Tuesday, June 22, 2010

San Diego Day Two Volume One Part One

I want to see how long it takes before I am too confused as to which day I am writing about. I am already a bit confused since I am home and it is humid. And as I lay in bed at 5 am, unable to sleep well because of the humidity, I started thinking, "Does anybody care about my trip, or should I stick to the local stuff?" I decided that since I had been away and didn't have any local news, I may as well keep going with the vacation story. So bear with me for a few more volumes...

And not only do you not get local beer news on this site, you also have to look at non-beer related stuff from other states. But look: that mess in my hands is from world famous Hodad's in Ocean Beach! The line to eat there stretches down the block, though I left Jenn to wait while I walked a block over to check out Pizza Port's new Ocean Beach location. I wasn't ready to drink yet (gasp!), so I just did a look-see and talked to a burned out beach bum guy at the bar who was enjoying a pitcher of Double IPA. He started talking about how he used to drink bong water and may still be talking about it, for all I know.

We ended up getting our Hodad's to go and eating it on the beach, then drove up to fancy-pants La Jolla. We walked along this trail to the seven caves of something or other, some famous spot there in La Jolla. Went to our new hotel, way out on Harbor Island. Nice place, but not as convenient to the places we were interested in visiting: namely Hamilton's and O'Brien's. And when I checked Hamilton's website, I saw that the tap list was dominated by Bear Republic beers. They are good, but I was looking for more variety. And O'Brien's was 17 miles from our hotel...ugh!

We settled on taking the hotel shuttle downtown, (one nice thing about being at that hotel- shuttles every two hours downtown) to a place called Neighborhood, and it turned out to be an excellent choice. Twenty-six beers on tap, including five from Lost Abbey. I started off with a Green Flash Imperial IPA, one I have had many times in the bottle but have always wanted on tap. In fact, that was one of my goals for this trip, and I succeeded. I really set the bar high when it comes to life goals.

The great bartenders also set us up with some custom beer flights. How's this sound: Alesmith Lil' Devil, Deschutes Jubel 2010, Avery 17th Anniversary, and Alesmith Speedway Stout? That Speedway is so much more coffee-ish on tap. Jenn did a flight with Port Hot Rocks, Dogfish Festina Peche, Lost Abbey Red Barn, and Victory/Stone/DFH collaboration Saison Du Buff. That saison is available here in bottles, but on tap it is really amazing.

While at the bar, I happened to notice that someone had left a comment on my first San Diego post. It was from Jeff Hammett, the guy behind www.sandiegobeerblog.com. He wrote about a beer store I had overlooked somehow, Best Damn Beer Store. I mapped to it and found it was only a few blocks away. Jenn stayed at the bar to pound the beers while I scuttled over to the store. WHAT A FIND! This was by far the best selection of 22 oz. beers I had found in the city. Sid, pictured with his masterpiece in the background, has created an oasis in the heart of the city, where people are more likely to pop in for a 40 oz. or rolling papers rather than Alpine Nelson. Sid and I talked beer for a half-hour or so, and I left with Pliny, Nelson, Hair of the Dog Blue Dot IPA, Lenny's R.I.P.A. on Rye (DIPA aged in rye whiskey barrels) and some bourbon barrel aged Marin Old Dipsea Barleywine. Also got a good tip from Sid on a pizza place, Basic, which probably has the best pizza in the city. Customers chimed in with their opinions on getting pizza as well- the guy with the 40 of Magnum Malt Liquor suggested Papa John's, and the corn-rowed gentleman opined Domino's, but I went with Basic and was very happy. Thanks anyway to those customers. I'm sure they are reading this. And finally, thanks to Jeff Hammett for mentioning Best Damn Beer Store in the first place.

1 comment:

michael jamison said...

keep on with san diego. stone father's day? did the toronado and pizza place too on my visit, minus the dropping the pizza tho:) enjoyed toronado but hamiltons was disappointing to me as well. tap selection too CA sided and i was there when they opened at 3pm so that didn't help either. My SD favs are Pizza Port Carlsbad, especially bottleshop, Lost Abbey brewery and Churchills Pub, both in San Marcos. Let's do a tasting.