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

Bagby Beer a bona-fide Mecca

Oceanside’s much-hyped brewpub is worthy of its lofty reputation

Bagby Beer Company owner and brewmaster Jeff Bagby filling growlers at his Oceanside brewpub - Image by @sdbeernews
Bagby Beer Company owner and brewmaster Jeff Bagby filling growlers at his Oceanside brewpub
Place

Bagby Beer Co.

601 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

In writing an article expounding the positives at Bagby Beer Company (601 South Coast Highway, Oceanside), I can hear the collective response of my readers: “No duh!” When one of the most famous and award-winning brewers in the history of American beer-making is at a brewpub’s helm, one expects great things. Thing is, hype tends to affect a beer fan’s palate much as the moniker and year on a fine bottle of wine sways an oenophile or having seen a chef on TV makes the food at said toque’s restaurant almost inexplicably yet detectably better. In visiting owner and brewmaster Jeff Bagby, I feared succumbing to the legend of the man walking me through his quaffable catalog, but through self-checking and the corroboration of others with qualified palates, I can assure readers that the many beer-inspired compliments lauded on this enterprise are well-deserved. Bagby Beer is a bona-fide beer Mecca in a county known worldwide for ales and lagers.

Bagby Beer Worker Bee blonde ale brewed with Vista honey

The day I visited, a whopping 14 house beers were on tap. That’s impressive on its own, as is the fact so many different styles were represented: West Coast, Germanic, Belgian, English. For the most part, the beers were in low- to mid-range as far as alcohol-by-volume. That can be tricky territory for lesser brewers as it makes flaws more apparent. But when done justice, blonde ales, hefeweizens, and cream ales can be as delightful as the dankest IPA or most chocolaty imperial stout. Case in point, a “mini Blonde” that served as a yeast starter for a Belgian strain. It’s brisk on the palate, but comes through with a bevy of flavors and aromas — banana, rhubarb, lilies, pear, bubblegum. And its brawnier Belgo siblings bring a lot to the table as well. A strong ale called Golden Girl has more pronounced Bubble Yum notes mingling with lemony tartness and a pleasant sweetness, while a farmhouse ale dubbed Tis the Saison smells like honey and sage and tastes very much like a tripel with tropical fruit character and spiciness brought on by coriander, ginger, and grains of paradise.

A list of house brews at Oceanside's Bagby Beer Company

A blonde called Worker Bee is brewed with Vista honey, giving it an earthiness sans sweetness that tastes like a mash-up of eucalyptus, wildflowers, and mint backed by light toastiness. Wiseacre Wheat is a fantastic hefeweizen that gives one all they could want from this banana-forward session brew. And on the maltier side, Upside Down Frown Brown (which made my list of the best new local beers of 2014) brings flavors of cocoa and a hint of blackstrap molasses while remaining light and drinkable. Meanwhile, License to Kilt Scotch ale goes down smoother than one would expect of an 8.4% ABV beer, offering up myriad taste sensations ranging from banana and caramel to nutmeg and pumpernickel, and Stout Your Engines is almost completely savory in its bittersweet chocolate expression thanks in part to cleansing hop bitterness.

Early on, Bagby says would-be patrons entered his brewpub and asked for IPAs. At that time, Bagby was sticking to less-hoppy styles as he dialed in his brewhouse. According to the brewmaster, many of those Humulus Lupulus seekers would turn right around and exit his establishment rather than sampling his other beers. The brewpub staff nicknamed those exhibiting such single-mindedness the “Dork Squad,” and when Bagby brewed his first IPA — a citrusy, grassy masterpiece that’s a bit spicy and balanced in its bitterness — they named it after those obtuse hopheads. Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Simcoe give the beer an evergreen nose, and lovely flavors of tangerine and grapefruit.

There’s still plenty of uncharted territory for Bagby to tackle, and he intends to. He is particularly excited about working with lager yeast and hopes to brew several bottom-fermenting beers, including a Baltic porter. And yes, "dorks," there are more India pale ales on the horizon. Which brings us to one of the most important factors justifying the whole “beer Mecca” label…plenty of reasons to keep coming back. No matter the brew, quality is as close to a sure bet as a beer fan can hope for.

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

Previous article

What Beethoven's Fifth is not

An answer to vox.com
Bagby Beer Company owner and brewmaster Jeff Bagby filling growlers at his Oceanside brewpub - Image by @sdbeernews
Bagby Beer Company owner and brewmaster Jeff Bagby filling growlers at his Oceanside brewpub
Place

Bagby Beer Co.

601 South Coast Highway, Oceanside

In writing an article expounding the positives at Bagby Beer Company (601 South Coast Highway, Oceanside), I can hear the collective response of my readers: “No duh!” When one of the most famous and award-winning brewers in the history of American beer-making is at a brewpub’s helm, one expects great things. Thing is, hype tends to affect a beer fan’s palate much as the moniker and year on a fine bottle of wine sways an oenophile or having seen a chef on TV makes the food at said toque’s restaurant almost inexplicably yet detectably better. In visiting owner and brewmaster Jeff Bagby, I feared succumbing to the legend of the man walking me through his quaffable catalog, but through self-checking and the corroboration of others with qualified palates, I can assure readers that the many beer-inspired compliments lauded on this enterprise are well-deserved. Bagby Beer is a bona-fide beer Mecca in a county known worldwide for ales and lagers.

Bagby Beer Worker Bee blonde ale brewed with Vista honey

The day I visited, a whopping 14 house beers were on tap. That’s impressive on its own, as is the fact so many different styles were represented: West Coast, Germanic, Belgian, English. For the most part, the beers were in low- to mid-range as far as alcohol-by-volume. That can be tricky territory for lesser brewers as it makes flaws more apparent. But when done justice, blonde ales, hefeweizens, and cream ales can be as delightful as the dankest IPA or most chocolaty imperial stout. Case in point, a “mini Blonde” that served as a yeast starter for a Belgian strain. It’s brisk on the palate, but comes through with a bevy of flavors and aromas — banana, rhubarb, lilies, pear, bubblegum. And its brawnier Belgo siblings bring a lot to the table as well. A strong ale called Golden Girl has more pronounced Bubble Yum notes mingling with lemony tartness and a pleasant sweetness, while a farmhouse ale dubbed Tis the Saison smells like honey and sage and tastes very much like a tripel with tropical fruit character and spiciness brought on by coriander, ginger, and grains of paradise.

A list of house brews at Oceanside's Bagby Beer Company

A blonde called Worker Bee is brewed with Vista honey, giving it an earthiness sans sweetness that tastes like a mash-up of eucalyptus, wildflowers, and mint backed by light toastiness. Wiseacre Wheat is a fantastic hefeweizen that gives one all they could want from this banana-forward session brew. And on the maltier side, Upside Down Frown Brown (which made my list of the best new local beers of 2014) brings flavors of cocoa and a hint of blackstrap molasses while remaining light and drinkable. Meanwhile, License to Kilt Scotch ale goes down smoother than one would expect of an 8.4% ABV beer, offering up myriad taste sensations ranging from banana and caramel to nutmeg and pumpernickel, and Stout Your Engines is almost completely savory in its bittersweet chocolate expression thanks in part to cleansing hop bitterness.

Early on, Bagby says would-be patrons entered his brewpub and asked for IPAs. At that time, Bagby was sticking to less-hoppy styles as he dialed in his brewhouse. According to the brewmaster, many of those Humulus Lupulus seekers would turn right around and exit his establishment rather than sampling his other beers. The brewpub staff nicknamed those exhibiting such single-mindedness the “Dork Squad,” and when Bagby brewed his first IPA — a citrusy, grassy masterpiece that’s a bit spicy and balanced in its bitterness — they named it after those obtuse hopheads. Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Simcoe give the beer an evergreen nose, and lovely flavors of tangerine and grapefruit.

There’s still plenty of uncharted territory for Bagby to tackle, and he intends to. He is particularly excited about working with lager yeast and hopes to brew several bottom-fermenting beers, including a Baltic porter. And yes, "dorks," there are more India pale ales on the horizon. Which brings us to one of the most important factors justifying the whole “beer Mecca” label…plenty of reasons to keep coming back. No matter the brew, quality is as close to a sure bet as a beer fan can hope for.

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

What Beethoven's Fifth is not

An answer to vox.com
Next Article

De Anza Cove terrorized, La Jolla Cove cesspool, doomed life in Eastlake, South vs North Park, displaced persons in City Heights

Quirky San Diego neighborhoods
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

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 — 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