Division 23 Brewing- San Diego (Miramar)
Division 23 Brewing is a nano-brewery in the Miramar district of San Diego. Open just three months, their beers are “kick arse” right out of the gate. Zana was on duty the day I was there, and when I asked her what their secret was, she answered with one word, “Tradition.”
Kevin Dougherty is their brewer, she explained, and he is all about following tradition to construct solid, quality beers.
Division 23 names their beers after terms related to the construction industry. In fact, the brewery name itself comes from the construction industry.
There are 50 divisions of construction information defined by the Construction Specifications Institute, which is a standard used for building projects in the U.S. and Canada. “Division 23” of the standard has to do with “Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning.” Owners Kellen Smith and Allen Hampton are engineers in the industry.
I tasted a flight of four brews at Division 23: Bitter Foreman IPA, Raspberry Oak Saison, Natural Ventilation Saison, and Sour Superintendent Berliner Weisse. All four beers were excellent and even as I write this I am salivating for them. However, I’m only going to highlight the tasty Berliner Weiss, as its history is interesting to me and the style is rare in San Diego.
According to the German Beer Institute, Berliner Weisse is an old beer that dates back to the Middle Ages. “When Napoleon occupied Berlin in 1809, he dubbed Berliner Weisse the “Champagne of the North,” “lively and elegant.” It is usually enjoyed with a shot of flavored syrup to cut the beer’s tartness, traditionally woodruff.
Division 23 didn’t have woodruff when I was there, but they had raspberry syrup. I drank half my taster straight without it, then added a shot for the second half. Sour Superintendent was delicious both ways. By the way, there are other syrup flavors on the bar for your drinking pleasure in case you don’t like raspberry.
Sour Superintendent Berliner Weisse (3.2%ABV/5 IBUs):
Served in a snifter, this brew is very pale in color with a slight haze. It has a pretty, thin white head replenished by the lively effervescence. Aroma is pleasant, acidic, fruity, and flowery. Flavors are slightly sour, tart, and lemony. When syrup is added the sourness gets cut and the beer is sweeter and more mellow. Mouthfeel is light bodied, finish is dry, and carbonation is highly effervescent with Champagne-like bubbles. Overall, this is a clean, refreshing beer with a slightly sour, but delicious taste. Great for hot, summer days. I’m looking forward to another one.
Food Pairing Suggestions: salads, appetizers, French fries!