I got an invitation from Division 23 to come down for a visit. I had not been for a long while and I had enjoyed my first time there, so I was glad to drop in. (In the interests of full disclosure I should tell you that they paid for my flight this time.)
The brewery and its tasting room are at the back of a commercial/light industrial park. You have to be patient and just keep going. Fortunately they have added more signs than I saw on my first visit, so it is a little easier to feel confident you are going the right way now.
After that little adventure, you should be able to easily find parking. The entrance is unassuming. As soon as you walk in, however, you’ll love the vibe. It feels like a basement rec room to me–fairly low ceilings, lots of dark woods, a small bar, a few side tables, some sofas and chairs, and a ping pong table. The nanobrewing system is off to the side as you enter.
I had great service from the bartender, even though he was very busy with an office party that afternoon. A sense of pride about working there was evident when he talked with me, even though he had only been there a couple of months.
The vibe in the place was lively and fun. I was pleased to see that even people who were unused to craft beer were given patient advice and guided to beers they all enjoyed.
I really liked my flight. The beer has “leveled up” since I last visited Division 23 in 2017.
Honey Blonde (4.8% ABV). Crystal clear, clean, floral honey, a little bite on the finish, perfectly carbonated. This is at least as good as Pizza Port’s that won a medal. 4.25/5
C-Squared (Cream Ale, 4.9% ABV). Should have done this before the honey blonde. This is more subtle. A little thicker mouthfeel, clean finish. 3.75/5
Anniversary DIPA (Double IPA, 8.5% ABV). Yum. Floral/tropical fruit prominent on the nose and even more opening taste. The booziness is well hidden but adds to the flavor. Long finish. 3.75/5
Pipefitter Porter (6.5% ABV). Roasty, chocolate note. Medium mouthfeel. Slightly lingering bitter/astringent finish. 3.75/5
Hint of Mint (Stout with mint, 5.8% ABV). Interesting. A good base stout, thick and smooth. Mint comes through mainly as volatiles rather than sweetness, accentuating the alcohol. Hint of chocolate. 3.5/5
The consistency and the quality of the beers at Division 23 should satisfy any beer lover. The range of beers is not huge, but it is certainly big enough.
It is a nice spot for an after work gathering or a special occasion. You can even reserve the back room for a private event, complete with several large TVs and a video game console. It would make an excellent place to watch a big game with a small group of friends.
www.division23brewing.com 7408 Trade Street San Diego, CA 92121