San Diego Beer Week 2009

by Beer Answers on November 10, 2009


San Diego Beer Week 2009—our first ever—is in full swing.  We celebrated the kickoff Saturday at the 6th Annual San Diego Brewers Guild Festival 2009.  Along with a lively crowd we enjoyed tasting several local craft beers that were new to us.  According to SanDiegoNewsNetwork, SDBW09 drew folks from outside our region.

The Food – The event was well-organized.  A good time was had by all.  Beers were great.  The food could have been really good but much of it was too cold. Especially the mac-and-gourmet-cheese.  Some of the pizzas were cold—which is okay.  Hamilton’s Tavern’s pulled pork sandwiches were great!  As was the Ritual Tavern sloppy joes.

The Brewers – Doug told us about the Brew House at Eastlake’s charity dinners.  For Eastlake Educational Foundation and other charities they donate 5 course meals and pair their brews with each one.  Our favorite Breakwater Brewey guys were there.  Their thin-crust pizza is super.  We talked about our picks from their menu and brews here.

The Beers

Otay Lakes Oatmeal Stout — One of our newest favorites is from the Brew House at Eastlake.  I loved its smooth and creamy consistency.  It reminds me of chocolate and espresso.  Yum!  Doug said it’s served often with desserts.  Especially raspberry-flavored treats. Sweet.

Brew House at Eastlake

Rolling Hills Irish Red — The brewer’s description – A modern interpretation of an ale originally brewed by Irish monks in the 14th century. The complex flavor is built with a combination of crystal, Munich, and flaked and roasted barley.

Otay Lakes Oatmeal Stout — Prepare yourself for a pleasant surprise. This Stout is a velvety-smooth dark ale that has a chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Served on nitrogen, so allow the cascading bubbles to settle before enjoying your first sip.

Back Street Brewing

Aged Little Pilsner — The brewer’s description – A golden German style lager. A rich malty character and a generous amount of noble hop bouquet make this beer a favorite among brewers and patrons alike.

Breakwater Brewing  Breakwater Brewing logo

Kriek — Breakwater poured their Belgian style Kriek (Sour Cherry) beer. Interesting flavor, a red edge and nice nose. This is one that Cynthia didn’t like when she first tasted at their brewpub, but liked it a lot at the event.   (Her initial taste was several months ago when she was learning about craft beer.)

Ballast Point

Big Eye – IPA  – The brewer’s description – American Centennial hops are used exclusively to bitter, flavor, finish, and dry hop the Big Eye. Its full hop flavor is guaranteed to please the palate of the true hophead.

Coronado Brewing Company

Islander IPA — The brewer’s description – Has an intense hop bitterness, complex flavors and aromas. The Islander IPA pours a nice copper color with a medium body and maltiness.

Firehouse Brewing Company

Hefeweizen — The brewer’s description – An unfiltered wheat beer with cloudiness and a hint of tropical fruit and banana notes.

Green Flash Brewing Co. GREEN FLASH LOGO

Le Freak — The brewer’s description – A Belgian Style IPA is  a convergence of beer styles where American Imperial IPA meets Belgian Trippel. The end result is a zesty brew with enticing American hop and Belgian yeast aromatics that lead you to delicious malts and a complex layering of hop flavors that quench and refresh your pallet.

Karl Strauss

Full Suit Belgium style brown ale — Brewer’s description – A mahogany brown Belgian-style ale brewed with caramel and brow malts to give it toasty and sweet coffee-like malt flavors that are underpinned by a smooth vanilla oakiness. Peppery spice adds character to this beer’s slightly dry and warming finish.  We really liked this new Karl Strauss ale.

Big Barrel Double IPA — The brewer’s description – An intense West Coast IIPA for hop lovers. Abundant imported New Zealand hops give this medium-bodied ale fruity citrus and white grape-like flavors over a firm maltiness. It finishes dry with a lingering bitterness.

Lost Abbey

Saison – The brewer’s description – A dry hopped ale sporting a hazy yellow color and moderately spicy nose with hints of oranges and tangerines from Amarillo and Simcoe hops. The yeast phenols add layers of clove and allspice. The beer is designed to be a lighter body ale with some malted oats and wheat components and dry hopped with Amarillo to emphasize the bright citric qualities.

Rockbottom, La Jolla

Ragtop Red Ale – The brewer’s description -Ruby color and medium body. The caramel color  and toasted malts are balanced  with fresh Willamette hops.

North Star IPA — The brewer’s description – Brewed with over 32 lbs. of hops for 16 barrels of beer. It is a bold, hoppy West Coast style IPA with Centennial, Amarill, Cascade and Columbus hops.

San Marcos Brewing Company

Wild Clover Honey Ale – The brewer’s description – This specialty beer is crafted with the addition of forty pounds of honey, which is added during the boil and provides a distinctive character. While the sweetness is generally removed during the fermentation, the honey character can be detected in both the aroma and flavor of the beer.

Enjoy the rest of San Diego Beer Week! Check out events here.

Cynthia & Jim

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