After getting “shut out” at Coronado Brewing in Imperial Beach, I looked for another nearby brewery. This one had been in the back of my mind since last fall, when the owner emailed me to tell me not to forget they exist since they aren’t on the SDGB list of breweries.
Not to be confused with Bay City Brewing in the Midway district (which I reviewed near the very beginning of my brewery quest), Bay Bridge Brewing is in a light industrial park in Chula Vista. They’ve been there since 2006, which apparently has given them time to build up a following: despite the off-the-beaten-track location, the place was very busy when I dropped by on a Saturday around 5:30pm. They had three bartenders on, so service was speedy and friendly, though they couldn’t tell me what hops were used in a beer I asked about.
Bay Bridge had ten beers on the menu board but one keg had just blown and that one wasn’t available. Since that was one I had requested for my flight, the bartender recommended another.
White IPA (6.5% ABV). Clean, very refreshing, with great tropical hops on the finish. 3.25/5
Palomar Pale Ale (5.9% ABV). Definitely a San Diego-style pale ale–i.e., hopped to IPA levels. Tropical hops, like the White IPA but not quite as dominant. Malty sweet backbone. 3/5
Star of India (IPA, 6.7% ABV). A good beer with a strong bitter finish. I like all the references to San Diego in the beer names and logos. 3.5/5
Bill of Rights (Imperial Red Ale, 6.7% ABV). Sweet and red. The hop profile is the same as other 3 beers I’ve had here–namely, a tropical fruit finish, which I don’t usually associate with a red. It also doesn’t have the “bite” I associate with red ales. 3/5
Rolling Hills Irish Red (5.6% ABV). Lighter than a typical red but very drinkable. Sharp, hoppy, malty. 3.25/5
The entrance to the tasting room is through a strange little lobby that must have predated their taking over the space since it serves no purpose now. Then you walk through the brewing area to a bar at the back, near the large, open warehouse door. Out back there is a lot of space, and at least during my visit various easy-up canopies covered tables that had been festooned for a party of some sort, and a band was playing. They crowd was lively and happy and seemed to like beer.
http://www.baybridgebrewing.com/ 688 Marsat Ct B, Chula Vista, CA 91911