It’s pretty amazing that in a city with 115 breweries, people still get pumped to hear that the 116th one is opening. Such is the case for the first brewery to open in San Diego in 2016 – Bitter Brothers Brewing. Just east of Pacific Beach, nestled on the north end of Morena Blvd in the highly trafficked area near Costco, lies their 3,200-square-foot brewery, with an attached 700-square-foot tasting room. We dropped in on a Friday morning to check out their brews.
Our bartender for the day was Delaney, an alumni of San Diego’s prized yeast producer White Labs, who knew her beers inside and out. She guided us through a full flight of all nine beers on tap during our visit, which ranged from the two variants of their Berliner Weisse (Pomegranate and Ginger), to the fraternal Coffee Porter twins on tap, both on draft and on nitro.
What stood out among all of the beers on tap was their incredibly clean, true-to-style delivery. The brewers at Bitter Brothers have a lot of professional brewing experience behind them, with stints at Karl Strauss, White Labs, 32 North, and Lightning Brewery among their combined resumes. In San Diego tasting rooms, you rarely come across a Hefeweizen – and even less frequently its darker brother Dunkelweizen – but Bitter Brothers nailed each almost perfectly, with both using the White Labs WLP300 Hefeweizen Ale Yeast to deliver a delicious banana and plum finish.
Their most popular beer is their Little Brother Session IPA, a 4.75% ABV Citra-hopped beauty that delivers an intense tropical aroma, and has a taste that stays well on the tongue from the first sip all the way through the long lingering aftertaste. Many of the recent San Diego breweries takes on Session IPAs seem to be (intentionally) unbalanced, and are often outright hop warfare on your palate, but Little Brother comes across much more refined and welcoming, even on a cool San Diego January morning (our humble apologies to out-of-state readers.) We can’t wait to see how this one drinks when we get up to our “normal” 75 degree weather!
Put Bitter Brothers Brewing on your to-do list, or better yet, add it to your Costo shopping list and stop by before you brave the wide aisles of bulk-buying. As a side note, you DO NOT NEED a Costo membership if you’re just going to buy alcohol, and they have fantastic deals on many local brews, and great wine deals too. Cheers to the San Diego brewery class of 2016, it’s off to a great start!
4170 Morena Blvd
San Diego, CA 92117