Get your buzz on at San Diego microbrews



San Diego has become a hotbed for microbrews.

Jimmy Spillane, Staff Writer

Want to grab a beer? This is a friendly question that is asked on a daily basis not only in America but also all over the world. Many don’t know where this tasty alcoholic beverage comes from. It actually originated in Ancient Egypt in 6000 A.D., which bars everywhere, are incredibly thankful for.

There are three main types of beer they are top fermenting known as Ales, bottom-fermenting which are Lagers and spontaneous-fermenting beers which can be a combination.

The difference in them is due to the yeast and how they are formed such as the difference between wines. The two main kinds are Ales and Lagers and the list is quite extensive such as American ales, Belgian and French ales, English Ales, German Ales. The Lagers include American, Czech. European, German, and Japanese.

San Diego in the past few decades has come out of nowhere to become a beer hotbed and microbrews of course are the driving force behind this growing interest.

The first of these establishments is the legendary Karl Strauss, which opened in 1989 in downtown San Diego. Their lineup over the years has gradually gotten larger with varieties such as Red Trolley Ale, Amber lager, Woody Gold, Tower 10 IPA, and Endless Summer.

Karl Strauss definitely shows its downtown San Diego roots naming one of their signature beers after the trolley that runs through the city. If you are unsure which style you like they offer a sampler tray of eight five-ounce glasses with four being of the lighter style or amber and four of the darker beers to quench your appetite.

Stone Brewing company has risen up the ranks on the beer lover’s list since 1996. Mostly known for Arrogant Bastard Ale which has an alcohol content of 7.2 % with a toffee flavor and bitter finish. It’s second coming Double Bastard has an 11.2% alcohol content but only drink this one if you’re ready for the onslaught.

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale has the same strong aroma with a twist to satisfy your palate.

Stone also offers several other flavors including Stone Pale Ale, Stone India Pale Ale, Stone Cali-Belgique IPA, Stone Ruination IPA along with its Levitation Ale which comes out with a new edition on a yearly basis.

Coronado brewing company started the same year as Stone and is a favorite among not only those on the island but all over San Diego. They feature several beers and the ones prominently known are Idiot IPA, yup they really did call it that. I guess they’ve had people turn into the village drunkard after a few.

Orange Avenue Wit is a hoppy beer with an orange citrusy smooth aftertaste that honors the location of the fabled pub. This company does have some of the best names for their beers including Hoppy Daze, Frog’s Breath, Red Devil, Mermaid’s Red, and Stupid Stout.

Ballast Point started as simply a home brew mart in 1992 and evolved into a brewery and has been having a successful run ever since.

Darren Rudy, a brewer, filled me in on just what has been going on at one of San Diego’s finest microbreweries. “We have 63 kinds of beer and seven that are year round.”

Ballast point lets you purchase ½ gallon or gallon jugs to fill your favorite brew with and they can all be reused.

Some of their tastier samples are Sea Monster Imperial Stout, Parado Ipa which may be the strongest of the India Pale Ale’s at 10.0% and Bar My Golden Ale which comes in at an astonishing 12.0%.

“The two have different hops, different malts, and they don’t have the same recipes.” Darren said was the difference between their IPA and another popular one in Stone’s IPA.

When asked around the Mesa campus to get students views on this fine beverage. Gary Cuellar and Jack Simmons gave me some interesting insight.

“Stone Levitation Ale, Black Market Ale, and Green Flash IPA are some of my favorite beers” Cuellar said. “I have visited Black Market Brewery in Temecula, Stone Brewery in Escondido, and Pizza Port in Solana Beach which is my favorite since it’s a mixture of great food along with delicious brews.”

Jack Simmons felt the same in retrospect “I enjoy Red Trolley Ale, Stone IPA, and of course Arrogant Bastard.” He hasn’t visited any local breweries but said he planned to in the near future.

So the next time you are in the mood to have some good times and want to drink something that brings joy to your taste buds just look around you are in America’s Finest City– for beer anyways.