One of the cool things about craft beer culture is meeting other people who share your interest. I had the great pleasure of meeting up with Rob (Instagram’s @sdbeertour) and Chris (aka @ipa4hire) last Friday at Helix Brewing in La Mesa. It is a regular spot for them, but my first time. I was impressed.
Bolt Brewery is also in the same area. It is a little hard to get to off the 8, with some weird winding roads, strange intersections and one-ways, but trust your GPS and you’ll get there. Parking is difficult, so go after regular business hours when everything else in this commercial area is closed and you can use their spaces.
From the street where I parked I saw a food truck and the end of the building, and I wasn’t expecting much as I rounded the corner to enter the property. I was immediately struck by how large the place is, including a big outdoor patio–with a tree, a stage, and some nice places to sit. There was a guitar player entertaining the fairly large crowd. (Including some kids and dogs. We were there until about 10pm and it was consistently busy all night, which tells you they have a loyal following.) The long, narrow interior space containing the bar and brew house is brick, old wooden trusses and a corrugated iron roof; it sounds industrial, but it was really very pleasant. Inside there are a few seats along the bar, a series of high tops and a long low table right next to the tanks, where we sat. The cold box is visible through windows behind the bar.
The bar staff were busy but friendly, helpful and quick. The owner dropped by our table to say a quick hello, too.
They were pouring eleven beers that night, including a diverse array of choices. I opted for pints instead of a flight on this occasion.
Galaxy Rye IPA (6.4% ABV). An excellent Rye IPA, one of my favorite styles. Spicy with tropical notes and a pleasingly bitter finish. 4/5
Oatmeal Stout (5.1% ABV). Velvety, malty, roasty. Tasty. 3.5/5
The upshot is that Helix is a very nice place to spend some time, and the beer is definitely worth seeking out. I’ll be back.
https://drinkhelix.com/ 8101 Commercial St, La Mesa CA 91942