Trip to San Diego...family time and West Coast beercation!

Just got back from an awesome, refreshing, weeks vacation visiting my brother and his family in North Park, San Diego.   Besides going to the beach, surfing, crashing a hotel pool downtown, more beach, San Diego Zoo, short trip to PB, and the strongest Margarita I've ever had at Ponce's, I also made time to check out The Lost Abbey/Pizza Port!  I know, you probably think that I should've checked out Stone and I probably should've.   But, I wanted to check out the barrels at The Lost Abbey!

I was hoping to taste a bunch of their sour beer and do a little reconnaissance on their Barrel Room!  This brewery has barrels stacked everywhere!  Although they have 1800 barrels filled to the brim and oozing with sour beer, there wasn't any sour beer to be had on this day.  Oh well.   I didn't realize that The Lost Abbey was only 5 years old.  Similar to my hometown hero Surly who is about 5 1/2.  There sour beer release's are much like any small brewery with exeptional beer.  When they bottle it, it goes fast and sits in peoples cellars or is drunk right away.   The Lost Abbey stores 1000-1200 barrels of sour beer across the parking lot in a warehouse...oh man I was pushing for someone to walk me through there, but it just wasn't happening.    Overall, this is an awesome brewery and i can't wait to eventually get my hands on some of their sours!

As soon as I convince my wife of it, I'm definitely going to be putting a huge wine barrel in our basement and aging sour beers in there.   It's gonna be quite the project, a huge risk (55 gallons of beer risk), but should be extremely educational.   As my first batch of Flanders Red is souring nicely on oak cubes, and my second batch is on it's way as well, the next logical step is to buy a huge wine barrel right?  I think so!  If you are even in the San Diego I highly recommend checking out The Lost Abbey!


  1. Nice one... always looking for new horizons, I like that. I've been meaning to ask you seeing as you seem to love the saisons... what do you think of a blackberry saison? I figured the tartness of the berries might go well with the tart/ dryness of saison, especially with Wyeast 3711. Or maybe will be too mouth puckering? Is this an insult to saison and I shouldn't mess with a good thing? What do you think?

  2. Blackberry Saison could be really tasty! I think it may go better with a little bit darker version of the Style. I've been leaning towards Saison that have Brett, are tart, sometimes sour, and these seem to be more traditional then the Saison's being mass produced today which are high ABV, high carbonation, and light in color.

    I added Acidulated Malt to my last saison (a full pound) which probably was too much for most peoples taste. It added a crisp tartness but not a lot of complex acidity. I love it though and it's a great summer refresher. I think you blackberries will be tart and refreshing!

    I added tart cherries to a Patersbier a year ago. It turned out interesting, tart, delicious, but there wasn't quite enough malt backbone. (it was 100% pilsner). I drank my last one a month ago and it was fantastic! I think a Saison would work really well. Maybe add 1/2 pound of biscuit malt, to help with a backbone and some wheat, oats, or spelt. Maybe even some Belgian Aromatic Malt in there. Then add a pound per gallon of blackberries in secondary. That's what I'd do. I'd probably put it on Brett and Bugs though! I'm turning into a Sour freak though!

  3. I had an amazing time at Lost Abbey last year visiting some buddies. A kick ass brewery!

  4. Yeah man. They were brewing a fresh hop when I was there and the place wreaked like dank hops. I'll definitely be back.


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