Friday, December 24, 2010

Correspondent Field Report

I can't usually take an afternoon and hit multiple breweries.  Fortunately, my field correspondent did the work for me and filed this report on his recent trip to Green Flash and new breweries Mother Earth and Iron Fist:
We started at Mother Earth, I liked the place! It reminded me of Manzanita, but one notch up! Family-run, very friendly, & a good place to sample some home-grown beer! What I mean by one notch up is, it's a bit more organized, & a little further along. Thier beers were good, although I didn't try all of them. My favorite, & also Chris's was the ESB. Very drinkable, & totally true to style. They hit a home-run with this one! And it wasn't even my favorite style of beer. That says something!
Next, we stopped by Iron Fist, we got a little inside-story of this place by a patron of Mother Earth. He was a home-brewer, & said they're good, but pricy. He was spot-on! They offer Belgian-style beers, which are decent, but considering how close they are to a local legend "Lost Abbey". I think? They'll have a tough go of it! 
Our last stop was one of your favorite beers! Green Flash! What can I say? Their beer speaks for itself. You can tell they've been there for awhile, the place looked like they've made a lot of beer! I don't mean this in a bad way, it just looked well used, & you could see they've out-grown the current facilaty. By that, I thought they were cramped, they had their bottling line right up against their brewing station.
I've only had one Mother Earth beer, its IPA, and I thought it was quite good.  I had it in a situation where I couldn't properly review it, but it made an impression and I have been looking for it since.  Iron Fist is a new brewer in North San Diego County.  Its Belgian line-up leads to the obvious comparison to The Lost Abbey.  I have not tried its beers yet, but am seeing bottles around and hope to try its beers soon.  I don't necessarily agree that Iron Fist will have a tough go of it.  My take is that The Lost Abbey has a small share of the San Diego market, despite its fine beers, and that as the beer consumer gets a taste of Belgian-style beers they will become ever more popular, increasing demand.  If Iron Fist's beers are good, there will be room for them.  I think I remember reading that Green Flash is expanding to a new facility in Mira Mesa, which affirms the comment above about cramped space.  I could not find a link to the news on the new facility.. 

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