Rip Current Brewing, North Park

Rip Current Brewing (based in San Marcos, CA) won the 2015 Very Small Brewing Company of the Year award at the Great American Beer Festival. They also won five medals at the Los Angeles International Beer Competition in 2016. This is a review of their tasting room in North Park.

There were 19 house taps on offer today at the North Park tasting room (the brewing is done in San Marcos). Prices run $5.50 to $6.50 for a 16 oz pint. In addition to their own beers they offer six or seven guest taps. They also sell 1L and 2L growlers.

Lupulin Lust IPA (8.3% ABV). A very good IPA. Perhaps a little too "hot" because of the high ABV but over all well-balanced and tasty. A little citrus, a little funk, hoppy; happy.  4/5

This is a nice spot.Two sides open to the street creating a wonderful cross-breeze and letting in lots of light. The stainless steel bar with dark rough wood accents, exposed ceiling and plenty of bar seating make this a good hang out.

Break Line Bock (6.7% ABV). A nice red brown color. Good flavor with some burnt and caramel notes. Maybe a little thin on the end with a slightly odd vapor (malt?).  4/5  This beer won a gold medal at the 2016 Los Angeles International Beer Competition.

Sublime Kitchen shares the space and offers an extensive menu for reasonable prices. It is a higher level than typical pub food. I like the tomato bisque and the beer cheese fries (which is big enough to share and comes with A LOT of bacon).

Frontside Foreign Extra Stout (6% ABV). Really good. Medium mouth feel, silky, only a bit sweet, roasted malt comes through beautifully with a little chocolate flavor. 4.5/5  This beer won a bronze medal at the 2016 Los Angeles International Beer Competition.

The crowd at 3pm on a Friday is sparse and seems to be mostly day-drinking regulars. The bar and kitchen staff are friendly and helpful. They've got some surfer punk music on. Gnarly, dude!

Java Break Coffee Stout (5% ABV). Quite similar to Frontside, with prominent coffee and roasty flavors. Eminently drinkable. 4.5/5

There's a fun surfing theme that runs through the beer names, decor, music, and even the flight tray. The vibe at the North Park tasting room is chill and comfortable. The quality of the beer and the vibe combine to make this a place you'll want to spend an afternoon at.

Black Lagoon Scottish Strong (10% ABV). I was getting full with all the food and 25 oz of beer, so I struggled to finish my flight. The high ABV of this one made it a bit daunting at this stage of the afternoon, but it is a good Scottish with toffee and toasted malt flavors and good balance.  Almost black with red tinge. 3.75/5  This beer won a silver medal at the 2016 Los Angeles International Beer Competition.

4101 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

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