The Endless Road Trip — San Diego’s Top 10 Eats: 9. The Best Drunk Bus

There are craft beer aficionado, beer purists, beer idiots, and then me…an in-between of all of them. I know the differences between pale ales, IPAs, and stouts, but normally I’m just as happy with a $2 Miller Lite.

Something I didn’t know: there are tour companies that pick you up and take you on a beer bus around various cities. Or at least this exists in San Diego. BS and I got picked up by the Brewery Tours of San Diego at 10:30am (yes, in the morning) to start a drinking adventure. First we arrived at Ballast Point and I was kind of confused, it looked like we were in an industrial park at an office building and not a place where I could get wildly drunk. I went inside anyway. Leave no stone unturned.

They had at least 20 beers on tap; many of which (if I remember correctly) were brewed one-time only. I, for the second time in my life, read the word “sculpin” on a menu; the previous night we had the fish, and today all of the beers were named after various catches. I knew we only had a limited amount of time and only so much I could drink, so BS and I went for the craziest ones:

Habanero Sculpin, serrano pale ale, and a smoked IPA. The smoked beers were great but not mind-blowing; like the difference between eating roasted pork and smoked pork. They’re both kick-ass pork, but one tastes smokey. However, the complexity of the pepper beers completely blew me away; they embodied all the flavor of the peppers, with maybe half of the heat. If you blindly took a sip of either one, you could distinctly taste which was habanero and serrano, not just pepper. I think the serrano pale ale would make a kick-ass beer mac-n-cheese, although I haven’t figured out how to procure it in Pennsylvania yet. I’m taking suggestions.

We continued on to San Marcos Brewery and perhaps most famously Stone Brewing Company, where I insisted on sitting around the stone (pictured above). Things were fuzzy at this point; after hours of beer tasting in the sun my brain cells started to fry. But I knew the beers were good, and I knew that next time I should probably take it easier on the first stop. I’m not getting in on the craft beer war, but I’m just going to say this. What’s better than a guy driving you around, leading you to drink?


More of the Endless Road Trip — San Diego

1.  Pickle Tater Tots
2. Tostada Loca
3. Pacos (Pancake Tacos)
4. The Veggie Burger Comes Full Circle
5. Live Sea Urchin
6. Uni Everywhere
7. Pork, It’s What’s for Breakfast
8. Triple Threat Pork Sandwich
9. The Best Drunk Bus
10. Scrambled Eggs, Meet Rice and Beans

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One comment

  • Kay June 20, 2013  

    Great post! I have heard there are so many awesome places to grab a bite to eat in San Diego. At least this list narrows it down a bit. Thanks for sharing!

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