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Alpine Brewpub

d
DougOLis Aug 30, 2010 11:49 PM

I think by now everyone pretty much recognizes that Alpine Beer Company is one of the best breweries in San Diego (if not the country) and arguably the best for hoppy beers, but it's looking like they might become the best place to get real barbecue in San Diego as well. I've only been there once and only ordered one item so far, so I guess it has to be taken with a grain of salt but it was by far the best pulled pork sandwich I've had in San Diego. The pork was smoked and cooked perfectly, the coleslaw on the sandwich was good, a nicely toasted bun, and if I have one complaint it's that there was a bit more sauce on the sandwich (not the meat by itself though) than I normally like. I typically prefer vinegar sauces too but I guess that's not their style. The side of onion rings were quite good as well and fried perfectly.

To top that off you get to partake in some excellent brews while eating so it's hard to beat. I personally had a 2005 Great, Ned Flanders, Exponential Hoppiness, and a Hoppy Birthday.

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Alpine Beer Company
2351 Alpine Blvd, Alpine, CA 91901

  1. s
    steveprez Aug 31, 2010 06:18 AM

    Thanks for the review! I haven't been to the brewpub yet but had an O'Brien's IPA at BLAH this weekend. It was a tremendous beer.

    Can you say more about the BBQ style? Hot smoked? grilled?

    1 Reply
    1. re: steveprez
      d
      DougOLis Aug 31, 2010 09:13 AM

      Yes, it is hot smoked and I believe it's Memphis style (their chef relocated from Memphis). I'm not sure what type of wood they're using or how long of a smoke though.

    2. o
      oerdin Aug 31, 2010 11:06 AM

      I love Micro Brews and have been on tour to most of the better known places in the state and virtually all of them in San Diego but I've yet you're the first person I've heard say Alpine Brewing Co was the best brewery in SD. Honestly, I'd put Alesmith, Lost Abbey, and Stone way ahead of Alpine Brewing Co and would even put Ballast Point (which I think is only an above average micro brewery) ahead of Alpine.

      I would be interested in trying their BBQ though.

      20 Replies
      1. re: oerdin
        menuinprogress Aug 31, 2010 11:50 AM

        I completely agree with what DougOLis said, so you can count me as the second person you've heard say that :-)

        Depends what you like to drink, though. If you aren't an IPA fan, Alpine isn't going to be as interesting to you (although they have been branching out more, lately).

        1. re: menuinprogress
          e
          Ewilensky Aug 31, 2010 12:17 PM

          Nelson = Best. Beer. Ever.

          Pure Hoppiness = Second. Best. Beer. Ever.

          Exponential Hoppiness = Third. Best. Beer. Ever.

          Duet = You get the picture.

          I'll go to the mat and be the third to say Alpine is the best Brewery in San Diego. Lost Abbey makes wonderful Belgian style beers but I'm a hop head...

          So, the Brewpub is open now? Awesome. Last time I was up there on the way to Big Cat Cabin they were finishing up the little things.

          -----
          The Lost Abbey
          155 Mata Way Suite 104, San Marcos, CA

          1. re: Ewilensky
            s
            SeanT Sep 4, 2010 01:32 PM

            Oh how I love duet. Alpine in my opine is a top three brewery in SD if you are an IPA fan. The other two are PPOrt (poor man's, wipeout, que onda), Ballast point(sculpin).

            Stone seems to have forgotten to put hops in their ipas as of late.

          2. re: menuinprogress
            Josh Aug 31, 2010 12:19 PM

            Mandarin Nectar, Alpine Ale, Captain Stout, Willy, and McIlhenny's Irish Red are all great beers made by Alpine that aren't IPAs, and have been produced there for many years.

            1. re: Josh
              r
              RB Hound Aug 31, 2010 12:37 PM

              Does Alpine have any plans to increase production and/or distribution? They don't seem to have bottles anywhere in La Jolla, UTC, Clairemont, or Mira Mesa (my hood). I realize that moving into that area would require doing business with the evil BevMo, Whole Foods, or Bristol Farms, but such is life.

              1. re: RB Hound
                menuinprogress Aug 31, 2010 02:08 PM

                Alpine actually did increase production not that long ago. Before that, it was a rare happy sight to find it on tap. Now, most good beer bars have Alpine offerings on a semi-regular basis.

                Bottling is another story, though. I don't what kind of setup they have, but I don't think they bottle enough to get any significant distribution.

                1. re: RB Hound
                  c
                  cookieshoes Aug 31, 2010 10:21 PM

                  Alpine is carried at Mesa Liquors on Convoy, across from Yakyudori Ramen, which is arguably the finest beer supply in all of San Diego. Across the board, they have better prices than anybody, including the Best Damn Beer shop downtown. Also, they have a happy hour when everything in the store is 10% off. I only just discovered them a few weeks ago, after enjoying some ramen across the street.

                  Last I was there, they had three cases of Duet next to the register, all going for $6.99 per bottle or $12.99 for two. They also carry Blind Pid, Pliny, Sculpin, etc.

                  And I'm also one of those who thinks that Alpine are the best brewery in San Diego. Port brewing is my second. In both Alpine and Port's cases, the bottles of their brews simply do not compare to the fresh-off-the-tap quality of the same brews from the source. O'Briens is great for Pure Hoppiness or Exponential on tap, but the flavor and bite of the same brews when had at the brewery can be like night and day. Same goes for having Wipeout at Carlsbad Pizza Port vs trying the same beer in a bottle.

                  Looking forward to trying out the brewpub!

                2. re: Josh
                  menuinprogress Aug 31, 2010 12:39 PM

                  True, but none of those beers (save perhaps Captain Stout) would even be mentioned in a discussion of why Alpine is a world-class brewery.

                  1. re: menuinprogress
                    Josh Aug 31, 2010 12:44 PM

                    I guess it depends on how you define "world class". Captain Stout is a very well-made stout, one that'd compare favorably to any stout out there. Some of their other beers that I didn't list, like the sour brown Ichabod Pumpkin ale and the Chez Monieux, are definitely great beers that any brewery would be proud to produce.

                    It's to San Diego's detriment that the obsession with extreme hoppiness has taken such hold here. We have a lot of breweries making great beers that aren't IPAs, and they don't really get the respect they deserve.

                    1. re: Josh
                      menuinprogress Aug 31, 2010 12:59 PM

                      Hence my comment that they have been branching out more lately.

                      I think the Token porter is fantastic, and their experiments with sours have been interesting (although I didn't particularly care for Chez Monieux or Briscoe). I've also heard good things about Great, but not yet tried it.

                      1. re: menuinprogress
                        Josh Aug 31, 2010 03:17 PM

                        I guess I don't see it as lately. I remember trying their beers for the first time back in '02 or '03 and being impressed by the range of flavors in their beer.

                      2. re: Josh
                        m
                        MrKrispy Aug 31, 2010 01:49 PM

                        (this was supposed to be a reply to Josh)

                        how is it to San Diego's detriment? Hops put us on the map, and now several SD breweries make the top ranking US stouts, barleywines, & sours. Alesmith's Speedway Stout, Lost Abbey's sours/barrel aged beers, Port's Older Viz, Stone's russian imperial stouts and barleywine...SD typically has several entries in the Top 25 (by style) of American brewers. It sounds like SD breweries get plenty of respect for non-hop bombs!

                        http://www.ratebeer.com/beerstyles/imperial-stout/24/

                        http://www.ratebeer.com/beerstyles/american-strong-ale/64/

                        http://www.ratebeer.com/beerstyles/barley-wine/11/

                        http://www.ratebeer.com/beerstyles/sour-ale/52/

                        http://beeradvocate.com/lists/style/171

                        -----
                        The Lost Abbey
                        155 Mata Way Suite 104, San Marcos, CA

                        1. re: MrKrispy
                          Josh Aug 31, 2010 03:16 PM

                          I feel like the perception of the beers produced in San Diego is skewed in favor of our hoppy beers, vs. some of the other beers made here. That's not to say other beers here don't get accolades from beer geeks, but it seems to me that the general perception among laypersons is that the love here is primarily for hoppy/extreme beers.

                          And certainly, having spent a lot of time at O'Brien's and other local beer places, I don't think this is some bizarre POV to have. Would you really dispute that the hoppiness of our beers is enthusiastically touted?

                          1. re: Josh
                            r
                            RB Hound Aug 31, 2010 07:31 PM

                            Most "laypeople" aren't even aware of San Diego being a decent place for microbrews - they probably think that Boston is still the hands down capital for that. :)

                            1. re: Josh
                              m
                              MrKrispy Aug 31, 2010 11:03 PM

                              "enthusiastically touted" and that being a detriment or lack of respect are very different things. I like to think of the hoppy beers as a gateway drug in to the other styles. Are there really that many so-called laypersons (instead of beer geeks) that love a hop bomb yet won't try other styles?

                              1. re: Josh
                                s
                                SeanT Sep 4, 2010 01:35 PM

                                Such enthusiasm is well deserved!

                    2. re: oerdin
                      mcgrue Aug 31, 2010 12:30 PM

                      Alpine is my favorite brewery in San Diego too. On those Saturdays when I'm feeling extravagant, I'll load the car up with some friends and five empty growlers and make the pilgrimage to Alpine. I'm a big fan of Nelson and Duet. The wife likes Captain Stout.

                      We are trying to work through these differences.

                      1. re: mcgrue
                        Josh Aug 31, 2010 12:50 PM

                        Nelson is probably my favorite beer brewed in San Diego. When it's fresh it's nonpareil.

                        1. re: mcgrue
                          dmckean Aug 31, 2010 03:57 PM

                          I'm a huge fan of Nelson and Duet too and Alpine is also my favorite brewery. Red Card is pretty good too.

                        2. re: oerdin
                          s
                          Señor Andy Sep 1, 2010 07:56 AM

                          Use of the term "Micro Brews" constitutes automatic disqualification ;-)

                        3. t
                          tbgallant Sep 2, 2010 05:19 AM

                          Like the sound of Alpine, I'm a huge fan of hoppy IPAs! I'm headed to SD for vacation in late Sept. What are some reccomended places that would have Alpine on tap? Will be spending a few days downtown and a few more days in PB/OB area.

                          Also, do they carry Alpine at Bev Mo? If not, good beer stores to hit up on the way in/out of downtown?

                          Thanks

                          Tim

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: tbgallant
                            m
                            MrKrispy Sep 2, 2010 12:03 PM

                            Alpine is bottled but only shows up a couple of stores. They are no where near the capacity for a BevMo account.

                            Your best bets to get some draft Alpine in San Diego would be O'briens and Toronado. Neither of those are downtown or at the beach however.

                            They may not have Alpine but downtown the only places worth going for great beer are The Neighborhood and Downtown Johnny Browns. Neighborhood is Chow worthy IMO.

                            In PB the only place with a respectable tap list is The Tap Room on Garnet near Trader Joes and Henry's. I don't think they get Alpine, but they usually have several drafts from almost every other SD brewery.

                            OB is your best bet for drafts and bottles-to-go. For draft beers your best bets are Newport Pizza on Newport Ave near the beach, and Pizza Port OB on Santa Monica and Bacon Ave. If you are going to be in OB, you can often get bottles at Olive Tree Market (which also has a tasting room on the weekends, a kick ass bottle selection, and great service - I love that store). Also in OB, Newport Farms on Newport Ave and Litikers on Voltaire St have great bottle selections.

                            Have fun!

                            -----
                            Tap Room
                            1269 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

                            Downtown Johnny Brown's
                            1220 3rd Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

                            1. re: MrKrispy
                              m
                              mayache Sep 2, 2010 12:45 PM

                              Also if you go to O'Briens right now they have an Alpine O'Brien's IPA which the owner of O'Briens brewed at Alpine. I tried it the other night, very tasty and hoppy but well-balanced.

                              1. re: MrKrispy
                                menuinprogress Sep 2, 2010 01:00 PM

                                Tap Room does have Alpine from time to time, but not like O'Brien's where they usually have multiple Alpine taps at any given point.

                              2. re: tbgallant
                                j
                                JRSD Sep 2, 2010 12:14 PM

                                If you specifically want Alpine their website has a list of their accounts.

                                1. re: tbgallant
                                  k
                                  Katherine H Sep 2, 2010 01:56 PM

                                  For bottles, check out Super Jr. Market (AKA Best Damn Beer Shop) on 7th avenue downtown. I think I've seen Alpine there before, as well as a wide selection of other local breweries.

                                2. dmckean Sep 4, 2010 07:28 AM

                                  I checked it out last night had the pulled pork and onion rings and agree with everything you said. I love the french roll the sandwich is on. I also had the smoked wings in buffalo sauce and they were amazing. I want to try the whole menu now.

                                  I also liked the little beer mixes menu. I tried the "bad decisions" which is a Bad Boy mixed with Exponential Hoppiness. It's pretty amazing the way those two beers mix with each other.

                                  I can see why they did a soft opening, it's not very big and it's already doing good business. A huge line out the door would ruin this place. I fear it's only a matter of time though.

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