Beer Meets Wine in San Marcos

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How does beer tasting end up on a wine blog? How are the two worlds connected? There are more connections between beer and wine than you may know about. After a trip to the Lost Abbey in San Marcos, I am THRILLED to review my experience!

The setting of the Lost Abbey is not one to "wow" - rows of office complexes, empty side roads, in a town with chain-store-filled plazas. Being a winery junkie, this setting reminded me of the "wine ghetto" in Lompoc. Yes, you read it correctly. There is such a territory called the "wine ghetto." It's basically wineries who set up tasting and barrel rooms away from their vineyard in an office complex area. After tasting at these wine ghettos, I learned not to let the setting thow me off because I found some amazing, delicious wine, and I found some amazing, delicious beer at the Lost Abbey.

We arrived before it opened: empty parking lot, tinted doors, obscure sign. And then the garage door lifted up to reveal a magnificent, big, open tap room with brewing tanks and barrels in the background. Yes, you read it correctly - BARRELS!

This brewery specializes in Belgian-style beers, which are typically aged in used Bourbon barrels. The Lost Abbey took it a step further and age their beers in not only Bourbon barrels, but wine and Jack Daniels barrels.


I was even more excited when I actually recognized a vineyard label on one of the barrels: Havens. A while back I tasted and reviewed a Havens '05 Merlot. As I was wandering along in the back storage room, I found a Havens '06 Merlot barrel. If this beer turns out anything like the wine, it'll be great with food and have an extra "kick" on your taste buds.

Beer tasting is not unlike wine tasting. You focus on the aromas, color, taste, finish. Being a wine tasting enthusiast, I had a great time applying my knowledge. What kinds of beer flavors do I enjoy? Caramel aromas; darker - brown/black colors with a layer of head; rich, creamy, and slightly hoppy taste; a smooth finish that leaves the flavor coating your tongue. And food pairing? The Lost Abbey suggests NY HOT DOGS! This brewery sells hot dogs right outside for the pleasure of their avid drinkers! PURE GENIUS.

Tastings: $1 per beer, about 3oz. Choose your favorite and pay up for a pint! Decent prices, friendly, just an overall great time!

The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing
155 Mata Way, Suite 104
San Marcos, CA 92069


kebbin said...

hey this place looks awesome! Any places like this a bit more local?

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