It’s the first day on my big trip to San Diego. All I had to do was get here. The rest of the day is free to explore (breweries). So, I check my well researched list and head out to Monkey Paw brewing.
It’s a great place with a corner bar feel to it. They have a ton of beer selections and I get Juli’s Bizaro, a Belgian dark ale with carrot cake spices. It’s fantastic! As I drink, I enjoy the plethora of monkey decorations.
They even have an a monkey flipping you the bird.
Very nice. But, as always, it’s all about the bottles. I see growlers listed on the chalk board and ask about them. They only fill growlers from the brewery itself… on Sundays. I’m leaving Friday morning. So, strike one. The first brewery I visit is awesome. But no bottles. To add insult to injury, I forgot my coasters at the hotel so I couldn’t drop any there. Son of a…
Alright, next up at bat. I head to a beer store super close by that had great reviews. I don’t like to post negative things about anyone in particular (I like to leave my grumblings anonymous), so I won’t list the name of the store. I walk in and see shelves stocked with plenty of single bottles. Great! This should be easy. Then I start looking through the bottles and notice that it’s mostly bombers (22 oz beers) and the least expensive bottle in the whole store was in the $7 range. How am I supposed to fill a suitcase with $7-$20 beer bottles? Damn it! Strike two.
So, I move on to dinner and hit a place close by with the broadest food menu. The Beer Company does not disappoint.
I get some fantastic food and their Tijuana Trolley Red. Despite the lack of bottles so far, I’m having great luck with the breweries themselves. So, I ask about a growler. They don’t do growlers. Gaaaaaaaaah! That’s strike three. I might as well call it a day. Right?
But, I rarely give up that easily. I remembered my coasters this time and ask to talk to the manager. I’m worried because I only see Beer Company coasters being given out and this could be a “closed shop” that only uses their own coasters. However, Sergio (the manager) starts talking to me and turns out to be an awesome guy who is genuinely interested in the bottle collection and the blog. He was more than happy to take the coasters and he brought me over to taste some of the upcoming beers right from the fermenters.
How cool is that?! So, in the end, I technically struck out for the day (as far as bottles go). But, I still had a great day, drank some awesome beer, and met some fantastic people. In addition, this is only the first day of a four day visit. I still have plenty of time to hit a home run in this game.