Since my last post, a lot has happened. Most significantly, Megan and I got engaged out in San Diego, where we were vacationing after a family wedding. We’re both awfully excited! This is, however, a beer blog, so I’ll try to focus on the beer and brewing happenings of the last month.
The Farmhouse Eleven turned out rather well. Early on, it was a little green and had a very prominent banana/bubble gum aroma to it, but it has since settled down and is tasting closer to what I expected. The old home brewer adage that “the last two bottles in a batch taste the best” seems to apply in this case. Overall, it’s a nice, refreshing summer beer. The reviews so far have been pretty good, although I prefer our first beer, which was excellent right out of the gate.
From May 19-25 Meg and I ventured down to Southern California for my cousin’s wedding, and to check out some of San Diego’s awesome breweries. After the wedding in Malibu, we drove down to Carlsbad, home of one of the Pizza Port brewpubs, and an easy drive to Escondido and Stone Brewing. After spending some time on the beach, wandering around town, and checking into our hotel, we headed over to Pizza Port for dinner. Pizza Port Carlsbad has a very good reputation in the beer community, with several GABF medals and other assorted hardware to show for their efforts. Jeff Bagby, the Head Brewer, did a recent collaboration with Stone and Green Flash to produce Highway 78 Scotch Ale, a rich, malty departure from the hop bombs associated with those breweries. At this year’s Boulder Strong Ale Festival, Carlsbad’s entry was their Hakunama Ta Tas pink (yes, pink) IPA. So, needless to say, I was very excited to see what was on tap.
A lot of the beers on the board were intriguing, but I ended up choosing a guest brew for my first beer, Three Floyds’ Topless Wych Baltic Porter on cask. Never know when I’ll ever get a chance to try that again. It was very smooth and chocolatey and the cask carbonation was just right. Once our food came out, I ordered the Pants Optional Strong Pale Ale, to go with the barbecue chicken pizza and big-ass salad we were sharing.
The Pants Optional was very crisp and hoppy, with the typical grapefruity aroma of most West Coast IPAs and it tasted incredibly fresh. It was a very filling meal, so I had to quit after only two beers, which was a bummer, but I’m glad I had the experience. The people of Carlsbad are lucky to have such an awesome brewpub!
Up next: A visit to Stone Brewing.