Any business that gets a street named after it must be doing something right.
Located on AleSmith Court in “Beeramar,” the size of the brewery and tasting room is impressive. Some people have compared the location to Green Flash, and I definitely see that. I like the AleSmith spot better, actually, in part because there is more seating and in part because I had a much more interested and informed beertender at AleSmith. (For comparison, here’s my Green Flash review.) They had a food truck out front and although it was the one cold week of the year in San Diego during my visit the large outdoor patio looked inviting. Bonus: there is plenty of parking.
I went for an “all dark” flight of four from their menu of 11 year-round plus ten seasonal/specialty beers. They offer five different curated flights or you can make your own as I did.
Nut Brown Ale (5% ABV). I’ve had Nut Brown a few times in bottles and on draft at bars and I’ve always liked it. This time, super fresh and on nitro, it was outstanding. The nitro made it smooth and velvety, and though it did kill some of the aromas the nutty flavors really came through. Really good. 4.25/5
Robust Porter (6.5% ABV). Light tasting roasted malts, a little thin. Pretty good, but not as good as I had expected. I think I detected a slight “off” sour note on the end. 3/5
My Bloody Valentine (Red Ale, 6.66% ABV). I was really impressed with this one. There was a floral hop on the end that rounded out the sweet roasted malts just beautifully. 4/5
Hammerhead Speedway Stout (Imperial Stout with coffee, 12% ABV). A kick in the pants in every dimension, this “enhanced” version of the justly famous Speedway Stout has espresso beans added. I had it on cask, and it was fantastic. Beautiful coffee aroma even on the first approach. There’s a nice raisin/burn as if it were bourbon barrel aged. If it wouldn’t put you in the hospital, this one you could drink all night. 4.25/5
Go to AleSmith. Now. And don’t forget they offer brewery tours for $10, including a sample and a pint glass to take home.
http://alesmith.com/ 9990 AleSmith Ct, San Diego, CA 92126