Though I'd never have the temerity to complain about being beer writer, some of my assignments seem ill-conceived. Any expectation of a cogent, vivid write-up about the Drinkabout shuttle after experiencing its orgy of craft-brew taps and drunken camaraderie is simply unreasonable. Regardless, I will dive headlong into the fray like any gonzo journalist worth his salt. I'll also be writing this while on peyote, because I'd hate to short-change the gonzoness of it all.
The Drinkabout shuttle service is the perfect way to quickly sample a slice of North / South Park beer culture. Unsurprisingly, the out-of-towners I brought in tow were rendered slack-jawed by the overwhelming volume and quality of beers it provided across a mere four-and-a-half hours. In fairness, most of my friends are mouth-breathers, regardless, but the 10 brewpub stops are undeniably impressive.
The Drinkabout is not technically a bar crawl, so the expectation should be that you won't hit all the destinations unless you're heavily regimented. We started at Ritual Tavern and walked to Toronado, since we figured a three-minute stroll would more than offset the 1,820 calories of beer we were on track to consume. From there we were delivered to Blind Lady Ale House, followed Pizzeria Luigi. The latter's not a sanctioned stop, but our drunken ADD couldn't resist the siren song of New York-style pizza in stumbling distance of Live Wire.
While this service is a tremendously convenient way to experience multiple brewpubs, I highly recommend having at least one beer curator within your group. With so many taps to negotiate across short stays in multiple locales, the experience can overwhelm beer novices. Bar staffers are generally happy to lend insight, but extended visits at the bar with mounting lines behind you can make for misery on both sides of the counter.
Drinkabout is a reminder of how good the craft-brew enthusiast in San Diego has it. The free shuttle-bus service, courtesy of Brewery Tours of San Diego generally runs on the third Wednesday of the month, but updates and details can be found at drinkabout.blogspot.com.Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Ian blogs at iancheesman.wordpress.com and you can follow him on Twitter @iancheesman.