I'm not big into beer back in the states, especially the huge selection of Indian Pale Ales that San Diego has to offer, and the fact that I do not drink much at all, but this new category of wine snob has be curious, what are all these people on about, and why am I yet again being shown that San Diego is superior to all other cities, I already knew this.
My adventure begins on a short train ride out to Crate Brewery and Pizza, where we were given a tour of their facilities in which I tried a a bunch a beers, I do not know the exact names of these beers but I can describe them. I remember around four distinct flavors, a pale beer that tasted slightly citrus like, another pale that tasted of plums, a reddish sour, and lastly a dark beer that tasted strongly of chocolate and coffee, there had to be cocoa and coffee in their malt. They tasted good, and I could understand that the flavors being described to me weren't farces. Brewing in London has been around long before San Diego was even discovered, and the popularity of American beers is a very new thing, pretty much within my life time has San Diego and the rest of the United States gone from poor to posh in terms of how acclaimed our beer is. Before, our more recognizable brands were seen as piss to other countries.
San Diego's main export, the double IPA was invented nearby but not locally in Temecula, CA in the late 90's by a man named Vinnie Cilurzo. Standard American beer, ranks 20 IBU on a scale of bitterness, kind of arbitrary, while a standard IPA ranks 60, and the typical double IPA hits at a huge 100 IBU. Despite this, bitterness might be seen as a negative characteristic to some people, the style has taken off in popularity and become the hallmark of the San Diego beer scene. Notable brands include, Stone Brewing, Ballast Point, and Pizza Port. According to my research, the trend that pairs pizza and beer together comes from San Diego as well. I knew that San Diego was a very prestigious beer-zone, but I didn't know that it was seen as the IPA capital of the world, at least to locals.
Meanwhile, despite its recent submission to good ole home, brewing in London has been happening since probably before Christ, but certainly continued and encouraged by the Romans, into the middle ages, into the present. Before hops there was Mead, mugwort based spirit, and things like Ale wives, wands, and conners, do not have any idea what they taste like, but they sound bland, although mead sounds refreshing. Hops finally arose somewhere in between the 15th and 17th centuries in England, and sometime during that San Diego and the surrounding continent was actually discovered, little did Europe know it had just discovered it's demise on the world brewing stage.
Trends came and went, but now the popular thing in London, and everywhere else, is micro-breweries like the one we visited. I enjoyed my time here, and it really was my introduction to the world of micro-breweries and pizza wrapped together. It has tempted me to try out some of my local beers, and see what the fuss is all about.