Tag Archives: Craft Beer

San Diego Craft Beer – Part Two – Walk, Trolley & Drink Beer in Downtown!

San Diego is a beautiful city with great, down-to-earth people and a Craft Beer Community that ranks in the Top 10 in the United States.  How many cities can you name where it is actually possible to walk from the airport to the action-packed, beer-centric, downtown area?  Not many and possibly none other is my guess.  There are over 500 tap handles with a 3 mile radius of my condo and that list probably expands to 1000 if you go to 10 miles.

I live in Little Italy, one of many fabulous little neighborhoods in the greater downtown area.  In Part One of this series, you learned about South Park, North Park & Normal Heights and the famous 30th Street Beer Corridor; all accessible via an inexpensive ride on MTS – San Diego’s Public Transit!  In Part Two I’ll suggest some great picks for a downtown San Diego Pub Crawl!  You can walk or you can hop on the San Diego Trolley.

The San Diego Trolley

You are looking at about a 3 mile walk to hit all of these locations but you can also ride the San Diego Trolley.  It runs smack dab through the middle of town.  Just like the Hot Deuce, you can buy a $5 ticket and ride all day.  It’s great fun and great people watching.  San Diego is a laid back town so no need to get all dressed up here!

I will touch on some of the places I know and love that are all within walking distance of my home in Little Italy.  You should definitely walk or ride the trolley to these places — parking can be a bear and if you are drinking more than one or two beers, you should not be driving anyway!  There are many other fantastic Craft Beer spots that I won’t have time to mention.  There are just too many to include them all and frankly, I have not had the time to check out all the new venues that have popped up in the past year.  You can check out the Tap Hunter App to see most of the locations right from your smart phone. It provides a map, the address, phone number and an amazingly accurate list of what each place has on tap.  You can also visit their website for locations at the link below.

http://sandiego.taphunter.com/location/

Little Italy welcomed two very positive Craft Beer additions in 2011; Bottlecraft and Under Belly.

Bottlecraft!

Bottlecraft, owned by Brain Jensen, opened in the summer and prompted a serious happy dance when I visited just after the opening.  The variety is stellar.  Staple beers as well as those that are hard to find like Cantillion and Nebraska BrewingHop God” fill the shelves.  Bottlecraft doesn’t just highlight great San Diego brews, they offer up the best available in California within the constraints of the good old, 3-Tier distribution system.  What makes Bottlecraft unique is a liquor license that allows opening and drinking the beer purchased. There are places to sit and be comfortable.  They also have a great choice of glassware, books, t-shirts and even Dog Biscuits because Bottlecraft is pup friendly!  This is always a category that I give bonus points for.  They have a great, rotating variety in the cooler section and they offer two innovative taster flights daily.  The people who work at Bottlecraft are not only beer-centric, they are friendly and fun.  They help beer-newbies find a beer that will ease them into our beloved Craft Beer world.   If you find a beer that you want to try and it’s not in the cooler — not-to-worry — you can get it chilled in about 15-20 minutes.  There is no food offered but there are tons of nearby options that you can pick-up and bring to share with friends.  I also like the people who come here to drink beer.  They are not beer snobs and they are not “all “hipsters. There are a few “fixies” outside but I have yet to see anyone display the “I’m way too cool for you” attitude.  The age range is diverse and the common thread involves the comfort of hanging out with friends enjoying good beer.  What’s not to like?  I guess the New York Times agrees with me because Bottlecraft was listed as a top pick for pick #14 San Diego in  the New York Times “45 Places to Go in 2012”

http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/travel/45-places-to-go-in-2012.html?pagewanted=2

Under Belly opened in October and Holy Hot Ramen Batman; they add a new dimension to the already superb food culture that defines urban life in San Diego.  Don’t eat here if you are not an experimental foodie that appreciates adventure.  The secret to good Ramen is in the broth and in my opinion, they have captured the essence and added a twist of creativity to the ingredients.  There are 24 local and beyond tap handles and a California wine selection.  Vegan choices are available along with a good range of appetizers like gyoza and pork buns.  There are some rules involving traffic here.  Order your food first and then find a spot to sit.  The space is a bit narrow to navigate through but it just makes it part of the adventure, right?   Under Belly is part of the same ownership as Neighborhood SD, Craft & Commerce, Noble Experiment and El Dorado; Consortium Holdings, owned by Arsalun Tafazoli and Nathan Stanton.

Craft & Commerce is less than 2 blocks from my house and I can get my Craft Cocktail  (Manhattan for this girl) and my Craft Beer Cocktail fix here.  “Up in Smoke” – Allagash Curieux, Islay Scotch, Fuji Apple and Lime – is an example of a Beer Cocktail and in 2010, this was the very 1st place I ever tried this now exploding, cocktail trend.   They have the most creative drinks and it is completely by design.  They opened in August of 2010 and were a success from the start.  The decor is Hipster Prohibition but the vibe is welcoming so don’t be put off by the hipster crowd.  They won’t bite!  Craft & Commerce has 12 rotating tap handles.  The food is decadent and fabulous.  The menu changes based on availability of produce in season.   The Salmon BLT is a favorite and there are days when I would sell my soul for the Bacon-Wrapped Dates!  They have some limited patio seating where dogs are welcome.

Neighborhood Tap Handles

Neighborhood opened in 2007 and is hands-down, still my favorite place in the San Diego downtown area for Craft Beer and Casual Dining.  They offer 27 craft beer taps and a notable rare bottle collection.  The food is local, sustainable and ethical; just the way I like it.  The Deviled-Eggs (only available at night) are superb.  I am also a huge fan of the “Street-Tacos” and the burger.  DO NOT come here if you put ketchup on your food.  It is not available and if that freaks you out, there are plenty burger joints nearby that serve high-fructose corn syrup.  If you appreciate the flavor of of quality, seasonal ingredients; you have found a great place.  I find the service here to be friendly and the staff is well versed on the beers that they serve.  Neighborhood also makes Craft Cocktails but only those of the whisky and bourbon variety.  For the key to an even greater Cocktail Experience – visit The Noble Experiment if you dare unlock the secret to entry…

http://nobleexperimentsd.com/

Best Damn Beer Shop is located in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego and the name is completely appropriate.  Located inside “Super Junior” market on 7th Avenue, you would NEVER guess how terrific the beer offering is by looking at the storefront.  Parking here is next to impossible so walk there and cab it home with you beer spoils if too big to carry home on foot.  Best Damn Beer has access to some pretty limited allocations and you can subscribe to their newsletter for updates on new releases.   There have been several events hosted by Best Damn Beer that feature hard-to-find Craft Beer tastings; some to help charities.  They recently added a home-brew supply section to the store so downtown home-brewers have a convenient place to pick up what they need to brew.  The owners plan evolve into more of a gourmet market over time but for now, be advised that the appearance outside does not reflect how terrific the beer offering is on the inside!  This family owned business is related to South Bay Drugs in Imperial Beach which is temporarily closed due to zoning issues but expected to resurface someplace fresh in 2012.

Monkey Paw Pub, the latest venture from Scot Blair, owner of Hamilton’s & Small Bar. They opened in August of 2011 offering 30 Tap Handles, 2 Cask Engines and a bottle list.  Sample one of the creative Craft Beer Cocktails and jump on the latest craze.  They feature 4-5 of the beers from Monkey Paw brewer, Derek Freese and it is clear there is a lot of great beers to come.  He is brewing some pretty amazing session beers like “Pineapple X-press” and “Thatcher in the Rye” at 5.2% and 4.5% ABV. Give a shout out to bartender Ashlee if she’s working.  This girl knows her beer and she does a great job making folks feel welcome.

Monkey Paw is in the part of downtown that I guess I would refer to as our “Skid Row”.  It may look a bit daunting as you walk around the area but please don’t be afraid.  Because of San Diego’s ideal climate, we do have a large number of homeless folks in the downtown area, even in Little Italy.  It’s just part of life in any city and it keeps my reality in check.   There are several homeless shelters and outreach programs in this area so the people tend to congregate near the places that offer some help.  A huge percentage of the people on the street have drug addictions.  Rest assure the people are, for the most part harmless.  I have walked safely through these neighborhoods for 9 years now.

Downtown Johnny Brown’s could be the biggest Craft Beer Sleeper in San Diego.  If you can find the place without someone directing you there; you excel in navigation!  DTJB’s is 3 blocks from my house and it’s tucked inside a courtyard at the Civic Center Plaza.  They have ample, pet-friendly patio seating and a great collection of beer pouring from 18 taps.  they also have some great bottle selections.  Check their website for special events and releases.  They have some pretty special kegs tucked away and you just never know when owner Todd will put one on tap.  The crowd here is eclectic because many are not all “here for the beer”.  They are located next to the theater/opera venue and many people go there to grab a bite to eat before a show.  But the local beer people know about this haven and it   Many a great bottle sharing event has taken place here and the staff is kicked backed and friendly.

There are scads of other good Craft Beer spots downtown but for brevity puposes, I picked the ones I know the best for now.  There are many you might pass along the way to those featured so keep your eyes open.  I have posted some more names below of places I must visit and highlight as I expand this series.

I hope you have the opportunity to visit these great Craft Beer establishments and be sure to give me a shout out with details of your adventure!

World Peace & Craft Beer!
TheArtofBear
XOXO

Bottlecraft
2161 India Street
(619) 487-9493
http://bottlecraftbeer.com/

Underbelly
750 W Fir St (at Kettner)
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 269-4626
http://www.godblessunderbelly.com/

Neighborhood
777 G Street
(619) 446-0002
http://neighborhoodsd.com/

Best Damn Beer
1036 7th Ave
(619) 232-6367
http://bestdamnbeers.com/beerlist/about/

South Bay Drugs
Announcing New Location & Name Soon
(619) 424-5164
http://sites.google.com/site/southbaydrugs/

Monkey Paw Pub
805 16th St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 358-9901
www.monkeypawbrewing.com

Downtown Johnny Brown’s
1220 Third Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 232-8414
www.downtownjohnnybrowns.com

Honorable Mentions:

The Tipsy Crow
770 5th Avenue
San Diego, Ca 92101
(619) 338-9300
www.thetipsycrow.com

The Hopping Pig
748 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 546-6424
www.thehoppingpig.com

Local Habit
3827 5th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92103
619-795-4770
www.mylocalhabit.com

Brew Dog/Cambridge/Stone – Juxtaposition Black Pilsner

Juxtaposition 2009

While rummaging through my beer fridge earlier this afternoon I found a few bottles of “Juxtaposition” ; a 2009 Stone Brewing-Brew Dog-Cambridge Brewing collaboration beer.  I believe this beer was brewed in the spring of 2009 and released in July.  This beer was brewed by James Watt of Brew Dog, Mitch Steele of Stone Brewing and Will Meyers of Cambridge Brewing.  With such a talented trio, how could this beer be anything but brilliant?

My first taste of this beer was at the 2nd Saturday Stone Brewing event at Hamilton’s; a craft beer institution in San Diego that is famous for pouring super limited releases.   The line was so long when I showed up that I had to call in the Cavalry, errr…. beer superhero Greg K.  Minutes later I was escorted down an  alley and through the back door to find the glistening Juxtaposition flowing from the tap.  Different from any pilsner this beer lover had ever tried; I fell in love at first sip.

February 2011

So here I am in February of 2011 pouring from a bottle that was stored at about 50 degrees for about 19 months.  It pours sultry black with a two finger luscious head.  The nose is that of roasted malts and an ever so faint touch of hops.  It instantly brings a smile to my face as I breath in with closed eyes and an anxious palate.  Anticipation is a beautiful thing; especially when we are referring to an impatient girl like me !

The first taste is of the same roasted malts found on the nose with a subtle bitterness and  traces of vanilla and maple sugar on the finish.  If I didn’t know better, I would swear this beer had been barrel aged.  At 10% ABV, the alcohol is surprisingly subtle.   There is a silkiness to the mouthfeel that makes me sigh…

Black Gold

Please note that this beer is better served closer to room temperature to appreciate the complex characteristics.  I removed the bottle from my beer fridge before going for a 5 mile run.  Suffice it to say I had my eye on the prize the entire way.  The rain started pouring down on my last  mile and all I could think of was pouring this beautiful beer – I broke an 8 minute mile.  Now that is motivation 🙂

Cheers & Peace to all…

TheArtofBeer

What’s Up At Churchill’s Pub & Grille?

50 Beautiful Taps!

Churchill’s Pub and Grille

Ivan Derezin, publican

The 50 taps are finally up and Ivan worked his bum off to make it happen!   The system is working out great and fans from around the globe are making their way to Churchill’s to experience the glory of 50 Taps and 2 Cask Engines!  The ArtofBeer is a huge fan of Churchill’s, not just because of the stunning beer list but also because of the great food and stellar crowd!

I wanted to share a couple of upcoming events that should not be missed if you are in the San Diego area.

Stone Winter Storm Satellite Location

This Super Bowl Sunday, Churchill’s isco-hosting the Winter Storm Vintage beer release with Stone Brewing Company and The Neighborhood(downtown SD). They will have 28 vintage Stone Brewing beers on Sunday and beyond. The partial draft list being Brewdog Bashah collaboration, Nogne-O Holiday Ale collaboration, Juxtaposition, Mikkeller/Alesmith/Stone Tripel, Stone Anniversary Ales 7,9,12,13, Stone Barleywine 2007, 2009,2010, Belgo Barleywine, Cali-Belgique, Imperial Stout 2004,2009, Vertical Epic , 060606,070707,080808,090909, Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle, Stone Smoked Porter with vanilla bean on cask.   Stone Ruination with Columbus hops on cask as well. Yes, this is just a partial! Most of these should be on throughout the week so be sure to stop by and sample some of these epic Stone beers.

Churchill’s grand reopening party on March 6th, 2010.

It will be called Churchill’s Renaissance with one of the most epic draft lists ever.

The New Tap List!

Here is a teaser for some of the draft beers….Alesmith Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway Stout, Alesmith Decadence 2009, Russian River Temptation,Consecration, Supplication…. The whole list is like this. They’ll have a cask of Ballast Point’s Victory at Sea aged with Ballast Point Spirits Whiskey soaked French oak chips. Ivan will release the full lineup closer to the event. They’ll also be opening a bunch of 6 Liter bottles during the day as well along with some free food!

http://churchillspub.us/site/about.html

Check out the current tap and bottle list:

http://churchillspub.us/site/drinks.html

XOXO

TheArtofBeer

Grilled Cheese Obsession Redux

Smoked Gouda w/Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Bacon, Sliced Avocado & Purple Onion

It’s sunny and not as chilly in San Diego today but there is still a delightful feel of fall in the air.  I decided that I needed a bacon fix today so I started things out by slowly frying up 5 plump strips Of NimanRanch Applewood Smoked Bacon.  You can buy Niman Ranch Bacon at Trader Joe’s and I can assure you will be thrilled with the quality.  Check out the Niman Ranch website  http://www.nimanranch.com/index.aspx and see for yourself.  It’s all about the ethics surrounding the food we eat.

The Niman Ranch Mission: Niman Ranch and its U.S. farmers and ranchers raise livestock traditionally, humanely and sustainably to deliver the finest tasting meat in the world.

We are proud that all our livestock is:

Niman Ranch Bacon!

  • Humanely Raised on Sustainable U.S. Farms and Ranches
  • Never Given Antibiotics – Ever
  • Never Given Any Added Hormones – Ever
  • Fed All Vegetarian Feeds

I was told recently that the Niman Family no longer owns the ranch, but I am still impressed with the quality of the product and the practices that they subscribe to.  Chipotle Mexican Restaurants also use Niman Ranch Pork for their food; a huge reason why I will eat at Chipotle!

Mmmmm Bacon!

Be sure to cook the bacon slowly and evenly so it gets nice and brown.  Don’t be in a rush.  Most things in life are better when done slow & easy.  Please make a note of that guys… I like my bacon crispy, especially for sandwiches because I like to break it into tiny pieces and sprinkle it on the gooey cheese goodness when it begins to melt.  After its cooked to your liking, remove it from the pan and place the strips on a double folded piece of paper towel to absorb the grease.  Use another piece to pat the top.  Then set it aside to cool until ready to make your sandwich.

The same as yesterday I used olive oil in my pan in place of buttering the bread.  Olive oil is still high in fat but it is a good fat and healthier than butter.  I actually prefer the taste of it too but that could be because I have used it in place of butter for so many years.  Be sure to buy a good quality extra-virgin type.  Trader Joe’s has several great selections at a very good price.  I had some TJ’s Smoked Gouda slices in my fridge and I thought this cheese would fare well with the bacon.  I leave the brownish rind on because I like it but you can cut it off.  Smoked Gouda takes a while to melt so covering the pan will help speed that along.  once it starts to swell and bubble , that is when you want to add the bacon pieces to one side.  To balance out the saltiness of the bacon I added some thin slices of a firm avocado.  Avocado has a buttery texture that compliments the bacon and the gouda.   I also added a few pieces of thinly sliced Purple Onion and placed it on top of the avocado.  Gently slide the other side of the bread on top of the side with the bacon and avocado, being careful to keep all the ingredients firmly in place.  Continue cooking until bread is at desired brownness on both sides.  Slide gently on plate and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting.  I added a little sautéed cherry tomato compote to the plate for garnish-yum!

Hinterland Brewery - Pale Ale - Green Bay Wisconsin

I decided to pop open the Hinterland Pale Ale to enjoy with my latest creation.  I am afterall, a consenting adult of legal age who deserves to be pampered 🙂 and it was 2:00 PM.  I popped open the beer and poured it into one of my favorite glasses.  Details on the beer later but with regard to pairing with the grilled cheeses…It was perfect!  This mellow Pale Ale complemented the salt and smokiness of the grilled cheese sandwich perfectly!

The great thing about creating grilled cheese sandwiches is that there really is no right and wrong choice.  That is a beautiful thing when cooking cause it takes the stress out of the process.  Cheese is one of my favorite foods and I can think of few things that don’t go well with the various styles.  Stay tuned as I experiment with some of the amazing suggestions I received yesterday on Twitter and via the comments section here.  Remember…It’s all about the journey!  CHEERS!

Grilled Cheesegasm! Oh My....

New Glarus Unplugged Cran-Bic Ale

Today was extraordinary!  I had several good things happen that really gave me a lift; one being the arrival of an amazing gift from Midwest Micro Brews containing New Glarus Beer.  I have coveted New Glarus since my first encounter with them at GABF.  I decided I was “worthy” of having one to myself tonight!  It was, afterall, a most excellent day 🙂

I decided to use one of my Riedel Champagne Flutes for this auspicious occasion.  Riedel really knows how to make the finest glasses for bringing out the very best in the beer, champagne, wine or whisky that you are drinking.  This style is non-stemmed and I really like them because they have flair!

Tiny Bubbles! New Glarus Cran-Bic Ale

The Cran-Bic Ale poured beautifully into the glass with tiny, perfect bubbles spiraling effortlessly to the top of the glass.  The color is a “sassy” pale pink/red that speaks to my girly nature.  There is a large head that dissipates quickly leaving a foamy ring to circle the bubbles.

I can smell the berry goodness even though my nose is not close to the glass as I pour it.  As I pull the glass toward me, I smell more than just cranberry on the nose.  It’s a bouquet of mixed berries (Cherry, Strawberry, Blackberry) and a subtle tartness. The bubbles tickle my nose as I take in the beautiful aroma.  <Audible Sigh of Contentment>

There is a very light mouthfeel and the cranberry is prominent as it slides across my tongue.  I love the effervescence!   Tart & sweet at the same time but with a little oakiness that gives it an interesting balance.  The finish is sweet and sultry.  I am amazed at how “fruit like” this beer is without it being overpowering.   It is extremely well-proportioned.  Mmmmm…

This is an extremely drinkable beer that would be delightful paired with a light salad course or dessert but frankly I could be happy sipping this just for the sake of having it.  I like to drink things that make me feel good and that sums up exactly how I feel right now!  New Glarus Cran-Bic Ale is beautiful! If I move to Indiana next year, I foresee road trips to Wisconsin being a big part of my future.

TheArtofBeer - In Love With New Glarus Cran-Bic Ale!

Special thanks again to Michael Bergman from Midwest Micro Brews for making me one happy girl!

Craft Beer “OPD”

I tend to suffer from “OPD” – Over Passion Disorder!  When I decide to love something – trust me when I tell you – “I LOVE IT” with passion and I pour my heart into it.  This quirky trait can sometimes be associated with obsessive compulsive behavior and my love of Craft Beer may indeed apply.  The pure pleasure of sampling a new craft beer is addictive and the rush it fuels drives an intense desire to sample more and more.  This is in no way, shape or form about drinking to get high.   On the contrary it is about drinking to experience the beautiful complexity, taste, aroma, and vision of craft beer.  OMG!  I think I am Craft Beer Addict!

The Learning Process

The more I drank good beer, the more I liked it and the more I wanted to try.  I often found myself gazing at the craft beer selections in my local Bev Mo or Whole Foods, trying to decide what I should try next!  I experimented a lot.  There were so many choices and I was completely overwhelmed by all the styles.  But the more I tried, the more I liked and in fact, it was rare I tried one that I found one I disliked.  I had the good fortune of becoming friends with a local brewer that was a walking encyclopedia on beer styles and craft beer culture.  With John’s guidance, I further explored the many styles of craft brewed beer.  I listened to him talk about the brewing process and this helped me understand more about the complexities of the beer.   I found myself planning meals around the beer selection for the evening.   There was no doubt I was completely hooked on craft beer!

I traveled to the Czech Republic with the sole purpose of sampling and learning about Czech Beer.  While in Prague I became friends with an amazing international beer judge that has also inspired my desire for more knowledge. Honza Kočka (@czbeer on Twitter) owns a small craft brewery about two hours outside of Prague.  Honza knows and loves Czech beer but his knowledge encompasses styles from all over the world.  I became inspired by his passion and knowledge. He became my beer muse.

So my beer journey has been an interesting one thus far.  I make no claims of being an expert.  I know what I like and I enjoy exploring the seemingly endless of options available to me.  While I still enjoy a glass of wine, craft beer has definitely found it’s way to the top my list of “Things that don’t suck” – my label for the things in my life that I truly love and appreciate.  It was really a slow and subtle transition, culminating with the ultimate realization that I love craft beer!

Stay tuned if you are interested in reading about some of my craft beer adventures.  As my confidence increase, I will dabble with beer reviews and sharing information about my beer tasting adventures.

Peace!

Grapes To Grain – My transformation from wine snob to craft beer lover…

A friend asked recently when I had converted from a wine snob to a beer geek.  My tweets about my parallel universe as a “beerophile” were posting to my Facebook page and she was not the first person to comment on my transformation.  After pondering the question, I decided to write a little about my journey.

I started drinking wine in my mid-twenties when I moved to California.  I truly enjoyed the seemingly endless options of fabulous wine available and as my taste developed so did my passion for wine.  My palate evolved over the years and I found I was more prone to fine wine than basic grocery store selections.  My investment in my habit grew.  I loved wine and was enthralled with the complexities of appearance, the nose, the feel and the taste associated with the many types, styles and brands.  Wine and of course, the food that compliments it, was a huge part of my social life as the years passed.   I loved sharing my wine finds with good friends over dinner at both my home and restaurants.  I shudder at the thought of the money I have spent over the years…

While I had always enjoyed beer, I honestly never thought much about what I was drinking.  I preferred to drink micro-brewed beer, but was not really conscious of the decisions I made.    I just knew that I didn’t care for Coors, Bud or any other watery beer on the market.  There was no real passion in my beer selections and I rarely took the time to think about the ingredients going into the beer, much less the business and political implications of my choices.  Never had I pondered which beers would best pair with an artisan cheese platter I had assembled for a cocktail party nor had I contemplated a social dinner offering different beer choices with the course I would prepare.

That is until I moved to San Diego in 2003…  I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with a young man who founded a craft brewing business in San Diego.  A neighbor in my building, GK brought his own beer selections to a party at my loft and even brought his own glassware.  I was in no way, shape or form offended by his apparent beer snobbery.  On the contrary, I was intrigued by his passion.  I recognized there was a lot I could learn from this incredible entrepreneur.   Many of my new neighbors in Park Loft were also  craft beer fans.  With Greg as a generous anchor, there was never a social event in the building (and boy did we have a lot of them!) that didn’t include several of the many choices of beer brewed by Stone.   There were many group outings to local craft beer mecca’s like O’Brien’s, The Local, Hamilton’s, and The Whistle Stop.  This was the beginning of my craft beer education.

The Art of Beer Debut…

My beer journey has been an interesting one.  I am no expert but, I know what I like and I enjoy exploring the seemingly endless of options available to me.  I am very fortunate to live in California and have access to a plethora of great craft beer options because of favorable beer distribution laws.  In San Diego, local craft breweries are plentiful and they offer an amazing selection of styles.  The brewers are a colorful group with personalities as vibrant and interesting as the beers they create.

I am still learning my way around the craft brewing vernacular and there is so much left for me to learn.  I look forward to having the confidence to articulate my opinion or describe what I like about the beer I am drinking.  As a result of my coming of age in San Diego—I love hops!  I make my choices carefully now and there is no doubt that my palate prefers high-quality, craft brewed beer.  I cannot drink beer that is bad.  No offense to those who like pedestrian, industrial beer…I would rather do without if that is all that is available.

Since I travel rather frequently, I have the pleasure of visiting many great cities where I tend to seek out the finest in local craft beer establishments.  I love to write about my experiences and I hope I can share some useful information.  There are so many amazing places serving great craft beer and delicious food to pair with it.

Of this I am certain: I am meeting some exceptionally nice people on this journey that are always willing to share their knowledge of brewing and beer. I am thankful to each and every one of you… Cheers!