San Diego is pretty much the Mecca of craft beer. You'd have to go on several brewery tours before you'd even make a dent; as of right now there are over 125 breweries. Yeeshk! Local to San Diego, Mike Hess Brewing* has three locations within the county: North Park, Miramar, & Ocean Beach. I happened to visit the North Park location during the Taste of North Park, a neighborhood event for food, beverage, & shopping enthusiasts to try a variety of local shops. Join me in looking at my experience.
AmbianceThe day I visited Mike Hess Brewing it was packed, hot, & stuffed with people due to the Taste of North Park event. I wiped away beads of sweat as they rolled off my face & messily pulled my hair back into a ponytail in an attempt to cool off. I went up & introduced myself; they told me to choose five tasters from their list of brews. My boyfriend & I eyed the list, narrowed it down, & made our choices. Then they pointed me in the direction of my reserved table. "Oooooh, I have a reserved table," I said to Fred. I felt so special.
DecorMike Hess has an industrial look with exposed ceilings, peppered with fairy lights. There was a mixture of long rectangular wooden tables & some small circular ones. My reserved table was the little one, perfectly fit for two. You also have the opportunity to check out some games & play with your homies to give it a more joyful experience. There's an outside seating area so you can people watch as folks pass by.
|From left to right: Grazias, Magna Cucurbita, Umbrix, Ficus, Grapefruit Solis|
Grazias - This is a tasty, mild Vienna cream ale. It's delicious & goes down easy. I'd say this is the perfect brew for those who want a scrumptious beer or aren't the biggest beer fans. Grazias is a great starting point for beer enthusiasts & beer hesitants alike.
Magna Cucurbita - Ding ding ding! This was my favorite beer hands-down. Magna Cucurbita is a dark pumpkin stout -- ideal for the autumn season. It's lovingly spiced & quite fragrant. I could see myself enjoying this throughout fall.
Umbrix - I'm a huge fan of stouts especially when the temperatures cool down. This is a rye imperial stout with a potent but smooth taste. The flavors include rye malt, coffee, chocolate, & toffee. It has a 10.2% ABV so it's pretty high in alcohol content.
Ficus - A dark Belgian saison beer with organic, locally grown figs. It's sweet & rich & packed with flavor. In fact, over 10 pounds of figs are used per barrel. This is a unique beer & bonus points for Mike Hess Brewing supporting local farms.
Grapefruit Solis - I'm a sucker for grapefruit; it's one of my favorite citrus fruits out there. This beer is light & tangy but the grapefruit wasn't coming through as much as I would like. The citrus flavor was quite mild.
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ExperienceThe crowd & sheer explosion of noise was slightly off putting. I genuinely had to yell in order to keep a conversation. Like I said this could be due to the hustle & bustle of Taste of North Park. I've never ventured to Mike Hess Brewing before so I don't know if it's always like that. The beers were appetizing; my favorite would definitely be Magna Cucurbita. After we sampled the flight of tasters we returned the Mike Hess chip in exchange for a glass to take home. The taster flight with the glass would normally cost $15. That averages out to $2 per taster & a $5 glass, which is an average/slightly higher price point in comparison to some other breweries I've been to.
I'd like to try out another location or head back to the North Park one just to give Mike Hess another shot because it was just too packed & loud to fully enjoy. I wish I was given the opportunity to try out more beers because experiencing only five didn't give me much insight into their range of flavors. Looking back the beer I best recall was the pumpkin stout Magna Cucurbita.
Have you ever been to Mike Hess Brewing? What do you like about the location? :]
3812 Grim Avenue
San Diego, CA 92104
San Diego, CA 92104
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