Beer Maverick

Pure Project at Balboa Park, Bankers Hill

The fun, hip vibe means you don’t need to be a hard core beer geek to enjoy Pure at the Park. But if you are, you will really enjoy it.

Pure Project is one of San Diego craft beer’s real gems. In addition to being a successful business, they consistently make truly excellent beer. I’m especially a fan of their barrel aged dark beers, but they make a huge variety of beer—sour, hazy, WCIPA, and lots more—all of it well-designed and well-made.


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As a result, their tasting room is always packed, their can releases are hugely popular. Their Miramar Brewery Igniter location (next to Amplified Ales Works) has always been too small for them, but they have made it work by acquiring neighboring spaces and just making do. On top of it all, they seem like good folks.


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It is therefore pleasing to see them succeeding and growing. Pure at the Park is their first satellite tasting room, opened in August 2019, and in spring 2020 they’ll open a second satellite tasting room in Carlsbad. (How they’ll be able to brew enough beer on the small system in Miramar to meet demand from three locations and an active can release schedule is a mystery to me, but I trust that they have a plan.)

The Bankers Hill tasting room is a delight. Surrounded on two sides by outdoor seating areas, there is plenty of glass and open windows. The elegant and very long bar occupies most of the inside, though there are tables and standing areas inside, too. As you would expect if you have been to the Miramar location, the interior design is clean, elegant and comfortable, with lots of woods. It is easily one of the best looking tasting rooms in San Diego.

The beer, as expected, was great, with one exception. I found Simcoe Murklands (a hazy IPA) to have a vegetal/astringent aftertaste that I did not enjoy. Tropical Mist is the best blonde ale I can remember (I rated it 4.25/5 on Untappd, which is probably a whole point higher than my average rating for blonde ales.) Barrel-aged Tenmile porter is a revelation every time I get to try it. The “secret tap” was a beer I got to try again at GABF, Corylus. It was good, though a little too sweet for me.

The fun, hip vibe means you don’t need to be a hardcore beer geek to enjoy Pure at the Park. But if you are, you will really enjoy it.

https://www.purebrewing.org/location/balboa-park/     2865 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

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