Undistributed beer of the week: Bird Rock Brown Ale


There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego’s beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week’s best undistributed beer is...

La Jolla Brewing Company: Bird Rock Brown Ale

Style: Brown Ale

ABV: 6.7%

Pair with: barbecued meats

This brown ale is nutty, malty and showcases some light hop bitterness. It offers that toasty taste we expect with this style, but with a sweeter, brown sugar-based taste and aroma.


The Bird Rock Brown Ale is different than your simple, brown-colored table brew. How so? It’s made with German influences in mind, giving it a thinner mouthfeel. It’s smooth and easy to drink, plus offers a brown sugar taste that evens out some of the harsh malts and hop flavors.

This brew comes to us from Bryan Chatelle, Head Brewer at La Jolla Brewing Company. Chatelle was recently hired on as the company’s new Head Brewer and is immensely proud of this beer.

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro,” Chatelle said. “Someone told me this as I was apprenticing and it seems to sum it all up perfectly. I love beer, love making beer and love the reward of tourists and locals alike coming in to try my beer.”

The La Jolla Brewing Company beers are all named after landmarks and important aspects of La Jolla, hence Bird Rock Brown’s namesake. Bird Rock Brown utilizes hops from the best coast to pay homage to San Diego, but it’s less about hops when working with a quality brown, Chatelle says.

“As a San Diego tradition, we do use West Coast hops but not too many to make the beer bitter, just enough to balance with the sweetness and robust German malts,” he said. “This is a German-influenced Alt-bier with Pacific Northwest hops and San Diego-brewed.”

This malty and toffee-like beer has notes of blueberry and raspberry at its dry finish. The super-smooth brew is a perfect by-the-beach beer to sip on. That said, we look forward to trying more of Chatelle’s upcoming brews off the system at the La Jolla location.

“My father Ken Chatelle has been home-brewing since I was a little kid. I loved the smell of brew day, the aroma was in the house for a week after the brew. I, in turn, picked up this home-brewing hobby and have now turned it into a career and never looked back.”

This beer is available on tap at La Jolla Brewing Comapny. Get it while it’s cold!

La Jolla Brewing Co., 7536 Fay Ave., La Jolla.

Source: DiscoverSD