San Diego Birthday Weekend: Day #2

After a breakfast of slightly warm hotel eggs and bacon, I got showered and toward the San Diego Zoo. Google Maps on my phone was apparently unaware of the actual location of the zoo (it thought it was on the side of a grass covered hill), so I ended up making a couple laps around the block before finding my way to the parking lot.

With my ticket purchased I began making my way through the massive zoo. I began on the south side and made a somewhat counter clockwise circle. The size and shape of the zoo led to me turns and instances of backtracking. I eventually made my way through the majority of the zoo in a pretty decent time. There are a ton of things/animals to see and plenty of space to cover.

Around noon I decided that I was going to attempt to make the 2:00 pm brewery tour at Ballast Point Brewery. I still had a decent sized chunk of the zoo left to see, but I figured that I could make it through now that I knew my timeframe.

As it drew nearer to 1:30 (aka the time to head to the brewery) it became clear that I wasn’t gonna make it on time. I was on the road by 1:45, but I still had 15+ miles to go and I just didn’t see it happening. Since I wasn’t going to make it in time for the tour and since I hadn’t eaten anything since that morning I decided to just head straight to Stone instead and grab some lunch.

I rolled into Stone around 2:25 and made my way down that inviting walkway toward the brewery. The hostess informed me that all of the tables were booked, but I was free to grab a seat at one of the two bars. Thankfully I was able to walk straight in a grab a seat a the bar. After a minute I had my first beer of the day in front of me, Stone’s Sublimely Self Righteous.

The SSR helped my delicious buffalo burger and garlic mashed potatoes go down, but it left me craving more beer (like any good beer should). I wanted something more decadent for my second beer so I ordered a glass of the Deschutes BLACK BUTTE XXIII. This beer is in your face. Huge notes of chocolate and whiskey assaulted my palate and it took me a bit to finish the 8 oz. pour.

After talking to my dad while meandering about the Stone Grotto, I got my growler filled (with LeVariation Ale) and jumped back in the car.

I did a quick Google search and found out that Mother Earth Brew Co. was only a few miles away. I would have to hurry in order to get a couple beers in before the 5:00 p.m. closing time, but it was a risk I was willing to take.

With almost an hour to spare I pulled into the business park that housed Mother Earth Brew Co. There were quite a few people milling about the parking lot and I was worried that it was going to be just as busy inside the brewery. Thankfully even though there were a bunch of beer fans present I was still able to get a beer relatively quickly.

THE CRUCIBLE was my first choice and it was poured and handed to me right quick. I found a spot near one of the mash tuns and dove into my beer.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about MEBC was the fact that several different people had their dogs with them. And when I say dogs I mean actual dogs like collies, black labs and pit bulls, instead of the traditional “foo-foo” dogs you’ll typically see around Hollywood (aka any dog that purchased for its ability to fit inside a purse).

They soon made that terrible declaration…”LAST CALL”. I was saddened by those blasphemous words, so I did the only thing I could think of and made my way to the bar for another beer. Since I wouldn’t have time to finish another pint and a half (I was still nursing my first beer) and I didn’t want to be that guy that held everyone up, I ordered a taster glass this time around. With my taster glass of ROUNDABOUT I made my way back to my spot and tried to enjoy my beer without having to chug it. And thankfully I didn’t.

After finishing my two Mother Earth beers I headed back to my car and back to Google Maps. I found out that Breakwater Brewing was both nearby and on my way home.

Oceanside, California is a beautiful little town. I wish I would have had a little more time to take in the city, but I was a man on a mission. I found some free parking near the beach and way my way to the bar.

Breakwater had two things that make me happy: good beer on tap and NBA basketball on TV. I found a spot near the Magic vs. Pacers game and ordered a pint of their BIERE DU JOUR.

After a few sips I realized that this was a very interesting and tasty beer and that I was an instant fan of Breakwater Brewing. With my first beer barely finished I ordered a half-pint of their Pale Ale/Herb Ale KALI KUSH and some garlic bread to soak up the alcohol.

While I enjoyed my second beer and food I started talking with some people sitting next to me. The conversation was quite engaging and the people were very friendly. During this time I ordered another half-pint of beer (this time the Maverick’s Double IPA), but didn’t want to be rude and take notes while talking to people I’d just met.

With some good food, good beer, and good conversation to fill me up I left the bar and made my way back to my vehicle. In less than two hours I was back home and enjoying my growler of Stone ale. It was a wonderful weekend and I’m soooo glad I decided to get out of L.a. for the weekend. I really hope to do it again soon.

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