Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Company- Chula Vista
Where: 259 3rd Avenue | Chula Vista, California
Cost: Tasters $2.00-$3.00 | Half Pints $4.00-$7.00 | Pints $6.00-$7.00
About: Many moons ago I met one of the three punks of Thr3e Punk Ales, Kevin Lewis, when he was brewing at Butchers Brewing (now Finest Made Ales) in Santee. I was just starting the Business of Craft Beer Program at SDSU, and he was finishing. Kevin told me about the new brewery he and the other punks, John Marshall and Steve Garcia, had started, and a month later I was able to taste their flagship brew, Needle In The Hey! IPA, at KnB in Del Cerro.
Here is what I wrote about their beer back then:
“Although they are brewing on a small-scale right now, Thr3e Punk Ales Brewing Company is producing some big brews. Their latest batch, Needle In The Hey! IPA, 10% ABV, is a good example. This brew is a big IPA, in that it goes all out on classic IPA characteristics. Actually, due to the high alcohol level, which is hidden, by the way, it’s more like a double IPA. Whether a single or double, I really enjoyed tasting this brew:
Amber in color, this beer has lively effervescence and a big, white head. Fresh aromas of grapefruit, orange, melon, and passion-flower are evident. Texture is medium-thick, flavors are similar to aromas with a hint of papaya, and sweetness from the malt is balanced perfectly with a pleasant hop bitterness. Great carbonation for refreshing the palate, and smooth, clean, refreshing finish.
I’ll be following Thr3e Punk Ales as they release new beers so that I can taste more of their craft. Thr3e Punk Ales is another one of those up-and-coming small craft breweries I watch in San Diego, i.e., the group that is making really tasty and interesting small-scale brews.”
True to my word, I have been following Thr3e Punk Ales and the construction of their permanent brewery in Chula Vista for over two years. I was finally able to visit the brewery recently, and thank goodness Needle In The Hey! was on tap.
Located in downtown Chula Vista’s Third Avenue Village, the brewery is in a historic building and has two levels: at street level is the tasting room, and the 10-barrel brewhouse is in the basement. Through a cut-out in the tasting room floor, patrons are able to see the beautiful 10-barrel brewhouse below.
The tasting room features an exposed beam ceiling, industrial light fixtures, a repurposed wood bar, and roll-up doors that open toward Third Avenue. There are plenty of tables where families may sit (the brewery is family-friendly until 8:00 pm; dogs are ok all day), and the sound system is amazing.
Dark, viscous, with a brown head, the roasty aroma is like molasses, cocoa, and espresso. The mouthfeel is full-bodied, creamy, and silky. Flavors of toasted malt, bittersweet chocolate, and toffee prevail, and the finish is smooth and clean. It’s like a dessert. Very drinkable, so watch out for the high ABV.
Likes: I will definitely go back to sample other brews. I am a Russian Imperial Stout fan and Putin On The Ris is wonderful. If you like Old Rasputin, you will like it. Beertenders are friendly, welcoming, and knowledgeable about craft beer, and provided excellent customer service. The new brewery’s location is great, as it’s surrounded by restaurants, shops, and plenty of parking. Clean restroom.
My Verdict: Thr3e Punk Ales is a great addition to downtown’s Third Avenue Village. The beers I drank are well made, delicious, and reasonably priced. Highly recommended.Share This: