One sunny day, back in the mists of time; as a newcomer to Southern California and the San Diego area in particular; I was taking a stroll and rubber-necking at all the sights and sounds of the Downtown district aware of just how different everything looked compared to rural England.
From the intersections (heck, I even had to re-learn how to cross the road without getting run over) to the tall palm trees and the even taller mirrored glass buildings; everything looked kind of strange to me; when suddenly a weird six-wheeled vehicle of ex-military persuasion buzzed out from a narrow side street with a party of pleasantly-pickled looking folk bobbling around under canvas in the back of the er.. truck I guess you’d call it. On the side of the front doors a banner proclaimed “Brewery Tours” proudly.
I thought little of it at the time as it was just another bewildering difference from what I’d been used to the other side of the pond but a few days later I was up in the Carlsbad area and I saw the same truck again, this time empty. I ended up chatting to the guy driving it as my father used to love old vehicles and military ones in particular. Until that moment I’d never thought about touring breweries; but obviously there were lots of local craft beer fans that had. The driver told me a few tales of revelry and I watched, scratching my head slightly as he sped off in the direction of his next pick up. Fast forward a few years (OK maybe more like ten years) and I found myself actually conducting a brewery tour myself.
I wondered what it was actually like to take one from the ‘punters’ perspective? Robert from the Rancho Bernardo area was celebrating his birthday and what better way (for a San Diego craft beer fan) than to join four friends and travel in style from their chosen starting point: Legacy Brewing Company’s tasting room just off of Miramar Road, to four or five select establishments in the locality in air-conditioned comfort; free of worry about parking, finding the sometimes rather hidden-away locations; not to mention the wrath of every Cop touring the strip watching for potential DUI suspects! The party agreed that it made all the difference not needing to designate a driver to stay sober, and I was even able to offer a few suggestions for future visits – although Robert’s friends seemed well versed in most of the local craft beer locations along Mira Mesa’s “Brewery Alley”.
Tempted to try your own tour?
Call San Diego Brewery Tours and they will take care of the rest for you: oh, except the tasting of course..