I like to keep up with new breweries when they open. Thankfully, with Pacific Brewing they announced their grand opening on Facebook so I was able to check it out on the first day. There was a solid crowd for a new brewery and yet parking wasn’t an issue. Pacific Brewing presented a solid lineup that will serve as a good baseline as they expand into different styles of beers.
I started with a flight and added an additional taster so that I could taste all of the beers in one go. They offer a blonde, pale ale, IPA, strong ale, and rye double IPA. The blonde was a solid version of the classic style without much variation. It is up there with some of the best San Diego blondes. The pale ale is more towards the English style and has many similarities to the ESB style. The pale ale presents many caramel flavors on the front with a light hop flavor on the back end.
The IPA has a powerful citrus nose. The flavors are heavy on citrus and pine, in line with other San Diego IPAs. I would estimate this beer has around 70 IBUs so it is fairly bitter. I really enjoyed the IPA and ended up with a pint after all the tasters. The strong ale is almost 8% and yet is very drinkable. The flavors are primarily in the sweet caramel range such that it might satisfy some who are mostly fans of porters and stouts.
The double IPA is a little low on the alcohol compared to some you might see in San Diego but not short on flavor. At 8% it isn’t that much stronger in alcohol than the IPA but the rye gives it a unique flavor. The rye manages to be mellow enough that it doesn’t overpower the hops. Most of the hop flavors are more on the back end and the citrus and tropical fruit flavors mix well with the rye.
Pacific Brewing has a similar feel to other small breweries inside though the wood used for the bar sets them apart with some distinct colors. Fans of hoppy beers will find a lot to love in the IPA and the Rye Double IPA. Fans of sweeter malt beers will enjoy the pale ale and strong ale. If the strong ale isn’t enough, you can always head next door to 2 Kids for some chocolate stout. I look forward to trying the different styles of beer that Pacific Brewing comes up with in the future.
To start off I want to mention that I did get my flight for no charge thanks to the generosity of the server. This is not going to impact my views as you will see here. Helms is an interesting brewery that most people probably haven’t been to before. Despite having an idea before where it was I was a bit surprised when I actually arrived at the brewery. A number of breweries I have been to were a bit out of the way but this one is pretty obscure and might confuse a few people the first time you go. Thankfully, the beers are so good that you won’t mind a little side trip to get there.
There were more beers on tap than I got to review here but I had already stopped by another brewery before and didn’t have the stomach or the interest to try everything. I include a picture of the rest of the offerings in case you like different styles.
Captain’s Pale ale
I was quite impressed by this one. It is a bit stronger than I might have liked for a pale ale (it isn’t a session like I have been searching for.) Still, it has some nice citrus flavors and has a nice balance despite the malts that are there like we typically see in an American Pale Ale. The tropical fruit flavors come forward nicely.
Wicked as Sin Rye IPA
This IPA hit the spot quite nicely. It has some amazing hop flavors with the Citra and mosaic hops. The rye balances it out nicely. This might be a new favorite of mine. I left the brewery with a 22oz bottle to enjoy later. The rye makes it taste somewhat similar to the blazing world from modern times and gives it a nice contrast to the hops. This is one of those IPAs that might interest your friends who hate IPAs, or in my case my husband. Though he typically hates all IPAs, he said this one was “not bad.”
Hop the RIPA
Though typically RIPA might stand for rye, this one stands for red. It has an interesting flavor but weighs heavy towards the malts. The flavors are based on an Irish red style, though for me it was a little too malty. The flavor is a bit on the syrupy side and sadly the hops don’t come through as much as I would like.
Beerucchino Imperial Coffee Porter
True to its name, this is a beer for coffee lovers. It has a nice smooth coffee flavor at the forefront with a light chocolate flavor on the back end. I wasn’t able to taste the pepper and almond wood that it says are in here but they might account for some of the mellow flavors it has. This beer really goes down easy despite its ABV of 7.2%
Chocolate night Imperial Stout
Hard to say what I don’t like here. The chocolate isn’t very prominent and the vanilla seems a little sour. Perhaps the malts were what got to me but I didn’t find that it had the flavors I like out of an imperial stout. Though my husband was quick to devour this one and thought it was nice because it wasn’t too bitter, I didn’t find the flavors hit the right spots.
Overall, I was quite impressed by the lineup and look forward to seeing some of these beers in a six-pack sometime in the future, especially the Pale Ale, Rye IPA, and Beerucchino. The Wicked As Sin has the types of hops I have come to love lately and would be worth picking up if you see it in stores near you.
Living in Mira Mesa I haven’t made my way up to Temecula to visit breweries yet. Thankfully, some of them have been bottling and distributing beers down to stores near me. I’ve seen the beers from Black Market before but haven’t given them a taste until I grabbed a bottle of the Rye IPA. I am glad I did.
The Rye IPA has plenty of caramel up front with some citrus hop flavors on the back. It has everything I used to love about the Green Flash Rye IPA before it disappeared. I can tell from the flavor that I had this one fresh and it was very nice. It pours a nice amber color and is well balanced so that you get just enough of each flavor. Make sure you pick up a bottle if you like some rye in your IPA.