Booze Brothers Brewing Co – 2545 Progress Street, Suite D – 92081
Since it seems to have become customary for me to open these brewery reviews with comments on the state of (incomplete) construction which exists on much of the site, I’m going to go ahead and give it a rest this time around and express some relief over ironing out the bugs in our beerporn gallery on the home page. Yeah!!! Thank goodness for small miracles, and better still, more will be coming soon.
That said, feel free to continue using your electronic devices while we make our descent into Vista, CA and prepare to set ‘er down at Booze Brothers Brewing Company.
As previously mentioned, we’ve been to many a craft beer brewery and/or tasting room, but it’s only been recently that we’ve been documenting the experiences. I say this in order to better qualify our belief that Booze Brothers offers one of the more unique atmospheric/craft beer experiences as compared to other breweries we’ve visited. This place is more than just a tasting room…
Booze Brothers sets itself apart by offering an experience which is a lot like hanging out in someone’s house. The interior portion consists of a bar (naturally), in a wide open space which is littered with varied, yet equally cozy “nooks” around the perimeter, all offering a slightly different vibe. Leather furniture with a magazine rack (populated by beer-centric publications) near the entrance, raised, rectangular tables with bar stools to the right, relaxed wooden benches with large coffee (beer?) tables to the left. Continue out the back, there’s wood decking with picnic tables, benches and the craft beer food du jour being served up by a local food vendor. Everything ya need.
It should be noted that like many of the local craft breweries in San Diego, the beers in rotation on tap are always changing, so if you’re looking for something specific, it’s not a bad idea to check online first.
That said, I’m going to work “backwards” on this one and start with the Pick-Up Porter on Nitro… As a still recovering user of various A-B products for many years, porters and stouts are still relatively new to my palate and I find I’m liking them more and more.
The First Flight
The Pick-Up Porter – 7.5%ABV – 42IBU – You generally want to put this kind of beer last in the rotation when doing flights because they tend to be hearty brews which offer a bolder experience than many other styles. For the newbie, starting light (low ABV/IBU) and working your way up the chain is a good rule of thumb to practice when sampling craft beers. I’m putting it first in review rotation because I loved it. It was a lot like a cup of iced coffee and it didn’t seem like beer at all. That’s likely to provoke mixed feelings among connoisseurs, but I really enjoyed it. It’s realistic to assume that my palate’s sensitivity to alcohol was likely reduced at this point, but even so, at 7.5% it feels incredibly docile going down.
Snow Blind – 6.4%ABV – 20IBU – A strong Belgian Wit (I’m still working “backwards” in my rotation here), the hints of coriander can be either a warning or an invitation, as their seems to be a love-hate relationship for this herb. Some people have described the taste as almost “soapy” (coriander, not the Snow Blind) so if you’re in that group, there’s plenty of other selections to make. If you’re on the other side of that and coriander (ground cilantro seeds) appeal to you, so will this beer.
Apple Champagne Ale – 5.6%ABV – 10IBU – The name really does say it all… Light, crisp and only sorta sweet, this style of craft beer is perfect for anyone who would typically say they prefer wine over beer. I’m typically not a fan of the “sours” but as this brew doesn’t quite take it that far, I would have no problem opting for one of these on a hot day when I’m looking for something more refreshing and less robust.
High Horse – 6.5%ABV – 21IBU – Described as a “Funky Barnyard Saison with Brettanomyces”, this Belgian-style wasn’t as heavily carbonated as a lot of saisons (which I liked), but still carried the same kind of fruity-but-not-too-sweet/spicy-but-not-like-a-pumpkin temper you’d expect from the genre. A solid beer, but not quite as outstanding in class as the previous brews.
Sorry I neglected to take individual closeups of these, sometimes it’s hard to say focused on the fact I’m “working” when I’m out doin’ flights 😉
As mentioned previously, we’re really only going to emphasize craft beer food (aka nomz) when the tasting room/brewery has it’s own kitchen. Like many North County tasting rooms, Booze Bothers relies on outside vendors to soak up some of the spirits and on this day, It was Criscito Pizza… We didn’t have anything to eat, but they had a genuine wood-fired, oven-on-wheels going and the garlic was wafting on the breeze as if you just walked past Luigi’s kitchen window.
As mentioned previously, Booze Brothers is a hangout which affords multiple loitering experiences under one roof (and more outside). Many of the smaller tasting rooms in San Diego have an intimacy that encourages interaction with perfect strangers over the common interest in craft beer. Booze Brothers is more adept at offering a sort of intimacy for a group, if you’re traveling with other hop-heads in tow. You can sorta stake your claim in a given area and have a good time with your own little clique while others do the same around you. In essence, an elegant crack house for craft beer.
We were there on a Saturday afternoon so consequently, the place was busy. It wasn’t the kind of situation where you could really chat up your servers to fully gauge the atmosphere, but they were pleasant and efficient. We didn’t have to wait long at all for service, and that’s a good thing.
If your in the Vista area, Booze Brothers should definitely be on your list of watering holes…