My local Costco quit carrying their Kirkland brand of craft beers a couple of years ago. Since craft beers are relatively expensive, and since I don’t like American beers, I pretty much gave up drinking beers, preferring margaritas since they are about the same price as a craft beer.
Recently I had the opportunity to tour a craft brewery with the Pacific Photographic Society. Pretty neat, and I did accept their tasting tray with 8 craft beer samples on it. Tasty.
AleSmith Brewing Company was founded in San Diego in 1995, making it San Diego’s third oldest craft brewery. It was purchased by Peter Zien in July 2002; Zien is San Diego’s only Beer Judge Certified “Grand Master level 1” beer judge.
The original brewery was located at 9366 Cabot Drive. A larger brewery and tasting room of 25,000 square feet was built in 2015 at 9990 AleSmith Court, making it San Diego’s largest beer tasting room in San Diego County. Currently brewing capacity is about 25,000 barrels per year, but the new brewery, not yet complete in all respects, will increase that capacity by a factor of ten.
AleSmith and its brews have garnered many awards over the years:
- Rated on RateBeer.com website as #1 Top Brewer in the World 2006 and again in 2013.
- 2008 “Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year” at the Great American Beer Festival.
- Nine medals in World Beer Cup competition, including five golds: Belgian Strong Ale (bronze, 1998); Winter YuleSmith (gold, 2004); Vintage AleSmith Old Numbskull (gold, 2008); AleSmith Decadence ’05 Old Ale (gold, 2008); AleSmith Wee Heavy (gold, 2010); AleSmith Decadence ’09 Weizenbock (bronze, 2010); AleSmith Decadence ’10 Old Ale (silver, 2012); AleSmith Old Numbskull (bronze, 2012); AleSmith Old Ale ’13 (gold,2014).
- By 2013, the AleSmith team had acquired 16 GABF beer medals: Belgian-Style Strong Ale (silver, 1998); Stumblin’ Monk (bronze, 2000); Wee Heavy Scotch Ale (bronze, 2004); AleSmith IPA (bronze, 2005); Wee Heavy Scotch Ale (silver, 2005); Vintage Speedway Stout (silver, 2008); Old Numbskull Barley Wine (silver, 2008); Decadence ‘05 Old Ale (gold, 2008); Wee Heavy Scotch Ale (gold, 2008); AleSmith IPA (silver, 2011); Old Numbskull Barley Wine (silver, 2011); Decadence ’10 Old Ale (silver, 2011); Grand Cru (bronze, 2012); Decadence ’10 Old Ale (bronze, 2012); Old Numbskull Barley Wine (gold, 2013); Decadence ‘12 Quadruple (silver, 2013)
Following are some pictures of AleSmith Brewing Company at their new place. When WordPress is working right, many of the pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.