Mason Ale Works, Oceanside
I took a quick trip a mile or so north from Pizza Port Carlsbad to stop in at the Mason Ale Works location inside the URGE Gastropub and Whiskey Bank in Oceanside. It is a nice spot. There is a small parking lot, a patio outside the front door, a beautiful main room and a long bar.
Service was good. I was greeted immediately and the bartender described the beer menu for me, pointing out that a couple of things were unavailable for a few minutes while the draft lines were being cleaned. (Thumbs up for staying on top of draft line maintenance.) That guy went off shift soon after, and the new person was also friendly and helpful.
I can see why they call it a whiskey "bank": there is a huge wall filled with whiskey of every description. That merits a return trip, I think. The food looks good, too. There is an extensive guest beer list in addition to the eleven Mason beers they were pouring.
Mason Ale Works refers to this Oceanside location as their "R&D Brewery," which I guess means it is small and they test out new things on this system. They also have a larger production brewery and tasting room in San Marcos based in the URGE Common House, the anchor tenant of an impressive new mixed-use development.
The beers I tried in my flight were all good to very good.
Craig Brown (Brown Ale, 5% ABV). This is a really solid brown ale. Medium mouthfeel, tasty roasted malts, nice caramel notes. 3.75/5
Charlie Hustle (Red IPA, 6.8% ABV). Hoppy, malty like a red should be, with some unexpected earth notes. 3.25/5
Full Jason (Schwarzbier, 5% ABV). This is an good example of the style. Nicely dark roast on the malt brings out burnt and coffee flavors. 3.25/5
Cash (Imperial Coffee Stout, 9.4% ABV). Smooth, deep, coffee, roasty, raisin, slightly boozy, creamy mouthfeel, tastes barrel-aged but it isn't. I would definitely drink this again. It is one of four Mason beers available in cans. 3.75/5
I like the URGE concept and I like Mason beers. I look forward to checking out the San Marcos location.
http://www.masonaleworks.com/ 2002 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054