Undistributed beer of the week: Freight Damage

Editor’s Note: Undistributed beer of the week is a series that profiles a local brew only available to try on draft at specific locations in San Diego.

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


Style: IPA

ABV: 7.5 percent

Pair with: Thai cuisine

This week’s pick comes to us from the team over at Division 23 Brewing. We spoke to co-founder and operating owner, Kellen Smith, who let us in on the story behind this sippable, tropical IPA. He also shared with us the backstory on Division 23 Brewing, a nano-brewery located in the Miramar area.

“Division 23 is the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) specification for the construction industry, which the owners of D23 are involved with for their day jobs,” Smith said. “The brewery is built within the space that their other company resides. It is the result of their homebrew addiction gone crazy. The tasting room is the hangout that they would like to invite all of their friends and family into.”

The brewery is putting out a wide variety of beers, from a German-hopped pale ale to IPAs to Schwarzbiers.

“We are constantly brewing beers that we want to drink, and with our size, there are always new beers coming on the board,” he said.

“Freight Damage was crafted to be a true San Diego pale ale,” Smith said. "(It’s) light-colored, light-bodied and dry to allow for the hops to really shine - mainly 2-row base and an array of tropical fruit and citrus hops late in the process give a huge nose, followed by a big, flavorful IPA.”

Upon the first sip of this of this tasty brew, you’ll be hit with some hoppy dankness and grapefruit, melonlike fruit flavors, but it’s also not a “hop bomb” straight away. It’s balanced, bitter and really nails the goal of being a quintessential San Diego IPA.

“We think these are classic San Diego IPA flavors: big on the citrus and tropical fruit, and a little melon flavor to set it apart,” Smith said. “With the quantity of hops that goes into this one, you are going to get some dankness. For a 7.5 percent IPA, which used to be huge and is now is getting close to a session here in San Diego, it is extremely easy drinking and refreshing.”

Freight Damage will be available on tap pretty frequently, Smith said, as it is their best-selling brew so far. Get it while it’s cold!

Location: 7408 Trade St., Miramar.