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Selection: 1.5 | Service: 3 | Atmosphere: 2 | Food: N/ACurmudgeon's (189) Overall Score: 43.3
When Persimmon & I first heard about this little micro-brewery, I got very excited. Y'see, I'm a big fan, a BIG FAN, of Dogfish Head beers...oft-centered ales for oft-centered people (read, beer geeks) & I thought, "Hmmmm...another like-minded brewer close by. I wonder what he's got?" So I looked forward to our discovery.
I need to remember the immutable law of expectation; don't. Don't expect anything because they are never, NEV-AH, what you think.
This place is another in a long series of micro-breweries housed in a warehouse-type business park. Tables & chairs & L-shaped bar provide comfort amidst the stacks of malt, mash tun and fermenter.
We were immediately set back by the volume of music emanating from the building; always a turn-off for wife & I since it prohibits any kind of conversation without screaming.
Only 5 beers on tap, 2 IPA's, 2 Pale Ales & a brown. Not what I would call a great selection. And one of those was the typical "Bud" knock off. Which does not make any sense to this beer nerd...nor I suspect to any other beer lover. Why, in the name of rationale, IF I am going to drink craft beer, would I want something akin to a Bud? Or Coors? Or Miller? Right! I wouldn't. So why brew such a thing & offer it up to folks to want something "offbeat"?
Only open since September (2012), they - like any new start-up brewery - are trying hard to make a go...and why not? Here in the San Diego area, I just read a story reporting that last year, (1) new brewery opened in or around town every month. (SD wants badly to claim the title "Beer City" but since I spent 20 years in the Pacific NW sampling as many brews as possible, it's hard for me to allow San Diego that title.) Still, every month! That's impressive.
But in Offbeat Brewing wants to carve out a place for itself -- and mind you, they are just a coupla miles from the behemoth Stone Brewing! -- they're gonna have to find a niche that has yet to be explored....and that will be difficult, even in a business market that still grew in both volume and profit during the recent economic disaster.
None of their beers stood out...although the names are inventive; Giraffeacopter, Sporcupine, Caticorn...but it's not enough. When there are so many stouts, IPA's, porters, etc. that all tout the same coffee, cocoa nibs, citrusey flavors - unique becomes a vital "must" in beer. Color it pink, it's still an IPA. Make it blue, it's still a fizzy fruit drink. You want to grab my attention? Give me a brew that tastes like a liquid Heath Toffee Bar! Let me have IPA that smells & tastes like a Spruce tree but doesn't stick on the back of my tongue like running sap. How about a Russian Imperial that attacks my palate with cinnamon? (and Persimmon & I have tasted them all, by the way!)
Add to this their price of $1.39 per taste and the beer becomes even less inviting.
I wish the folks at Offbeat luck...but would advise to keep a close eye on what's being done in the craft brew world and would admonish them to simply work harder to live up to your name.
reviewed on: 2013-03-03 11:33:21