I know, there are those who probably wonder what can this guy possibly do besides drink craft beers. Well let me tell you that I don’t always drink beer but when I do, it ain’t going to be some boring beer, its going to be a true American Craft Beer from some small local brewery. Nothing more American than craft beer.
One evening in late June, Carolyn, Jordyn, and I were sitting around discussing ways to celebrate Jordyn’s upcoming 21st birthday. Of course the usual Las Vegas type of trips were thrown out there and Jordyn wanted to do something a bit different and unique. So we somehow decided that a craft beer type of event would be fun. Since Jordyn was working just about every weekend with the Cardinals, we had one weekend that would work and that would be the last one in August. So we started checking out places and thought that one in Albuquerque would be fun. Jordyn wanted to include Caitlin, so we asked her what she thought and she quickly nixed New Mexico since Bryan and her had no desire to head that direction. Well we continued our online journey and found one in San Diego that just might work. It met Caitlin’s criteria and the trip was planned.
It just so happened that the Brew and Food Festival would be on Saturday, August 29, Bryan’s birthday. Could be fun. Come Friday morning, Carolyn, Jordyn, and I catch a plane to San Diego and get there around 9:00 a.m. Getting through the airport is a breeze and we catch our shuttle to the Wyndham and check our bags and off we go on a walk about. This is the first time Carolyn and I have been to San Diego in 31 years and I am blown away.
We head to a breakfast place, Harbor Breakfast and sit outdoors on the patio, and of course I’m on vacation so I try a craft brew that is highly recommended by the waiter and I am not disappointed. The place is not cheap but I highly recommend. It is a beautiful day and off we head to just walk around the Little Italy area and down by the train station. We are in San Diego for all the craft beers and this city has an amazing number of craft breweries so we head off to a Stone Brewery Tap Room on Kettner that is simply an amazing place to just hang out. So far I’m in Cali for all of about 2 hours and I have fallen in love. Caitlin and Bryan soon arrive to San Diego and we decide to hang out and what would be better then going to another Brewery–Ballast Point. This place has a tasting room and food in Little Italy. It is another awesome place to hang out and it is packed. My favorite of theirs is Grapefruit Sculpin and I can tell you that it is top rated for a reason.
Are we done yet? No. Off to Bolt Brewery we go. Why? Just because we pass it and decide to stop in. Once again, another fun spot to hang out. Any place that has a Dan Stouts has to be ok. While there we figure we have to go to the Mission Brewery and I get a Groupon for a tasting for all of us and off we go. Now this place is one of the coolest breweries I have ever visited. It is an old Wonder Bread warehouse with the brick walls and the ambiance is amazing. It sort of reminds me of Four Peaks in Tempe. That old warehouse type of feel to it.
An Über ride back to the hotel and we get ready to go eat at Anthonys. Anthony’s is a San Diego staple but this time I am disappointed. After last eating there 31 years ago, it just wasn’t the same. The quality was disappointing for all of us but you live and you learn. Busy first day, time to crash in to the land of oz.
Saturday arrives and Carolyn and I head off for a run, in separate directions (go figure but I’m not running 10 miles), and Jordyn to the gym. My run is fantastic. Must be hundreds of runners out along the “boardwalk”– a concrete path along the bay. It is breathtaking to run along the ocean. I head towards Coronado Bridge, and I am exhilarated. I pass by a 5k run that is in progress and I sure wish I had known. That would have been a great run to participate in but I missed out. Four miles later, and I’m ready for breakfast. Jordyn has mapped out our breakfast spot in the Gaslamp District so we head off to Richard Walker’s Pancake House. There is literally a line that heads up the street just to get in. What a treat. This place is magical. We manage to sit on the patio and enjoy life and people watch. After eating we walk around the Gaslamp District and it is alive. Places are packed, people running through town in workout groups, what’s not to love? (Well Caitlin eventually bursts my bubble with the price of housing but it is my dream so I’m still going to dream the dream.)
We head back to get ready for our Brew and Food Festival located just across the street from our hotel. It is a very warm day by San Diego standards and we have early entry to some 70+ brewery tastings! It’s going to be fun but you’ll have to wait on this one. Too much for one blog.