Friday, June 29, 2012

My town, my street...

El Cajon Brewing Co.

Last week I was able to spend time in my hometown, San Diego.  While I grew up in one of the craft beer meccas, I never have spent much time drinking or trying beer in the area.  We decided to visit four breweries, all within a short drive of each other.  

Cauldron Crest Pils and Amaziah Red Ale

Our first stop was El Cajon Brewing Company.  Although the list of guest breweries on tap was substantial, I was disappointed there were only two beers brewed by El Cajon on tap.  I tried both the Cauldron Crest Pils and Amaziah Red Ale which were both easy to drink and perfect for a hot afternoon, which are common in East County!  

Green Flash Brewing Company

Next up was my favorite brewery of the day, Green Flash Brewing Company.  All I could say as we entered the facility was, "Wow, this place is AMAZING!!!"  It is a huge area which has all the elements of their brewery from brewing to bottling along with an area to taste some of their freshly made beer.

Green Flash Retro XPA
I loved the openness of the building as well as the separate area for merchandise and growler fills.  I can see how this space, although  larger than average can quickly fill up with eager beer drinkers!  There were tours available, but we decided just to have some smaller sized samples.  I really liked that they had petite tasters, as we had previously tried many of their beers on other occasions.  I decided to try the Green Flash Retro XPA which was outstanding.  I love how Green Flash consistently creates great beer.  

Ballast Point Brewing Co

After our small samples of beers, we headed to stop number three, Ballast Point Brewing Company.  Although there was a good sized crowd when we arrived, we were served quickly after our arrival. As with Green Flash, I'd had many of the beers that were on tap and was wanting to try something new.

Ballast Point Big Eye IPA with and without ginger 

After looking over the tap list carefully, I decided to do a side by side comparison of the two versions of the Big Eye IPA one with and one without ginger.  While both beers are very tasty, I preferred the non-ginger version.  After a short time, we decided to continue on to our fourth and final stop of the day, Manzanita Brewing Company.  

Manzanita Brewing Company flight of beers
Ever since I first learned there is a brewery located near where I grew up, I've been eager to try their beer.  Manzanita Brewing Company, located in Santee, is near the 52 freeway in East County.  Their small tasting room was filled with regulars who were both helpful and eager to talk about their local brewery.  We decided to get a tasting flight of all of the beers.  My two favorites were the IPA and Pale Ale.  While we were visiting the tasting room, we found out that the brewery is moving just down the street.  It is always exciting to hear about breweries who are expanding.  I can't wait to visit more breweries in San Diego!

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