Monday, December 30, 2013

A Taste Of San Diego

Ballast Point's San Salvador Saison is a beer indigenous to San Diego, sourced with local ingredients.  I have wanted to try this beer since reading about it several years ago.  It takes its name from Portuguese explorer Juan Cabrillo's flagship, which he commanded when venturing up the Pacific Coast and came upon what is now San Diego Harbor in 1542.  I finally had the chance to try San Salvador Saison at a bar and grill in Ocean Beach not far from where Cabrillo first saw San Diego.

I can't think of a better example of terroirDrinking San Salvador is like taking a hike in San Diego - it is all manzanita and sage along with local other herbs and fruit.  San Salvador shows the pliability of the saison style.  It has a sharp effervescence and the manzanita jumps at you immediately, permeating the mouth and staying through a long finish.  San Salvador is full-bodied and weighs in at 8% abv.  The high booze level (relative for a saison) and White Labs' saison yeast have little influence, and both get lost in the cacophony of powerful ingredients.  San Salvador is not a session beer, it's strong flavors are unrelenting.  It's a good beer for sure, but one is enough.  If you have ever hiked in San Diego, you should try this beer, it'll take you right back to the trail.

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