Posts Tagged east village

Country Charm in the City

Half Door pano_insideLocated in San Diego’s East Village a block from Petco Park was an old two-story white farmhouse with a wraparound porch. At first, visitors might not think they could walk in here to find a bar backed by a rather impressive liquor cabinet display, were it not for the discreet Half Door Brewing Co. sign hanging from the clapboard side of the building. The brewery is apparently patterned after the rural farmhouses found all over Ireland. This place had a very cool charm about it, from the long porch to the homelike feel seated in a residential neighborhood.

Walking inside, I was struck by the colorful wallpaper covering above dark gray beadboard on every wall, interrupted only occasionally by small black and white photos and old-looking lamps and sconces. The beams in the white plaster ceiling reminded me of Tudor style architecture and the floors were herringbone-patterned wood. To the right after walking in what felt like the back door, was the two-sided bar surrounded by small black and white tile. As I mentioned above, the liquor cabinet behind the bar was impressive, reaching clear to the ceiling. To the left of the bar and on the other side of the room were mostly high top cocktail tables and chairs by the small but plentiful windows.

This was an unusual place to grab a drink, but definitely worth a return trip.Half Door_collage

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Mission Accomplished

Mission TapsI finally got the chance to visit Mission Brewery in San Diego. I have meant to steer myself there for a while now, but for one reason or another, never have until now. This was an old brick building in San Diego’s East Village that used to be a Wonder Bread factory next to Petco Park. The surrounding area was a little…let’s call it unsavory, with lots of homeless in residence along most of the sidewalks and some trash blowing around, but the brewery was nice. Mission Brewing_outsideAs I mentioned, it was all brick and cement on the outside, complete with cracks and debris, all which served its old-world feel. Inside was more brick walls and cement floor, but the ceiling was an impressive display of wood that very much resembled a ship’s hull. Indeed, the bar to the right was made of wood that looked as though it was pulled straight from the deck of a galleon. To the left were tasting tables made fromChandeliers old barrels, along with longer regular tables, both hi-top and low. Also to the left was the brewing area, with a tasting counter surrounding two edges of it. No employees manned the counter and I saw no taps, so I thought it odd. The whole brewing area was unlit, apparently the case when not in use. From the ceiling above hung wrought iron chandeliers that I swore were right out of a European castle somewhere. There were also two shuffleboard tables with lots of rowdy patrons around them and a merchandise shop at the back. Root Beer and Imp RedNever one to waste an opportunity to taste, I got two: the Mission Hard Root Beer and Gentleman Grant Imperial Red Aged in Manhattan Whiskey Barrels with Cherries (a mouthful, but that’s the actual name.) Mission Hard Root Beer (7.5% abv): This poured like, well, root beer, dark brown with large brown head. The smell was only of root beer. The taste was boozy, with a little licorice. The root beer taste was definitely present, but the vodka-like punch of this one was a bit distracting. I found the whole drink a bit astringent.

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The Imperial Red (8.5% abv) was a treat. It poured deep orange-red with not much carbonation and thin white head. Aromas were mild, with hints of cherry and malt, but no whiskey. There was definite cherry flavor up front, with a little malt sweetness and then the whiskey kick in the middle. Medium bodied and lightly carbonated, it finished with some cherry sweetness and a touch of whiskey trailing. Though there were not many elements to this, I enjoyed its subtlety.

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I finished up with a coffee drink, the Dark Seas Russian Imperial Stout with Espresso (9.8% abv). This oneDark Seas RIS poured black with dark brown head that reminded me of root beer. Heavy aromas of coffee and roasted malts. The taste was all coffee up front with some dark roasted malts underneath. With a medium-thick body, the middle was strong and boozy, lightening up a bit to mostly mild coffee on the finish. Another dynamic beer with few flavors.

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This brewery is definitely worth a visit. Plus, as is the trend in San Diego, they have a food truck show up every day out front.

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