By Cody Thompson | Suds in the City
Last time we met, I made a point to mention how 30th Street has been deemed the “Nation’s Best Beer Boulevard.” With a world-class line up of locations not only offering, but producing some of the best craft beers in the nation, it’s no surprise that locals as well as beer drinkers outside of San Diego see this stretch of road as a true powerhouse. Our Ultimate Warrior of the squared circle – of craft beer.
Okay, so maybe I’m the only one who made that specific comparison, but nonetheless I doubt many would disagree. With so many locations having their hand in the craft beer game, is there room for one more player? Craft beer fans have come in droves while voicing a resounding “yes” in regards to our latest player – Fall Brewing Company (4542 30th St.).
Fall Brewing Company is the pride and passion of brewmaster and owner Ray Astamendi. Before opening Fall Brewing, Astamendi, a well-seasoned brewmaster, had worked with Mission Brewery, Left Coast Brewing, Maui Brewing and was the first and founding brewmaster of Saint Archer Brewing Company in Miramar. The future looks bright for Fall Brewing with Astamendi behind the operation. He will be the one making the calls on everything from the beer styles, the brewing itself to everything in between.
Fall Brewing, which resides in a building that once housed an auto repair shop, presents a beautiful tasting room loaded with San Diego-centric attitude and décor. With the hardwood L-shaped bar wrapping the main ordering and tasting area, to the “counter top” seating space that stretches the length of the building that separates the main room from the wide open brewhouse, imbibers can sip their suds in a comfortable and classy way.
Adding that local touch are band posters from San Diego’s past and present plastering their walls. Down the hallway and throughout the bar area, those making an appearance include Casbah anniversary posters, local greats Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot, Hot Snakes and, of course, Rocket From The Crypt. Fall Brewing has lots of love for the RFTC crew, as they also serve up an English Brown Ale, “Speedo’s Tiki Love God,” that happens to be named after the band’s singer and local music hero, Mr. John Reis.
The beers being offered at Fall Brewing range from classic IPAs, a team of stouts, (one being brewed with local coffee from Dark Horse Coffee Roasters), all the way to a team of California Commons and more.
I started my journey with their take on a classic IPA: Spirit of ‘77. Brewed with the “three Cs” in the hop world — Chinook, Cascade and Centennial —this 7.3 percent alcohol-by-volume beer boasts tons of juicy hop flavors with a fantastic crispness and slight bite. I was then told by local craft beer artist Rudy Pollorena Jr. of Craft Beerd that I must try two specific beers at Fall Brewing, and now after trying both, I pass along the same suggestion to you.
A Beer Named Sue, obviously named for the late and great Man in Black, Johnny Cash, is a California Common that is said to be brewed with all Northern Brewer hops. It was a clean and crisp offering with low hop bitterness while still delivering amazing flavors. The next suggestion was to taste the aforementioned coffee stout, 2AM Bike Ride. A toasty 4.6 percent ABV stout loaded with coffee flavors and a mild vanilla sweetness on the back end.
Contributing even more to the San Diego vibe in the tasting room, which I personally love, are the two beers named for San Diego staples. One being Speedo’s Tiki Love God, coming in nice, dry and toasty, and as Speedo himself said, “not too hoppy.”
The other is the Loudspeaker Imperial Rye Session IPA named for the local 91X radio show, featuring a sticker of host Tim Pyles’ face on the beer board. Loudspeaker, which clocks in at 6.2 percent ABV, is a fruity and incredibly drinkable IPA with a slight spice to it. One might say an “imperial session” couldn’t be a straight IPA, but when something is this tasty you quickly forget technicalities.
Fall Brewing Company has opened to mass attention from the local beer world and after visiting for myself, the reasons are all too apparent. Delivering a great atmosphere with a local vibe, delicious and drinkable beers and friendly and helpful beer-tenders, its no surprise that Fall Brewing is destined to be a fan favorite here on 30th Street. All praise to Ray Astamendi on his new venture, and cheers to a successful upcoming new year with great people and great San Diego craft beer.
—Contact Cody Thompson at email@example.com.