So Happy I live in San Diego
Just stumbled on this site, and thought I'd share my happiness and pure luck of having SD as my home town - Stone, Alexmith, Alpine, Pizza Port, Green Flash, etc. are always available and often on on tap at choice places (Liars' Club). Ballast Point is right down the street from me, and their Sculpin Ale is wonderful.
Just took a trip to Marin County and enjoyed several varieties of my favorites from the north: Bear Republic, Lagunitas (horay, Maximus) and Anderson Valley (brought home a bottle of Brother David's Triple!). I think Sierra Nevada is the best mass-distributed beer.
This is the best time to be a beer drinker!
The WC style IPA is making its way east - finally. Southern Tier (NY) is making a tasty IPA in the WC style. On a recent trip to VT, The Shed and American Flatbread brewpubs both had WC IPA's on tap that reminded me of those I drank in Seattle and Portland. And although not WC style, local breweries like Smuttynose and Ipswich are using more hops in their IPA's compared to other EC breweries. Even Maine (home of Ringwood yeast and malty beers) has a couple of breweries making double IPA's now (although not WC style).
And of course, plenty of hopped up styles are being produced in my kitchen and basement. Even my summer beers are plenty hoppy.
I'll have to try O'Briens - I'm typically oriented more toward the beach, but Convoy isn't far. I've seen British beer-tour groups in Liar's Club before swimming in West Coast IPAs. These beers really ruin a lot of other beers for me - once you go with the hops, its hard to really enjoy anything else. Sure, mexican beers have their place on a warm afternoon with a lime, and I enjoy a good Hefe with a lemon in the afternoon - but I've had some British style IPAs lately and they just seemed bland. Will the style migrate to the East Coast or even the UK & Europe? Or do we just have it good out here along the Pacific?
I went to Stone's 8th Anniversary. It was kind of a cluster. However with the new brewery I think this next one should be pretty cool. It's a fun event, but the lines get insane. I vowed never to return after the 8th.
Pliny is one of my favorites, though I also love Pure Hoppiness. And his bottle selection is incredible.
If you make it to Holiday Wine Cellar, word of advice - either bring a lot of money, or set a personal spending limit. They have so much stuff it's easy to drop $70 or more without even thinking about it.
I used to be a regular at Liars' Club, but have switched over to O'Brien's, it's closer to my house and it's not quite so loud. San Diego is indeed one of the best places to be a beer fan.
Both of you guys should make it a point to check out Holiday Wine Cellar up in Escondido, if you haven't already. They have stuff that you won't find anywhere else.
I moved to SD from NY about a year and a half ago and as a beer drinker i couldnt be happier. This is truly one of the best places to live as a beer drinker. When Stone and Anderson Valley are my everyday beers life is good. They also are fresh and relatively inexpensive. Going back to NYC next year will be tough on my beer drinking.