The beer landscape is always changing in San Diego. Here’s a look at what’s new on the brew scene (and a couple of events) in January.
Do me a flavor: New beers to cheers
Abnormal New Money IPA
A beer-obsessed brewmaster hip to the new-wave fads infatuating the youngest members of the drinking public has crafted this evolving line of “Vermont-style” India pale ales celebrating the “haze craze.” Unlike most San Diego IPAs, they are unfiltered, leaving odoriferous polyphenols in suspension. That makes for hoppily wholesome beers delivering overwhelming botanical flavors and aromas driving home each edition’s unique hop characteristics. Juicy doesn’t even begin to describe these fruit-forward wonders.
Abnormal Beer Company (at The Cork & Craft), 16990 Via Tazon, Rancho Bernardo, abnormalbeer.com
Burgeon Mixed Greens Double IPA
Although devoid of health benefits, this series of imperial hop-bombs is so green in its taste and bouquet, it could be mistaken as the ale equivalent of a wellness shot. Six hop additions (which change every time this beer gets brewed for variety) ranging from the brew kettle to the fermentation tanks lend myriad fruity, tropical, grassy, piney, earthy and even winey flavors to this slightly sweet, impressively drinkable beer; a staple of this recent addition to the Carlsbad suds scene.
Burgeon Beer Company, 6350 Yarrow Drive, Suite C, Carlsbad, burgeonbeer.com
Coming to a head: What’s new in brew or coming soon
Indian Joe Brewing Company
For two years, Luiseño tribesman Max Moran brewed seven days a week on a tiny system and, somehow, built one of the biggest cult followings of the dozen or so breweries in suds-saturated Vista. Then a dispute with his landlord forced him to hit the pause button and look for a new home. In doing so, Moran decided to up his operation dramatically, buying a much bigger brewhouse and installing it in a sprawling facility with a two-story, indoor-outdoor tasting room with a flat-out humongous flat-screen TV, proving that change can be a very good thing.
2123 Industrial Court, Vista, indianjoebrewing.com
Wild Barrel Brewing Company
For the better part of a decade, Bill Sysak served as an ambassador of all-things-ale for Stone Brewing, but late last year he and fellow Stone expat Bill Sobieski started work on their own project, a San Marcos-based brewery that will primarily celebrate hoppy beers while getting straight to work on a barrel-aging program. Also percolating away is a series of stouts that will be infused with coffee extracted from a variety of java-roasters hailing from all across San Diego County. That should fit the Bill (both of them) quite nicely!
692 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos
Let’s go to the hops: February beer events
Feb. 11 | Brewbies Craft Beer Festival: Adding to the appeal of supporting cancer charity, the Keep-A-Breast Foundation, are unique pink beers produced by dozens of SoCal breweries just for this fête, making this one of the best local beer events of the entire year.
Bagby Beer Company, 601 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside, 1 p.m., brewbies.org
Feb. 18 | Winter Brew Fest: Before the weather can fully return to its perpetual state of sunny and 75, close out the “cold season” with beers and atmosphere that can both be described as hardy and heartwarming at this annual festival in the heart of Balboa Park.
San Diego Hall of Champions, 2131 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park; 6 p.m. (VIP), 7 p.m. (general admission), sandiegobrewfest.com