This past weekend some beer loving friends and I headed down to the Lost Abbey/Port Brewing 4th Anniversary celebration in San Marcos, CA. With second session tickets already purchased, we jumped in the van and headed south.
San Marcos is located about 2 1/2-3 hours south of our place in the San Fernando Valley, so we left around noon. The original plan was to head to the Stone Brewery for lunch prior to the LA/PB celebration, but it soon became apparent that that wasn’t going to be an option. With the Stone lunch pushed back to Sunday, we drove on with our first crisis averted.
We arrived shortly after four and soon had our official tasting glass in hand and our 8 taster tickets waiting to be spent. The brewery/tasting area was jammed packed full of people enjoying all the lovely liquid the fine folks at LA/PB had to offer us. Even though I was worried at first, we quickly found ourselves at the front of the line and ordering round number one. I ordered the 4th Anniversary IPA from Port Brewing. This hoppy beer attacked my tastebuds and had me smiling.
The event had finally begun.
We meandered about the crowd, drinking the amazing beer they had to offer and enjoying the surf-sounds of the Professors. Not only did they have their standard fare of brews on tap, but they had also released several special beers just for this event. Among these were: Angel’s Share (bourbon barrel), Ten Commandments (bourbon barrel), Red Poppy, Amazing Grace, Framboise de Amarosa and Mongo DIPA.
Our tickets were used and more tickets were purchased. We shared tastes and took notes. Spirits were high and everyone was having fun. Both of the LA/PB warehouses were open for perusing. We meandered about the barrel warehouse and marveled at all the amazing beers just waiting to be consumed (some had been there since as far back as 2005).
Along with the commemorative glass and taster tickets, came a food ticket. Pizza Port was set up in the parking lot and creating pizza masterpieces for the hungry crowd.
With food in our stomachs and beer on our mind we headed back in. The taps were quickly drying up, so we made our choices and enjoyed a few more rounds before make the decision to leave. I used the few remaining tickets I had (and a few extra dollars) to buy a 375 ml bottle of the Framboise de Amarosa. It is an oak aged framboise with raspberries. I hope to crack this open soon, so keep an eye out for a review.
At the end of the event I had purchased the following beers:
1. 4th Anniversary IPA (Port Brewing)
2. Gift of the Magi (Lost Abbey)
3. Framboise de Amarosa (Lost Abbey)
4. Carnevale (Lost Abbey)
5. Mongo 2x IPA (Port Brewing)
6. Red Poppy (Lost Abbey)
7. Angel’s Share (Lost Abbey)
8. Midnight Sessions (Port Brewing)
9. Red Barn (Lost Abbey)
After a quick jaunt back to the hotel, we jumped in a cab and headed to Churchill’s Pub and Grille for a “night cap”.
I love it when you randomly find a bar that has an amazing beer selection, and that’s exactly what happened. We took a place on the back patio near a fire pit and settled in. The beers flowed and the pub crisps helped keep us from getting completely obliterated.
At the end of the night I had met some cool people and consumed five more tasty craft beers:
10. Green Flash Barleywine
11. St. Louise Gueuze Fond Tradition
12. Mikkeler Single Hop Tomahawk
13. Green Flash/Elysian Red Queen Saison
14. Avery Maharaja
After a long walk back to the hotel, I crashed for the night. I had to save some energy for Stone in the morning…
I crawled out of bed a little after 9 o’clock and headed down to the complementary continental breakfast (bad idea), then off to the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Garden.
It was a beautiful May day out, so we asked for a table outdoors. This was a very good idea.
The sun intermittently appeared and hid behind the clouds, with a faint breeze keeping us from getting too hot. We had all claimed that we were too full to eat anything, but soon gave into the temptation that is the amazing food selection that Stone offers. I ordered the soft pretzels and washed them down with the new collaboration beer from Dogfish Head, Victory and Stone called Saison du BUFF. It was quite tasty and a fine way to enjoy Mother’s Day.
After to all was said and done I had imbibed two more tasty beers:
16. Firestone Walker Solace
17. Allagash Black
With our stomachs full and our spirits raised, we hit the store. I walked away with a 2 liter growler of the Stone Vertical Epic 06-06-06, a new piece of stemware and a smile on my face. We piled back in the van and headed home.
All in all, it was another succesful trip to San Marcos. I’ve now been there twice in the past calendar year and I’ve enjoyed every second of both trips. If you’re into craft beer and the fine food, I would suggest taking a trip to the San Marcos/San Diego area. They have enough great breweries, brew pubs and restaurants to satisfy any beer aficionado.