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50 beers of the year

San Diego brews that left a lasting impression over the past 12 months.

Tart Saison, Council Brewing
Tart Saison, Council Brewing

With more than 100 brewhouses in San Diego, hundreds of new beers are produced throughout the county each year. I have the good fortune of sampling a great many of them, and the following is a list, broken down by style, of the 50 local brews that really stuck with me in 2014. Some simply represent the best tasting beers I had all year, while others win points for innovation or tackling lesser celebrated styles, and doing it with style, precision, and a quality deliverable. No matter the beer, be assured that I proudly stand behind the selection of them all and highly recommend each one. Cheers to those who produced them. San Diego is a better place because they’re here.

India Pale Ales & Hoppy Beers

  • 32 North Nautical Mile IPA
  • Alpine Bine & Vine 3rd Anniversary IPA
  • AleSmith Pale Ale 394
  • Amplified Smokin’ Kiwi Smoked IPA
  • Aztec Hop Serpent Double IPA
  • Aztec Simrilla IPA
  • Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale
  • Fall Spirit of 77 IPA
  • Karl Strauss Mosaic Session Ale
  • Mike Hess North Park IPA
  • Nickel Hopster Douchebag Double IPA
  • Pacific Octo Rye IPA
  • Pizza Port Big Deal with Passion Fruit
  • Pizza Port Citra-R-Ama
  • Rip Current Hop Wine Quadruple IPA
  • Societe The Bachelor: Sorachi Ace

Stouts & Brown Ales

  • AleSmith Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Speedway Stout
  • Bagby Upside Down Frown Brown
  • Ballast Point Rye Barrel-Aged Victory At Sea Coffee & Vanilla Imperial Porter
  • Belching Beaver Horchata Imperial Stout:
  • Chris Banker/Stone/Insurgente Xocoveza Mocha Stout
  • Coronado/Cigar City Jurata Baltic Porter
  • Council Pirate’s Breakfast Imperial Oatmeal Stout
  • Iron Fist Rum Barrel-Aged Dark Days Imperial Stout
  • Mikhail’s Odd (2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels)
  • Modern Times Monsters Park Imperial Stout
  • O’Sullivan Bros. Catholic Guilt Smoked Porter
  • Pizza Port 2014 Strong Ale Blend
  • Pizza Port May The Port Be With You Imperial Porter
  • Saint Archer Coffee Brown

Belgian-style Ales

  • Benchmark Table Beer
  • Council Tart Saison
  • Culture Sour Grape
  • The Lost Abbey Veritas 014 Ale
  • Mother Earth Triple Swag
  • Rip Current Double Point Break Dubbel
  • Societe The Gleaner Saison
  • Stone Bang Bang (Red Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels)
  • Toolbox Tart X
  • URBN St. Saison

Other Styles

  • AleSmith Decadence 2014 Wheat Wine
  • Bolt Pilsner
  • Fallbrook Java Hill Coffee Cream Ale
  • Green Flash Sour Blonde
  • Green Flash Treasure Chest Barrel-Aged Saison with Plums
  • Indian Joe Mango Sour
  • Intergalactic 1st Anniversary Black Barley Wine
  • Monkey Paw Javier! Javier! English Strong Ale
  • Monkey Paw/Nickel Wrathchild Smoked Doppel Weizenbock
  • New English Barleywine
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1

It's a great list. Thanks. Love than benchmark table beer is on the list. Loving that session beers are the next thing in SD...

Dec. 20, 2014

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Tart Saison, Council Brewing
Tart Saison, Council Brewing

With more than 100 brewhouses in San Diego, hundreds of new beers are produced throughout the county each year. I have the good fortune of sampling a great many of them, and the following is a list, broken down by style, of the 50 local brews that really stuck with me in 2014. Some simply represent the best tasting beers I had all year, while others win points for innovation or tackling lesser celebrated styles, and doing it with style, precision, and a quality deliverable. No matter the beer, be assured that I proudly stand behind the selection of them all and highly recommend each one. Cheers to those who produced them. San Diego is a better place because they’re here.

India Pale Ales & Hoppy Beers

  • 32 North Nautical Mile IPA
  • Alpine Bine & Vine 3rd Anniversary IPA
  • AleSmith Pale Ale 394
  • Amplified Smokin’ Kiwi Smoked IPA
  • Aztec Hop Serpent Double IPA
  • Aztec Simrilla IPA
  • Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale
  • Fall Spirit of 77 IPA
  • Karl Strauss Mosaic Session Ale
  • Mike Hess North Park IPA
  • Nickel Hopster Douchebag Double IPA
  • Pacific Octo Rye IPA
  • Pizza Port Big Deal with Passion Fruit
  • Pizza Port Citra-R-Ama
  • Rip Current Hop Wine Quadruple IPA
  • Societe The Bachelor: Sorachi Ace

Stouts & Brown Ales

  • AleSmith Barrel-Aged Vietnamese Speedway Stout
  • Bagby Upside Down Frown Brown
  • Ballast Point Rye Barrel-Aged Victory At Sea Coffee & Vanilla Imperial Porter
  • Belching Beaver Horchata Imperial Stout:
  • Chris Banker/Stone/Insurgente Xocoveza Mocha Stout
  • Coronado/Cigar City Jurata Baltic Porter
  • Council Pirate’s Breakfast Imperial Oatmeal Stout
  • Iron Fist Rum Barrel-Aged Dark Days Imperial Stout
  • Mikhail’s Odd (2013 Stone ESPRESSO Imperial Russian Stout aged in Bourbon Barrels)
  • Modern Times Monsters Park Imperial Stout
  • O’Sullivan Bros. Catholic Guilt Smoked Porter
  • Pizza Port 2014 Strong Ale Blend
  • Pizza Port May The Port Be With You Imperial Porter
  • Saint Archer Coffee Brown

Belgian-style Ales

  • Benchmark Table Beer
  • Council Tart Saison
  • Culture Sour Grape
  • The Lost Abbey Veritas 014 Ale
  • Mother Earth Triple Swag
  • Rip Current Double Point Break Dubbel
  • Societe The Gleaner Saison
  • Stone Bang Bang (Red Ale aged in Bourbon Barrels)
  • Toolbox Tart X
  • URBN St. Saison

Other Styles

  • AleSmith Decadence 2014 Wheat Wine
  • Bolt Pilsner
  • Fallbrook Java Hill Coffee Cream Ale
  • Green Flash Sour Blonde
  • Green Flash Treasure Chest Barrel-Aged Saison with Plums
  • Indian Joe Mango Sour
  • Intergalactic 1st Anniversary Black Barley Wine
  • Monkey Paw Javier! Javier! English Strong Ale
  • Monkey Paw/Nickel Wrathchild Smoked Doppel Weizenbock
  • New English Barleywine
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Comments
1

It's a great list. Thanks. Love than benchmark table beer is on the list. Loving that session beers are the next thing in SD...

Dec. 20, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

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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
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