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Since hitting the East Village this summer, Monkey Paw Pub and Brewery has only been living up to half its billing. With a solid tap and bottle selection and cozy, unpretentious neighborhood vibe, it had the pub component down flat, but had yet to release any beers from their brand new brewing system.

That all changed on Friday when head brewer Derek Freese and owner/brewer Scot Blair debuted the first four of their house beers. It’s a varied assortment that comes through on Blair’s pre-open promises to produce interesting beers that are mostly low alcohol with several rare and exotic exceptions.

Hoppy session ales are becoming all the rage and Monkey Paw’s opening line-up includes one—Pineapple X-Press. Aptly named and 5.2% ABV, it delivers tropical flavors against a light body. On the other end of the spectrum is Mighty Joe Young, a 5.9% ABV American Stout named after the star primate from the 1949 film of the same name.

The beer features all the roasty, coffee notes one expects from a stout, plus a nice dose of hops (the “American” component of this stout). Sweet Georgia Brown, a 5.8% ABV malty brown ale with light caramel sweetness, and Santa’s Pet Monkey, the brewpub’s 9% ABV chocolate and vanilla imperial porter holiday ale, round out the quartet.

Next up on the brewing schedule are brews that go beyond everyday styles. Some, in fact, have never been produced in San Diego, and that’s saying something for a region that’s spawned at least one iteration of just about every known style of ale or lager in the world.

Experimentation is what’s made San Diego a standout brewing region and it’s what makes Monkey Paw a brewpub to keep an eye on. Monkey Paw is located at 805 16th Street.

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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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