Full disclosure – I’ve starting writing this piece about the wonderful craft beer I had an opportunity to sample in San Diego while sitting at my “home” craft beer bar in Halifax. It’s a case of Nova Scotia craft beer fuelling some writing about beer.
Whenever I visit a new place, that city’s craft beer breweries and bars jump to the top of the must visit list for me. In San Diego, seven days would be nowhere near enough time to sample all I wanted to, especially considering some of this trip was work related and needed my full attention. After enjoying a Karl Strauss mosaic ale at a Padres game (my opinion: that might be the perfect ballgame beer), I visited their brewery just a few blocks from my hotel to try some of their other brews. Of the four samples, I really enjoyed the slightly spicy Windansea Wheat and one of their iconic beers, the Red Trolley Ale:
With an independent grocery store around the corner from my hotel featuring what felt like an endless selection of craft beers from southern California, I picked up a few bottles for the week. The AleSmith X Extra Pale Ale was the best of what I sipped while recharging after long days of exploring San Diego. The Ballast Point Fathom IPL and the Acoustic Ales Tush IPA were no slouches either.
Speaking of craft beers at the hotel, my hotel had a rooftop pool featuring a bar… a very nice touch! On a warm late afternoon, I picked a recliner, put my earphones in, listened to some good tunes and relaxed by the pool with a crisp Saint Archer pale ale.
My favourite beer bar of the trip was the one at Monkey Paw Brewing. Not only did they serve their own creations, but their tap list featured a great cross section of beers from around San Diego. I focused on the Monkey Paw beers and got a sampler of four. The Unite Red was the standout in this selection for my tastes – a very drinkable, smooth red.
On the last day in San Diego, after a long walk along Coronado Beach, I popped into the Coronado Brewing Company, conveniently located across the street from where I needed to catch the bus back across the bridge into San Diego. After an afternoon in the sun, I appreciated that their sampler had 5 glasses. All the beers were good, with the high alcohol Idiot IPA being my favourite. Sadly, these were the last San Diego beers of the trip for me, but as you can tell by my smile, I didn’t seem to mind at the time. All in all, it was a great week of exploring west coast craft beers!