Before we delve into a discussion on what is shiny and new, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge a beer institution that's far from new, but as relevant as ever. Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of O'Brien's Pub. For as long as I can remember, my San Diego experience (some years are hazier than others), O'Brien's has always been synonymous with uncompromising taste in beer. Before craft brew started spreading like some sort of delicious zombie apocalypse, this place was my island of serenity. I'm overjoyed that it's still going strong and continuing to lead the craft-brew charge.
Lately, there've been more beers popping onto the market than I've been capable of sampling. I know many of you are petrified of trying a beer without me qualifying them as quaffable ("quaffifying?"), but I know you can do it.
New Brew No. 1-PB AleHouse Winter Warmer: When a beer is flavored with 11 pounds of ginger and 3 pounds of cinnamon sticks, I can at least assure you it'll be interesting-maybe not subtle, but definitely interesting. With winter coming into full swing, this might be a fun sipper for the evening.
New Brew No. 2-Play Date Imperial Stout: This collaboration among San Diego Brewing Company, Manzanita Brewing and Coronado Brewing Company is purported to have notes of chocolate and graham cracker. Even if it doesn't, it most definitely has 10.2-percent alcohol by volume. That's a little something we call a no-lose proposition. It'll be available at all of their tap rooms starting today after 4 p.m.