San Diego! The land of the Sun, beaches, Sea World, carne asada fries and some of the best Micro Breweries in the country. The minute I touched down in San Diego I only had one goal, to visit as many Micro Breweries as possible. All in all it was a great trip and I was able to check out a total of seven breweries. (Ballast Point, Iron Fist, Green Flash, Belching Beaver, The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing, and Mike Hess Brewing) Hands down Ballast Point was my favorite and the first brewery I went to, literally right after landing. My two favorite craft beers from Ballast Point had to be the Dorado Double IPA and the Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, smooooooth and tasty! The Ballast Point Miramar location even had an "R&D" section on their menu of brews that might not be out on the market yet, which of course is totally awesome! Out of all the breweries I visited this time around Ballast Point by far was the most busiest, and the only one with a restaurant in it.
Iron Fist Brewery was another fantastic brewery I got to check out, not to mention they had the best looking growlers I've ever seen! Sadly I was so amazed I forgot to even snap a shot of their growlers! The staff was really friendly and welcoming, even more so when they found out I was visiting from San Francisco. (I even got a free sticker) I'm an IPA fan so they recommended their "Counter Strike" IPA for me since the weather was hot and humid. I have to admit the "Counter Strike" IPA really did go well with how hot it was that day.
Green Flash was one of the larger breweries on my trip, and had the most variety of IPA's available. I had to go with the taster sizes here just so I could get a sample all of their IPA's. I can't remember which ones I tried but I do know they were all pretty good. Also their cross street is "Top Gun Street" how dope is that!
Belching Beaver the funniest of all the breweries I visited, everything from their logo to the names of their beer (ie: "Me So Honey" Wheat Ale) . The "Me So Honey" Wheat Ale was pretty refreshing, a good summer beer no doubt. I also tried their "Great Lei" IPA which tasted like a Pina Colada, definitely an interesting beer with the taste and aroma of coconut.
The Lost Abbey, home of the "Agave Maria." I came here to check out one of their brews called "Agave Maria," a description quoted from their website: "a blend of Anejo and Reposado barrels and aged for a minimum of ten months, Agave Maria has hints of black pepper, sweet sugar, oatmeal, and oak with an earthy, bitter smoked chocolate on the finish. The base beer, a new Agave strong ale, was created specifically to pair with the spiciness of the Tequila, adding a sweet honey-like quality to the beer." Basically beer aged in tequila barrels which equals 13.5%ABV! I took a small sip of this and had one of those "spidey sense" moments Spider-Man gets right before something goes wrong. Yup one small sip was all I needed with this one.
Mike Hess Brewing, the last brewery on my trip and the smallest of the bunch. Mike Hess might have been the smallest but I could tell it was filled with a good amount loyal regulars. They also give you a nice pint glass if you do a flight of 5 tasters @ $14. There was also a couple of dogs hanging out, if only I had my equipment with me to take some portraits of them. Maybe that should be my next project, "Brew Dogs" portraits of the dogs that hang out in breweries. I'll have to say this trip was epic, I will have to visit more of San Diego's Micro Breweries next time and yes Oregon is on the list as well!