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San Diego beer and cocktail scene


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#1 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 12:16 PM

The summer issue of Imbibe magazine includes a fairly detailed article on the San Diego beer scene and cocktail culture. San Diego is already well known for its local breweries, but maybe not so much for its cocktail bars. The article mentions El Dorado, Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, Salt Box, The Lion Share, Grant Grill and Snake Oil Cocktail Company.

The online version of the article can be found here.

#2 AlenChris

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:28 PM

Looks good. Thanks for sharing it. I like this magazine. Have heard from other people about it.

#3 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:35 AM

A review of the 12 best bars in San Diego was just published in Difford's CLASS magazine.
It's nice to see more San Diego coverage!

The list:
  • Craft & Commerce
  • The Noble Experiment
  • Cantina Mayahuel
  • El Dorado
  • Seven Grand
  • Starlite
  • Saltbox
  • Cowboy Star
  • Grant Grill
  • The Lion's Share
  • Vin De Syrah
  • El Take It EZ

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 27 November 2012 - 11:35 AM.


#4 kalypso

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 11:42 PM

Very surprised to see Mayahuel, but not disappointed. They have a great selection of mezcals. Also glad to see Jay get a mention. They've really worked hard on their bar program

#5 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 10:58 AM

The third Annual Bartender Challenge took place at El Dorado last night. Anthony Schmidt from Noble Experiment, who won the first two years, lost his title to Christian Siglin from Craft & Commerce. Here is an interview of Christian that was published last year if you are not already familiar with him.

#6 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:53 PM

Very surprised to see Mayahuel, but not disappointed. They have a great selection of mezcals.

I am not familiar with Cantina Mayahuel, but it sounds like they have quite a selection (200 tequilas and 55 mezcals!).

Also glad to see Jay get a mention. They've really worked hard on their bar program

You are referring to Jay Porter from El Take it Easy?

In the list, the places I've been to and like (more or less in order of preference) are Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, The Lion's Share, Saltbox, Starlite, El Dorado. I've also been Cowboy Star a few times for dinner but was less than impressed with the cocktails. All the other places are solid to outstanding.

#7 kalypso

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:50 PM

If you've been to Mayahuel you would know why I am surprised to see them on the list :laugh: They are definitely NOT trendy or upscale in the least, but yes, they do have a fabulous selection of tequilas and mezcals. Mayahuel is a goddess in the Maya pantheon of gods and goddesses and is credited with the creation of the maguey plant. Mayahuel the cantina is up on Adams Ave. a half block west of 30th. It's decidedly downscale and not the least bit trendy. They also serve a very good mole with lovely floral notes to it. It's more about the libations and less about the scene and the environment.

Yes, Jay Porter and El Take it EZ. I think he's got one of the more improved bar menus and one that's pushing the Baja envelope. Like ETiEZ and The LInkery, not everything works but I have to give he and his staff kudos for thinking outside the local SD box and trying interesting things. Everytime my firends and I go we all order different drinks and then pass them around the table. Some are more balanced cocktails than others. I always seem to come back to the Paloma made with jamaica infused reposado. Since I always have jamaica at home I've taken to keeping a bottle of reposado at home that I've infused with jamaica. Makes a lovely colored margarita too :raz:

#8 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 02:12 PM

If you've been to Mayahuel you would know why I am surprised to see them on the list :laugh: They are definitely NOT trendy or upscale in the least, but yes, they do have a fabulous selection of tequilas and mezcals. Mayahuel is a goddess in the Maya pantheon of gods and goddesses and is credited with the creation of the maguey plant. Mayahuel the cantina is up on Adams Ave. a half block west of 30th. It's decidedly downscale and not the least bit trendy. They also serve a very good mole with lovely floral notes to it. It's more about the libations and less about the scene and the environment.

What do you mean it's not trendy - pretty much anything on Adams avenue IS the epitome of trendiness! Full of 20 to 30-somethings with beards and suspenders. It's Hipster Central as my husband calls it. Maybe you don't realize it because you happen to be one of the cool people. :wink:

Yes, Jay Porter and El Take it EZ. I think he's got one of the more improved bar menus and one that's pushing the Baja envelope. Like ETiEZ and The LInkery, not everything works but I have to give he and his staff kudos for thinking outside the local SD box and trying interesting things. Everytime my firends and I go we all order different drinks and then pass them around the table. Some are more balanced cocktails than others. I always seem to come back to the Paloma made with jamaica infused reposado. Since I always have jamaica at home I've taken to keeping a bottle of reposado at home that I've infused with jamaica. Makes a lovely colored margarita too :raz:

That sounds lovely.

#9 kalypso

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 05:43 PM

What do you mean it's not trendy - pretty much anything on Adams avenue IS the epitome of trendiness! Full of 20 to 30-somethings with beards and suspenders. It's Hipster Central as my husband calls it. Maybe you don't realize it because you happen to be one of the cool people. :wink:


The reality is I'm an old dinosaur :cool: . Frankly, I find the whole too cool for my shoes mind set amusing, but I supposed I was that way when I was that age. Compared to downtown and the rest of Adams Ave., Mayahuel truly is not a "see and be seen" place. The last time I was there, which was, admittedly, a while back, it didn't reek of sophistication (real or faux). Lots of good latin art covering a variety of genres on the walls and there may have been picnic table seating. Funky probably fits it better than trendy.

Chile infused tequila is better than jamaica infused :wink: , adds pizzazz to any tequila based drink.

#10 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

Just a quick note that Bottlecraft has just opened a second store in Normal Heights. It's around the corner from Urban Solace on University. I had a chance to visit this weekend and they have a great selection of local and non-local beers. I picked up a few local beers (Lost Abbey, AleSmith, The Bruery) and some Belgian beers as well.

Edited by FrogPrincesse, 06 February 2013 - 01:57 PM.


#11 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

San Diego Magazine just published an interview with Erick Castro from Polite Provisions, together with a link to a very promising drink menu. They are scheduled to open next week.

#12 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:25 PM

Things are dormant on these local boards but I can assure you that the cocktail and beer scene is still very active in San Diego.

 

I finally made it to Polite Provisions last weekend. It's always a good thing when you have a hard time ordering because there are so many good-looking options on the menu.

 

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First round - Barrel-Aged Chocolate Negroni (on tap!) and Seven Year Storm, a nice tiki creation with a touch of Averna.

 

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Second round - Attorney Privilege (bourbon + orgeat + bitters) and Weekend Beach House (another rum-based drink, with spiced soda).

 

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Overall, a very pleasant space and a great drink menu. You can even order little bites from Soda & Swine, their meatball shop next store. What else can we ask for...

 

 



#13 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 04:59 PM

A review of the 12 best bars in San Diego was just published in Difford's CLASS magazine.
It's nice to see more San Diego coverage!

The list:

 

El Take it Easy has closed its doors a while back. The word is that the team from The Lion's Share is opening a new spot in that location.


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 23 July 2013 - 05:00 PM.


#14 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:35 PM

Interesting article in the San Diego Reader about the  "Lords of the Drink" that I missed when it came out. I particularly enjoyed reading the detailed description of the preparation of a martini by Anthony Schmidt (page 3).



#15 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:28 AM

Erick Castro just published a video that describes the tap system they use for highballs at Polite Provisions. It's a system typically used for root beers and sodas. It's pretty cool - they make their own sodas from scratch and use them in pre-batched cocktail that are carbonated and available on tap.

 

 

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#16 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 10:55 AM

Polite Provisions was just named Cocktail Bar of the Year by Imbibe Magazine. Congrats to Erick Castro and the rest of the team!


Edited by FrogPrincesse, 20 December 2013 - 10:55 AM.


#17 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 10:40 AM

Erick Castro is getting more press. Interview for Virgin Atlantic: Erik Castro: The King of San Diego's Cocktail Bars.

 

What is special about San Diego’s Craft Cocktail scene?

 

As a scene it’s so untainted and everybody is in it for the right reasons because they care about it and they love it. It’s so passionate and there’s no attitude.

 

.



#18 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 02:32 PM

Rate Beer published their list of Top 100 Brewers in the World today. There are a lot of San Diego brueries: Alpine, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Pizza Port, Lost Abbey, Stone, The Bruery (Orange County), and last but not least, AleSmith at the number one spot.

 

Modern Times is listed as the best new brewer in California and #9 in the world.

 

Modern Times hit the RateBeer radar early, with Blazing World making an appearance in one of our earliest RateBeer Weekly Friday Field Guides. Cans of this and their generously hopped Fortunate Islands are already near the tip-top of their respective style categories. Like the brewery itself, their beers tend to commemorate previously attempted utopias.

 



#19 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 11:05 AM

There was an article in the San Diego Union Tribune today where they profiled a few people from the local cocktail scene, including Anthony Schmidt of Noble Experiment and Leigh Lacap who is now heading the bar at new restaurant Ironside Fish & Oyster in Little Italy. Regarding Ironside, they have a fairly impressive cocktail menu with everything from sherry cobblers to classic Mai Tais.



#20 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 17 June 2014 - 10:12 AM

An interesting article about the influence of Arsalun Tafazoli of Consortium Holdings (Neighborhood, Polite Priovisions, Ironside Fish & Oyster, etc) on the San Diego craft beer scene.



#21 FrogPrincesse

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Posted Yesterday, 11:37 AM

Polite Provisions (see Post 12) won for Best American High Volume Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail last week (full list of winners on Difford's). It's great to see San Diego be recognized.

 

The other super exciting news from this weekend is that Stone has announced that they will be opening their first European brewery in Berlin in 2015-2016. It's been years in the works. Similar to the San Diego set-up, the facility will include a production brewery, a restaurant, and gardens. See here for the official press release.