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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

San Diego 2012 - Part IV: Road Rage Sidestep

Anyone who knows me, knows that I don't react well to heavy traffic.  Having worked from home for the past year, I am even more susceptible to the agitated frame of mind one tends to experience while suspended in a state of non-motion.  In other words, I despise traffic.  I simply don't understand how an open five-lane highway can all of a sudden become as congested as a skinny, frail kid with asthma.  At any rate, we hit a wall of cars while en route to our final destination (The Bruery) of the "epic beer day" that began with Pizza Port OB and continued with Ballast Point, Hess, AleSmith and Green Flash.  After what seemed to be an eternity of grueling bumper-to-bumper gridlock, we faced defeat and pulled off at the San Clemente exit for some much needed liquid relief.  Lucky for us, Pizza Port San Clemente was only minutes away, so we decided to dock ship, regroup and hit the highway when things settled down a bit. Since I was still fairly agitated from the traffic (though happy to be sitting somewhere AND accomplishing something simultaneously - drinking a beer), Brewslut's notes failed to capture what I was drinking.  She went with the Pier Rat Porter.  Let's just say that I went with an IPA, which is my drink of choice when visiting the various Pizza Port locations.  We also enjoyed some pizza while we waited for traffic to die down a bit.  In the grand scheme of things, I'm actually glad we hit some dreaded traffic, because the Pizza Port San Clemente location was the only Pizza Port we hadn't yet visited.  So to quote Ricky, we got "two birds stoned at once." 

Pleeps and Brewslut love them sours!
After a pit stop in San Clemente, we were back on the road to our final destination, The Bruery.  I must admit that it took a while for The Bruery to impress me with their beers.  After a few decent offerings and a disappointing drain pour of Papier.  However, I became an instant convert after a beer friend, Tanger, shared three amazing bottles one night at a tasting.  Those beers were Sour in the Rye, Barrel-Aged Two Turtle Doves and the outstanding Chocolate Rain.  Chocolate Rain, in particular, was so good, that it is one of my highest rated beers on BA (and that's saying a lot, because I've reviewed over 1700 beers)!  Brewslut also loves sour beers, and The Bruery definitely has a proven track record brewing tasty sour concoctions.

Wood Jerry... wood!
The tap selection was quite impressive, featuring a bevy of sour beers including Tart of Darkness, a sour stout aged in Black Tuesday barrels.  We also sampled Burly Gourd, a milk stout brewed with pumpkins; Nottenroth, an un-soured version of Hottenroth, which was light and refreshing... and the result of a brewing mistake: the batch simply wouldn't sour); Sans Pagaie, a Belgian Kriek; Tradewinds, a Tripel brewed with Thai basil; and finally Mother Funker, a sour blonde ale.  Wow!  That's a lot of palate-wrecking tartness, eh?

Outside, there was a cool medieval-themed food truck with a bunch of different kinds of corn dogs and fries. The even had a corn dog named after my favorite "man... I mean dragon-man... well, maybe he was just a dragon," TROGDOR, the Burninator!  If this reference has you scratching your head with confusion, get thee to Homestar's dot commmm!  Anyway, I grabbed a chicken sausage corn dog and some tots, and both really hit the spot.  As last call approached, I grabbed a bottle of Fruet and Burly Gourd for my friend, Chris, and we headed back to Ocean Beach.

Stay tuned for Part V, which finds us visiting one of my personal favorite brewpubs, Alpine Beer Company, as well as a new place - Manzanita Brewing Company, plus our daily visit to Pizza Port OB.  Until next time...

Um... this picture needs no caption.

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