Last year Alesmith was voted The Best Brewery in the World and Rated #1 Brewery in California based on consumer reviews at RateBeer.com. So their beers had better be good. But they’re not. They are GREAT. I can attest to that personally, have visited the brewery many times.
Alesmith’s styles of beer are all over the map. There’s something here for everyone at the Cabot Street tasting room where the brewery has been since it was founded. Alesmith is is second only to Karl Strauss as the oldest brewery in San Diego
Typically the brewery tasting room boasts nine everyday brews supplemented by five seasonal brews. the mainstays include an IPA (of course, we’re in San Diego), a stout a Belgian Pale, an English-style Nut Brown Ale and a Scottish style Wee Heavy. Seasonals include the Cream Ale and occasionally, if you are very lucky you may get to taste a turbocharged version of their delightful Speedway Stout made with Kopi Luwak coffee.
Never heard of Kopi Luwak coffee? Nor have most people. This very expensive Southwest Asian coffee is passed through the large intestine of a small wild-cat called a Civet before finding it’s way into the Speedway Stout + Trust me both the coffee and the stout are delicious. The price for this fabulous feline coffee is about $400lb.
The genius behind most of AleSmith’s brews since 1996 is Todd Fitzsimmons. Todd is a most affable fellow and if he is in or near the tasting room he is always happy to tell you about his beers and his beer-making philosophy. But don’t be offended if he has to rush off to check on the brews.
An important note: When you visit the brewery you had better wear some comfortable shoes, because the tasting room has no seats. I’m told that’s to stop visitors from staying all day, but it hasn’t stopped me.
Brewery founder and owner Peter Zien started as homebrewer and quickly gravitated to opening a commercial brewery. In 20 years Alesmith beers have earned over 450 medals and honors. Peter is San Diego County’s only BJCP (Beer Judge Certification Program) “Grand Master” Level One Beer Judge, one of their highest ratings.