Thursday, October 29, 2020


It looks like Two Roots Brewing's Ocean Beach tap room is done. The space, at the corner of Newport Avenue and Cable Street, has graffiti on the windows and Two Roots' sign is gone (you can make out Helm's Brewing's original sign). Inside it looks like it was cleaned out in a rush; lots of trash and the walk-in fridge door is open. The location is good, but not adaptable to outdoor operations, now a COVID-19 imposed requirement. The space, too, is much smaller than the other brewery tap rooms along Ocean Beach's Newport Avenue that are half a block deep (Kilowatt Brewing's space, just off Newport Avenue and about two hundred feet from Two Roots, is a little different with it has big deck on its wide front that made COVID-19 adaption easier). Here is the picture I took earlier this week:

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

SD Beer News

I heard the phrase "A pandemic is a terrible thing to waste" on The Pivot podcast. While stated tongue-in-cheek, it has a strain of truth, and it made me think of the new local craft beer news network San Diego Beer News that started last summer. It is now my first source for San Diego craft beer news. Brandon Hernández, SD Beer News' founder and preeminent San Diego craft beer writer and journalist, jumped into the opportunity created, in part, by the retirement in April 2020 of the San Diego Union Tribune's beer writer, Peter Rowe, and the apparent COVID-forced scale-back of beer website and print magazine West Coaster. Hernández has brought together a talented group of writers, brewers, publicans, podcasters, and more to create a beer news network*.  The growing list of partners is impressive and includes podcasts Indie Beer Show** and Beer Night in San Diego, home brew club QUAFF, the advancement for women in beer organization Pink Boots Society, TV station Fox 5, and FM radio stations 91X and 94.9, which have the craft beer shows Beer for Breakfast (91X) and the Rock & Roll Happy Hour (94.9).

I recommend this episode of the Indie Beer Show podcast from August that details SD Beer News' backstory. If you don't already, it is worth it to follow SD Beer News on Twitter and Instagram.

* Hernández must have built the website and the extensive brewing network from home due to his heightened level of risk if exposed to COVID-19. This makes his effort create SD Beer News all the more impressive.

** Hernández is an Indie Beer Show co-host.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Unappealing and Appealing

I received an email from The Bruery yesterday announcing the upcoming release of its Black Tuesday bourbon barrel-aged stout. The beer weighs in at an obese 19.3% abv. I find the thought of a 19.3% abv beer unappealing. I used to enjoy articles and blog posts about the frenzy around releases of Black Tuesday and other similar big beers. Years ago, I went to a San Diego Beer Week event with the sole intent to sample Black Tuesday. It was good, of course, but boozy, boozy, boozy. 

Here is what I find appealing: The Lost Abbey, which has released its share of high abv beers, released Nobel Tendencies, a 5% abv pilsner last week, and Pizza Port's has released it latest version of its periodic Graveyard's Pale Ale, which weighs in at a reasonable 6.2% abv. I find it bizarre and hard to explain that how as I get older, my aversion to beers with ABVs above 10% grows. I am no more mentally mature now than I was ten years ago, but 2010 me would be laughing, if not mocking, 2020 me and my interest in the release of a pilsner and a pale ale.  

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Flavor Explosion

I critiqued Stone Brewing a few posts ago for losing focus, but I can't find flaw in Stone's skill at brewing stand out double IPAs. Its 24th Anniversary Didgeridoom is another first class beer. It is marmalade-colored with big white foam. It overflows with a myriad of sensations: fruit, candy sweetness, a solid jolt of malt. The beer was brewed with Australian hops, which supplies the fruit flavors, but don't ask me to name a specific fruit - citrus? yes, I think; melon? sure, why not; berries? maybe, but maybe not. Stone's description says the beer had some dankness, too, and who am I to argue. It is all flavor; and it works from the first drink to the last. It is sensory overload, but it refuses to numb your mouth. Its abv is a stealth 8.5%. Stone has perfected the method to hide booze taste in its big beers. I can't remember the last time I had an IPA with this much punch. Bigger Belgian beers can bring in the same frenetic taste character, but it is rare to find it in a double IPA. Savor and marvel at this beer while it is still available. 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Makin' Time

Makin' Time is a hoppy pilsner brewed as a collaboration between Modern Times Beer and San Francisco's Cellarmaker Brewing Co. Makin' Time is a hazy pilsner, or at least an unfiltered pilsner. Pilsners, in general, are clear, fine-filtered beers. Because of the high level of hops, Makin' Time's does not have the crisp yeastiness I associate with pilsners, but its 5% abv is a standard pilsner booze level. My overall impression drinking Makin' Time, however, was not its loose pilsner character or its hop presence, but its stark dryness; it had saison-level dryness. It made me cough twice. Don't get me wrong, I liked this beer and found it enjoyable to drink. I bought Makin' Times this in early August and have no idea on its current availability. Modern Times cranks out these creative special release collaborations at such a rapid rate it is hard to know if cans are still on shelves.