Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A TRIP TO THE LA JOLLA BREW HOUSE

There’s a sinister combination of forces in play that keep me from experiencing the bounty of San Diego beer every time I’m down there – and I’m there often to visit my in-laws and my sister. Combine the lack of a car (huge), the lack of a beer-drinking wife (huge), and a schedule that is generally set by people other than myself (huge), and, well, I’m looking for beer-drinking kicks where I can find them. Earlier in the year I told you about my trip to THE TAP ROOM (man, that was a fun post to write). This time, this past weekend, I was able to coax my brother-in-law to head basically down the street from his parents’ place to THE LA JOLLA BREW HOUSE, in La Jolla, CA, naturally.

I’ve been here at least three times before, but never since the dawn of Hedonist Beer Jive, so I’ve been unable to give you my patented, unique and quirky “take” on the place. Ah, but now I can. I have heard that the LA JOLLA BREW HOUSE has somewhat recently come under new ownership, and to that end, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they have 5 or 6 house beers, but they left open about 6 taps for guest beers. Not a bad selection, either. It has been a while since I’ve seen the outstanding AVERY/RUSSIAN RIVER team-up beer COLLABORATION, NOT LITIGATION on tap, so that was a natural first one for me to reach for. As I expected here in San Diego - the nadir of culture, taste & refined comportment here on the west coast - they served this exquisite Belgian-style ale in a Bud Light pint glass. Nice! They also took about five minutes getting the thing to me, as the barkeep was apparently very confused about the dense, foamy head on this beer. I had the feeling that this beer was being outsold by “blonde ale” and “beach-style lager” by about 5,000-to-1. Anyway, it is absolutely fantastic beer no matter how it’s poured for ya, and I heartily endorse it and applaud this place for bringing it in.

Next, I moved on to a couple of house beers. Their 9.5% DOUBLE IPA was said to be made “in the San Diego style”. If that means like Stone, Port, Alesmith, Ballast Point and whatnot – well, count me in. And you know what? It was really good. Very hoppy, with a distinct tingling buzz with every gulp. A little vanilla perhaps, compared to other monsters it’s competing with, but it didn’t stop me from liking it quite a bit. And did it EVER deliver a knockout blow. Wow. Served in a pint glass as well; after I finished this one I was all ready to start shouting and slurring about politics, sports and lingering family problems. Good times! 7/10.

I followed it up with a half pint of the La Jolla Brew House’s KAHLUA STOUT. Very coffee-heavy – far more coffee than stout, actually. Easy drinking, if a little too coffee bean-roasty in the aftertaste, but a pretty dangerous 7.5% piled on after my big Belgian-style ale and my whopping double IPA. I rated this one a somewhat marginal 5.5/10, and called it a night. Good atmosphere (watched some laugh-happy folks play a Wii to a big screen, as well as caught a little NHL hockey), good beer selection and definitely the best thing going in La Jolla. I'll make it to Pizza Port, Hamilton's and The Toronado someday.

1 comment:

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