San Diego has a new brewery in town. Bay City Brewing officially opened it’s doors for a soft open four days ago! During our alien invasion we got a chance to catch up with the Head Brewer Chris West and learn more about the man behind the beer.
The Man Behind the Beer
Chris West is self taught. He started home brewing about 10 years ago and one of the first beers that he learned to brew was the Pale Ale. It was the start of him falling in love with playing with different hops and malt variations to create unique flavors with his craft beers. After years of home brewing his first commercial brewing job was with Monkey Paw Brewing. He spent a little over a year with Monkey Paw before starting Bay City Brewing. Chris West loves to experiment with beers. He came from a Science background in college that has given him a different way of looking at the brewing process. He’s not afraid to do things outside of what others would consider normal in brewing. He loves Hoppy Beers and utilizes steam during the brewing process to help take away some of the bitterness from the hops. It’s been his experience that the Pale Hoppy Beers tend to be the hardest to brew when it comes to getting all the flavor profiles just right, where as Stouts are relatively easy to brew since coffee usually shines through the malt used.
The Initial Beer Lineup
Session IPA 4.2% ALC./VOL.
Chris really wanted to make sure this Session IPA was still as flavorful as it’s stronger companions and wasn’t just a watered down version. He uses under-modified malts that play with the hops to provide more of a mouth feel. Playing with the malt and utilizing Equinox & Chinook Hops he was able to accomplish just that. Unlike other Session IPA’s where the bitterness is up front and smooths out at the end, this craft beer is the complete opposite. It starts off smooth then you get the hops and slight bitterness at the end leaving your mouth with all the feels.
Nitro Porter 5.5% ALC./VOL.
Chris let us know he originally didn’t plan on brewing a beer on Nitro because he feels that nitro can sometimes limit the flavors of the craft beer. He decided to use this knowledge to create this unique Porter. He made this Porter into an extremely aggressive beer then utilizes the nitro to calm it down. You definitely get that flavor profile in your mouth as to you get a hint of bitterness followed by a smooth finish.
Experimental Pale Ale 5.5% ALC./VOL.
This was the first beer Chris brewed for Bay City Brewing! This beer features Nelson & Colombus Hops. It’s a hop forward craft beer. You really get the bitterness up front with a smooth finish at the end. The cool thing about this beer!? It’s called EXPERIMENTAL because it will always be a little different each time you order it. This will be a rotational beer that each batch Chris creates will have slightly different notes to it and will never be exactly the same.
American Stout 6.66% ALC./VOL.
Flavors that come through are malty, chocolate, & graham cracker. Chris played with malt to get this flavor combination. He utilized munic & chocolate malt. Unlike most stouts that can leave you feeling extremely full after one glass, this stout is surprising light and refreshing. You still get a strong coffee flavor without the heaviness that traditional stouts can give you. This was our favorite beer of the evening!
This Pale Ale features Mosaic, Simcoe, & Chinook Hops and is an amazing beer. Chris has been working on this recipe for over 10 years and is extremely passionate about it. He said if these beers were all considered his children, this one would be his favorite. It’s an extremely flavorful Pale Ale that has many different layers to it and leaves you wanting more.
So what can we expect from Bay City Brewing next!?
Chris says they are currently playing with a lager and growing their own bacteria to do some sours! Chris’s main focus is on really getting the core lineup and the base recipes perfected before playing too much with different flavors, but once that is perfected the sky really is the limit for this awesome brewery! They are definitely a brewery worth keeping your eyes on going forward!
The tasting room layout is extremely well thought out. The color scheme is amazing. They are dog friendly both inside & out. They also have built in USB chargers (bring your own cables) & a place to plug in your laptop. They are going to be adding a television set here in the upcoming weeks so we can’t wait to see it all come together! It’s going to be one amazing spot to relax after a long day at work or a day out on the beach with your dog!
The tasting room is located at: 3760 Hancock St A, San Diego, California 92110
So get over there humans and go check it out for yourself! You will probably run into an alien or two. Cheers!