Posts Tagged nut brown
The North Park neighborhood in San Diego is home to a ton of cool shops, eateries and breweries. One brewery that had a tasting room in North Park was Rip Current Brewing. Based a little less than an hour north in San Marcos, their tasting room was a small corner shop with roll up doors on either side of a very small entry door. A long tasting bar ran the length of the place with both low- and high-top tasting tables scattered at both ends. There was a kitchen with an order window at the back behind the tables. Unfinished wood behind and underneath the bar helped carry the beachy/driftwood theme of the place. The walls were covered with a beach mural, with a display case on one wall containing vintage beer cans. The counters facing out of the roll up doors to the street had cool neon blue accent lights underneath.
It being the Christmas season and I never being one to spoil an opportunity to get into it, I decided to try a flight of dark, roasty beers I thought would warm me up on a cool night. I ordered four and they came in a plastic surfboard-shaped holder. First up was the Palomar Chocolate Porter on Nitro (6% abv): This poured a deep, dark crimson-brown color with thick off white head. It smelled chocolaty and rich. The taste was mild at first, with some chocolate coming through. There was a tiny bit of smokiness that surprised me. It was light into the middle. Light-bodied and lightly carbonated, it finished smooth and light with a hint of bittersweet chocolate. Good, but a little underwhelming.
Next I tried the Barrier Reef Nut Brown (5% abv): It poured rich amber in color with barely any head, but what there was stuck to the glass. It smelled malty sweet, with a touch of barley and lots of roasted malt aromas. The taste was mild and malty. There was a little bit of bitterness, but the malts completely buried it. The middle was light-medium, with light carbonation. It finished light-medium with the same heavy dose of roasted malts.
Then came the Deep Crimson Imperial Rye Red (8.3% abv): This one poured bright amber-red in color with persistent white head. It smelled somewhat sour and bitter with only a little maltiness. The taste was malty and slightly sour at first. Light carbonation kicked in toward the middle, which was malty and bitter. Medium body lead to a light finish with the sourness returning.
Last, I tried the Delaminator Smoked Doppelbock (7.8% abv): It poured dark brown with tan head that left moderate lacing on the glass. It definitely smelled smoky, though not overpoweringly so. There were also malty, chocolate and molasses aromas. It tasted boozy, malty and a little sweet. Some of the malt flavor turned to roasted malt flavor toward the middle. Light in both carbonation and body, it finished sweet, warm and malty. Even though I don’t normally care for sweeter beers, this s just what I needed to end my night.
You might notice that I skipped Day 3 of The Best Week Ever. Well, it turns out I was not able to be as exuberant in my celebrating as perhaps I wanted to be and stayed in on Sunday. This caused me no grief, however, as I needed a rest. This gave me the stamina I needed to make a go of Day 4 of SDBW2014 and it went thus:
I went back to newest brewery find near me, San Diego Brewing Co., as I had a blast there on Day 1 (and any other time I have been there). As an added bonus, it was Monday Night Football and happy hour: the trifecta in my book. I just had to come back for my beer week celebration.
This place is in a pretty nondescript strip mall in an area of San Diego called Grantville. I have been told that the powers that be want to build Grantville up into a brewery mecca, but this is the only place anyone would know about. The other two are nano-breweries Benchmark and Groundswell. SD Brewing is easily the most recognizable, as it sits on a thoroughfare that runs through what could be considered Grantville’s “downtown,” though it is far too small an area to warrant its own downtown.
Walking in, I was immediately taken in by the openness of the layout, mostly because it is all one big room. Straight ahead is the bar and the dining area is to the right. To the left of the door is the brewery, all behind glass to keep things separate (and quieter, I imagine). It also has a small arcade, with a pinball machine and a couple of other games. Other than that, the abundance of TVs are what I noticed right away. This is definitely not a sports bar, but it is a great place to catch a game. The wait staff and bartenders are super friendly and mostly attendant, though they have only ever had one person tending a rather large bar, which has resulted in some waiting. Nothing that kept me from coming back, obviously. Enough blather– onto the libations!
I always start with proprietary beers, so I got a Decoaster Belgo Pale. This one poured like a darker version of the Blonde I had previously, with a rich golden color, light carbonation and brief head. It smelled light, only slightly sour and had a bit of maltiness. I expected much more sourness from a Belgian, but I did not complain. The taste was very smooth, with sourness up front and the maltiness persisting throughout. These were really the only two flavors coming from this beer, with the malty smoothness lasting through the finish and some slight sourness lingering afterward. A good, if very simple beer.
After the first quarter of the football game I was watching ended, I ordered their Old Town Nut Brown. This seemed like a great choice for the sliders I already knew I was going to have when I walked in the door. This one poured very dark brown-red, with slightly tan, thinnish head. There was virtually no aroma, with only a slight sweetness from the roasted malts. It tasted very smooth, with lots of toasty malt flavor and sweetness. These flavors also persisted through the finish.
These were very simple beers, mainly owing to SD Brewing’s philosophy of using only the simplest ingredients. If you like more complexity and/or hoppiness in your beer, they have plenty of others to choose from, but if all you are looking for is a relaxing good time, this is definitely the place.