Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Beer Touring: Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment

Mission Hills brewery’s tasting room is electrifying, but the beers could use more cowbell

Place

Acoustic Ales

1795 Hancock Street (Mission Brewery Plaza), San Diego

The beers of Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment (1718 Hancock Street, Mission Hills) have been available at local bars and restaurants for much of the past year, but it took the company a long time to open the doors to its tasting room at Mission Brewery Plaza. One step inside confirms that every extra second they spent on that project was well worth it. Acoustic Ales’ is one of the most quirkily attractive suds-sampling venues in San Diego.

Constructed in a corner building on Hancock and Washington Street, it’s a dim space enlightened by a bulb-adorned sign sporting the company’s phonograph logo and a flat-screen TV listing the plethora of beers on tap. Of the many new breweries throughout San Diego County, few offer as many brews as the dozen-plus I had to choose from on my recent visit. Many of those were fresh hop offerings, beers brewed with just-picked hops from the Pacific Northwest during the annual autumn harvest.

With almost double-digit fresh hop beers to choose from, I was intrigued and impressed at the company’s ability to lock up hop contracts at a time when thousands of breweries are competing for the fruits from those bines. I selected a flight of four as well as a flight of four other beers, then headed off with my companions to lounge on two comfy couches in a quiet corner of the room.

While the fresh hop beers, as expected, were powerful on the olfactory front, the beers themselves didn’t quite do right by all those hop flowers. It was clear they’d been decently dosed, but the base beers were flabby. It was the equivalent of a bland, soupy bowl of risotto topped with an overload of shaved white truffle. Yes, the truffles are amazing, but they don’t fix the dish’s lack of salt or structure. Hopefully, by next year’s harvest, they’ll have dialed the beers in a bit more.

Over the past several months, I’ve had a number of Acoustic Ales beers ranging from slightly subpar to quite enjoyable. Readers may remember my praise for the company’s White IPA. I hoped to find an array of brews that were in line with that former Beer of the Week’s quality, but sadly, my taster flight was an extension of the inconsistency that has so far been Acoustic Ales’ calling card for me.

Witte Snake, a Belgian-style wit, was akin to the fresh hop beers in that it delivered lemony notes on the nose, but little if any citrus on the tongue. Still, it was fair, finishing with a slightly bitter, kölsch-like dryness. The Groupie, a Belgian-style strong blonde was much better, tasting semisweet with a mix of banana and spring flower nuances. I also enjoyed Mad DUB, a Belgian-inspired brown ale with a light coffee aroma and lots going on the palate — milk chocolate, jasmine, dandelion. It was easily my favorite and helped me to get over the most disappointing beer of the bunch, a slightly buttery and in no way desirable imperial red ale fittingly named after something I avoid — Mosh Pit.

With the exception of that last beer, Acoustic Ales’ beers are fine for the most part. The company isn’t producing wildly flawed beers, but the ales are hovering around the “meh” point at present. With time, they may rise to higher levels, but for now, that eclectic tasting room is what’s truly above average about Acoustic Ales.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Z-Boi, Kiyoshi, Heartbreaka, and other rappers on COVID-19

What’s going on during lockdown?
Next Article

Al Capone’s film legacy

“I think it’s a good social document. It shows how an unscrupulous man can prey on society.”
Comments
4

Anyone agree with this review? Or ANY of this guy's reviews? I'd love to know.

Dec. 12, 2013

Replied below

Dec. 12, 2013

I actually agree with this review. The space is pretty cool, and it's extremely convenient being right by the trolley line. However, after having a taster flight, I didn't really like any of them enough to order a full pint. There's promise there for sure though.

Dec. 12, 2013

I agree with you, especially the last part, and hope they realize their potential. If the White IPA is ever on, it is very pint-worthy.

Dec. 18, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Place

Acoustic Ales

1795 Hancock Street (Mission Brewery Plaza), San Diego

The beers of Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment (1718 Hancock Street, Mission Hills) have been available at local bars and restaurants for much of the past year, but it took the company a long time to open the doors to its tasting room at Mission Brewery Plaza. One step inside confirms that every extra second they spent on that project was well worth it. Acoustic Ales’ is one of the most quirkily attractive suds-sampling venues in San Diego.

Constructed in a corner building on Hancock and Washington Street, it’s a dim space enlightened by a bulb-adorned sign sporting the company’s phonograph logo and a flat-screen TV listing the plethora of beers on tap. Of the many new breweries throughout San Diego County, few offer as many brews as the dozen-plus I had to choose from on my recent visit. Many of those were fresh hop offerings, beers brewed with just-picked hops from the Pacific Northwest during the annual autumn harvest.

With almost double-digit fresh hop beers to choose from, I was intrigued and impressed at the company’s ability to lock up hop contracts at a time when thousands of breweries are competing for the fruits from those bines. I selected a flight of four as well as a flight of four other beers, then headed off with my companions to lounge on two comfy couches in a quiet corner of the room.

While the fresh hop beers, as expected, were powerful on the olfactory front, the beers themselves didn’t quite do right by all those hop flowers. It was clear they’d been decently dosed, but the base beers were flabby. It was the equivalent of a bland, soupy bowl of risotto topped with an overload of shaved white truffle. Yes, the truffles are amazing, but they don’t fix the dish’s lack of salt or structure. Hopefully, by next year’s harvest, they’ll have dialed the beers in a bit more.

Over the past several months, I’ve had a number of Acoustic Ales beers ranging from slightly subpar to quite enjoyable. Readers may remember my praise for the company’s White IPA. I hoped to find an array of brews that were in line with that former Beer of the Week’s quality, but sadly, my taster flight was an extension of the inconsistency that has so far been Acoustic Ales’ calling card for me.

Witte Snake, a Belgian-style wit, was akin to the fresh hop beers in that it delivered lemony notes on the nose, but little if any citrus on the tongue. Still, it was fair, finishing with a slightly bitter, kölsch-like dryness. The Groupie, a Belgian-style strong blonde was much better, tasting semisweet with a mix of banana and spring flower nuances. I also enjoyed Mad DUB, a Belgian-inspired brown ale with a light coffee aroma and lots going on the palate — milk chocolate, jasmine, dandelion. It was easily my favorite and helped me to get over the most disappointing beer of the bunch, a slightly buttery and in no way desirable imperial red ale fittingly named after something I avoid — Mosh Pit.

With the exception of that last beer, Acoustic Ales’ beers are fine for the most part. The company isn’t producing wildly flawed beers, but the ales are hovering around the “meh” point at present. With time, they may rise to higher levels, but for now, that eclectic tasting room is what’s truly above average about Acoustic Ales.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Is your favorite brewery open yet? Check Magie's spreadsheet.

How a local beertender spent her pandemic spring showing people where to shop
Next Article

Bolt Brewery: predictably delish since 1987

“Tonight couldn’t have come soon enough.”
Comments
4

Anyone agree with this review? Or ANY of this guy's reviews? I'd love to know.

Dec. 12, 2013

Replied below

Dec. 12, 2013

I actually agree with this review. The space is pretty cool, and it's extremely convenient being right by the trolley line. However, after having a taster flight, I didn't really like any of them enough to order a full pint. There's promise there for sure though.

Dec. 12, 2013

I agree with you, especially the last part, and hope they realize their potential. If the White IPA is ever on, it is very pint-worthy.

Dec. 18, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close