Thursday, May 26, 2011

MAXED OUT: the End of the World brewery tour

Interested in how to run a brewery tour? Then avoid making the following mistakes. We kid, we kid! Remember: you were forewarned - Max dishes the gory details on last Saturday's brewery tour. Maximus..?

What’s the good word my fans of fermentation? Welcome back to the Max Show and thanks for joining. As many of you know, this past Saturday I put together a brewery tour and today I’m here to tell ya all about it. Imma just gonna jump right in. Boom!

I’m so glad we all survived Armageddon but I honestly wouldn’t have known if the Rapture had come as I was passed out cold at 6 o’clock this past Saturday evening. Sos, every three months I put together a brewery tour in which a large group of us jump on a stretch limo bus and explore the different San Diego Breweries and, of course, get completely obliterated. This was our third attempt and, if I do say so myself, our finest showing. We started at my humble little beer bar, Hoffer’s, at 10 o’clock in the A.M. (I know, completely ridiculous) with a pizza party, beers and forty friends and strangers alike. We then piled onto the largest limo bus that San Diego had to offer, complete with our own personal bano and two stripper poles. And of course everyone came bearing gifts in the form of BEER!

We left Hoffer’s around 11:15 and headed north to Port/Lost Abbey, about a 45 minute drive away in San Marcos, which was just enough time for everyone to crush a couple more beers before noon. Hey, it was 5 o’clock somewhere!
Lost Abbey is the sister company of Port Brewing and they have a beer called Judgment Day, which is a 10.5% ABV Belgian Quad and quite tasty. So in honor of the Rapture they threw a “Judgment Day Party” complete with beer specials, free shwag, raffles throughout the day and an Armageddon costume contest. The only problem was that we showed up as the doors opened, so the festivities hadn’t really started yet. Everyone was still enjoying themselves to the plethora of beers that were on tap, and in checking out the enormous brewery (my personal favorite in San Diego.) But as the fearless leader I decided to make a last minute change of plans and add another brewery stop to our list. Onward and upward to BALLAST POINT!

Maxed Out and Beers with Demo have a good friend that recently got a job as a beertendress at Ballast Point’s primary brewing facility up in Scripps Ranch and she had asked that we make a stop by the bar on our tour.
Being the obliging, upstanding gents we are, we threw them in the mix. This brewery is not the biggest or best brewery on the planet but I have it on good authority that they are soon expanding into a much larger establishment. And they really do have some damn fine beer. Most people enjoyed a beverage or two (as of course, yours truly did) and some just hung out on the lawn out front so they didn’t get tooooooo wasted. Good call kids! I did a little of both as I felt it my duty to glad-hand a bit. But all-in-all, I felt it was a good decision to change it up a little and check out another San Diego brewery. Thanks Ballast, you guys rock! Where shall we go next? Did you say Alesmith? Ok, we can do that.

Alesmith is a short jaunt from Ballast Point and was on our original itinerary. They are also my personal favorite San Diego brewery (a discussion for another time.) So we unload 40 drunk bastards for the third time and rock the ‘Ale’ out of ‘Alesmith.’
That’s right, they are now only known as ‘Smith Brewing Co.’ This brewing facility is my second favorite to Port/Lost Abbey as the staff is friendly, the drinks are divine, and the place is just big enough to handle the masses that ascend? every Saturday afternoon.
We went there on the last tour but I felt as though it would be a nice addition for the virgins to the tour. Horney Devil was on tap and I am exactly that, so I indulged in several of the tasty libations for the hour that we were there. And at 11% ABV, let’s just say that I was feeling good when we were done with this joint. Where to next? Let’s try a change of pace, shall we?

This is the first time that I had added a beer bar to the list and what better place to go than the place with the best tap line-up in San Diego? Toronado is located in the heart of North Park, on Lincoln and 30th street and for the most part, features California brews. This is where the tour becomes a little foggy. I was so anxious and fearlessly leading that I only had one slice of pizza, which turned out to be a bit of a mistake. I did have a couple of Alpine’s Pure Hoppiness, which at 8.5% ABV might have just been a bit too much. Wudareyagunnado? So after a half hour or so half of the brewery tour contestants piled on the bus and headed back to Hoffer’s while the rest of us stayed and continued pounding beers. This was at about 4 o’clock in the P.M. and I had been drinking since 10. Nap time!

All in all I think most people had a GREAT time. You are all invited to the next tour which will be held on August 6th. Breweries to be visited have yet to be decided, and a sign up date has also yet to be decided but stay tuned on Beers with Demo and Maxed Out. I will give you all a heads up for sure. And if you do want to join, any suggestions or recommendations for the breweries that you’d like to visit would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, thanks for joining in - comments below, on Facebook, or at Next week I will be addressing some of the comments that you all have posted, and ya never know, I might just jump into the forth beer on my top ten favorite beers of all time!

Until next time my beer loving brethren, have a beer for me.

(ed. note: Stripper poles, beers and pizza at 10 in the morning - we don't know what dude is talking about.... Our top 3 San Diego breweries: 1) Pizza Port 2) Alpine Brewery 3) Alesmith... We would like to nominate Iron Fist Brewery up in Vista for as a stop on the next brewery tour)


SarahB said...

Six pack of your favorite brew to anyone who can produce a viable photo of Dean on the stripper poll.

Thanks for giving North County some love!

mike atkinson said...

Maxxy, how 'bout an east county angle next time? Alpine & Manzanita...