Hess Brewing

I just popped in to Hess Brewing in Mira Mesa, one of San Diego’s smallest breweries.  I had a quick beer with tasting room manager Mike Skubic, who was trying to throw together a meet-up (for tonight) in honor of the American Homebrewers Association conference that’s going on this weekend.  Skubic is also preparing for next week’s Friday Afternoon Club at the brewery; food, music, and beer.  Right now they have 2 special beers on tap: Jucundus Orange Honey Wheat Ale, and Deceptio Cascadian Dark Ale.  I tried both.

Jucundus is made with orange blossom honey, orange zest, and coriander.  It is a pale yellow, fizzy beer with a citrusy-grapefruit aroma.  It is crisp, clean, and perfectly carbonated; an awesome beer for a hot day.

Deceptio is a nod to the latest trend of black IPAs.  It is dark brown with a thick foamy head and an inviting hoppy aroma.  The flavor is strong roast character with very little chocolate and low residual sweetness.  Hop flavors and aroma dance around your face as you sip.  A good way to finish after a bit of Jucundus.

For more history on Hess, here is an excerpt from an article I originally published in the Summer 2011 issue of Edible San Diego.

Hess Brewing is located in a warehouse off Miramar Road; in the center of what founder Mike Hess calls the beer corridor (near Alesmith, and between Ballast Point to the east, Karl Strauss to the west, and Stone to the North).  The front office is Hess’ financial services business.  The back warehouse is the brewery and tasting room, run by Mike Skubic.

Mikes Hess and Skubic were working in financial services, making lots of homebrew, and fantasizing about opening a brewpub.  Instead of going whole hog, they started small.  Hess says they didn’t want to quit their day jobs.  The front office pays the rent, and the warehouse is where they get to have fun.

The brewery was opened in 2010.  They brew a 1.6 barrel batch (about 50 gallons) and will sometimes crank out 3 in one day.  Their line-up comprises 5 year-round beers including Vienna Cream Ale and Rye Stout.  The Cream Ale is a delicious beer; foamy, dark amber colored, with a slightly sweet malty aroma, and a satisfying toasty finish.  The Rye Stout is pitch black and produces a cappuccino-like head.  The flavor is like dark chocolate, with a pleasant rye note.

Hess says their goal is bringing people together.  They host Friday Afternoon Club at the brewery once a month, with bands, food, and naturally lots of tasty beer.

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