Undistributed beer of the week: Goblin Rock


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...



ABV: 7.2%

Pair with: A cheeseburger or grilled steak

Another San Diego-based brewery has something special for lovers of the juicy IPA. Goblin Rock from Modern Times Beer is a drinkable brew that pays homage to the East Coast while maintaining a bit of West Coast mentality. It’s another hit by Modern Times that is full bodied, hop-forward, juicy and rich in tangerine flavors. One sip of this beer, and you’ll be hopping back for more.

The story:

Goblin Rock comes to us from Jacob McKean, founder and CEO at Modern Times Beer. According to McKean, this brew is one of Modern Times’ most hopped-up beers to date. The brewing process involves a “crapload” of hops, he said.

“[It has] way more than we usually add to a beer, even a very hoppy IPA,” he said. “They also sport a very full, juicy mouth-feel which means the malt bill needs a lot of protein, usually in the form of oats and wheat.”

This style, as we have recently alluded to in our last feature, has been making its way to San Diego. The word “juicy” in brew terms sometimes nods to the North East style IPA, which we are seeing more and more brewers successfully attempt around town. Modern Times was one of the first local breweries to actually can this kind of hazy brew. McKean says that the inspiration comes from the East Coast, but the brewers here often make it their own.

“We have a bunch of people here who have lived on the East Coast and maintain strong ties to folks in the brewing industry there. Brewers are constantly sending each other beer, so we ended up tasting a lot of beers in this emerging style,” he said. “We loved them, so we decided to take a crack at doing it our way,”

How exactly do they make it something unique that varies a little bit from the Eastern brews many of us have tried and now crave? They tie in our town’s specialty: the West Coast IPA.

“Some of ours have been a little bit of a hybrid between a North East IPA and a West Coast IPA. Others have included hops that only we get... Every batch we brew represents an evolution over the last batch and a new direction for exploration.”

It’s easy to see with Goblin Rock that Modern Times has really solidified their space on the juicy IPA shelf, as they have improved with each attempt at the style. It’s a thick, orange color that’s impossible to see through.

If you’re curious about what makes the beer this way -- a super hazy, darker version of your morning O.J. -- it’s a natural color that is an outcome of process. According to McKean, the color comes from the protein within the malt bill, and the “polyphenol haze” is from the massive amount of hops that are utilized in this beer.

Oh, and let’s not skip on the enchanting name of this brew. It comes from the fact that Modern Times’ staff love to play fantasy games, like Dungeons & Dragons. It references a Magic: The Gathering card. Cheers to this magical, must-try brew!

This beer is available to try on tap at Modern Times Beer. Get it while it’s cold!

Modern Times Lomaland Fermentorium, 3725 Greenwood St., Point Loma or 3000 Upas St., North Park.