8680 Miralani Drive #123, Mira Mesa
Last week, we explored Pacific Brewing Company, one of two nanobreweries in a Mira Mesa business park. This week, we’ll stumble the 30 or so yards from that spot to the fluorescent-hued domain of their neighbors at 2kids Brewing Company (8680 Miralani Drive, #123, Mira Mesa). This spot, named for the marrieds doing the brewing — Rob and Sam Dufau — opened several months before PBC. The Dufaus have kept busy brewing a number of beer styles less explored by the majority of San Diego’s fermentation specialists. It’s a risky proposition, but as a beer fan who relishes the opportunity to take the road less traveled when brewery touring, one I can appreciate.
Many of the divergences from the norm come as a result of Rob’s personal tastes where English beers are concerned. Prime examples include a low-alcohol English-style India pale ale (IPA) called Incredulous and Poppycock ESB (extra-special bitter). The former is mild and just 3.1% ABV and, like the first time I came in, reminded me of time spent pub crawling in London. The ESB, however, smelled and tasted in no way like any bitter I’ve come across. Its aroma was heavy with green apple and the beer tasted tart—possible signs of acetaldehyde. Regardless of what caused it, it just wasn’t right.
Other beers fared better, including The Mesa, a 5.4% Belgian IPA displaying a seamless segue between its fruity yeast esters and hop-borne citrus nuances. Obligatory IPA, an American take on the style bittered with Bravo hops and further enhanced by Mt. Hood and Mosaic, featured juicy orange and peach notes and an even bitterness. Also impressive was Rebel Alliance, a big, boozy, coconut- and chocolate-infused imperial stout brewed with Miramar’s Intergalactic Brewing Company.
But bigger didn’t always mean better. Astérix, a Belgian golden strong ale was all over the place, coming across as a tripel one second, a sour beer the next. It’s nothing like Duvel, the dry, fluffy archetype for this style, so if one goes in expecting that, they’re sure to be disappointed. One Twenty Three Cream Ale (named after 2kids’ suite number) is nice enough in its grain-forward makeup, but even for such a light brew, could stand to be a bit more imposing.
But these 2kids are still quite young. The business isn’t even a year old, and Rob and Sam are working off a tiny, one-and-a-half-barrel system, which almost always requires a great deal of brews to get to the point where desired consistency is realized. Even though the beers aren’t perfect, there’s good to be found, providing promise for future chapters of these two kids’ story.