My girlfriend and I are big fans of Mother Earth’s beer–in fact, they came in at #1 in my recent “Ten Top San Diego Breweries” list. And I really enjoyed the Mother Earth tasting room on Vista’s Main Street. So we came to the original Mother Earth brewery (also in Vista) with high hopes. The beer was good, the service was good, but we ended up disappointed. Not so disappointed that it will prevent us from buying their beer in the future, but enough so that my advice is to skip the brewery location and just stick with the tasting room on Main Street.
To be clear, the tasting room isn’t “bad”–it is fairly small and fairly sparse, as you would expect from a tasting room in a commercial space–but it isn’t terribly comfortable to be there, the sound bounces around in an off-putting way, the paint is ugly hospital-green, etc. I found the clichéd 1960s and 1970s band posters that make up the totality of the “decoration” just kind of boring; they seemed to demonstrate a lack of effort. I guess I expected that a place that puts so much care into making great beer would put more into making a great tasting room experience.
The beer we had was good, and the brewer who was hanging out with friends even offered us a pour of a bottle of barley wine he was testing for quality. (I didn’t catch his name; sometimes I prefer not tell people I’m a beer blogger, to get the more authentic experience of just being a regular customer.) The brewer also chatted a bit with us about the other beers we were drinking and the history of the place. So from that angle it is just what you would want as a beer tourist.
Boo Koo (IPA, 6.5% ABV). Somehow I’ve never had this before, even though it is Mother Earth’s best seller. It was sharp and piney, but I found the bitterness on the finish a bit too cloying. 3.5/5
Sin-Tax Imperial Peanut Butter Stout (8.1% ABV). Vista’s other PB stout. Not as good as Belching Beaver’s, in my opinion. It was a little too sour, and the peanut butter isn’t forward enough. 3.25/5
Sin-Tax Imperial Peanut Butter Stout on Nitro (8.1% ABV). Smooth and tasty–way better than the non-nitro version. (Maybe it was batch inconsistency on the first one I tried?) 3.75/5
Tantalus (Barley Wine, “Four Seasons of Mother Earth Series: Spring (2016)”; 8.2% ABV). Very tasty, almost mead-like, complex, a bit sweet, smooth. 3.5/5
The upshot is this: You can get the same (really excellent) beer just 3.4 miles away in a much better environment. Go there instead.
https://www.motherearthbrewco.com/ 2055 Thibodo Rd Ste H, Vista, CA 92081