Breweries, Out on the town drunk

Asylum Brewing

It was hot as balls in Anaheim.  The Old Man informed me that it’s not even considered a “heat wave” because the temps have to get past 100f.  So while the fake forecasters tell you it’s technically not a heat wave even though you are melting, you can rest assured that it is indeed, as hot as balls.  I consider hot as balls to be 90 and above.  On the Friday night I went to Asylum Brewing Company it was a good 93 at 8:00 at night.  Disgusting.

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There is a tent outside the entrance and meaty tacos were cooking underneath it so it was even hotter going in.  But once you get inside, the air conditioning is magic.  It improved my whole mood.  All of a sudden I didn’t care about the crowd and the childrens running around or the wanna-be heat wave.  I was just elated to be comfortable.

We checked out the menu board and this is what we saw:

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So many taps, so little selection

Only 4 out of 5 beers were available.  Fair Weather Friend, a West Coast Pale Ale with a 4.7% ABV, was sold out.  That was great for them.  But it reduced the selection by 20%.  Don’t check my math or anything but the cold hard fact is that there were only 4 beers to choose from.  This seems like it would be typical of a newly-opened, small brewery but I have seen smaller breweries with more choices.  But they are a very tiny operation in their infancy.  Brewing and tasting out of the same small space makes for close company.  Hopefully they will expand into a larger building.

It’s a good thing they weren’t sold out of Monsters We Breed, which was billed as a dank IPA with a 7.5% ABV.  I saw “dank” and I had to have it.  It was tasty and cold but not very “danky.”  I figured they meant “especially hoppy” when they described it as “dank” but it wasn’t really too bitter.  It had a kick though and I drank mine right up.  The Old Man decided on a 6.5% Harlequin Honey Blonde.

There is cool wall art in the entrance hall and in the tasting room area.  I saw on Asylum Brewing Company that the artist of these 3 beautiful paintings is a local named Nathan Houtz.  Not sure where credit goes for the 4 geometric prints but they’re outstanding.

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Like all smart breweries, Asylum is trying to brand you with their selection of merchandise.  They have shirts for $15, hats for $25, and pint glasses at $7 for sale.

 

@AsylumBrewing is in a great location.  Steps away from Hoparazzi Brewing and sharing a parking lot that is across the street from Bottle Logic, this place is in the center of the action on Lager Palma Brewlouvard.  That would explain why they were so crowded.  And I’m sure their excellent a/c system kept it crowded.

There is a shelf full of games and it seemed like every table had one going on.  We chose to play Spot It!  A game meant for 4th graders and drunks.  It was a blast because we didn’t keep score.  That ended up being in my inebriated favor.

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What is the matching symbol in common?  Wrong!

I wished I could’ve spent all night inside the cold cave of Asylum.  I was ready to check myself in.  They are open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.  Those are some of the latest hours I’ve seen a brewery open until.  I’m sure they get people coming and going all night.

But we had already tried the two beers on the menu that seemed best suited for our tastes.  Neither of us really likes an Imperial Stout that much and the Rorschach was too…coffee for me, at least.  So our #datenight came to an end.

I’m gonna keep my eye on Asylum Brewing because I liked what little of their menu selections I tried.  If they can add some more options, I will definitely be back in.  It would be great to see them expand and add more space to the brewing and tasting room areas.  I wish them the best of luck.  Drink well & remember to tip your bartender.

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Breweries, Game Night Drunk, Stuff i do when i drink

Bay City Brewing Company

Last month I was lucky enough to try a new location of a previously-visited brewery, At Ease @ Barrel Harbor, and to experience a whole new brewery, AleSmith Brewing Company, while I was in San Diego for the weekend.  This month, I found myself in San Diego again with a lot of time and a lot of nothing to do.  So you know what I did?  I got drunk.

I started out the day right with a big breakfast and then a visit to the Villainous Lair where Ck picked up a new Munchkin game called MOOPS: Monster Mash-ups.  Then it was time to commence the drinking that I knew was going to happen all day long.

Our first stop was at Bay City Brewing Company.  It is located in an industrial area off the 8 freeway and close to Mission Bay (hence, the “bay” in “Bay City”).  Bay City is also about a two minute drive from Modern Times Beer.

Bay City is spacious and seemed even more so when we got there a little after it opened at noon because of the lack of people.  More folks eventually showed up and I got to meet two dogs during my time there.  Always the highlight!

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A well-behaved Frenchie

 

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The Pug that wandered in from the storm

Their menu isn’t extensive so I was able to pick out right away what I wanted to try.

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I went for the basically-named San Diego Pale Ale and the one with the highest ABV, 7.7%.

Sean tried a Power Play IPA that I told him to get because I wanted to try that one too and I knew he would like it.  It measured in with a 6.9% ABV.

Carie had the Vienna Lager, a mellow 5.0%, and Ck had the Dark Lager that came in at 5.3% ABV.

The Pale Ale & the IPA were very hoppy.  Very resinous tasting and mine killed my taste buds in such a way that I was able to enjoy the rest of my pint.  Otherwise, I would’ve been scowling with every sip.  I tried little sips of Ck’s & Carie’s lagers and they were so light in comparison.  They were delicious and worth a second visit.

We sat around a pallet table that was big enough for 8 people and played a game of Munchkin. It was so much fun because our group has been talking about doing it for about as long as we’ve been playing Munchkin, which is about 3 years.  Finally!  Our wish come true!

We didn’t have a game board but not to fear!  Ck had purchased each of us our own 10-siders that corresponded to our home-game Munchkin colors.  What a thoughtful guy!

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I languished around level 1 for so long as the rest of those munchkins rose up until Carie eventually claimed the win.

The brewtender who came to collect our empty glasses also asked if we wanted refills and the answer of course, was, “Yes, please!”  That was a nice touch of service and I will always remember Bay City as very customer-oriented.

A brew tour bus came through so it got a little crowded for about half an hour but then it cleared out and it was just our gang of four with a Frenchie guy and a couple other humans left over.

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A woman from the tour pissed everywhere around the toilet and nowhere in the toilet.  What, did she think she was in the men’s room?  Sidenote: Bitches please!  At least clean your piss up so I don’t have to if you can’t use a toilet seat the right way.  It’s your own damn piss.  Bitches. The bathrooms were nice and clean other than that little incident.

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Behind the scenes at Bay City Brewing Co.

The brew vats are set up off in the back.  They are lit up with cool blue lighting that goes with the silver of the tanks.  Cool design, owners!

There is a back patio area that I didn’t get to visit because I love sitting on my ass.  Next time I’m at Bay City Brewing, I will check it out.

I liked this brewery a lot.  It is roomy enough to deal with crowds and has some pretty tasty beer.  I would recommend starting with the light end of their spectrum and you won’t be disappointed.

The location is another great thing about Bay City that will definitely bring me back in.  Parking could be better but when I was there, parking wasn’t an issue so I won’t complain.  I’ll just say, I would hate to have to find close parking after 4:30 on most weekdays and all time during weekend nights.

Bay City Brewing Company is a must stop if you are in the Mission Bay area.  I had a great time there and will be back, for sure.

 

 

 

 

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Breweries, road trip, Stuff i do when i drink

At Ease @ Barrel Harbor

Barrel Harbor is a San Diego brewery with a great reputation and a decent local distribution.  Their original location, 2575 Pioneer Ave. #104, Vista CA , attracts all types of people.  From hipster beer-snobs, like the two pictured here, dsc03959

to casual one-pinters, it seems everyone likes Barrel Harbor.  And now there is a whole new plethora of reasons to like them.

In January of 2017, @BarrelHarbor opened a new location.  They collaborated with At Ease Games and popped up right next door, which gave way to one of the greatest tap rooms ever: At Ease @ Barrel Harbor.

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So the brewery is connected to a game shop, which i thought was really cool.  What goes together better than beer and games?  I looked around At Ease Games for a little while and my friends ended up buying some Munchkin card packs and a new Cthulhu game.  When we were done there, we headed next door to begin our Sunday of brewery-hopping.

The new location is huge.  Located at 8990 Miramar Rd., San Diego CA, they’ve got 16 taps and so many different delicious choices, I could’ve spent all day there.  Here is a picture of their menu board & current offerings:

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It was close to noon when I walked into At Ease @ Barrel Harbor and it was empty, save for the lone brewtender.  I wanted to start with something light so I tried the South Island Pilsner with a 5.2% ABV.  The beer was served in a tall, kinda skinny pint glass that made it seem really fancy.  dsc03941The Old Man tried the Barrel Harbor Red Ale with the same ABV.  Ck had what I had and Carie had a Blunderbuss Belgian Blonde that charts at 6.5%.

My pilsner was a golden color and it was cold and not flat.  In fact, there were so many bubbles coming off the bottom that it looked like champagne.  It tasted crisp and a bit citrusy.  I liked it a lot.

Everybody else enjoyed their choices as well.  When it was time for a second round, I wanted something harder so I sent Sean up to the bar with the explicit instruction to find me something “strong and good.”  When he came back with my Little Nugget IPA, I was not disappointed.  It was 7.4% and didn’t taste overwhelmingly hoppy.  It went down smooth and had a clean finish.  I wasn’t paying attention to what everyone ordered for their second beer so I can only say that the two I tried were top notch, tasty, & full of flavor.

dsc03953There is an area in the middle of the place where you can buy merchandise like shirts and pint glasses engraved with the Barrel Harbor logo.

They have demo games available at that counter too.  You can choose any game you want to play and if you like it enough, you can go next door and buy it.

At the rear is the game room.  This is where the experienced role-players go.  There are gaming tables set up so you can spread out and conduct a real adventure with your friends.


The longer we sat drinking, the more people showed up and headed to the back.  The game room is a popular addition to this brewery.

 

Since At Ease @ Barrel Harbor is located near a military base, they offer discounts for the service, police, & firefighters.

There are specials  listed on the menu outside like the BOGO 50% on Tuesdays.dsc03946

Like most breweries, Barrel Harbor allows pets and children.  The pets part I like; don’t get me started on the kids.

 

 

 

 

 

I loved how this location is so large.  I should’ve looked to see what the max capacity is.  It seems like it could never get too crowded and there are plenty of places to sit.

 

I’ve been to a lot of breweries but I have to say that At Ease @ Barrel Harbor is the one of my favorites.  The very concept of a game store connected to a brewery is genius.  This is the kind of brewery I will go back to whenever I am in #SanDiego.  It’s fun to exercise your brain with games while also killing those same brain cells with alcohol.  The circle of life.

 

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