In 2016, Harrah’s Southern California Resort opened the first tribal brewery in San Diego County. Going by the name SR76 Beerworks, it was owned by the economic development arm of the Rincon Band of Luiseno Indians and helmed by Karl Strauss Brewing veteran, Brian Scott, who introduced a line of mostly-sessionable, less-aggressive styles which were served at in-casino venues and a separate-yet-onsite tasting room.
Scott departed earlier this year and, with him, went the SR76 brand. Now, the fermentation interest goes by the name Rincon Reservation Road Brewery (RRRB) and has new beers to go with its updated identity.
The week before last, the Rincon Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), which is responsible for brewery operations at RRRB, held a tasting of the revamped beers. That quartet includes the following (notes provided by RRRB):
- Amber Ale: The caramel malts lend toasted toffee and caramel flavors. It has a toasted aroma with slight fruity and pine-hop bitterness balancing the sweetness.
- Hefeweizen: 55% wheat malt and 45% two-row malt give it a medium mouth feel and a foamy head. Very little to no hop aroma or flavor. Fermented with traditional German Hefeweizen yeast, giving it large amounts of fruity banana aroma and flavor with a hint of clove.
- Blonde Ale: A dry, medium body with light malty sweetness. Low hop bitterness balances well with the slight fruit flavor.
- IPA: Brewed with two-row, wheat and oats to give a dry, crisp, clean, low malt flavor. Zappa, CTZ and Chinook hops give a medium hop bitterness of spice and citrus with loads of tropical (mango, passion fruit), citrus and pine aromas.
Like SR76 Beerworks’ beers, RRRB’s portfolio is available within the casino, though the REDCO is exploring outside accounts to distribute to. Currently, the Hefeweizen is available at Newport Pizza and Ale House in Ocean Beach.
Rincon Reservation Road Brewery is located at 777 South Resort Drive in Valley Center. The region also goes by the marketing-driven nickname of “Funner, California.”