in NYC, Rattle – N- Hum’s 35 taps will be all Victory Brewing beers. We are talking the best of the best from Wild Devil to Storm King- its going to be one hell of a Tuesday night!

 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

 

Lost Abbey/Port Brewing Tap Take Over: Worchester, Massachusettes

6:00PM-10:00PM @ Armsby Abbey

Another “Tap Takeover” and I’m loving the idea. Tonight in MA, Lost Abbey/Port Brewing are bringing out all of the stops, 22 of them which include, Mondo Double IPA (one of my favorite IPAs), Red Barn Farmhouse ale, 2008 Older Viscosity and Bourbon Santa’s Little Helper. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jolly Pumpkin Multi-tap Night: Grand Rapids, Michigan

6:00PM-2:00AM @ HopCat

Event deets:

 

Join us as we celebrate Jolly Pumpkin from Dexter, MI in a rare multi-tap night. We will be featuring almost a dozen(hopefully) taps of one of our favorite breweries. We will be honored by special guest Mike Turriff, who will be on hand to fend any questions, comments, and notes of praise. Maybe even the Captain Ron “Spooky” Jeffries will be in attendance!-no promises. Party starts at 6pm and will end when the beer does…or at 2:30am Which ever comes first. Hope to see you there.
-Cheers

 

Still at the top of our must visit list - HopCat

 

Friday, November 5, 2010

 

San Diego Beer Week Kick Off: San Diego, California

Starting at 6:00PM @ all over San Diego

Beer Blotter is going to San Diego next week to hit up some amazing events. If you are in the area, check out the website and pick the events that intrigue you the most! San Diego Beer Week is sponsored by the San Diego Brewers Guild, a non-profit whose mission is to promote awareness and increase the visibility of fresh, locally brewed beer through education and participation in community events.

 

Saturday, November 6, 2010

 

Firestone Walker‘s 14th Anniversary Party Release: Paso Robles, California

12:00PM-3:00PM @ Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Firestone Walker is celebrating it’s 14th anniversary by having a beer release party for is anniversary beer “14” and will include free samples of all component beers, free food, brewery tours, live music as well as other cool activities.

 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

 

Saison Sunday School: Dallas, Texas

3:30PM- 5:30PM @ The Common Table

First of all, love the concept. Second of all, this might be the first event I have ever posted in TX. Tonight, guests will explore the often overlooked and under-appreciated spicy and refreshing Belgian farmhouse ales known as Saison. We will do it the only real way I know how… drink some. There will be 6 Saisons paired with 6 different types of food. If you didn’t know already, Saison is beautiful with food. Email jeff@thecommontable.com to reserve a spot!

 

If you go to an event, want us to mention your event or just want to discuss something beer related that is on your mind, please leave a comment or email me at jess@beerblotter.com. Cheers!

 

52 Weeks: O’Briens Pub, San Diego, California.

October 5, 2010 1 comment

Alpine Duet and O'Brien's House Sausage. Deadly Combo.

Week 35 of 52:

O’Brien’s Pub

4646 Convoy Street
San Diego, CA 92111-2315

(858) 715-1745

Rank: 4.5/5

Type of Establishment:

Classic English pub, basking in soccer action. Focus of this place: really good local beer.

Visit:

A Monday morning around 11:00 AM, on a hot summer day. This was our first stop on an epic 1-day cruise through San Diego’s beer scene. Luckily, I was stone sober and able to faithfully review the place.

 

BEERS ON TAP (at time of visit):

 

This is one of the greatest tap lists that I have ever seen. However, this is because they were sporting an unprecedented 8 beers from Alpine Beer Company – my favorite US brewer. The shock factor alone was hard to manage.

The tap list is online here. Its updated frequently and actually looks more attractive right now then when I was there (shocking!). Here is what was pouring during my visit:

Alpine Ale

Alpine Nelson Rye IPA

Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen

The board.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA

Alpine Duet IPA

Green Flash West Coast IPA

Coronado Idiot IPA

Bear Republic Tribute Brown

Alpine Good Barleywine

Port Brewing Mongo IPA

Alpine Red Card

Alpine Pure Hoppiness

Lagunitas Olde Gnarleywine

Alpine Ned Flanders Red Sour Ale

…..and a few others.

 

BOTTLED/CANNED BEER:

 

You know what – I did not do my homework. After being forced into a coma over the Alpine tap selection, I failed to get a glimpse of the bottle selection.

However, O’Brien’s knows how to run a beer bar. They have a full list of their bottles on their website, which you can view by visiting this link. Check out the offerings from Alesmith, Ballast Point (Sculpin!), Jolly Pumpkin, De Molen, and other amazing European brewers.

If you cannot find something on tap – you are unconscious. But, do not fret. The bottle list is out of this world.

 

FOOD OPTIONS:

 

Once again, O’Brien’s does not disappoint. From fried stuff to leafy stuff – O’Brien’s has something for you. Check out their amazing selection of soups, or their fish tacos.

We grabbed a special platter of amazing house sausage. If memory serves me, it was a collection of beer broiled bratwurst, amongst a bounty of cheeses. Really good way to start off your day of beer drinking.

 

BAR OPINION:

 

O’Brien’s Pub is a pub – bar none. There are no two ways about it. They do two things: watch soccer and drink great beer.

O’Brien’s sports a dark and deep bar area. Nothing fancy, nothing dreary. The walls are covered in beer shwag and soccer garb. Soccer is played on the bar’s several screens, including a large projection screen for the big game. We visited during the World Cup; you could feel the fanfare thick in the air.

One of the most impressive elements of the O’Brien’s experience is their relationship with San Diego heavyweight, Alpine Beer Co. O’Briens plays host to several of Alpine’s beer releases and almost always pours 2 or 3 of their beers at any given time. In fact, Alpine brewed a collaboration ale for the bar to sell, in-house.


Alpine's Ned stole the show.

During our visit, the bar was on day 2 of a hefty Alpine taplist. We got to sample Alpine’s barleywine, flemish red and massive IPAs. Not one of these beers disappointed. Nothing stopped our hearts like Alpine’s Ned. A Flemish Red with a mouth puckering sourness, this beer had a dark, rich maltiness that perfectly matched its tart flavor. Champion of our day.

In addition to the Alpine taps, we saw great choices from other locals, Port Brewing, Green Flash Brewing and Coronado

Brewing. Each of these breweries produce a line of incredible West Coast IPAs. You can be sure to see a heavy percentage of IPAs on their tap list, at all times. Check out the current list by following this link.

Now that I have informed you that its nearly impossible to have just one beer, you probably want to know if they have something to soak up all that booze. Luckily for you, O’Briens has some damn good food.

If I can recommend something: get the sausage. I really don’t care which type, just buy some sausage. Its all delicious. O’Briens serves up hot links in the brewers plate, beer braised brats and some spicy italian hot sausage. The sandwich list is rather extensive and with nothing over $7.00 – how can you lose!? Remember, this is Southern California and nothing comes cheap.


The handles.

O’Briens loves happy hour. Each night, they offer something different. Check out the list, but we suggest you make a Monday trip and take advantage of $10.00 craft pitchers! They also pour $3.50 (or cheaper) pints three days a week. I’m thinking Satuday from 12-4, might be your ticket to excellent visit.

This pub has the most impressive of events for San Diego Beer Week – believe us. Check out their offerings by following this link. Try not to miss Day of the Belgians on November 6, Alpine Brewers Night on November 8, or Attack of the Barrels on November 12.

We will get another shot at O’Briens during San Diego Beer Week. With little to dislike about this pub, I’m sure we will have a blast.

 

San Diego Beer Week Releases First Events

October 1, 2010 1 comment

Alpine will be at O'Briens for a special beer night on 11/8!

Earlier this month, we discussed the Second Annual San Diego Beer Week in an article on this site. SDBW will be going down from November 5, 2010 to November 14, 2010.

After San Diego brewers cleaned up at the Great American Beer Festival, I think that there will be a bit more interest in this event. The 10 day festival of SoCal grog will feature some 500 events, including two official San Diego Brewers Guild events on the opening and closing days.

SDBW is finally releasing events, by posting snippets on its website. You can check out the events by following this link. They have finally released enough information to help you make a decision about when to head to the festival.

Don’t miss out on the Brewers Guild events. The November 6th event will take place in Liberty Station from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m, showcasing 10 brewers and a special VIP event for you crazed beer nuts. The Lodge at Torrey Pines (this place is incredible) will play host to the closing event on Sunday, November 14. The Lodge will offer 12 brewers and 24 chefs the opportunity to show their stuff.

One recommendation: Do not miss O’Briens Pub. O’Brien’s will be holding some of the best events of the festival, including a special Alpine Beer Co night on November 8th and Barrel Aged Night on November 12th.

Stay in tune with the fest by following them on twitter (@sdbeerweek).

San Diego Beer Week Promises 500 Events, Kicks Off November 5.

September 16, 2010 1 comment

Its coming. SDBW promises 500 events this year!

Well, its time to start thinking about going South. With the sun receding into the Fall, up in the Northwest, San Diego sounds like a damn good idea.

If you can stand to wait another month and a half, you can be right on time for San Diego Beer Week (SDBW). San Diego’s spectacular beer celebration spans 10 days throughout November (11/5-11/14) and promises about 500 events this year!

SDBW was a smashing success last year, closing approximately 300 amazing events! Today, the SDBW website started releasing the first set of events for this years extravaganza. With brewers like Alpine Beer Co., Ballast Point Brewing. AleSmith Brewing, Lost Abbey, Port Brewing, Green Flash Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., and about another 30 others, you can start panting over the excitement. There will be good beer.

SDBW will start picking up steam now that we are only about 45 days away. They have unleashed a wealth of resources for consumers to find out about what is going on:

 

San Diego Beer Week promotes San Diego’s thriving craft beer culture by sponsoring a ten-day countywide festival that attracts beer tourism, fosters knowledge of our regional brewing heritage, and serves as a showcase for San Diego’s breweries, restaurants, pubs, and other businesses with ties to the craft beer community. For more information and a current list of events visit SDBW.org, www.twitter.com/sdbeerweek or www.facebook.com/san.diego.beer.week. Cheers.

 

Brewers and bar owners can go ahead and start submitting their events. SDBW has made it a bit easier this year by providing online instructions and a simple online submission form. The cost to submit, any number of events, is $50.00.

 

Beer Weeks: San Diego Preview This Month; Philly’s Shebang Begins Friday

Beer Week 09 - Over. Beer Week 2010 - just getting started.

Well, I just so happen to be headed down to Southern California in 9 days (oh yeah!) and in my initial research of the scene, I stumbled upon some nice news that might be helpful for our California readers:

Did you know that San Diego Beer Week is doing a preview event June 10-13? Pretty awesome, I know.

San Diego Beer Week is a 10 day event that goes down from November 6-15, 2010. The event is widely regarded as one of the greatest beer celebrations across America. Like Seattle Beer Week, San Francisco Beer Week, and Philadelphia Beer Week (which begins this Friday, June 4!) the event not only celebrates the region’s brewers, but brewers across the country and globe.

Well, this year beer fans in San Diego decided that they could not wait until November and incorporated a 6 month San Diego Beer Week’Nd in to the schedule. Breweries like Ballast Point Brewing and pubs like Hamilton’s Tavern have already announced events spanning the whole weekend.

The events page is actually frighteningly empty at the current time. But, we would expect to see others like Lost Abbey, Stone Brewing, San Diego Brewing, Green Flash Brewing and Alesmith Brewing announce similar events.

You can follow the events listings for San Diego Beer Week’Nd at their webpage, or on Facebook and Twitter.

***DONT MISS: PHILLY BEER WEEK STARTS THIS WEEK***

We would be remiss to not mention that Philadelphia’s Beer Week begins this weekend.

The Philly Beer Week events page says that there are 1000 events at 195 venues. Thats intimidating. I hope that you East Coast beer lovers make it out to some of these events and report back.

One really cool feature for Philly Beer Week – they have an iPhone Application to follow the events. Download it here.

One recommended beer event? Zythos America on June 13, 2010. Wow, this is an abbreviated version of the epic Belgian Beer Fest that goes down every March. If you are in Philly, do not miss this chance to meet over a dozen of Belgium’s finest brewers.

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