San Diego Beer Week 2012

San Diego Beer Week. Why do you end so quickly, and why can’t I get myself to more of your events? I did make it to more than I ever have before, but with over 500 events in ten days, there’s only so much one girl can do! And drink!

Best Event: The Five Chef Societe at the Handlery. Five great chefs from all over San Diego, five delicious Societe Brewing beers. If you were there, you know why it blew everything else away. If not, read this great review from Sore Eye Sports.  Special thanks to the chefs who made amazingly delicious veggie options of their offerings just for me. A few of those seemed nearly identical to the meat versions!  Plus, Societe has quickly become one of my local favorites, up there with Hess, Ballast Point and Alesmith. I especially recommend the Harlot, Butcher and Widow.

Best Beer I Tried All Week: There were many, but I have to give this to the Ballast Point Cognac Barrel Aged Victory at Sea, a Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter that I love in pretty much any form. I tried that along with several other varieties (from mole to peppermint) at Hamilton’s Tavern.

Beer I Wish I Could Have Tried: The elusive Karl Strauss Peanut Butter Cup Porter. Never quite caught up with it. One of the tries was the attempt on Sunday to go to a barrel-aged beer event at Sea Rocket Bistro, but we never received service once we got there and finally gave up. Sadness.

Best Unexpected Find: I wandered into URBN one night to see what the Widmer tap takeover had to offer. Discovered the vertical/multi-year flight of their Brrrbon, a barrel-aged version of their Brrr, a beer I’d never heard of. The barrel-aged is fantastic, and even the normal version, which should’ve been on the hoppy side for me, is quite delicious.

Oddest Beer: It’s a tie, going to Stone Brewing’s spicy duo Crime and Punishment, respectively a Double Dry Hopped Lucky Bastard Ale and oak barrel aged Double Bastard, each with a whole mess of chili peppers. Nifty for a few sips, and each created a great tingly sensation in my mouth (Punishment had more punch than Crime), but glad I didn’t have to finish a whole glass of either one.

Beer I Used To Create My Own Beer Week Event: I brought along a growler of Alesmith Barrel Aged Nut Brown Ale to my D&D game yesterday.

Best Food (Not Counting What Was Served At Five Chef Societe): The “Chicken” and Waffles from True Kitchen Creatives. Not only was it veggie, it was full-on vegan, but it was ridiculously good. I will be following these folks around the city from here on out.

Biggest Beer Self-Discovery: I seem to have developed a bit of an obsession with various types of barrel-aged beers. I tried a whole bunch of bourbon barrel aged varieties, plus rye whiskey barrel aged, rum barrel aged, and the aforementioned cognac barrel aged. Delicious, all of them.

Events I Wish I Could Have Attended: Oh, so many. All of the various cheese-related events. The Night of a Million Zillion Speedway Stouts (AleSmith). Anything with that Peanut Butter Cup Porter. Any Hess Brewing events, since I missed them completely.  And the Guild Festival, of course, but I was performing with Encore that night and singing my little heart out which, yes, trumps even that.

Best News Of The Week: The Mission Valley Craft Beer and Food Festival, which is the best beer event of the year around these parts, returns on March 24, 2013.

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