Last night we crashlanded at San Diego’s Winter Brew Fest at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park! Us aliens were awed by the attendance of both breweries and brewery lovers. The atmosphere was filled with anticipation to get the night started. Once the beer was flowing, it was a fun and friendly event that kept its participants busy with three floors of 40+ breweries set up along the outer walls. Each brewery had one to three beers to share and each participant receives a 2oz taster cup to try as many beers as their heart desires! Friday night had a big, enthusiastic crowd and was sold out, but luckily there was enough beer for everyone and the Hall of Champions layout kept it from being too crowded.
On the main floor, beer lovers rocked out to local Irish band, The Fooks. Saturday, attendees can expect to dance to Headshine in the VIP and Euphoria Brass Band in General Admission. Meanwhile, 91x rocked out on the bottom level with classic hits from almost every rock genre of the different decades. We aliens headbanged, Irish Jig’d, and belted out lyrics throughout the entire night.
If you missed it, it’s not too late humans because this festival has another session happening tonight, Saturday the 20th! Tonight’s session has VIP, which begins at 6pm and then General Admission goes from 7pm to 10pm. You can still buy your ticket for $50 (GA) and $60 (VIP). Keep in mind it’s cash only at the door! A portion of the proceeds go to help support the San Diego Mountain Biking Association and also Outdoor Outreach.
Here are some notable beers from last night to keep an eye out for!
- Stone Brewing Pataskala Red X IPA | ABV: 7.3%, IBU: 75 | San Diego, CA | With a fairly new German malt variety and plenty of dry hops, this beer is citrusy but balanced by flavors of biscuit and toffee. It’s a great, interesting beer worth trying if you like hops.
- Latitude 33 Brewing Blood Orange IPA | ABV: 7.2%, IBU: 61 | San Diego, CA | This beer is citra dry-hopped IPA infused with Blood Orange, making it a refreshing and easy to drink IPA. Think of it as a delicious and unique alternative to Grapefruit Sculpin and the million other grapefruit beers.
- Second Chance Beer Co. Seize the IPA | ABV: 6.5%, IBU: 65 | San Diego, CA | Second Chance Beer Company is a fairly new brewery with excellent beers. Their Seize the IPA is a hop-forward IPA with strong flavors of citrus and resin hops and notes of malt.
- Groundswell Brewing Company Ginger Saison | ABV: 6.8%, IBU: 28 | San Diego, CA | A belgian ale that was bursting with a ginger tartness, although not overwhelming. Very refreshing and light with a citrus blend.
- Firestone Walker Brewing Company Nitro Merlin Milk Stout | ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 27 | Paso Robles, CA | This delicious beer is exclusively a nitro beer and only on draft. As an oatmeal stout it brought out a creamy, dark roasted coffee flavor that was sweet but but stayed true to a classic stout style. Being on nitro added to the amazing texture of the beer.
- Alpine Beer Company Mandarin Nectar Orange Blossom Honey Ale | ABV: 6.5%, IBU: 6 | Alpine, CA | This beer has a notable citrus flavor that is unique with a mix of orange zest, coriander, and slightly sweet honey. Different from a normal citrus-like beer it is refreshing and not overpowering to your palette.
- Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter | ABV: 5.2%, IBU: 30 | Bend, OR | With chocolate notes, this creamy dark porter leaves you with a soft, roasted finish. Easy to drink but full of flavor.
Our all time favorite for the night and surprise standout was:
Half Door Brewing Co. Gimmick Ale | ABV: 5.4% | We aliens all agreed. This peanut butter inspired ale is a great, light beer with just the right amount of peanut flavor that you can enjoy it but it does not overtake the entire beer flavor.
To learn more about the breweries and beers that were featured in this article please see below:
Latitude 33 Brewing
Second Chance Brewing Co.
Groundswell Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Alpine Beer Company
Half Door Brewing Co.
Be sure to follow us on Social Media to get to see our beer adventures live as we invade more breweries and discover more awesome craft beers from all over the world! Cheers humans!
Be sure to follow us on Social Media as we invade more breweries and discover more awesome craft beers from all over the world! Cheers humans!