Until recently, this spot was O’Sullivan Brothers Brewing Company, which I reviewed in June 2017. It had been up for sale for a few months when it was purchased and transformed into Savagewood last fall.
From what I can see, they are making good decisions. O’Sullivan had some good (and award-winning) beers, especially in the porter/stout range, and Savagewood has decided to keep making some of those beers, which complement their own line of IPAs and less-heavy beers. Besides meaning that those good beers will still be available, that move probably goes a long way in transferring the loyalty of the former regulars to the new brand, too. In addition, they have renovated the front room/tasting area, so that it no longer feels like a tiny box where you drink after ordering your beer from a small window. There’s a real (though still smallish) bar, and the space now feels open and comfortable. There’s a little more seating, too, if my memory is correct.
I was served by the assistant brewer, who was doing double duty on the bar while prepping for the next day’s brew session. He was pleasant and helpful even though he was busy.
There were ten beers, a craft soda and a cold brew coffee on nitro available for purchase on the day I visited. My flight of five beers was very enjoyable. (In addition to the four below, I tried the blonde ale, but I forgot to rate it.)
Oh Sweet! (IPA, 6.8% ABV). This was brewed as a collaboration with QUAFF, the homebrewing club, as a fundraiser. It presents a subtle pine/floral/sweet combination. It is pretty good. 3.25/5
Gnarly Dude (ESB, 5.8% ABV). It is very close to a real English ESB. Nice malty sweetness, light carbonation, smooth, bitter finish. 3.75/5
$500 Millionaire (Session IPA, 5% ABV). Very solid. Great hop profile, nicely fruity/sweet with a slight piney/earthy note. 4/5
I Get Around (fruited Pale Ale, 5% ABV). The peach and passionfruit well-melded. They lend a subtle sweetness and indistinct fruitiness. Something on the aftertaste isn’t great to me, it is a bit astringent. 3.5/5
Savagewood’s beers are very good. Given that it is essentially a brand new brewery, the beers are *very* good. I’m excited to see how they grow over time.
www.savagewoodbrewing.com 9879 Hilbert St, Ste F, San Diego, CA 92131