Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Oct. 8
On-The-Tracks Is Anything But
There are company names that are perfect. I see them and wonder how many strategizing sessions and near knock-down brawls business partners had to endure to figure out the right moniker to describe their business. Then there are names that make no sense or have some form of logic behind them, but all of it is negated by a singular fact.
Readers, I give you On-The-Tracks Brewery, a brewery in Carlsbad that’s completely off the beaten path. If you can find it, you’ve earned a beer…but you’ve probably earned a better beer than what they’re putting out at their North County facility.
On-The-Tracks is one of a new breed of brewing companies that’s little more than local homebrewers stepping up from their jerry-rigged garage brewing rigs to jerry-rigged warehouse/business park unit brewing rigs.
Let me be clear: I have nothing against small operations the likes of Hess Brewing and Mother Earth Brew Co. But experiencing an On-The-Tracks beer is often akin to sipping reluctantly from an unlabeled bottle of skunk-water lager made by that enthusiastic homebrewer friend of yours you courteously humor while praying for an opportunity to pour the rest of his house-made hemlock into the nearest potted plant.
We’re not talking lackluster. On the occasions when I’ve suffered through On-The-Tracks’ drinking sessions, there have been numerous tell-tale signs of beers that were beyond funky. I’ve had thousands of beers over the years and can name only two other local products that have been off to such a dire degree that they're best dumped versus endured. To have more than one from a single company tells me these brewers are not ready for the commercial game, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t warn fellow beer drinkers.
It’s not worth searching out…at least not yet, but if you insist: On-The-Tracks is located in Suite G at 5674 El Camino Real.
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- Meet North Park Beer Co. — Feb. 13, 2015
- Meet Bay City Brewing — Feb. 2, 2015
- 2013’s Best New Brewing Companies — Dec. 17, 2013
- My Beer Radar - ¡Dos! — Nov. 16, 2012
- Karl Strauss Homebrew Competition Succumbs to Brown-Out — June 15, 2012