New Year, New Chapter, A Few New Brews

by Renee on January 15, 2016

sunSo 2016 is off to a pretty good start, as new years go. I made the decision to celebrate the holiday away from old memories and to make some new ones in San Diego–to get away from cold Ohio temperatures, in a new environment with old friends.

I had been wanting to get to Southern California to check out the beer Coronadoscene there for some time, and had a great couple of tour guides in Kevin and Vicke, who grew up with Paul in Erie, PA but had lived on the West Coast for many years. Not wasting any time, Kevin picked me up in his convertible (doesn’t everyone in Southern Cali drive one?) and we were off to the Coronado Brewing Company straight from the airport. tasting

With a friendly brewpub located right in their packaging facility, Coronado welcomes dogs and those who appreciate a good brew. I decided on a flight (Islander IPA, the Islander with cranberry, the Orange Avenue Wit, the Dublin Down, and Stupid Stout), while Kevin went straight for his favorite, the IPA. We enjoyed banter at the bar with some locals and I won the prize for farthest traveled that day.

StoneSince Vicke had to work the next day, Kevin sacrificed himself again and took me to visit Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido. Wow. Phenomenal environment for drinking great brews, and we enjoyed some sunshine on the beautiful lawns next to a babbling brook. An outdoor lunch on the patio was delicious–I had the bruschetta BLT with a smoked porter with vanilla bean that was the perfect combo. Good job, Ohio native Greg Koch and company!

Later that afternoon we had to stop at the Belching Beaver Tasting Room so I could pick up a shirt for a good friend who is obsessed with beavers…best not ask. Anyway, we picked up some cans of their IPA, which we enjoyed when we had a chance to drink them later.

What trip to Southern California is complete with crossing the border into Tijuana? Well, mine wouldn’t be, so on TJNew Year’s Day we made our way to Mexico where we enjoyed some very fine margaritas. (I’m a cross drinker you know.) And I had the chance to practice saying “cerveza, por favor.”

Earlier in 2015, I had the good fortune of being contacted by Julian Shrago, owner/brewmaster at Beachwood Brewing & BBQ in Long Beach. He had brewed a tribute to New Albion Ale, and called the delicious clone HopANova. He sent me a few bottles to taste, and I was impressed. So we spent my last day in California enjoying Julian’s many brews and hospitality. We were having so much fun I didn’t take any photos, a fail on my part. If you’re ever in that part of the country, Beachwood Brew is a don’t-miss. The BBQ and other food coming out of the kitchen looked and smelled beachwooddelicious, too! (I sampled the tots–awesome!)

Sadly, my beery travels had to end. I look forward to focusing on New Albion this year, and perhaps dip a toe into some other beer ventures. Stay tuned…


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Pete Bongiovanni January 15, 2016 at 4:58 pm

Nice to hear you are going to YT. We in CF look forward to some better brews. Tried Lucky Owl, a new Bainbridge brewery? Bainbridge Library is having a. Raft brew Tati g and education by the Lucky Owl brewmaster in early April.
I am in Charlotte drinking jalopena IPA from Birdsong Brewery. Good stuff. Good luck at YT.


Renee January 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Thanks, Pete, yes I’ve tried Lucky Owl and met the proprietor! Good guy!


randy locke January 15, 2016 at 11:05 pm

Oh that sounds like so much fun and what a great blog Thank You Rene


Renee January 16, 2016 at 3:17 pm

Thanks, Randy!


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