3725 Greenwood Street, San Diego
The front bar at Modern Times.
Literature, comics, Bubbles the chimp—expect all of this when entering the new tasting room at Modern Times Beer. With walls papered with pages ripped from old books and owner Jacob McKean’s personal comic collection, plus a mammoth collage portrait of Michael Jackson (the weird moonwalker, not the famous beer writer) and his pet primate made completely out of multicolor Post-It notes, it’s one of, if not the most eclectic sampling spaces in San Diego.
Guests can also expect a shot of coffee. No, despite the fact McKean and company roast their own beans on-site in a large, crimson hot box, they’re not going the Starbucks route. Those dark, shiny java nuggets are being cold-infused into Modern Times Black House, the new brewery's signature coffee oatmeal stout.
The darkest of Modern Times' core beers, Black House pours onyx in color and posts up a thick, cocoa-colored head. Notes of coffee and chocolate come through in spades on the nose, but the presence of all that java—a house blend of 75% Ethiopian and 25% Sumatran—is much more subdued on the taste buds. Instead of heavy roastiness and coffee astringency, the beer is mellow, chocolaty, and drinkable. The Joe is there, but it’s a component as opposed to the focal point, which makes for something that will appeal to caffeine addicts and non-coffee fans alike.