San Diego Area Brewery Tour # 1 – Hoponymous Brewing

Cribbing from the Winners column from the recent San Diego Beer News Awards, let’s travel to the greater San Diego area and sample some award winning beer, starting with Hoponymous Brewing.

Hoppin’ Pils NZ Pilsner – “a NZ Dry-Hopped Pilsner that leaps with lively hop character, blending New Zealand’s unique hop varieties into a crisp, refreshing pilsner with a twist of bold aromatics and a clean finish.”

Leaving Without Saying Goodbye – “an Irish Red Ale, combines a smooth, malty flavor with a hint of caramel for a quietly complex farewell.”

Gal Fawkes NZ West Coast IPA – “by the Hop Girls, is a revolutionary brew that ignites with vibrant New Zealand hops, offering a spark of tropical and citrus flavors against a backdrop of crisp, clean bitterness.”

What You Need West Coast IPA – “delivers a crisp, hop-forward journey, balancing piney bitterness with a clean, dry finish—the quintessential brew for those seeking the essence of the coast.”

NWSL City Brewery Tour # 3 – Level Crossing Brewing

We place a cross into the Utah Royals box by visiting our third and final NWSL themed brewery, Level Crossing Brewing Co.

Let’s check out a taster tray…

Dallas Alice Belgian-Style Blonde – “An easy-drinking Belgian ale with subtle yeast complexity giving off floral, citrus and light honey aromas. The smooth and clean pilsner malt pairs well with the honeydew melon and floral hop flavors. The beer finishes dry with a lingering lemon zest flavor.”

Look Up! Amber – “A well-balanced amber ale with toasted biscuit malt flavors complimented with subtitle earthy pine and floral hop aromas.”

Suss It Out Rye IPA – “A complex and hop-forward rye IPA with three types of rye and a blend of hops to give the beer a resinous and spicy hop bitterness and grapefruit, berry and piney aroma.”

Soul Rex DIPA – “Intense citrus, melon and dank tropical fruit hops flavors and aroma. Medium body and firm yet juicy hop bitterness.”

NWSL City Brewery Tour # 2 – Milewide Beer Co.

We head to Louisville and the home of Racing Louisville and their team headed by Taylor Flint and Savannah DeMelo.

The brewery we are visiting is Milewide Beer Co. Let’s check into some beers…

Gish – “Black IPA w/ Simcoe, Centennial, Chinook, & Zeus hops.”

7 Sour – “American Sour Ale w/ Raspberry, Blackberry, Blueberry, Moysenberry, Marionberry, Cranberry, Plum, & Vanilla”

Phenomenon – “Hazy IPA w/ Eclipse hops”

Uncle D – “Southern Pecan Coffee Stout”

NWSL City Brewery Tour # 1 – Bay FC and Brix Factory Brewing

We start our National Women’s Soccer League journey in the Bay Area with debutante Bay FC. Also debuting in Oakland is Brix Factory Brewing.

Let’s check out some beers to enjoy in the 2024 NWSL season….

Lemon Theory – “A lower abv Blonde ale featuring bright hop flavors reminiscent of an orange/lemon creamsicle, held together with pleasantly toasty malt flavors driven by malted wheat from Admiral malts. Citric finish.”

The Eye of Tasman – “Crisp Pilsner hopped at all stages with resinous Superdelic hops bursting with dank Sativa, bright tropical fruits and aromatic calamansi zest.”

Plunging Waves – “Our West Coast IPA features a stern dose of hops in bitterness, flavor and aroma. Classic, almost throwback West Coast aroma profile dominated by the interplay between the Comet and Simcoe hops. The malt flavor is notably light, with a bit of cracker-like snappiness from the pilsner malt.”

Coffee Siklon Stout – “Our tropical stout, infused with a Timorese coffee, kindly provided by our friends at Royal Coffee in Oakland. The whole bean addition of robusta/arabica hybrid adds an intense complexity to the sweet stout basis.”

Washington State Brewery Tour # 3 – Recluse Brewing

Our third and final Washinton State brewery is Recluse Brewing in the town of Washougal. The brewery which opened in December of last year, is helmed by Gus Everson, former Lead Brewer at Wayfinder Brewing in Portland.

Here is my thoughts on a good opening taster tray…

SPECIÁLNÍ 13 Czech-Style Amber Lager – Smooth. Balanced. Bohemian.

BED DENIM Extra Pale Ale – Classic. Pine. Fruit.

RBW EXPORT LAGER – Simple. Gold. Lager

MOOSE MAN Porter – Chocolate. Roast. Cryptic

Washington State Brewery Tour # 2 – Human People Beer

Our second stop in Washington State is a little town named Seattle where we will find Human People Beer. There is a Modern Times lineage and hop farm experience in the trio behind the brewery.  

Tim Kamolz and Andrew Schwartz come from Modern Times while Mallorie King has the agricultural background. 

Human People Beer will be tenants in a project called the West Canal Yards in Seattle, Washington with a hopeful summer 2024 opening.  First beers may be available before then as is often the case.

Washington State Brewery Tour # 1 – Dalliance Beer Project

Dalliance Beer Project is a unique brewery start-up in the hop country of Yakima, Washington. Led by Andrew Pytel and Tristan Karosas of Single Hill Brewing with artist Jamaica Zoglman.  Art will be the driver and the beer will be made to match.  

There will be no core beers, everything will be one and done starting with their Tarot Project.  (beer and tarot are a trend, as will be my confusion with tarot)

First pulled from the deck will be The Fool, a German-style Pilsner, and Five of Wings, a hazy IPA. The release schedule is two beers at a time until all the cards are done.

Canadian Brewery # 1 – Muddy York

In the Best of 2023 edition of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine, drinks writer Stephen Beaumont highlighted a few Canadian breweries to be aware of, it was a perfect starting point for the brewery tours for January. We begin the journey with Muddy York Brewing Co. in Toronto.

Here is my taster tray…

Major Small Best Bitter – “The Original Session Ale. Bitters were primarily served fresh under no pressure at cellar temperatures. Major Small Best Bitter is brewed using earthy English hops and biscuity malts. Major flavour, small ABV, thoroughly balanced.”

Gaslight Helles Lager – “Showcasing the flavours that come from using premium Bohemian Pilsner malt, we employ a unique yeast strain to make this thirst quenching variation of a Munich Helles more than just your ordinary lager.”

Chilly Bin NZ Pilsner – “Chilly bin — the New Zealand name for a cooler/portable ice box or chest. Chilly Bin NZ Pilsner – a tasty pils from Muddy York brewed to showcase New Zealand’s famously grown Nelson Sauvin hops. While you might not call your faithful cooler a ‘chilly bin’, you certainly need to try this crisp, light and refreshing pilsner.”

Working Hard New England IPA – “After experimenting with different hop combinations, we’ve settled on the super juicy and tropical duo of Mosaic & El Dorado. Aromas of mango, tangerine and stone fruit burst out of the can making this hazy New England IPA the perfect way to reward all of your Hard Work.”

Best of… Brewery Tour # 3 – Incendiary Brewing

Each year Craft Beer & Brewing magazine publishes their Best of Issue. I have gone through it and plucked three breweries out of it to highlight this month, the third and final brewery is Incendiary Brewing.

Two college friends and long time Home Brewers opened this North Carolina brewery in 2018 and must be doing the right things to get noticed. And here are the beers I noticed from their taplist.

Cold Pizza – “West Coast Style Pilsner with Anchovy hops in collaboration with Hollingbery & Sons.”

Hop Loaf – “New England IPA Experimental Hop HBC-836 in collaboration with Yakima Chief Hops.”

Brandon Hates Black IPAs – “Wet-hopped Black IPA with Wet Citra, Wet Azzaca, Mosaic hops.”

Dulce Muerte – “Imperial Stout with cocoa, pepper skins, cinnamon, and vanilla.”

Best of … Brewery Tour # 2 – Strong Rope

Each year Craft Beer & Brewing magazine publishes their Best of Issue. I have gone through it and plucked three breweries out of it to highlight this month, the second brewery is Strong Rope

They are all in on NY too, stating, “Strong Rope Brewery® was created in 2015 with the purpose of showcasing New York ingredients and to make truly regional beers.”

Here are my picks from recent-ish beers…

Road to Deliration American Mild Ale – “Our new take on a classic style, Road To Deliration packs large flavors in a small package with complex layering of pale, crystal, and chocolate malts held up by Cascade and Chinook.”

Grain Head Golden Ale – “Fresh baked bread with notes of honey and apricot, full bodied, herbal hop finish.”

NY Classic Pale Ale – “Floral hop with notes of lemon rind and fresh pine needle on pale, bready malt, satisfying bitter finish.”

Blood of Gods Red Ale – “Malty nose of caramel, toffee, and toast with crisp pine and citrus finish.”