1795 Hancock Street (Mission Brewery Plaza), San Diego
Some operations come a long way after initially disappointing. Such is the case with Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment (1795 Hancock Street, Mission Brewery Plaza, Mission Hills).
My first visit to Acoustic’s tasting room was roughly a year ago. Hop harvest had recently taken place. Hence, they had a plethora of fresh hop beers on tap. This was exciting to me, but it turned out none of them tasted all that good to me or my companions. They lacked body and refinement, coming across as too hoppy for the wimpy base beers. Since then, I’ve made a point of specifically trying hoppier brews when surveying Acoustic’s quaffable inventory…and I’ve been increasingly impressed. Nowadays, the company’s India pale ales (IPAs) come across as crisp and brightly botanical, yet brawny enough on the malt end of the spectrum to make for a balanced brew. Case in point: Willow Wolves, an IPA that does justice to a pair of high-profile hops — Nelson and Simcoe — letting their assorted citrus, tropical, melon, and woodsy qualities harmoniously coalesce.
But there’s more to Acoustic than pale ales and IPAs. In my original article, I rather enjoyed their Belgian-style offerings, and that continues to be the case, particularly with Mad DUB, a tasty, complex dubbel. On the darker end of the spectrum, Unplugged, an oatmeal Belgian milk chocolate stout (say that five times fast after a few beers) is a delightful beer with plenty of bittersweet chocolate and roasted appeal. Every business opens at a different starting point where the quality of their products is involved. Likewise, each company progresses at its own evolutionary pace, with some stalling out or fading away altogether. Acoustic’s time appears to be now and it’s a pleasure to get to write a follow-up piece like this. Cheers to them.