Home“The Gauntlet” DIPA at Iron Fist Brewing Company- Vista, CA“The Gauntlet” DIPA at Iron Fist Brewing Company- Vista, CA

“The Gauntlet” DIPA at Iron Fist Brewing Company- Vista, CA

Name: Iron Fist Brewing Company

Where: 1305 Hot Spring Way #101 Vista, California

Cost: 4 oz. $2.oo | 10 oz. $4.00 | 16 oz. $5.00 | Growler fill: $15-$18 | Flights of any four beers: $7.00

About: Family-owned brewery opened in 2010. The brewery is located in a new light-industry business park in Vista, CA. Set inside a double warehouse space, the large tasting room is adjacent to the brewhouse and its oak barrel storage area. Iron Fist specializes in Belgian-style and West Coast-style beers.

What I drank: The Gauntlet Double IPA (9.5% ABV/90 IBUs)

Orange-copper color, hazy, with a white, frothy head that sticks to the glass. Aromas of sweet grain, grapefruit, tangerine, pine, and tropical fruit. Flavors are similar, yet subdued, dank; perfectly balanced with pleasant bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth, fresh, clean, and creamy, with a delicious finish. Overall, this is a fine example of an Imperial IPA/Double IPA and the best I have tasted in San Diego County.

What I ate: With a pint of The Gauntlet I had a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich topped with a tangy BBQ sauce and coleslaw from a mobile unit set up in front of the brewery. The pairing worked well for me as the pungent and bitter DIPA didn’t get lost among the seasonings and smoked meat. The Gauntlet’s citrusy finish quenched my thirst after the salty, smoked, and umami flavors of the pork.

Likes: The Gauntlet was the best Double IPA I have had so far in my exploration of over 100 San Diego County craft breweries. It is well-made and very well-priced at $5.00. Service from bar staff was excellent- fast, friendly, efficient. The range of beers at the brewery is good and will meet the beer style preferences of any newbie or enthusiast. I also like the openness of the place and being able to see the brewing system, raw materials, and oak barrels stored adjacent to the tasting room is great for viewing while quaffing.

Dislikes: none

Verdict: A great San Diego County brewery with beers worth traveling for. Brews are reasonably priced and fresh. Excellent customer service from staff is a plus.

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