Week 44 of 52- 8 MORE!
2351 Alpine Boulevard
Alpine, CA 91901
1 619 445 2337 (BEER)
Type of Establishment: Brewery, hangover cure, the mecca of IPAs
Visit: A highly anticipated trip to SoCal and Alpine was at the top of our list.
Beers on Tap (at time of visit):
Bad Boy IPA
They have bottles to go of most beers, but they don’t always have them in stock. Today we left with a bottle of Duet, a Pure Hoppiness and Ichabod (a sour pumpkin ale).
They have several options (nachos, wings) but their menu is focused on BBQ- pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, the works!
After a night of bar hopping during San Diego beer week, we rolled up to Alpine Brewing Co. and I was in a bad state. The thought of getting on a plane later and worse, returning to work the next day did not help my mood. Alpine was one of the most anticipated stops on our trip so when we got out of the car and saw that the open sign did not have neon pumping through the glass tubes, I almost fainted.
We peered in and saw an employee. After locking eyes, he opened the door and informed us that the hours had changed and we had an hour to kill. Phew. Coffee- stat. Alpine is a beautiful little town with a frontier meets artsy vibe. Exactly an hour later, we showed back up at Alpine. bb.com=Beer stalkers.
The pub just opened in 2010 and has a diner quality to it with black and white checkered floor, a raised bar and shiny, plastic stool and chair covers. Almost immediately we strike up a conversation with the very nice staff members. Since they could sniff out our eagerness to experience all that is Alpine, we got a lot of attention during our stay.
At this point in my day, beer is the only thing that will make me feel better. We each order our own beers to start, a Great barleywine and Chez Monieux, their kreik. Both were amazing. The Great is a big beer with a thick body and a distinct alcohol taste. The Chez was light in body, tart yet refreshing and not syrupy.
Next up, an IPA tray. Alpine, like many Southern California breweries are known for their amazing IPAs. SoCal IPAs generally have heavier citrus notes and are light and refreshing. Our tray served in taster glasses placed in a muffin tray included: Duet, Pure Hoppiness, Bad Boy, Nelson and O’Brien’s IPA. Nelson was one of my favorite beers during our trip.
A Golden Rye IPA
An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin (hops), is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7%ABV
Wings were ordered (of course) and they are the full wing! They have a smoky flavor to them, plenty of meat on the bones and are down right tasty.
Alpine did not disappoint, in fact, it proved to me that they brew a line of quality beers- IPAs and beyond. Visiting the town, interacting with the lovely people at Alpine (very knowledgeable and they love their beer) and drinking all of their beers side by side was an experience all beer drinkers should have.
To do for 2011: Purchase plane ticket to SoCal.
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.
Week 35 of 52:
Type of Establishment:
Classic English pub, basking in soccer action. Focus of this place: really good local beer.
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 Nelson Rye IPA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).