Tag Archives: brewery

King of Craft Breweries

We already covered Harpoon Brewery in Boston, but the largest craft brewery in the United States is also there is also in Boston.

I’m coming, Sammy!

Growing hops on their patio.

Look at all the awards they’ve won.

We love beer!

I’ve got a golden ticket!

The original copper kettles and the newer stainless steel ones as well.

Utopia barrels. 27% alcohol by volume. That girl was stationed there just to keep me from getting a taste.

Tasting room.

Educational and delicious.

The Sam Adams Brewery in Boston really isn’t used for commercial production other than the Utopia line. It’s more of a laboratory to create and perfect their brews and a classroom to educate and indoctrinate visitors to the cult of craft brew. The great thing is the tour is free and you get to keep the tasting glass. They have a shuttle that takes people to a local pub that serves Sam Adams in the Perfect Pour glass and let’s you take it home for $5.50! Every college kid in the Boston area should visit this place at least once.

San Diego Beer Tour: Day 3

Sunday morning we woke up and wondered why  brewery tasting rooms don’t open sooner. Noon seems kind of late to start drinking beer.

Also, we kept missing the free beer.

Stone is number eleven in craft breweries in the United States, and it was one of the places we had to stop. Being so large means they have the finances to build themselves a facility outside of the industrial parks, which includes its own restaurant.

They have a great restaurant that people come to eat, not even to partake of the beer necessarily.

You can tell a lot of work and detail went into making this facility. Of course, lots of stone is used in the construction.

They have a great outdoor patio with its own bar.

Their beer selection on tap is fantastic, including a lot of beers from other breweries. Knowing I would drink plenty of Stone beers, I opted to start with Russian River’s Pliny the Elder.

BBQ Pork Sandwich.

Prime Rib Melt.

Beer Float, featuring Stone Smoked Porter and Niederfranks Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. Both of these stand on their own, but when put together you get something very magical.

We took the tour of the brewery, which starts with propaganda about making good beer and walks you through the manufacturing lines.

If you drink four pints a day from the big fermentation tanks, it would take you sixty five years to finish the tank. That’s close to 12,000 gallons of beer. I’ll just stick to a small tank of beer, thanks.

Unfortunately all these kegs and bottles are empties.

Some goodies to take home. Stone is currently working on building a hotel behind their brewery. I guess people love their beer so much they travel just to get a taste. It’ll be Beer Disneyland!

Port Brewing/Lost Abbey had my favorite tasting room.  This location is actually Stone’s old facility. Although it was in an industrial park like the rest, they put together lots of space for people to sit down and enjoy their beers while watching a Chargers game.

More goodies to take home with us.

The final brewery on our beercation before we returned to our regular lives was Iron Fist. Another small brewery in an industrial park, they had customers drawing on butcher paper and designing their walls. I really like how locals come to these tasting rooms like they would a local watering hole.

Some of Iron Fist’s beers. Hired Hand, Golden Age, Dubbel Fisted, Trippel Fisted.

Totally off topic, but Iron Fist’s head brewer, Brandon looks like he could be the lovechild of Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter. It’s like the “If They Mated” sketch backfired on The Conan Show.

The day’s bounty: Port Brewing’s Wipeout IPA. Two bottles of Lost Abbey’s Judgement Day and a bottle of Ten Commandments. Bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale, Self-Righteous, Belgo Anise, Cali-Belgique IPA, and two bottles of Stone’s Imperial Black IPA. Two bottles of Iron Fists’s Dubbel Fisted and a Renegade Blonde.

Day three was the close of the brewery tour trip, and I have to say it was quite enjoyable. I really enjoy the beer scene down south. They understand that good beer is about more than just inebriation. It’s about community. Sharing a beer next to a total stranger didn’t seem strange at all. It was familiar and comfortable. I like that.

Drinking beer as a marathon activity and hopping from brewery to brewery is very tough. First, you have to stay sober enough to drive. Safety first. Even while staying sober it’s hard to keep up when the beer makes you so full. I have to think that if I were a few years younger, I also wouldn’t have needed the naps. Still, it’s totally worth it. Life’s too short to drink bad beer.

San Diego Beer Tour: Day 2

The next morning we woke up ready for a day full of beer.

First stop, Green Flash! Look at Green Flash, all corporate with a glass front on its new building.

Green Flash has lots of room to grow into their new digs.

Even their tasting room setup gives plenty of space for visitors. There is a whole patio outside, where you can catch some rays while enjoying your beer.

Starting with one of my favorites, Le Freak.

Trippel, Summer Saison, Hop Head Red, and Double Stout.

I absolutely love that all these breweries are in industrial parks. AleSmith looks like it could be a retail store.

I don’t have very many pictures of AleSmith for some reason. I do recall enjoying their brews and that these women were looking at a dog.

Back to Hess Brewing for a pit stop. We couldn’t buy the growler Tim wanted the day before because of their special event. Another nitrogen pour of Ex Umbris and we were on our way.

Tim wanted to drive to the next spot, but I thought he might draw too much attention to himself with the Hess flag flying behind the all terrain golf cart.

The next stop was Ballast Point. While I enjoy their beers, this was my least favorite tasting room only because it was much too small. Even AleSmith’s tasting room was larger than this.

That still didn’t stop us from picking up a few drinks. This is a beer trip, right? Big Eye IPA, Marlin Porter, Sculpin IPA, and Amber Ale.

After finishing up we realized we should probably eat something, so we went with a friend’s recommendation of Lorna’s Italian Kitchen. He said it was the standard by which he compares all other Italian food. We showed up and were quite skeptical when we saw the address was in a strip mall, but we were too tired to look for something else. I don’t know if I would call this a measuring stick for Italian food, but it was very good.

Vegetable Soup. Nice hint of spiciness in this cup of soup.

Meat Lasagna. Cheesy goodness.

Linguini with Clams. This actually reminds me of some of the pasta I ate when I was in Italy.

Lunch was followed by one of the best naps I’ve ever had. We woke up trying to figure out if we could catch the Mayweather/Ortiz fight anywhere, but we just ended up at Oggi’s because all my beer drinking called for some wings.

I enjoy comfort food so much more when I drink beer. That only compounds the calories we drank earlier in the day.

Of course there were hot wings. The wings were decent, and the heat slowly built up, one wing after the other.

What better way to cool down the fire than with a pint of McGarvey’s Scottish Ale. Remember what they say. If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!

The day’s bounty: Bottle of Green Flash’s Le Freak. Growler of Hess’ Ex Umbris. Bottle of AleSmith’s Grand Cru, IPA, and Wee Heavy. Bottle of Ballast Point’s Sculpin IPA.

Anaheim Brewery

On Saturday I headed out to Orange County to check out the newly opened Anaheim Brewery.

For some reason they had classic cars on their lot. If you’re going to have a few beers and hit the road, it might as well be a classic, right?

Anaheim Brewery currently has four beers on tap and one they were serving out of gravity drained kegs. Gold Ale, Hef, Red Ale, the 1888, and their Pale Ale.

The place was pretty packed. That window on the left side of this picture shows another room they’re still building out. It looks to be a dining area.

If you sit at the bar you can look through the windows and see their brewing setup. Fun fact: They use steam as their heating source here. That’s a lot less common in micro breweries.

Currently I wouldn’t recommend making a trip to Anaheim Brewery unless you’re already in the area. I wasn’t really impressed by any of their beers except for The 1888. While I’m still learning about beer, the Hef and the Red feel like they could sit in their kegs a bit longer. Maybe it was just a rush to get to opening day. I will probably come back here after the initial rush has died down and try their beers again.

I would be very pleased to come back to find that my initial observations about their beers were wrong. We could all use a little more local craft beer.

Like Heaven But With More Inebriation

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Cases up top. Kegs on the bottom.

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Cans on the conveyor belts. They get congested at the corners. That’s your best bet to snag one.

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If I fall through, do not try to save me. Just let me go.