It was Saturday afternoon, October 10th, and I decided on a whim to fly my spaceship over to San Diego to the Ocean Beach Oktoberfest Celebration. When I arrived, I noticed it was pretty empty, so I skirted the outside before paying the $5 admission fee to see the goings on. The “oceanfront beer garden” was a gathering of twenty plastic tables underneath a canopy. Only a few brave humans were sipping their German beers trying to bear the intense heat. The rest of the crowd was either waiting in line to buy cold waters or lemonades for an inflated price or watching the on-stage band and fanning themselves under the direct sun. Needless to say, the Oktoberfest was a bust.
I decided to ditch the Oktoberfest celebration and instead wander down Newport Ave. in search of a place, indoors, to grab a refreshing pint. This is when I stumbled upon Culture Brewing Co.’s new tasting room. Having remembered our post from last year about the Solana Beach location, I decided to give this place a try.
Culture Brewing Co.’s satellite location in Ocean Beach opened just 9 months after their first, in November 2014, and has been a huge success.
The décor is the same as their other location with a modern rustic theme. However, this room is twice the size. People gather around tall tables and large oak barrels to set down their beers, while large metal kegs are used as seats. A local artist’s photography of pin-up girls is lit up along one sidewall. The other wall is black with stencils of growlers and glasses and above the bar is a giant chalkboard displaying the beer selections and details about each brew: ABV, IBU, SRM, and hop varieties. Concrete floors and exposed wooden beams on the ceiling give this place a casual hip vibe and the back room piled high with kegs and hops on the vine is separated by a glass wall so the curious can peek inside.
Since this brewery is open air, it was still quite hot inside. However, the dim lighting was welcomed and they were trying to push out the hot air with large fans. I ordered four 3 oz. tasters for $1.25 a piece from the friendly staff. I usually have an easier time deciding on a single pint, but they brew all of their beer locally in Solana Beach and my curiosity got the best of me.
I ordered their Milk Stout, Black Currant, Mosaic IPA, and Pale Ale. The Black Currant was the most refreshing right off the bat. It was very pale in color, smooth, and had a likeness to iced tea (not surprising considering they use black currant infused tea to make this tasty brew). It had a fruity essence but was not at all sweet. The Pale Ale was darn good. The Mosaic IPA was a treat. For this IPA, the full cone hops are picked straight from the plant and used that same day for brewing! It was intensely hoppy and slightly bitter, but I enjoyed the strong flowery aroma. Lastly, my favorite: the Milk Stout. Perle and Saaz hops are used to make this insanely creamy, full-bodied beer. About a half inch of foam topped my 3 oz. taster. The flavors and aromas were of freshly brewed espresso, toasted nuts and caramel. The color was a dark toffee brown, almost black. Not too sweet or too heavy, this one I am returning for. Growlers are 25% off on Mondays, so perhaps then.
As I sipped my tasters, I took in my surroundings. The atmosphere is relaxed here. With the pin-up girls on the walls, the barn-like theme, a plethora of Ocean Beach locals with their snapback caps sipping craft beer, and a bunch of salty pups, this place has that all-American feel. At Culture Brewing Co. these humans can be reminded of their nation’s long time love affair with beer and are given a casual fun place to just sit and appreciate it for all of its glory and complexity.
Culture Brewing Co.’s tasting room in Ocean Beach is great place to bring a human or canine friend, spend the afternoon, and just try some great local brews. Go for the tasters or commit to a full pint. Either way, you won’t be sorry you made the trip… even if it is an unusually hot day.
Where to find them:
4845 Newport Avenue
San Diego, CA 92107
For more info visit:
Click here to check out our review of the Solana Beach location!
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