I attended an amazing, private event with the team of Vineagogo, San Diego’s hottest new wine event company. With over forty craft ales, we had our hands full! The mission for the night was to provide tasting notes for Josh Orr, Vineagogo’s Wine Director and Advanced Sommelier.
Vineagogo is soon to open a swanky lounge/restaurant in the Marina District of Downtown San Diego, and Josh is working hard to develop an impressive beer list for their opening in October. Of course they gave us a call, the 40cozy boys being such prominent S.D. beer drinkers!
Josh’s goal is to split the beer list in thirds: 1/3 California ales, 1/3 domestic craft ales, and 1/3 international ales. Some of the breweries represented in our tasting were Mission, Stone, AleSmith, The Bruery, Green Flash, Bear Republic, Lost Coast, Flying Dog, Avery, Unibroue, Chimay, Franziskaner, Harviestoun, and Hitachino.
Unibroue Trois Pistoles – A Belgian Strong Dark Ale with 9% ABV, this is one of my favorites of the night. Unibroue is a very solid brewery from Quebec, Canada using brewing methods inspired by the Trappist monks in Belgium.
India Pale Ales – San Diego is a hop-heavy city, so of course we had to focus much of our time finding the best hoppy ales for the beer list. This was just the first beer tasting, so there’s sure to be many more opportunities to ID the ideal IPA. Mission, an S.D. brewery, has an IPA and Shipwreck Double IPA, both of which got mixed reviews. AleSmith’s X was a crowd pleaser, though I slightly preferred their IPA. Stone’s Ruination was the favorite, getting solid reviews from all participants.
Hitachino Nest Beer – A brand of the Japanese brewery Kiuchi creating English-style ales, this was a pleasant surprise for our tastebuds. The novelty of an English ale from the East was a big draw for me, and I think they’ll be big sellers. We want a legit beer list for the lounge, though ultimately we need the beers to sell, so novelty is important. I prefer the White Ale to their Real Ginger Brew, though both are tasty.
Vineagogo is a great S.D. wine company and we had a blast. Tasting 40 different beers is a daunting task, but it was made much easier with some tasty homemade tacos and peanut butter cookies!
Vineagogo provides San Diego County beer and wine catering services, home wine delivery, an online wine store, private wine tasting party services, and a monthly wine club. Visit them at Vineagogo.com for more information.