The Beer Rovette and I went to Blind Lady Ale House several times the first year or two after it opened. We loved the food - some of the best pizzas and salads we know of in San Diego - and the twenty-plus beer tap list. As a beer geek I appreciated its clean tap lines, correct glassware and adherence to proper pours. But we became increasingly annoyed at the crowds, which seemed to grow larger with each visit. Apparently we weren't the only ones who liked Blind Lady. The crush of people became too much for us and we stopped going to Blind Lady.
The Blind Lady's house brewing operation, Automatic Brewing, has kicked into gear, and there were three Automatic beers on tap. I tried the Shark IPA, a full bodied IPA brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops. It has a forward, pine hop bitterness, complemented by an earthy undertone that rounds out Shark's long, subtle finish. With its multilayer of flavors, you won't find a more complex IPA than Shark. It dances along the border between IPA and double IPA. Its 7% abv qualifies it as an IPA, but its flavor is bolder, richer and more sophisticated than many double IPAs. (I didn't snap the picture after drinking the top quarter of the beer; this is how Blind Lady serves it - correctly, at the pour line.)
The Blind Lady's tap list was outstanding. I wish I had taken a picture (and I can't find a current tap list on-line). From memory, some of the beers included ones from Russian River, Craftsman, Societe, a DuPont beer I'd never seen, and a few draft-only Ballast Point beers. Restaurants with a half dozen or more craft beers on draft are all over San Diego, but ones where the beer list is serious, proportioned and obviously selected by someone who knows and cares about beer - rather than by a distributor - are rare. The Blind Lady is such a place.
We are going back to Blind Lady, soon. I am still not going to brave a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening, or probably any evening, but count me in for a late lunch or early dinner.