Yesterday I headed down to San Diego with Commander Matt from Enegren Brewing to pick up a keg washer from Premier and visit a few breweries. Unfortunately, the majority of them are closed on Tuesdays. Fortunately, since I was with the owner of a brewery, we had an in to ALL of them.
Our first stop after Premier was Hess Brewing where we met up with Michael Skubic – tasting room manager and beer wrangler.
Hess is located in an industrial complex in a quaint and cozy space.
I love the touch of the hanging candle lanterns! I’ll have to come back in the evening sometime soon.
These guys work on a 1.5 bbl system. It looks like a gigantic homebrew system and they brew on it pretty often to keep up with demand.
I first tried the Magna Cucerbita Pumpkin Stout. The pumpkin spice aroma in this beer was perfectly balanced – definitely noticeable but not overwhelming like many pumpkin ales I’ve tried. I wanted another taster of this, but decided that trying some others would be a good idea…
My options were extremely limited. There weren’t too many to choose from… *insert sarcasm here*
Up next: Grazias Vienna Cream Ale. I have absolutely nothing to compare this to since I’ve never had a cream ale before. All I can really say, without a doubt, is that I liked it. Very smooth, slightly sweet, easy drinkability with a hint of vanilla (maybe?) in the aroma.
My favorite of all the beers I tried (and I tried and adored every one) was the Jucundus Orange Honey Wheat. This one reminded me exactly of Elysian’s Avatar Jasmine IPA thanks to the aroma of the chamomile, coriander and orange blossom honey. The honey flavor is apparent in the first sip and accompanied by a wonderful floral sweetness, yet not perfumey at all. The hops are nice and quiet on this making it a VERY easy drinker that would suit either a warm summer day or a rainy autumn evening with a blanket and a book. Jucundus Orange Honey Wheat would be the perfect substitute for chamomile tea on that chilly evening.
There really is no lack of choices here. If you’re ever in the San Diego area and want to visit a gem, head over to Hess Brewing at 7955 Silverton Ave, Ste 1201. I’ll be going back soon for a mid-holiday visit!
Part two of the San Diego brewery trip (Stone, Iron Fist, Ballast Point) coming soon – too many amazing breweries to clump into a single post. They all deserve their own recognition.
Yesterday was the perfect day. Seriously. I headed over to Seattle again, visited Heaven (aka REI Flagship store) where I proceeded to drool over the lightweight tents and new JetBoil systems, got a ridiculously cheap and amazing massage from Cortiva, then finished up the day at Elysian Brewing Company.
Oh, baby! Okay, so it wasn’t technically the brewery itself, but the pub Elysian Fields in Pioneer Square next to the stadium.
Elysian Fields isn’t the actual brewery, but they do (of course) serve all the beers on tap, plus brew a little bit in the back. I love the garage-style doors. There’s something that screams “craft beer” about breweries with garage-style doors.
I couldn’t decide on which beer to get, so I ordered the sampler – the only way to truly appreciate a brewery’s talents.
And appreciate I did! Five glasses (plus the second porter that Ora gave to me since she wasn’t a fan) of delicious gorgeous-ity! My favorites were the Perseus Porter and the Avatar Jasmine IPA. The porter was the perfect blend of smokey and chocolatey, with a beautiful smokey/chocolatey/coffee aroma – my descriptions are extremely diverse, aren’t they? I’ve already raved about the Avatar Jasmine IPA. So delicate! So unique! So much love!
Luckily, their menu is a little easier to choose from. I actually like that the focus is on the beer and not on pages and pages of food. I’m a very indecisive person, in case you haven’t noticed. When given tons of options, I’ll cower in the corner and beg the server to surprise me so that I don’t have to make a decision based on the massive quantities of delicious possibilities that lay before me.
We started with the side of asparagus that came grilled to perfection – crispy and caramelized in olive oil with just a touch of salt.
I saw this on the menu and was sold! It’s extremely strange, but I’m becoming obsessed with portobello mushrooms – something you’d never expect to hear from someone who hated mushrooms with the passion that I did prior to a month ago.
Too hungry to take a steady picture. Had to eat immediately. This was so good! Soft grilled bread slathered with goat cheese and topped with grilled portobello mushrooms, roasted red peppers and fresh greens. I devoured the sammich, plus a handful of the fries before I forced myself to save some room for dessert.
DESSERT. Oh. My. Geez. I asked our waitress to bring her recommendation. The chocolate torte – made with chocolate chevre on top of a delicate cake and surrounded by rich chocolate slabs.
It was terrible. I wanted to get rid of it as fast as possible. I never wanted to have to look at it ever again. So I finished it. I SHOWED YOU, YOU DELICIOUS CHOCOLATE TORTE!
After finishing my six wonderful beer samples, we had to say farewell to Seattle and get back on the metro to work our way back to Bellevue. Goodbye Seattle, I am an albatross. (That’s an Owl City reference in case you just think I’m insane. Which I might be as well…)
This is me looking sad and artistic in the metro station.
Farewell Seattle! I honestly loved you.