November 4th kicked off the start of San Diego Beer Week and that Third Annual Downtown Johnny Brown’s Barrel Aged Night.  Last year’s event has been ingrained into my brain being the first time experiencing the awesomeness that is Avery’s Rumpkin.  That beer knocked me on my butt and I’ve been a fan of barrel aging beers in a major way since then.  When the calendar of events for beer week was published, we decided Downtown Johnny Brown’s was a MUST visit.

San Diego beers were well represented and accounted for over 40% of the list.  I wish more bars would take a cue from Churchill’s and offer tasters for purchase.   Ben and I only had two each before heading out to a place nearby for dinner.   Below are my notes from a couple we had to sample.  Wish they had brought back Rumpkin!!!

Ballast Point Navigator- Doppelbock 8.9% APV: I believe my taste buds may have been tainted by the sour I consumed right beforehand, but it almost was a little too sweet for my liking.  It smelled of prunes and caramel.  I’d love to give this one another shot if it’s pouring again in the BP tasting room.

Deschutes Brewery Stoic- Quadrupel 11% ABV (Ben’s choice):  Mmmmmm… spicy flowers!  The alcohol was undetectable to me.   16.5% aged in oak wine barrels and 16.5% in oak rye whiskey barrels, neither left too dominant a flavor.  I’d definitely pay for a bottle of this beer if I saw it at the store.

Overall I was happy kicking off the SDBW with this event.  A couple things would make it even better.   Taster sizes should be available for purchase, more out-of-state breweries would be great, and an overview or each beer would be a nice to have.  Specifically I would like to see what kind of barrel was used in the aging process.   Much of the information I had to look up after the fact on the internet.