Last tango in San Diego – Part 2

The show so far… Last week I regaled you younglings with the “Tale of the Early Work Day” in which work ended with plenty of time to hit breweries in San Diego. The first that I and one of my co-workers went to was Bolt Brewery. When we finished with them we had to figure out where to go next. It was nearing the dreaded hour of 5 of the clock. In any major city, that can only mean one thing… Rush hour!  We needed to find someplace close by and avoid the infamous California highways at all costs.

We asked the bartender at Bolt about places she knew.  She confirmed that all of the other breweries in the neighborhood were ones that I we had already been to. Damn! I checked Google maps and found a place close by that should fit the bill. But it required highway travel. Double damn! Looking closer, I noticed that even considering rush hour traffic, the place we wanted to go was only a 10 minute drive. We were pretty sure we could handle 10 minutes of traffic to get to another brewery.  The reputations of the California highways was not enough of a barrier.  We could take this on.

And we were right. Traffic was not nearly as bad as we thought it would be. Feeling let down by the reputation of the highways, yet triumphant at having arrived, we arrived at… a set of empty store fronts. Well, this isn’t good.  Google maps is usually pretty good at telling me when a place has been closed down.  The hunt was on.

We walked past a homeless person that was taking up as much of the sidewalk as possible, and we were quite careful to not bother them. We tried following the numbers of the store fronts towards #1132.  But they ended as we rounded the corner and took up a new and perplexing numbering scheme.  We went back the other way, skirting the same sprawling homeless person, and peeked around the other corner. The numbers there were progressing in the wrong direction.  But we did get to see an archway announcing the district we seemed to have stumbled into.

Barrio Logan archway

So, we were apparently in Barrio Logan. Good to know, but not all that helpful in finding the brewery. It was time to use a phone a friend. I got someone from the brewery on the phone and they repeated the address we were already looking for. Hmmmm.  Then she said that you could see the Barrio Logan sign from the front door. That’s when it dawned on us that the building we were at might have store fronts on the other side of the block. Yes kids, I am oblivious at times.

Thus, we eventually found our way to Iron Fist Brewing Co.

Iron Fist Brewing Co.
Iron Fist Brewing sign

They have a cool, wide open, warehouse feel inside with super high ceilings and the bar shoved off into a corner.

Inside Iron Fist Brewing Co.

In case anyone cares, the guy at the bar with the black shirt and shorts is not only my copilot on this trip, he’s also the fantastic human being that designed the UsedHair’s Used Bottles logo at the top of the page as well as the business cards and coasters for the blog.  Thanks Dave!

Back to Iron Fist, I really enjoyed the lighting system in the bar. It was quite classy.  And the amount of beers with super high ABVs (as seen in the picture below) made my day (and made me hand the car keys over to Dave who was drinking more responsibly).

Flight on bar with embedded lighting

Finally, they have something no other bar in San Diego seemed to be able to offer me on this trip. They have bottles!  Not just growlers. Actual bottles in regular sizes that easily fit on my shelves and in my budget. Life is getting good now.

Iron Fist Brewing Co. bottles

The bottle on the left is a collaboration with a home brewer named Ken Scmidt. It is a Chocolate Mint Stout and you have no idea how much I’m looking forward to trying it.

In the long run, we had to earn getting to the second to last brewery on our last day in San Diego.  But, it turned out to be a huge win. And there was still one more cool tidbit literally waiting around the corner. We walked the opposite way around the building to get back to our car. There, under the Coronado Bridge, was what turned out to be the largest collection of Chicano Art Murals in the country.

Coronado Bridge murals
Coronado Bridge murals – Annie get your gun?
Coronado Bridge murals – Watership Down?

The murals were a fantastic diversion that really helped to make the day. But, we were on a mission. We had to get back to the hotel and pick up a third coworker so that we could all go out to dinner at the final brewery of the trip. I’ll fill you in on that one in part 3 of the series. Same bat time… Same bat station.

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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