The 30th Street landmark was even more crowded than usual as San Diego Beer Week chugged through midweek with a Kern River/Alpine Night at Toronado. Kyle Bergman of The Lodge at Torrey Pines and Luca Banfi of Tender Greens were discussing mouth-watering recipes over IPA pints. Brewers Guild President Adam Carbonell popped in as the Alpine Team were enjoying their seemingly never-ending happy hour event. A bit later, the TapHunter Tweetup crew flowed in from the West Coast Tavern.
Eric and Rebecca of Kern River Brewing Company were also in the house to showcase their Citra Double IPA, Class V Stout, Class X Stout and the just outstanding Just Outstanding IPA, which was named after a famous mountain biking trail in Kernville – hence the tree-hanging bike on the label.
Kern River on tap is an experience in itself. The Citra was even tastier than I had imagined (and been told), and the Class X was heaven in a glass. The bottles, though, tell an interesting story. Each label has an illustration of a miner and a donkey which pays homage to Kernville’s mining history. As the story goes, the donkey got lost one day and gold was found during the search.
The celebratory vibe saw strangers and friends alike sharing and trying each others’ beers. A glass of The Lost Abbey’s Cable Car Ale even made it our way. While Alpine is obviously a favorite here in town, the fact that Kern River came down for the event was another clear-cut example of the quality that San Diego locales like Toronado attract. At this rate, making it through Sunday will be quite the accomplishment.