Beers I drink, Breweries, road trip

Central Coast Brewing Company

Tucked in between the hills of San Luis Obispo is a small, unassuming building that houses the Central Coast Brewing Company.  There’s a sign you can see from the street that advertises the wares within.  Stef's pics 8-7-17 041

The tiny parking lot is usually filled with cars.  There are always bikes cruising by and getting locked up while the rider has a brew (or two).  Such is a typical night in SLO on Monterey Street.

In July, I was lucky enough to spend a few days in SLO and I wrote the @ccbrewSLO on my schedule in permanent black sharpie.  I like to visit breweries in every town I visit but certain towns have particular breweries that I especially love and Central Coast Brewing is one of them.

Previous visits to CCBC have been less inviting due to the crowds but it was practically empty when I strolled in on a Sunday night.  There were about 7 people inside and 3 people out on the deck outside.  We weren’t graced with the presence of a canine but I noticed a bowl of water on the floor so they are definitely dog-friendly.

Their menu is so extensive, I had to break it up into 3 shots to be able to make it blind-lady sized.  15 original beers on draft! Had I died and gone to hop heaven?  I love me some Pale Ale and there were 5 different flavors to sample.

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I decided to sip the International IPA called Citrusogalactic at 6.6%.  The Old Man went with a Moonbuggy which measures 8.0% and is a New England style IPA.

 

When I went to pay, I expected my total to be $14.  But the brewtender charged me $8 and change.  I was so stunned that I forgot to say anything like, “Hey, is that the happy hour special or what?”  It would’ve been nice to know.

We got a seat outside on the deck.  It was a nice night and the sun was in the process of setting as we sat and drank.  We watched the shadows on the hills in front of us grow longer and a chill came to the air.  In fucking July.  A chill.  I love SLO.

The citrus was bright tasting and lived up to it’s name.  It was very sour with bitter grapefruit notes.  Sean’s Moonbuggy was resinous & juicy af with the unfiltered haze of a NE IPA.  Both brews were hopped just right.

Stef's pics 8-7-17 024 I love the little details about Central Coast that make it so cozy feeling.

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They’ve got a wall full of different bottles of beer that I could not stop staring at the first time I visited.  This trip was the first time I’ve been able to sit outside so I had never noticed before but the railing is made up up staves from old barrels.  Recycling in action!

I did notice one new thing about CCBC and that is the 2 new bathrooms inside the building.  Now you don’t have to leave your beer out of sight if you are afraid of getting drugged….haha, J/K, that doesn’t happen in SLO!  But seriously, the bathrooms used to be up several steps and down the hall of the building complex next door.  The addition of in-house pissers is convenient and good news to report.

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Central Coast has their own food truck.  It’s something I have seen at a small number of breweries.  They had closed up for the night right before we got there so I didn’t get to see what was on the menu.  But I got this pic…check it out!

You can get merch and beer to go from Central Coast Brew Co.  I like to advertise!

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We talked for a while and then decided to order another round.  Here is what I remember:   Stef's pics 8-7-17 043

It was delicious and I took a nice picture of it.  But I learned an important lesson.  And that is to write stuff down so that I remember when I end up writing the brewbroadblog.

Maybe as soon as November, I will visit Central Coast again.  But it may not be until next year during spring.  I never know where the seasons will take me and what new brews I get to sample.  But I will keep taking pictures and writing about it!

 

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Out on the town drunk

Bingo Wednesdays at Backstreet Brewery

It was just like putting on a familiar pair of jeans; getting back to Backstreet Brewery in Anaheim for game night.  It used to be trivia on Wednesday nights.  But times change.  The game changes.  Now it’s bingo.  DSC06735

 

 

The Old Man and I arrived at about 7:45 and we were the first group among many that had parked right after we did and walked up right after us.  Luckily we knew what we DSC06734  wanted so we just went right up and ordered at the bar.  The menu board was the same as Monday’s $3 pint night and our selections changed only slightly.

On our first round, I tried the Los Angeles IPA of Anaheim that had an ABV of 6.4% and a measurement of 55 on the IBU scale.  It was a dark IPA in such contrast to the golden color of the Old Man’s Set Sail IPA but not even close to being as dark as their Imperial Red Ale.  DSC06754  It had a smoky taste and the slightest of bitter notes.  I liked it a lot even though it has a kinda low ABV.

Before “last call” we ordered a last round of Tomahawk Double IPA’s.  We both had pints of this on Monday and we were glad to revisit.  The color is light but the taste is full.

We played 3 rounds of bingo.

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The caller, the man in charge, told us they usually do 4 rounds.  They also usually start at 7:00 but on this night, they waited until more people showed up and they didn’t get started until about 7:30.  Since we got there a little late, we missed the first round.  A mistake we will never make again.

 

 

Bingo night is so stress-free at @BackstreetBrew.  I have gone to the church bingo nights with the serious old ladies and it is not fun.  The old ladies are aiming for complicated bingo patterns that make no sense.  Image result for old ladies playing bingo  At bingo night at Backstreet, we just played regular, not serious, bingo.  The kind where you win if you get five in a row.  The last game’s goal was to get the 4 corners to win.  But these are easy to understand.  The old ladies play shapes like the Confederate flag and shit like that.  When I went, I had to constantly ask the old lady next to me if I had a bingo yet.  As expected, she became annoyed and quit talking to me.

 

 

You get one card per round and a dabber.  DSC06752

It’s free to play and the guy provides everything.  Prizes are awarded after each successful round.  The table next to us was super lucky and the one lady, among four men, won twice.  The first time, she got a card valid for a growler.  Yeah, I was jealous but I was sure I could win one myself…ha!  God laughs at the plans I make.  She also won the grand prize at the end which was 2 Angels tickets.  I would’ve preferred another growler if I was her, but she was nice and gave her tix to her friend for his birthday.  Damn winning bitch.  I hope she burns in beer hell for her luck.

Our favorite brewtender, Renee, was serving tonight and we were so glad to see her smiling face.  She remembered us from trivia night and helped us right away with great service.

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There was a food truck called MexItUp but they were shut down for the night.  I don’t know if they sold out of their wares or if they were too into bingo to serve food.  But the menu was on the outside and I noticed they had veggie tacos for $8.00.  DSC06747

Don’t veggies cost less than meat?  Shouldn’t veggie tacos be cheaper than meat tacos?  Just one vegetarian’s opinion.  I guess if you are eating off a food truck, you expect to pay a premium for the service and options.  I was just excited to know they had veggie tacos in the first place, never mind the price.

 

The crowd for bingo night was overwhelming.  The two tables inside were completely taken up.  By the time bingo had started, there were only two empty picnic tables left on the patio.

 

After bingo, the crowd dispersed somewhat.  The twice-winning woman got the heck out of there before we could strong arm her for her growler prize.  But we will be back again.  Maybe not every week but it is a great break in the middle of the work week.  You should try to make it to #Anaheim for bingo night at Backstreet Brewery.  It’s fun and drinks flow the whole night.

Get your drunk on and always remember to tip your brewtender!

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Beers I drink, Breweries, Out on the town drunk

$3 Pint Night @BackstreetBrew

Monday is a day much maligned in our working-class culture.  But if you think about it, Monday’s not that bad.  I mean, you’ve got Preacher (spoiler alert) on AMC.  And then, to prep for Preacher,  you’ve got $3 pints at @BackStreetBrew.  Those two things alone are like the silver lining of Monday’s grey cloud.

I noticed a few things had changed right off the bat.  They have a giant new BSB sign on the front.  DSC06729  There was a note on the front door that welcomed and invited you to use the entrance on the left side.  Oh yeah, and to remind you to #drinklocalDSC06730

In the front window, on the floor, was also a wooden sign.  Maybe they don’t know it’s on the floor.  Someone should hang it back up.  It’s cool.

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It was very crowded when we showed up around 8:00.                                                       DSC06743  Almost all the street parking was taken.  Which can also be said about all the outside seating.  There was one left for me & the Old Man in both instances.  The city has painted blocked out parking spots on Santa Cruz St..  I’m sure it’s in preparation for the shit-ton of crowds that are going to be coming here once all the condo’s go up in the vicinity.  You can see the gigantic eyesore of a parking structure in the background.  Yay.  Crowds.

I love how consistent Backstreet is with their menu but how they also always have something new to try.  DSC06734

This time, I noticed the Los Angeles IPA of Anaheim and I giggled to myself at the play on words for the Angels baseball team.  But…I ended up going with the Set Sail IPA.               DSC06737 It was stronger and I needed that.  Set Sail is a 7% with 70 IBU’s.  It’s a beautiful golden color and tastes so refreshing and with a hoppyness to last for days.  It’s delicious so I could not resist.  Neither could Sean, we both ended up drinking the same brews the whole night.  Once we killed our first round, we decided to hit hard and go for the Tomahawk Double IPA.  Tomahawk is a whopping 9.2% ABV with a score of 105 on the IBU scale.  I love it because it is so strong.  It’s bitter as hell at first but your palette adjusts accordingly and it goes down smooth after that.

There was a food truck there last Monday.   DSC06742It was called Bobup and people seemed to really like it.  I have friends who would be interested in bringing their food truck, HeadHunter, to Backstreet so it is good to know that they are having trucks come on a regular basis.

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Bobup featured Korean food and put their menu’s on the tables.  I thought that was a brilliant move to show the folks what you have to offer without them having to awkwardly go up to the truck to look at the menu and think about what they want and then kinda slink off back to their seat to stew over which kind of protein they want.  Unfortunately there was nothing of substance that was vegetarian.  And they spelled steak wrong.

The Old Man and I caught up on trivia with the pages I totally missed from my trivia calendar.  The pages started on June 1st. and we got all the way to June 23rd.  We thought it was appropriate considering we used to come here for trivia on Wednesdays.  But they don’t have trivia anymore.

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They’ve got bingo on Wednesday nights now but other than that, their Daily Specials are still the same as they were since the last time I was at BSB.  Again, I love the consistency.  Here’s a pic of their specials:

 

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So that’s about it.  I’m getting back to Backstreet.  Tonight, I’m stopping by for a game of bingo and a Los Angeles IPA of Anaheim.  If you find that Monday has given you the blues, turn your frown upside down and get drunk with $3 pints at BackStreet Brewing.

Drink up & always remember to tip your brewtender!

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Beers I drink, Breweries, road trip

Oceanside Brewing Company

I had a family event looming on my horizon in #Oceanside so I wanted to check out some local breweries while I was there.  I had more than an hour to kill before I had to be somewhere and the closest brewery was also the one that would’ve been my first choice: Oceanside Brewing Company.  I like when the town is in the name.

DSC06293    A little sign above the door and a  “BEER HERE” sandwich chalk board  DSC06288  let you know you have arrived at the Oceanside Brewing Company.  There isn’t much parking but we got a place up front.  TGFHP.  That’s Thank God For Handicap Parking.

DSC06289  A couple with two kids walked in as we were getting out of the car so I knew OBC was kid-friendly right off the bat (you should see the disgusted look on my face as I type that).  I could also see the wagging tail and rear end of a dog so I knew they were dog-friendly as well.  DSC06306

Here’s a pic of the awesome fur baby I got to meet.  I will take dogs over kids any day of the week, lol.

 

@oceansidebrewingco has an extensive menu board with no less than 22 brews on tap.  There is literally something for everyone.

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There were a couple of beers I wanted to try but I was drawn to the New England style Desert Storm IPA which measured 6.7% ABV.  It was delicious with a citrus, grapefruit taste and stuffed with hops.  The Old Man tried a Corps IPA that came in at 6.8%.  It was interesting.  The Corps tasted more like a brown ale when we first sipped it but then the mellow hoppyness came forward and it tasted more like the American IPA it was billed as.

I complemented the brewtender/brewer on the Desert Storm and he told me a funny anecdote.  As regular readers will remember in my review of House of Pendragon, the New England or hazy style IPA is a fairly new type of craft beer to hit the market.  He said that the NE IPA is kind of a little joke among brewers who usually work very hard on getting clear, filtered beer.  And then some guy from Maine comes out with this “hazy,” unfiltered beer and it’s all the rage.  The brewer liked it because it shaved a couple of weeks off the brewing process by not having to filter out all the remnants.  And he said it was a popular choice so the general public seems to approve.

We wanted to go drink al fresco because the breeze was so nice & cooling but both entrances to the back patio were chained off.  As we stood there, contemplating the chain, the brewtender told us beers weren’t allowed out back and hadn’t been for six months as they battled with the ABC about the zoning.  The ABC are a bunch of dicks.  They were on the verge of having it all worked out and he said the back would be open for drinking in just a week.

OBC has a few games to play as well as some brew-crafting reading material.  The large wooden chess set was attractive and looked inviting if you are smart enough to know the game.  I’m not.

There are t-shirts for sale but I think they’re a bit overpriced at $25.  DSC06308

 

 

 

 

 

I left the Oceanside Brew Co. wanting more.  It’s a #roadtrip there but not too far from #Anaheim so I am sure I will be back.  There are more brews to sample and some outback patio fresh air & sunshine to soak up.  I love California.

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Beers I drink, Stuff i do when i drink

Todos las cervezas de Mexico

Recently, I got my international drunk on in Mexico for a few days.  Most of the beer drinking I did was in the airports on the way there and back.  I’m not usually a cocktails kind of lady but I had more than my fair share of them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             DSC05270

The first day started off at the AeroMexico counter, waiting until they opened up at 4:30 in the damn morning.  The Old Man had heard AeroMexico offers free beers on their flights so I was excited to get on that plane and get me one.  But alas, alcohol is not served in flight before 11:00 am.  I was kinda hoping that as soon as we hit that time zone line where it went from 9:00 to 11:00, that they would break out the drink carts and it would be a big party flight all the way to Mexico City.  No such luck there.

We had about an hour to kill in the Mexico City airport after we had gone through customs.  So we found a joint called the Pizza Bar that was close to our gate.  Now we could finally have our first beers of vacation!  I got a Dos Equis and the Old Man scored with a 4.9% Bohemia.  Then we said “Adios!” to Mexico City.

On the next flight we had the unfortunate luck of being in the very back row.  By the time the drink cart got to us, all they had left was Corona Light.  Never one to scoff at a free brew, I graciously accepted that weak-ass 4.2% and drank it right up.

DSC05752We landed buzzed in Cancun and thought it was a good omen that the tower is sponsored by Corona.  Our next opportunity to drink came in the van ride to the hotel.  The driver had a cooler of Corona Extras and bottled waters up in the passenger’s seat.  We both had one of each and the drive went, well… less than smooth.  He took us around the little town called Puerto Morelos and then dropped us off at El Cid.

The rest of the night was devoted to serious drinking.  No more of that under 5% beer.  We started with champagne and ended with shots of tequila, spiced rum and vomit.  It was a steamy, sweaty, drunk night.  The right kind of start to a vacation of excess.

For the second day, we didn’t drink any beer at all.  What?  WTF, you say.  That’s right, no beer.  After I filled up on breakfast, I filled up on some champagne.  We were dying to go to the pool bar so we got changed and took the plunge.  We swam up and got our insulated cups filled to the top with Pina Coladas.

Throughout the day, we tried every single cocktail on the menu.  We had blended drinks, drinks on the rocks, sweet drinks, and fun colored drinks.  We tried Mai Tais, Daiquiris with fresh bananas, Pina Coladas, Blue Hawaiians (blue Pina Coladas), Margaritas (lime & strawberry), Mojitos, Jungle Juice, and a drink called the Cola de Iguana.  That translates to the Ass of the Iguana.  The drink was a bright green and tasted a lot better than iguana butt.  We had damn near everything.  But we barely got drunk.  We were able to maintain the whole day.  I guess that’s the result of watered down drinks.  Not that I minded, because I sure got a buzz going on that lasted all day and night.

DSC05508 (2) Our next full day was spent on the beach, in the pool, and in the town.  We found a spot right on the beach called Cancun Billy’s and sat there drinking Dos Equis out of bottles.  The view was spectacular.  The beers kept coming until we finally had to break away so we could get drunk somewhere else.

DSC05714  We walked around Puerto Morelos with our insulated cups filled with beer we had purchased at the Oxxo, it’s a convenience store like 7-11.  Everyone who knows me, knows how much I love 7-11 so of course I had to go visit it’s Mexican cousin.  The beer at Oxxo was $1.  You cannot beat that anywhere.  I had a Corona and Sean went for a Modelo.  By the time we were done with our beers, the sun was setting and it was time to taxi back to El Cid.

The last day was so sad, we didn’t want to leave.  So we started drinking early.  A banana daiquiri from the swim up bar was our first.  We packed and checked out, trying to remain buzzed for as long as we could.  For a variety of reason’s, we got to the airport in Cancun more than 3 hours early.  What a good opportunity to get even drunker!  And we did!

DSC05724  There was a little cafe called Guacamole that we sat at for a little while and drank a few Dos Equis each.  Then we went through security and found the Dos Equis Snack Bar near our gate.  It was a good place to make base until we had to board our flight.

I ordered 2 Dos Equis as soon as we sat down and when we were half way though drinking them, Sean noticed the “Super Size” Dos Equis!  A liter of Dos Equis!

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It was a huge ass bottle and I had a great time killing mine.  We got FOMO when it came time to board so Sean ran to the Convenience Store to grab our last Bohemias of the trip. We finished those on the tram ride to the plane.  We were 3 sheets by this time.  DSC05739

On the first flight back, we ordered Heinekens.  We enjoyed the beers of Mexico but we wanted something that was 5% ABV and nothing had been so far.  Yeah, we were happily drunk for a while and then it started to slowly wear off.  Sobriety started setting in.  And they weren’t serving anymore cervazas.  FML.

We couldn’t take drinking anymore on the second flight home, we couldn’t even get enough water.  They should give you a whole bottle, not just a few ounces pour.  What is it?  A tasting?  There is a fine line between drinking and drinking too much.  I got to that line and crossed it.

Not a big deal…lesson learned.  I will probably repeat it next time I fly so maybe my lesson isn’t really learned at all.  Hmmm.

I had a wonderful time drinking beers in Mexico.  It is one thing to have a Corona at a BBQ in Anaheim, but an experience to have a domestic beer of the country in which you are traveling.  I can’t wait to do it again!  Keep drinking!

 

 

 

 

 

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Beers I drink, Breweries, road trip

Sequoia Brewing Company

The Sequoia Brewing Company is an old standard of mine in Fresno, CA.  I’m there practically every April on the way to Oakhurst for some much needed R&R.

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We have been to Sequoia Brewing so many times that we are both very familiar with the beers.  Neither of us agreed out loud that we wanted to try something different but it seemed to be the unspoken consensuses.  Thanks to the “Specials” board out in front, we found what we were looking for;  two new brews that we were eager to sample.

I started off with the “So You Like IPA’s” Series #1 because I loved the high 7.4%.  It was delicious.  The taste was more malty than hoppy but the hops did creep up on me.  The bitterness was slight and it went down smooth.  I seem to remember that the IPA’s that Sequoia and Tioga Sequoia offer are not as hoppy as IPA’s available in Southern California.  The Old Man tried the Spring Bock which measured 7.2%.  It was a golden colored lager with a smoky aftertaste.

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In German, “bock” means “goat” and it is used to show a particular beer has a kick to it.  The Spring Bock indeed had a kick.  I tried some of Sean’s and liked it so much I ordered it for beers #2 and #3.  I got Sean’s original choice and he got mine for his second round.  He was as impressed with the IPA as I was.  There are a total of 3 varieties in the “So You Like IPA’s” series and we are excited to come back and try them.

Sequoia Brewing has specials for Happy Hour and we were hungry after our 4 hours just spent on the road.  We’ve had the pizza here before and it leaves something to be desired.  So we opted for the pretzel bites and we were not disappointed.

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The pretzel bites are small pieces of a larger soft pretzel that is deep fried to perfection and then salted and served with a side of stone ground mustard.  We ate that shit up fast! It was such a needed snack that ended up being our dinner.  Sequoia has a limited selection for vegetarians and I really wish they would offer a veggie burger.  They do have a veggie sandwich that sounds appetizing so I commend them for that effort.

Happy hour was coming to an end so we quickly ordered our third and last round.  I stayed with the  Spring Bock and Sean went back to the traditional menu to sample a Garage Sale Rye Pale Ale.  In the past, the Old Man has enjoyed rye IPA’s so he figured the rye pale ale would be just as good.  Coming in at a 6.0%, it was flavorful and crisp.  It had a nice dark red color.

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When it came time to pay the man, we were giggling with delight at the price of our beers.  I had to take a picture of my receipt to show off just how cheap the craft brewed beers are during happy hour.  $3.47!  $3.47?  Hell yeah!

Sequoia Brewing Company could teach other breweries a lesson about pricing.  Lately, I have been paying $6 and $7 for pints at local breweries.  They were no better and no less ABV than the $3.47 beers at Sequoia.  At a brewery, you cut out the middle man.  Where do some of them get off charging more than $5 for a pint?  I guess it’s the greedy American way.  The prices at SBC are refreshing and make me want to go drink and drink some more.

I probably won’t be back to Sequoia Brewing Co. until next Spring break.  If I was a local, I’d drink there more often but it’s just another one of those great stops on a #roadtrip. It’s nice to know I have a place to sit and enjoy some beers and unwind from the long drive.

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Beers I drink, Breweries

Fall Brewing Company

Saturday morning, we drove right past Fall Brewing Company and the door was open.  We circled around the block so we could park and check it out.  But when we got back, the door was closed.  We checked the hours and we were about 15 minutes too early.  Not ones to sit around and wait, we went somewhere else to conduct our drinking.  But later that night, in our final stop of a day of brewery-hopping, we ended up right back in front.

This time, there was no question about it being open.  DSC04288 It was packed.  It was after 5:00 so the crowd was not a big surprise.  We found an open table for five and then sent the men over to order.

The beer menu at Fall Brewing is varied.  There is something for everyone.  I’m pretty sure I had the Green Hat IPA because it was a 7.3%er.  I say “pretty sure” because somehow, I failed to collect any notes about this awesome brewery.  So there will be lots of pictures and less words this time.  You’ll love it.

 

Here’s a clear view of the brews that they offer.

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Art by Emily Connell

There was an art exhibit going on at the time I visited Fall Brewing called the #PlushRockArtShow.  I got a bunch of pics of the album cover art that this artist stitched together and the work is extraordinary.

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May I say who is calling?

 

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Where’s the Midol?

I got to observe some cute doggies.  I didn’t engage them because I was too far gone to make sense and I didn’t want to freak anyone out – dog or human.

 

Fall Brewing has some merchandise available too.

 

The best part about Fall Brewing Co. is the punk rock decor.  The boy’s room was covered with old fliers from shows more than 20 years ago.  That’s around the time all the millennials in the place were being born!  I’m old!

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Outside food is welcome at Fall and there was a food truck out in front on that Saturday night.  It was called Anthem and it was a 100% vegan food truck!  I could’ve shit my pants right there when I saw their vegan menu.  Everything looked so delicious but I was in between meals so I didn’t try anything.

 

Fall Brewing Company definitely fills a niche in the San Diego #craftbeer scene.  They are worth a visit to check out the brews as well as the cool wall-art.  Say, “Hi,” to this guy for me!

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