In May, we met Dan Jachimowicz, homebrewer and Viking enthusiast. At the time, he was hammering away at his bid to enter the professional fermentation ranks, Longship Brewery (10320 Camino Santa Fe, Suite C, Mira Mesa). As of last weekend, that company is now a full-fledged reality accepting all comers, and providing them an assortment of first-draught beers with a side of Nordic history. The latter comes courtesy of a series of round shields lining the tasting-room walls. Produced by a friend of Jachimowicz, they are designed to look as rustic as defensive devices from the Viking era, and will soon be bolstered from aesthetic and historic aspects when swords and axes are added to the mix.
Longship’s inaugural line-up of beers is light on roasted malts but well-suited for the summer season. A witbier is named after an epic clash between the Vikings and Franks (a Germanic tribe from the Rhine region), the Battle of Leuven, and features nice rose-like floral notes followed by orange pithiness in the finish. Golden Torc (torcs are pieces of metal jewelry) is a 7.3% alcohol-by-volume, Belgian-style golden ale with big citrus aromas and a dominating Navel orange flavor-profile and a lasting bitterness on the back-end. An India pale ale dubbed Allfather along with an “American dark ale” called Abomination that’s best described as a milder, less hoppy Arrogant Bastard Ale.
Beers in the hopper include a Vienna-style lager and chocolate stout. They are fermenting away in a cellar that shares space with a shield that’s particularly important to Jachimowicz. Green and white, it is decorated with script that translates to “let the work speak for the craftsman,” and serves as a constant reminder to the young brewer that he can talk about his beer all he wants, but it comes down to what’s in the glass and how that resonates with visitors. And though Odin wasn’t referring to a Belgian witbier when penning the following proverb, it rings true all the same—Wit is needful to him who travels far. Or him who travels to Mira Mesa.