Trying to keep up with all the newest breweries in San Diego County sometimes feels like performing a census on Tribbles aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. No matter how systematic my approach, they just keep popping up under my feet. Tracking them may be a fool's errand, but my irrepressible gumption (and rudimentary grasp of math) tells me to press onward and profile what I can. It's in that spirit that I'm happy to introduce some of you to Rough Draft Brewing (8830 Rehco Road, Suite D).
When Rough Draft opened in March, it was a natural extension of Jeff Silver's 18 years of home-brewing experience and his hooks into the local business community. It's allowed them to hit the ground running with a nine-employee shop (including two brewers) capable of brewing 1,800 barrels per year. They've already produced 10 different beers, not counting their recently arrived barrel-aged varieties.
Like Hess and Alesmith, Rough Draft has set up shop in the industrial netherworld between Sorrento Valley and Miramar. It's an ideal haven for the many cubicle zombies who'd rather warm a bar stool than their car seat in traffic. Thanks to Rough Draft's spacious and smartly appointed tasting room, it's the perfect locale to vent frustrations over botched TPS reports with sympathetic coworkers or lone-wolf it at the bar.
Rough Draft offers a wide array of $4 pours across a broad selection of styles, but it clearly knows where its bread is buttered in this town. Rough Draft usually has three different IPAs on deck, though Silver's taken pains to assure none are outrageously scathing.
"I want our beers to be approachable and fun to drink," he said. "I want people to be able to try our offerings and walk away really liking at least one."
With beer names like the Freudian Sip or Frontal Labottleme, it's hard not to enjoy them for cleverness alone, but their barrel-aged Emboozlement Tripel is worthy of buzz for purely gustatory reasons. It's creamy and savory with ginger notes and really is quite special.
Overall, this is one rough draft that shows an incredible amount of sophistication and polish.