Reckless Brewing – Mira Mesa

Reckless Brewing 

 reckless2What started off as a possibly good review ended up being a sad review. We stumbled upon this little brewery as one of our stops on our Mira Mesa tour. Reckless is located across from the mega brewery of Ballast Point at 9040 Carroll Way #8, San Diego, CA 92121. They are a small 1.5 barrel system that keeps 12 rotating unique beers on tap.

Ambience – Think garage brewery. Very casual. A bit sloppy looking. Didn’t feel very clean. The beertenders were great. Very knowledgable & passionate about the company. The owner was pretty rude (more on that below.)

Beers – Their 12 taps all have very unique flavor profiles. This is kind of their schtick, off the beaten track flavors. The ones I really liked;

What’s All This @ 5% – a mild pale ale infused with Earl Grey Tea. It had a mild bergamot flavor and was refreshing

Golden Boy @ 7.5% it was a really well balanced IPA with a nice citrusy flavor.

The beers I thought were terrible

Coconut Mead @ 10% cloying and very very sweet. It is fermented with honey & coconut but the flavors were so strong that was all you could taste.

For Goodness Sake @ 10% – brewed with rice and a splash of raspberry. Just tasted odd all the way around.

The rest were just ok.

I always like to give breweries a second try to be fair but the owner was so rude. He was not interested in answering questions. We were standing at the makeshift bar and he basically told us to move off of the bar and get out of the way. There was no where else to sit. He sort of had that artist snobbiness.


Food – No food. They had hotdogs and popcorn on this day because it was their anniversary but by in large they do not offer food trucks.

Overall – Ehhhh. Didn’t love it to begin with and then with the rudeness of the owner and the mediocrity of the beers I will be crossing this one off our list.


Bolt Brewery

Bolt Brewery

During our outing in La Mesa last weekend we also visited Bolt Brewery. Bolt has 2 breweries. The one we visited and another, with a restaurant in Little Italy. I love going to areas where breweries are within walking distance of each other. This one is just down the street from my previous review of Helix.

This is actually Bolts second round of starting a brewery. They began in Fallbrook in 1987. But, according their website, they couldn’t brew beer fast enough and eventually went out of business.

Jump forward to present day. Clint Stromberg and his business partner Molly Rust reopened what they call  Version 2.0 of Bolt Brewery

Stromberg along with his team of brewers Chris Angel (Head Brewer), Josh Ferracioli and Nick Pankow are steadily brewing at Bolt. Operating at 10-barrel system Clint built in 1995 in Budapest, Hungary, Bolt will produce roughly 2,000 barrels of beer annually. Though

boltAmbience – Cool beer garden space in a Quonset hut. All outdoor seating. The beertenders were very friendly. No indoor seating but plenty of shade.



The actual brewery is pretty cool with copper kettle. It is a 10-barrel system that Clint built in 1995 in Budapest, Hungary. They are producing roughly 2,000 barrel annually.

Beers – Solid beers. Nice finish. Some inventive styles.

We tried the following;

Imperial Pilsner @7.0% This was our favorite. Crisp and clean with a great finish.  Nice and citrusy

Hard Pressed Orange Ale @ 5.2%  (affectionately known as the Manmosa) Infused with real oranges. Sweet and tart. It was pretty refreshing on a hot day. I really liked this at first but was glad I only got a taster. It was a bit cloying towards the end.

Dan Stouts on Nitro @ 7.6% My second favorite. Double chocolate Imperial Stout. Nice nutty flavor. Great finish. Nice on the palate all the way back

Imperial Stout on Nitro @ 9.1% – I liked the Dan Stouts much better. This stout seemed to be all flavor up front with little finish

Belgian Dubbel @ 7.1% – Not a big fan of Belgians in the summer. They are typically way to sweet for me but this was a good light Dubbel. Clean finish with nice flavors of cherry and fig.

zqFood – Zia Quesadillas was the vendor. we were starving by the time we got here. The sirloin quesadillas was scrumptious. The salsa was good and the Enchilada was fair.


Overall – Fun place. Totally going back. I am anxious to try their Little Italy locations. The beers were good, some were very good. The ambience was fun. They have bands on the weekends so just check their website for events.

About the brewer – Clint considers himself a session beer specialist, the veteran of more than 29 years hopes to craft a little bit of everything — ales and lagers ranging from a proper pilsner to pale ales and stouts.

Misc. $5 flights on Tuesdays.

Helix Brewing Company

helixHelix brewing company is located in La Mesa, CA. It is a 10 BBL brew house with their roots in home brewing. The tasting room has 12 rotating taps of Helix beers.

Ambience – They did a phenomenal job on the space. It is a quaint indoor/outdoor tasting room. The patio is comfortable, plenty of seating. They have corn hole and various games. Super relaxing. We could have stayed there all day.


Beers – Very user friendly beers. 12 rotating taps. Heavy on the IPA offerings.  Nothing blew me away but they were solid.

We tried the following

Galaxy Rye – Rye IPA @ 6.4 ABV

Red N Active – Hoppy Red Ale @ 5.2ABV

Summer Momentum – IPA @7.0 ABV (this beer is fun because they brew it differently each time)

chkrebelFood – Rotating food vendors. They had Chicken Rebel – a fried chicken sandwich & tot vendor. We didn’t try the food, too heavy and hot out for fried foods, but surrounding tables said it was great.



Overall – Great brewery to hang out in. Super chill vibe. Very palatable beers.

Misc – We really liked their choice in glassware.

Pouring Hours:
Sunday         12-7PM
Monday         3-9PM
Tuesday        3-9PM
Wednesday   3-9PM
Thursday       3-9PM
Friday          12-10PM
Saturday      12-10PM

Zumbar Chocolate Imperial Stout

zumbar-chocolate-coffeeNew English Brewery is a cute little San Diego brewery that has created Zumbar, a most delicious Chocolate Coffee Imperial Stout. It is a collaboration with a San Diego Boutique coffee roaster, Zumbar Coffee & Tea

(Commercial description)

This Imperial Stout is brewed with “El Mundo” a rich blend of Indonesian and Latin American coffee beans in the mash and also in the fermenter. As well as ridiculous amounts of whole bean coffee we added 2 Lbs per Barrel of 72% cacao Belgian Chocolate in the secondary.

The flavor – Delicious coffee, chocolate, a bit smokey, a bit nutty, not too sweet

Style – Imperial Stout

Scent – Dark chocolate and sharp fresh coffee

Pour-  Pitch black with a lovely tan head

Body – Medium body, smooth and chewy

ABV – 9.3%

Finish – Nice lingering coffee and chocolate flavor. Warming on the belly

Food Pairing – Cheesecake, Shortbread Cookies or Biscottis would be lovely

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Side note: I had this on Nitro and it was Fantabulous


Mother Earth Four Seasons of Mother Earth: Summer 2015

11737925_10153400271499098_4367294883785814757_nMother Earth Brewery has done it again. Their Summer Season release: Bourbon barrel-aged Tripel with sweet orange peel and hopped with Mosaic.

This Bourbon Barrel-Aged Tripel coming in at 10.2% is affectionately known as “Bouyah!” This Belgian Ale is a blend of rested barrels that spent between 6 and 8 months maturing in Buffalo Trace & Four Roses Barrels. It is nicely balanced and should mature beautifully.

The flavor – Apricot, Orange, Bourbon and that lovely Mosaic hop flavor

Style – Tripel

Scent –Fruity, boozy and a little pine. Very pleasant on the nose

Pour-  Medium pretty amber with a creamy white head

Body – Sweet body, smooth and not sticky

ABV – 10.2%

Finish – Creamy, slightly bitter, not much alcohol on the back end

Cheese Pairing –Triple Creme Brie would be DELISH (add some prosciutto)

Food  Anything with prominent basil flavor. A nice peach cobbler would be great for dessert

Side note: I totally love their artwork

4 out of 5 stars

4 out  of 5

Mother Earth Kismet IPA


I am really liking this Mother Earth Brewery. I need to make it a point to visit them soon. I have been very pleased by each of their offerings

If you like the Nelson IPA from Alpine I think you will like this little find.

The flavor – Slightly Bitter, Citrus, Lemon, Grapefruit

Style – IPA

Scent – Citrus & Pine

Pour-  Medium orange color with a frothy white head

Body – Medium body, average carbonation

ABV – 7.2%

Finish – Creamy, slightly bitter, not much alcohol on the back end

Cheese Pairing – Cheese – Horseradish Cheddar would be bomb with this

Food  This would cool a spicy Thai or Indian dish beautifully

4 out of 5 stars

4 out  of 5


Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale – Whiskey Barrel-Aged – Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

 I had the good fortune of being in Chico, Ca last week. While I was there I visited Sierra Nevada. It is one of my favorite breweries. I love their integrity and their commitment to their craft and their employees.

I typically do  not love Barleywines, in general, they are too sweet, but being aged in bourbon barrels really balances out this scrumptious beer.

The flavor – Sweet, toasty, hints of vanilla, nicely boozy, bourbon flavor,

Style – American Barleywine

Scent – Faint whiskey barrel, caramelized and less pronounced hop presence

Pour-  Dark Amber colored with a tan head, not much lacing

Body – Medium body, silky feel

ABV – 12.2%

Finish – Silky with a nice bourbon warming

Food Pairing – Cheese – Pungent blue cheese

Food- Bread Pudding would be delicious

4 out of 5 stars

4 out  of 5


Cappuccino Stout – Lagunitas Brewing Company

A sweet cappuccino Today is all cold and rainy in San Diego. When I was deciding what beer to review I wanted something that fit the mood. A beer I would like to put in a snifter and sit by the fire.

Thus why I am reviewing Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout

The flavor – Rich, coffee, but not overly, a bit of chocolate, well balanced sweetness

Style – American Double Imperial Stout

Scent – Sweet and malty at first and then the roasted coffee comes through

Pour-  Silky Black, no light gets through this with a lovely caramel head and nicely laced

Body – Medium body with a nice amount of carbonation

ABV –  9.2%

Finish – Dry but with a little alcohol lingering flavor on the back end

Bonus – This is a very reasonable priced bomber

Food Pairing – Edam or Cheddar Cheese with their nutty flavor go well with this beer or treat yourself have it with a warm brownie topped with ice-cream. I promise you will send me a note of thanks.

4 out of 5 stars

4 out  of 5


Boo Koo IPA – Mother Earth Brew Co.

 Mother Earth Brewing out of  Vista, CA is one of my favorite breweries. They craft a great variety of beer and I have yet to find one that I have not loved.

This beer is LOVELY. Reminiscent of Russian River’s Pliny

The flavor – Tangerine, grapefruit and pine

Style – Mosaic IPA

Scent – Hoppy, floral,  pine and citrus

Pour-  Lovely Straw Color an off white foamy head

Body – Medium body with a crisp up front and smooth at the end,

ABV –  6.5%

Finish – Nice dried fruit, lingering

Food Pairing – Ham, charcuterie and sausages

Sharp cheddar, funky Stilton, or stronger blue cheeses

4.5 out of 5 stars



Nelson – Alpine Beer Company

Alpine Brewing Nelson IPA Beer pic Now that Alpine has increased it’s brewing capacity you can find this lovely beer in a variety of places. I really like this beer. It is one of the best IPAs on the market right now.

The flavor – Very citrus, grapefruit with chardonnay and peach undertones

Style – American IPA

Scent – Pine and citrus

Pour- Golden yellowish orange with an off white foamy head

Body – Light and Crisp to start, a little heavier at the end,

ABV – 7.10%

Finish – Nice spicy rye finish.

Food Pairing – This beer would go great with spicy foods Pa Nang Curry, Ahi Poke, Provides a nice compliment to spice. It would also be a nice contrast to the sweetness in BBQ meats.

5 out of 5 stars

5 out of 5