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 ...
Half Door Brewing Company: Interleague
Pair with: Thai food
This brew comes to us from Daniel Drayne over at Half Door Brewing Company. This balanced, yet hop-forward brew is a delicious taste of what summer in San Diego should taste like, as we finally get some sunshine back in our lives. It offers tasty, tropical notes with a bit of spice, a citrus-y aroma and a super dry finish.
This beer, a collaboration between Half Door Brewing Co. and Belching Beaver, is a San Diego classic in the making and a great beer to sip on before heading into a Padres game.
"Troy [Smith] from Belching Beaver was helping me out with some barrels and some hops I didn't have access to, and then we started chatting about doing a collab beer. We put it off just a little bit and thought we'd wait to do it at the start of baseball season," Drayne said. "We plan to make it multiple times and have it available all summer but with some different hops each time."
This version of Interleague is made with Nelson and Southern Cross hops and will be changed as it goes to offer a slightly different variation of taste each time. This enjoyable brew is meant to be more of a West Coast IPA, but it does offer a little bit of haze for those craving the ever-popular hazy IPA style. Instead of a lingering, juicy finish, though, this beer gives us that West Coast bite that we love in a super hoppy beer.
"(Smith and I) went back to the old school West Coast IPA we hadn't done in awhile because we used to work at Coronado and they make really good West Coast IPAs. We kind of missed it. We used some rye and Carapils malts and it turned out great," Drayne said. "We can make hazy IPAs all day here because we don't have to can them or worry about it not being fresh, and I will always have them on because I really like them, but we love the West Coast IPA, too."
The hazy IPA is something Drayne was trying to hone in on this time last year with his beer, Buzzwords, that has successfully become one of their best-selling beers. Beyond that, Door has a passion for efficiency in brewing above anything else. He explains how the next step for him, once he crafts a beer, is always figuring out how to make it more efficient - be it by using fewer malts or making sure you are really getting the most out of your hops.
The beer itself is a nice reminder of the style that made San Diego famous and that will hopefully always be a staple in our city. Crushable, tasty and hop-forward, we recommend getting sudsy with this beer on Half Door Brewing's outdoor patio - with views of Petco Park in the background - for maximum enjoyment.
This beer is currently available to try on tap at Half Door Brewing Company. Get it while it's cold!
903 Island Ave., downtown. halfdoorbrewing.com