[Note added 3/30/2018: In a period of retraction, having recently cut distribution sharply, laid off a significant number of employees and put their brand new Virginia brewery up for auction, Green Flash has now announced that Cellar 3 is closed and the location will be sold.]
The first time I tried to visit Cellar 3, it was closed. Turns out, they only open Wednesdays through Sundays, and even when they are open they close at 8pm (6pm on Sundays).
I’m glad I came back again to try it. The space is well decorated and comfortable, with lots of beer-themed and barrel-themed decor, as befits the home of Green Flash’s barrel aging program. You’ll find a large number of taps, including Alpine brands (brewed by Green Flash), Green Flash’s regular beers, and some interesting sours, fruit beers and other barrel-aged offerings under the Cellar 3 label. (I reviewed the Alpine Pub and the Green Flash production facility a little while ago.)
I tried three beers on my visit. Nouveau Tarte (7.7% ABV) is a sour red ale aged in bourbon barrels. Taking into account that I am not generally a lover of sours, I found that the wine and sour aspects conflicted with each other. My 2.75/5 rating is way out of line with the average on Untappd, though, which is 4/5. I had a similar reaction to Dry Hopped Fresco Sauvage (5.4% ABV), a Brett Saison hopped with Citra and Simcoe and aged in wine barrels. For me, the sourness and the hoppiness did not play well together. I rated in 2.75/5, but Untappd has it at a hair under 4/5. Finally, Natura Morta with Boysenberry (5.5% ABV) is a saison that tasted as sour as straight vinegar but–or “and” depending on your tastes–had nice background flavors of berry and wine barrel. It was very lightly carbonated and the flavors fell off quickly. I rated it 3.25/5 (compared to 4/5 on Untappd).
Clearly, I’m not a good guide to sours. Instead follow the crowds, which are apparently quite large on weekends. Other coverage (e.g., West Coaster) is positive. Food trucks are often in attendance.
12260 CROSTHWAITE CIRCLE, POWAY CA 92064