Breweries are opening so fast in San Diego it's hard to keep their names straight, let alone their beers. Vista's Mother Earth Brew Co. is now considered a veteran with its 2008 start date (I did not hear about it until 2010). Its beers are still hard to find at taps around San Diego due to its small size, but it recently started bottling select styles, and a few weeks ago I picked up a bottle of its Kismet IPA.
Kismet is a bold, hop forward IPA, brewed with Nelson Hops, which give it a sharp, pine resin smell that translates to an intense, piney, complex flavor. The pungent hops are well balanced with malts, to make Kismet a smooth, drinkable beer. The beer's ABV is 7.2%, which when combined with the aggressive hops and malt, pushes Kismet to the upper limit of the IPA style, and imparts a welcome richness. The bottom line: Kismet is an excellent beer.
In a town full of good IPAs, a new brewer (even if it's in its fourth year) is up against tough competition when crafting a new IPA, and for me, a bad or mediocre IPA can quickly relegate a brewer to inferior status. If I don't care for the IPA, I won't rush to try a brewer's other styles. Mother Earth's Kismet holds its own against the best IPAs in San Diego.