The country remains untouristed, but is perfectly safe to visit — with lots to see for the intrepid traveler.
Alice Diamond 12:50 p.m., Oct. 22
Oooh. Smell those hops. And that malty thing going on. I’m sitting, lone wolf, at the lo-ong counter of what was the Wonderbread factory at 1441 L Street, between 12th and Imperial and Father Joe's, sipping a sample ($1) of Mission Brewery's Double IPA, here at Mission’s new HQ. Dee-lish. They’ve taken this building back to what it was in – get this - 1894. Scrubbed brick and an arched timber roof. Half the place is taken up by 18,000 gallon vats. You can sit at a bar right where the brewers are concocting what you drink. Why am I here? Jes' been writing a cover story about the whole San Diego beer explosion. Got here to Mission too late. But not too late to try some of their beers. The bartender is Evan Robert Martin. He’s 24. His uncle Dan Selis started the company, after home brewing for 20 years. When I sit up to the bar, he’s listening to the singer Jonwayne doing "Andrew." Heavy-but-soothing. And what a beautiful big space to listen to it in. “My grandpa, “Daddybob” Robert Martin, had always wanted to own a brewery,” says Evan. “He passed away just before they opened up here a few months back. But he would be so proud.” So should San Diego. The town’s being called “new beer capital of the US” by Men’s Journal. Check out this whole San Diego beer phenom on the cover soon, and watch for Mission Brewery’s official opening June 18th. Info on their website, www.missionbrewery.com. And food? Not yet, but they call in gastro trucks like Miho every now and then.
(Pictured: Evan Robert Martin brings two of his Uncle Dan's brews for $1-a-sample tasting)