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rehab

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Hi all,
I am going to LA in March next year with the wife. She is jamming in all the usuals over there for activities. I was quite keen to do a brewery tour.

I am wondering between a trip to Ballast Point or to Stone Brewing?
Has anyone been on tours to either?
What was the better if you have been to both? Also in terms of busing or taxi or anything like that what is the best way to get from LA to there (without spending more than I will at the brewery would be great)

Thanks

Chris
 

mwd

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Ballast Point and Karl Strauss breweries are in San Diego approx 125 miles South of LA. No info never been to either but pretty sure they have open days for tours.
 

Cortez The Killer

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Stone brewing is awesome!

If you are going to Anaheim (Disneyland) you could do a day trip to San Diego and stop in at Stone

There have a heap on tap there and bottles available I didn't see anywhere else

But when in the states let this be your guide

http://beermapping.com/

Here's the pacific map, LA map and San Diego map

Also worth checking is http://www.beerfestivals.org/ to see if there is anything on when you are over there

I ended up at San Francisco beer week thanks to that site :D

Cheers
 

Kranky

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I've been to both but didn't bother with a tour. I found Stone a bit sterile. It's certainly an interesting place to visit and they do regular tours. They have a good gift store.

There are 2 locations for Ballast Point. There's one near city circle (Home Brew Mart) that is in part a home brew store where you can do tastings of their beer and buy bottles. On the occasions that I have been there the staff were good blokes who love to chat about brewing. There main brewery is to the north west just off the Escondido freeway.

Personally I preferred visiting Ballast Point. Fresh Sculpin IPA is a thing of beauty. If you like sour beer head over to Lost Abbey, there's a tasting bar in the brewery and if you're lucky you can see Tomme driving a forklift. Churchills Pub is well worth a visit as well if you have time. It looks bad from the outside but don't let that fool, it's a paradise of great beer.

I'm not sure what transport options you have getting there from LA. LA is a complete and utter shithole.
 

bugeater

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My guess is the best way to get around is to hire a car, unless you are staying close to the breweries you want to visit. Of course you would have to tone down the tastings and driving on the right hand side may be more challenging when slightly inebriated :D That said, it's a huge city so a taxi could be expensive and I don't think the public transport system is particularly good.

Hiring a car is pretty cheap with some of the online sites, but make sure you get insurance (with some websites like argus you can pay for this in advance online, which would be best). In the US, car insurance seems to be tied to people from what I can tell, not to vehicles, so the locals don't need insurance if they already have insurance for their own car.

While LA is generally a bit of a hole, there are nice parts. I quite like the Pasadena/Arcadia/Monrovia area.

Ah the thought of cheap Sierra Nevada Torpedos.... :kooi:
 

unco_tomato

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As mentioned, San Diego is more than a little out of LA, so you may want to plan trip overnight.

I've only been to Stone, and I rather enjoyed it. But to be honest, it's what you'd expect (well it was what I expected).

Do you have any plans for bringing beer back? Even if you say now that you won't bring anything back, you will. I ended up with 65Litres of beer to bring back, and I wanted more. I ended up buying a large 45L esky, and filling that wil beer and bubble wrap, then squeezing everything else I could into my checked luggage. Customs waved me through as they couldn't be bothered pulling every bottle out and calculating the tax - score!

I'd personally love to go back over to The States sometime to check out Firestone Walker. They've been a favorite of mine ever since I had the 2010 Parabola, and the 2011 Double Jack IPA when I was in San Francisco last year. They oak age every single beer, and are widely regarded as the modern authority of oak aging beers (outside of Europe of course). Of course they are in the complete other direction, but if you guys find a reason to head up to San Francisco, you could take a road trip and stop off at Firestone ;)
 

rehab

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Haha I wanted to get s bit toasted at which either one I got to...I am bringing booze back for sure. I hit Fiji on the way back so I have to have a nice supply on me to get through 4 days there. (hopefully including some Pliny)

I was hoping a bus would go out that way to Stone at least... hmm not really keen to stay in SD so will keep looking at options. I do have 6 months to sort it out...

Thanks all.
Surprised to hear that LA is a hole from peeps too... I guess I will find this all out.
 

Jez

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If you want a good bar in LA get to Blue Palms on Hollywood Boulevard. Great selection on tap.
 

bum

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I'd personally love to go back over to The States sometime to check out Firestone Walker.
Even though the beers are well worth having, the brewery is a bit shit and not at all worth the trip (been there twice).

In LA itself just forget about breweries and hit bars. As many bars as you can. You'll see enough awesome beer to blow your tiny little mind.
 

rehab

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Even though the beers are well worth having, the brewery is a bit shit and not at all worth the trip (been there twice).

In LA itself just forget about breweries and hit bars. As many bars as you can. You'll see enough awesome beer to blow your tiny little mind.
Yeah I know... have only briefly heard of two of the breweries there and they don't seem to offer much. I think between a train and a bus from Anaheim to Oceanside then to Escondido I may actually get there if it works in the reverse. Is there a specific area where I should hunt out for the better Craft bars? Also if anyone knows of a go to bottle-o over there Im already taking notes :D
 

Jez

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Check out www.beeradvocate.com

They have listings of most of the breweries & worthwhile beer bars in LA with info & user ratings for each plus the forums have info on which bottlo's have specific releases of the harder-to-get good stuff. It was very useful during my last trip.

Just start by going to any large supermarket like Whole Foods or whatever. They will have a big enough selection of great beer to excite you.

The train from LA to San Diego is a nice too. They serve Stone Arrogant Bastard which makes the 1.5 hours go quicker :)
 

rehab

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Ha nice. Will check that out for sure!
 

mwd

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Take your passport to the bottleshops they ask for photo ID even if it is obvious you are over 21.

Nearly as daft as Cairns where you cannot buy a cask of wine until after 4:00 PM
 

///

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If you get the train (the Coaster) and stop at Oceanside, you have Pizza Port etc. Stone is great, up around that way you can get to Iron Fist and over to Lost Abbey. That sort of travel will need a car though.

If your going to Ballast Point, get to Ale Smith and Green Flash,. GF is probably my fav as all the way across their range there are only hits and the tasting room is right in the brewery. White Labs also have a tasting room open (7 days I think). Again, need a car.

Theres 56 breweries in the area, if you get down there you will not struggle to find a beer and looking forward to being back next March/April. I also went to Firestone, OMFG!

Just a thought, the West Coaster has a map of all the breweries ... http://www.westcoastersd.com/editorial/

Scotty
 

bugeater

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Take your passport to the bottleshops they ask for photo ID even if it is obvious you are over 21.

Nearly as daft as Cairns where you cannot buy a cask of wine until after 4:00 PM
Yeah myself and the wife both got asked for ID at Walmart when buying some SNPA. The check out lady was even resisting when we offered to show her our passports as she wanted "American issued" ID. When we pointed out how that was impossible and ridiculous, she backed down. Mind you, that was the only time we were ever asked
 

bum

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Yeah, I've once been denied entry to a licensed venue over there when using my passport as ID but that was just one occasion out of many. You really only get people questioning passports at supermarkets and "family" venues that you really want to stay the hell away from anyway. Never had an issue with my passport at breweries (only a handful, tbh) or bars (shit-tonnes).
 

rehab

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What about a valid (in my case Nu Zulund) Drivers licence? Or does Passport override that?
I am thinking of taking train from Anaheim to Oceanside then Bus to Stone's front door... Only thing is, as a compromise, I have to then go to the SD Zoo after the tour so it will be a big ass day meaning no sneaking other Breweries. But it was this or going to lesser breweries in LA.

My mission is to track down some Pliney (Tap or bottle) while there as I know that Stone and other breweries will be easily available.
 

///

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When I was at Uni in the US I used to have to produce my US College ID and my AU drivers licence. I once asked a doorman who was a prick if somehow majically because I was in the US I became 'birthdateless' and how good did he rate my Aussie accent impersonation, for which he backed down. It was in Boston, just down the road from BU so he was not taking any risks.

Just be prepared, maybe this last tri I just looked really old now ... haha!

Scotty
 

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