Posts Tagged Pacific

Oasis in the East

Pacific Islander collageDriving through the Mad Max-style scenery of Santee, there was a small oasis called Pacific Islander Brewing. It had a great Polynesian surfing theme. The outside was adorned with Polynesian ceremonial masks and lifeguard chairs, with AstroTurf and large tile. Inside was a standard tasting room, complete with a long tasting table and lots of concrete. There were also surfboards hung on all of the walls.

Of course, I got a flight, on accouna I had never been before. First was a Li’ke Li’ke (6% abv): It poured rich golden-yellow with tiny bubbles and almost no head. It smelled somewhat skunky and a little cheap (like Miller or Budweiser). The taste was as mild as expected, with only a small amount of hoppiness and little else to distinguish it. All in all an underwhelming start.

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Next was the Duty Free IPA (7% abv): The second beer poured deep clear orange with just as few bubbles as the blond and only slightly more head. Aromas were super floral, with a bit of tropical fruit after. The taste was hoppy at first, with rich fruit flavors that included mango, a touch of coconut and maybe pineapple. Mild into the middle, it was light bodied, lightly carbonated and finished smooth and fruity.

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Pacific Islander flightThird up was a red that wasn’t on the menu (no name or abv given). The pour was dark red with bright white foam on top. Aromas included heavy malty sweetness and a little sourness. It tasted rich and sweet, with a little brown sugar into the middle. Mild and rich, it had medium body and light carbonation. The finish was malty and sweet. This was their best beer on offer that particular day.

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Fourth, was the Tahitian Brown (5.8% abv): This one poured a deep, dark chocolate color, with bright white head. It smelled of coffee, chocolate and malts. The first thing I tasted was coffee, followed by the chocolate and malty sweetness. Mild, lightly carbonated and light body, it finished smooth and rich, with the bitter chocolate trailing.

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Last was the Stink Eye Chocolate Stout (7.1% abv): The last one poured almost black, with thick, sticky tan head. It smelled like rich, bittersweet chocolate and a little boozy. The taste was unexpected: it included a chile flavor and a little vegetal bitterness. There was also a touch of pepper. The middle was heavy and equally rich. Lightly carbonated and heavy body, it finished heavy and sticky.

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Let the Party Continue!

IMG_3628I decided Pacific Brewing Co. deserved another visit, as I only tried two of their offerings before. This time I opted for a flight to get a good idea of their range of brews. From left to right in the image above, I started with the Cruiser Pale (5.4% abv). It poured a cloudy dark golden color. Effervescent, it gave off sugary aromas with some maltiness and citrus, as well. It tasted creamy, with the maltiness up front. Nice carbonation toward the middle, which helped to break up the light-medium body. It finished mild, somewhat sour and tart, with the malts trailing. A really dynamic beer for a pale ale:

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Next was the Simma Down Brown (5.8% abv). This one poured dark brown, almost black, with smooth off white head. Coffee and chocolate aromas came off the top, with some roasted malts. I tasted mostly coffee at first. Some fizziness took me to the middle of the drink, where some semi-bitter chocolate came through. Medium bodied, it finished with straight coffee the rest of the way. Not too dynamic, but I enjoyed the coffee flavor, which was more mild than most of the other coffee beers I have tried.

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Next up was the Hernandez Pale (6% abv). This beer poured a rich golden color, with small, fizzy bubbles. It smelled exclusively hoppy and floral. The taste was mild up front, somewhat creamy and hoppy. These flavors continued to the middle, with only the hoppiness persisting through the finish.

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Saving the biggest one for last, I tried the creatively named Wallaby Hunter IIPA (8.2%): It poured a pale effervescent yellow with tiny bubbles and creamy white head. Floral aromas at the front of the glass and malty toward the back (I recently read an article suggesting smelling from different parts of the glass, distances from the glass, etc.) Malty and hoppy in equal measure at the first taste. Then it transitioned to creamy into the middle. Mild and light-medium bodied, it finished somewhat boozy and creamy. Nice dynamic way to finish off this flight:

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Party on the Pacific

Pacific Brewing PanoWell, party IN the Pacific…Brewing Co. that is. Another Mira Mesa industrial office park brewery, Pacific Brewing is a small place in a mostly off-the-main-drag area of Mira Mesa.  It has a very nonchalant surfer vibe, minus the cheesy surf music that many usually associate with such a vibe. I was thankful for that. They sort of do what they can with the space they have, with brewing tanks along the left wall- one of them still on the pallet because they haven’t the equipment to take it off said pallet- two small cocktail/patio tables with stools between the tanks and the fairly impressive tasting bar to the right. They even have menus from which to order sushi from a place that delivers right to the table inside the brewery! It’s a great system.

Sticky Icky Strong AleWith seven beers on tap, it was hard to choose. Per my usual M.O., I settled on the most questionably named, the Sticky Icky Strong Ale. It poured a deep amber color with a thin layer of fizzy white head. Malty aromas defined the smell, with some dark fruit and a little tartness to keep things interesting. On the taste, there was not much carbonation, so I noticed the thick mouthfeel right away. Heavy malts dominated up front without much else coming through. Some bitterness through the middle broke that up a bit and helped it finish dry with a little less maltiness lingering.

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Golden Coast BlondeSince I usually do things out of order, I next went for a lighter beer with the Golden Coast Blonde Ale. This one poured a rich gold color with big, loose bubbles that made for sudsy head that streaked down the glass. It smelled ‘beery’, with slight skunkiness, though not enough to be unpleasant. There were also some fresh fruit aromas to help keep things appetizing. The taste was anything but skunky- light and bright, with some fruitiness and a little malt underneath. Light carbonation and mild through the middle, it finished equally as mild, with the beeriness and malts returning. I liked this one.

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This is a great little startup brewery and I wish these guys a lot of success!

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