Editors Note * I would like to introduce and welcome Justin Kunert to the North County Food team. Justin Will be covering local breweries and beer events. Here is his inaugural post.
For my first beer article, I decided to stick to something I know and love: sour beers. Coincidentally enough, September obliged and provided back-to-back sour packed Saturdays. To start off, Toolbox Brewing in Vista celebrated its 2-year anniversary on Saturday, September 8. It was an awesome event for the brewery and its fans, given the great turnout at the event.
To commemorate its 2nd birthday, Toolbox served up its specialty by offering a dozen sour beers on tap, including barrel aged sours, wild ales, and saisons. Our group managed to try six of the options on tap, and damn they were all good. Four are shown below, my favorite being the 7.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) “Pinkies Up” – a barrel aged sour saison with plums, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves. This beer carried a remarkably unique plum flavor and along with it an awesome pucker, like alcoholic pop rocks that make your lips shrink and eyes shut. A phenomenal beer drinking experience. We also tasted the Bramble on Rose, a bronze medal winner at the 2016 World Beer Cup and a gold medal winner at 2016 San Diego International Beer Competition.
Given my sour cravings, it is great to see this brewery make outstanding beer and to witness all of the support that it is receiving. Check them out at their website (http://www.toolboxbrewing.com/home/) and in this article from Draft Magazine (http://draftmag.com/25-breweries-on-the-rise/).
The following Saturday, September 10, Churchill’s Pub and Grille in San Marcos hosted the 7th Annual Peter Reeve’s Memorial Sour Fest. Churchill’s had over 40 different sour beers on tap! Our group managed to make it through 12 different tasters, 8 of which made it into the picture below. New Belgium’s “Le Terrior” was my personal favorite.
As for local representation, North County breweries contributing sours on the list included Belching Beaver, The Lost Abbey, Pizza Port, and the afore-mentioned Toolbox. I would recommend getting your hands on Pizza Port’s “Halle Berrylicious” for some local sour flavor, though any of the options are solid choices. The event attracted a huge crowd of sour enthusiasts and I am sure some kegs will still be around for sampling for those interested. Check out Churchill’s here: http://churchillspub.us/.
887 West San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos
Toolbox Brewing Company
1495 Poinsettia Ave. #148, Vista
All words and pictures by Justin Kunert