Feast or Famine

Recent trips have brought me to McAllen, TX and Tucson, AZ.  As I previously indicated, finding breweries in McAllen was a challenge at best. Tucson proved to be the opposite in that there were more breweries than I could possibly get to while I was there.  Before I go anywhere new, I spend some time researching the area for breweries.  My first stop is typically a search in BeerAdvocate.  Here is what I got for McAllen, TX:

Bar/Store/Bar/Store/Store/Bar/Store

No Breweries.  I still had an adventure, but I did not get any bottles actually from McAllen.

In contrast, the research for Tucson, AZ revealed a goodly amount of breweries:

17021912 BrewingBarrio BrewingBorderlands BrewingDragoon BrewingGentle Ben’s BrewingIron John’s BrewingNimbus BrewingPublic BrewhousePueblo Vida BrewingSentinel Peak BrewingTen Fifty-Five BrewingThunder Canyon Brewery.

13! That’s a lot of breweries.  How do you choose which to visit in a 3 and a half day trip.  I tend to travel with other people and those people aren’t always as into breweries as I am (who would have thought).  So, I’ve found that a good approach is to find the places that have the right combination of a beer menu that I will enjoy and a food menu that will allow me to suggest the place as a dinner location.  For Tucson, the winners that the group chose happened to be Thunder Canyon Brewing, Barrio Brewing, and Nimbus Brewing.

Not much of a story there so far.  But next week I’m traveling to San Diego, CA.  I finally got around to doing my standard search for breweries in the area last night.  Holy frijoles! 46 breweries listed on the very first search (and I haven’t even gone to my secondary sources yet):

How am I going to choose from 46 breweries in another 3 and a half day trip!?  To be honest, I’m not quite sure.  There are some easy decisions in there to be sure.  Gordon Biersch has a national representation to the point where I can even find them in some airports.  So, visiting them in San Diego will likely not come close to the list.  On the other hand, Stone Brewing had an early presence in my craft beer journey.  When I earned my Master’s Degree, I celebrated with my very first bottle of Arrogant Bastard Ale because I felt I had really earned the title of Arrogant Bastard (before the degree I was still an arrogant bastard, I just hadn’t earned the title yet).  For that reason and another that I hope to address in a future post, Stone Brewing is top of the list.  Beyond those two, the decision is a little fuzzier.  The plan is to find the ones closest to the hotel and/or the ones that have the most interesting beers.  Whatever I choose, I’ll be sure to let you all know when I get back.

Author: UsedHair

I am a labeorphilist (one who collects beer bottles) looking to discuss the adventures often involved in obtaining the bottles and the challenges that accompany the hobby.

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