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Part IV

When an industry experiences such immense success, people who shouldn’t be brewing on a professional level see others who are jumping into the ring and succeeding. They figure they can too, but unfortunately, they aren’t ready for prime time, and paying customers, indeed, pay. Enter Prohibition Brewing Company, a brewpub that’s far removed from the rest of Vista’s brewhouses, both geographically and from a quality standpoint.

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Now, before going into my brief comments about this business, I’d like to point back to a post of mine that I’ve received a great deal of feedback on. Several months back, I wrote a negative review of a small start-up brewery in Carlsbad called On-The-Tracks Brewery. Their beer was so poor that it was my duty, as a journalist devoted to covering not only the happenings but the quality of the local brewing scene, to notify readers that they were not brewing good or even decent beer. While I relish the opportunity to be an advocate for my fellow craft beer consumers, I must say nothing is more miserable than having to call out a brewing company, restaurant or any business in this manner. That said, this unfortunate necessity has arisen once more.

Upon arriving to Prohibition, I ordered a sampler flight of the five house beers they had on tap. Of those beers, three of them had such serious problems that the only reason I took a second sip was to document the errors in flavor. A wheat beer smelled and tasted like a Band-Aid. A pale ale was so minerally a traveling companion of mine (who is in the commercial beer business and has a homebrewing background) described drinking it as being "like chewing on a sidewalk." Others showed signs of oxidization. None of them exhibited the correct body or carbonation for their styles and, as evidenced by the photo above, an oatmeal stout (far left) had zero head. Not wispy…non-existent. Hardly any of the beers tasted the way they should according to traditional, universally accepted style guidelines—even the two that were drinkable (and I use that term loosely). I would disclose which two achieved that pedestrian goal, but to do so would imply that there’s something beer-related worth traveling to Prohibition for and, aside from taps stocked with offerings from AleSmith and other viable craft breweries, there isn’t.

I could go on, but I won’t. My point has been made and, though this isn’t the fun part of my job, fair notice needed to be given to consumers. Good craft beer is worth seeking out, but beer this bad must be avoided, especially when there are no positive signs for improvement on the horizon. Prohibition Brewing Company is located at 2004 East Vista Way.

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Comments

knafmyopenid April 20, 2012 @ 10:04 a.m.

Waitress not knowledgeable about beers Asked for Hoppiest beer but got some flat no head dark thing with some hop flavor Manager exchanged it for some GreenFlash IPA Then he explained how I did not make my self clear, as the waitress must have understood me to ask for the hoppiest beer they brewed on premise... hmmmm Understaffed Waitress was too busy with a large party so finally one of the owners took our order, when asked how large the burgers were, she said about 14 pound (when they arrived I estimated them at 12 pound (well informed owner) When asked what condiments come on a burger she pointed to the mustard, ketchup, salt & pepper. I restated my question with classification as to lettuce tomato etc ( the menu describes all the burgers as: Burgers With Regular Fries, Cajun or Truffle Cheese Burger Terriyaki Hawaiian Jalapeno Avacado - with Cheese Bell Pepper Mushroom - with Bacon) Please note in the burger section there are no plain old burgers.... and no description of what comes on the burgers. Her reply was Lettuce, Tomato & Pickle, Mine came with Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle and some thinly sliced red onions that looked greasy. I asked for mayo and put some on the top bun. Took one bite chewed and swallowed, and decided it was the worst burger I had ever tasted. What she and the menu left out was that the burger was cooked with so much garlic & salt that it may as well have been a vegiburger. On a side note the fries look like the cheapest frozen ones you can get, you know all short & broken pieces and they were cooked wonderfully golden yellow and had that quintessential lack of crunch we all love in our fries! Boy for 9.00 bucks you sure get crap on a plate.

I haven't mentioned the ambiance of a school cafeteria or (like in the movies) a jail cafeteria, 3 different floors of varying age and color vinyl tiles, and not a soft surface in the place. The roar was intolerable and I had to lean in to my dining companion to hear her, & her me.

Clearly these people are struggling with their first foray into commercial food service. Every problem I had was met with an explanation as to why they were right, inferring why I was wrong. I got so tired of this I informed them that I wanted the entire table comp'ed. They brought me a bill and said they took off my meal. I reminded them of my informing them I wanted the table comped and they removed the plates from my two dining companions.

Good luck as they run through their savings, the mortgage on the house and their retirement accounts pouring money into a mismanaged first attempt into the food service business

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