Monday 21st May 2012
A relatively new entrant to the San Diego brewery scene, Mission wishes to follow in the path of a former brewery of the same name founded in 1913 that stopped brewing during that strange period of prohibition. That brewery's building still exists, see photograph left. The modern era started in 2007 when they opened a small brewery at another location but the most momentous event was when they moved in to the former Wonder Bread bakery building on the edge of downtown San Diego in 2011, see photograph right. It could have been actually built for a brewery, and has lots of space for expansion.
The San Diego Padres baseball stadium dominates this part of town so, imagine if you can, walking easterly from it across two blocks of car parks (parking lots), then you obtain an idea of the location of the Mission Brewery, very convenient for home games.
On entering the building you notice the bar on the right, along with an area for merchandise and take out sales.
There is a huge space in the middle and the brewing equipment is on the left. There are the usual tables and chairs but also, two shuffleboards. Sadly, nobody was playing on them; I would have liked to watch a game.
The beer range is very interesting as there are no strange infusions here, just interpretations of classic European styles and the West Coast IPAs.
The core range was Mission Blonde (5.0%), a Kölsch, Hefeweizen (5.3%) in the Bavarian style, Amber (5.0%), a Dusseldorf Altbier and IPA (6.8%), in the "San Diego style", whatever that is! There are another two regular beers that go under the Shipwrecked name: Double IPA (9.2%) in, you've guessed, the "San Diego Imperial IPA style" (?) and Dark Seas (10.0%), a Russian Imperial Stout. There was also a seasonal beer, Bohemian Pilsner (5.0%).
I had four beers here. I thought the Amber was not very much like an Altbier but pleasant nevertheless. IPA was very typical of the general West Coast style, bursting with citrus flavours. The Double IPA I found very heavy with many complex flavours and was glad I wasn't having a pint! Dark Seas Stout was a revelation, being very bitter for a stout and having many different tastes in one glass. It was truly excellent!
They also bottle beer and their draught and packaged beer can be found throughout Southern California as far north as the Bay area. Mission Brewing is a very welcome addition to the San Diego brewing scene.
Mission Brewery, 1441 L Street, San Diego CA 92101
Open: Monday to Saturday 12.00-20.00; Sunday 12.00-17.00
On the San Diego Trolley the 12th Street / Imperial Transit Center stop is one block away and is served by the Blue and Orange lines, also the Red Line when events are on.
The Silver Line with the historic streetcar also calls here on its days of operation.
There are many bus routes.