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FrogPrincesse

San Diego beer and cocktail scene

40 posts in this topic

Here is a pretty well researched article/infographic on San Diego microbreweries. For those who were not paying attention, it's official - San Diego is considered the craft beer capital in the US.

 

It's pretty amazing to see how the scene changed in the last 15 years. At the time Karl Strauss was the major playor, with Stone, AleSmith and Pizza Port starting to make themselves known.

 

Today there are 88 microbreweries in San Diego County according to the article.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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San Diego County breweries won a total of 14 medals in the Great American Beer Festival this weekend, including all 3 medals in the Session category.

Here is the list.

 

  • 14 - Session Beer (94 entries) - Benchmark Brewing Company, Oatmeal Stout (Gold), Pizza Port Ocean Beach, Guillaume (Silver), Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Mosaic Session Ale (Bronze)
  • 21 - American-Belgo-Style Ale (69 entries) - Green Flash Brewing Company, Le Freak (Bronze)
  • 51 - International Style Pale Ale (88 entries) - Societe Brewing Company, The Pupil (Bronze)
  • 52 - American-Style Pale Ale (145 entries) - Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Grunion (Gold)
  • 55 - Imperial India Pale Ale (135 entries) - Port Brewing Company, Hop 15 (Silver)
  • 57 - Imperial Red Ale (62 entries) - Port Brewing Company, Shark Attack (Bronze)
  • 62 - Irish-Style Red Ale (60 entries) - Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, Piper Down (Silver)
  • 71 - Belgian-Style Witbier (65 entries) - Saint Archer Brewery, White Ale (Gold)
  • 76 - Belgian-Style Tripel (58 entries) - Pizza Port Ocean Beach, La Flama Dorada (Bronze)
  • 78 - Other Belgian-Style Ale (26 entries) - Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station, Witty Moron (Gold)
  • 81 - Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout (26 entries) - Bagby Beer Co., Asphalt Jungle (Bronze)
  • 89 - Barley Wine-Style Ale (51 entries) - AleSmith Brewing Company, Old Numbskull (Gold)

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Eater San Diego has updated its Cocktail Heatmap for Cocktail Week.

 

Here was the 2013 list

 

  • Polite Provisions
  • Coin Op Game Room
  • Bang Bang
  • Priority Public House
  • Cat Eye Club
  • Sycamore Den
  • Cannonball
  • Venga Venga
  • The Pony Room
  • Saltbox Dining and Drinking

 

 

And the 2014 edition.

 

  • Starlite
  • Grant Grill
  • Panama 66
  • Común Kitchen & Tavern
  • Jsix Restaurant
  • Noble Experiment
  • Don Chido
  • Fairweather/Rare Form
  • Ironside Fish & Oyster
  • Table No. 10
  • Zymology
  • Puesto

 

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I mainly agree with the list (especially like currently a late night cocktail and some pastrami fries at Fairweather) but Starlite shouldn't be on the list (great food but just average cocktails)

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I mainly agree with the list (especially like currently a late night cocktail and some pastrami fries at Fairweather) but Starlite shouldn't be on the list (great food but just average cocktails)

Starlite has a good whiskey list. That's what I get when I go there.

 

Regarding the 2014 list, I concur on Noble Experiment, Fairweather/Rare Form, and Ironside. From last year, Polite and Sycamore. But they really missed the mark by not including Bankers Hill. I am also surprised that Craft & Commerce was omitted.

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Starlite has a good whiskey list. That's what I get when I go there.

 

Regarding the 2014 list, I concur on Noble Experiment, Fairweather/Rare Form, and Ironside. From last year, Polite and Sycamore. But they really missed the mark by not including Bankers Hill. I am also surprised that Craft & Commerce was omitted.

 

Haven't been to Bankers Hill for several years as their food was always very underwhelming. (Eater SD tends to go more for the trendy factor than the actual quality of a restaurant - in the end it is just more or less a PR page)

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Haven't been to Bankers Hill for several years as their food was always very underwhelming. (Eater SD tends to go more for the trendy factor than the actual quality of a restaurant - in the end it is just more or less a PR page)

 

Then you are due for a visit. The food is better than what it was, and the cocktails are outstanding. I always have a great time sitting at the bar, ordering a few small plates of food to share and some cocktails. The Jet Pilot is especially fabulous; also the Sherry Cobbler is an excellent lower octane option. Or just ask Christian to come up with something based on your mood. 


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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Christian Siglin of Bankers' Hill won the 2014 Eater award for best bartender (runners-up include Eric Johnson of Sycamore Den, Anthony Schmidt of Rare Form, Trevor Easter of Noble Experiment, Jen Queen of Juniper & Ivy).

 

Here is a recent interview. The quote below represents his style very well I think.

 

What are some fun flavors you’re working with? 
Being from San Diego, I love incorporating a lot of Tiki inspired flavors into classic cocktails.  I love using teas in cocktails and my favorite lately is infusing passion fruit tea into Campari.   

 

 

 

 

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Hey, FP, what do you think of Searsucker, if you've been? I was at the Del Mar location a year or so ago. It seemed OK--drinks weren't bad, but the service had an inattentive factory feel to it. The whole place felt a bit too calculated.

 

I'm from the La Jolla area, left about nine years ago to go to college. Come back to San Diego a couple times a year to visit family and friends, and will be out for a quick trip in a few weeks. Do you know any good cocktail bars in La Jolla, UTC, or Del Mar?

 

I've been meaning to try Polite Provisions since it opened. Looks great and like they know what they're doing. Attorney Privilege is a nice little drink and I've made it a couple times from the Imbibe recipe:

 

http://imbibemagazine.com/attorney-privilege-recipe/


Edited by Fernet-Bronco (log)

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Hey, FP, what do you think of Searsucker, if you've been? I was at the Del Mar location a year or so ago. It seemed OK--drinks weren't bad, but the service had an inattentive factory feel to it. The whole place felt a bit too calculated.

 

Meh. Not a big fan of Brian Malarkey.

 

 

 

I'm from the La Jolla area, left about nine years ago to go to college. Come back to San Diego a couple times a year to visit family and friends, and will be out for a quick trip in a few weeks. Do you know any good cocktail bars in La Jolla, UTC, or Del Mar?

 

 

I can't really think of good bars in these areas (other than my home bar!), but Noble Experiment, Bankers Hill, Fairweather/Rare Form, Sycamore Den, and Ironside are well worth the drive.

 

 

 

I've been meaning to try Polite Provisions since it opened. Looks great and like they know what they're doing. Attorney Privilege is a nice little drink and I've made it a couple times from the Imbibe recipe:

 

http://imbibemagazine.com/attorney-privilege-recipe/

 

Polite is fun but tends to be a zoo on weekends. Drinks on the sweet side.

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Hmm I didn't realize the Searsucker chain was part of an even larger consortium. I wasn't planning to go back, but will definitely try to find something smaller now.

 

Interesting to hear about Polite Provisions. Not a fan of zoos or too-sweet drinks. Thanks for the suggestions. They all look great. A bit of a drive for a quick two-day visit, but I'll see if we can free up a couple hours to go downtown.

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Eric Johnson joined Richard Blais' Juniper & Ivy as bar manager a couple of months ago, replacing Jen Queen (new cocktail menu here), while Christian Siglin joined Bracero as a bar director, Javier Plascencia's new restaurant in Little Italy which should open any time.


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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