Sunday, May 26th, 2024

Memorial Day Weekend Beer Trip: Peaks & Pints SoCal Beer Flight


You float in a sun-warmed, peanut-shaped tile pool, watching the breeze flip the palm fronds against a turquoise Southern California sky, sipping a midday India Pale Ale. Rippling reflections of the afternoon sun on the water cast themselves against the six-foot-tall prickly pear, oak-planked door and the adobe-arched wall above it. Chimes sound; doves coo. Fantastic landscape scenes full of cliffs, ocean vistas, coves, rolling hills and deep canyons comes to life from San Diego, just north of the Mexican border, cross the bay to the resort city Coronado, up the coast to Los Angeles, home to Hollywood studios, fine art in the Getty Center, Griffith Park and the high-end shops of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, as well as Anaheim. That’s all fine and dandy, but Southern California is also home to hundreds of craft breweries with many dubbed best in the nation. For today’s Memorial Day Weekend Staycation, we picked five SoCal beers to bring a little sunny California to your wet Washington hang. Stop by Peaks and escape with Memorial Day Weekend Beer Trip: Peaks & Pints SoCal Beer Flight.

Memorial Day Weekend Beer Trip: Peaks & Pints SoCal Beer Flight

Pure Project Murklands

5.5% ABV

The greater San Diego area is home to some 150 breweries, and quite a few of them are large national, or at least regional, players. The city is synonymous with hops-forward ales and established brands that have helped grow an industry. It’s littered with brewing medals, brewers who need only go by their first name, and a can-do spirit that often leads the state when it comes to trends and influence. Pure Project is one of those San Diego breweries, which opened in 2016. As Pure Project’s first-ever murky beer, this pale ale has paved the way for every murky they have brewed since. Dry hopped with Citra and CTZ, aromas of orange sherbet, apricot, and dank graciously greet the nose, while flavors of grapefruit zest, pine, and tangerine coalesce on the taste buds. Its juicy mouthfeel, medium body, and approachable bitterness add to the enjoyment.

AleSmith Currently Trending

7.35% ABV

AleSmith Brewing has grown exponentially over the past decades, and remains one of San Diego’s best known, most highly regarded beer brand. They ship beer to 12 states, five foreign countries, and throughout California. AleSmith is celebrating its 29th year in business and their state-of-the-art brewery occupies a 109,942 square-foot facility. Crisp, and crushable, their Currently Trending cold IPA is brewed with Simcoe cryo, Mosaic, and Chinook to create a hop-forward IPA with notes of citrus, pine, and tropical fruit and a clean finish.

Mason Ale Works Crowns, Hammers And Zombies

8.5% ABV

In 2017, restaurateurs Grant Tondro, Zak Higson, and Nate Higson opened Urge Gastropub & Whiskey Bank in San Marcos, California, the coastal offshoot of their Urge American Gastropub in Rancho Bernardo. The kicker? They hired Mike Rodriguez to run their attached Mason Ale Works creating an elevated brewpub atmosphere. Rodriguez brewed at Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing for several years before spending five as head brewer at The Lost Abbey. While Rodriguez moved on rather quick, Tondro and brothers Higson hired another former head brewer from San Marcos’ The Lost Abbey, Matt Webster, to brew beers that paired well with their food. Today, Jon “Sweet Meat” Jimenez runs the brewery, which now distributes in Washington state, thanks to Orcas Distributing. Their Crowns, Hammers And Zombies double dry hopped imperial hazy IPA — a three-way collaboration with Craft Beer Kings and Beer Zombies — is hopped with Citra, El Dorado, and HBC 586 for juicy pine dank notes.

The Bruery Mischief

8.5% ABV,

Founded by Patrick Rue in 2008 and named as a portmanteau of his family name and the word “brewery,” The Bruery is based in Placentia, California. Their Mischief is a hoppy Belgian-style golden strong ale that’s fiendishly dry-hopped with American hops to add a layer of complexity and mystery to its fruity, dry Belgian-style character. Citrus and resin diabolically combine with ripe melon, pear, and slight peppery spice in a precariously effervescent mixture.

Bottle Logic Darkstar November 2023

15.3% ABV

Homebrewing buddies Wes Parker, Steve Napolitano, and Brandon Buckner decided to turn a hobby into a career. In 2013, they open Bottle Logic Brewing, a 6,000 square-foot tasting room and 15-barrel brewing facility near the 91 and 57 freeway intersection in Anaheim, California. This is the 10th vintage of their bourbon barre-aged imperial stout that started it all — Darkstar November. Expect snippets of sweet molasses and spicy rye, velvety vanilla and bourbon-soaked chocolate oak.

LINK: Peaks & Pints beer and cider cooler inventory