In my mid-twenties, I was a regular at a local pub that featured hundreds of beers from different parts of the world – most were in bottles, and many were on tap. The pub had a “members only card” that included each of the beers they offered; and the pub challenged members to drink a beer and tick it off the list. If a member drank 100 different beers, they would be commemorated with a special engraved mug and a plaque on the wall. I don’t know if my plaque still is showcased on the wall of that pub, but I do know that the mug with my name on it still sits in my kitchen cabinet, and is brought out for special occasions.
When it comes to types of beer that I tasted, what struck me most were the options available. While it is impossible to say which I preferred, I do remember that I had a great time in that pub. Pilsner, porter, stout or cider – I enjoyed them all.
One of the great things about living in San Diego is the myriad San Diego Breweries that are to this great city what Starbucks is to Seattle. Walk down a street in our corner of the world, and you’re certain to come across a local San Diego brewery that has something delicious on tap. And – depending on the time of year – you might find Pumpkin Lagers or Rich Dark Ales reminiscent of the type of beer enjoyed in northern Europe. And – lest you think that you’ve experienced it all – you should try a Irish-type stout in January in the 72-degree San Diego sunshine… there’s nothing in the world like it!
Here are some of the types of beer that you will find in San Diego breweries:
* Lager: Some of the most popular types of beer are lagers. These include American styles including basic lager, all-malt lager, light lager, double pilsner, malt liquor and low-alcohol or “light” beers. Popular international choices include Czech, European, Japanese and German lagers.
* Ale: American amber, brown ale, porter, strong, sour and wild ales are also common American beers. Also in the category of “Ales” are Chile Beer, Pumpkin Ale, Belgian and French ales, English, German, Irish, Finnish, Scottish and Russian ales.
* Cider: While not an official beer, cider is still enjoyed by many beer drinkers. Favorites include standard cider, New England cider and many specialty ciders.
* Hybrids: combining different beer styles or ingredients create this “experimental” beer. Berbed, smoked, fruit and vegetable beer and spiced beer are all types of hybrids.
* Mead: Mead is not a beer, rather a honey wine that has been adapted from centuries-old recipes. Melomel is a type of mead blended with fruit or vegetables. Braggot is concoction of beer and mead, while Metheglin is mead blended with spices.
Next time you’re in San Diego, make sure to join us on one of our very popular brewery tours, where we sample beer from some of the very best San Diego breweries. Ride along in our chauffeured van, or take a trolley with us and learn from our expert guides how beer is made, great food pairings, and some history about the beautiful city of San Diego.