Best Beers in San Diego. . .
After reading an article in the LA Times today about sour beers (with major props to Lost Alley's Tomme Arthur), I got to thinking. Which of our local breweries make the best beers. Now, because beer is a wonderfully complex thing, there's no way to compare on beer with another on the same level. So instead, let's compare beer styles.
Best IPA (double or "San Diego" IPA included)
Best Pale Ale
Best Belgian-style Beer
Best "Gonzo" Beer (that is, a beer that's incomparable to anything else, like Oerbier or Arrogant Bastard)
Other Categories as you come up with them.
As much as I like the beers Naven listed, I have to respectfully disagree, only in the sense that I don't think there are any bests for those categories.
IMO, Stone, AleSmith, GreenFlash, Port, and Alpine all make equally top-tier IPAs. I couldn't pick a favorite out of that bunch, they're all so good.
I do agree though that Lost Abbey's Angel's Share is one of the best barleywines I've tasted.
the problem here is some of these great breweries make several IPAs, most (if not all) of them exquisite. Choosing between Big Eye and Sculpin? Ouch! Pizza Port locations usually have 2-3 of their own IPAs on tap. My opinion is: who cares what the best is? Be happy with such an extraordinary local scene.
Best beers in San Diego - i'll give a swing at it:
Best IPA (double or "San Diego" IPA included) - Alesmith IPA & Green Flash West Coast (tie)
Best Pale Ale - Alpine Ale
Best Lager - Lightening Thunderweizen
Best Belgian-style Beer - Lost Abbey Judgment Day
Best "Gonzo" Beer (that is, a beer that's incomparable to anything else, like Oerbier or Arrogant Bastard) - Port Cuvee De Tomme
Best Barleywine - Lost Abbey the Angels Share
A couple to add:
Best dark beer - Alesmith Speedway Stout
Best Scotch ale - Alesmith Wee Heavy
Speaking of Ballast Point, they're doing a big event on Saturday in Scripps Ranch.
Their sour beers are actually quite good. Hopefully more people check them out.
Ballast Point 11th Anniversary Celebration this Saturday October 20th 2007!
Ballast Point Brewing Company would like to invite all of our friends and loyal customers to our 10th Anniversary Celebration Saturday October 20th, 2007 from1 pm to 5 pm. Our brewers have been working on quite a few specialty beers for this event which include:
Piper Down Scottish Ale
Tongue Buckler Double Red
Sea Monster American Stout,Bourbon Barrel Nitro
Black Marlin, Bourbon Barrel Nitro
Fathom India Pale Lager
Even Keel San Diego Session Ale
Dorado Double India Pale Ale
Longfin Helles Lager
Schooner Wet Hop Ale
Sculpin India Pale Ale
Victory at Sea Imperial Porter with Coffee, Syrah Barrel
Navigator Doppelbock, Syrah Barrel
Sour Wench Blackberry Ale
Yellowtail Pale Ale
Calico Amber Ale
Wahoo Wheat Ale
Big Eye India Pale Ale
Black Marlin Porter
Three Sheets Barley Wine 2006
Three Sheets Barley Wine Blend 1996 and 2006
Hout Series Sour Cherry Ale
Wet Hop Longfin
Interesting article. There are a couple of errors in the writing, for example gueuze *is* lambic, the two aren't different styles. Also Belgium isn't the only place for sour beer, Germany also has such a tradition.
Still, it's good to see Russian River and Lost Abbey getting more press. Those are two of the best breweries in the US. As far as I'm concerned, Russian River makes Belgian-style ales that surpass many of the originals.