Category Archives: Breweries

Breakwater Brewing Co., Oceanside

Breakwater Brewing Company is the northernmost craft brewery in San Diego County, nestled a block away from the ocean on 101/North Coast Hwy.


I tried a taster set of 6 beers: Beach Honey Ale, Railside Red ale, Beachbreak Brown ale, Eric’s Quadrupel Belgian-style, Maverick’s Double IPA, and Walkabout IMP Stout.

The Beach Honey ale was light and refreshing, not too overpowered with honey and with a nice infusion of grapefruit for a citrusy finish. The Railside Red was okay, very drinkable but didn’t do much for me as far as a standout beer. Beachbreak Brown was a very nicely balanced ale made with Cacade hops, that hides the fact that it’s 7.8% ABV. Next up was is Eric’s Quadrupel….taking the ABV up to 9.6%, a dark Belgian-style with coriander and chamomile in the recipe by Eric Magruder, a local homebrewer who took home an award and then Breakwater picked it up and made it available to the North County masses. Maverick’s Double IPA was my type of beer, they bill it as a “hop monster” but I could handle more hops…good, but not particularly notable among hoppy IPAs and Double/Triple IPAs being put out by other brewers around the county. The Walkabout Stout was sweet with a delayed lingering finish of vanilla…tasting partner Terry says it was kinda flat overall (I’ve never been much of a stout guy). Also of note: Kali Kush, a medium-bodied special pale ale with a touch of local sagebrush, and Old Blue Eyes, a malty “Old Ale” style of beer that is extremely low on the hops while upping the ABV to 9.1% .
When in Oceanside, surf your way in to Breakwater for a wide selection of hand-crafted beer! Most recommended: Beachbreak Brown, Kali Kush.


Upcoming events! Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11 & Green Flash 9th Anniversary!

Now dig this.

This Friday Stone Brewing Company puts out their 11.11.11 Vertical Epic Ale, I believe this would be the eleventh in a series of twelve specialty beers, starting with 01.01.01, 02.02.02, etc.  I plan to have a mouthful of this beer on 11.11.11 sometime around 11:11 (AM or PM to be determined).

It’s a Veterans Day holiday for many of us, and since it is still San Diego Beer Week, there will be not one but several places around San Diego unveiling this special ale along with a tap line full of Stone beers!

Check it all out here:




And on Saturday, Nov. 12th, Vines & Steins will be representing at the Green Flash 9th Anniversary Celebration at their new brewing facility in Mira Mesa.  $40 gets you ten tastes, a collectible glass, and a t-shirt. 

  Info & a direct link to tickets here:

San Diego Beer Week is on!

After letting this blog go lazy for too long, I’m back! San Diego Beer Week just kicked off, running ten days (yeah, some week!) from Nov. 4th through Nov. 13th. Today is a beautiful post-rainy day outside, and the San Diego Brewers Guild Festival at Liberty Station is on the agenda!

This year it’s a collaboration with FM 94/9’s anniversary bash, with Matthew Sweet headlining the main stage that also features Telekinesis and Stone Foxes. Good beer, good music….that’sawhatIlikey. All 35 members of the San Diego Brewers Guild will be pouring, and the tastes are unlimited!

There’s no way I could provide a comprehensive guide to all of the San Diego Beer Week events. For that, go to their website and also check out West Coaster and Peter Rowe’s “Brewery Rowe” column in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Here’s to a week of fun and discovery! San Diego beer rules….join the revolution of good taste, and support your local breweries!

20111105-161110.jpg Getting my taste on.

20111105-164139.jpg I can’t believe this old-looking dude is Matthew Sweet!  Take care of yourself, guy!

Stone Brewing 15th Anniversary this weekend!

For all the talk about San Diego beer festivals and the mega-event that went bust, this is the one beer event this summer you can count on!  I’m talking about Stone Brewing Co.’s 15th Anniversary Celebration. Yes, today’s 21-year olds were probably entering the 1st grade when Stone got off the ground and started making San Diego County famous for hop-monsters like Arrogant Bastard Ale and Ruination IPA. Stone’s flagship IPA has been one of my top favorites for years now, and their really isn’t anything this brewery puts out that could be considered mediocre or catering to the lowest common denominator for the sake of easy sales. Nope, they did it their way….and they won!  Stone is now expanding in all directions: a new tasting room & bottle shop in the South Park neighborhood, taking over the operations of an organic produce farm, a new brewery and bistro in Liberty Station on the way, expansion of their Escondido brewing facilities, a planned hotel across the way for dizzy-headed beer tourists to stay at, and looking at a move into continental Europe of all places (whew…!!!) I’m tempted to say that Stone will soon be the largest craft brewer on the West Coast, and if I end up being wrong on that in the short term the margin of error will forgive me.

So anyway….on with the Stone 15th Anniversary Celebration! As in recent years, it’s being held on the campus of Cal State Univ. San Marcos. There’s two 3-hour sessions on Saturday, August 20th (11 AM – 2 PM, and 3 – 6 PM) for which tickets are still surprisingly available, and will set you back 40 bones plus a small service fee. For that, you get a commemorative tasting glass (which you can sell to me later if you don’t care!), 10 samples of beer (from not just Stone but a whole slew of over 40 guest breweries), free home-brewed sodas, samples of Mike’s beer cheese, and an all-around good time. But for my investment in this historic occasion, I’m dropping the $75+ for the Friday night brewers’ reception, which gets you all of the above but with unlimited tastings, a chance to meet and greet with the brewers, and complimentary gourmet fare from some of San Diego’s top foodie joints. Again—tickets are magically still available, but if you’re even remotely interested you had better get onto Stone’s website immediately and purchase will-call tix. And get one for your designated driver, too–they’ll thank you later.

Drop me a line if you’ll be going to this event. I’ll have some pictures and write-up to follow. If you can’t make it, pour yourself a hop-monster of a beer this weekend and do a little meditation and appreciation for the pioneering efforts of those who refused to sell out with fizzy yellow beer. Kind of a pre-Thanksgiving exercise, if you will.