Jan. 9 2014 12:00 AM

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Does beer taste better on vinyl?
acousticales.com

A few months back, I made my first visit to Acoustic Ales as part of a San Diego Beer Week marathon day. My intentions were to include it as a highlight and capture notes for a subsequent article where I could share my insights in greater detail. This was something of a tactical misstep on my part. This wasn't my first beer stop of the day and my capacity for conscientiously taking notes was fairly diminished. Here are a couple of the more brilliant insights I captured that day:

"Witte Snake-hahaha…"

"I like eggs"

Of course, owner Tommaso Maggiore wasn't exactly helping things by continuing to stack new beers in front of me, but I feel it's incumbent on me to return his generosity by unearthing whatever disjointed recollections I can summon up.

Despite the liberal application of sheet metal in the Acoustic Ales tasting-room decor, it retains the cozy feel of a neighborhood coffeehouse. That's partly because sizable windows draw revitalizing sunlight that urge you to lounge in one of the adjacent loveseats rather than camp out at the bar. It imparts the sense of visiting a café rather than stepping into the belly of a brewery, and it simply feels more inviting.

If you arrive at Acoustic Ales needing to shake off those "I had too much beer for breakfast" doldrums like me, I strongly urge you start with the Willow Wolves IPA. It has a moderate touch in ABV but delivers an invigorating hop wallop to kick-start your palate. In fact, if you had to choose one guidepost to steer your Acoustic Ales experience, I would say to favor the hoppier offerings. The sweeter ales are where Acoustic tends to do the most of its experimentation suggested in its logo. I'm by no means a proponent for adherence to Reinheitsgebot, but I imagine beers including marshmallows, ginger or Oreos are likely to draw reactions on either extreme.

I particularly enjoyed that Acoustic had three casks and two nitro lines available in its taps. It's always pleasant to experience the same beer with varying textures and nuances, but often the only window to do so is the odd cask night at a brewpub. I happened to be there while wet-hop season was taking off, so the casks were rife with hop-augmented versions of core beers, some of which the website surprisingly indicates are still available. I'm not sure how those would fare this many months later, but without tasting them, I can't really comment.

The Acoustic Ales tasting room is oddly positioned between larger activity hubs in San Diego, but being adjacent to the Green Line trolley stop (in Mission Hills, west of Interstate 5) makes it uniquely suited to include on any trip in or out of downtown. Granted, it's probably better for pre-partying, given that it closes at 9 p.m. most nights, but if you tend to wrap up your drinking before street lights come on, as I do, there are far worse last calls.

Calendar

  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The former local boy and creator of the highly influential blog, Advanced Style, will be signing and discussing his third book, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, which features inspiring pictures and stories...
  • C.J. Chenier and Bonsoir Catin headline this annual Cajun inspired festival. Also enjoy 10,000 pounds of crawfish, dancing and cooking demonstrations. Held at Spanish Landing Park, across from the...
  • A Cinco de Mayo party featuring $2 tacos, cocktails and live music from Bostich+Fussible, Javiera Mena and Gepe
  • A spoken word showcase hosted by English instructor Karla Cordero and her City College students. There will also be a special reading from poet Mercedez Holtry, as well as an art and photography show....
  • Widely known as host of "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live and for his role in the Showtime dramedy Weeds, Kevin Nealon brings his unique humor back to the stand-up stage
  • New works from over a dozen UCSD undergraduate students. Participating artists include Charity Algarme, Richard Lin, Joseph Maas, Ignatius Nguyen, and more
  • This video art exhibition from UCSD MFA candidate Stefani Byrd features two installations that explore the themes of breath, mediation, and the nature of time. Takes place in the VAF Performance Space,...
See all events on Thursday, May 5