Jan. 9 2015 06:04 PM

New Vista brewer has more crests than troughs

Beers that add constructive interference to the scene
Photo by Ian Cheesman

I can think of very few reasons why you would ever need to storm out of Mother Earth Brewing Company's (MEBC) taproom in Vista. I've never experienced any beer or personality there that would send me out in a huff. I once encountered a collie with an inappropriate sense of nose-to-crotch boundaries there, but you can hardly fault MEBC for that. Still, should you need to beat a hasty retreat, Wavelength Brewing (236 Main St.) is the perfect storming distance away.

After nearly one year in preparation and development, Wavelength opened its doors just a hair before 2015. They've literally gutted the previous establishment from floor to ceiling, creating an almost-cavernous space to grow into. It'll be filled with tables or stools momentarily, but that seems a tragic misstep to me. Why walk away from the distinction of being the only tasting room in San Diego capable of hosting regulation-sized dodgeball matches? It's a niche that's long overdue to be filled.

While Wavelength Brewing is a catchy enough name, there were myriad reasons for its selection. One obvious source of inspiration was owner Hans Haas' background in professional sound design, but it extends beyond his enthusiasm for technology and music. He shared, "Our motto is ‘Full Spectrum Beer,' and what that means is we like it all, from the lightest to the darkest, hoppy to the malty."

Unfortunately, the creativity employed in naming the brewery (not to mention the wonderfully nerdy alternate physics-laced motto, "So Good It Hz") was somehow exhausted by the time they got to naming the beers. Each item on the tap list is simply called out by its style category, which, in this context, feels like lovingly bringing a newborn into the world and then naming it "child." 

Lackluster names notwithstanding, the tap list certainly delivered the promised diversity of styles. Wavelength offered a core set of six ales, representing everything from a bright red ale to a Cascadian dark ale. There was even a bonus grapefruit IPA to complement the standard IPA. That's not too shabby for being open for less than a week.

In general, I found each beer had some real character to it, if not necessarily in the dimensions I was hoping for. The Cascadian dark ale, for example, had some wonderful pine, earth and smoky aspects to it, but it felt somewhat thin and mild in the finish. Similarly, the IPA delivered a vibrant pineapple and citrus blast to the palate, but it lacked aromatics and tenacity in the finish. Conversely, the brown and Czech golden ale seemed more aggressively hopped than I would expect. My favorite by far was the grapefruit IPA, which emulated a mild, ruby-red grapefruit's sweet / sour blend with surprising fidelity. Tasting particulars aside, at only $10 for a flight of six beers, it's well worth giving them all a whirl to see how they work for you.

While Wavelength Brewing will not have its official grand opening until Jan. 31, it will still be open Wednesday through Sunday at noon and occasionally trot out new beers like the orange wheat for your consideration. And if you aren't feeling it for some reason, storming distance is applicable in both directions.

Write to ianc@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com, or follow @iancheesman on Twitter or read his blog, iancheesman.wordpress.com.


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