Kilowatt Brewing- San Diego (Kearny Mesa)
For a week after they opened on Saint Patrick’s Day, every time I tried to visit Kilowatt Brewing the place was packed. From the front door and lobby to the roll-up door and into the alley, it was always standing room only with craft beer lovers. That’s what happens when you are a brewery making excellent beer right from the start.
Fortunately for me, who loathes crowds, I finally got inside early Good Friday morning as they were opening. For a while I had the brewery, taproom and brewmaster, Chris Calva, to myself.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I prefer to visit craft breweries early in the day, for two reasons: my olfactory bulb and palate are fresh for meaningful tasting, and staff usually have time to talk about my favorite subject. In this case with the brewmaster serving me, I felt at ease asking questions and was all ears to learn about how Kilowatt’s brews were born.
Before I rave about the beers at Kilowatt, I need to enthuse about the aesthetics of the tasting room. As they say on their website, the tasting room truly is a “one-of-a-kind taproom.” Designed with beauty and appreciation for art in mind, the taproom has a futuristic translucent acrylic bar with LEDs underneath so that the appearance of the beers are illuminated from below. Artsy long light tubes hang overhead, along with the coolest soft-lit hop lights that everyone wants for their own. Taps are carefully back-lit, and the walls painted with modern colors, have interesting artwork displayed on them. Ok, now for the beer.
Of the 65 San Diego County breweries I have visited thus far, this is the first time I have crushed 8 tasters! They were all good, solid brews. Mouthfeel for all of them was amazing. I was only going to have two tasters, then a pint, but the first two were so unique my palate said keep going, and one taster led to another. For this review I’m going to focus on the one Chris said he was most proud of, his Angry Amber, 5.7% ABV. Here is my humble impression of it:
Caramel/red color, slight haze, frothy off-white head formation and good retention. Nice toast, caramel, and floral aromas. Flavors are similar to aromas, and sweetness and bitterness are balanced. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, good carbonation, rich creaminess, and there’s a clean semi-dry finish. Overall, this is a beautiful, flavorful, and impressive beer that I will go back to taste again. My palate always knows when it is drinking quality beer, and this brew is such. Next time it’s a pint.