Cali, Part 2 – The Lost Abbey & Port Brewing Co

9 Dec

After my visit to Green Flash Brewing Co, I hit the road and headed up to San Marcos, CA to -hopefully- visit The Lost Abbey and Port Brewing Companies.  I say ‘hopefully’, because technically their tasting room didn’t open until 4pm on a Friday, and I had to be back in Long Beach by 4:30pm (and it’s 1.5 hours North!).  So, I pulled up and poked my head in… and as luck would have it, Danielle was manning the tasting room because there was a group that had scheduled a tour… but never showed up… their loss was my gain, big time!  Danielle was a rockstar, and Nate was kind enough to give me a walk-around of the facility!

 

As far as the facility, my favorite part (oddly) was the pipe that gets the grain from the grain room up to the mash tun… check this out… here’s the grain room… right?

Well, the ‘pipe’ to the mash tun goes from the bottom of the machine above (see, the white pipe coming from the bottom??) and goes up, up, up…. and across the whole plant… to the mash tun on the other side!!! How cool is that?!? lol  I’m easily amused!

They also have a great barrel room here… apparently, they have the 2nd largest collection of beer barrels here!

& see how they have different types of barrels, for the different types of beers? Neat!

So, here’s where Danielle took such great care of me… and where I got to sample a bevy of delicious beers!
Behold, the Lost Abbey / Port Brewing tasting room!

Please note the awesome sign behind the bar…

 

 

Here’s what I sampled, from The Lost Abbey:

  • Avant Garde Ale – A little tart/bitter for my taste… light & almost a straw color… a little cloudy
  • Devotion Ale – dirt? grass? what am I tasting here… no matter what, I’m definitely not a fan…
  • Red Barn Ale – spiced saison style ale – bannana, clove, spice… almost like a hefe!

It took a lot of delicate sipping 'work' to get this pretty pix in order!

Moving on to the Port Brewing Co Beers:

  • WipeOut IPA – nice sweet, hoppy smell… it’s a sweeter IPA but really nice & a good introductory hoppy beer
  • Summer Pale Ale – nice & light on the hops… a super nice summer brew for sure!
  • High Tide IPA – 6.5% with fresh hops… ahhhhh…. like hops in your mouth!!
  • Old Viscosity – dark & chocolately… pretty yummy!
  • Hop-15 – O.M.G…… amazing… this is definitely one of my top 5 favorite beers!  The smell is incredible, and the taste is phenomenal… and with good reason – they use 15 different types of hops, added every 15 minutes! Read all about it, here!

I had a really really great time here, and I am SO grateful to that tour that didn’t ever show up, allowing me a one-on-one glorious tasting session with Danielle!  Given my extreme love of hops, I was definitely partial to the offerings from Port Brewing Co, but the experience of being able to visit 2 breweries at once was really pretty awesome!

Meanwhile, bonus points in creativity go to The Lost Abbey for bottling holy water! 🙂

Gotta stay hydrated while sampling yummy beers!!

At this point, it was about 2:30pm and I had to be back in Long Beach & ready to go by 4:30pm, and it’s an hour and a half drive (if you don’t hit traffic)… and I still had to get gussied up!  I hauled bacon up to Long Beach & did the fastest shower/dress-up  routine I think I’ve ever done & managed to get my ass in the car w/ the bride & phtographer over to the marina for… the pre-wedding Booze Cruise! We had an awesome, full dinner, open-bar private boat cruise around Long Beach for about 3.5 hours, courtesy of the groom’s amazing parents!  It was such a great way to ‘officially’ kick off the weekend of wedding festivities, and to get to know the other guests (who, by the way, came in from a whopping 22 states for this event!! Impressive!) before the wedding!

So that wrapped up my beer explorations for Friday… and the wedding took up all of Saturday… but I got right back on the brewery-touring-bandwagon bright & early on Sunday morning… so next up will be two posts about THE BEST SUNDAY EVER, when Jayd, Daniel & I visited Stone Brewing Co & The Bruery!

~HH~

One Response to “Cali, Part 2 – The Lost Abbey & Port Brewing Co”

  1. Mutineer Magazine December 28, 2009 at 7:12 PM #

    Great blog .. I can’t wait to check out Port/LA. Thanks for what you do for craft beer! Cheers!

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