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Mission Brewery

1441 L Street, East Village

Petco Park

100 Park Boulevard, East Village

Because sports appeal to both macro and craft beer fans alike, many of the latter are familiar with the following scenario. You’re headed to Petco Park to take in a Padres game with a friend. Before the first pitch, you want to hit up a watering hole or restaurant to knock back a few brewskies at a price that’s far more reasonable than those within the ballpark. There’s just one problem — your friend doesn’t like craft beer because it’s so much bolder in flavor than the American adjunct lagers they are used to. But you want all of that vivid flavor, and preferably from a local brewing company. What to do?

My suggestion is to visit Mission Brewery. Bordering Petco Park’s tailgate lot, this local operation sports a roomy tasting room with TVs for pre-game viewing and shuffleboard for those who prefer getting in game mode with their own form of friendly competition. But flat-screens and recreational options can be found all over the place. The reason this is an ideal stop for you and your craft-averse friend is Mission Cortez Gold, a Belgian-style blonde ale coming in at just 5% alcohol-by-volume. Whereas some Belgian ales smell and taste like a flower shop (which can be absolutely delightful), this beer has just a kiss of Belgian yeast esters to it. In many ways, it comes across with the refreshing drinkability of a low-hopped pilsner or Kölsch, making it a spectacular craft option for that buddy of yours (who, let’s be honest…is just in need of the right beer to help usher them to the Finer Things Club).

A seasonal brew, Cortez Gold is available on draft and in monstrous 32-ounce cans. Of course, you as the craft-savvy half of this duo will likely be looking for something with a little more depth. For that, one needs look no further than Mission’s other seasonals. A Belgian-style wit is just as refreshing with more traditional Belgian flavors and a nice bit of coriander spice, and a raspberry wheat and milk stout bring nice variety to the beer board.

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