Guadalupe Brewery, Carlsbad
I had the lucky opportunity of joining a private tasting at Guadalupe recently. A private tasting event or beer education night are the only ways, currently, to try their beer besides buying a growler of it: the brewery is not licensed as a regular tasting room. That will soon be remedied, though, since they are opening a tasting room in downtown Vista, probably before November.
That will add to downtown Vista's extremely high density of local craft beer: it is already home to the Mother Earth tasting room, Wavelength Brewing, Belching Beaver's Tap and Grill, Bear Roots's tasting room, and Backstreet Brewing. It is a highly recommended destination for a beer tour. You can even take the train to get there.
Guadalupe is also a home brewing supply store. The couple who run the place are good folks who enjoy interacting with their customers and providing good advice. Case in point, the brewer gave me a splash of an IPA that he said had something go wrong in the dry hop addition, so that it came out too grassy--he said he didn't recommend I buy it, but that he is keeping it on for a while so that he can monitor how it evolves over time.
That kind of deliberate, experimental, quality-focused, and honest approach to beer is evident in the offerings I tried. I had four samples, including Toasty Roasty a coconut and vanilla stout coming in at 10% ABV that deliciously lives up to its name. The IPAs I tried were good to very good, including a DIPA. The IPAs on the menu were all made with uncommon hops, which is fun. The truly unusual offering was a braggot, an 8% ABV caramelized-orange-blossom-honey mead and English IPA combo that won a gold medal at the 2018 National Honey Board competition. It is called Alexa's Hope because proceeds go toward helping a young cancer patient.
I enjoyed my visit, and I'm very much looking forward to the tasting room opening in Vista soon.
www.gaudalupebrewery.com 5674 El Camino Real Suite D, Carlsbad, CA 92008